Somebody who is not me posted this while I dreamed of a cliff that tore away from its mountain and went to Stop & Shop on the bus.
This morning I was contacted on behalf of the prince of a small island whose mother died of a brain worm the length of the island’s circumference. It has become part of the island’s myth that the brain worm was a physical manifestation of her worries about the island–that her mind was constantly going over and over the state and affairs of the island, worrying her to death. And so the worm has been stretched around the island, protecting it. Until this morning, when that image surfaced, upsetting “the beleaguered prince”, as his spokesperson described him.
So, sweet prince, I am sorry. It seems my dream of a cliff became an agent in your frustration. Tonight I will not dream; I will vigilantly guard my identity as you do your island.
The presence of writers is like snow: quiet, watchful people. Slowly more fill the room and the room becomes omniscient, but with nothing to watch except itself watching etcetera, like an inside-out glove in the snow that I thought was alive because of the vibrant stitching of the liner. Somehow have to renew myself in what other people have scattered, or in scattering itself. Providence is a good place for this–I find a lot of clothes lying on the ground, good ones, like the pink hoodie that’s the color of Pepto-Bismol, which I swallowed when I was an upset child. I just realized that instead of “presence” I’d written “presents”– of writers. Last night, scallops from Aaron, bread from Nalini, cashews from Mark. Today sachertorte from Susannah. Sachertorte is layers and layers of hotels shipped from Vienna and Salzburg. We will inhabit each hotel separately, then together, alternating like themes in a modernist RITE. And then later, CAROLE. For her class I am reading the stitching of liners and looking for patterns in what has been scattered, studying like an apprentice in the kitchen of a prince who’s about to be deposed.
There’s a new issue of MAKE; I have a short essay in it. The essay is about things that have made me feel that something outside of me is thinking for me. Some of these things include Study for Portrait VI by Francis Bacon and Poltergeist.
This is not the MAKE that tells you how to assemble novel things and encourages you in your craft projects. I wish that MAKE included stories and poems as though these too were instructions, though by following them, you won’t have assembled an toy or appliance but a memory of a series of feelings becoming one feeling that eventually goes away.
I get excited when I see that someone from Ukraine has looked at my blog. It must be one of my ancestors checking up on me. When I think of ancestry I think of mothers, and I wonder how the anxieties my mother held in her body while she also contained me got into me. Are they in me now? They must be part of my musculo-skeletal structure. I do think I carry many of them as a kind of inner stutter. If there’s a place in Ukraine where my grandmother sat and didn’t feel the touch of her anxieties, can I get to that place, and if I can’t, how can I extend the place where I’m currently sitting far back into my past so that my grandmother, a blond child, can sit where I am and look out the window and see a blue house and a pickup truck in Providence and heal her daughter? I don’t know. I’ve been eating a lot of sauerkraut.
1) Read Feminaissance and write a response to it. I did.
I’d like to add this: My relationship with being female has been mixed. I wasn’t a girl when I was a kid. I had a tree where I hid. It was kin. My gender was like its. I think it still is.
2) Blurb a book that doesn’t exist. I did. The name of the book is HAVEN.
If you like the idea of reading a book of blurbs of books that have not been written by Diane Williams, Shelley Jackson, Susan Daitch, and many other people, you can order “The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature.”
1. Forecast by Shya Scanlon (signed copy). I published chapter 41 on this blog a while ago. The publisher, Flatmancrooked, sent I think 20 copies to the first 20 people who offered to give the book away. All of Forecast can be read online. There’s something about having a book, though.
2. Lost Body Projected. Kind of fever-dreamy, written by me. Mud Luscious generously gave me a bunch of contributor copies. Seems useless to keep them all in a little stack on my shelf.
3. Mystery. Written by alpine unicorns and St. Bernards in an igloo about the mysterious lights and glistening things made by people who live in the valleys below.
If you would like one of these books, email evelynh at gmail dot com and tell me what you ate for breakfast and I will send the book that I think best fits what your life will be like in 20 years. In your email, include an address where you would like the book sent. This will go on until the books are gone.
I guess I am writing the sort of book that gets written despite everything I do not to write it, such as buying an expensive purse. No, I didn’t buy the purse, but I had the urge, and I wanted something to contain it. The small pockets of my jacket couldn’t hold it, even when I’d layered jacket over jacket. I am sure other people feel like they have broken in to someone’s house even when they have not broken anything. Actually, I have broken something, and I should manufacture a bracket to replace it. Then I can hang what shields me at night from the motion-detecting light that is most active between 3 and 5am, when nothing I can see is moving.
I used the fast motions of cleaning to make my anger strong. Then I used my anger to call my mom. I just thought of something too long to ever tell you, I said. Well I thought of something too, she said. Now a chip bag is crumpling itself with terribly fast inner motions.