Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notes on a 2011 Existence

It takes two buses to get to work in the morning. From my sleeply little neighborhood, I go to UW where I pick up my next bus. The people who ride this particular bus are traveling to Woodinville, right in the neighborhood of all those software moguls (ie, Microsoft). I get off well before that. My bus driver, however, cracks me up. Most days he’s rather quiet but sometimes he ends up chatting with a fellow passenger. One morning, I heard  him discussing language paradigms. This morning, he waxed philosophical about “intention” because a college aged girl had gotten on the bus, and then  it turned out her bus pass was expired. Her words “Yes, but I’m going to get a new sticker once I get on campus.” (We were, by the way, leaving campus.) The Bus Driver: “Well, ok. But you don’t have it yet. You must pay the fare.” The girl: “But I’m going to go get it now. It will cover this entire quarter, including today.”  The Bus Driver: “But I don’t know that you will. See. I don’t know what your intentions are.”


It went this way for several minutes. Then the bus driver went on to lecture on knowledge… what he’s learned and knows after he attended “the You of Double You” (which nobody says… it’s “YouDub”). Turns out, the man studied linguistics. While he was a metro bus driver. And now he is still a metro bus driver. Who, in his lecture on knowledge, basically said that people who don’t believe in the bible have no way of having more knowledge because their understanding of knowledge is based on the finite measure of man. He believes in the bible so his ability to reach knowledge is limitless. He forgot about creativity. Man’s shape as god. To create. To imagine. To seek what is outside the bounds of quantitative measure.


Oh well. He’s smart. And fun to listen to. That’s real bus entertainment right there.



I also like that, by taking my bike on the bus in to work, I can then ride home. That makes 1 hour of reading in the morning and 40 minutes of aerobic exercise in the afternoon. My commute is totally useable time.



Last night, I started two books. The first was Moby Dick, which I have probably started 80 times. But, I think it will stick this time. I made it preface + three chapters in (this was right before bed) and realized, maybe for the first time, how absolutely beautifully written it was. I read the first chapter wanting nothing other than to excerpt these exquisite passages. I’m excited to get home and read some more before bed.


The second book I started was Time of Sky & Castles in Air by Ayane Kawata (trans by Sawako Nakayasu). These poems are beautiful. And they remind me of Lorine Niedecker in certain ways. The first book is slim, tiny poems, highly imagistic. The second is a bit more surreal, as they were written from dreams. And a bit more lush than Niedecker. But I skipped ahead to a note about the author, and even in life she was a bit Niedecker-esque. Avoiding the sort of standard poetic culture.





I’m also working on the next alice blue chapbook. The art book is in works… fabric, poems screen printed… stitched into a poem. One of them will be a quilt.




I’ve been working on this long poem. Well. I’ve been working on these long poems. When I was 20 years old and at Evergreen and for this one class we had to do a “project” I made it my goal to write “the long poem.” I didn’t really succeed. I wrote a “sequence” instead. And suddenly, last summer, I could do it. The first is now out from Slash Pine Press as a chapbook. Or, it will be in the next week or so. There have been 3 or 4 more since then. They are maybe too grandiose but they feel so right now. So of the moment. So what I need to be working on.



Then there is cooking. Which I love. But right now it seems more like I love the “idea” of cooking than the actual act. Mostly because of time. I am never home. Or, hardly ever home. So tonight I’m going to an expensive restaurant (How to Cook a Wolf) because I still love to eat an nice meal.


And apparently, Maya Angelou wrote a cookbook. Maybe I should write a cookbook. Bringing your comfort food and asian cuisine together in one delicious dish.


I went to dinner at a friend’s house this week. Her and her husband made this phenomenal soft taco bar where everything was done from scratch. I watched them make corn tortillas and wondered why I had never made tortillas from scratch. It’s wildly simple. And makes every other tortilla I have ever made seem somewhat criminal.



I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions. I’d like to not be hung over every time I go out with friends. And I’d like to get back into riding my bike all the time, even though it’s harder to motivate myself when it’s cold out and the bus is so convenient. And I’d probably like to write more than I do, read more than I have been doing, grow some kind of plant. None of that will probably happen. And partially because, as it is right now, life is pretty goddamn good.


Ok. Here’s a New Year’s Resolution: I want to make chevre, mascarpone, and ricotta from scratch. 


Happy New Year!