Posts Tagged ‘DC’

All So Lovely And Fine


25 Oct

samplex

HEY LIV. BROADCASTING FROM WASHINGTON, DC. Cute, colorful, and as complex as a single flower in the sun, Olivia Pantelidis is the name I immediately loved, and loving with the prattling passion of history, I presumed it to be Greek in nature. Perhaps I am wrong. Yes, Olivia Pantelidis, I just had to write it again, the other names are all so lovely and fine, Liv and Okimikko (Japanese-flavor I note), but it was your whole given name which drew first blood. Thanks for writing back. Despite those terse beginnings, we have materialized much fun playing among the words.

Meanwhile, to answer your question, I live in Washington, DC, a block away from the stadium where the REDSKINS footballers used to play until moving to a new expensive facility in the suburbs last year. Good riddance I say, but I'd really love to see a baseball team play there for many reasons which I will spare you for now.

...like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there.
There's also a public hospital, a large highschool, a single small Ma & Pa grocery store, and the National Guard facility in my immediate neigborhood. Nothing else but old rowhouses, many in slum condition, offer my life much urban immediacy. Litter and glass plague these neighborhood streets and alleys. Gunshots are not so rare. Graffitti slang, not EVEN artistic, is sprayed wildcat upon this wall or that building. Wearing my social engineering cap, I lust for new business sections to open up down here, in well-designed heavy commerce worthy of a vibrant city just bursting to emerge from this neighborhood. My property is about half a mile from the River Anacostia flowing just the other side of the stadium. We are prime commercial, but alas, the city suffers and rages and dies, arguing poorly for residential nothingness. There are few wise men here. A city of imposters and ugly metaphors. Fakes and spastic manipulators. Tyrants and suit salad liars. The city is withering on the vine of potential growth. Down here they call it a race issue. It's really an ego issue. Meanwhile, we wither no differently than the ivy on the pole.

mothergrad

Peggy Nix, Gabriel Thy, Sue Hedrick

It's no secret I too curl up among my words and the books that publish them. My own few favorites are scattered around my website. You can visit the Scenewash Project 20003 and click to THE LITERARY CHIP. Still not a whole lot there yet, but I aim to establish a little here, a little there, and take heed that I am slowly bringing it all together. This is practically all I do in my miserable life among the mobs of malcontention, but that might be exaggerating ever slightly, like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there. Check around. Be my Australian friend. I don't have one yet.

It seems like we've damned near established some sort of literary correspondence, and while I get really busy sometimes, I do appreciate an interesting correspondence. I freelance, and work several current clients on a sporadic basis. I work and take great peace and ponderance in my garden, and am enlisted in the minds that matter to fight back all the garbage entropy and grime have a way of bringing to my attention . . .

She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me...
I do all this from home, and in fact, rarely leave the Dollhouse & Grill [our pet names for the house & yard], and am somewhat agoraphobic in that way. I live here with two others. Peter and Sue. You can read about them on the website as well. I'm currently trying to finish Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. You really should read this book, without question. It is a rare instant classic, much better than (Gunter) Grass's The Rat, which I only mildly found amusing or interesting. In fact I was disappointed, I must say. Perhaps the title was not indicative of Gunter's other work, but it reminded me of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, and although I love Pynchon's earlier work, Vineland and this latest book, Mason and Dixon (a much difficult read, and I have read very little of it frankly.) leave a lot to be desired. Vineland kicked its own ashes down the road as far as I am concerned, a pale shimmer of past literary glory, this book. Mason and Dixon is something altogether different. Written in Olde Englische, I don't know if it's worth the read or not. But for now it remains on my shelf, a gift from Sue, barely opened.

Don't use Netscape, eh? Which browser DO you use? Tell me about your computer, if you've a mind to go there. I work from a Power Macintosh, of course, an 8500/120, but I hope to upgrade to a G-3 soon. Anywaze, it's been fun chatting widja . . . keep it cool, and we'll just play this mystery, word by word. As some unknown poet wrote some time ago, twig by twig we build a language. That reminds me, my mother wants to discuss a poem I just had published, but one I had written a while ago. She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me, so I suppose I must oblige her. I've got to write her now, so tiddly widdly, until the next time we meet, Olivia, just call me...

[1998, Washington DC ]

Greetings To The Dollhouse


21 May

studio

Landry's San Francisco

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I like the dollhouse appellation for your house. Very appropo. Interesting analysis of Jack and his "can dish it out, but can't take it." It is something I am learning in our cohabitation. He's also very adept at making a good first impressions; then when you're hooked in, everything changes.

There have been some rough spots, but for the most part, things are going pretty well between us. And, I can't blame any troubles all on Jack because I have my own baggage to deal with that doesn't make me the most pleasant person in the world. I can be negative and I stress out about EVERYTHING. I have been trying to let some things slide but it ain't easy. It's kinda tough, when for so long all I had to think about was me. If I didn't have money or if I fucked something up, it was me and only me I had to answer too. Now I have to deal with someone else fucking up or me fucking them up. It's a little tough. Plus, I had to adjust to living with someone else. When we were in DC, it still felt like Jack was just a houseguest. It was still my place. That ain't the story anymore. But, in spite of the little failings, it is still a good thing. I'm not anywhere near hanging in the towel yet. I'm sorta ready for the long term thing. I just don't know if I really get into the relationship thing. I mean, it sounds nice, and I like the concept, but the reality has always been a problem for me. It's a growing up thing.

We don't have much in ways of furniture. We are finally at a financial peak where we have paid off the move costs and we are collecting our full paychecks, so we are ready to shop the yard sales of the SF queens. Those gay guys throw away or sell cheap some really nice stuff.

That reminds me, I was concerned about Jack's homophobia and somewhat racist attitude and how it was going to connect with this oh so PC city. But, he seems to be doing fine. The only people I knew living here are gay—two gay guys named Michael and Celso and one lesbian named Booooooo (has to be seven ohs). I think he is one of those people that only takes people on an individual basis. He seems to warm up to people pretty quick without making any judgment on them; yet he can't seem to work it out in his head that the stereotypes he believes to be true are a lot of times not.

I find too that the work environment is much more civilized here. People have a sense of humor about themselves and don't stomp around thinking they make the world go around. And, I don't have to listen to conservative assholes like at my last job. Here, I probably sound like Rush Limbaugh to some of these granola heads.
We do live in a somewhat "brotherly" neighborhood. A lot of guys like to walk by around 2 or 3am blasting their radios they have slung over their shoulders—I thought that big radio thing had gone out of fashion, guess not. They yell at each other in the streets a lot too. Some things are universal.

San Francisco is a frontier town in a lot of ways. It's like things on the east coast just didn't make it out here. Too far. Sorry, we don't have that here. I still like the town because of the more relaxed atmosphere and all that, but I appreciate DC a lot more. DC actually has a really active art culture that I just took for granted. And, in spite of the Nazis that have their grips on the taxes and government and stuff, DC is pretty hip and loose. However, I will never pine for another winter like the last one. The weather is fabulous, and I don't ever want to experience uncomfortable heat or cold again. I find that people don't get into much intellectual talk here, either. I miss that. Perhaps I just haven't found the niche yet. After all, those Beat Poets were here a long time ago. People seem to like mundane music, movies, etc. I don't understand it. There is more to life than just being laid back. There has to be some brain stimulil. I liked being able to get into it with my fellow DC-ers. I also miss the friends I left.

But, I am making more money and I paid off most of my debts, so I am now in the position to take some art classes and stuff and perhaps take some trips. I find too that the work environment is much more civilized here. People have a sense of humor about themselves and don't stomp around thinking they make the world go around. And, I don't have to listen to conservative assholes like at my last job. Here, I probably sound like Rush Limbaugh to some of these granola heads.

Anyway, I gotta get back to work. Write much. I'll read. I'll respond.

Landry

To Continue Serving Our Customers


19 Nov

pied-piperettes

Pied Piperettes

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1. First Light

He used to take advantage of me, at first. You had to fight. He was not mean but dominating. You had to fight. He would push you to the edge, point to it and laugh. He respected me for fighting, for my philosophy, my thoughts, and strength of my resolve not to break, and for my earnest heart in testing the reality he designed.

Me and X, or X and I developed a very special relationship where our friendship meant more than a job, sex, or even punk rock. It meant more than anything else I could think of, and I am good at thinking up things I just cannot touch. We used to hang out all night and we would just talk the paint off the walls. We'd still be talking long after the buzz of the evening had left us alone. He'd tell me about his experiences and I'd tell him about mine. In a situation like this you meet a lot of good paragraphs. Some of them remain your friends for life, and even if you can't remember all the words, you remember the kink.

When he saw me he was always real happy to see me like I was his next meal or the wedding of his fat daughter. I'll never forget this feeling he brought with him; one night we were walking along the broken glass and concrete mirrors and he said "it's almost like a movie, right." He said, "You know, a man meets a friend only once in a lifetime." That stays with me like the hiccups, even better. That quote is a great quote. It made me feel good that I had reached that height of wandering friendship and wondering humanity. It sealed the envelope, the blue envelope I carried in my back pocket as a reminder of the years he would never be near again.

2. Mental States

Most of these guys just need somebody to really chase time with them. I think all these guys can be reached if you know how to show them new suspense. Big Business throws all rejects from society into one pile and that's the ugly part of it. And only the mercurial survive. I've seen men lose their minds. Good men. Intelligent men. I've seen these men being chewed up alive, men losing their minds right before my eyes. After suffering conditions over and over again these sane people eventually become insane because of the degradation they recognize others find in themselves.

Many times I have cried, I'm not going to lie to you or to anyone else who thinks about why I am here and they are where they are. I have swung at the air. I have felt sorry for myself. It's not easy to be independent to continue serving our customers. As far as snapping, I've learned too much to snap. I can't really diagnose my own case, but I'm angry now and again. I've got a temper that's really bad, enough to scare the crows away. That's sort of new. Anger. That's the only thing that shivers me. Suppose I'm angry at the world. I might be sitting here talking cool and collected but...

I'm scared of myself at this point. Some of the things I had to do. I have busted people up, people close to me, people dear to me, people I've had to defy. I have begged, borrowed, and stolen the empty promises of others who act as if they hold clues to the upper deck, but let's face it, I didn't get this way climbing along the rusty rails of empty halls. And the anger that I have inside me, or still hanging from my shoulders makes me nothing more than a blue collar girl. I dance and gather stuff to line my pockets but I just snapped at one of the girls in dance class because at this point I'm spitting angry at the world, and she was just standing there, naked, dripping wet hair, no makeup but still looking prettier than me, and I'm no leftover shoe myself. But yeah, I'm climbing up and I'm looking good. It's all of that need to say that I am somebody that burns inside my belly. You're not going to walk over me. I'm going to survive. I'm fighting. But I'm fighting 'cause I'm angry. I'm scared of myself 'cause I wonder if I get up there one day will I be vindictive? Hitler was once in a homeless joint. This is the stuff that makes Hitlers. I hate to say it.

3. Poetry Is An Invasion Of Privacy

I want to feel better
So l write a poem
I don't care if it rhymes
If it's offbeat
Onbeat
Unpunctuated
Or misspelled
I just want to write a poem
So l can feel better
A poem is supposed to have moving images
Which stirs the senses
Well, the only images I see
Is blackness

Sadness
Unfairness
Martin
Malcom
Garvey
Kennedy
Nuisance
Revenge
Choking hands
Neck and mind braces
Starkness. Images that required reaction. That's what photographer Morton Hundley and I were looking for in October 1986. I had recently started a job as a social worker for the Homeless Services Unit of D.C.'s Downtown Cluster of Congregations, an ecumenical association of 24 downtown churches. He introduced himself to me, and offered to buy me a cup of coffee. I said okay and the next thing I knew we were looking at these pictures he'd brought, nicely tucked into a satchel that was worn and tattered around the edges. His pictures were black. I had to cry, and so I just got up and left the shop without looking back.

Nine days later. I don't remember writing this. Did I steal it? Somebody, ANYBODY, HELP ME PLEASE, IS THIS YOURS? DID I TAKE IT FROM YOU? I'M SCREAMING. ARE YOU STILL THERE?

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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