Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've heard her name before, but I hadn't actually read any of her poetry until today. When my poetry workshop teacher asked me if we knew he she was, I knew it wouldn't exactly have been appropriate for me to say, "Well, I know she's black."  so i didn't raise my hand. But yes, Lucille Clifton passed away recently apparently after surviving cancer and living through the deaths of two of her children. Yes, you can pause and try to breathe after even beginning to try to process that. (and i'm kind of creeped out that I've started to write on this blog expressly speaking to an audience when i originally thought I'd only be talking to myself on the internet as strange as that sounds). But yes, one of the poems we read today in light of that was "Sorrows."

beautiful, to say the least. and, I'm going to challenge myself to make sure at some point I pick up at least one of her books and really take some time with it.(revision: after reading some of her literary bio, one seems almost deplorable)


by Lucille Clifton
who would believe them winged
who would believe they could be

beautiful         who would believe
they could fall so in love with mortals

that they would attach themselves
as scars attach and ride the skin

sometimes we hear them in our dreams
rattling their skulls         clicking their bony fingers

envying our crackling hair
our spice filled flesh

they have heard me beseeching
as I whispered into my own

cupped hands       enough not me again
enough       but who can distinguish

one human voice   
amid such choruses of   desire

there's a serious possibility

that i might not go to sleep tonight. and, not even on some "i have lots of schoolwork to do and i'm gonna not sleep to do it" on some "there are a lot of things that i haven't been allowing myself to say and write, in the interest of numbness and reserving my store of tears for 2010 because 2009 had me at drought level by the end of the year such that it felt physically impossible." I'm just  saying y'all, it's only February. The most I've been able to do is that face contortion that comes before the surrender cry. Not everything can be fixed by "writing it out," but considering when i got back to my room today i wrote four pages of (necessary to unleash) thoughts with the speed of, oh say, something really fast? i'm thinking i need to write today. Plus, i haven't seen the sun come up in a while, and it's worth a bag or two (under the eyes). Moreover, I refuse to be afraid of how tired i'll be during what promises to be a long Thursday.

on another note, I'ma need for me to write the equivalent in novels, poems, whatever other way stories come out as they need to for me to what Stevie Wonder has done- even though I shamefully only really know his hits (like Songs in the Key of Life and the double-disc Song Review). I mean, I said shamefully, i know i'm effin up in life but i'm only 20. This song, as literally as possible with a mental experience, takes me to a whole 'nother place 99.95% of the times I listen to it.

(but why does it seem like just about every song he's ever written was a masterpiece though?)

now, this made me realize something. danggit, here's the tangent i didn't see coming. i spoke with a friend today about the different forms and ways and images and archetypes of activism. i often feel like it's supposed to look a certain way to prove you're genuinely passionate (or at least really care on some human level, as trite as it may sound) even when it's said as a side note that it can look different. i don't know what my activism will/would/has looked like, but i'm pretty sure it's gonna look like a story,or a poem or sound like me speaking or singing, or discussions or look like me scribbling- who knows what life holds but (as it pains me to say) it might not necessarily involve policy-writing/making, picket signs, spending a lot of time at City Halls. I don't think that's what I look like. I think that's what I think I should look like, but we're all different for a reason. And maybe, allowing myself to look different will make someone else feel less alone.And, I'm aware that something else has to be coupled with it, to be effective, but I'm still looking for what that is for me.

and that synthesizer, special whatever, more knowledgeable music people please correct my ignorance that he uses after the chorus amazes me every time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

b/c i'm falling asleep to the soundtrack and i feel compelled.

500 days of Summer freewrite? thoughtsiz.

This is one of the few movies where after I left the theater I felt shaken and still at the same time, and kinda like there was a lot of pressure in my head and a whole lot pushing down on me. Saw it in the summer, alone. (I like going to the movies alone, leaves lots of room for reflection) It was a sunny day, and i made it home uninterrupted by people or delays. Saw it downtown at The Ritz, nearly empty theater, weekday afternoon.

1. and it was so heavy because i identified with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Love-sick) Victim of love songs.
2. the male character, such an interesting flop in our conceptions of who's searching for love that
3. i didn't even realize that me and him were of different genders until I spoke with another girl about the movie last semester and she told me she identified with Summer. (not to say that his character was girly, he was just searching and eager and wrapped up in the idea of love/ in/of Summer)
4. and now I know Summer is the girl's name but I wonder if we can compare Summer (the season to love), inherent/intentional, and love.
5. i really  like the soundtrack. Pretty sure i bought it this summer when i was kinda broke cause i really enjoyed it.
6. and his lil sister said that (yes, he got advice from his little sister and their relationship I really liked), just because he found a girl that liked the same weird stuff that he liked didn't mean that he was meant to be with her.
7. hrmm.. it's funny, i never really questioned that notion until the movie. cause i'm  all, "ooh, I wanna be understood. if you love what i love then love love love, right?" prooobbbaably not?
8. and then he meets Autumn at the end, haha.
9. but before all that, he has to make it through the debilitating depression-like heartbreak and return to what he loves. (cause he works at a greeting card company even though he dreamed of being an architect)
10. so love is what you love, and i also wondered if that made him less attractive to her, that he wasn't doing what he really loved. being genuinely passionate about something and acting on it is hella sexy and inspiring.
11. and before you get who you love, you gotta work on what you love? or either way don't lose sight of what's really calling to you or what you're called to do, what you feel connected to, screaming inside, you're most afraid to risk failing... all that all that. and "Vagabond" was really good recovery music.
12. and i can't remember which scene "Sweet Disposition" played in, but I definitely had a day or two last semester where I just had that song and no other on repeat.
13. and "You Make My Dreams," Hall & Oates, Hall & Oates just be boosting mine! that dance scene was cute but really listen to the words, even the first couple of lines?!! yes! Hall & Oates hits in general are just "that's my jaaaaaaammmmm" worthy though, for me.
14. I know I'm not gonna say everything I want about this movie right now, and right before I go to sleep is the only time I'll allow that to happen.
15. Another part i really liked **SPOILER, avert your eyes if invested in experiencing it like new (but wait, i already said a lot, ANYwho...) the "dreams vs. expectations" scene. SO REAL.
16. Another thing I kept wondering about throughout the movie, and I often wonder when I see movies with weird interesting people in romantic scenarios: how come we don't get to see weird/outcast/outlier/music nerd/not only soulful/athletic/hip-hopped and jazzed out black people/(not stereotype but) archetypal? black people (or any race other than white for that matter) in love? And when I see movies like 500 Days of Summer and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind etc etc. I love it! and then I have this sense of feeling so far. I'm all, "I'm really feelin' this. GREAT story." and then I'm like "Oh, but they're white. Do they know I'm watching? You know, black people like this kinda stuff too. Can we get our own version?"
17. Do I just not know about it?
18. You know, I read this Toni Morrison quote that (roughly) says that you have to write the story that you can't seem to find that you'd want to read. I guess I need to write a story thennnnn... mmhm.
19. OR, maybe someone can enlighten me.
20. in any case. i really liked the movie and i really like the soundtrack. "Wrap yourself around me/cause I ain't the way you found me/and I'll never be the same." That's that Hall & Oates.
21. Also, how much do I love the ordering of the days and the story/memories?! LOTS! In an interview i think the writer said he did it that way because that's how our memories tend to work, not chronologically, episodic and whatnot.
22. I also just really enjoy parentheses :]
23. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel (who I like in general for being a weirdo in all her roles), Mychael Danna & Rob Simonsen, Regina Spektor, The Smiths, Black Lips, Doves, Hall & Oates, The Temper Trap, Carla Bruni, Feist, Simon & Garfunkel (moving, wonder what it'd be like longer but understand why it isn't), Wolfmother, Mumm-Ra, Meaghan Smith and She & Him: all performers on the OST.
24. This will lead me off on another whole other list but, I also thought throughout the movie how black women (or other women of color) never get to be type-whimsical. Maybe we don't all want to be, but I don't know there just seems to be reasons behind it. But I also saw another article that criticized the archetypal white Indie movie women who really serves as nothing more than the object of a man's desire, intangible and not really the focus of the movie. So, it's not so great having the privilege of being whimsical or conveniently intangible and searched for either. *shrugs shoulders*

 i'm gonna stop now. time for bed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

i'm not awake

i don't feel engaged in, or passionate about, any of my non-creative writing classes. And, I'm only registered for one of those (and taking two extra free non credit writing classes). It makes everything so much harder. I don't  even care about what i know i care about. I'm not invested in anything of my classes really. Only extracurriculars & writing, even though my extracurriculars relate to my major/classes. I think I'm just really back to being so sick of the routine. i know i'm intelligent, in that i can pick things apart, ask questions and have things to say, but not lately. I really need  to set it up for myself so that monotony and routine can be broken up in the future. It just sucks that when I do things now to break from it, I don't really want/don't feel ready to go back. When I do break from it, I just want to separate from it altogether. And, I wonder what type of student this makes me. I feel like since i've been here, i've been low-key having a continuing "what kind of student am i?" identity crisis. What a privilege, but still... it's important for  me because I feel numb/blank/still/not myself? in "learning" things that should be interesting to me. So now, the highlights of my recent classes/weeks:

1. reading Sylvia Plath's "Tulips" in Beginning Poetry Workshop
2. my Music Hum teacher playin' using Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her" to demonstrate what the ground bass sounds like in more contemporary music (as opposed to the Baroque period of Western Music)
3. listening to student writers in one of my free non credit writing classes (and also cracking up on the inside about how one of the girls in my class was looking at our grad student teacher like she wanted to devour him, haha)

yup, that's it.
you would think i'd be moved by our class on Minstrelsy in Black Theatre. by .. by .. other stuff! i mean i know why i should be interested about a lot of things i'm "learning" and why it's important but i don't feel a stirring. Only time I feel awake is when I'm working with the Black Theatre Ensemble or ROOTEd, or listening to music, or reading (blogs, books/poems for leisure, shoot! even subway ads) and talking to people. Other than that, I'm floating.

But things can't be perfect. Can't be awake every moment, right? that just sounds effed up. You know, I'm more excited about sleep than class sometimes. I don't really know what to do. But all the rest is fine though :] haha.

after that depressing post, you might feel a little less awake, huh? take a dose of (the quickest thing i can think of that gets me moving):

this has a ground bass (basso continuo) too, doesn't it?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

this is cool.

I'm not Anti-Valentine's Day, but I found this blog hopping and I think it sounds great!