Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hudson River, 3am



How pretty is this? The view from the window of my new home. I wrote this poem while it snowed on Valentine's Day (three days after I moved here):

Hudson River, 3am

The snow is falling, thick and silent, beautiful bemused
Erasing tracks and torments, lights fantastic
everything we used to guide our way

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alligator at the door



Dream: After a party where there was vintage furniture being sold and many female party hosts were inexplicably sleeping, I was trying to get across a shallow puddle in a dirt road, along with 3 of my long-time girl-friends. I spotted an alligator on the sideline; at first it ignored us, then it struck...I had some sort of long hook with me and some kind of spray and I fought it, catching it through the chin with the hook. Some guys came along, from my high school, and started spraying ME with the same spray that I was aiming at the alligator.

I was outraged at the guys: "That thing was AFTER us!" What's weird is that the friends that I was with started questioning ME about my actions, while the guys admitted secretly that I'd been in the right. All before the whole thing was set to go to trial. So much hostility and tension and fear... Alligators/crocs really freak me out. And the outrage that I was fighting one and then got punished for it...

The Black Beast



I just loved this car. And now it's gone. Thanks to a nice young Indian gent here at the University of Texas to study Electrical Engineering. He and I (and his two friends) spent a LOT of time together over the past 3 days as we maneuvered around the difficult business of selling a car. During various test drives and various mechanics and waiting for the ultimate title transfer, I learned about his life here in Austin and in his home of Bombay. Here, he's in a 2-bedroom apartment that he shares with 5 (!) other Indian students. There's not really a problem for him since in Bombay his home was small and he shared it with brothers and sisters and cousins and so is used to being in close quarters. But he prefers motorcycles to cars because he likes the open air. And is depressed by the suburbs he's seen in Dallas, where no one ever seems to go outside their homes. And he can't yet tell his way around Austin, because every street seems to look alike.

The competition at the primary university in Bombay is fierce, simply because there are so many talented people vying for the same positions. That said, some of the programs, like in Electrical Engineering, in the US are known for being the best in the world, which is why Indian students want to come here. While the buyer of my car is still in school for a couple of more years, one of his friends has a job lined up in Dallas; the other in Mississippi. After working in America for several years, they all plan on eventually going back to India, although they're tempted by the higher standard of living in the US.

S. was also a hard, but fair, bargainer. I'd done my research before selling the car---looking up the rates on the Blue Book and NADA, as he'd also done. I'd listed the car for $3750, and he bargained me down to $3400, after the mechanic examined the car and noted the belts and two tires that needed replacing. When we went to the state office to officially transfer the car title, the woman looked up the state-determined value of the car for tax purposes: $3480. Perfect.

I was proud of myself, because I'd never actually sold a car of mine before to an individual. (Which is much more involved than selling back to a dealer, for instance. The dealer will take care of all of the taxes and paperwork, but will also give you a lot less for the car. Also, in the past, for another car or two, my mother had done all the work for me. It felt good to do "grownup" stuff by myself.)

One funny thing: I had 4 bumperstickers on the car: the Joan Crawford "JC" oval; the anti-Bush "W" with a slash over it; a "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" sticker; and "Keep Austin Weird." Before I'd tried to sell the car I'd gone to an auto parts store to see if they had anything for removing stickers. Oddly, they did not. During the whole selling process, there was no mention of the stickers. After I'd received the money, I asked S. if the stickers bothered him and if he was going to try to remove them. He hadn't given them much of a thought, other than that he and his friends had been trying to figure out what the "anti-W" sticker meant---they had figured out amongst themselves, "anti-WAR." I was kind of bemused---those stickers had always been so personal to me. And if I had bought another person's car with his/her stickers on it, the first thing I would have done would have been to take them off!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fuckin' HELL!



I have Ted Hughes' picture up because it just reminded me of a story in Plath's journal, about how he broke a bone in his foot getting up from a chair (or was it "exercising too hard"?). Anyway, I just did something to my mofo foot, while merely examining my car (which I'm trying to sell today) in the driveway. Luckily, there's only a huge lump on the side of my foot and I can still walk and put my shoe on...but, GEEEEEZUS, I do not need this right now. Goddamn it. What's weird is that I nearly blacked out when it happened, and a cold sweat started up... The only time I've ever felt physical pain like that before is when I've gotten cramps. (Seriously, don't mock---I've blacked out and thrown up from really bad cramps before.)

In short, I'm not going to a doctor, I'm not spending any money, I've got a car to sell today, I've got a big city to get to in 6 days. So this bone-break, or whatever the fuck it is, better just go away. Godammit.

OK, break (a figurative one) in the above narrative since a bunch of Indian guys just came over to look at the car. I had the Blue Book report, I had the NADA report, and I still felt suspicious offering the car for $300 below value. I kind of hate selling stuff, since I feel like a schuyster (sp?), even if I'm not a schuyster... But people from India---let me just say that they're not rubes! They rival old-school Germans in their efficiency!

Back to Ted... Back when I was in grad school at San Francisco State, my thesis advisor once told me that she'd met Hughes when he came to SF for a poetry reading... He later asked various professors to come for drinks... My advisor refused because she felt "bad vibes" from him! Good lord, woman! THE "Ted Hughes" and you're not going to drink with him because you feel "bad vibes"???! Sensitivity is wonderful, but that's just nuts. When Ted Hughes asks you for a drink (and/or to sleep with him), you just say "Yes." That's all there is to it. Please, I'm 80% gay, and sleeping with Ted Hughes...A lesbian can reject most average males, but this man is, oh, like Garbo or Crawford or something. He's seriously sexy and transcends.(And he doesn't have the Pee-Wee Herman front flip that most metrosexuals sport today---I can't decide which is worse, that flip or "the goatee." Older British, European, and Russian men know how to wear their hair.)

BTW: I once sent Hughes some of my poems, via his publishing company Faber & Faber, saying how much I hated my grad school program and admired his work, which was nothing like what my program considered "worthy." And that I'd had a dream, where he and I were sitting across a wooden table and I handed him my poems... He wrote back, a hand-written note, saying he liked my poems...

The Poet Laureate of England said he liked my poems. And some people wonder why I'm egotistical! ;p

Turn me on dead man



I'm just curious, both guys and girls...what gender would be most likely to be turned on by this photo? I found it more freaky than sexy---when I was looking at it, I wasn't so much turned on as kind of fascinated by the graphic-ness of it. (Kind of like issues of "Hustler" I've seen---there's nothing sensual about those photos, but there's a kind of hard-core "freak" aspect to them, like seeing photos of dead people or slowing down to witness the aftermath of a car-crash. You can't help but looking and reacting.)

One of the reasons I ask is because the same person who posted this photo (elsewhere) once e-mailed me a Hustler-style photo of a woman on her hands and knees, with her genitals graphically displayed, thinking it would be sexy to a woman... (Again, it wasn't really "sexy," just something to look at, like an accident.) The person who sent this to me was claiming to be a woman at the time; when I showed the photo to a girlfriend of mine (an actual woman), the first thing she said was, "A guy sent that."

Is there a hard-core "wiring" for "male," regardless of whether or not someone's had an operation?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wouldn't You Like It



I got this album for my birthday in the summer of '77, at the same time the "Son of Sam" killer was loose in NYC. I remember listening to the album on my birthday and, with Son of Sam in mind, being freaked out by "Wouldn't You Like It," since it had weird, distorted vocals in some parts that sounded psychotic to me... (Which reminds me... I was also pretty freaked out by the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," which I heard a year or so later... I got incredibly bad vibes from it. I later asked my younger brother and another friend what they'd thought, and they were also a bit disturbed by it. Now that I'm 41, I kind of miss tuning in so completely to albums... I remember when Pink Floyd's "The Wall" came out, with accompanying movie... I was in my sophomore year of college and depressed as hell and I thought the movie was the profoundest thing ever... Every bad thing I'd been thinking about the world was right there... A horrible, profound movie... I don't know that I'd want to watch it again now. When you're young you can handle the awful truth, but as you get older you want to forget it...

Bye Bye Baby

It took me 6 hours tonight to divide up my books for moving. I was trying to be nice to my mom and not give her tons of books to mail to me in NYC later, but I couldn't help it---I'm gonna want those books later! All the Joan Crawford books went into the SEND IMMEDIATELY pile. And all the Plath books, and the NYC-related books, like the history of, and the drag queens of... Plus Rilke, Eliot, Yeats, early Hemingway... Seriously, there are something like 10 boxes of books, and I can't have all of them... Nor can I immediately have all of my clothes or shoes... I've had to pack up the clothing boxes and label them "1" or "2" for priority...

I'm listening to the Bay City Rollers again right now, and "Summer Love Sensation" is on---I LOVE that song! I never particularly liked Derek, but when he says "Baby, I love you..."---Yow! ;p And now "Bye Bye Baby"---My German cousin Susi told me this was their biggest hit in Germany.