mournography.

December 22, 2012

This is how Dolly Parton makes her money. 
I imagine.
The little redheaded girl,
whose parents asked for
donations to the animal shelter.
She, I hope– is laying on the grass
with Cindy watching clouds
drift by
and it’s sunny forever.

20 kids pick out shapes together,
and they may not know what peace is–

but their bones feel good.

proud(ness)

June 18, 2012

I have never been super open about my sexuality because I’ve never felt it was a big deal. I don’t wear it on my sleeve, I don’t choose to broadcast who I’m into at every waking moment, I don’t feel the need to shove the aforementioned broadcast down anyone’s throats… Let me just put things this way: if you like jazz music, our privates could potentially high-five. Whether you’re a pole or a hole (or neither) is essentially a non issue. I believe the whippersnappers call this sort of thing “pansexuality.” Urban dictionary claims that it’s all about eradicating gender binaries and blah blah 21st century nonsense; but basically, if our personalities gel, our junk can gel too. I don’t really care what kind of plumbing situation you’ve got going on downstairs.If you tell me you’re into Blossom Dearie or SNL and I’ll be turned on before you finish your sentence.

That said, I’ve always been more aesthetically attracted to ladies. Artistically and otherwise (so I’m finding out). This weekend was Pride in PDX. It got me thinking about a few things:

  1. People shouldn’t need an excuse to be physically affectionate with their partners. Excessive PDA from anyone is an instant exercise for my gag reflex; but if you want to hold hands, the Man shouldn’t have to design an event where it’s societally acceptable for you to do so. It kind of hurts my heart that I don’t see more people openly being themselves out in broad-anyfuckingtimetheywant-daylight. It’s not fair.
  2. The more time I spent walking around, the more I felt extremely out of place. I was chillin’ New York Style, (aka alone) and I just didn’t feel weird enough. Like I wasn’t expressing myself enough. (Let the record show that I was cruisin’ for a hot nerdy-Tina Fey type to be my new gf.)
  3. That got me thinking that I’m soooooooo misguided when it comes to how relationships work. I was literally tempted to go up to people and be like, “So, uh, I’ve never hit on a girl before, but you’re really pretty.”
  4. Which THEN got me to thinking, that (had I not been really sweaty and gross because it was hotter than Jack be-nimble’s fucking CANDLESTICK) I actually wouldn’t have been barking up the wrong tree! Such a relief! Typically I seem to be more of a fan of the long haired ladies, but I was like, “Damn. You’re beautiful. Damn, you’re beautiful too. DAMN. Y’ALL ARE SO BEAUTIFUL.”
  5. It basically all boiled down to human judgment, and the unfairness of hot weather and time constraint. Srsly. If I’d have had a bit longer to spend down there, I would have turned on my natural Geminian charm and worked some foxy-ass mojo.

In all seriousness though: beyond all of the overtly fabulous drag-queens, and the stereotypically butch looking women, I found a lot of supremely normal looking humans. This isn’t to say that the polarizations mentioned above aren’t supremely normal humans as well, but I personally have never been exposed to levels of sexuality that weren’t overtly stereotyped. (For example, I always feel like “no way she’s into girls because she probably has a hot boyf” kind of thing. This sucks, I’m working on it.)

I just don’t understand how some people can be treated like second class citizens when we essentially live in the best motherfucking country in the free world. I understand how people ARE treated this way; but what I don’t get is how other people can allow this sort of treatment to occur.

If I were to wrangle myself a Pygmalion, I don’t know if I’d be marching down the street with a rainbow flag screeching about how awesome pussy is; but I’d definitely be working on the sidelines to make sure everyone gets the equality they deserve.

Actually, once I typed that– I have no idea why I’m not doing it already~!

Hi. My name is Mac. I like to pretend to be a writer. What I mean by “pretend” is that instead of working on the next painstakingly beautiful great American novel, I have found a way to write fanfiction for Cagney and Lacey; Law and Order: SVU; ER; Nurse Jackie; and Crossing Jordan all with one tidy little plot. (My college education, hard at work!)

Over the years, I have received innumerable pieces of invaluable (and totally bogus) advice about what it’s like to be a true *writer*. What every writer should have in their toolkit, when the best time to write is, the cheapest and best kind of coffee to buy in bulk… Normally when getting said information, I’m surrounded by faux intellectuals scribbling this information down in their moleskins. “What I have is going to be so ~deep. It’s going to positively revolutionize American literature. SUCK IT.” Usually after getting this vibe from 98% of the a-holes I’m surrounded by, my face screws up into something Belushi-esque. My brows have a mind of their own sometimes, and normally they show it when surrounded by douchewads. This isn’t to say that a lot of my colleagues are douchewads, quite the opposite actually– I just am prone to eye rolling.

The best piece of information I’ve ever gotten is from one, Mr. Joseph Mazzarino (aka Joey Mazz) the head writer of Sesame Street.  After admiring the Bob and Doug McKenzie action figures  on his desk and accidentally letting it slip that I like to get blazed and watch Welk, he told me the greatest thing I’ve ever heard: WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE. I’ve since been keeping, and refining the list of things I love. It’s been fun! I’ll spare you the agony of sifting through an entire list of shit you’re not going to care about; but I’d implore all of you, (all 2 of you that read my damn blergh) to start keeping this list– and referring to it when you get a bout of writer’s block. It’s more helpful than you’d realize, actually.

The other thing I’d been thinking about in accordance with Joey’s cherry advice, is Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like An Artist. He brings up an addendum to Joey’s love list that I hadn’t thought of: WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ. I got to thinking, what would the perfect piece of consumable media entail? Conversely, what would the recipe for suicide induced consumption look like? I bring you the following:

*THINGS I LIKE* 

(AKA the perfect piece of consumable media in accordance with my taste)

  1. ROBOTS. There would be a lot of robots everywhere. DANCING robots even. 
  2. Syrupy romantic subtext. Preferably homosexual, because that always makes shit more interesting. 
  3. Hospitals. All the action would take place here. (By action I mean ~*~*~GAY SEX~*~*~.)
  4. A believable hero archetype that, while predictable, is still interesting. 
  5. In accordance with the previous sentiment, (or not) a badass friend or mentor that doesn’t bite the weenie. 
  6. (Unless [s]he is taking part in #3). 
  7. Someone has to be pregnant. Just because. 
  8. Just when you think the main character isn’t going to get what he, she or it (ROBOTS!) wants, THEY DO! I’m talking Edward Scissorhands level tears people. Get with the program. 
*THINGS I DISLIKE* 

(And should die in a hole)
  1. Trite, superfluous sentiment. Normally this occurs when the characters express /exactly/ how they feel. GAG. 
  2. The exposition 2’x4′. HEY! LOOK! LOOK! I DID THIS! MY MOM WAS AN ALKIE AND MY DAD BEAT ME! THIS IS USED TO EXPLAIN MY FETISH WITH AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION IN A THROWAWAY SENTENCE! YAY! (Barf.)
  3. Unbelievable coincidence. That thing you need just happens to be here? Wowzer, what luck! This happened in the last paragraph! WHAT A COINCIDENCE! 
  4. Implausible wish fulfillment. In which, every chapter, the geeky male lead gets offered 10,000 blow jobs by each member of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Pucker up, ladies! Either that, or [s]he’s too aloof for their own good. How’s the weather on planet douchenozzle? Cloudy with a chance of exasperated eye rolls and scattered groaning. Yee-ouch. 
  5. Breaking the rules of your predetermined universe instead of having your characters actually have to work for what they want and need because YOU’RE A LAZY SONOFABITCH. 

I feel like things like “basic grasp of grammar and syntax” go without saying, as they are pet peeves on most peoples’ lists. 
In any case, I’m thinking about actually writing the great Cagney&LaceyLaw&OrderERNurseJackieCrossingJordan fic. Bad idea?

sunrise chronicles

May 14, 2012

I didn’t think I’d be updating again this close to my last post, but I’ve seen the sun rise two days in a row. “Psh,” say all of you who go to bed at normal person o’clock, “This is nothing.”

Saturday morning I was watching Jill Hennessy’s fingers switch chords on her guitar while she talked about playing in the Toronto subway. “THANK YOU STEVE.” She says of her ex-beau who taught her to strum. I imagine we’d be good friends. Me pretending to play mandolin while she sang out all of her demons. I’d run out of bye-bye freak out medication and saw the sun peeking through my window. 5:45am. I climbed out onto my dad’s terrace, debating whether I should be a big girl, put on my bra and face the day; but I decided to curl up on the couch instead. 6:30am.

I was nerding out on Sunday, I turned down vodka in a homemade Orange Julius and punched my way through a cave in minecraft after learning some CCR songs on the ukulele. Andy and Kathryn drive me home and I think of walking down empty stretches of Barbur in the streetlight. 2am.

I can’t think of Gina Gershon without picturing her fingering Jennifer Tilly in Bound. She sat on a piano and seduced the crap out of Miguel Ferrer by telling him he had Bogart eyes. 4:00am. “Of course I should watch another episode!” I thought of the crescent moon outside the window. Half a cheshire cat telling me that I should GO TO BED. 4:30am. I don’t think I like Diana Krall’s version of Cry Me a River best. Bird played Koko, I thought of Salt PEANUTS, Salt PEANUTS. The sun stretched its arms through the window. My imaginary beau spoke to me, wrapping their arms around my chest and the half cheshire crescent moon smile disappeared before I could send it a proper farewell. 5:15am.

Do you ever find something right when you need it? Her lips formed around hums, embracing them with her warmth. She hits the floor with precision, hair spiraling outwards. It is organized chaos. 3:00am. I’m thinking about what to do tomorrow. I hope it’s not too warm. I think I’ll walk down the street and dream of a cold cup of coffee with the perfect amount of cream. 4:00pm.

You know, I never thought I’d say this but:

I really hope,

I’ll miss the sunrise today.

whoops.

February 28, 2012

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve practiced my Oscar speech? A long ass time. Like most, my practice mainly took place in a bathroom. There was once a time where I, acting as my famous alter ego, Ms. Natali Beunes, thought it’d be a good idea to walk the red carpet in a terry cloth gown and subsequently imagined various paparazzi commenting on how flawless I looked.

“Ms. Beunes! Over here! Who are you wearing?”

“Oh, this old thing?” I’d say, “It’s from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”

I’d imagined accepting for various projects, tailored my speech for each paltry idea that had set up camp in my brain at that time. Camp Counselors doing it, crazy sisters murdering each other, angsty retellings of plots already hashed out to the death on E.R… I was going to be fucking rolling in it. I wanted to be so famous that I couldn’t have a decent meal without swarms of adoring fans coming up to me and begging for a John Hancock.

I had everything figured out. I was going to be happily married to a tall, dark, and handsomely goateed fellow named Steve. We’d have a set of twin girls who were well adjusted artistic angels that played piano like Martha Argerich and danced like Marianela Nunez. I would walk every red carpet in a fashionable frock and give an eloquent speech that brought the room to it’s feet with an explosion of applause because…. THEY LIKE ME, THEY REALLY LIKE ME!

The more I write, and the more I get past the masturbatory honeymoon period of the creative process, the more I accept that you really have to have an enormous amount of self hatred to put words on paper.

Why?

Because writing is hard. Writing involves recognizing all of your bad decisions (which most of the time you feel are your best decisions) and figuring out how to kill them dead. Writing involves working through the pain of being stabbed in the heart long enough to let your characters breathe a little, and become aware that you’re the one holding the knife in the first place. Writing is realizing people don’t always say exactly what they mean, and exactly how they feel, or exactly what YOU mean, and exactly how YOU feel.

Actually, the more I think about it, writing kind of sucks.

In my past lives, I’ve touted that I would one day be rich and famous. People have asked to be thanked in my speech, told me they thought I was talented, and that they saw me on the stage. (Hopefully in something more regal than a rolled up bath towel). I don’t even know how to respond to that now. Before, I was like, “YOU KNOW IT!” and added everyone into my already hour long thank you note.

I can tell you this: even though it’s been years since I’ve pictured myself stumbling down the aisle in heels that were much too tall for my petite untrained frame, if I were more broke than I am now (HA!) I’d still have a little book with all my stupid words in it.

As much (and as often) as writing sucks harder than a million dollar hooker, I’d be destitute without it. Words live in my fingernails. To say otherwise would be ridiculous.

Sidenote: I wrote this at backspace today while I was sitting next to a dude who compared all of his writing to parts of a meal. He was like, “Sorry we can’t talk anymore, I have to go cook”. All he had to his name was a bicycle, a backpack, and a ten gallon bucket. He freestyle rapped for me before I left and he was pretty good. SHOUT OUT dude– if you’re reading this, you’re awesome. Don’t stop cookin’.

nina.

February 22, 2012

Today is/was Nina Simone’s birthday.

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a list of the ten best songs ever written. So far, they’re all 60’s soul tunes. (Midnight Train to Georgia, Ain’t No Sunshine, It’s a Man’s World) songs that you can’t really dislike because they’re so powerful. Then I remember things like L’Adoration de la Terre and Prokofiev and the Gymnopedies and Dave Brubeck…
Nina slays me. She’s so good. I sat down on my bed, (my sister’s old bed) (I don’t really have a bed right now) all I could think of was singing “I Love You Porgy” and is that racist because I’m white, and then I found a video of Christina Aguilera singing it, and it was still bad– but not because she’s white, just because her voice isn’t suited for it I think. She sort of ruined modern music. Ladies now oversaturate their voices with runs and it gets old. Do I think it worked for Xtina? Sure. Do I think it’s a fad that needs to die? Yes.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you about Miles Davis Sundays. I’ve been having them a lot lately. (No complaints.) It’s when the weather is really shitty, and you sit in a coffee shop trying to get dry and watch people walking by in the rain. Today, I sat by a guy in Powell’s who couldn’t figure out where the power outlets were for his laptop and proceeded to write a paper on Magritte’s “Leci n’est pas une pipe.” It was nice. I sat and made a list of things I wanted. (An apartment with shelving was sandwiched between living near my friends, and having a decent amount of self worth.) $2 was enough to get a little extra steamed milk, but not enough to keep my sleeves from sticking to my elbows. I sat anyway, caffeinating as content as I could force myself to be, and tried to remember my favorite line from Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.


One time, I met a guy who said that he always had to listen to Sinnerman all the way through no matter what he was doing. He said it was the one song that he would literally stop his life for. He clapped in the middle, during the part where she does a piano riff sans singing. I like the part in the end before the drums end, and she says POWEEERRRR LORD about twenty times. Today is her birthday. 

In one of the scripts I wrote, there’s a part where two characters are in an apartment, in the midst of s tryst, and The Other Woman comes up on shuffle. 

/ the other woman / takes time to manicure her nails / the other woman / is perfect where her rival fails / 

They decide against the passionate make out sesh they were about to have, and decide it’s for the best if they go back to their respective romantic partners. 

You know what’s weird? Waking up in a bed that’s not your bed. Or waking up on a couch. Or waking up and not having any valid reason for getting out of the comfortable (albeit overdue for a wash) overnight nest you’ve created for yourself. If people didn’t feel safe, why would they sleep at all? Is it a suspension of disbelief that crazy shit will happen to you while you’re essentially unconscious for seven or so hours? Maybe that’s why people don’t like getting up. They’re so thankful that they’ve managed to wake up at all that their bed becomes a fortress of safety. Maybe some people only sleep because their body is too tired to function otherwise. 

I have two shirts that the sleeves don’t roll up well with. I wore them both today on accident. 
My dad’s house doesn’t have heat during the day. 
The shirts were warm. 
I wiped sweat off of my face after putting my scarf on. 
Drank yesterday’s coffee. 
Used the extra milk from my cheerios as cream. 
The stale hairbender got the cardboard kick it needed. 
Life was alright. 

It’s strange when you realize you don’t feel well. Not sick unwell, just off kilter. I miss being able to brush my worries under the rug. I miss being able to really make the little things equal a best day ever. Now things weigh on me like they didn’t used to, and I can’t decide if autonomy is worth it. I have brushed bad memories under the rug. 

I hate not being able to get over things. Yes I want you. Yes you’re gone. Yes you don’t want me. That should be ok, but it isn’t. 

I think about singing “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” but even if that’s what brought me the most joy on this great planet, some one, somewhere, often in a different room, in the same house, as my overnight (albeit overdue for a wash) nest, will tell me it’s ridiculous. My pursuits are ridiculous. I do nothing. That’s ridiculous. 

Do I have no work ethic? 
Have I not bitten the bullet and gotten on board with real life? 
Am I appropriating the entirety of black culture because I like to sing along with Nina? 
Or because all the songs on my “Ten Best” list are performed by black people?
Is it bad that my dad’s girlfriend thinks I think she’s funny because though I was laughing when she
told jokes tonight, it was just because I’d remembered my brother texted me once after peeing on her car? 
Should I know what I’m supposed to do with myself by now? 
Have I been wasting a lot of time trying to figure this out in the first place? 
Am I going to end up being -that- person who can’t get my (supposedly) normal anxiety together and who ends up writing emails to people who have their own perfectly logical and way more important problems to deal with? 

Before I started speaking with G, you got all these emails. 
You got emails on the daily. 
About my dumb shit problems, 
and my parent’s being awful, 
and you never once told me to shutthefuckup. 

For that, I thank you. 

&Happy yester-birthday to Queen Nina…. 
We miss you. 
Image

Prompt (2)

February 7, 2012

Prose Prompt – Write a story with “Domestic Breakfast Scene” as your title.

Read the rest of this entry »

Prompt (1)

February 6, 2012

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve been in a rut– I don’t have writer’s block, I’ve just lost desire to write. Today I went on a spree, looking for any & all writing prompts. Charlotte gave me an ER fic prompt which I intend to fill, just for shits and giggles, I’ve been reading Mary Oliver’s “A Poetry Handbook” (which is delightful, if not intimidating), and jotting random thoughts in my real journal; but none of that seems to count. Well, count in quotations, because I’m not really doing this for anyone else.

I found a long list of random prompts so I’m going to bastardize a few and try to get back on track. Really what I need, is a list of words or concepts. BUUUUT we are not going to worry about that. The following entry, (and the entries after) are going to be free writes.

Memoir Prompt – Answer the following: Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor for someone? Tell about your relationship.

Read the rest of this entry »

nde.

January 29, 2012

(Excerpted from my actual journal:) Of all the three or four times I’ve cheated death, last spring was the worst. Missing halloween was awful, but seeing Anthony Edwards run TNYM the next day made up for it.Last spring~ I called Naomi, stumbled around my apartment, and cried when I read Juliet’s “thank you for PAing” note. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I got up at eight, took a bath, put on Simon & Garfunkel and turned it up much too loud. Groggily, I sang along to the Boxer and said morning prayers. 

Tuesday. Irving 71 was open. Nearing the end of the Laurel Masse journal, I sat down, and bitched about being forced to take it slow. My brain wanted to operate at 120% as usual, but my body wasn’t having any of it, and New York didn’t give a shit whether I was alive or dead. I didn’t tell many people. 

After java, I went to Barnes and Noble. Stipulation: if I saw something I liked, I’d buy it. My brain wasn’t handling e.e cummings, and Gene Wilder’s autobiography was sad as ever, but this purple tinted lady caught my attention so I grabbed her off the shelf. She spoke a lot about trees and lakes and moonlight ~ I put her in my purse. We rode to the natural history museum, we looked at bones, we walked through central park, we watched the dance skaters.

When I took her back it was raining. I couldn’t rationalize the money I’d spent to keep her as my companion. 

I regret letting her go. 

Today I experienced a strange feeling. It comes over me every once and awhile, and I never know what to do about it. Aison once said if you’re bored in New York City, you’re doing something wrong. I feel like if you’re bored in life you’re doing something wrong. Today, I was bored. I made a few phone calls, hoping to scrape together some last minute plans. Nothing. I decided to start the kind of adventure where you realize where you want to go when you get there. On the bus, and downtown I went. First to get a new pair of leggings, then, to marvel at the brilliance of Amy Poehler and Will Arnett being voice talent in Miyazaki’s new film, after that, I briefly debated whether or not I should go to a bar and pretend to get stood up, but decided to go to Powell’s instead. Maybe that Edward Hopper book will be there. I didn’t even make it that far.

I passed a guy in the poetry section with no jaw, another young fellow (a “youth”) who gave me the stare down like “YEAH I READ BUKOWSKI, SUCK IT”; but I was on a mission. A haphazard mission, perhaps soon to be materialized, but then, I was just perusing. The purple faced lady caught my attention again. I had to pick her up.

She sits with me this evening, in between Brooklyn and his desire for personal space. I remember her as I did, over lukewarm java and loopy language; ever redundant in its retelling. She kept death at bay for a short while, her violet maxilla reaching through my bleary eyelids and pulling them into a vastly unexplored pond filled with anthropomorphic fauna and its like. 

Next to me, a man draws as David did, with devils sticking out their tongues. Through the window, a homeless man asks to see things a bit closer. The artist obliges. 

The bus was coming soon, I realized. This time, I held her in my arms with no intention on spending money on food instead. Outside, my feet hit the pavement in time with Coltrane. (Blar-har, I’m such a hipster. I know…) When I got on the bus, the driver looked at me like I’d done something wrong. She snatched my pass, and inspected it thoroughly before thanking me and driving away. Later, three or four others got on the bus, she didn’t hesitate to yell at them.

One in particular, she lectured about stealing. “YOU CAN’T STEAL. THAT’S STEALING. YOU HAVE TO PAY THE FULL FARE.”

I looked at her and started to mouth silently:

Now the sea

is in me: I am the fish, the fish

glitters in me; we are

risen, tangled together, certain to fall

back to the sea. 

“I WILL CALL THE COPS ON YOU. THIS IS NOT YOUR BUS PASS.”

You do not have to be good. 

I brought my voice to a low whisper.

You do not have to walk on your knees

“It’s my friends bus pass, just let me call him!” “DO YOU HAVE A PHONE?” “No, can I borrow yours?”

 for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting

“Can we just go? This bus is already 15 minutes late.” A woman exclaimed.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

“YOU REALLY THINK I’M GOING TO LET YOU BORROW MY PHONE AFTER YOU STOLE SOMETHING?”

love what it loves. 

The driver and another passenger discuss the situation after the “thief” gets off the bus.

“Don’t you think he deserved the benefit of the doubt?” They proceeded to have words. A Saturday night bus full of young people against a crotchety driver, unhappy with rule breaking; and one gentleman who felt it in his heart to apologize for us. I was confused, but stayed quiet. Oh…. This is the bus driver who said she couldn’t catch an attitude in two hours and gave me a six hour ticket that one time. Ok. I still think she should have said “cold” instead, but whatever…

I ended up getting off the bus with a typical middle-aged Sellwoodian. “Is she always that mean?” The woman asked. “I think she was in a bad mood or something.” I said back to her. We parted ways and wished each other well, as is customary in short Portland exchanges.

On the way home, I danced around to Carmen McRae, trying to make good on a new year’s resolution to sing in the street more. A younger woman came up behind me with her groceries, happily, and said “You were dancing!” Flustered, I responded, “Yeah, well, jazz- y’know…” She smiled, and we went our separate ways. I hummed the rest of the way home.

She was, finally, perfectly finished, perfectly heartbroken, perfectly wild. 

Thank you Mary Oliver, saver of lives.

 

wrap battle

December 24, 2011

My mom told me awhile ago that I didn’t learn how to properly use a pair of scissors until I was in the 4th grade. <— FUN FACT! I took ceramics in HS for an easy A, and the teacher tried to let me down easy when I got a C instead because I couldn’t use the wheel. My brother took ceramics in HS to meet girls, and now he’s made half of the dishware in our cabinet. Life is unfair.

The Holiday season is really unkind to those who lack fine motor skills like myself. I seriously can’t wrap presents for shit. I’m always like, “Really. There’s something pretty neat in there if you can get beyond the fact that it looks like post apocalyptic Vesuvius. I got you festive macramé!” Sound the bugles: someone’s getting tea cozies!

This year I planned ahead. I wrapped a total of two (count them TWO) presents. I made sure the rest either fit in envelopes, or could be exchanged with a high-five, drug deal style.

I am v. proud.

Suck my fat dick, Christmas.