Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweat some more

Old gut pain smolders ... tendrils of smoke, glimmers of flame? Ash or fog obscures. Sweat, roll over, dream some more -- rabid dog. A mutt, terrier-size: suffering ruins its face and saliva hangs. I am the water. I am what it most desires and most hates. Head down -- growling, demented with pain -- foam spatters --

Roll over. Sweat. Dream some more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wisdom from my younger daughter

CBC-Kids plays in the background, running a PSA from musician Kim Stockwood about a program called Positive Parenting. Kim goes on to say the first five years of a child's life are the miracle years, when so much of foundation is laid. I'm agreeing quietly when my seven-year-old turns around in the big comfy chair and sets her brilliant blue eyes on me:

--Mom, you don't need to worry about that.

I'm thinking, Cool, does she feel like she had a good first five years? Is this turning into a You're a good Mom moment?

My daughter continues.

--Unless you get pregnant in the next five minutes. Which you won't.

Pleased, she turns back to CBC-Kids.

Monday, October 13, 2008

True original (ha!)

So I'm sketching characters and setting for a new play, and I recognize that I'm playing with ideas Virginia Woolf's already batted about quite tidily in Orlando. No worries, I figure. The whole inhabiting another sex's body thing is at least as old as Teirisias, and in my play it's a vehicle, not the main idea. Archetypal, yeah, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. Then a snatch of a Leonard Cohen song floats in, as sung by Tim Baker on the last Feast of Cohen CD -- "You who wish to conquer pain, you must learn, learn to serve me well." Anchor -- hang onto that, scratch it on a file card, memorize it -- search the lyrics. It's from "Avalanche," also known on paper as "Parasites of Heaven." The song describes what my play is trying to do. Fabulous, now I can plagiarize Cohen. Fuck! Might as well cut the play's throat and abandon it balls-up in the fog. But ... Cohen, Woolf and Homer don't have my particular characters, my setting, my fucked-up world view ... and in my deepest dreams I'll never be half the writers they are ...

Cocky, yes. Crazy -- goes without saying.

Three conflicts, when you get down to it. And every story's a quest.

Shred of something original, one feather's worth?

Only way to find out is to write the thing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conversation with my older daughter, who is learning the bass

SFX: Eurythmics live playing in background as I dance around half-dressed -- tank top and panties -- getting ready for work.

CHILD: Cool bass line.

ME: 80s music is very bass-driven. The good stuff was, at least.


CHILD: Gee, Mom, you dance pretty good. For a grownup.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conversation with my younger daughter

CHILD: Mom, do you know where my DS might be?

MOM: No, darling. I don't keep track of it. Toys and games are your responsibility.


MOM: Have you looked in your room?

CHILD: (exasperated) Mo-om, I checked there two weeks ago.

MOM: Do you think you might check again?

CHILD: No. I checked it two weeks ago.

How do ya argue with logic like that?

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett
in progress