I’m in the midst of heavy research on the song cycle La Chanson D’Eve, tech week for a minor opera scenes performance, and preparing my students for a recital of their own. And I have writer’s block. My weekly motto is: enjoy a tall pitcher of martini, take a deep sigh, and get shit done.
a soprano fantasy, irresistibly fashioned by Shrinksarentcheap.
I have an affected limp that subconsciously enters my bodily vocabulary with a swing and a swish whenever by body experiences the assault of life it’s not learned nor practiced and it sticks with me like a pleading panhandler annoying in its pathetic scrapes pitched above comfort with a squeak! Grunt! Ugh! Just look at me.
Social media isn’t really my thing, doll-face. But I know it’s what everyone is doing these days. This old horse has got to learn some new tricks, so I’ve built a Facebook page for Noirisms. If so inclined, you can mosey over there and “Like” it.
Like it, share it with your wantonly word lusting and liquor loving friends bearing beatific breakfast halos. I’ll be sharing Haikus from a Twit, archived poems, and info about great noir movies and anything else that scratches my itch.
Check out this H.L. Mencken essay on drinking: “But what is reliable stuff? What is the thing to drink, specifically? I go back to my Rule No. 1. The better thing to drink, whenever there is a choice, is the milder thing. Wine is better than a highball, a highball is better than a cocktail, and a cocktail is better than hard liquor taken straight.” Agree or disagree? I love Mencken as much as the next armchair academic, but I must voice my dissent.
triumphant return to chicago– a whirlwind of cheap wine, casual bump-intos on the street, drives down lsd, and the anti-climatic return to diner haunts. Something was missing this time, unable to locate it– that fuzzy irritation in the back of my consciousness. writer’s block prevents the stream of brassy swing with double bass undertow from getting real hot. for now. Verbal impotence. Take this shot of my lackluster doughnut as consolation.
My poem “In the Magic Mirror” has been featured in the March 2013 Third Sunday Blog Carnival. For the link and for other wrtiers’ work, go here.
cornfields at night.
We had driven past them that morning in a stupor of nerves as I clutched my black audition notebook while in my black audition dress dreaming black thoughts.
The fields lay fallow beside the football field of Central High School in godknowswhere.
In the evening we could have been diving into unknown waters without any sort of guide–
the flat midwest doesn’t hold you until dawn.
I looked out into blackest night and only one winking eye appeared wavering in the dark. Come on, it said, I won’t tell anyone you’re actually a phony. But they’ll see my shoes, I complained. Too sad with their dowdy tips and feeble attempts at self-preservation. They’ll see my hands, too softened from a lapse in toil, a mind lumpy and pockmarked with the asinine aspects of this daily struggle of privilege. A mess of paradox.
Come on, needled the eye, I know you’re as tired as a camel.
Out into deepest, darkest night.
Where are the lights, where are the skyscrapers with their own little winking twinkling winkling secrets where women no longer leave guests at the lobby and wear peignoirs. Where it’s more complicated than I originally thought.
I wanted to walk around in a trench coat and swig coffee from stained mugs. Drop in. Drop out. Anonymous and head bent. But I am not noir I am not male I am not in the right place at the right time. I’m in the deepest, darkest night.
I am a camel who has no water but thought she was fine when she first unbended knobby knee and set out across the dessert. Into the eye of the needle. The needle of the twinkling voices of doubt.