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.
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.
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.
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.
Late nights at the arts center, hugging the geometric curves of sleek cinder block corridors of its bowels, have kept me from prowling the streets and my memories in search of the next rocks pour. So I carry the next shot in my purse, a leather flask tippled in parking garages. Soon, I will slouch back to Merry Ann’s or go visit my old friend the Pittsfield, perhaps?