Anonymous said: id really like to learn from you /
I am always learning. I’m an unstable human grabbing on to rocks and roots. But, I can tell you some of the things I’ve learned in the past year. I mean, that is how we learn, right? By sharing. So, here is a list (go figure):
1. Never, ever buy an organ in a city. It is like a block of steel that haunts me (albeit, with beautiful sounds) as I try and move apartments.
2. When you believe in something, with mostly everything in your being, and discover it’s cracks, it’s untruths, it’s entirety as a lie, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust yourself. Trust yourself. Trust yourself.
3. Not only trust yourself, but give. Give anyway even though it feels like there is nothing left to give. Don’t keep things wrapped up in handkerchiefs and tiny trunks with locks just because someone stole some things from you. If you do that, they are still stealing from you. Give.
4. Be very aware of taking. Be so careful.
5. Find the ones you love and who love you and keep them so close. I mean friendship. Friendship is the restitching of all the cracks, with, like, dental floss. So strong. Stronger than before.
6. Go places alone. And people will look at you like you must be sick, dying, lonely, god. I get these looks. But really. Take yourself on dates. Buy something that makes you feel pretty or handsome and don’t mind if no one else sees you in it except the bartender, who has secret great knowledge of the best blues bands for you.
7. Don’t over think.
9. Be aware of the echo. Sending and receiving. The ability of one small gesture to move someone, in any and all directions.
10. Go for walks. When things are good and bad. Go for walks.
11. Don’t be afraid, but don’t be ashamed of being afraid, either. Don’t be afraid to admit being afraid. Never apologize for feeling.
12. Learn to have a harmonious relationship with the idea of failing. Love failing. Learn from failing. LAUGH.
13. Learn to be quiet, and listen.
14. Beer. Drink beer. Eat meat. Use butter.
15. Realize that whatever you’ve got now in your hands, like, what you know, is a:fluid. Free to change in the next five minutes or the next five days and b: only a small part. Always able to grow. And c: mostly nothing. Throw your hands in the air and admit to knowing nothing yet. Admit to not knowing. Don’t fake it. No one cares if you’ve heard of them read this or seen that. More gratifying is being able to share it, so, just, know nothing.
16. Be honest and take ownership and mean what you say.
17. Aim to be able to give more than you’ve been given. Call your family and tell them you love them.
That’s all. That’s a pile of cheese. But seriously, goat cheese w honey and bread. Yeah, that’s also something I’ve learned.
I celebrated my one year anniversary in the city last week. These are some pictures I took the first week I lived here, apartment hunting. Packing up my first apartment here, getting ready to move to another a few train stops up. I didn’t know what it looked like when I first moved here, and I still don’t know. But, it’s been one hell of a few hundred days. Making it through the winter deserves it’s own merit badge, and that goes to any of you Chicago dwellers. I’m going to do my best to stay defrosted and on my toes this next one.
A Call For Lists
I have recently become obsessed with the idea of lists. By that I mean, the grocery list, the list before bed of tomorrow’s to-do’s. A list of never agains. Of must before I die. Of everything you can think of that is the color violet. Etc. You get the idea.
I’ve been collecting lists from friends, strangers, the ground, the world…for some time.
The most recent of which are: a list of things guaranteed to make me cry (from two friends), a list of the most important things from another… A list of the things that are the equivalent feeling of missing you, a list of things that make visiting home weird….
I am putting out a call for lists. A list of anything. A list of the things that you never want to forget, a list of turn-ons, turn-offs, a list of undeniable moments of bliss, a list of the moments everything was briefly perfect (a list made by a friend, recently)
Please feel free, if you are moved to do so, to send over a list, anonymous or not… to my inbox, here. Or email, or text, or anything. The next reading event I am hosting is about lists. I would love some fresh perspective, some commentary, a list, anything.
Lists are a means of coping, of weighing the outstanding, of prioritizing, but mostly, they are usually personal. I feel there is something rooted in sharing that. How insignificant or significant it may feel. Maybe.
Hope to hear from you.
35mm // July (pt. 2) I am outside & they are inside
35mm // July.
between thoughts // scenes from ‘home,’ which is somewhere in TN, FL, & here.
"If poetry students don’t read broadly, why should anyone else? They read only their contemporaries, no interest in the past as present. Every writing program or conference should offer refresher zones—reading without writing for a brief or long while. Fill up the well if you want to be a writer. We live in an age where you can celebrify yourself instantly. You can pimp yourself in poetry or fiction overnight—anybody can publish anything now because of the Internet. With no critical standards and little reading, we aren’t talking about imaginative writing anymore. We’re talking about a cottage industry and the creation of artifacts and trinkets. The solitude of the writing experience—solitude that reads and converses with the great dead—seems an enemy of technology. Though, finally, I don’t believe this is true. There are poets of all ages who are not threatened by technology but do not have to use it as a club—in both senses of the word."
Carol Muske-Dukes, from “Those Who Hope Not to Be Erased: An Interview with Carol Muske-Dukes" by Alex Dueben, Paris Review (8 July 2014)
Some 35mm scans from the summer, which feels like it never started, like it will happen for ever, like it is ending tomorrow, and being aware of being asleep….all at the same time.