Friday, June 6, 2014

Thoughts about Places

Inspired by all the incessant vlogbrothers videos I have been watching lately, and having just moved, I thought I would share some thoughts about Wyoming and how it appears to me. Despite being even farther into the middle of nowhere, Worland is a pleasant town. Everyone here is very very nice (if a tad sexist) and there are beautiful parts of town.

The people in Wyoming truly just want to be left alone. With the exception of a few nosy old men and women, the majority of the townspeople here seem content to live and let live. There is a very much a sense of the West here that I thought would have vanished from the American landscape over the last century. But no, it remains. It clings to a few old town landscapes and to the dust. The people here live in a rhythm. For a few sweet weeks in May, the entire town reeks of Lilac, as every bush in the town blossoms. But now that scent has past, and the only thing I can smell is the heat, rising off the cement.

Every day, the sun shines on a brisk morning, where I bike to work, work in blessed silence for about an hour until everyone else arrives. Scanning is fairly monotonous, but I am learning the history of the town, and it is just as interesting as 17th century Suffolk, if you have all the moving pieces. At eleven, I take a break, go home to Erik for a half an hour, and then to back to scanning. I get off at 3:30. About that time everyday, the pressure of the heat and the wind has blown in a storm that has to sprinkle for a few short minutes until the clouds part and it gives way to beautiful evening.

My house is full of all the things I love, most notably Erik, but also our paintings, our computers, good food, and some pots where we are growing Poppies. Even though it is not perfect, I am loving my life, and really loving it here. Here's to us, sweet. All I have left to say was said better, by Rita May Reese, in The American on His First Honeymoon. Enjoy.

What we can say has already been said

about each painting in the gallery—
about the quality of light, the way she holds her head.
So we are silent in the subway, silent in bed.
Our bodies too are mute; we fall asleep knowing
what we could say has already been said.
Over toast and coffee and the newspaper thoroughly read
the day unfolds between us. I am too weak to carry
this quality of light, the way she holds her head.
I would vow to leave if love had left
if this were the wedding of two gypsies.
But what should I say? It has been said
the dead would properly bury the dead
and here I am, alive at last and buried
by the quality of light, and the way she holds her head.
Perhaps women, sex, love are all over-rated.
Which of us is the artist and which the light? You see,
the words I might say have been better said—
words concerning the quality of light, the way you hold your head

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Long December

After a long hiatus, I am back to keep a promise. I promised some friends long ago that I would create a beginning anthology for poetry - the poetry that has inspired and lifted me. As a warning, I would like to establish that I am very contemporary in taste, and not very subtle. But here is what I have loved in poetry thus far --

Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux

- This is the poem that keeps me going, keeps me alive and young. It tells me to embrace my sadness, but also my happiness. It is living.

My Sweet Old Etcetera by e e cummings

- One of the many works that made me a pacifist. But I love the way cummings does love. It's tender but not overly sweet. I also love his erotic poetry. If you liked this, also check out I like my body.

Choose Something Like a Star by Robert Frost

- A poem that I hold close to my heart as an atheist. Many of Frost''s more ethereal poetry really appeals to me and feels more experimental, both in theme and tone. If you would like to hear the choir version of this, which I also love click here.

Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing by Margaret Atwood

- A tale of a goddess who is a stripper, but also, it feels to me, a proud feeling of femininity and pride. Who knows, I like it. Never be ashamed.

Are You Drinking by Charles Bukowski

- We all feel this way sometimes, I think. I know I do. A poem for the tired.

Coming and Going by Tony Hoagland

-  A poem about divorce and emotion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finals and Joy

So, once again, it is finals. The time of year when my fingernails become even more short and bloody than usual. That being said though, I am so thrilled to finishing up my third year at SUU. I have learned so much in the last year. I feel more confident for my French final than I have felt for any other exam in that class. Vive le etudiante! All of my other classes are going well, and my GPA should be boosted significantly at the end of this term. I went to two academic conferences, UCUR, where I spoke on Homophobia and Hate Crimes.

And WRHC, where I got to talk about my true passion, history, and most notably, Elizabeth I and her lovers. Not to mention, see beautiful Flagstaff, which is now definitely on the list for grad schools. (NAU, I'm enchanted with you...accept me?)

It has been a wonderful semester, and I've loved every second of it. And in twelve days, I'm off to my next adventure, a road trip across country to visit some of my favorite people in Connecticut for four months. I can't wait to see the ocean, and Acadia. 

It's going to be beautiful. 

Wish me luck, everybody. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Once again, something has been weighing on my mind. Me and my friends often joke about how my friends group is almost entirely populated by homosexuals. (said in the Bourgeoisie voice) I have been present for more than fifteen coming out speeches. I hang out almost exclusively with gay men. Needless to say, I am almost too comfortable with some of the aspects of gay culture.

So these debates going on right now hit me straight in the core. Because for me it isn't the rights of some far-flung majority. They are the rights of all my friends. I can't really talk about this topic without getting extremely riled, but I get very angry when I see things that are very rude in my news feed.

I don't care what you think on the topic. I really don't. You can post whatever you want. What riles me is when people complain about the ruckus that the gay rights movement is making because it is annoying. 
Because their Facebook experience is being soiled. Who call the whole thing ridiculous.

To those people, you have lost all respect. How can you call the concerns of people on both sides ridiculous? This may be the defining moment of civil rights in my lifetime. And I want my voice to be heard. I'm sorry if that is annoying to you, but honestly, I couldn't give less of a damn. So yes, I will litter your news feed, I will change my profile picture, and I will do everything I can to support the people I love:

Just to make it perfectly clear, I am a straight ally, actively campaigning for gay rights. I think it is morally wrong to deny people the rights so clearly available to everyone else.

I realize it is easier not to care. That is easier to sit on a pedestal and pretend you're above all this. But frankly, I have never respected apathy.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our History

Anyone close to me knows about this already, but something has been dominating my mind lately. My summer and fall could only be described as golden. Those were days of happiness and money, and adolescence. I was dating someone, and I loved it. A little more than a month ago, we agreed to stop dating each other, which is probably the easiest way to put it. Like all relationships, it was complicated. (which I say with a smirk) I did and said things I never thought that I personally would ever be comfortable doing, and I loved it. I had a wonderful time.

There is some fading sadness about it in my life. We were in almost constant contact for nine months. And I feel the loss of that communication every morning, when I don't get my "wake-up" text. I really cared for him, and he cared for me. And maybe still does, I don't know. There are times when I wish I could call him and tell him every thought I have thought since the end of our speaking, because it feels like those thoughts belong to him as well. But I suppose like all other exes, I must pack up the memories into a box and shove them into a corner where they can tarnish and become less painful. I still have a few choice text messages that I can't bear to delete, but I will have to soon, or they will only hold me back.

That being said, I am extremely grateful it happened. I had some of the best days of my life then. I can still sometimes feel his hugs. I know that I will move on, and that time is coming rapidly, but for now I am stuck in what Steinbeck called the "hour of pearl", a transition so fragile anything might rip it.

I don't know what else to say, really. I don't even know why I write this really, except that this inner self, the part that was head over heels, needs to mourn in the open for a little while. So, here I am, I guess.

Waiting for time to pass.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Last night I couldn't sleep. And it's the first time I couldn't sleep since this summer. This summer, it made sense. I slept in short bursts, because I worked strange hours, and the heat tends to settle into all the cracks in a place. You're left with this boiling energy, and it's always too hot, even though the thermostat reads a green seventy-five.

But last night, it was cold. Which is how I prefer my weather. I was staying at a friend's home, and all nestled down into plaid sheets and a duvet that I'm enchanted with. But the light from the alarm clock, and the light from the coffee maker, and the buzz of my own mind kept me up. I'm writing and polishing a lecture on Steinbeck, and words from his letters kept sieving through my mind.

He was married three times. Once to Carol, once to Gwendolyn, and once to Elaine. He loved them all. It's evident. Even as his marriage with Carol is fading, he still cares for her. He wrote,
"I was cruel to her physically and mentally, and she was cruel to me in the same way and neither of us could help it. I am sad at the passage of a good big slice of my life. I could have been ecstatic. That was the age for it."
And later, after he married Gwendolyn, on an extended stay in London as a reporter for the war, he had not heard from his new bride in months. He wrote to her,
"I love you beyond words, beyond containing. I'm getting to the point where I half-way believe that I dreamed you."
How do we as humans do it? Having recently gone through a break-up of a kind, it weights heavily on my mind. How can we become so dependent on these people that we know, at least statistically, will come and go in our lives? Is it worth it to be "with" someone at all?

Or is it better to just let our own loneliness define us?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Open Letter to the Girls in French Class

Okay, everyone, this is going to be a bit of a rant. I'm sorry for that, I truly, truly am.

Girls from my French class,

Today before class, you joked, loudly, about how our professor was both a lesbian and Jewish. You made jokes about you didn't understand how someone could be both. And how when she talked in class of who she loved, she often used both tenses. (Masculine and feminine.)

Let me just say right now, I found you to be exceptionally idiotic and rude. Not only does her sexuality not have any context for her being your professor, but how would you feel had you walked in on that conversation about you? But you never thought about that did you?

You never thought about how professors are people, with lives and interests, and heartache. You never thought about bitter it might seem, in that moment, that you had spent years and years in school, just so you could teach some entitled eighteen year old how to slaughter your language.

I guess what I'm saying is, learn some goddamn respect. She's just trying to get through her life, just like you. And I swear to god, if you use one more sexist slur, I will personally rip you a new one, on behalf of all LGBT people and their straight allies everywhere.

Best wishes,