Archive for October, 2007

Borrowed Horses

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

fantasia1Mood: Tasty
Drinking: Canned

Someone in a poetry group I belong to recently shared a poem by Cecilia Woloch.

I’ve never ready any of Cecilia’s work before, but this one is very lovely, and reminds me a lot of my own memories of bareback rides through woods with my sister.

So I thought I’d borrow it and share it here, because it’s exactly the kind of poem that should be out there in the world, garnering all kinds of accolades and adoration…

(A technical note: A “pantoum” is a form of poetry similar to the villanelle. You can find the definition here, if you’re interested.)

Bareback Pantoum
by Cecilia Woloch

One night, bareback and young, we rode through the woods
and the woods were on fire —
two borrowed horses, two local boys
whose waists we clung to, my sister and I

and the woods were on fire —
the pounding of hooves and the smell of smoke and the sharp sweat of boys
whose waists we clung to, my sister and I,
as we rode toward flame with the sky in our mouths —

the pounding of hooves and the smell of smoke and the sharp sweat of boys
and the heart saying: mine
as we rode toward flame with the sky in our mouths —

the trees turning gold, then crimson, white

and the heart saying: mine
of the wild, bright world;
the trees turning gold, then crimson, white
as they burned in the darkness, and we were girls

of the wild, bright world
of the woods near our house — we could turn, see the lights
as they burned in the darkness, and we were girls
so we rode just to ride

through the woods near our house — we could turn, see the lights
and the horses would carry us, carry us home
so we rode just to ride,
my sister and I, just to be close to that danger, desire

and the horses would carry us, carry us home
— two borrowed horses, two local boys,
my sister and I — just to be close to that danger, desire —
one night, bareback and young, we rode through the woods

-Lo, who can feel the hoofbeats pounding beneath the lines.

Wallflowers and Wannabes

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

swirlMood: Sunday Night Blues
Drinking: Liquids Only

Boy and I were invited to a fabulous party last week. The invitation caught us in a good mood, so we RSVP-ed in the affirmative.

But the big night snuck up on us much too quickly and truth is, we’re rather out of practice at these things. We sat around eating chips and watching some TiVo-ed Dexter goodness and then suddenly realized we only had half an hour until show time.

That’s where all the flinging of clothing began, and not in a fun way. Boy was at his closet, tossing ties, and I was at mine rifling through dresses.

It took me four frocks, one broken zipper, and the sad realization that I am so over my once-beloved gothy platform boots (ah, the sticky club floors we’ve danced around) — until I finally fell back on the terribly unimaginative but ever faithful little black dress.

Boy, meanwhile, had settled on silver for his neckwear, and I shoved a matching silver doodad in my hair and off we went.

As parties go, this one was a success. I’ve been to a few shindigs in my day, from the raucous hootnanny with guests puking Goldschläger onto the front lawn to stuffy old-people affairs with unpronounceable wines and gropey senior partners. This one was somewhere in the middle.

Adults (mostly) behaved like adults, meaning there was no puking into potted palms and the butt grabs were kept to a minimum (I personally witnessed just one driveby cheek pinch). But the most interesting part was simply that I had a good time.

I tend to be a wallflower at these things. Content to clutch my little glass of whatever in the shadows and watch. Once in a great while I’ll put on a little show in the limelight, especially if the party invitation said something about being my birthday.

But at this particular party, I didn’t have to hide or perform.

Boy and I and a few of our friends found a little table somewhere in the middle of things and settled in for some drinking (Boy) and some people watching (moi) and some extremely entertaining conversation.

All in all, I guess we could have stayed home in our holey jeans with our feet dangling over the armchair and had pretty much the same conversation, but there’s something much more subversive about doing it all dressed up, surrounded by strangers. (Plus, I don’t have a shiny Photo Booth at my house.)

Sometimes I wonder when I’m going to start feeling like an adult. Or, more acurately, feeling the way I always imagined adults felt. Most likely my imagination is the one at fault here, not my feelings. But at the party, sipping my amaretto sour and jangling all that jewelry, looking for all the world like a real adult, I still just felt like me.

And in my head, I’m still too young for all of this.

But the party goes on, dragging the years down with it and someday I’ll probably be 83 and wondering if I’m a real adult yet.

-Lo, whose mother always said there comes a time when a baby face is good to have.

Running Sentences

Friday, October 12th, 2007

dublin_run2
Mood: Rainy Day
Drinking: Milk (for all the good it does me)

I’ve taken up running.

Those who know me are slightly shocked by this announcement. I have never been mistaken for a jock. I did play basketball in high school. And I spent many years pursuing everygirl’s equestrian dream. But I am not now nor have I ever been an athlete.

Before this month, the most running I had done in recent memory was for a few scenes in cinépoems (like the upcoming Apres un Reve, pictured here). The running never lasted more than a few seconds, and I was usually wearing something entirely inappropriate for actual athletic achievement, such as lace-up knee-high platform boots (also pictured here).

But, contrary to popular opinion, people can sometimes change. And that’s what I’m counting on.

I have joined Team in Training, even though I have never been a joiner. But I figure if I want to reach my goal — a half marathon in Arizona in January — I’m going to need some help. Because honestly? I have no idea how to run 13.1 miles. I’m going to learn, though. I have to. I’ve already bought the running shoes.

The thing about Team in Training is that the journey to the race becomes about something much bigger than downsizing my ass or increasing muscle mass. When you join Team in Training, you commit to help raise money to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma. So I’m not just running for myself — I’m running for a cause.

You can check out my fundraising page for Team in Training and get more information, if you’d like. And if you’re moved to make a donation to help support the cause, well, that would certainly inspire me to run with a bit more pep in my step. Knowing that people don’t think I’m entirely crazy to do this. Or maybe they think I’m just crazy enough…

Who knows? Perhaps this whole journey will inspire a sport-related poem or two:
“Today I watched my toenail slide off
without even saying goodbye.”
or
“They say the high doesn’t kick in
until you’ve gone 3 miles,
but I’m 6 miles in
and still no endorphins.”

Yeah. Maybe not.

-Lo, who is running on faith and fumes at the moment.

Adjusting to the Afterglow

Monday, October 8th, 2007

berkeleyaward
Mood: Reluctant
Drinking: Tea

So there you have it, internet. Michelle and I and our pretty shiny thing.

The Berkeley Film & Video Festival this past weekend was lovely. It was downtown this year at the California Landmark Theatre, and there was a nice big crowd for opening night. Probably because that’s when the awards were being passed around, and everybody does love to add a shiny something to their shelf.

Our cinépoem collection was screened Friday night, after a short film about the beauty of man boobs. Tough act to follow.

It’s always more than a little astonishing to see your work glowing up there on a really really big screen. Especially when you’re looking at your own head magnified to the size of a small VW bus.

As I said during my hasty little acceptance speech, I really do feel like an imposter at these film festivals. I’m not a filmmaker. I’m a dabbler. I borrow the medium to give my poems a bigger voice, but I am not fooled into thinking of myself as a real live filmmaker. Even though that’s what my festival badge said.

The Berkeley Festival dudes, Mel and Paul, have always been extremely kind to our cinepoems, though. This was our 3rd year as part of the festival, and we’ve won an award every year. I’m very grateful for the inclusion.

But it’s Monday now, and time to hang the shiny thing up on the wall and get back to work. Shel and I are recording voiceovers tonight for the next cinepoem, Apres un Reve, as well as the next two after that, which are most likely going to be Matchstick Girl and Yellow. We’ll see how it goes.

-Lo, who has not yet memorized her lines.

The Amazing Amazon

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

amazon1
Mood: Uppers
Drinking: Green Tea

Nothin’ but good news over here, folks.

Amazon.com now carries our little book, The Secrets of Falling. You can find it quite easily just by searching Amazon for the title of the book, or by entering my name or Kathy Azada’s name.

This is exciting not only because of the huge potential market of people we can now reach but also because, well, you just feel like a “real” writer when you see your book all shiny on the Amazon screen. Tingly feelings, that’s what I’m having.

So please, tell all your friends, neighbors, and distant relations – hell, you can tell the checkout chick at the grocery store, too. Tell them to put Secrets in their shopping cart, on their wishlist, on their list of Christmas presents.

If you already have the book and you feel all fuzzy about it, feel free to write us a little review on Amazon and tell perfect strangers that they should read it, too.

While we’re on the subject of online shopping, just a short click away from Amazon is the lovely Etsy.com, a site chock full of crafty goodness. It’s also another new online host, not only for Secrets, but also for my first book, Shedding the Angel Skin, as well as the new limited-edition chapbook, She is a Death Star.

Even better, you can now purchase fine photographic prints from our book at the This Blank Page shop on Etsy. This is the first time we’ve been able to make the prints available online. Before this, the only place to buy them was at our book release party or the recent Old Enough to Buy Art show.

But now, even if you live way up in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Hi EO! Hi Jillie!), you can order your favorite art print for yourself or somebody special.

Right now there are 16 prints available, in sizes of either 8×10″ or 16×20″. We’ll be adding more over the next few weeks, and soon all 35 prints that were featured at our book release party will be available for purchase at our Etsy site.

So. Next time you feel the urge to shop, poke your head in at Amazon or Etsy and say hi.

And don’t forget, if you’re in the Bay Area, the Berkeley Film Festival starts tomorrow, and our award-winning cinepoem collection “Slippery Shiny Feathery Things” screens tomorrow night at 8:55 p.m. at the Landmark California Theatre in Berkeley. See you there!

-Lo, who is learning how to run.