Archive for September, 2009

The Bear & Pony Show

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

mood: hanging in | drinking: some kind of Snapple tea

bear_pony_show

It’s about time for another film festival, wouldn’t you say? Been awhile.

This year, the Berkeley Video & Film Festival is screening our “Homeland Security” cinépoem, which features the lovely Alexis Woods and Carly Putnam. And their respective Bear and Pony alter egos.

I believe my cinépoem partner in crime Michelle Brown and I may be collecting some sort of shiny award, too.

So if you’re in the Norcal area and want to see some indie films lighting up the big screen, join us at the Landmark Cinemas on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley this Friday night. Screenings start at 7:30 and “Homeland Security” should be shining through around 8pm.

Peace out.

-Lo, who needs to get her bangs trimmed before the big night.

A post-event update:
Michelle and I are happy to announce that, for the 4th year in a row, we brought home a Grand Festival Award in the Arts category for our little cinépoem. Huzzah!

Home Is Where

Friday, September 18th, 2009

mood: deflated | drinking: daily teapalmyra_porch

I have learned a few things in the three weeks since we sold our house.

1: I am not good at being displaced. 2: I still do not find anything charming about drunk college boys cavorting beneath my window at 2 a.m. 3: Home is not the place where all your stuff is. That’s just where you live. Home is something altogether different…

Where the heart is. Where you belong. Where you feel safe. Where you go to get away. Where you long to be in the middle of a stress-filled day.

And while Boy and I continue our long and arduous search for the place we will eventually call home, I find myself getting a bit frayed around the edges. The lack of home is much harder than I imagined it would be.

I thought apartment living would be a lark. Like playing house.

It’s not.

Apartment living reminds me of all the things that I miss about having a home. And they’re not things, really. Because I have all my things, stacked in boxes all around me. What I don’t have is the feeling of belonging in the space that I inhabit.

What I don’t have, at night, after a never-ending day of deadlines and demands and divas, is a refuge.

Although that’s not true, entirely. I have Boy. I have LeeLoo, even (who hates apartment living as much as Boy and I do).

Here’s the thing I never realized until now, though… Growing up, I had a home. 497 Palmyra Road. That was where I belonged. And then I got older and I went away to college and I got a degree and then a job and then a succession of apartments and roommates and temporary living arrangements.

And then I met Boy and we had our own apartments and rental houses, and they were better. They were homier. And then, five years ago, we bought a place of our own. We settled in. We nested. We chose paint colors and carpets and dishes and drapes. We turned that place into a home. It was the first time in my adult life I felt like I had a place to go to, in a very specific sense, that was my home.

I didn’t realize until now how much that meant to me.

On better days I tell myself, or Boy, or both of us tell each other: “We will find a home. Soon. And it will make all of this worthwhile.” And I believe it.

Today is not a better day. Today is the end of a very long week in which I’ve wobbled along, hanging onto shreds of my former bouncy optimism. Today is another day in which I go to the place where my stuff is, the place where my mail is delivered, the place where I lay my head, and feel the lack.

I feel guilty, too, for complaining. What about the homeless, I think. What about all those who live in apartments like this and have no alternative, no other home on the horizon, I think. I have so much to be grateful for, I think.

And it’s all true.

But this is my reality, and it is true as well. And today is just… not a better day.

Maybe tomorrow will be.

-Lo, searching and searching and searching.

Ah, Young Love

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Mood: placid | Drinking: tea, again

byron_nuclear

Nuclear

In the back seat of Tiny’s red ford festiva
we sat like sardines and trembled
when our arms brushed skin that was not our own.

I remember staring out the window until my neck began to tick,
mesmerized as if everything flashing by was fascinating,
as if I had not already memorized and catalogued
every inch of Route 2 from Rockford to Sterling and back.

The car roared loud and hot with laughter, five teenagers
packed in a tin can and desperate for distraction,
driving as though the act alone was the destination.

I feigned participation and watched instead
the way the Rock River gurgled along beside us
brackish and grey and choked with spring fever.
I tried to catch the eye of a white-tailed deer
hiding in the tangle of roadside shrubs
waiting for twilight to thicken.

I kept my head to the glass to avoid
the look of our thighs pressed together
and burning, to escape the sight
of your arm next to mine,
your hand on your knee,
finger twitching.

At that moment all I wanted in the whole world
was the weight of your shoulder falling against mine
as we zoomed around a curve.

When we leaned the other way around the next turn
and my hand slipped from my lap and fell against yours,
it was not accidental.

You nearly set off a heart attack then
by crooking your pinkie finger around my thumb
as we circled through Byron and whizzed past the nuclear plant.

Bending your head to look out my window
at the twin cooling towers, your breath fell
hot against my lips and my palms grew suddenly cold
as if I knew how quickly you’d break my heart.

*****

-Lo, who thinks that may be her only fond memory of a Ford Festiva.

(Photo credit goes to Bill Tracey, courtesy of Flickr)

Practice Child

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Mood: relaxed | Drinking: not so much

leeloo_nap

A new poem for you, started in June but not finished until last week…

Practice Child

After yelling at my dog,
I decide I will be a terrible mother.

The dog doesn’t want much.
Head pat. Butt scratch. Kibble
and bits.

A child wants more,
takes all. I am afraid
of my overwhelming lack.

I have stored up just enough patience
for paw prints on couch cushions
for plastic bags of fresh poop
for long walks on the beach
followed by a car ride fragrant
with ocean-flavored dog.

But I know nothing of strollers and Similac
of the wonders of flushable diapers
and the dangers of Bisphenol-A.

I am attached to my own independence,
to the ability to spontaneously dash out for dinner
or read away an entire afternoon.

What’s more, canines don’t ask complicated questions
about why God sits back and lets bad things happen.
They don’t fall into a tantrum frenzy upon discovering
that all the blue popsicles have already been eaten.

See? Already the dog has forgiven me,
pushed her wrinkled fawn head
into my chest, snuffled my cheek
with foul-breathed devotion.

Surely, at the very least,
a child would make me pay
for the therapy.

-Lo, who will take some credit for being a pretty good auntie.