Nomad Ink

Saturday, February 24, 2007


We're having a snow event, as they euphemistically refer to this three-day, three-wave, three-pronged attack of the frosty precipitate. Snow's blowing sideways, heavily, "heavy snow, blowing snow" tonight, "we've had freezing drizzle ..." "late tonight and tomorrow..." "regional snow tonight"..."3-8 inches by tomorrow" and here comes Prairie Home Companion on NPR. This wd be a good time to go to the gym, just as GK starts up his opening song about the old piano down the avenue. Its tones are muffled tonight. Tonight? It's only just 5:00 in the afternoon, a Saturday afternoon, and i've been noodling with some school service stuff and skimming the batch of papers i got from my ugrad class. Mostly look pretty good, pretty imaginative. Started a new weaving thing, before i get into Eli's tallis, that's Dorothy's son (Dorothy my old Hampshire College friend); i ordered the silk today from Henry's Attic and bought a cone of silver metallic. I've got the black and purple so that'll cut down on my "out of pocket" so to speak. Last night lovely meal at Barbette's w/ Joanna: we split baby turnips, a beet-apple salad w/ horseradish cream and little sprinkly fried onions like toasted coconut on top, and then a lemongrass basil steak that was truly yummo-licious. and then, of course, a creme brulée. Some v nice things happening: Poetix Collaborative funded, perhaps a personal work related good-thing i'm not at liberty to disclose yet, and an IAS fellowship for next spring. Ahhh, a little breathing space to think that what i do *does* show up on the map occasionally. Ok off to the gym before the GK narrative draws me in.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

morning again, nothing needs to be done...

that's a line from peter orlovsky. but it's not quite true. i've got a number of "tasks," some oppressively impossible, some pleasant except while i'm contemplating doing them i'm invaded by anxious thoughts about the oppressively impossible ones, and writing this is bringing me no relief so i'll change the subjext, the substance, the introject, the retroject, the gesture, the jester (can i change the jester?), the hexxer. can i? i feel hexxed by my own mind. maybe if i did some of those pleasant tasks rather than simply contemplating them i'd get some traction, make some headway, get someplace.
it's gray, warmer than it's been, car finally functioning again, and of course while it makes life easier, it doesn't lift the heavy melancholy of february and understimulation. trying to find meaning in color, started a bright scarf for mIEKAL, and making nice "headway" on my x-stitch "text, textile, exile" but while it's soothing to do it also means i'm not doing the other things...writing this !@#$#@! introduction to this book, the same introduction i've been trying to write for 10 years, here let me introduce you to my book, it's shy but rewarding to spend time with, its name is Bagel Shop Jazz: Poetics for a Post-Literary "America" and it's been leading a reclusive, elusive existence for about 10 years, making occasional appearances piecemeal in this journal or that, possibly you've seen part of it in this edited anthology or that, like i say in its totality its a shy beastie. well this intro will get done, you all out there in cyberspace are my witnesses. it's like, what to wear for an important occasion? just throw something on. just to get out the door.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


A moment. Making a nest of time. Here in the night office, fluorescent light reflected in the shadeless windowpane, colliding with the rounded planes of a steel sculpture outdoors. a few mornings ago i heard a terrific breakingcracking noise somewhere in the house, but haven't been able to identify a broken pipe anywhere...afraid of what'll happen during the spring thaw...don't know how to turn my water off. Barrett Watten came to give a talk and a reading last weekend, it was v stimulating and fun, lots of different people coming across my radar, in the department, at home, going to the Weisman to the Dylan exhibit, going to the Walker, making a turkey, setting up the room for a digital screening of some of BW's poems, hanging a sheet for projection, arranging the chairs, all kinds of material domestic arrangements that are not part of my everyday life...have my classes been suffering from my slight seasonal depression and exhaustion? v possibly...i'm in a room an office with four sides, how unimaginative is that, and yet does that force a level of interiority on me, an onus to create an imaginative world that moves and vibrates in a way my spatial-exterior world does not? in my grad class we just finished talking (sort of) about Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge's Endocrinology. Body as book book as body, as building, as map. Book as world. As outside so inside. but is it abject.

Monday, February 05, 2007

more belower than below

The ultimate mn frustration: my car won't start, even w/ a jumpstart from kelly next door and a visit from triple-AAA with strong jumper cables. Something's wrong. Again. With this car I got because my mother knew this mechanic who bought this car at an auction and so on. Never a quarter-year without trouble. Anyway i'm here, at home, now going to get it towed to Sayid my nice mechanic. It's bright sunshine but well below zero, and with a wind-chill to boot, in the -20s. I canceled my class, that was the responsible thing to do, many of them take buses or ride bikes year-round, it's not safe, it's a night class. you can get frostbite waiting for a bus in this weather, they say exposed flesh can freeze after 10 minutes at -30. Anyway i'm trying to keep my spirits up by having carol meet me at sayid's and then we'll have dinner at the longfellow grill, where i've never eaten but it looks nice-ish. not super-nice, but nice-ish. i made some cornbread, a Cooking Light recipe i've made before, and friday night i'll marinate the turkey in bourbon and etc. Barrett Watten's coming for a talk and a reading and i'm hosting a potluck chez moi b4 the reading... so gearing up to make the turkey, etc. i just need my car to work!!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

below below below below below

it's 30 below 0 with the windchill. dangerous to go out, not to get the mail etc, but to go for a walk, etc. for more than 10 minutes or so. so i stayed in, did laundry, read some of Rachel Blau DuPlessis's Blue Studio and went to the gym (yes, my car started). Last night went to the "preview party" of the bob dylan exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum, it was really fun people-watching and looking at all the weird artifacts. you could push a button and hear marlene dietrich's cover of "Blowin' in the Wind," and watch great outtakes from Eat the Document etc. It was noisy and crowded so it was hard to hear stuff, for example a tape of bob zimmerman age 15 playing music in his livingroom w/ friend john bucklen. but what you cd hear was unmistakably the future bob dylan. his english teacher was there, we chatted, his favorite poet is wordsworth, his favorite poet to teach is loren eisley! they served mini-hamburgers, awful-looking pale french fries, and beer or bottled water. i think they were thinking "Hibbing MN" for the food, but it only underscored why Bob Dylan left Hibbing. However, they had commissioned a chocolatier to design special chocolates for the event and those were really good. i listened to spider john koerner and tony glover playing and singing old American folk music. Now how the heck do i PUBLISH this post?????

Friday, February 02, 2007

back at last thank god a'mighty...

ah, finally switched to the google thing on my office computer. it wont work at home but now i'm home free. nice talks this afternoon by colleagues katherine scheil, michael hancher and jani scandura, in increasing levels of complexity and narrative tension they made a fine sequence, tho' i overate on the chocolates, cookies etc provided by the department. they talked about archives, which i presented as arch-hives, based on a paper on Adeena Karasick i'd done in which i talk about bees, the letter B (beit) and the archive as beehive ("Beehive yourself, maria!" exclaimed Adeena delightfully when we did a joint presentation back in October). i got in the erotical aspects of archive fever, the throbbing of activity and desire for the goldmine motherlode, etc. it was fun, having Adeena in my back burner as it were as i introduced these speakers. now off to the gym and then to the opening of the bob-dylan's-early-years gallery opening at the weisman...looking seeing spider john koerner and tony glover. it's around zero degrees, far less w/ wind-chill, but i feel all femmy in my flouncy floral skirt and pink sweater, the bldgs are overheated here at school (unlike my underheated home) what will we do to contribute to the slowing of global warming? how can we, living as we do in mpls, the minne-apple or little siberia???