Chimera Song Mosaic
Thursday, January 27, 2005
a. how I wanted to mention that I am teaching a course online for the first time and that it is British Lit, o lovely! and that my limited blog-based html experience has really helped me conceptualize then execute it, though I seem to have the persistent problem of never managing to make it short and succinct (like 14 pages of syllabus followed by 14 pages of notes on interpreting poetry), and then there is the newfound love for Shakespearean sonnets. BTW, our three main texts are Much Ado about Nothing, Frankenstein, and Heart of Darkeness; our featured poet is Keats; our featured artists are none other than the PRB; can you dig it? But alas! This gives me precious time or motivation for more webby activity.
Once, I had a dream of fame. Generally, even then, I was lonely.
Like last semester, I focused on reading and read and read and read on my own, poetry, novels, literary stuff. The semester before that, I blogged like gangbusters. (What the freak does that mean?) It seems to be the case now, this semester, that I will only be a teacher and write as much poetry (and fiction, though I hate to admit it) as I can. Yucky too that I am teaching one extra class. Poo poo.
b. was I going to re-debut with the story of my mom and me re-exploring her childhood town of Sealy, Texas, perhaps telling about how we saw the mini-market in Historic downtown Sealy that was named the name of her mother's maiden name, and then we saw funeral notices on every storefront, like everyone wanted everyone to know who had died recently, and my mom remembered one of the families from her class, and we ran into the slick and citified people dressed in black inside the old and historic Texas theater, which had been restored to include three chic apartments and a coffeeshop/specialty deli/bakery, and about which theater the waitress/owner of the coffeeshop told us used to be segregated, so that "the blacks were downstairs and in the back, and the whites were up front and in the balcony," and so that my mom, who is a "white," and who remembers nothing of this and said that it wasn't like that when she came here as a child, and she couldn't remember a single film she had seen there, even if prompted with Giant and Gone with the Wind and East of Eden, didn't answer when I asked her if Sealy had sold out, and instead she asked the waitress, "Were these deserts made here?" and the waitress, herself from Oregon (!) said that they were not.
Then after ward, we went driving around in search of more antique stores, and we drove past the park where I played when I was 8 and 9 and my parents were divorced for that year and my grandmother lived in Sealy in a small house on her own that had roses all around the front and all along one side that my sister and I used to play in. We sat in my mom's car in the Episcopal (close enough to Catholic) church's parking lot, across from the house, and studied the front porch until the owner of the house came out, and we waved and went away.
But really what I wanted to do is tell her that I had intimate knowledge of her house, that my grandmother used to live there in the years after her husband died, that I remember she kept a can of Franco American spaghetti in her cabinet that she would not eat. One day I asked if I could have it, although I was imprinted on Spaghetti-Os, and she told me that I could take anything, that she wouldn't eat it anyway and that grandpa had left it behind. There was also that porch where I pulled my grandmother's windchime and released an angry chain of black wasps that pricked my forearm and placed their poisons there. And maybe I also have a memory of the cool crust of baking soda drying there on my arm.
But instead, my mom and I kept talking about the roses, like it wouldn't make sense for someone to get rid of those bushes over twenty years old, like we couldn't figure that out. We found some solace in the narcissus filling the chainlink fenceline with the neighbor's.
If nostalgia were a button on my body, / I would circle it forever / with autistic fervor.
But that wasn't the story.
c. This was it. Marisa told me about Laura Bush's $700 haircut. It went like this:
M: Well, you heard about Laura Bush's seven-hundred-dollar haircut, didn't you?
D: (whiny voice) No, I don't hear anything. You know I don't get the paper.
M: I was reading about it online. Anyway, they were talking about how she is not getting any flack about it, even though when Clinton got a $200 haircut, everyone flipped out.
D: (Who didn't know about Clinton haircut, either, but gave the conversation a try because Marisa is full of fabulous gems) Oh, well; she's a woman, so it would make sense that her haircut would cost more than a man's.
M: You know those conservatives criticize everything a democrat does, but when it comes to the Bush's spending money on stuff flike that, it's all okay.
(pause while they flush the toilets and leave the stalls and pump the soap to wash their hands)
D: But wait--doesn't Mrs. Bush just have one of those elementary-school-bus-driver-haircuts?
M: Exactly! It's just big Texas woman's hair--why does it need to cost so much?
D: She could get that at any Supercuts in Texas for $10, including tax.
M: Maybe more for the perm. (pause) I'm getting a $17 perm this weekend.
D: I'm getting a mullet as soon as my hair grows back.
*Based on real conversations and events. The last few lines are fictionalized, but they are based on previous conversations, and it is true that Marisa has been threatening to get a $17 perm, and Deborah is sure that she could cultivate a kick-ass mullet.
That's more like it.
But this just in: Laura Bush's website says that she selected three American designers for her inaugural outfits, but one of the designers listed is Carolina Herrera, who is actually Venezuelan. Venezuelan? Are the Fox News watchers just going to sit back and take that?