True Abstractions

Billy and Grey are high and eating Thai food on Grey's couch and watching cartoons. They know how to lounge. Sometimes people talk about not caring what anyone else thinks, but Billy and Grey really do not care what anyone else thinks about them and because of this they look fabulous.

Billy: I feel really lonely.
Grey: Why?
Billy: I feel like I don't even know what intimacy is. I don't know how that is supposed to feel.
Grey eats his noodles.
Billy: Like, I want to have sex with the same person more than once, you know?

Grey: You mean, twice in one night?

Billy: That's not what I was referring to, but now that you mention it, yes.
Grey: Or, like, four times in one night?

Feeling so totally frustrated this morning. In one of those rages, when everything offends me. Every phone call, e-mail, and paper clip is an affront. I guess it helps to sort of realize it, then try to stop it. wish it were as easy as that. I think it is a distinctively Leo tendency towards this kind of resentment. Coming from the "Do it best or don't do it at all" school of thought. Feeling as if I cannot change my circumstances or attitude, I don't even bother.

Okay, now I'm bothering, I guess.
I wish I could just write some dumb song / story / porno / performance and just get on with it, you know? Just get it out. Procrastination is only the word for it if you know what you're running from. I'm avoiding my entire life, everything about it (even --especially-- the good parts). It's been working, I got away from myself, but now I'm really bored.

Last night, went to an amazing event for Maggie Nelson's brilliant book, Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions. Nelson gave a really inspiring presentation and read some poems (though not her own). Wayne Koestenbaum, my idol, read from his new book and suggestively held the microphone. Yvonne Rainer read sex stories from her diary of her teenage years ("No momma, I didn't have an orgasm") from her memoir Feelings are Facts (the title being, as anyone with a personality disorder can tell you, a debatable and thrilling notion). Carolee Schneeman shared reminiscences of her early years in New York, managing to both inspire and completely intimidate me (She did all that when she was 23? Really?). Schneeman also gave a brief and scintillating presentation of her 1995 Vulva's Morphia. Bernadette Mayer read a few hilarious and heartbreaking poems, gorgeously giving us some context for swear words.

One obvious highlight was the characteristically taciturn Kim Gordon, who began her segment at the podium with "Um, this isn't a poem". Gordon read an old written piece about observing a man playing a guitar, then she picked up her own guitar, and played that same sexy guitar performance. Her swagger, prefaced as such by the previous "male" designation of her introduction, was amazing. She managed to recapitulate everything she found so fascinating about the anonymous guitar wanker, and by enacting the same performance, destroy him. She wheeled around in her designer dress and boots, got down on the floor of the auditorium and literally fucked her guitar into shrieks of orgasmic feedback. Eileen Myles read at the end, some really amazing portions of her novel. She spoke specifically about the process of making poems, "being in" them rather than writing them. Two points she made stuck with me: one, about having loved someone, lost them, and then realizing that the former person she was, who had felt that desire, was also lost. Having to let go of the person who felt that desire, and learn to be a new person with new desires. Second, the inherent good of proclaiming one's heart's desire. This is something I've had an inkling about for a few months (various crushes on co-workers, people on the street, postal workers, pets). That simply to proclaim what you want is the point. Whether or not you "get" the object of your affection is ultimately so much less important that the articulation of your desire. Myles quoted someone to whom she had proclaimed her love.

After telling the woman everything Myles felt for her, the woman replied "That's sweet."
And I'm sure it is.

1 comment:

M. said...

Billy: Like, I want to have sex with the same person more than once, you know?
Grey: You mean, twice in one night?
Billy: That's not what I was referring to, but now that you mention it, yes.