Friday, January 23, 2015

While taking a break from writing the screenplay which you requested that I finish for you by the end of the month, I eliviated some of the pent up rambling which was threatening to narrate itself, by way of a (god forbid!) narrator, into the screenplay.

My most darling producer,
I am writing to you to inform you that I am extremely caffeinated.
At this time I am seated on a rolled up scarf as well as a folded up sweater. I am seated this way, on top of folded fabric, in order to elevate myself to appropriate height of one wishing to engage correctly with this table.
I find it difficult to think when my lap is too far below the bottom of the surface on which I am composing.
There is a banana peel on the table beside me as well as a unopened packet of sugar in the raw and of course an empty coffee mug.
On the middle finger of my right hand I wear three thin silver rings which are what is left out of the original eight that were gifted to me as a Chanukah present from my mother in the winter of my sophomore year of college.
When you and I took a road trip across the center of the country I believe I had three rings on my left hand and four on my right.
But all this is beside the point.
What is more to the point is the question: will I ever be a person who puts my 'i's before my 'e's on the first attempt to type out words with 'ei' in them?
Will I ever get the word 'peices' (See?) 'pieces' spelled correctly on the first try? I think not. Perhaps I will always be this way!
Now, darling, dearest Anna dear, I have a point. I promise.
The point is: I would like to make movies that unfold like this email.
That is all.
Caffienated- dammit- caffeinated banana peel movies which sit on a sweater and scarf. Tense shouldered, left-over-ring-wearing movies, with half-illuminated pasts and futures.

That is all I have to say on the subject (s)
Good day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

something indescribable

The moon is following me through the trees and casting my night shadow against the path. The moonlight is bright enough to show color and the leaves in the trees are still summer green but the autumn air has the careful petting directness of freezing wind. I want to let that wind touch the backs of knees but my clothes are too tight.
I imagine that a soft shoed Soli is walking silently behind me. She is listening to me scrape through the dark, she hates that I cannot walk as silently as she can. She notes my boots and how they are city boots and so not suited to walk lightly. But as she continues to trail me deeper into the trees she starts to admire how I am not afraid to take up the space in the silence.
"I'm walking here!" says the rhythm of my hard footfalls into the night.
In acting class we practiced the different walks of the four temperaments. And it's the phlegmatic who sinks deeply into her hips and her footfalls. A phlegmatic is the sort of queen who will not glide unnoticed past intelligent sanguine foxes. Phlegmatic queens are not afraid of animal attack. Animals whistle at her as she passes but she's lost in thought and doesn't "smile for us honey!" when they ask her to. She doesn't hear their requests.
The thing that separates me from the phlegmatic queen is that she does not listen to her own heavy heartbeat and she does not feel the muscles swing in her back as she swings her hips. She just walks. Like a cow.
The soupy cows are sleeping on the orchard hill under the twisted apple trees which are black claws against the silver blue sky.
I am halfway up the hill when I stop and watch the sky.
The clouds are white and so quick.
They slide over the crown of my head like crashing waves breaking or like someone reaching from behind me to cover my eyes and ask, in a disguised and deep throated voice, for me to guess their name.
The hill is steep and my feet are uneven on the ground, one knee bent, one straight.
The opening shot of my movie cannot be this. This person alone on hill in large expensive scenery taking in the sky. Thats says about a character things that I am not. But this could be the closing shot of my film. The character I will become is one who values above all things, the ability to appreciate what is exhilarating. The character I will become will vanish into exhilaration whenever she wants to and only when the clouds have all raced by and they sky is clear again will she remember the there is anything else anywhere other than the tiny switch board computer behind her eyes which clicks a single binary sequence of "that" "yes!" "that" "yes!" "that" "yes!" "that" "yes!"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creatures on the Beach

a different cat

We are sitting in the kitchen of someone else's house. Someone elses cat is haunting this place like they usually do- out of sight but the cat confusion penetrates the place and we feel a little bit observed. A little bit guilty about being here even though we are supposed to be. He needs to be. he is feeding to cat while they are on their honeymoon.
And there are notes on the walls that say "I will squeeze you when you get home" and notes that say "I am so lucky that you love me."
and The cat has no fur and her face is a triangle that bulges a little bit around her eyes.
and The cat is walking on our keyboards. and he is editing a music video for a well known band.
he is muttering to himself and I am typing and keep you fingers moving and keep your fingers moving
and the cars go by outside the windows
is this apartment cheaper because of the sound of the cars?
I love the sound of the cars
In this place the highway goes by the windows but it is only four lanes of highway.
Did you know that in the other place where i was living there are- let me see- let me remember- without pausing to let my fingers pause- my fingers need to continue to move there are- there are- about eight i think yes eight no more- lanes of highway. Many many lanes of highway there are definitely six on the elevated part and then there are two on each of the two exit ramps and all of this is visible from the windows of the other place where i am living where i am sleeping on the narrow mattress beside her bed. I don't pay rent. Her comforter is red and her pillows are all very very flat. I know this because I borrowed them today to lie on her bed and watch Cinema Paradiso. I put my head where her feet go and i put all her thin pillows in a stack under my head and added my pillow also and a folded up quilt- that is how thin her pillows are. Three on top of each other and still my head was not propped up enough to comfortably watch Cinema Paradiso.
I put my head where her feet normally go because that way the screen of my computer was facing away from the windows.
if the screen was facing towards the windows- if my head was wear she normally puts her head- then the screen would reflect my face. and i would watch my face watch Cinema Paradiso instead of just watching it.
Once i sat on the fire escape and watched the cars go by on the four lanes of highway and two lanes of the two exit ramps and the two lanes of the service road and the one lane one way parked car lined street that we are the last building on...
and I sat on the fire escape and ate some pages of jitterbug perfume and the fire escape shook on its rusted iron shelf with each passing truck and I was so aware- because of Jitterbug Perfume- which is about immortality- i was so aware of not wanting to die- and about loving my life- that i left the fire escape and went back inside because i was so so afraid of the shelf swinging away from the building and dumping me onto the cement below and i imagined how much i did not want to be dead right now so i went back inside because really- magnificent tho the view of highway may be- i did not want to die. so i left the rusty shelf.
So my head was where her feet normally go and i had all her three thin pillows and a quilt and my own pillow propping up my head and to tell the truth, i was a little vexed by the love story.
Not the little boy, the little boy was a wonder. and the montage of the movies and the theater and what went on there and the man who kept falling asleep and the mischievous italians who put things in his mouth while he snored and the Little boy's face and what a wonderful face and i think one time i caught the actor laughing when he should have been crying but maybe the little boy would have been laughing. maybe Toto was always laughing always in love until he fell in love and then... honestly... I became a little vexed.
And also... why is there a photo of the kissing on the cover of the DVD? The movie is not about them kissing the movie is about everyone else, everyone in the movies kissing.
Do you think
that the movies that he made- when he 'escaped' his small town life- do you think the movies that he made were all about/inspired by lost love?
I hope not.

"I'm pretty sure that you're a writer Katie. I feel like thats what you should be doing. Your stuff is pretty engaging."
It felt pretty fucking solid.
Have I ever seen cinema like that?
This is what its like...
the way that you write...
Its like...
you have everything in front of you in the room. all the details right there and its all floating away like theres no gravity. not just upwards though- a force just slightly setting the images afloat.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What A Muse Is For

Here, I will tell you some things.
I am living for two weeks in my aunt’s apartment while she and my cousin are on a cruise. The apartment has two bedrooms and a big sitting room kitchen area. Every room has good light and the kitchen cabinets above the stove open upwards like the doors of the Dalorian time machine car in back to the future.
The front of the cabinets and the tiles in the shower are a light sea green. Everything feels very clean until I cook and then I leave buttery stains and grains of hardened rice around the stove top- that is not why there are flies though.
There are flies because the cat likes to go in and out from the balcony and I have to ‘leave to door open for her or she panics.’

The cat is beautiful and gray with light blue eyes. She follows me from room to room and when I sit down she curls up in my lap which is intimate and comforting until she starts flexing her cat palms like she’s nervous and sticking me with her needle claws in the process.
At first she wasn’t eating her food. I have a few observations about this but not yet any solid theories. I noticed that she will usually eat while I am out or while I am not paying attention to her. Also I spilled some dry food on the floor by her bowl and though she had not touched the food already in the bowl, she readily lapped up the fallen nuggets. Interested, I put some more food on the floor and she ate it right up. Like I said, I’m not sure what the problem is. But I can hear her eating now, she’s crunching out of site on the other side of the counter.
When I sit here at the kitchen counter the tops of my thighs brush the underside of the counter and they get covered in white dust. Maybe the dust is left over from the construction of the counter and no one usually sits here so it never got worn away. This feels like a new building. I know it is a new building. It is the light stucco walled building with wide glass windows on the block of matching red brick townhouses.
Sometimes I feel like the only white girl on the street walking up to the only white building on the street. “You are that.” says Sam when I relay this feeling.
The dust under the counter makes me think of plot possibilities. Some dangerous white drug dust gathers on the undersides of surfaces and is discovered only because the character who will later solve the mystery sits down and collects some dust on her pants and so becomes an accidental detective.

From three windows on the side of the house you can look down three stories and see the Brooklyn shuttle passing in its subway track canal. Looking down on that canyon from the windows I feel like this building is perched on a cliff. Its not that far below but it looks like another world, a more natural, jungle-like green world that is meant to be a secret between two shelves of city.

I read Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins which is a lovely spewing ramble of a book. I read it on the express train going back and forth from the city. Express trains are a new thing for me. I have never lived so far away before. I try to sit on the edge of a bench so that I can link one elbow through the metal side bars and anchor myself there while I read while I bump along. I hold the book with two hands and my elbow keeps me steady. I look up from the wordplay sentences to catch my breath and my focus only to watch the panicked blinking of tunnel lights flash past past past the windows then suddenly past past past the columns of a local station platform where we do not stop because we are an eeeeeexxppreeeesssssss train.
What I mean is, the pacing of the movie in my mind- the editing of the words in the book- the images in the book and the reading it on the train and the flick flick flick of my thoughts and my grins- the tunnel light tunnel light stranger stranger stranger eye contact smile blush- The pacing is good.

I feel like the whole world discovered Tom Robbins long ago. When I asked a bookseller today if they had any used copes of Jitterbug Perfume he smiled in a 'ah your life is changing isn't it?' sort of a way and informed me that the book is sold out because everyone is always already reading it.

There are many things I am meant to be editing. My senior film I know about and am working towards but the others- a music video for jake, five montages for a summer camp- they quite literally slip my mind. I looked up in the middle of my lunch today and remembered for the first time in three weeks that I will receive $900 as soon as I finish those montages. My brain feels slippery.
And my face feels dangerous.

I walk around feeling like my dangerous face is pulled forward on the end of my neck which I feel is too long and I have visions of dropping my face onto the sidewalk where my teeth shatter like ice.
My hair is a woman and my face is a woman and they announce their femme ness and blow in the wind above and ahead of me like a kite and the kite is a banner which announces my importance and imminent arrival so that you can all be ready with your ‘pretty eyes’ comments by the time I pass.

And my eyes feel like water and my face is a bright glowing kite with my thoughts written in legible font across it.
So I bury my kite-face deep in a ramble book written by one Thomas Red Breasts and let my brain get heavy and my string neck bends into a kite-less posture and anchored by one elbow to the side of the bench, I ride the express train far far out to here.

When I finished the ramble book this morning I typed the last and poignant paragraph into a text message and tried to send it to one of you and then to another but I didnt send it to any of you. I kept thinking of reasons why you would misinterpret or dislike or be damaged by it.
I also worried briefly that, because in the book these final thoughts are printed onto the page in the author's handwriting, there might be something sacrilegious about typing it up in legible computer font. But, I realized that outlaws have no rules so I laughed at myself for making up a rule about the book about the outlaw.
In any case, I will post it here in case you want it.

'It isnt love that is so important to us but the mystery itself. The love connection is merely a device to put us in contact with the mystery and we long for love to last so that the ecstasy of being near the mystery will last.'

Rush Hour

At 7:54 in the morning a tired eyed girl wearing a long green skirt exits the franklin avenue subway stop carrying two coffee cups balanced one on top of the other.
The NE corner exit expects the commuter to step down two steps near the metro card machines, walk approximately four paces before stepping up again, this time about five steps. After walking around the curved tiled tunnel, the person wishing to exit to the NE Corner then walks up the usual ten steps to the street, rising between the two green painted iron railings and, in the case of the NE corner exit, under a wooden scaffold.
There is another exiting option which produces you a few feet away in the middle of Eastern Parkway on the 'island.'
The sign advertising this exit option reads 'NE corner Island' which sounds to me like a beach town with tourist shops and sandy children.

Why would someone exit the subway early in the morning carrying two coffees?

Perhaps she loves some coffee shop so much that she rides the train a few stops down and then a few stops back every morning in order to drink that particular cup. She's not on her way to work, she does not pass this loved shoppe on her commute she has no commute but she wakes up with the rush hourers and rushes out a few stops down and buys the two coffees and brings them back to bed. One for her, one for her lover who hasn't even awoken yet.

When he does wake up, at the sound of the lock turning, he will not sit up started and disoriented, expecting a burglar. He will roll over tiredly appreciative. He thinks there is something decidedly tender about the girl's devotion to this particular cup of rich nutty coffee.
Were he to wake up a morning without her, he thinks, taking a tentative sip- the coffee is always the perfect temperature by the time it reaches him- Were he to wake up a morning without her he is sure he would go himself a few stops down to this coffee shop and buy this cup of coffee. It will keep the idea of passion and choice alive in his life. He has learned that he can always, and is in fact entitled to, get what he wants.

The girl sits on the edge of the bed and sips her own cup, smiling at her lover like she is a sneaky thief who has gotten away with something.
What she has gotten away with is being extreme and being understood in her extremity.
After a few weeks she will no longer feel like feeling this way is a sort of theft from the ordinary world. She will, like her lover, begin to feel entitled to this feeling and the word entitlement will, along with other such extreme and powerful words, loose its negative association and become as tasty as the coffee.

Or perhaps...
...the girl exiting at the NE corner of Franklin Ave with two undrunk white paper cups of coffee- down the steps, up the steps, up the steps, under the scaffold, in the morning- perhaps her friend bought her two cups of coffee before he went to work. They split a cab but not the price of the cab the night before and so he has paid her back with double coffee for her day.
She walked into the subway tunnel with him for no reason other than because she was awake, too early, as early as rush hour but without a job. She walked down into the tunnel and swiped him through with her unlimited metro card. He went to work, she walked out of the tunnel, and you presumed the rest of the tale.
The carrying of undrunk cups of coffee at 8 in the morning does not necessarily imply the possession of a lover who understands your extremity- though it is a good clue, and were I Sherlock Holmes and solving the mystery of the girl with the coffee cups, I would not hesitate to presume as much from the evidence.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Things That Tower & Cats

The thing about someone else's cat is that it will become your cat too quickly for you to spend much time at all thinking about how it is really someone else's.
The thing about someone else's apartment is similar to the thing about someone else's cat.
The moment you are alone in the apartment, the moment you stare into the cat's eyes with no other human around, these things become the things that you do in your most pure form. These are the things that 'unwatched you' does. This becomes the space where you vanish.
The silent inside of your head where you live where you dont name the thoughts that float by.

Do you remember the first time your saw a film with a voice over?
You were a child and ‘Is that what thoughts sound like?’ You wondered as the perfectly phrased sentences spoke themselves over the image of a badly directed actor who put a finger to his lip and glanced up to the left pointedly as though the voice was coming from there.
The voice is not coming from there, the voice is coming from the place where you vanish.
"Harold, a tree doesnt think its a tree. it is a tree."
"why was harold talking to this man. this man was an idiot. This man used words like wibbly wobbly and explained that trees were trees. of course trees were trees. harold knew that trees were trees."
...I memorize movies.
I wrote that from my mind. There are words in my mind.
I have an audiographic memory. Is that a real term? Spell check doesnt think so.

Dates are for dresses. Wear a dress.
I cannot!
I am un-normable.
we all are arent we and so then whats the purpose?

The iranian director of photography said that he also has trouble dressing in any label-able way.
We talked about movies on the long car ride up to the hamptons. We had never met before but we talked about movies which led to talking about politics which led to talking about stories again which led to emotions and then movies again and so we talked about everything including our fear of dressing in a label-able way.
"Are you a hippie?" He asked and that was how it began. Later he apologized for the question.

Labels are a relief sometimes.
Labels, give-ins, objective norms. They hold the weight of their own shoulders so you dont have to hold their shoulders.
“I dont want to put that on her shoulders.” said the girl's sad brother when I asked him why didnt tell his happy sister that he was sad.
“what about your shoulders?” I said and he shrugged them.

The thing
About someone else's cat
Is that it is always possible that they think you are their someone.
They think that you are her but acting differently than she usually acts.
I know about animal's sense of smell and I know that it tells them many things but does it convey to them the information of 'different human' or only of 'human behaving and smelling differently.'
Does she think I am her human?

She has blue eyes and grey fur and she follows me from room to room as though I am going to leave again. Again because I think she thinks I am the one who left. The one who is still gone. She smells that her human is not here but because I also feed her the way her human did and I pet her and walk and breathe the way her human did she thinks I am the same person but understands that that person has left and doesn’t want that person to leave again so she follows me from room to room afraid that I will leave again.

The brooklyn shuttle passes by below the apartment windows.
Theres a canal down there of green trees and rock walls way down there three stories and an underpass lower than the windows.
And the top of the silver shuttle goes by like a disney world ride through a jungle set.

I’ve been listening to Wild Child and Bright Eyes and Tom Robbins and they all have different things to say about love.

Miso, the magical cat, is good at being in love. I like her for her shameless devotion. I champion the good kinds of insanity and so I let her into my bed and am not allergic to her anymore.

And it’s remarkable how many things look like the figure head of a ship. Lamp posts on highways, flag poles jutting out of buildings, trees with branches that reach long, long necks on people. Construction sites are also ship like with their towering crane-masts and netting that catches the breeze.
A ship with sails is a thing I will never have. My values will get tangled in their attempt to love a ship. I do not like contrivance and a ship today would be pure contrivance because we no longer need sails. I like function and purpose and a ship with sails today would be pure spectacle. But I love things that tower. I love construction cranes, they terrify me because when things are tall I think they will fall or maybe that is not true. Maybe that is me attempting to justify the mystery of my love of things that tower. I do not think they will fall I just think they are so high. Awe is a word for them.
Let’s sit under bridges and feel that below-a-towering-thing-vertigo.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Open a Door

For those of you who live in a house that has more than one door
I recommend the following:

Identify the door that you use most often
This should not be difficult.

Next, identify one of the perhaps many doors which you never use.
This should be more difficult.

You probably dont remember that this door is a door.
There are probably boxes in front of the door and most likely
you have lost the key to it's lock or maybe it never even had a key.
This door only locks from the inside and if you want to come in through it
you have to be let in by someone already inside, or else the door has to be left open
or unlocked in anticipation of your arrival.

Once you have identified this second door you should move the boxes
away from it and if someone has built a shelf across the top of the door
unscrew and remove the shelf-
first take the things off the shelf. These things can probably be thrown out.
They are either too dusty to keep or too useless.
It is very important that you immediately dispose of the shelf itself.
There is nothing more dangerously useless
than the pieces of a shelf left leaning against a wall in a corner.
Get them out, shred them in a large machine
made for shredding no-longer-needed shelves. Invent such a machine if you cannot find one.

Once you have removed the dusty things
from the useless shelf, destroyed the shelf and unblocked the door
you should open the door.

You might be tempted at this point
to abandon the whole endeavor if, for instance, the screen in the storm door is ripped.
You will tell yourself "flies will get in through that rip."

After you have identified the inevitability of flies and understood the dangers
of going ahead with this plan, you must decide to not care about the flies.
Decide to understand how flies are a small problem in the larger scheme of things.
Once you understand you will understand.
Thats all I can say about the flies.

Now, use that strangely shaped sliding metal square to hold the storm door ajar-
think, as you have often thought before about the person who invented that sliding metal square.
Wonder again why it is so specifically curved with that little fold on the top-
do you know the little bit I'm talking about?
That little disk attached to the arm of a storm door.
The slidely little square
that slides along and then, impossibly, holds the heavy spring-taught door open
even in strong wind?
Its a genius little thing-

Now- Use that genius little square slidey thing to hold the door wide open.
Sit down in the open doorway on the cement stoop
and put your bare feet on the top step which should be covered in bright green moss.
The moss is there because no one has stepped on these steps in years.
Admire the moss.

You are not allowed to feel sad about the destroyed shelf
but you can be a little sad about the soon-to-be-destroyed moss
The moss will be gone because this will be the front door now.
This will be the main and most used door.

Park your car in a new place,
a nearby place that is in logical relationship to this new main door.
Daydream about the footpath that will appear in the grass
it will perfectly connect your parking spot to your door.
Screw a small hook into the wall near the door and next time you come home
hang your keys on that hook.
Leave your shoes nearby and drop your bag in the closest corner.

Next time you leave leave through the new door.
Continue until someone builds a shelf over that other almost forgotten door-
the one that used to be the main door
when that happens don't revert back to that door
find a different door.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A stranger's notebook and a songwriting class

Someone else found your notebook first and brought it inside.
I know this because when i found it this morning it was inside on the magazine rack among the broadway show coupons but it was soggy and rained on.
I took it knowing it would probably just be full of lists. It was just full of lists
I read them. You are comparing the pros and cons of various bland model cars, a CRV an accord, a Passat. I know that you dont like leather seats, you list them as a con because they make your back sweaty but you also sometimes list leather seats as a pro which is confusing what do you want?
Youre not doing anything until June 17th and then you're teaching something... but i cant tell what... something about video games and stop motion I might know you...
You rank possible employees on a scale of 'dud' to 'rockstar'

There are lots of people who jog and walk their dogs on this campus.
Do they call this place "the college"? do they say "honey? im taking the dog for a walk at the college"? or do they say "taking the dog for a walk at SUNY"?
Im fairly certain they do not say "Purchase" because most likely they live in Purchase-the-place and so would not refer to the campus where they walk their dog with the same name.

"Will you teach me to play the guitar?" This filmmaker asked the song writer. "I would like to try an artform that is more supportive of incomplete thoughts."

The song on the radio by Boxer Rebellion called Diamonds is like a million endings in a row. Do you know what i mean? The musical phrasing sounds like its about to end over and over again from the moment it begins. "What is that called? Give me words for that" the filmmaker begged the song writer.

"Make a shot list of your lyrics," the songwriter told his students. "Think of it like a film. what are you revealing with each scene?" "We use each other's words" thought the filmmaker, writing him into her next story. "My score is like an unreliable narrator, it lies but you know its lying."