Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Story

who was it who said
"write what you know"

its good advice
and i do it.
but sometimes i get confused and write what i am
and think that that is what im supposed to do.

and then during critique
my teachers say

"its all one note"
"not much happens"
"your characters sound confused"
"this character doesn't know what she wants."

and i say

"yes it is"
" isnt that the truth"
" she is confused"
" and no she doesn't."

Friday, January 29, 2010


i can tell now, i can tell when youre high.
i could never tell before.
i would always accuse you of being high when you were sober and then youd get mad and id feel bad.
and when you were high i would talk to too fast or move to fast, because i didnt know, and then you told me and i felt... cheated? made fun of? jealous?
but now
i can tell.
i look at you and say
"nice eyes."
and you say "im high as fuck"
and i say "yep. thats what i meant."
and then i hug you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

abby asked me to remember green meadow for her.
i tried,

...walks through the fellowship. up that windy path by mary daily. with the roots like steps. visiting the sheep when there were sheep.
we got maple syrup that was still clear like sap and we brought it back to the classroom and drank it from those little white tea cups that we usually had water in...
we made soup every morning and then ate it after nap
they sang "the sunrise. the sunrise. wipe the sleep from your eyes." or something like that.
and after we ate we had inside playtime and we played with playstands and snails! and silks and then we had to clean up and we sand "many hands make light work"
and then outside playtime. and we were on one side of the frence and the first graders were on the other side and they were all like taunty like "our play ground is bigger than yours and we play kickball and -could you bring us our ball it went over the fence."
and we raced from the tree to the stump.
and we chewed on those sticks that tasted like lemon. and the ones that tasted like rootbeer.
and we played in those weird wooden things up by the fence by the road and we pretended they were boats.
and there was that tinnnyyy hill that we sledded down in the corner. and it would turn brown and muddy
and no matter the weather- once it was winter we had to wear snowpants and mittens.
and we made boats. out of sticks that we found. and we sanded them and filed them
and we made swords.
the half day kids went home.
and we went to full day.
and the pasta was reallly bad and i cant remember what was good...
and then naptime?...
and we napped and she, ms manir, (its so weird to spell her name cuz i said it all the time before i thought abut words. so in my mind her name is MANIR and its made of like pasta not letters) she played the harp
and we were all so far away from eachother and foot to foot so we really slept.
but mostly we didnt sleep and if we did sleep we were always proud of it... and we would talk about it while we put our mats away in the matt room.
and we had to keep out nap things in a bag on our hook.
and we had signs instead of names.
i was the dove the first year and eliza was the shooting star and the next year i made sure to get there early so i could be the shooting star.
and they put our sign somewhere at the table and that was how we knew where to sit.

1st grade
rose ceramony
she told us the story after we crossed the stage and we looked up at her. and then later in the classroom she told us the rest of the story and the chalkboard drawing was of that story and i dont remember what it was.
and we learned the alphabet. we drew the letter on one page and a thing, an animal or a thing that matched on the other page.
"V" valley. and it looked like a valley.
and "s" swan" "Q" queen and she never goes anywhere without her "u" umbrella.
and king +, queen-, the jesterX

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Written On The Body

my roommates alarm clock sounds like the fire alarm and so i dreamed that i was ignoring the alarm and that... hey nothing happened... no one cares. no one is coming to get me...
and then
and then
the dream ended and i had to roll over step over twice, comprehend the odd little buttons one of which turned on the news which said... something... before i found the off switch and switched off.

im reading a book that is supposed to be narrated by a genderless narrator
but i was sure it was a man
but my aunt was sure it was a woman

and now i feel even more strongly what ive been saying to max... if he was listening... he was busy, so might not have been
and to raina, when we were leaning on the wall looking at the sky where the moon usually is
but in fact the moon wasnt because actually
its only there when... its there...
leaning on the wall looking at the lack of the moon
over the sailboats over the lights on the opposite side of the hudson...
i told raina about what im thinking about which is that there really is no differnce between men and women.
only the differences that we allow ourselves because we think that they are allowed.
and she disagreed and i only argued halfheartedly, its true, because i wasnt really sure if it was true.
but i thought it was.
and now i really think so.
because what happened was
in this book
the narrator doesnt talk much. he she always listens while the women talk... and she he says things... in little moments... in little bursts of admiting what he she has been admiting in the narration for pages and pages without a single quotation mark.
what i realized about myself is that i thought that she he sounded male because he she kept everything inside.
thats bullshit.

but the book is very very good.
and i hope the fact that ive decided to let the narration swing from gender to gender on each page will not make it less wonderful
because i was enjoying it as a man.
she he is a beautiful man in my mind.
and the image of he she being a beautiful woman is forming.
he she is a very quiet woman...
and even after all that
i still think that he she is a man.

thats really successful writing.

how would you (never ever attempt) to make that into a movie?

btw the book is called
"written on the body" by jeanette winterson

Friday, January 8, 2010

dream from last summer

i found this dream in a bent and mostly empty notebook that was at the bottom of a basket of clothes that i dont want.

Part I
i was at the subway station. i didnt know where to go but i didnt feel lost.
night was falling and i didnt know where to go that would be safe and i didnt know where to go to find something interesting to do.
i looked at the map on the wall, made a desision and ran for a train that happened to be the one and wanted and happened to be about to leave.
but i didnt get to it in time and then as the doors closed in my face i realized that i actually wasnt the train. and a moment later i realized that i didnt actually want to go where i had wanted to go a moment ago.
i stepped back to stand near the map and called my mom to ask her how to get home to 77th st. (where we stayed all summer)
i knew there was just one simple thing i had to do but i couldnt remember what. awake now i know that it was simple- get on the 1 train and it will take you right there...

i called mommy and as soon as the phone rang once i remembered that she was somwhere where she couldnt answer the phone.
there was a lady sitting on the platform with a lot of luggage.
she and i tried to help each other but niether one of us knew enough to really help but both of us knew enough to not feel completley lost which comforted us.

Part II
i am on the train with someone who i am in love with. we call someone who i used to be in love with and make plans to see her tommorow.
i think that the one im in love with might be in love with the one who i used to be in love with so i try to imagine a way for us all to be in love with eachother all at once.

and i am a vampire. we are all vampires. we are laughing and promising my ex love on the phone that we will meet her tommorrow at "first bight" like "first light."

Part III
suddenly im a boy.
im skinny and pale and look a bit like my brother but more like draco malfoy.
im shirtless, sitting beside another vampire, a hispanic boy with shiny black curly hair.
he is my friend but he is also a much better vampire than me, much older, more swagger, he's calling all the shots, telling me what to do.
he tells me that its almost light so we have to get home.
since we're on the subway on our way home i dont panic but i do panic in the back of my mind, i dont want to be cought in the sunlight.
there is a human man in the subway car with us and my friend says we have to confuse the man before we leave so that he doesnt know we're vampires.
we move then, very quickly so its as thought time is moving very slowly around us.
we move the man to the door and put him so his head is sticking out of the doors, theyre closed on his neck.
"this is our stop" says my friend
and somehow, maybe because we can move so fast, we are off the train in a moment and the train zooms away on its high trellice and the human man screams.
my friend says something and then drops from the trellice and dies.
a narrator in my head says something like "that was my first experience of death" but its specific to vampire death.
i jump off, after my friend but towards the building across the street. in the air i think about how i am a vampire so i am extra strong so i can make this kind of a jump. i also see the window in the building that im jumping towards i know that i could make it right through the window and land inside but i dont, i grab onto a molding near the window and then drop to the ground.
i run towards the door to the building. its like one of those motels where the hallway is outside, and the rooms each open to the outside not to a hallway.
the sun is rising and a few rays of it fall on the ground, i avoid stepping in it as i run to the first door i see, it has a number one it, three digits which is odd because this is the ground floor.
the door is open i go in. there is a man inside he doesnt see me.
i spin around very quickly so he wont see me, like the arms of a fan spinning so quickly that theyre just a blur, sometimes completly invisable.
i hang from the door frame and spin around very quickly, he sees the flickering of my skinny white chest.
stretched out, hanging with my arms over my head i feel very thin and white, small and beautiful.
the man throws a soda can at me to see if im there... to see if it hits something.
i dart quickly by him and hide in his closet.
he throws cans at me and says in a voice like a crazy man talking to his cats."cans dont shine like that." and i know he means that i am shining, that i am beautiful... i feel very powerful and very naked.
i run away from him and outside, avoiding the sunlight and upstairs to my room. i hide under my bed and he is running after me.
i lie under the bed and as i begin to wake from the dream im thinking about how powerful i am and how weak and pathetic he is but how he might get me anyway because i cant go in the sunlight which is shining into the room. and i feel powerless but really more frustrated and pissed off about how wrong it all is.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The End of the Vacation

what is there to do?
"i fucking hate being home!" she wines into the phone "There’s nothing to do!"
what is there to do?
the people are gone, the fun, gone.

what was the fun?
was there ever fun?
what have we been doing all these years?
Driving in circles and eating food and looking for ways to find ways to not notice that we are doing nothing.
Look for alcohol so that the nothing that we're feeling will feel like something... or the something that we're feeling will feel like nothing... or maybe looking for alcohol is something to do... always a full nights work, always a kind of constant task to focus on, to blur out the nothing...

where should we want to be if we don’t want to be here?
I want to be on film sets shooting scenes.
I want to be on those sets.
I want to be in cafes drinking espresso watching people in fashionable clothes walking past the windows.
I want to be in cafes drinking espresso typing or writing with a pen.
I want to be in cafes typing or writing stories to make into stories and screenplays to make into films.
I want to be at home doing nothing or cleaning or cooking alone. for myself in a home that is my home.
and at night?
what is there to do at night?
at night I want to sit in my home with my friends
but who are my friends?
we sit and we drink and we talk and we dance.
in my house there are enough rooms to hide and we hide.
and there is someone who I hide with but this is not his house.
it is my house and he is here.
and he stays.

we drink drinks and we drink coffee.
coffee that we make ourselves and that tastes the way it is supposed to taste
we eat pizza and we eat croque madam et monsieur

we watch movies projected on the wall
we make films
we watch films projected on the wall
we take photographs.
we take off our clothes and take photographs.
We lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling and we put our heads on eachothers backs and lean on eachother’s arms and sleep
Or we read books.
we read books to ourselves and we read aloud.
We tell stories that we want to make into movies and practice persuading.
Weve chosen careers in professional convincing… persuading… and we practice on eachother.

we sit on the counter in the kitchen and wash dishes and wash the floor and we blow bubbles through the holes in the straining spoon.

and then we go out and we wander the streets of the city where we live and we dance in the streets and its summer and we see movies and we see plays, we hear music and we dance.

and sometimes i do it all alone.
and i eat and i wash the dishes and i wash the floor and strip the sheets and i walk the streets alone.
and see the flims alone and i hear the music and i dance alone and i dance with strangers and i wear white and i wear flowers.
and in the morning i go to work where we eat and we dance and we draw and write, play and persuade.
and sometimes we write and draw with our pencils inside our office that doesn’t feel like an office, it feels like a stage and its full of light and sometimes we write and draw with our actors in the streets in the rain... real rain or rain we’ve paid for and set up ourselves.
and sometimes I am inspired on the street and I hand a stranger a card and wait for them to show up at casting the next month only to find that they cannot act but that we would all like to be friends and we invite the stranger out for tea and we write short sonnets together and then months later I write a story about that stranger and make it into a movie and cast someone who can act to play the one who couldn’t.

and there is nothing to do here. she says
there is nothing to do. but only when youre looking for something to do as though there is nothing.
Id rather do nothing, I say, than try all night to do something and then fail.

I look for nothing as though there is something. thats the plan.
look for quiet because everything is spinning all the time.
is it really?
and then i step off the wheel and find stillness and back on and find spinning!
and its always spinning.
dont worry.

"i must get out of here. i must get free and in this mind is the key, my key."*
whos mind?
my mind? my mind.

*Agent Smith, The Matrix'

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the notebook

i figured out why i always forget about the old people in the notebook.
i figured out why i fast forward their scenes when im watching alone and why i dont care about them at all.
(besides all the obvious reasons like the bad casting of old ally and the way there is no mole consistency on ally's face)

The Music!
the weepy swelling orchestral themes of the young ally and noah reality, never cross over into the old folks home. maybe a little but not enough.
thats all.
i figured it out.
music is so important.
that seems like such a silly mistake.

i hate it when movies make mistakes.
i also love it.
a lot.
it keeps me wanting to make them... i mean movies, not mistakes.

old ally never giggles.
and thats rachel mcadam's whole thing with this character. the way young ally giggles all the time over nothing.
the diologue is so candid in the young one's reality.
and so not candid in the old ones.
its like to different movies.
i guess there are a lot of reasons
but the music is a big one
and a very easily remidied one.