Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poetry Hobby

today at camp i ran the poetry hobby.
my group and i walked behind the other hobby groups who were on their way to see the chickens or walking in the stream, looking for bugs.
i told my group 'hide in the trees, eavesdrop and write down interesting things that people say."

here are some things i wrote... im not sure if theyre poems. maybe just thoughts pretending (by way of line breaks) to be poems.

Free Swim

Today while we were swimming,
I noticed the way the water moved around the children.
And the way it moved around me was different.

The water and the day adjusted their color and texture or temperature
as they moved between us they knew
how to be the children's present, and all at once,
my past.

We stood on the bridge and they walked below us, their crocks in the stream, looking at bugs, we leaned on the railings and listened to them

I hear a crinkling water bottle that someone is crushing in their hands
it matches exactly the sound of wet sticks breaking under thier feet.
"who are you?"
"we're poetry"
...walking in the stream like they are doing is called 'mucking'
"are you going to write about us?" he asks looking right at me, i smile.
They muck away, their voices and splashes fade.

The little girl wearing the yellow crocheed top
does not belong to the camp.
she's all alone
no one is ever alone here
we take a buddy and councilor to move an inch away from the group
The little girl is hanging from the higher railing and swinging her legs
back and forth, dangerously teetering on the edge of the bridge.
I see my fellow councilor swallow her warning, 'this girl does not belong to us.'
and then the little outsider darts away, following the call of a mother who i didnt hear and cannot see but who
im sure, is just out of site, at the top of the stairs on the bank... hiding up a tree...

(i love taking things out of context)
"hey, over here. i have a perfect one for it."
"if you have a net please hand it off now to someone who does not have a net."
"i have a dead one and a live one eating a dead one!"
"look. i got bug bites. no. thats pen i drew on my bug bites."
"they look like nature people"
"fake plastic rubber bands"
"here come the chicken people"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and keen,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I’ve heard of Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.

I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
"We're exactly like you! You cant tell us apart.
we're all just the same now you snooty old smarties!
and now we can come to your frankfurter parties."

"Good Greif!" groaned the ones who had stars at the first
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.
So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine.
This wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars
so you won’t look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine
working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,
“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again!
In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My little universe of rainbow rocks,
that I collected all day
and arranged in a pleasing gradient,
washed away
with the tide.
And I felt like God
watching civilization dissolve.

but really-
Because it was sunny
and I was kind of light headed
and having trippy thoughts like:
'This is what God does,
watches and waits
for things to disappear;
but not in a bad way
because they came
from the ocean anyway..."
But there was garbage-
a balloon, cigarette butt,
bit of a bottle- in my rock collage
and I thought:
"I'm going to let this pollution go out to sea...
because I'm not allowed to interfere
with the integrity of my creation...
just because its being washed away
doesnt mean I have to dismantle it in any way..."
and that was God too. And then I felt bad
because my philosophical meditation
probably killed a fish...
and that was God too...

(Photo of me: Molly Pelavin)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I just sit here and am sort of content. And I boil inside but I never boil over.

This is the opening monologue.
so the only way that it will matter that I wrote this is if I tell you my story so that this pointlessness will matter to you.
So that I will matter to you.
So the movie/play that follows will be all about me and then somehow the fact that that opening monologue is so ‘me like’ will become genius writing.

Who are you? Who, katie, who are you talking to????!!!!

In the woods
And no one is there to here it

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it and it hears a bird while its falling…. Does that bird make a sound?... that is the question.

I am the falling tree and I am about to hit the ground without making a sound…. Actually, in fact, I think that I don’t even have to fall, physics don’t have to apply to me now… im just, fallen. The next person who arrives and sees me will see a fallen tree not a standing one but I never fell. I just… what?.
The next person who sees me will name me ‘fallen’
And the last person who saw me had named me ‘standing’

That’s not it either….

I am not standing tree or fallen tree. I am not anything…
The passing person will see ‘standing’
The next passing person will see ‘fallen.’
I am not anything at all if I cannot hear myself and solipsize myself into existence by being the tree that heard the tree fall in the forest…

I am now listening to, and bringing into existence, the sound of the air conditioner. The sound of my keys typing. I love the sound of keys typing.
I also hate it. It reminds me of being ignored.

The sound of birds outside the window, the sound of… I pause to listen…. I hear the air conditioner and birds outside the window.

I’m editing the timing of your listening, your reading. Do you get it? I’m using ellipses. Don’t ignore them…

that’s right….

Pause… yes.

There, I mean they’re, important.

This should be a movie.
A movie? What is happening on the screen right now?
Is the screen just the shot of the text, curser ticking, letters appearing…

Is the image of me, my face, my eyes ticking over the words as they tick across the page?

Intercut between the two?

Or is the image just the curser ticking and the letters appearing and the main subject of the scene (besides the meaning that you are assigning to these symbols as you read, besides what you take from the text), the thing that you are watching, the character that is being developed in front of you is not me, not the me that is the one you are learning about through your careful interpreting of letters.
The subject of this scene is the letters W R I T E
Being backspaces sloppily and replaced with the letters R I G H T about a paragraph ago, where I wrote, what is happening on the screen write… w-r-i-t w- r- I w-r w r r-i r-i-g r-i-g-h r-i-g-h-t now.

Gosh that took me way to long to figure out how to format so that you would get it.
Because its not a movie.
I’ve already decided that this will be a blog.
I’ve already decided to leave my desk and go back to my bedroom, where my internet wire is, and hook myself up to internet and put this on my blog.
I guess I've figured out who ‘you’ are.
I guess you are some combination of Mollly, John and my mother… and hopefully the rest of you, who look like that shot I described earlier- eyes ticking across a screen interpreting symbols and gaining meaning… you look like little lights that tick on in the dark when I post this….
For some reason the way i imagine you is: sitting at desks in sunlight…

Ill just let you know that I've deleted the particularly narcissistic beginning of this so that none of you will know how ridiculous I feel. I’ve also deleted most of the curses… except the completely necessary ones…

Dear mommy,
I’m sorry I didn’t call you back this morning
I was busy watching ‘the pursuit of happyness’ because I got it from swaptree(great site. Get one!) but I have to send it back because I gave the book that I was supposed to swap it for to goodwill.
If I had a car I would go to goodwill and buy the book for three dollars and swap it because I really want to keep that movie now… because of the special features mostly… it was directed by an Italian man who Will Smith sought out and hired to direct the film because Will Smith saw some of this man’s movies and wanted the ‘emotional tone’ that this Italian director incorporated… and so Will hired him…
And I like that…
Dear john…
Ha! That’s the title of that chick flick movie that was out for like one second because no one went to see it… even though it had Amanda seyfried in it and she looks like a baby and I have this theory that we think people are beautiful the more childlike they look and she looks like a baby… like actually…
John, lets go to six flags… molly has to go before the weekend….
Dear mollly,
In our dorm room we will have starry ceilings and we will have all sorts of odd light fixtures that we will become pros at dismantling in time for each room inspection… and we will tell each other our dreams and we will have a toaster in the closet.
There’s a black plastic bag nodding its head in the air conditioner breeze… it looks like a duck, that’s why it has a head. the duck bag is sitting right next to…
Dear john
…the sword you gave me for my birthday…

this is a rock that i found on the beach in Peconic.
i think it looks like a bloody anatomical heart... as opposed to a valentine.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aimee Bender's short story 'Fugue"

I close Aimee's book with my finger inside it and put my chin on the top of the book and look over and ask
"Want to hear the best two sentences ever?" i sort of stutter it because halfway through i wonder if its actually two sentences and i realize that 'two sentences' doesnt sound like such a short thing. i want her to think its a short thing so shell let me tell it to her.
she looks up so i tell her.
"i think, maybe he hasn't even noticed that I'm gone. But I have."
(It is two sentences!)
She likes it. She smiles.
"She wrote a story called 'fugue'"
"fugue." i think this is the best title ever... or most poignant one.
"okay," she says "go back in." she means 'into the book' she means 'stop making me pretend to be listening to you.'
this doesnt really bother me... i promise.
so i open my notebook and write this. and about ten minutes later, I'm now typing it up. Its been about thirteen minutes now in which i haven't had to talk...

its strange that june is the sixth month.
six months seems like a longer amount of time than i feel like I've spent in 2010.
dash- oh still flows out of my pen before i remember that its now dash- one- oh. In theory, it seems like six months should be long enough to cure me of that...

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Book

i discovered Aimee Bender this afternoon.
Hello. i said to Aimee.
Aimee, blue and papery and between two floppy covers, did not answer directly, instead she looked at me out of the corner of her yellow-font eye and confessed to having a boy named paul locked in her closet

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

quite well... crazy actually

Im sewing a Duvet cover. Ive spread the quilt-like patturn out on the floor.
its made of two sheets. one sheet is white and has some white embroidery and some white lace...
one sheet is white with small blue flowers... the sheet with blue flowers is flannel and old... so soft because its flannel and so soft because its old.

i cut them up, into squares and rectangles and stripes and arranged them like a queen size comforter sized collage on the floor.
and this will be the second day that im spending sitting in the collage with a seam of it turned backwards and upside down across my lap.

The needle that im sewing with is blackened on the tip; no doubt because my mom used it at one point to remove a splinter from my brothers or my finger...

At some point in my training as a human being i picked up the piece of subtlety that tells me that this should be symbolic... this blackened, sterilized, poisen, or pain removing tool

that im using now to build a blanket.
that im using now to build a thing.
to entertain myself
to put something into my days
to put a splinter back into my finger
because thats where the interest is...

Dont worry im not pricking my fingers with it on purpose...

im entertaining myself with the idea of fourteen year old brides to be, sewing wedding sheets and wedding shoes and wedding gifts, for their doweries, out of silk, for their husbands, for their children, for their beds.

the truth is that these thoughts float by me while i sew.
i see the thoughts, i put them in neat words, i think about maybe blogging about them
but as soon as i do
they become lies
isnt that odd.
maybe that will change one day.
but for now,
that fact that i think in words, and sometimes in diologue
that fact that i think in themes
and sometimes in rhyms
or rythym
or alliteration
...though never in spelling or punctuation
these facts make everything quite... well crazy actually.

who am i thinking for?

and thats why i sew.

and paint the walls.

painting the walls is the best...

i painted the walls while i waited to hear from purchase, to hear weather or not i had gottan in.

and when i got waitlisted i kept painting

and when i got accepted i stopped.

and the the kitchen was white.

and now people visit and say 'you know, your house feels like a beach house.'

and now theyll visit my bedroom and say 'i like your quilt.' and ill say 'thank you, i made it.' and they'll say 'no way!'

or maybe ill wait for them to sit on my bed.

theyll lie down and their toe or maybe a clip in their hair will get snagged on my loose stitching

and then theyll say "omgod did you make this?!" and ill smile with my lips together in that way that makes me feel like a little girl, and ill nod and get into the bed with them.

...and as long as we're being comoletely truthful, after that i will probably bring my laptop under the covers with us and read them this blog post... and depending on how truthful im feeling that day, i will either omit this last bit, or leave in it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

At Gloaming

INT. CAR- 5:00.
KATRINA:we're going to have like one hour of lake.
KATIE: but we'll be there at sunset.
KATIE: magic hour. its the best time to film, there's skylight not sunlight... wait. is gloaming a real word?
KATIE: use it in a sentence.
KATIE: is it like 'at the gloaming?' or 'at the gloaming of the day?' or... like 'in the morning.' is it 'in the gloaming?' gloaming.
KATIE: at the gloaming?
KATRINA: at gloaming.
(first of all... dont have characters named katrina and katie in the same screenplay.)


She floats on her back and looks at the sky. All she can see is sky.
(never say that in a screenplay... it doesnt mean anything... 'all she can see..' how do we know that thats all she can see? how are you going to show it in an image? All-she-can-see is not a thing... i suppose saying:
POINT OF VIEW SHOT: up at the sky, only the sky, nothing but sky... that might be acceptable.)

she has positioned herself directly in this spot, with much arm paddling and eye focusing (i suppose this could be narration...)
NARRATOR: she has positioned herself intentionally in this spot, in the center of this bit of lake, a good distance away from the shore, and a equal distance from the little rock island.
HIGH ANGLE- shes floating on her back, squinting at the pink and blue and white sky.
HER, V.O. Floating in a reflection of the sky is almost as good as floating in the sky. i like it when i think about water and realize that its strange. i like realizing that things are strange.

KATIE: put your face really close to the surface

they swam towards the shore,

KATIE:see how it looks?...

It looks like glass... but that’s not new.
It looks like hot moving liquid glass, but you know that... but think about it.
How completely impossible is water?
There's so much of it... and it moves and you can fall through it...

and then back on the shore, on the sheet, eating pasta with our fingers, quickly before the others get back from the tiny rock island. eating with our fingers
KATRINA: before civilization returns.

and we ate cheese and ginger snaps and someone defined the term: Metafiction
'...more than fiction. beyond fiction' she said

They sit as far forward on the edge of the platform as they dare.
they have not removed their shoes.
they rest thier shoes on the top of the water and let the water float the rubber souls , and their feet go up and down. the water feels like plastic, like a fabric parachute or a trampoline
and she imagines how much more room there would be in the world if we could walk on water.