Warming Her Pearls | Carol Ann Duffy

Sep. 24th, 2016 11:22 am
[personal profile] wakinghour posting in [community profile] poetry
Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm them until evening
when I’ll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,

resting in the Yellow room, contemplating silk
or tafetta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.

She’s beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.

I dust her shoulders with a rabbit’s foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.

Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head… Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way

she always does… And I like here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.

Showing the Birds | Mary Oliver

Sep. 24th, 2016 11:20 am
[personal profile] wakinghour posting in [community profile] poetry
Look, children, here is the shy,
flightless dodo; the many-colored
pigeon named the passenger, the
great auk, the Eskimo curlew, the
woodpecker called the Lord God Bird,
the . . .
Come children, hurry--there are so many
more wonderful things to show you in
the museum's dark drawers.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2016 09:53 am
marina: Spider Jerusalem of Transmet and his mutant cat are outraged (:O!!!)
[personal profile] marina
So, this happened earlier this week, and it was so all-consuming for about 24 hours that I couldn't find a way to write about it (where would I find a font big enough?!) and then it simply became weirdly irrelevant, a reality that was behind me, and I became consumed the anxiety over how things would go, and it was all too complicated and long to record here.

So: I HAVE FOUND A PLACE TO LIVE! I've signed a lease and everything!

It's the same place I talked about a few entries ago - thank you so, so much to everyone who offered their advice regarding the noise. I was too much a ball of stress to reply, but I read every single comment and it meant a lot to me.

Everything about the move is currently a source of anxiety for me - will it really be close enough to work not to fuck up my back? Are there traffic issues I'm not aware of despite my research? Will the noise ruin my life after all? What will living with a dude and an extrovert be like? What if there's parking issues I'm not aware of?

Everything is stressful and terrible lol. I mean, moving is stressful regardless, losing your apartment is stressful, living without your stuff for months is stressful. It's weird because I've been waiting to sign a lease like that will be the moment of deliverance, but in reality, moving will mean the start of an inherently stressful adjustment period, so. I mean it's definitely an improvement! I'm beyond thrilled to finally have a place! But it's just... weird how an entirely new set of worries has been introduced into my life.

Anyway, it's really happening! I will stop living in [personal profile] roga's guest room! Honestly after the clusterfuck of last year, I wasn't certain it would work out any better this time. BUT IT DID! I am amazed.

Next weekend and the week after it will therefore look like this:
* Friday + Saturday: moving. (Good luck to me to sleep on either of those nights.)
* Sunday (holiday): Rosh HaShana, my parents are hosting an all-day family event
* Monday (holiday): My friend who emigrated to Canada is back and coming to visit me!
* Tuesday (holiday): two other friends from out of town will be in Tel Aviv so I'll try to host them in my new apartment!
* Wednesday: Only going to work! Woo, "free" day!
* Thursday: work, followed by taking a train up north for a birthday party that starts at 7pm. Chances of coming back before midnight are slim to none.
* Friday (weekend): boss' boss' daughter's wedding, starts at noon, at a place that's at least a 50 minute drive away from my new apartment.

So it's gonna be uhhhh... busy. My goal for this weekend therefore is to do as little as possible. Gonna try to perfect my wet noodle impression.

Black Sails (sorta)

Sep. 18th, 2016 09:18 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
This weekend was the first really lovely weekend I've had in... ages and ages. On Friday I went on a 10 hour trip to Jerusalem with [personal profile] roga and two other people, and we walked around the Old City, visited both places I knew well and places that were entirely new to me (the Old City is nifty like that). Also we visited another friend and her German Sheppard, so between that and a delicious lunch my day was made. I also skipped an extended family thing, which was SUCH a correct and powerful decision. I feel like I'm always letting myself get dragged into last minute extended family stuff instead of resting or doing things I actually want to do, and saying no this one time, and being supported by my parents in saying no, was so refreshing and so wonderful.

On Saturday I lounged around at my parents' and then went to the beach, and it was so great. I let myself not worry too much about anything - the thesis, the apartment, my health, writing - and just pretend I had nothing but time to burn. I had roadside ice cream and my favorite tea and I watched garbage television, and it was just... so, so great. I can't remember the last time I had a weekend that combined carefree relaxation and being social and traveling.

Today is going to be long and exhausting (I literally drove to work while the moon was still visible in the sky, around 6am, and I'll still be doing gross stressful things at 10pm), and there's been some dramatic news at work (basically I and a few other people have been passed over for promotions, which sucks), but instead of talking about any of that, I'll just babble senselessly for a bit about Black Sails, a show I expected to be 94% garbage and turned out to be only 89% garbage, lol, so I still strongly do not recommend it unless you have my particular narrative kinks, in which watching clips and bits might be fun.

only tangentially about Black Sails, mostly about my pirate feels )

Think About | Barbara Angell

Sep. 18th, 2016 06:11 pm
[personal profile] wakinghour posting in [community profile] poetry
All those people you don't even know,
everybody, each one
a center of the universe,
all those skins.

Walking through a city at night
you see a light in a window,
a curtain flutters, a couple
making love, thinking
we're the first in the world,

or someone looking out on the street
humming a tune maybe, saying
I'm alone, the constellations
going around me,
I'm alone.

Love Sorrow | Mary Oliver

Sep. 18th, 2016 06:03 pm
[personal profile] wakinghour posting in [community profile] poetry
Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must
take care of what has been
given. Brush her hair, help her
into her little coat, hold her hand,
especially when crossing a street. For, think,

what if you should lose her? Then you would be
sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness
would be yours. Take care, touch
her forehead that she feel herself not so

utterly alone. And smile, that she does not
altogether forget the world before the lesson.
Have patience in abundance. And do not
ever lie or leave her even for a moment

by herself, which is to say, possibly, again,
abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult,
sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child.
And amazing things can happen. And you may see,

as the two of you go
walking together in the morning light, how
little by little she relaxes; she looks about her;
she begins to grow.

Cooking with my koko 2

Sep. 17th, 2016 11:09 pm
eccentricyoruba: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba
I tried cooking rice this time!

Coconut rice the Nigerian way )

taiga13: by jackshoemaker (Little Red Riding Hood)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
did you know
sand dollars grow heavier skeletons
in rough water?

& did you know
young sand dollars
can’t make themselves heavy enough
so they eat pebbles
to weigh their bodies down?

& did you know
the things
that
I
have
swallowed
just to keep this body
safe from the current?

& did you know
when I say the current
I mean
this body;

& did you know
there is a man
I can only talk about in metaphor,
the way his tattoos
make an avalanche
of my mouth

(even now)

& did you know
there are whole years
I have dropped
to the bottom of an uneasy ocean;

& did you know
this is how we evolve?
Hunted girls
grow shells
& they call us
hard women.”

As if survival
could ever be delicate.

As if we haven’t been chewing rocks
for generations.

As if we haven’t been rebuilding
our own bones.
 
From Forgive Me My Salt by Brenna Twohy, available here

apartment dilemmas

Sep. 14th, 2016 08:40 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I was going to make a fun rec post of things I've consumed recently that others might enjoy, but. I am in the throes (yet again) of apartment consideration drama, and it's honestly all I have in my head and I need to process, so. I don't even if any of you can offer any advice - but if so, feel free - but I just need to write this all out so it's not constantly swirling around in my head.

considerations )

(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2016 11:08 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I had a good birthday day! I intend to stretch the birthdayness out the whole week. It was nice and cloudy in the morning so I put on makeup even! And dressed nice. I had popcorn chicken for lunch, and hung with some of the new internationals a bit. Then I chilled in my office doing emails, and at 3 met with a couple of people to check out the new library exhibit on utopian fiction. It didn't take long and so I went to the Botanic Gardens with one of the new students, and we then went to a 4pm reception of the exhibit. Then Maurisa, Javi, Eric and I went to dinner at Tio's, and Javi suggested we go get some cake and he bought me a huge tres leche cake. Maurisa had baked me some brownies so we went to get it, and Javi's dog, and back to my complex where the dog could run around and we could eat at one of the picnic tables.

People apparently dig my voice when it is broken by a severe cough which is weird.

Also while I like dressing up and all, turns out I am so much more comfortable in t-shirt and shorts and sneakers. I started with a nice blouse and beautiful long skirt, and finished with my Azn Trek shirt, shorts, my new running shoes (which I have described as my "young, scrappy and hungry Pokemon trainers") and my Blak Trek sweater.

My dad got me a little vacuum robot thing! It's an iRova K6L and while it's not as clever as a Roomba, it does the job. It keeps coming into the small corridor of the bedroom doorways and sometimes wants to get onto the carpet of my bedroom because I have my door open, and sometimes I have to pick it up and move it elsewhere like an intractable turtle. It's great, it is doing better than I expected. It's supposed to come with its own wiping cloth but there are only 3 of them, now 2, because I've used it to death, and I'm testing it out with one of the Swiffer dry cloths to see if that works as well.

My sick is still abiding, so I'm going to have a lot of fruit smoothie and rice porridge (I figure I should get all the Vitamin C) until it goes away.

Hopefully I get to LA tonight to see Nisi read from EVERFAIR!

green tea survival

Sep. 12th, 2016 09:58 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I've finished another draft of the thesis and sent it to my adviser. Despite this now being out of my hands I'm still extremely nervous and anxious about it, because... well, let me paint you a picture of my mental state by the time the draft was done.

I spent a weekend, and then another weekend, and then two days I took off work and then two more days I took off work working on this draft from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I didn't have a social life, I didn't even answer texts from friends during that time. And remember, my life was already hellish. I'm already in pain and all my stuff is in storage and I don't have a place to live and I'm apartment hunting. It's August in Israel and I spend most of my days in a room with no A/C. And remember, my adviser has already shit all over my earlier draft, which I worked SO HARD on, back when I had an apartment and wasn't as busy and frazzled as I am now. And remember, this time I don't have my own desk, I don't have my own chair, I don't have my computer, I don't have a shelf for my notes. All my research and editing is constantly shuffled between places, while I try to steal away a semi-comfortable set up that my back won't rebel against after twenty minutes.

So, remember all of that? Well, writing this draft has meant giving up all of my remaining coping mechanisms. What little time I had to spend with friends, to write my stories, to do literally anything but focus on stressful, terrible things.

And my mental state... I don't know. I did all it was possible to do with that draft. I don't know if that'll be nearly good enough.

Anyway, Saturday was the last day I worked on the draft. I hadn't been sleeping well for days, which added to a growing sense of hysteria, and I knew that if I didn't finish this shit by Saturday I'd finish it months from now.

So, Saturday afternoon, working at my parents' on my dad's computer, I went into the kitchen and started making myself a cup of tea. I'd indulged while writing the thesis, and used the tea I got through a friend of a friend directly from China. If you're not a green tea addict, or you've never tasted green tea purchased in China, let me assure you it is far superior to anything sold in the West. Yes, even in the fancy pricey tea shops, the ones that tell you a whole story about where in China their tea came from. I've literally bought fancy pricey Chinese green tea in dozens of shops in like 5 countries on 3 continents and it was all garbage compared to the tea I've gotten from random people - not even tea drinkers - who bought random reasonably priced green tea in various parts of China.

So, I've gotten tea directly from China, through family and friends, twice in my life, and it has been the most amazing tea I've ever tasted. It's more precious than gold as far as I'm concerned, because I have NO WAY to replenish it, which is especially painful to think about now, when my back means traveling even to nearby countries is a problem.

So there I stood, in my parents' kitchen, with this open metal tin of tea, staring down at it as I realized I... didn't have much of it left. I've been drinking so much of it while working on my thesis, it's nearly gone. I have enough for less than 10 cups, probably, which is nothing. When I'm working on the thesis I drink at least 5 a day.

And I can't really tell you why that thought just... overwhelmed me with despair. I guess it's always the little things? You prepare yourself to handle the big things, but the little ones you're just defenseless against. But something in me was like "what is even the point of living in this world if I can't have tasty green tea anymore? How am I even supposed to go on?" And that thought was so overwhelming and so unshakable, like the bottom of that tin was just this pit of despair I was getting ever closer to and didn't know how to climb out of, and I just... walked around the apartment for a while like "I have to get more of this green tea or what is even the point of living" and it truly felt like this imperative. I didn't even care about when I'd be able to get more green tea from China, I just needed to know that at some point I'd have more. I needed hope. I just couldn't deal with not having hope anymore.

Anyway, I started going over the options in my head and remembered [personal profile] the_grynne spent some time in China and might be able to help out, and it ended up getting sorted, but. Nothing about that thought process was reasonable. But that's where I was on Saturday, and I knew I had to finish the draft and send it before waking up for work at 6am on Sunday. It had to be done or it would never be done.

*

So, instead of a sense of relief or freedom now that the draft is sent, I'm mostly filled with... blankness and anxiety. I don't know if this draft will be good enough, in light of the disaster of last time (a friend has correctly pointed out that the biggest problem last time was that I wrote the thesis like a sociologist rather than anthropologist ("you could represent your findings using a TABLE and CHARTS" was my adviser's greatest complaint) and this time I did a lot more research on the anthropology angle, but. but. Who knows. It'll probably be a disaster again /o\), and if it IS a disaster I don't know what happens then because the deadline for submitting is the end of October and my adviser is on sabbatical next year so who knows what the fuck will happen to me.

Meanwhile, while I was climbing ever deeper into despair, my other attempts at clinging to hope included pitching a review of Killjoys (pitch was accepted, so I have a few weeks now to get that done) and buying tickets to Nine Worlds.

Nine Worlds is a fannish con in London, in August. I have no time off in August, London is hot (and not generally air conditioned) and schools are out which is basically... the worst time to be a tourist, considering I have tons of time off in October when pretty much everywhere is less crowded and less expensive.

But. They were having a (very very) early sale, and the price seemed reasonable and I told myself, if my health and everything else doesn't pan out by next year I'll just sell the ticket. The price has gone up already, so I'm confident I'll be able to find someone to take it off my hands in a few months?

Meanwhile, if you're planning to be at Nine Worlds next year (because obviously everyone plans these things a year in advance, right?) do let me know so I can further enhance my fantasies of what being there will be like.

*

I still don't know how I've survived the last two months. Honestly. I need about two weeks off right now, and instead I'm here, at work, with many more work days between me and the weekend. Still so much shit to get through this week, sigh.

But, anyway. That's where I'm at.

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2016 06:37 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Dammit.

I don't want to apply for jobs in the States because frankly I have no interest in remaining in the States, but a TT asst prof job in science fiction studies just opened up in Florida and argh.

I should at least try?
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