Saturday, November 18, 2006

Something Missing and Bad Omens

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction) Part 21

This morning, thinking it might be a Tarot card, I pulled my wind blown fortune from an ivy bush. It was the four of spades.

I’ve not been able to shake the uncleanly feel of watching this middle aged man, very nondescript, basic dark blue windbreaker and cheap slacks, thinning mousey brown hair—look over his free copy of the newspaper with this predatory stare at a young blond, maybe 19, a sleepy student. He looked like his was imagining eating her alive.

I saw him a bit later going into Peet’s for expensive coffee.

I was reading an article in the December Vanity Fair about the art phenomenon in Paris, François-Marie Banier who was a gorgeous young man when he was my age. He has his own chef now and paints as well as having written novels, very bad plays and has been selling photographs for lots of money for almost 20 years.

He says, “And I was never as beautiful as they say I was. I was so angry, I had so much fire, acknowledging my beauty would have meant losing my strength. I would not have been able to fight my battles. But since psychoanalysis, I have lost my anger, and I have no more anxiety. Until I was 35, I kept the same face I had at 18. And now—I look like garbage! But I feel free—completely free.”

Martin Amis talks about something called “Higher Autobiography” in his memoir “Experience”.

“Writing about writers, writing about writing:…compulsive self-circlings…Something was missing:other people.”

Banier’s diary, which is rumored to be a masterpiece of social observation is to be published serially in France. He was a master at fawning on old, ancient artists past their day, Horowitz, Capote, Beckett but now hangs out with Johnny Depp and Kate Moss.

Amis says, “I knew Higher Autobiography was truly if temporarily unavoidable when I watched my father (Kingsley Amis) following down that road, against his inclination, against his past practice, and against his stated principles. He didn’t want to go there, but he went.”

Christian tells me there is a new open mic in town at a bar not far from where I work on Monday nights. He says I’ll hate it because it is a very smoky bar but that they will love my work and that I need to feel that people can love my work.

I don’t want to go there.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Throwing Javelins at the Moon

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction) Part 20

It has been so wet and miserably weird out we haven’t had much traffic at the Gelato place. Even though there are some big readings at Powell’s these days. Writer celebrities.

I guess you could say I am a loner but mostly because it is cold in the ballroom where I live, it is the season of men. I would be stating the obvious to say they are so predictable in their sexual fantasies. The creepy thing now is that even I, at 23 am getting too old.

But still, I’ve spent days lately with my hands wrapped around a cup of herbal tea at Howard’s condo in front of the fireplace. He builds a lovely fire and uses real wood. Wasteful and divine.

It is too miserable even to go skiing. I like cross-country and ice skating but for some reason never took to downhill. I love hanging out in the lodge while Mr. God’s Gift to Man is off on the slopes. The snow still amazes the San Francisco girl in me, a place where it never snows. I always want to make angels. Someday I will.

I used to go out to the tiny ice rink by the ocean in The City before they tore it down. It was my secret place during the last bad year at my aunt’s house. On Sunday mornings it was my church of ice.

It was just the ancient lady all in pink with too much lipstick on and me; she of course had her own skates. I rented mine, like I rented the time away from the craziness at home. They always always played classical music and it would just be the two of us going round and round with a little fog from the ice and if we were lucky some slanting sun through the skylights.

I can still smell that ice and the rotting old wood of the place and stale popcorn and wet socks. Hear the slam of the lockers as the kids and their young moms started to arrive for Hockey practice.

Once I thought I’d write a series of poems about the girl they found frozen in ice a few years back on a mountain in Peru or Ecuador. She was a sacrifice, the ice maiden, a blow to the head. Those mountaineers carried their perfect cargo oh so carefully all the way down the mountain. A pawn frozen in time. A missive from our past.

Last year this time we were just finishing up Christian’s chapbook and getting ready for his reading at Borders.

I used to think a featured reading meant something. We argued for weeks about self-publishing and how it was a kind of selling out. Now it is all anyone really every seems to do except for the chosen few. And that has nothing to do with their work.

I finally finished reading the Marge Piercy book. In the end she whines about how hard it is to be her and have to work still at making a living after all these years.

Some days I wonder if the ice maiden, however roughly and then reverently handled by her keepers, didn’t have the better end of the deal.