Wednesday, September 30, 2009

planet of the earthquakes

Good morning shaky planet.  So much damage in the shifting plates the last few, the raining and the flooding.   Autumn is letting us know. . .  Morning fog, cooler evenings, people wearing jeans.  I closed the window before bed for the first time last night since May.  I don't need to refill the hummingbird feeder every few days, they aren't dehydrated anymore. All the little signs in the shift.

If you'd like to see me live on the internets tonight I will be reading the poem I was commissioned to write by the local PBS station for the Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony.  It will be streaming live around 6pm California time.  I'll be reading my poem, Among Heroes, at the end of the program.  It will be archived as well and air on KPBS on Saturday October 10.  My current dilemma is: vintage Mexican sequined circle skirt and gold blouse with red shoes or vintage black/red smock dress with the patent leather black strappy heels?

Yesterday at the rehearsal I felt SO comfortable on stage!  All that rehearsing last week for ProClitvities and then performing in the skimpy little slip I wore, I don't think anything can faze me now.  (famous last words)

I'm excited about heading up to Berkeley in a couple of weeks to visit Geoff Bouvier. We've been chatting and planning a couple of days meals with other poets and used-book shopping.  I miss having him in San Diego. I'm sure we'll bicker half the time but as long as good conversations fill the rest, I'm fine with that.

Days are good.  I'm happy and at peace.  Last night B made tacos while I worked on editing poems.  At a few points I stopped to check in with myself to see if I was holding any tension or anything else in my body, I wasn't.  I am in a very good place.  Yay!

Mazzy Star

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

we are bound by symmetry

I didn't drink coffee all day yesterday, I don't think I'll try that again. I was so cranky I could hardly stand myself.  Until I took a 2 hour nap.

Only two days left until my week is less crazy, I can't wait. I have a full plate and am not hungry at all for any of it.

I wonder if my life will rattle when my outside obligations are fulfilled.  I've been busier than I have been in a very long time. A part of me enjoys the frenzy, another part of me misses staring at the popcorn ceiling above my sofa. I also miss evening drinks at the Whistle Stop or Hamiltons with the friends I've been neglecting.  Andy, Sh'Beck, drinks forthcoming!

After the obligations, I still have much to do.  Rewriting some danged poems, getting my novel ready for the critique group, putting things in the mail.  The Book Fair is this weekend.  I have a pile of books I'm dying to read.  I have some new things in my head that are begging to be written. But first I'll require many hours of nothing, of baths, of B making me waffles & tea, of dancing around the apartment with the windows open.

Also, BEST drunk dial ever last night from my ex-boyfriend's best friend, calling, mumbling about missing me & something about brown babies. I could hear the x laughing in the background.  Happy I am to inspire late night, whiskey fueled calls.  I almost wish I could have kept the x for his friends, almost.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

floating, in sleep, in joy

I just got home.  What. A. Weekend.  First of all SO MUCH LOVE to everyone who came out to the shows Friday ad Saturday night.  I can't believe how beautiful it was, I am in awe.  Thank you fellow performers, thank you director, Virginia Grise, thank you producer Reina Prado.  Thank you Highways.  OKay, now I feel like an acceptance speech but THANK YOU phenomenal audience.  The love coming at us was mind-blowing.  I am delirious with joy.  Last night the performance was brilliant. I felt completely at peace in my body and work.

Today after the best best  night of sleep (and I was exhausted), I met with S. Erin Batiste and Elena Velasquez, my So Cal writing group.  We workshopped for a few hours at S. Erin's cottage and got a lot of work done.  I left energized and excited to re-write.

Then, I went straight to see La Bruja perform at the Centro Cultural de la Raza.  I am disappointed that San Diego turned out so few people to see her. But the audience that was there had a blast. Her performance was one of the best I've seen in years.  She was really funny, heartbreaking and inspiring.  I wish she was performing another night so I could tell everyone I know to go see her.  I'll never be able to head Rihanna's "Umbrella" again without transposing La Bruja's hilarious lyrics over it. 

*sigh*  What a life.  It doesn't end.  I have a ton of work to do this week too and haven't even thought about it.  More poetry.  More applications.   But tonight, a hot bath, a glass of wine and well-deserved, and needed solitude.

Que Te Besen

Saturday, September 26, 2009

world, hello

What a night! Last night was the first performance of ProClitvities at HIghways and it went well.  I went the space early to meditate for an hour before call to get my mind where it needed to be. I've neglected meditation and need to get more disciplined about it.  The show was great, everyone was on.  My friend V and his wife came which made me very happy because I didn't know anyone else in the audience.  I have a few friends and family coming tonight.  Note: the show WILL sell out tonight, there is no doubt in my mind.   So if you're planning on coming RESERVE a ticket.

Years ago, another lifetime really, I was very into theatre. It started in high school.  I was a dorky as hell freshman who decided on a whim to audition for a play and was given one of the leads. I fell in love.  It also helped that the nerdy theatre kids gave me a community.  They were creative, passionate, a little weird and welcomed me into their fold.  I needed that at that age, just having left the cult I was raised it.  I had no idea how to interact (I sometimes still falter) and the thespians totally made me feel loved and appreciated.  We were all freaks and outcasts. We wore black and smelled of patchouli. It also gave me a place to channel all that teenage angst.   Through the theatre dorks, I met other friends who started a club called Starving Artists, a collective of writers who would meet once a week at lunch to share our poetry, fiction and songs.  I'm happy to say at least four of us are still in touch and we have all continued to be creative and follow our passions.  One guy is doing comic books, another is writing and publishing academically, I'm doing my poetry and another woman is making a name for herself as a visual and performance artist.  I don't know what I would have done with myself had these seeds not been sown 16 years ago. 

I thought about this last night as I drove back to my aunt's house from Highways. I forgot the energy that comes with a performance.  Poetry readings are very different.  I usually sit in the audience before I go up, I read my poems, I get off stage, I only use my body as a mode of transportation: seat, stage, seat.  Last night as I moved through my pieces I felt centered and in it.  All of the performers shared that intense energy.  I felt connected to every single one of them. What an intimacy. Afterwards we laughed together and shared in the afterglow.  Even though I've only known these women less than a week (with the exception of Reina), I feel very connected to them.  I know its the same connectedness that comes from a new lover, all that adrenaline and excitement, but nonetheless, I'm happy to be feeling it.

I was drained last night after the show and slept deeply.  I'm staying in my cousin's bedroom and she has a life-sized cardboard cut-out of a certain male vampire (not Vampire Eric, alas!) at the foot of her bed.  When I woke up I thought someone was really standing at the foot of the bed and sat straight up to confront him.  Do not confront cardboard, it is weird.

I am excited about tonight.  I love the show.  I have my aunt and her friend coming tonight, two San Diego friends and one LA friend.  Yay!

Tonight, Tonight
The Smashing Pumpkins

Friday, September 25, 2009

from Los Angeles

Writing this morning from my aunt's house in Hermosa Beach. I woke up refreshed this morning and the first thing I thought was I need to get a new mattress.  What a difference a nice mattress makes.

Last night was the last proclitvities rehearsal. I'm pretty damn excited for the show.  I'm reading( I mean performing) many more pieces than I had originally planned but I'm okay with that. I'm very impressed with the other artists in the show.  The pieces are funny, emotional and provocative. I'm reading (performing!) eight poems.  If you can, please come.

It was lovely to come to my aunt's house last night after rehearsal.  She made me dinner, we had a bottle of wine and chatted (read: gossiped) about the family for a couple of hours.  Her husband was listening to a podcast on Seattle sports and I again told him how much he and B will get along since both are Seattle sports fanatics. (B--I got us tickets! Pho real, baby!)  I slept well and woke up refreshed.  

I had plans to work on some other poems today but forgot my notebook with notes/poems at the rehearsal space so I may just walk on the beach, do some reading and mentally prepare for tonight.

Girls! Girls! Girls!
Liz Phair

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So very, very tired this morning. Exhausted really.  I really shouldn't have driven home from LA so late last night.  But I have to help my dad out today and family comes first, in this case, before rest.  I'm a damn good daughter and a mostly good woman.

I have a lot of work to do on memorizing more pieces than I originally had planned, but I welcome the challenge. I also will welcome a nap later on today and maybe an hour at the spa.

I'm a fool to want you
Billie Holiday

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twitter has gone nuts on my gadget. You can follow me at until this stuff gets figured out.

my bottle full of charms

In San Diego this morning but heading back up to LA early this afternoon for more proClitvities rehearsals.

I am pretty damn happy this morning. Exhausted but happy.  I'm dancing around to PJ Harvey as instructed. Great lyrics. I love the term "dirty pillows."  They're called breasts mama! (my favorite line from Carrie)

Oh autumnal equinox!  You bring out the pagan in me!  On a day of the equinox, the centre of the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the Earth, night and day being of roughly the same length. 

PJ Harvey

Monday, September 21, 2009

red cage

Hello insomnia!  Goodbye appetite!  What gives?

Yesterday I went to the Body World exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Now every time I look in the mirror I imagine a red cage of blood vessels just below the surface of my skin. (And yes Cecil, I noticed what you noticed, we are third graders on the inside.)  The transparent fetuses in jars were pretty damn incredible.  I took notes as I always do in museums. I never realized how testicles beneath the skin have long stems and look like inverted tulips hanging from a man's abdomen.  I guess anything can be beautiful if you look at it the right way.

On my way to LA this morning for proClitvities rehearsals.  A part of me wants to come home every night but I know that is a lot of driving.  But, I have audiobooks and am into Allison Gopnik's The Philosophical Baby. Can I handle six hours in a car daily?  Maybe. Can my back handle it? Probably not.

Oh Damien, I give my gun away when its loaded too. . .

9 Crimes
Damien Rice

Sunday, September 20, 2009

someone save temptation

I've loved Iron & Wine for years,  Listening to The Trapeze Swinger tonight I heard the lyrics for the first time.  His voice hypnotizes and I forget to listen to what he is saying.  Here are a couple of my favorite stanzas:

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you're still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had some eloquent graffiti

Like 'We'll meet again' and 'Fuck the man'
And 'Tell my mother not to worry'
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry


Gleam and resonate just like the gates
Around the Holy Kingdom
With words like, 'Lost and found' and 'Don't look down'
And 'Someone save temptation'


So please remember me, finally
And all my uphill clawing
My dear, but if I make the Pearly Gates
I'll do my best to make a drawing

Of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl
An angel kissing on a sinner
A monkey and a man, a marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swinger

Mother of Pearl, I can't get enough.

Also friends, Costco toilet paper is from now on to only be used as a last resort.  I'm just saying. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Going through my photo files yesterday I came across a couple dozen shots of possible half life of memory covers. Some are horrible, others are funny, a couple wildly inappropriate.  I think at some point I'll post some of the best and worst on the blog.  My second favorite is currently the desktop image.

It was about a year ago I decided to get the title of the chapbook faux-tattooed on me.  I thought it would look great and I was right.  I went to a little tattoo shop in Chula Vista, explained what I wanted and somehow charmed the owner into letting one of his artists write on me.  They didn't even charge me.  I came home and took a bunch of shots myself, a couple came out great but they weren't what I wanted.  I called B, he came over and was pure business; within ten shots he had taken the one I wanted.  The "tattoo" on my collarbones made me really want to get a tattoo on my collarbones but I probably never will.

I love this song.  It doesn't start until 50 seconds into the video.  When I saw Eddie Vedder a year and half ago he played this song and it made me cry, on the inside.

Throw Your Arms Around Me
Eddie Vedder

Friday, September 18, 2009

just a thriller, thriller night

On four hours of sleep this morning after a fascinating, if slightly disturbing but eventually lovely evening.  It must have been the new moon. Sheeesh.  The second best part of the night was B finding an earring I love than has been missing since my birthday.  Can't wait to rock the super cuteness. 

I've been awake since 5am, I attempted to watch the sunrise but the marine layer got in the way.  I was awake to hear the birds waking up.  There is always one bird who is up before the rest of them and sings a wake-up call.  I love hearing how the rest of the birds get with it and start singing too.  Imagine how much nicer the world would be if humans woke up singing. Well, some humans.  I think some of my favorite memories from childhood are of my father coming into the room where my sister and I slept and singing us awake with his guitar.  I also loved watching him through the window at night after he had a bad day at work.  He would takenhis guitar to the backyard, sit alone under the orange trees he planted when I was born, and sing softly to himself.

I'm pretty damn excited for proClitvities next week. I'll be in L.A. all week getting ready for it. I haven't completely figured out where I'm staying but am sure I'll work it out. Part time with La Creep (helloooo Verdugo!) and part-time with my aunt on the beach. It will be nice to get away. Got to get someone to water the plants.

I had a long conversation yesterday with an old mentor of mine, Steve Kowit. I've known Steve now for about 11 or 12 years and love him dearly.  He always has great advice and throws in a little bit of ass-kicking.  We talked writing for a long time and then life a bit.  I always am energized after speaking with Steve.  He flips a switch inside of me and has always been encouraging.  

Also, I added my Twitter feed to the blog at the right.

I am SO shaking my hips to this, quietly.

I Want You To

Thursday, September 17, 2009

you found me

I had a good laugh looking at what people searched for when they found my blog.  I think "apartment smells like bananas" might be my favorite search term.  Also, hello Nebraska!  I don't know who you are who has visited my blog so frequently but thanks for the love. Not surprisingly the most hits I get come from people looking for Ayiiia.  Oh famous little friend of mine, thanks for the hits. I also get quite a few hits for the search term "civil war beards" and "poems about sharks." Fascinating.

I thought I was going out to dinner tonight but someone bought 3 pounds of brussels sprouts. Now I get to cook.  Vegluttony all up in this joint.

two pages ruin a day after making it

My computer crashed yesterday taking with it two pages of new writing I working on that I was very happy with.  The computer came back to life, the writing was gone. I cried and paced around, yelled and cried again.  I am bummed.  I really loved what I was working on and the energy that was feeding it disappeared with spinning beach ball of doom on this old but well-loved Mac of mine.  This machine also took a scholarship essay but I don't really care about that.  I have a call in to a friend of mine who works on Macs.  He almost killed me in the desert once so I figure he owes me one.

In my dreams last night a friend was over and reading my journals aloud to me.  I let him.  Even in the dream it was a feeling of extreme vulnerability, feeling more naked than naked, beyond anything I've felt before.  I woke up with a feeling of a fist in my chest, something clenching but breathed it out and slept until a friend forgot about our time difference and woke me up with an unexpected phone call.  Rattle rattle, shake shake. Good morning world.

The season finale of True Blood was okay.  I thought it was predictable to a certain extent and even told B what I thought was happening and was right.  In true Lizz fashion I dumped a full cup of scalding tea on B just as the show was starting.  Ah, me. No furniture is safe around me. I look forward to Season 3.  

Going to the Casbah tonight to see Gran Sasso play.  Dave, the drummer, is my favorite bartender ever and his band it pretty good.  

On day 3 of chocolate heaven.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I woke up in joy, my dreams were beautiful and I just feel sweetly alive.  My health has been off for a few days but this morning I'm feeling better than I have in a long time.  I have a couple of good books to lose myself in and a feast of chocolate.  Feast for the body and some for the wings inside.

B comes back today, he's been out of town since last week and I look forward to watching the last episode of "True Blood" with him late tonight.  I haven't even turned the television on in days to make sure I'm not tempted to watch it without him. Its one of the funny obsessions I have, the vampire show and watching it with my bestie.  I love vampires, always have, always will.

I love when the seasons begin to shift. Summer is still hanging on but I can tell that Autumn is starting to breathe itself in.  Little winds that are cooled, fog, the sun doesn't burn immediately. Summer is my favorite season but the fall of it is lovely too.  I don't like long sleeves or closed-toed shoes but the predictions for heavy rains this year have me excited.   I have these bright red galoshes I love to wear. . .

The Scientist
Aimee Mann

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The reading went well last night.  I was a little bit nervous but had fun, which is what counts.  I really liked the format with music in the background.  

I woke up with this song in my head.  How odd to wake up with my own name in my mouth. 

Ben Kweller

Monday, September 14, 2009

hello pain

I was in the emergency room last night with severe stomach pain.  I don't like hospitals but enjoy going to the ER with my sister.  For some odd reason, my family deals with fear, tragedy or grief with humor.  Despite the horrible pain I was in, I couldn't stop laughing with my sister.  I'm fine.  It could have been the early stages of appendicitis or severe indigestion.  I don't know what I could have eaten that would have caused me so much pain but I'm glad all that is over.  

Grumbling a bit over things I'm not eager to do but know I have to.  I can be extraordinarily lazy at times and I am one of those moods.  I am in the process of memorizing my piece for proClitvities, and psyching myself out for it.  I look forward to the event.

Tonight I'm reading for VAMP: Make-Out Party at the Whistle Stop.  We had rehearsal yesterday and there are some very strong writers involved in this thing.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

what the body does

The body, this body, has a tendency to go a little haywire on me.  Whenever I have a lot on my plate or my emotional state is somehow shifted, my body lets me know. I spend so much time in my head that I often forget that I am encased in a body as well. My shoulders and neck in particular, carry much of my tension.  I have to consciously remind myself several times a day to relax my shoulders and neck. Or just to relax in general.  

I'm preparing for the VAMP: Make-Out Party this Monday.  I very much look forward to it. Having worked in poetry for so long I am pretty excited to venture into a more narrative form, and non-fiction is something I really dig.  Storytelling.  The piece I'm reading is somewhat personal and I am a little hesitant but as Akira Kurosawa said Being an artist means never to avert one's eyes.  I'm not going to be particularly brave, especially considering the content of much of my poetry, but it is easier to hide behind language and form in poetry.  Poems work well when they have secrets.  Prose does too but I think an audience/reader is more likely to forgive or understand a level of emotional reticence in poetry. What fun is there is there is no mystery?

Words You Used to Say
Dean and Britta

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

calendar girl

I'm an odd mix of laziness and focus these days.  I neglect the blog because my mind is otherwise occupied.  I may look completely lazy on the outside but believe me, the wheels and turning and there is a whole lot going on.

Positive things are happening.  Next Monday night I'll be part of a performance called VAMP: Make-Out Party at the Whistle Stop.  I've had some poems accepted for publication, more on when they're available.   I'm part of a show at the end of the month in L.A. called proClitvities. Also I'll be letting you all know about a chance to see on television next month reading a poem I was commissioned to write. 

Times like these I neglect all sorts of things, my blog, my friends, my health and I focus on the writing and the process.  

I make myself a little bit crazy but then there is always the excuse that I'm an artists and I can be as blue or morose as I want.  

Treat Me Like Your Mother
The Dead Weather

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

family querida

My dad, and Grandparents singing Paloma Querida at fish taco night at 'ama Maria's house last night.  Gotta love the tortillas in the microwave and 'ama maria explaining how to fix fish tacos up.