Friday, May 28, 2010

10 for Friday morning

1. The reading went well last night. I read my piece and was happy with it. The other performers did a good job. The audience said "awwww" at the part I thought they would.

2. The full moon had me in a hell of a mood. That and the PMS monster.

3. B is very, very patient with me and my occasional tantrums. Thank you B. You're a great friend.

4. Old ghosts abound. I'd rather not remember.

5. This morning I video-chatted for an hour with my old mentor in Mexico. He is fighting cancer but looks good. He had a kitten crawling all over him which made me smile. He would have made me smile sans kitten, he always does. One of these years I'm going to sit for a portrait by him. His paintings ring something inside of me.

6. Don't mix beer, champagne and whiskey.

7. I'm trying to change the conversations I have with myself.

8. A mockingbird has taken up residence near my window. His song reminds me of being a teenager and jumping out my window at night. The neighborhood would be silent except for a mockingbird who imitated car alarms. I'd watch stars and smoke.

9. I'm curious as to why the hummingbirds aren't coming to my feeder.

10. I'm trying to look at things with new eyes but old patterns are a curse.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

windows

I slept with 2 windows open last night. I hope this is something I can do often. I want Spring. I want to put away long pants until September.

Last night before sleep I was sitting on my balcony and the first line of a poem came to me. I took my computer to bed and had a first draft in ten minutes. I said what I wanted to say. I haven't looked at it this morning, nor will I for a few days but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be happy with it.

In my dreams last night I was at the bottom of a deep swimming pool. I would shoot up for air, see all the people gathered around the edge and let myself sink back to the bottom. It was quiet. Looking up towards the surface the light was a silver and danced something like mercury. I could breathe underwater. I enjoyed the weight of the water against my skin.

I'm reading tonight at the Whistlestop for So Say We All's V.A.M.P.

Monday, May 24, 2010

done, kind of

I did it. I wrote for 9 hours. I was pretty dang exhausted but did it. I didn't think I would make it. I woke up really early yesterday, and danced around my apartment to music for an hour. I wasted all that good energy on dancing instead of writing. Here are the poems! Of course, these are all first drafts and not perfect. I have a few I'm not posting, namely Shar and Patita, you know I can't post yours. Tree, I'm struggling with your ending. But I'm on it.

Ass-Kicking
for Linda

there is of light released when we lift our legs

to swoop a foot in the direction of a proverbial ass.


it is in the spiral helixes of our DNA, whirling ecstatic,

the summits of our strength peaking, how damn


good we look with the reins in our hands, riding each

beast of an adventure into the next. smart asses like us


raise hell and are effervescent in our loving, flowers

in our teeth, shaking our hips at the skeptics shaking


their heads and clucking their tongues at us, if they’d

let us, we could show them what tongues were made for,


our words are adored, our wet brains glisten in our skulls,

we are the brilliant creatures mythology is made of.


let the rest suffer their mundane lives, we’ll continuing

being the light which makes the dark of this life bearable.



Dearest Enemy

for Drew


Dearest Enemy,


I know, darling, sweetheart, baby,

life hasn’t gone the way you wanted,

no one recognizes you anymore and

you one day woke up to find you were

the cranky old man shaking his rake

at the leaves drowning the lawn, or

the woman who had grown used to

being the prettiest girl in the room

and suddenly they stopped looking.

You want your world back, you’re

tired of strange faces, you worry

when they speak that language they

speak of you with pity. Love,

we all want the same things, a life

lived well and without hunger. That

fear you know so well? Imagine

walking into every room as an other,

the face strangers have attached

hatred to because it is easier to close

a door than it is to open it. Imagine

then loving, chinking out holes in

the wall you’ve built to protect

yourself from the unknown, imagine

new air entering your body, the

cobwebs unsticking, blowing away.

Imagine each stranger you meet is

a child, imagine you are this child’s

sibling, think of this life as a field where

you can chase each other, invent a

secret language of intimacy, unlearn;

remember you shared a womb.

Imagine that each time you accept

someone the light inside of you

brightens, imagine how much

easier your life will be unencumbered

by hatred. I look forward to being

loved.

yours,

everyone.



Playa del Carmen

for Cher


I found a photograph the other day,

taken ten years ago next month.

I’m on a boat in a little blue bikini,

the water is turquoise, sand white.

I’m leaning into that petulant hunky German

who, for that summer, claimed me as his own.

God, I loved being claimed like that.

You told me back then about your Mexico days,

how years later you regretted one man and

your regret was that you didn’t give into him.

Thank you for the warning against caution,

I was such a kid, I can’t imagine what it was

like to watch me put my hands in the fire,

I like to think it was beautiful, saying yes

to every pretty thing in my path, gazing at the

world through the green glass of beer bottles.

I had no perspective and am grateful I didn’t,

I wouldn’t have ridden off like that with him,

I wouldn't have taken off my clothing

and learned how it felt to swim naked

in the ocean at night with an impatient lover.

I faced the disappointed eventually and learned

to shutter the hurt in but wow, I was something, no?

thank you for encouraging me in all my joyous recklessness.


Boomerang

for Kristin


I was relieved that first day in Kansas

to enter your home and see your painted floor,

the wild array of shelves, books and color,

the first time I heard you laugh I knew

we’d be friends, our dork years in common,

literature; soon the phone lines were

buzzing with stories, you patient and frustrated

along with me the year I learned the hard way

a wolf can lose his teeth but not his hunger.

What I always come back to is your face

when you saw the red-haired brown children

playing at the wharf in Mexico; I was still

raw with devastation that day and wanted to

cry when I told you that’s how I imagined

my children would have looked like, and

how badly I wanted for us to be sisters.

That night we danced wildly to a cover band,

drank beer with your students and laughed

at how it all turned out, all that love I gave

your brother boomeranging through the

bloodlines, returned to me through you.




Sunday, May 23, 2010

all day long

Sponsor me! Blazing Laptops is today. 9 hours of writing. I look forward to writing poems for those of you who sponsored me. Thank you!

I fell asleep really early last night and in my dreams I woke up in a hotel and went to the roof to watch the sunrise over an airport. I was preparing to write. Even in my dreams, writing is important. Nice.




Saturday, May 22, 2010

gray saturday

Lovely gray Saturday. I'm happy the sky is overcast and the the day is cool. It is a stay in bed kind of day.

I rehearsed my piece for V.A.M.P. this morning. I know how I want to change it but don't have the energy today, but I will tomorrow.

Today is for sleeping.



Friday, May 21, 2010

over the mountain, singing

Lovely advice from William Zinnser from the American Scholar. I enjoyed his On Writing Well.

Im rehearsing my piece for V.A.M.P. tomorrow. Yesterday I told my sister about it and she laughed her ass off, which was pretty fucked up. She asked me why I had been so dumb and I had to remind her I was twelve years old. I actually teared up, 19 years after the prank was played on me. Emotions are such strange monsters with long tentacles. No wonder I'm often such a walled city. I had an idea on how to rewrite my piece and may try to do that this afternoon.

Blustery weather predicted this weekend.

Today I am going to try to use scatological in a sentence.

Renounce temporal obligations. If you sing to me, Brendan Perry, I will do pretty much anything.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

sweet nerd I am

I'm in nerd mode. Woke up and read this article about how overworking is bad for the brain. Well, duh. I didn't need to read the Harvard Business Review to know that. I don't ever overwork and my brain is fresh and delightful every day.

Or maybe not. I confused myself with my latest book purchase but in a potentially good way. A couple of years ago I was obsessed with Jonathan Lehrer's Proust was a Neuroscientist. I read his other book, How We Decide and liked it enough, though once you start reading the behavioral sciences, shit starts to run together. I decided I wanted more and confused myself with the title of his first book and bought one I hadn't noticed before. Because it was by a different author and I was drinking red wine whilst purchasing. But now I am about to dive into Alain de Boton's Consolations of Philosophy and am eager to be thrilled. Someone whose opinion I trust loves his work so I may as well find myself another author obsession since I've run dry on fantasy books for the moment. Also, I doubt it is good for my love life to have books with swords and fantastical creatures on the cover next to my bed.

I hung out with my lovely friends Becky and Mark last night and had some nice belly laughs. I don't have a lot of friends but the friends I do have are awesome. I need to get some face time with La Creep and Baby D soon. I miss them very, very much.

I'm reading a piece next week at So Say We All's V.A.M.P. at the Whistlestop. I haven't submitted anything to them for a while and am looking forward to it. This is the first piece I'm reading for them that isn't humorous. I has a hard time writing it the other night, all torn up with latent adolescent angst. But I got over it. I know the piece needs some work but hey! I have 9 hour of writing coming up this weekend. I was on SSWA's website yesterday. I have two videos up of performances but I haven't watched them. The one from December might be funny since I was drunk and yodeled but I still can't watch myself without cringing. I'm fond of self-awareness but only as long as I don't have to watch myself.

This was on heavy rotation yesterday. Yeah, I repeat myself. Get over it.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

notes

I'm taking notes on the poems I'll be writing this weekend for the writing marathon. I'm excited to get some work done. I'll be leading one of the sessions and I'm trying to figure out which writing exercise to use that will be appropriate for fictions writers, non-fiction writers and poets. Feel free to send me suggestions on what I should write about, even if you don't sponsor me, I'm feeling generous.

I caught the last song of the Morning Benders set last night. Broken Bells were okay but I wasn't really feeling it. I really wanted to be one of the people in a kayak, listening from the water.

Today is a Carlos Fuentes day. I'm going to dip into some of my favorite passages to get the language in my head.

I'm kind of in a daze.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goals

I reached my goal of $250 for the writing marathon yesterday, thanks to Drew Weinbrenner. I'm going to write him a great poem, though in truth he already inspired a really good poem back in January. Or the adventure he took me on inspired a poem I enjoy. I've never read the poem, The Russian Stripper Wants a Wife, at a reading but will perhaps put it into rotation. Drew, you owe me a CD from those cute buskers, btw. But if anyone out there would still like to sponsor me, please, please do.

I have an Aimee Mann poem brewing in me that I may have to work on during the write-a-thon. She may be the only musician I've listened to for years without taking any breaks. I'm a daily listener. Her song writing skills kill me. I love her voice as well but her ability to tell a story really blows me away. I've actually never seen her play. La Creep went last year and I really wanted to go but she was going on a date and third wheel is nothing I ever want to be.

Going to see The Morning Benders tonight. *happy dance*

Last night my Uncle Omar called to tell me he and my aunt are taking my recently widowed grandmother to San Miguel de Allende and my heart had a little attack of jealousy. I want to go. I want to revisit that little corner of my life, sit in the haunts, torture the old men.

Really good news forthcoming. Something I wanted fell into my lap and I am excited and terrified. I'm an adult! I'm an adult! Weird as fuck but awesome as well.





Monday, May 17, 2010

I

I'm better. Sleep and letting loose have made all the difference. Saturday night Andy and I went to see the Finches, but the show was cancelled so we went to a fancy dinner instead. It was great. Andy congratulated me on living, which I thought was kind of funny but the more I thought about it I realized I really have been hibernating very seriously for a while. The last couple of weeks, difficult as they've been, have kicked my ass into better things. Andy is one of the greats, one of those friends I am constantly happy to know. He fell into my life one drunk night at the Whistlestop years ago. I am grateful I was so drunk and that C left me there and I needed someone to walk me home. I'm glad it was Andy.

Sponsor me! Please. I want to write you poems.

I have a poem I was going to abandon writing but I sent it to a pen-pal poet friend and he encouraged me to keep working on it. I thought it was a half-assed poem but this morning received an email from beloved pen-pal poet friend who said he wished he had written it and he is a damn good poet. I was about to send the poem to my amputee folder but I'm happy I've been convinced otherwise.

Being convinced otherwise; I am a fan.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank You!

Those of you who sponsoring me for San Diego Writers, Ink Writing Marathon, THANK YOU! I'm more than halfway to my goal and hope to surpass it. So far I have a couple of great requests for poems that I am looking forward to writing. Please consider sponsoring me, you'll be helping out a great organization.

I've had this song in my head for two days. It is so damn gorgeous.

Friday, May 14, 2010

un-anchor-ed

My off period seems to be ending, though I am still without wheels and therefore, without work, or money. But I love solitude and I have been having a wonderful alone time. I wake up, water my plants, sit on my balcony with my cup of coffee and daydream. Emotionally, I am still exhausted but recharging. I haven't felt like myself in days, which actually has been good for me. I got out of a long rut and am ready to attack new adventures.

Benn tentatively working on a few new poems. My heart is sore at the loss of momentum in the short stories I was working on before everything went to shit. Late last night I was reading something I wrote in Mexico the last time I was there and I was pretty damn nostalgic for the intensity I was working with. It will return.

A blast from the past came back and saved my ass yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kareem Amin. And again, thank you.

I love this song.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

poet for sale

Friends, Lovers, Familia,

On May 23 I'll be participating in San Diego Writer's, Ink Blazing Laptops Writing Marathon. I will write for 8 hours straight, kind of like a blood drive but I'll be driving words. I need sponsors, the whole point of this is to raise money for SDWINK, a local non-profit for writers. So I am selling my words.

San Diego Writers, Ink holds great classes and workshops. I've met a couple of great experiences there, and even a roommate. And, I enjoy the classes. I'm currently on the board of directors and can tell you times are tough for a non-profit. We need your lovin'.

For a $50 donation I will write you a poem on any subject you want. Get creative, challenge me. Even if I hate the subject, for $50 I will write a poem on it, just for you. And your money. Unless I can go to jail for it, picky anything.

For a $100 donation I will write you a one page short story on any subject. You can show it to your friends and say "This is the story I had commissioned. . " Come on, you know you want one.

For $300, baby, you can have whatever you want, any way you want it. On the page.

When the writing marathon is over I'll publish the writings to my blog for the world to see, with your permission of course. When you make your donations email me at lizzhuerta at gmail dot com to tell me what your donation was and what you want me to write. If you can't afford a piece on your own have a friend co-sponsor a poem with you. I promise I'll write as if drunk.

Even if you can only donate $5 I will love you or at least pretend to for a moment.

here is the link to my donor page:

Thrill me, sponsor me. Thank you in advance.

::paz::
Lizz

Feel free to send this along to anyone you think would like to be a patron of my art. . .


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the strangeness

It has been the strangest, most challenging week of my life. Last night I finally broke down and had a good, hard cry. I don't think there was anything else I could do, I didn't have any emotional energy left. Things just kept piling on all week, even yesterday, the day after the funeral, things kept piling on and I finally lost my shit. I've had insomnia, no appetite and just the weirdest week I can remember. Monday night I went out with Andy and was telling him about it, trying to gauge if I was over-reacting but he said no, and I trust everything he says so I felt better. In this week of shit, there has been one good thing.

I haven't really written anything, except for my grandfather's eulogy. I'm a little bummed because I was writing a lot, and writing things I really liked. I know, grieving and all that takes up a lot of space but I'm still frustrated that I've lost my momentum. I started one poem this weekend but it got away from me because I was sharing a bed with my mourning grandmother who kept waking up to ask me if I was okay. I know when everything settles I'll be fine and the writing will come again but I feel like I've lost my anchor and I hate feeling unhinged.

But, this will pass and I have things to look forward to. I have good friends and a sense of humor. I'm going to start journaling again. I'm going to go for a walk. I sound like a Hallmark card, which makes me realize I really need to get out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

gah

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas, waiting for room service and working on the slideshow for my grandfather's funeral Monday. This week has been 90% horrible. It seems everything that could have gone wrong did. Death, arguments, misunderstanding, breaking my own rules. And today, my car broke down right when I was leaving to come to Vegas for my sister's graduation tomorrow. Looks like the radiator went out. I should be patient with the shit but I'm not. I'm annoyed as hell and cranky, cranky, cranky. I've had almost zero time to myself, tonight is the first time I've had any solitude. I have zero energy. I love my family but they can be draining, especially when I'm so used to being mostly alone all of the time.

Tomorrow my baby sister graduates and we'll celebrate this milestone in her life with food and drink. I'll welcome the joy of the occasion. The next day we drive home for my grandfather's wake and we bury him on Monday. I've had no time to even grieve, though I'm sure I'm putting my grief into other actions. I am so, so grateful for other actions.

My cousins left the hotel room a little while ago and I played Roy Orbison's Crying because it was one of my grandfather's favorite songs. I couldn't even cry, I'm too tired. I also have to write something to say at the service on Monday. This week can't be over soon enough. But, I have work to do. Sad face. Grumble, grumble.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

George Brosz


Yesterday was a very odd day and I am still reeling from it. Sunday night I dreamt my grandfather died, it was a brief dream, I woke up for a minute then fell back asleep. When I woke up yesterday his favorite song, Paloma Querida, was in my head and I posted it as the song on my blog. Not even five minutes after I posted the song, my mom called to tell me my grandfather, George Brosz, had just passed away. I was with him a week ago in Sinaloa.

Grandpa George wasn't my blood grandfather but he was my grandfather and the man who raised my father and his siblings. Grandpa was born in South Dakota and moved to California in his youth. He fought in World War II in the army and always had great WWII stories, including dancing with Queen Elizabeth at a USO dance. He lost his right index finger while in the Army but not in battle, a roommate of his was playing with a grenade and dropped it. My grandfather was the only one who walked out of the room. He had all sorts of other survival stories. One night when he got up to pee he heard a crash and when he turned around an unexploded shell had landed squarely in his foxhole. He said he was being watched, that he believed God had plans for him. After the war he went to Berkeley and studied engineering and then worked for CalTrans, surveying roads.

In 1956 he was at a Tijuana restaurant when he fell in love with his waitress, a pregnant Mexican woman, my grandmother. My grandmother had fled her philandering husband in Sinaloa and was waiting tables, pregnant with her fourth child. My grandfather didn't care that they didn't speak the same language or that she had 3 children, including my father, and one on the way, he married her. They went down to Sinaloa and got the rest my grandmother's children and he brought them north. After arranging all the paperwork, he brought the entire family to San Diego. My grandmother and Grandpa George had three more children of their own. According to my dad and his non-Brosz siblings my grandfather always treated him like they were his own children and they loved him like a father.

My earliest memories of my grandfather are of me staring at the stump where his right index finger used to be and being fascinated by it. He always drank black coffee and smelled like Dial soap. He used to cut a cantaloupe in half, scoop the seeds out and fill the follow with vanilla ice cream, I thought it was the most magical thing. He loved telling jokes, dirty jokes especially and would often repeat the jokes over and over again but I loved him so much I didn't care. He loved food, he loved red wine. He loved taking his grandkids out to breakfast at Aunt Emma's pancake house. We loved being around him.

I'll miss him. He was a really great man and his love for my grandmother was a beautiful thing. He called her Goldis. When he was a kid in South Dakota he heard Mexican music on the radio and loved it. When he was an adult he fell in love with all things Mexican but he really had a thing for the music. Last week in Sinaloa he was singing along with the mariachis, drinking beer and tequila and eating freshly roasted pork. He lived every last drop he could, no apologizing.

Grandpa George and I had a few jokes between us that I really loved. When I was in my early twenties he was very concerned that I had ever been baptized and would always try to talk to me about getting baptized. One day I finally lost my temper and told him Grandpa, I'm never getting baptized. Deal with it! As soon as I said it I felt bad because I had snappedat him but he started cracking up. From then on every time I saw him he would shout Deal with it! I also had a gag with him that he always laughed at, I would look at his right hand, gasp and cry Grandpa! What happened to your finger? He thought I was hilarious.

He always supported me in my writing. When I was a teenager and writing really horrible poems he asked to see them. I showed them to him, even though I felt weird about it. After he read them he told me he didn't understand any of them but that I was a really good writer, that he could tell I was a deep thinker and he was very proud of me. He always asked me about my writing and gave me confidence early on to write. He said he always knew I was going to be a famous writer, he was very sweet in his encouragement.

When I was a teenager he also gave me advice about drinking. He said Elizabeth, only drink on two occasions, when you're alone or when you're with somebody.

I know I don't know all the details of his life and his children and other family members probably have a ton they can fill in. But I loved him, I love him. I'll miss him and his dirty jokes, the perpetual glass of red wine in his hand, his telling me to deal with it. While I was in Mexico the last couple of months he was tired, I could see he was getting ready. He slept a lot and spent a lot of time quietly contemplating things. He talked to me briefly about death, he wasn't scared. Every afternoon he would get into his wheelchair and wheel himself out on to the porch so he could see the sun set. He never wanted to miss a sunset. He was a beautiful man.

pay attention at 42 seconds, this was the only song he sung along to.

Monday, May 3, 2010

tingly

I have had a weird energy in me the last few days and I don't know why. I haven't felt poorly but just off. I'm not sleeping as well as I should and I wake up with a weird energy in my body, a swirling almost. Before I fall asleep I feel my soul is flying out of my body, backwards and hovering above me, many miles above the earth. Maybe I have dengue fever too but I have too much energy for that. I don't get it. I don't dislike what I'm feeling but I don't know what it is or how to feel about it.

I started two short stories last week and one of them really has claws in me. I can't help loving it, even though I feel bad about it, as if I should feel more humble. But the style is a style I love and I am writing in a way that makes me happy. The story is probably an old story told over and over again but I'm giving birth to it this time, so something about it is mine. I workshopped it this weekend in the class I took and I was happy to see that the fantastical elements were working. I love writing, I really, really do. Sometimes I think too much about it and make myself crazy. No more crazy, I just have to do it.

I miss Sinaloa.