Monday, April 1, 2013

"My life, and its hauled up notebooks"

March came and went and the only thing that truly sticks out in my mind is that I got paid one extra paycheck this last month. That (and not as Robert Frost would have you believe with his "the road not taken" malarkey) is what has made all the difference.

That is actually not true. I did quite a lot of stuff this past March including but not limited to having many house guests in my little Long Island town. Spending hours over craft beers or fancy cocktails or really, exceptionally good food, all a stone's throw away from my apartment is hands down my favorite thing about my life at the moment, and there was no shortage of that happening last month.

I continued doing a lot of yoga thanks to a series of groupons and new student specials at various studios. I think I have found the studio for me as a result but we shall see how that works out. I'll continue to shop around for the bargains since for some reason yoga is almost prohibitively expensive.

In my ongoing cinephilia, I watched the following films this past month:

A Free Soul (1931)
The Master (2012)
Argo (2012)
The Divorcee (1930)
Heat and Dust (1983)
The Fairy (2011)
Three On a Match (1932)
Female (1933) 
Night Nurse (1931)
Swing Kids (1993)
Elena (2012)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
The Burning Bed (1984)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
'Night Mother (1986)
Augustine (2011)
What About Bob? (1991)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
The Disappeared (2007)
Bachelorette (2012)
Hitchcock (2012)
Anna Karenina (2012)
Sound City (2012)

Discerning readers will notice that a good number of those films are from the early 1930s and the reason for that is my latest obsession with Pre-Code Hollywood. What censors found immoral and obscene 82 years ago in Hollywood, a place that was born from backstabbing, fucking, drugging and all manner of indecent behavior never, ever fails to crack my shit up. Norma Shearer was in a lot of those and I have grown to adore her, along with a slew of other actresses I really didn't know too much about before. I believe it was Ruth Chatterton in the film Female, which was about a headstrong woman in charge of a large corporation who also takes many of her subordinates as lovers, that the censors deemed "reprehensible." See? High-larious. I'd have been the actress in the films deemed reprehensible, I just know it.

I just don't think you are ready for this, how shall we put it, jelly?

I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to and had a brief fit of anger about Goodreads being bought by but I find myself  unable to get rid of it. It is one of my favorite sites and until something better comes along, I just don't know what I'll do!
In the meantime, it is poetry month and I intend on taking advantage of it. Here's a poem by Anne Sexton.

45 Mercy Street

In my dream,
drilling into the marrow
of my entire bone,
my real dream,
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill
searching for a street sign -
Not there.

I try the Back Bay.
Not there.
Not there.
And yet I know the number.
45 Mercy Street.
I know the stained-glass window
of the foyer,
the three flights of the house
with its parquet floors.
I know the furniture and
mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,
the servants.
I know the cupboard of Spode
the boat of ice, solid silver,
where the butter sits in neat squares
like strange giant's teeth
on the big mahogany table.
I know it well.
Not there.

Where did you go?
45 Mercy Street,
with great-grandmother
kneeling in her whale-bone corset
and praying gently but fiercely
to the wash basin,
at five A.M.
at noon
dozing in her wiggy rocker,
grandfather taking a nap in the pantry,
grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid,
and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower
on her forehead to cover the curl
of when she was good and when she was...
And where she was begat
and in a generation
the third she will beget,
with the stranger's seed blooming
into the flower called Horrid.

I walk in a yellow dress
and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,
enough pills, my wallet, my keys,
and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?
I walk. I walk.
I hold matches at street signs
for it is dark,
as dark as the leathery dead
and I have lost my green Ford,
my house in the suburbs,
two little kids
sucked up like pollen by the bee in me
and a husband
who has wiped off his eyes
in order not to see my inside out
and I am walking and looking
and this is no dream
just my oily life
where the people are alibis
and the street is unfindable for an
entire lifetime.

Pull the shades down -
I don't care!
Bolt the door, mercy,
erase the number,
rip down the street sign,
what can it matter,
what can it matter to this cheapskate
who wants to own the past
that went out on a dead ship
and left me only with paper?

Not there.

I open my pocketbook,
as women do,
and fish swim back and forth
between the dollars and the lipstick.
I pick them out,
one by one
and throw them at the street signs,
and shoot my pocketbook
into the Charles River.
Next I pull the dream off
and slam into the cement wall
of the clumsy calendar
I live in,
my life,
and its hauled up

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