Blog

Anxiety

Me: I’ve been thinking, instead of telling me “you’re doing fine,” whenever I feel like shit could you just say “you’re okay” instead? I think that will help with my neuroses.

Mr. J.: Doesn’t that mean the same thing?

Me: Yes, but it’s different verbiage. Try it.

Mr. J.: (disturbed by the verbiage/sarcastic) I don’t want to.

My husband is super supportive when it comes to dealing with my anxiety. But most of the time everything he says, when I’m in the middle of an anxiety fit, pisses me off. Whenever he says “you’re doing alright” or “you’re doing a good job” I don’t believe him. So I asked him to start telling me I’m just okay because 1) it’s true, I am physically okay and 2) it does in fact mean the same thing. But I can hear it better.

When you try to talk to your spouse about writing

Me: Can I ask you a question?

Mr. J: …Yeah…

Me: Do you like my writing?

Mr. J: Sure.

Me: You sure?

Mr. J: Yeah.

Me: You promise.

Mr. J: I’m a little confused by your formatting.

Me: (here we go) Explain.

Mr. J: You know when you have really long lines. And then a short line. And then another short line. And then a really long line?

Me: (laughs)

Mr. J: (laughs)

Me: (zero composure) You mean my paragraphs?

Mr. J: No (defensive)…unless that’s what they are…

Me: (falls over)

Morning Trust Exercise

Me: This time don’t throw away your baking stuff because you’re inevitably going to need it and end up buying the same stuff again.

Mr. J: I got stuff that actually works this time Jess.

Me: What’s this for?

Mr. J: It’s a blender wand, I’m definitely keeping that because it works with my shakes.

Me: Okay.

Mr. J: Jess, put the blender down. You might cut yourself.

Me: But the blade isn’t attached. It’s all the way over there.

Mr. J: Put the blender down Jess.

Me: How am I going to cut myself when the blade’s not attached.

Mr. J: Put it down Jess.

Half Cat, Half Xenomorph

Mr. J: I remember what Titian reminds me of! She’s like a fluffy version of that half human, half xenomorph the queen gave live birth to in the fourth movie. You know, the one that got sucked out the crack in the window!

Me: What?! She looks nothing like that! It doesn’t even have fur!

Mr. J: I said a fluffy version. I mean, look at her face.

Me: That is terrible! Do not say that!

Mr. J: And they are both mostly toothless…

Me: Shut the fuck up!

Random Stuff on Walls

I have an obsession, possibly even a compulsion to turn random shit on walls into dada-esque photogr(art)phy. The way dadaism was explained to me was this: I was at one of my first, shitty retail jobs and we were on lunch break. One of the cool IT girls–she had wispy blond hair, limbs like willow branches, and a face like the May Queen, the May Queen of IT–sat in the smoking corner with the rest of the cool kids and somehow we got to talking about art. She majored in art. She was doing IT to pay the bills. She stood up and took the metal folding chair she sat on and placed it against the wall. Then she reached over, into a clump of weeds growing by the building and picked a yellow dandelion blossom (no stem included here) and a few of the little clovers growing beside it. She then went back to the chair and put the yellow and the green on the top edge of the back rest. She turned to us and said: that’s basically it. Something “random” put with something else “random” to make “randomness” or nothingness if you want to be more specific. But whatever, I didn’t major in art. After that little lesson, whenever I encountered a piece of visually appealing randomness I photograph it.

A few days ago I went to a museum that is also a WWII battleship (and submarine). It was the coolest thing ever. Here’s random shit on the walls:

And here’s one of the ceiling:

And here’s a plushy, cuddly tank:

New Editions with New Covers

One of the cool things about self-publishing is that if you aren’t happy with your work, especially your poetry, you can change it without having to argue with an editor or another publisher.

Graveyard and Twisted Myths had been out for a few years now and one of my writing goals back in the summer of 2017 was to pick my favorite poems from both collections and write a bilingual edition with Spanish versions of those poems and call it Martyrs and Other Creatures of the Abyss. In addition to the poems from Graveyard and Twisted Myths, I would publish and translate 10-20 new poems. Well, as 2018 rolled around a lot of my prose/fiction projects were taking up a huge chunk of my writing time and those 10-20 poems just didn’t get written. And then I had the idea that I wanted to translate ALL of my poetic works into Spanish, not just pick my favorites and discard the rest.

With that came the decision that all of my work thus far needed a serious overhaul.

Some of the poems from Graveyard were written back in 2007 and I’ve definitely changed as a person and a writer since then. Also, Riverkill was my grad school thesis and has been through several extreme transformations since 2012. More than anything, I wanted to make for myself an opportunity where I could say HI to my work again and see if any of my experiences in the last decade could deepen or enhance the conversation between the writer and the poems and if new creations could be born from them.

I haven’t made a lot of changes to the content. A few words here and there, a few lines added, others taken away. The biggest changes you will find with these collections are the titles, the order of the poems, the covers, and where you can find the collections now.

1. Graveyard and Twisted Myths are now combined into one edition titled LUPERCALIA (one of my favorite poems from the collection). Riverkill is now titled THE ECHO OF SOMETHING HITTING (a line from the text).

2. The order of the poems from Graveyard and Twisted Myths has been rearranged to make a more organic flow that blooms with the tone and theme of the title poem, Lupercalia. I want you to visit the places in my poems, see their fallen gods and never forget the value of love.

3. The covers! I had a lot of fun with this. As I now have a job that gives me more expendable income, I can have people design book covers for me and pay them. I got the cover for Lupercalia from https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/ at a very reasonable price with prompt and satisfying customer service. The new cover for The Echo of Something Hitting keeps the same skeletal structure of the previous cover but the title (obviously) and color schemes are different.