Saturday, October 31, 2020

20 years


 I've been repeatedly saying that time moves strangely during the pandemic, but in truth, time is always this strange distorted creature. I woke this morning thinking that it will have been 20 years tomorrow exactly that I climbed on a bus and came into Chicago for my interview at the library.  I remember I was hung over, not from alcohol, but from spending the night before watching horror movies and eating too much sugar with my dad & sister. (my mother still in her anti-horror years was  watching something else in the bedroom.)  That morning, we spent ambling through the Michigan Ave shops and getting lunch, but later I found myself standing in front of Columbia and wondering if it was worth it.  Would I even get the job?  Was it even worth uprooting my life? I was woefully underpaid and stressed out at the elementary library, but it had grown familiar and  stable.   It paid so little, I couldn't see every having the funds to get a place of my own.  And yet, I think I was some sort of happy there...and I enjoyed running story hours and making displays and bulletin boards.  Though I'd been repeating that moving away from Chicago the previous year had been a mistake, had it?  Could I just go on there?  Easily, under less than perfect circumstances, but comfortable ones.  The future was darker and more in shadow, but nevertheless I walked in to the interview with very little expectation I'd be hired, and yet, 10 days later, I was. Within a few weeks I was definitely convinced I'd made the right decision and have been ever since. 

What followed was a hurried and chaotic move to another city with very little money  I'd saved a little, but was able to borrow the rest from my parents to get me set up until my first paycheck.  I moved the weekend after Thanksgiving and started that next Monday in a virtually empty apartment.  I had a futon on the floor, a hand-me-down recliner, a small tv and a couple of week's later, a Christmas tree.  In the spring, i'd slowly start filling it with bookshelves and a thrifted couch and my prized green mid-century cabinets.  I've never been flush with money, even less so then, and was making just over twenty grand in the beginning, but it was more than the job before. And while I occasionally overdrafted my bank account, I managed to feed and clothe myself those first couple of years.   

All during those first couple months,  the Bush/Gore election was still up in the air.  Which seemed like the craziest thing, but in hindsight, it was a drop in the bucket compared to the chaos we are facing now.  My perception of national stability was a given.  I'd seen the Dems and Republicans battle it out, but my childhood and college years were pretty stable, even with the first Gulf War thrown in there. Scandal maybe--the Monica Lewinski nonsense, a crude knowledge of Watergate that occured around the time I was born.  There were small things to fear in the corner of our minds, but they were anomalies--Waco, Oklahoma City, the Unibomber.  A year or so later 9-11 would happen and we'd lose a certain American bubble of safety we never really got back.  All of it seems mild compared to now. 

What will happen Tuesday?  I really don't know.  I remember in 2008, they closed much of downtown election night, including the campus.  Obama if he won, was going to hold his celebration in Grant Park and they wanted it to be safe.  The night before, leaving out at 10pm, I saw more cops than I every had patrolling (that is, until this summer and fall.)  They took away the garbage cans and all the mailboxes.  I listed to election coverage while making holiday ornaments for the Etsy shop on the north side. It was peaceful celebration, but a triumphant one. Everyone on the bus the next day was bright eyed and happy. In 2012, the re-claiming was uneventful, so much so that I don't even remember that evening in particular. Four years later I would watch as what seemed a joke and inconcievable happened until I just couldn't watch it anymore.  That night on the way home, a man shouted something crude about my ass as I crossed the street. and the wind blew up my skirt. I knew it was gonna be a long four years. 

I know what I hope will happen.  That Biden will win in a landslide, and while he's sort of serviceable and uninspiring in general, Harris or another woman will take the reigns in four years.  I hope they'll lead the current interloper out in handcuffs if he won't go.  There will be all sorts of nonsense and voter supression--it's a given, but I hope, in the end, common sense and democracy prevails. 


swallow #6 video poem

 


#31 days of halloween | the science of impossible objects





 There's is something delightfully creepy about a spooky imaginary child, so this series rounds out our offerings for the month appropriately 

Friday, October 30, 2020

#31 days of halloween | beautiful, sinister

 


Years ago, I wrote a creepy  little chapbook about three sisters  in Wisconsin growing up in the 70's and Maverick Duck Press was kind enough to publish it and create this amazingly lovely cover for it. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

#31 days of halloween | the ghost landscapes



 


What started as a series of dreary, slightly spooky, postcard sized landscapes done on a whim, became a whole series of paintings and attendant poems called, fittingly, the ghost landscapes:  a travelogue. The limited edition print zine is sold out, but you can read the entire series online here, as well as the text pieces in my full-length collection, salvage. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

video poem | swallow #5

 










 

october postcards

 








These are just some offerings you can get your hands on if you join my Patreon page (original postcards are just $5/month.  For $10 you can get a postcard and a print-of-the-month. For $17, you get a month's worth of books, zines, and offerings. ) The work will vary in formats, sometimes collage, sometimes paintings or drawings, but all delivered monthly...

#31 days of halloween | ordinary planet



 


what could be more spooky than post-apocalyptic victorian seances and captive women?  This series can be read in zine form here or you can purchase a print copy in the shop.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

notes & things | 10/27/2020


It's a Tuesday that feels like a Thursday. The past few days have been a dip in my mood and a desire to sleep all the time, which has also left me with an achy back and a feeling like there's just a lot of emotional icky boiling just under the surface. I thought a news fast might be in order after yesterday--since cases continue to climb, we just elected a Handmaid's Tale villain to the Supreme Court, the election is next week, and I've already done as much as I can (the covid precautions I've been doing all along and continue to do, voting, etc.) and can only wait it out at this point. But, it's hard when part of my job (and even my creative endeavors) involves social media to, you know, stay away from it. So I get sucked back into doomscrolling. And then the news in general. And then also the attendant anxiety and mood swinginess. I am extra cagey around this time of year anyway, what with the anniversary of my mother's death and a lack of daylight. It is not making for a good combination. 

It's Tuesday, and I'm trying to find a center to weather out the storm--new writing projects I'll be starting next week.  Some artmaking endeavors planned for the weekend. An invitation to send some video poem exploits to a journal. Beginning to send out some work from the plague letters.  I keep amassing books in my to-read pile hoping that I'll have the concentration for again and this may be part of the problem.  I need more reading, less doomscrolling. Meanwhile, I watch a lot van-life and cabin renovation videos on Youtube and dream about running away from everything to live in the woods. 

It's Tuesday, and I spent last night debating whether or not it's worth assembling a costume to wear to work on Friday. I wound up ordering a cute headband that's very witch of the wood to pair with a black dress. Hardly anyone is actually around the library, but I will be hosting a horror movie trivia event on zoom that afternoon.  Over the weekend, I plan to get some junky food and candy and queue up a whole bunch of horror movies, my usual Halloween routine. Maybe some cocktails and other amusements Saturday for our usual Saturday stay-at-home date night.  

It's Tuesday, and hopefully by next week, we'll have a general idea, though not definitive, if the best case scenario has happened or the worst. 

Otherwise, all we can do is wait it out. 


#31 days of halloween | no girls were harmed in the making of this poem




This piece is a favorite from major characters in minor films, and something I wrote as my own response to so many dead girls showing up in my work--self consciously so.  I can't say I don't still write about them (after all, so many ghosts are lost or angry ladies) but I at least try to reign it in a little more or at least do so with different intentions. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

dancing girl press notes | october 2020


Things are moving slowly, but they are finally once again moving. Orders, layouts, new cover designs for what remains from this year.  Also some acceptances for things to look forward to next year.  It's been a rough patch (I would say it was pandemic-related, but it started long before, as much as a year or so, as things threatened the ship--grief, financial woes, massive studio moves.) There were times when it seemed the best option might be a total hiatus, which is not something I want  to happen, especially when a feminist press seems even more important (today, on a day when terrible decisions are being made on the regular in this country regarding women's rights..) But  I keep thinking of an inspo saying about not quitting, but learning when to rest, which is something I need to keep in mind going forward should things get unmanageable again.  

I keep focusing on the things that sustain me..our authors, who are doing amazing things out there in the world, the people who read the books and love them,  the things we create collaboratively.  Whatever is happening, I am in a much better place to stay on schedule this fall than the previous, even with a dose of pandemic brain.  I blinked and a year passed..a year of getting set-up, printer woes, production issues (so many botched copies with weird ink problems that wound up in the trash. I've learned a thing or two on what my printers are capable (and more important, what they are not.)  How to maximize and not lose money on ink and wasted paper. and regularly, I find myself thinking how what seemed like a disappointment (having to give up the studio space) was actually the best thing that could have happened (not just Covid, though that is a big part of it.). The pandemic and a considerably lighter schedule of releases in 2020 means a little less money making it's way in, but its just enough to keep us in cardstock and toner...I would not have survived 2020 paying out an additional $800 (and never really could unless it was a month where lots of people needed more author copies) So it's good that it was already a done deal, and ultimately had to happen (stretch yourself that thin and things start to fall through.) 

While it's been a rougher year for me this year in terms of design and art than it has been for writing (strange, but the words were the only thing that came back.) I have been mocking up covers, making postcards, and plotting new visual projects aplenty, all of which you will see sooner or later in the shop.




31 days of halloween | taurus



 

This series initially began as a a serial project after I was invited to contribute to Chanillo. Later , there were images, and it will one day be a print zine and a segment in my dark country (and where that title stems from) manuscript..  In the meantime, you can read sampling or subscribe over at Channillo..

https://channillo.com/series/taurus

Friday, October 23, 2020

31 days of halloween | overlook

While I had planned to release it before Halloween, this little series of poems based on The Shining needs a little more polishing before the entirety is available to read.  Here, however, is a perfect little sampling of what is coming in the next few months. 



from OVERLOOK


1.

 

In the middle of the ballroom is a chair.

Hallway after hallway filled with broken

balloons and faded streamers.  Have a drink

if you dare. Whiskey straight,  thin

on the ice. Nice to see you.

 

Nicer still to feel you wandering

the corridors, hands out touching

the walls. All the falling down staircases

and baseball bat wielding wives

is nothing if not for miles of terrible carpet

we laid over even more terrible carpet.

 

It was covered in blood.  The flood

of a thousand unhappy feet walking

from the bed to the door. One man

shot himself in the  bathroom,

but still it's glorious, all archways

and celadon dreams. Who can haunt

something so very pretty, so very sticky

with time and faux fur rugs.  Your tug

on the whiskey makes a sucking sound

that echoes through the Gold Room.

 

Stay awhile, your hands are already wet with ink.

 

 


Thursday, October 22, 2020

31 days of halloween | apocalypse theory : a reader

 




This little e-chap about the end of days was included in LITTLE APOCALYPSE and  published as part of the SFSU Chapbook Exchange.  You can read the whole thing here

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

31 days of halloween | how to tell if you're possessed


 


Over the past few months, I've been working on a series of poems inspired by Weekly World News headlines called alternative facts, many of which have a bizarre and monstrous feel perfect for the season.  The above is one of my favorites.

Monday, October 19, 2020

daily writing hiatus


 After a few months of daily poeming (and so much to show for it in terms of the new completed collapsologies manuscript) I've been taking a momentary break before moving on to the next thing.  It would help immensely of course if I knew what the next thing was, but right now I'm treading water in the uncertainty of it--notes in my notebook about things I'd like to write or research, formats I would like to play with. Stories I would like to tell. I've been dipping a toe back into some visual exploits, including some design stuff and postcard collages for my Patreon. It's slow, but it's a start. Maybe some of those will lead to writing.  Or writing will lead to new artwork. 

It feels like a weird time to be making plans, once again with the contingency that the world may be on much tighter lockdown at some point during the next few months. This feels more apt at the Library, where everything--exhibits, programs--is being planned dually, both on the walls and on the web.  We are holding in there, and most of my days are filled now with ILL flow, which has ticked up a bit. Obviously, timewise, whether I am homebound or not shouldn't affect more creative work that much (if anything I gain back a few hours in the hustling to and fro) but if March & April is any indication, a world in turmoil (or more tumultuous than the past couple of months) blows a huge hole in motivation and concentration. It took til the end of May to get back to any sort of routine.  I still, outside of the dgp manuscripts, have a hard time reading for enjoyment. 

I'm thinking of holding off on starting something new until at least the election has passed and we are into November.  I have no idea what the world will like or where, and if, my concentration will hold.   I have a couple zine projects I'd like to get out that month for the books & objects series, but otherwise am wide open in creative endeavors.  There are a couple things I have my eye on for the automagic project, some orphan series I started and haven't meandered back to. But a break feels good right now.  I've been spending my breakfast writing time instead queuing up Halloween posts and posting to socials, and just lingering in bed a bit longer than I usually do before clamoring into the shower. 

31 days of halloween | ghosts and small animals

 


Not all of the poems in dreams about houses and bees are specifically about ghosts--or at least the literal interpretation, many touch on memory and ghosts, and are therefor spooky enough to make our line up this month.  This series was issued as a little collage zine back in 2015, and the text portions included in SALVAGE (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). 







Sunday, October 18, 2020

thoughts on manuscripts, the bottleneck, and self-publishing





This week, I did the final proofing and design finishing for FEED, which I will be releasing at the end of this year.  It's a decision I've been mulling over--was mulling over, even pre-pandemic, and covid sealed the deal.  Part of me says maybe it's just a feeling that the world is going to fuck and if I get sick and die (or mauled by rabid nazi hoards of incels)  at least the book will be out in the world. To seize whatever opportunities come along because you could be gone tomorrow.   It's not all so dire as those thoughts, but one thing living in this world in these times has told me is that a lot of the arbitrary shit that used to matter seems to matter less and less., And you can apply this across everything, not just the literary world. (Might I remind you of Sabrina Orah Mark's essay in The Paris Review.)

I came into the poetry world as we know it in a strange way--a novice, which is not unusual, but I always felt like I slipped in some back door and didn't really belong in some po-biz spaces. And maybe I do, or maybe I don't.  I came to the academic poetry world kind of late, already nearing thirty, with a lot of publications under my belt and a familiarity with the open mic scene in Chicago (or I should say A open mic scene, as there are many?)  When I listened to the folks there--classmates, teachers, visiting artists talking about the insularity of certain journals, presses, awards, and tenure tracks, how certain things mattered more than others,  I called bullshit more than once, but I also bought into to a degree. That couple years when I was trying to place my first book, more often than once, I though about self-publishing it. The contest circuit seemed insurmountable, and it still is, a formidable bottleneck that has broken some of the best poets I know.  I wanted a book in the world.  I wanted a shiny spine on the shelf in the Barnes & Noble.   I wanted readers. I wanted to belong, to have a feeling that yes, I was legitimate poet, whatever that meant.  This need for legitimacy pushed me through an MFA program I only sometimes liked.  It had me sending that book out and paying up to $30 a pop. 

And I was lucky enough that a small press that no longer exists , but that I owe a great debt to, loved my manuscript and decided to publish it in the very old fashioned way of me having queried and then sent the manuscript at precisely the right time. And having a book of course was amazing, what I dreamed of, and while it felt really good, it didn't change much for me as a writer because outside of having a pretty bound volume of my work. I was still hustling--to do readings, to get people interested, to sell copies.  A book is a lot of labor, no matter how it comes into the world  And of course, more books followed, some via pure serendipity, others via open reading periods.  One press folded, then another.  Others continued to flourish and I still occasionally publish with them today. I am absolutely luckier than I probably should be, to have found such presses & editors who believed in my work, when it's very hard to publish that first book, and sometimes, even harder to publish the second or the third.   

I think over the years, I've refocused my mind not on presses and journals as a goal, but more on communities they reinforce.  Which of course, is bolstered by presses and journals and awards circuits, but also just by sharing work, being with other writers (in real-life or virtually) .  So much of my experience is rooted not only in my early poetry-related experiences, but also zine culture and visual arts, which seem a little less beholden to structures that don't really serve them well.  As such the stigma of releasing your own work has lost its power over the years, as I've released as many projects into the wild as small limited editions or e-chaps as I have via journals and traditional presses. I once had a lively (I say discussion, some may say argument) during a panel over the merits of self-publishing. I've watched a lot of writers, really good writers, give up because the path to publishing books of poetry via the sanctioned paths, gets narrower and narrower, more closed off as presses struggle economically, operations fold, and there are just a lot of poets vying for room. Every other minute, the attention shifts, and the person who may be the talk of the town, in a year or two, is completely forgotten. 

It gets harder to breathe sometimes, mid-career, so I can only imagine what it's like to be entering it as a newbie.I think we are all conscious as well of the space we take up--when it comes to younger writers, marginalized writers, or at least maybe we should be. I sometimes scoff at Rupi Kaur, and wonder why people like her work (which is also true of some established academic poets), but I see how she is doing very well so outside those structures, which make the structures seem even more arbitrary and small thinking. Whatever you think of her work, her end result is good and her business acumen sharp as hell. Most of the world may not even know people are writing poetry still, and those that do gravitate toward catch phrases and things that would fit on a mug, but it's still poetry. 

So then, what to do with all these books, all these poems, the structure that cannot hold them all.  I believe very much in small presses, obviously, to seize the means of production and make the art world, the lit world more interesting, more diverse than it might be otherwise.  But of course, small presses, particularly those that publish full-lengths struggle both in time and divided energies (because no one is getting rich off any of this--most editors have at least one, sometimes more than, other job.) People move on, money gets tight, people stop getting along with each other.  Presses fold and re-emerge in other configurations. 

What to do when you are a writer whose main goal is not necessarily to win prizes or teaching fellowships and really just build a community of readers, however small, who want to read what you put out there in the world?  And its' not all this great spirit of independence pushing me toward the endeavor. Some of it is resignation as well, or just tiredness with the status quo. FEED is a manuscript which I finished last year, but have only submitted a couple times, both met with a very kind and supportive "no".  I don't think there is anything wrong with the book that makes it unpublishable,  In fact. I would say it's tighter going in than a couple other books I have found other homes for. It's also a very personal book that I really want out there. I am not quite on board with submitting to a bunch of contests, spending hundreds of dollars, just to make that happen.  I have three other mss. in various stages of completion, another one out to a favorite press that may or may not want it in the end.  So what to do with book projects that just keep piling up and a desire to get them out there?   

It's not a perfect solution, but it's a better one.  No matter how much work it is to shoulder a self-published volume, it's certainly less expensive than sinking money forever into contests and open reading periods. The work alone of publicity and design is formidable, though as an editor myself, I'm thinking I can make a sound little book, both in content and appearance.  Still it seems far more fun and dynamic that attempting jam oneself into the bottleneck and hoping for the best. Or giving reverence to unspoken rules and structures that really don't benefit any but a select few. 


 


31 days of halloween | the summer house

 




This little ghosty project debuted in late summer as an e-chap, but I also made a little video of one of the poems.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

31 days of halloween | plump

 



While I often use fairy tales in my work--little red riding hood in the red poems, goldilocks and the three bears in the shared properties of water and stars, this one is a recent favorite, written to be part of our dark forest project at the library.

you can read the entire series of poems with collages online here.

Friday, October 16, 2020

31 days of halloween | songs for dead girls

 






"Zombie Girl writes down her name.  Writes a letter to her congressman. A classified ad.  Dead Girl seeking.  Dead Girl seeping through her days.  Zombie Girl makes a chalk drawing of her former lovers on the floor beside the bed.  Decides sex is beside the point when you are all body, all hunger. All meat moving through the world."
___________


read the entire series here:


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

31 days of halloween | sex & violence



Since we are halfway through the #31daysfohalloween, I thought I would use today as a plug for my latest full-length and it's slightly spooky cover.  I was going to highlight the /slash/ series a little later in the month in zine form, but it's ode to slashers populates a section of this book, as well as poems about Dali's The Inventions of the Monsters, which also is totally on-theme for the month. Even the Plath centos are obviously a little spooky given the source material, which probably makes this my most horror-laden book to date, so the title is more than appropo.

And this cover, which was modification done on one of the /slash/ zine pieces, definitely the spookiest...

get a copy from Black Lawrence Press...


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

31 days of halloween | fog and light

 




These were taken, not during the fall, but early one spring foggy morning out near my dad's house. but I loved the way they turned out. 

31 days of halloween | strange machine

 



A while back, I wrote a series of poems about atomic anxieties and sci fi horror ladies called STRANGE MACHINE.  You can read it here...


Monday, October 12, 2020

31 days of halloween | cryptotaxonomy






 

Today, we're bringing in a little monster-related fun.  As some of you know, a friend and I started a fun little art experiment the chicago cryptozoological society, a few years back for zine & artmaking shenanigans.  While some of the zines are just cut & pasted amusements, they occasionally result in some pretty cool art pieces.


see all of them here:  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/15659520@N00/albums/72157691897882750/with/41701066355/

Saturday, October 10, 2020

31 days of halloween | {licorice, laudanum}




This is an October debut--my little zine devoted to the Murder Castle legend! While my research on Holmes was a little disappointing, it made a spooky little series of poems and pictures, which you can get a look at in this little e-zine project. 




not the moon | gluck and poetic foremothers

Mock Orange

It is not the moon, I tell you.
It is these flowers
lighting the yard.

I hate them.
I hate them as I hate sex,
the man’s mouth
sealing my mouth, the man’s
paralyzing body—

and the cry that always escapes,
the low, humiliating
premise of union—

In my mind tonight
I hear the question and pursuing answer
fused in one sound
that mounts and mounts and then
is split into the old selves,
the tired antagonisms. Do you see?
We were made fools of.
And the scent of mock orange
drifts through the window.

How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?

Twenty or so odd years ago, I was a baby poet.  Or more accurately, I had been writing poems since age 15, but only 20 odd years ago, on the verge of 25,  did I get good enough to call it actual poetry. I was in my second year of grad school (studying mostly novels, but occasionally poems) at Depaul and something clicked--I blame TS Eliot for the hinge popping open, but he may have just unjammed the lock.  That fall I spent a lot of time ferrying books back and forth from the library in my backpack--mostly women writers--Carolyn Forche, Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, and for the purposes of this entry--Louise Gluck, whose just been honored with the Nobel. There was no internet, or at least not at my apartment, nor did I have a job, so I spent my days when not in class reading and writing a swell of work that autumn. Truthfully, it was probably the first time I had immersed myself in contemporary poets and that perhaps was what opened the door to the work I was writing, and would write in the future.  The poems came fast that fall and into the spring, an output that changed my career trajectory--a swerve away from teaching and toward writing, however I needed to support myself.  A handful of poems in my very first chapbook stem from this time.  I also garnered my first journal publication with them. 

Eventualy I wandered away from most of these poets, as my style shifted, barring a brief seminar during my MFA at Columbia devoted to Oliver, Sexton, and Olds.  Years later, had you asked me about any of these poets, I would probably wrinkle up my nose and, with exception of Sexton and Forche perhaps, call them slightly facile. My tastes had moved on to writers like Jorie Graham and Anne Carson if we're talking literary heavyweights.  Gluck was something from the past, and definitely an influence on the work I was writing then and probably for the next four years.   It was unfashionable to say, particularly in my program, that you loved Gluck, and yet, I regularly found poets out in the wild who professed their love for her work and would continue to. I feel like, stylistics aside, the experimental poetry world (ie. the male poetry world if we're getting specific) has a particular vitriol toward Gluck, which I never really understood, and now, as the news spreads of the Nobel, are rustling restlessly with their keyboards.  Admittedly, I was surprised they'd chosen a poet so very white in the current world where everyone else is making strides in recognizing POC, but I don't think that's the angle these criticisms stem from.  I once heard a male poet dismiss Gluck as a "flower poet" and fumed for days. My chief criticism is the poems are a little too tidy and heavy handed.  Constantly moving the reader toward epiphany tied neatly with a bow. She weilds this more adeptly than other poets of her generation (particularly male) but she still weilds it. 

I do not write those sorts of poems--not anymore--but I can see the value in work--the strands that are still woven in how I learned to make poems.  


Friday, October 09, 2020

31 days of halloween | girl show

 






While this book was not explicitly written in a horror vein, there is a certain gothic-ness about it.  Published in 2014 by Black Lawrence, it was also my MFA thesis manuscript at Columbia, and the longest single focus project I've ever written.  There are bird girls, fan dancers, and conjoined twins aplenty.  My favorite part of this project, similar to others, was the research--so much on sideshows and early-mid 20th century circus & vaudeville culture (and also where I learned about the Hilton Sisters--who I named the siamese demons after). 

notes & things | 10/9/20

 


October is plugging along , and while Tuesday I noted that the trees were still pretty green and lush,  Thursday, suddenly the park was exploding in yellow. Fall, like spring, seems to happen slowly, then all at once. You might gradually notice it's getting darker earlier every week, but then suddenly daylight is swallowed in what seems like mid-afternoon.  Last night, there was a huge, orange, low and fiery half-moon rising just as I was going home that seemed spooky and appropriate for the season.  I wasn't keen on spending too much on fall decor, so I settled on a bunch of orange-ish dried eucalyptus and this little friend up top (who will be staying long after Halloween).

I've been busy at the Library..October usually means full swing after the amping up of September, and things are still good on campus Covid-wise, so we may get to finish out the semester onsite after all.  There are exhibits to plan, virtual and physical, a faculty work showcase I am building the site for, various ARTIVISM endeavors. It's still weirdly quiet, with very few hybrid classes and a lot of students barely setting foot on campus, but it looks to have definitely been a wise decision. I am also warily watching Loyola stats, and despite some rather raucous partying happening in my building here at the edge of campus, they are doing similarly well. The holidays will no doubt change things, but right now, Chicago seems like one of the safest places to be in the country. 

And in the vein of messes, I did wind up listening to the VP debate Weds night as i was working, and Harris is, as expected, doing very well (I could very easily see her as president net go round.)  Not that she has much to contend with.I was knee deep in page design, so I was sad I missed the foreboding fly. The last two weeks are crazypants (is Drumpf really sick?  Is he dead? Is it all just a ruse to get votes?  To lose votes? I don't even know anymore--not even sure I care.).   My vote is already signed, sealed, and delivered, and it does seem that people are turning out for early voting in droves and already skewing democrat. I have to believe in the good of people.  I'm not sure there is any other way to continue. 

At home, I am watching horror movies and shows, including the contentious UTOPIA, which I loved so much it kept me up all week wanting to keep watching one more episode.  Yeah, a little tone deaf on the release in the current climate, but I dug it. Gillian Flynn does a really good job writing for the small screen.  This weekend, there's HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, which I feel like I've been waiting forever for, plus a long queue of movies in every streaming app I'm subscribed to. As far as the pandemic, fall feels much more easily to exist in a little bubble and hide out all weekend.  I have several crockpot recipes to try, poems to write, coffee to brew,  and a bottle of pumpkin shower gel that smells like a dessert, so I'm set...



Thursday, October 08, 2020

31 days of halloween | terrestrial animal


 



A few years back, I stumbled upon some marketing material for mid-century era bomb shelters, and later, a sale listing for this house in the desert built to survive nuclear war. It was a sweet piece of mid-century design, still intact, but also slightly horrific to imagine life there, either before or after the bomb--the imitation of nature, but underground. It is part of little apocalypse, and spawned a little mini-chap that was part of Dusie's E-book Kollectiv in 2014, which you can read here...


Wednesday, October 07, 2020

31 days of halloween | (in) vertebrate

 








This fun little collage series plays with monsters and creepy creatures a little bit, so of course, fits our theme perfectly!


31 days of halloween | necessary violence

 



A couple of years ago, I got it in my head that I was going to write a series of poems devoted to the story of the girls involved in the Slenderman stabbing in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2015. The research for it involved a lot of reading/documentary watching about the case, as well as delving into Slenderman lore more generally. At some point I invited my sister, Becky Webster,  to contribute some visual pieces to the project since her work tends to be a bit spooky and gothic in general and thus, NECESSARY VIOLENCE was born.  



While initially it was published in print only, you can read a pdf version of the entire project here...