Sunday, August 07, 2022

notes & things | 8/7/2022

This week, I wrote in the afternoons about ash trees and fall gardens and longed just a little more for September, especially since we keep having these stretches of swampland temperatures--heat yes, but also humidity that makes every surface in my apartment damp, including my bedsheets.  Every paper left out begins to curl and ripple. As for the trees, I feel like all these garden assignments I've been picking will eventually start to add more flora and fauna to my poems than there already is, which is a lot.

I am making a journey downtown tomorrow to pick up some covers and am already apprehensive about the lack of masking on the CTA. Each week, it gets less and less as the numbers climb more and more, as if someone silently made us agree that if we don't talk about it, don't pretend its happening, its not happening.  Except for the dead and dying, everyone else carries on much as they did pre-2020. I texted a friend recently that had I known 2019 was the last time I would be drunk and extroverted in a bar, I might have done so more frequently that year. We hit the movie theater bar back in March, but it was deserted. Had cocktails with some people outdoors in the fall of 2020, but not too many.  It was a brisk October evening and even the fires weren't keeping us warm so we didn't linger too long.  There have been windows where it may have been safe, but I tend to stupidly think each is the beginning of the end.  Now we are looking at a fall of no-fun whatsoever, no doubt.  Once school is back in session and the already high numbers creep back up, we will be much in the same position as last winter.  I am exhausted, not with covid, which is just doing its thing, but people in general.  

I've moved into a new range of neighborhood guide assignments, back on the northern end again, with Wicker Park. one of my favorite destinations, but just so damned far on public transportation. I did discover a shot south on the Damen Bus from Foster does make the trip a little quicker, so when we are actually going places and doing things again, I am ready. I haven't been to Quimbys or Myopic in a few year. I think the last time I was even in the area was a reading at now-defunct Danny's in 2018. The neighborhood guides are indulging my love of Chicago neighborhoods and history, though, and I am excited with each new neighborhood I am assigned. Wicker Park has this 90's glory day halo, when it was still cheap to live there and all the cool kids were there in the bars and the bookstores and the coffeeshops.  It's different now, and way expensive. But I love the ghosts of it. Even in the aughts and the last decade or so, so many readings were always in Wicker or Bucktown--including my own release readings at Quimby's on occasion. The cool kids have moved on to Logan and Pilsen, where they can afford the rent. But some things still hang on through the changes.

This week, I plan on polishing up the remainder of MEMOIR IN BONE & INK pieces and figuring how I want to share the rest of them--zine? recordings? e-zine?  mix of all of them?  I am back to feeling a special kind of poet lonely of late, like no one is reading but me, so maybe it doesn't matter. I did cheat on the GRANATA poems with something new, which I really shouldn't do, but it just happened, and maybe it will happen again. I would like to have a draft of the larger, more serious project done by the end of September to have some time to let it sit before the new year when I dive back into it. So I really need to stay on task, but it's hard for me with longer things, it's amazing I've gotten as far as I have...

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