Wednesday, October 15, 2003

To Hell In A Hanon Basket

I used to love to thunder dorky Hanon piano exercises up and down the keyboard. The warm up. Truth is, I am mostly unmusical and terribly lazy.

I remember, in the sixth grade, being set back from the first to the second row in the chorus "because you don't open your mouth wide enough." Oh sure, joshed my parents, implying it was what was emanating from my mouth that was the problem, not the size of it. I caught their subtext. And they were correct. Can't sing. Never could.

But, still, I want to wake up a prodigy and never break a sweat. That's not to say I haven't loved messing with instruments my whole life, and even hacked up some skill on the clarinet and recorder. But I overall I am sub-dilletante, happiest when thundering Hanon. As musical as waterskiing, as hanging-on-for-the-ride.

My father told me, a few years back, over bad Chinese food: you are addicted to writing. Oh pshaw, I muttered inwardly, dismissing his comment as a pop-cult way-off-the-mark analysis.

Turns out he was right. Like gambling. The more praise and/or publication I got, the more I wrote. Pavlovian. I was a poetry machine. An ugly stinky factory. Submitting like a banshee, then resubmitting when they came back, rejected. Like bad meat re-sold to the poor. Cranking 'em out with little revision. Capitalismo. Kathunk kathunk kathunk goes the iamb machine. No wonder I have abolished my shelf of little mags to the spare room, and replaced them with texts concerned with wordlessness and absolution. Evidence of my shame.

But I've written all my life.

It was better when it was completely private, even secret. I learned some things from "workshopping," but not much. The group grope feel of it always troubled me. Doing readings was wierd. Totally not-me. Performing with the JCA: how did I ever do it ? And now look. A blog. The irony is paralyzing. I am shameless.

Shame. Being seen.

It has always struck me that one of the projects of the anorexic is to disappear from view. And the paradox is that, by shrinking, she becomes a spectacle. And that there is a secret pride in the spectacle. Look. Don't look. A terrible bind.

At the Megalomart the other day w/ DK getting fixings for tea with Greer I saw one of those incredibly thin adolescent girls, low-ride jeans virtually painted onto stick legs, fleshless arms twigging out of a sleeveless shirt: I've got your number honey, I wanted to say, brutally, without compassion. Still pissed at my own inner annie.

It's a bright, windy afternoon. I'm trying to ignite something here, write my way at least into the general vicinity of the Prime poem. Prime is 6 am, it turns out. When I wake. The Trappists have been up for hours.

I watched the Cistercian video yesterday, the Abbey at Spencer. It was beautiful and moving. The monks built it, stone by stone, in 1950. There was grainy film of them hauling rocks.

I would love to live my life over as a trappist monk. No, not a nun, not a "Bride of Christ" -- a Monk. A brother.

Talk about an odd variation on penis envy. Celibate penis envy. What would the Alienist say ?

Child, you have become clinically insane. Go forth from the chamber of psychoanalysis and take thee to the ugly dens and warrens of Big Pharma. There Zoloft and Abilify await to resurrect you and restore your powers.

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