Today I went to a farmer's market in the industrial downtown of Akron and drank sugar-sweetened lemonade out of a plastic cup, which felt nostalgic and lovely and wrong all at the same time. Nothing great I bought two containers of tomatoes and a wilted bouquet of basil and a tumorous zucchini to make a late summer vegetable stew. Yesterday I stood in my hot kitchen and made red lentil soup! I'm a bit insane.
I am feeling much more hopeful today. I feel I'm a baby in this world and I don't know what I'm doing and I have to devour and learn everything and that feels like a good place. I realize to write the essay collection I almost had to stop my intellectual progress - my reading, watching - and that felt stagnant, and when this is all over I am going to start studying performance studies again, and think about how to incorporate performance into a life, writing and activism. I've decided I want to be like Rachel Blau DuPlessis or Avital Ronnell. And why not? Even though I got shut out two years in a row doesn't mean I shouldn't apply to Ph.D's again! Cultural studies and critical theory and high heavy theoryhead schools and the like.
I am going to New York in August to do a reading sponsored by Belladonna and Dusie with an extraordinary mix of radical women writers. I feel so honored but also that I'm such a student and I need to study even more the feminist avant-garde. Rachel L. has asked me to be part of the Belladonna Cooperative and I need to think of events to propose which means I need to be watchful and thinking and even more of a student of contemporary feminist activism and poetics - which I'm really excited about.
It's funny I'm so optimistic because I've actually been in bed half the day and last night in pain, as I pulled my back out during yoga. It's not something I talk about, basically ever, but I had the Harrington Rod procedure performed when I was 13 due to severe scoliosis, and almost the entirety of my spine is fused except the top two and bottom two vertebrae. People who think I'm very formal in person often don't realize that their perception of me is partially due to the overcorrectness of my posture. And there are definitely days in bed with pain. For a while I was considering writing a text about my spine, my complicated relationship with my body, which I guess in many ways is differently-bodied, this is most apparent doing yoga. The hypothetical book would play with the notion of the spine of the book, and feature images of women with open-backed dresses and naked backs from cinema, these perfect smooth bodies I've always fetishized. And I would write about Jane Bowles who nicknamed herself the Crip and Carson McCullers who lived in the same building with Jane, my two favorite differently-abled women writers. And Frida Kahlo, whose fused spine I've always been drawn to and in my own mythology was what made me want to begin writing the confessional. And cyborg theory. And trying to answer simply what it means to be a woman writer with a body. I actually wrote a "query" to Kelsey St. about this but never followed through and then sent them Book of Mutter which they didn't like. It didn't seem like a book I could do.
Oh by the way, does anyone know where I can listen to Pauline Oliveiros' To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation?