Thursday, October 10, 2013
When I started Cosplaying in the fall of 2009, I piggybacked what i wanted to do on the halloween month..
I had watched about 4 to 5 episodes of doctor who, so I decided I wanted to Cosplay the 10th Doctor/ David Tennant.
I hadn't the foggiest notion where to start, so without focusing too hard, I looked at pictures. There is an excellent picture Archive called Schillpages, that I accessed in order to look at Tennant. I looked up as many pictures as i can find and even paused the screen on a bootlegged DVD someone had loaned me.
Here is what I came up with:\
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Always Living in Spanish:
Recovering the Familiar, through Language
By Marjorie Agosin
In the evenings in the northern hemisphere, I repeat the ancient ritual that I observed as a child in the southern hemisphere: going out while the night is still warm and trying to recognize the stars as it begins to grow dark silently. In the sky of my country, Chile, that long and wide stretch of land that the poets blessed and dictators abused, I could easily name the stars: the three Marias, the Southern Cross, and the three lilies, names of beloved and courageous women.
But here in the United States, where I have lived since I was a young girl, the solitude of exile makes me feel that so little is mine, that not even the sky has the same constellations, the trees and the fauna the same names or sounds, of the rubbish the same smell. How does one recover the familiar? How does one name the unfamiliar? How can one be another of live in a foreign language? These are the dilemmas of one who writes in Spanish and lives in translation.
Since my earliest childhood in Chile I lived with the tempos and the melodies of a multiplicity of tongues: German, Yiddish, Russian, Turkish, and many Latin songs. Because everyone was from somewhere else, my relatives laughed, sang and fought in a Babylon of Languages. Spanish was reserved for matters of extreme seriousness, for commercial transactions, or for illnesses, but everyone's mother tongue was always associated with the memory of spaces inhabited in the past: the shtel, the flowering and vast Vienna avenues, the Minarets of Turkey, and the Ladino whispers of Toledo. When my paternal grandmother sang old songs in Turkish, her voice and body assumed the passion of one who was there in the city of Istanbul, gazing by turns toward the west and the east.
Destiny and the always ambiguous nature of history continued my family's enforced migration, and because of it I, too, became one who had to live and speak in translation. The disappearances, the torture, and clandestine deaths in my country in the early seventies drove us to the United States, that other America that looked with suspicion at those who did not speak English and especially those who came from the supposedly uncivilized regions of Latin America. I had left a dangerous place that was my home, only to arrive in a dangerous place that was not: A high school in the small town of Athens, Georgia, where my poor English and my accent were the cause of ridicule and insult. The only way I could recover my usurped country and my Chilean childhood was by continuing to write in Spanish, the same way my grandparents had sung in their own tongues in diasporic sites.
The new and learned English language did not fit with the visceral emotions and themes that my poetry contained, but my writing in Spanish I could recover fragrances, spoke rhythms, and the passion of my own identity. Daily I felt the need to translate myself for the strangers living around me, to tell them why we were in Georgia, why we are different, why we had fled, why my accent was so thick, and why I did not look Hispanic. Only at night, writing poems in Spanish, could I return to my senses, and sooth my own sorrow over what I had left behind.
This is how I became a Chilean poet who wrote in Spanish and lives in the Southern United States. And then, one day, a poem of mine was translated and published in the English language. Finally for the first time since I have left Chile, I felt I didn't have to explain myself. My poem expressed in another language spoke for itself... and for me.
Sometimes the austere sounds of English help me bear the solitude of knowing that I am foreign and so far away from those about whom I write. I must admit I could like more opportunities to read in Spanish to people whose language and culture is also mine, to join in our common heritage and in the feast of our sounds. I would also like readers if English to understand the beauty of the spoken word in Spanish, that constant flow of oxytonic and paraoxytonic syllables (Verde gue te quiero verde), * the joy of writing--of dancing-- in another language. I believe that many exiles share the unresolvable torment of not being able to live in the language of their childhood.
I miss that undulating and sensuous language of mine, those baroque descriptions, the sense of being and feeling that Spanish gives me. It is perhaps for this reason that I have chosen and will always choose to write in Spanish. Nothing else from my childhood world remains. My country seems to be frozen in gestures of silence and oblivion. My relatives have died, and I have grown up not knowing a young generation of cousins and nieces and nephews. Many of my friends were disappeared, others were tortured, and the most fortunate, like me, became guardians of memory. For us, to write in Spanish is to always be in active pursuit of memory. I seek to recapture a world lost to me on that sorrowful afternoon when the blue electric sky and the Andean cordillera bade me farewell. On that, my last Chilean day, I carried under my arm my innocence recorded in a little blue notebook I kept even then. Gradually, that diary filled with memoranda, poems written in free verse, descriptions of dreams and of the thresholds of my house surrounded by cherry trees and gardenias. To write in Spanish is for me a gesture of survival. And because of translation, my meory has now become a part of the memory of many others.
Translators are not traitors, as the proverb says, but rather splendid friends in this great human community of language.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
--for Dina, Ewald, Amy Harris, Lynn, Raymond, Cindy and Amanda Witter Meyers
*Coin Out was Written two days before I coined out of the Center and Began a new attempt on life. Most of It was finished at the Edmund's Library.*
For all of us who have come here,
who fought the wars, the subtle strains of our life,
for all of this, we play it by ear
our place with lovers, loved ones, husbands and wives.
We walk down stairs and up them brave,
we take in nutrients, and friendships now
We conquer back the will to greet the grave,
we learn the terms, the why and how.
We must learn sometimes to use the "NO,"
To find the "sweet spot" in our work,
to gather the courage to know where to go
to call on "ED's" a "Stinkin Jerk."
We all go home with hopes and dreams
with boundaries, tools and sight--
We face our problems with a fight
rather than tearing at the seams.
We stare our problems down again
will all we have that's there--
and all that comes for loss or win,
we stand up tall and face it like a bear.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I ran across this poem in the New Yorker, and I was surprised to see that the New Yorker can in fact publish good poetry.
The ImaginedIf the imagined woman makes the real woman
seem bare boned, hardly existent, lacking in
gracefulness and intellect and pulchritude,
and if you come to realize the imagined woman
can only satisfy your imagination, whereas
the real woman with all her limitations
can often make you feel good, how, in spite
of knowing this, does the imagined woman
keep getting into your bedroom, and joining you
at dinner, why is it that you always bring her along
on vacations when the real woman is shopping,
of figuring the best way to the museum?
And if the real woman
has an imagined man, as she must, someone
probably with her at this very moment, in fact
doing and saying everything she's ever wanted.
would you want to know that he slips in
to her life every day from a secret doorway
she's made for him, that he's present even when
you're eating your omelette at breakfast,
or do you prefer how she goes about the house
as she does, as if there were just the two of you?
Isn't her silence, finally, loving? And yours
not entirely self-serving? Hasn't the time come,
once again, not to talk about it?
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
A loud noise pulls me off the coffee table and onto the floor. The sun stings my eyes for a moment—this is the living room, and my bed, last night, was my coffee table. My mouth is a hot mess of what I can only assume is snot and Kool-Aid, and my teeth are covered in fuzzy foam that is reminiscent of grit—I need to brush them. Collapsing here last night was probably due to the Kool-Aid, a bright plastic Red cup rolls along the hardwood floor, crumpled because I must have crushed it. On the outskirts, Jessica’s handwriting in bright red ink—Drama Be gone. Jessica’s special punch—takes the drama away—and your mind.
For a moment, I catch my breath and a cold sweat slips down my forehead—whatever I was dreaming, it is gone, and all I have left at this time is the distinct impression that I should be in my room rather than mom’s coffee table.
My back is stiff, but the living room floor is cool to the touch, and it seems like mom’s hand carved coffee table actually can carry my body which I can keep in mind the next time someone needs a bed. From the back of the room, there are two barks, each in succession, and I know that to be my Mom’s annoying dog Sascha. Reaching for her, she growls a low growl and takes a few steps back—she’ll probably run away. Another female who thinks I’m worthless, who runs from me whenever I get close. Mom is never here, and that’s another story—Dad’s excuse is that he is dead.
Sascha regards me with a look of pity (as if dogs can summon pity?) and sniffs my leg for a brief moment before yelping and running back to the kitchen. The slow light peeks its way through the curtains, stretches along the floor and warms the edge of the coffee table. The nearby clock blinks 3:05 in bright neon red letters. It is the afternoon, and I have been sleeping eight hours, as far as I can recollect. The edges of the living room light up, and along Dad’s fireplace are his trophies: Third place Science fair ribbon, a “Future Farmer’s of America Pin,” which is also the color of corn. Next to the pin is a picture of Tina.
Tina sits holding a ear of corn as a joke, her left hand pointing it towards me like a gun. She smirks in the frame as if to say, “What shall I do with you sir, you’ll be the death of me.” Behind Tina’s photo is another object, this one is round and scruffy, and it takes me a minute to see that it is a baseball with the stuffing smashed out of it. The baseball itself is tucked behind the other trophies. Taking a moment, I pull myself up and grab it from the shelf. It is round and scarred on one side, where half the stuffing and twine have been knocked out of it. The edges of it are frayed, and I remember how I beat the hell out of it that one time.
“Enelow get your head out your ass!” screams the coach! “You’re up next Moron!” “Sorry Coach!” I yell and kick the dirt off my cleats. Moving toward the end of the team box , I pick up Lucinda my favorite bat. “Knock it out the park you little shit.” He says as I pass him. The air is cold as I unzip my jacket and pause for a moment.
Barson’s Field is covered in a light haze, the stands are filled with people and they are all looking at me as I exit the team box. For a moment, the wind itself seems to freeze—the players all look in slow action as I move past them—Tommy Johnson picks his nose and flicks the green remains toward the ground. The umpire looks at me for a moment, and shakes his head.
The Catcher has a small grin on his face and he winces for a moment—bad eyesight probably—he scratches his crotch and nods his head at the pitcher—no hit—no problem. Approaching the batter box, I tap Lucinda against my cleats twice, and a small cloud emerges and I’ve got to make this hit. The scoreboard reads 20 to 14 in white chalk on black hardwood
Lucinda and I have been here before—she trusts me, and I trust her. We do some real damage together. “Pay Attention James!” screams the coach. He does that when I am being reckless and when I have the tendency to lose myself. “Keep your eye on the goal!” he screams again and then rubs his forhead. The plan is to knock this bitch of a ball across the field and into the nearest car’s window. Usuually, every game I manage to break some poor ass-whipes window and they can bitch all the want—accidents happen.Tina is in the stands as usual. She shakes her head and I give her the look. I point the bat at her, then toward the right field, and she rolls her eyes. “Pay Attention!” she screams!
The ball in my hand is cold--the imprint of Lucinda’s edge is still left on the side of it. “Suckers.” I say and toss the ball back toward my desk, it rolls for a moment and on the outer edge of it is a red mark, a mark that reminds me of lipstick and for a moment all I can see is Tina’s head rolling and rolling and looking at me.
“You’re not going to go to that party.” She says as I turn the corner in my car. “It’s just a party Baby.” “No, it’s a place where people get drunk and sleep around!” Smirking for a moment, I look at her. “Gee, really? And you don’t trust me?” I say pointing to her engagement ring. “I trust you—I just don’t trust them. And I know you mean well, but I think you can’t see when something is about to happen. You stumble into it without thinking.”
“Baby, I’m not—“ but before I can finish, the edge of a blue sedan comes into view.
The side of the car crumples like paper behind Tina’s head and my eardrum becomes silent. The window shatters around her head, becoming a halo of light and glass, and the two of us defy gravity for a moment. The sky turns itself inward for a moment, becoming pavement, then sky, then pavement. Tina screams and for a moment--spit comes from her mouth, splashing into my face—my arm twists itself backwards and my head thuds against the ceiling. For a moment, all that I have is on top of me, and I am in the back seat, and then silence and sirens.
For the next house,the world is rolling blur or images. Tina's head appears briefly in my vision for a secomd
Start with a Sense:
The first is sound:
“Wake up Dallas Texas!” screams the announcer straight into my ear, and I flail for a moment, grab the radio and throw it against the wall.
A warm feeling covers my face and when I open my eyes, Shadow is full on coating my face with her tongue. “Get off me Cat!”
When the darkness goes away, I find myself face down in a bowl of potato chips, and the pressure building in my groin is telling me to go to the bathroom—now.
At first the air is still, and then, the blurry vision of my father’s stuffed deer on the wall becomes crystal clear as my eyes adjust.
For a moment I am calm then the sour, rancid dryness enters my mouth. Moving my head up, I notice that my pillow is covered in drool, and I move backwards from it quickly.
Smell, then Sound then Sound:
When I open my eyes the heavy scent of cheese and eggs enters from downstairs. A crackling noise of grease spitting off a frying pan crackles from downstairs and my Mom’s shrill voice cuts through the house like a battering ram. “Garret! Get your ass up!”
A sharp and distinct pain enters my neck, and I cough as I open my eyes. A six inch cockroach about the size of my thumb scuttles across the floor straight at my mouth! “Jesus!” I yell and pull myself up before smashing my head against the bottom of the coffee table. “Dammit!” I scream and quickly press my right hand to my head
Saturday, June 25, 2011
2 a.m., Incense, a quart of gin, my dog with a bone
--for Jim PetersonOutside the rain has finally begun to end.
The quiet here among these books
Has all the elements, I know,
Of murders in the dark:
Of blood, and gagging on that blood.
I stroke his fur, I feel his breath
Move the hair on my hand.
I light a candle against the dark.
But he hears things I cannot hear.
So I invent. I invent madmen
Walking just beyond our sight,
Leaning, listening outside the door,
Scentless so he cannot know they move
Within the circle of our life.
The ice rattles against my glass.
The flame dances. He stops to hear.
And when he does
All breathing in this room
Jerks to an end. I take a drink.
The candle steadies.
The Bone snaps between his teeth.
*Published in Southern Review*