As Tears Go By, For What It’s Worth…

All right, I’m here.

You know, one thing I ponder is how all the readers of this blog know exactly when I update this, when 99% of my readers don’t come here through the WordPress app, which of course alerts people when I’ve posted here.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I just find it curious.

So here I am. Life goes on. Although you have no idea how often I wish that it wouldn’t. Yet indeed it does.

I’ll be working again on the play today. The full scope of all those rewrites are finally taking shape for me. They aren’t necessarily “rewrites”, they are more “additions” — things that need to be peppered throughout the play so that I can add certain character arcs near the end, ones that only make sense if I plant the seeds of them from the very beginning. Leave intact what’s already written, but add things to it, so that the ending can be more pronounced, extreme, chaotic, beautiful.

I had some serious stumbling blocks with it yesterday (more to do with certain people involved with the play who I feel are undermining me, and when that kind of emotional stuff happens, it can be debilitating for me, creatively). I texted Peitor about it, just a simple line about how I was feeling. And he got right on the phone and called me from NYC, where he’s with family, attending a wedding, and he gave me the most breathtaking and straightforward and  life-affirming pep talk that you can possibly imagine. It was just so beautiful and it meant so much to me. It really helped me get back on track with the play.

Still, I awoke this morning early; was out of bed doing the cat-feeding routine, the breakfast thing, all by 4:45am. Went back upstairs to meditate. Then I sat on the end of my bed still in my PJs, with my little Inner Being journal thing in my hand. In the dark. And instead of  journaling and getting my day underway, I sat there in the dark and cried. I didn’t sob or anything, just cried — about all the people & things that are overwhelming me right now, the things I don’t understand and can’t understand, that I can do nothing about. All I can do is write; it’s actually all I have left. And I mean that in the most profound way.

Eventually all these projects will go into the next phase of the cycle of creation; books will be published, plays & videos produced, and at that point, my life will be involved in not writing, for a while. But for now, writing is all I have. I love it but it feels endless. And in some ways — since I have too many projects underway at once — it feels like several balls of yarn that have unraveled in my lap and I have to untangle them and get them back into tidy, manageable balls — or into scripts and manuscripts that are completed and tidy.

I finally realized that I needed to snap out of it, stop crying and go downstairs and get more coffee. And when I went down to the kitchen, I looked at the clock and discovered that I had been sitting on my bed crying for nearly three hours. I had not even really been aware that the sun had come up. Well, it sort of came up — it’s really cloudy here today.

Jesus Christ. Talk about productive.

Anyway. On we go.

I also spoke on the phone to Valerie in Brooklyn yesterday. And when I told her about the Thug Luckless porn project (because I need cover art and she’s an artist), she was very intrigued. She found the whole concept really funny. And we ended up talking about maybe turning it into either an adult comic book or adult graphic novel. The problem with the latter being that “novel” implies some sort of story and/or character arc, of which there are none. Yet. But she wanted to put that idea into the hopper, so to speak, and think about maybe committing to illustrating Thug Luckless as some sort of adult comic/graphic novel.

It would just be so fun but she usually doesn’t actually commit to those types of long-term collaborations with me. But we’ll see.  (I know — I need another project, don’t I?)

All right, well. I’m going to get going here and look at the play again. I leave you with “As Tears Go By” since I’m still listening to Negative Capability, over and over. (It actually inspires me a lot. Not many women’s records do, for some weird reason.) (I like listening to women, but they don’t usually actually inspire me, in the true sense.) (Emmylou Harris and Janis Joplin used to inspire me.)

Anyway, back in the late 1960s, when I was a little girl living in Cleveland, we briefly had this great music teacher in school. She played guitar instead of the usual piano, and we sang all these rock songs. We were only about  8 or 9 years old. We sang songs by The Doors, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones. We sang “As Tears Go By,” which I had always loved. I was not conscious of who Marianne Faithfull was at that point, I just knew that a girl had sung that song when it had been on the radio. I knew who the Rolling Stones were, but knew very little about their music because they were, you know, the Devil. (I’m not kidding — we were taught back then by the media that the Stones were evil, just really bad people because they took drugs and had been sent to jail, etc.)

So we sang “As Tears Go By” in school and I thought it was a “girl singer” song. And then one afternoon, on the radio on the school bus, “As Tears Go By” came on and this time it was sung by a man! I could not believe it. Why was  a man singing that song? By the time I was 12, I was a total Rolling Stones fanatic (although I had to be secretive about it, since they were so evil; I literally had to sneak Exile On Main Street into the house– I had bought it at Woolworth’s with my babysitting money and then had to hide it outside in the bushes to make sure my mom wasn’t around, then when the coast was clear, I grabbed it and ran it up to my room and hid it there. She never found out that I had it.) Anyway, I eventually learned that Jagger & Richards had written “As Tears Go By.”

I thought (and still think) it was so cool that she sang that song again all these years later on Negative Capability. It just sounds really amazing. And of course, when I listen to her singing it now, I recall who they all were back then, but mostly I recall who I was back then — when I was just a little girl in Cleveland, so in love with music. When I would hear a song on the radio back then that I connected with, it was like it washed over me like a tsunami — it overwhelmed me when a song truly connected. “As Tears Go By” was one of those songs. (Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” is another that springs to mind, from when I was about 7. That song would just stop me in my tracks whenever it came on the radio.)

So I guess I leave you with both of those. Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy your Friday, wherever it leads you. I love you. See ya.

Let’s Try that Again!!

Okay! Another day!! We’re gonna see if we can’t find some sort of balance here and do some writing that I end up keeping — not deleting — by the end of the day.

I think I’m working on Tell My Bones rewrites today. That seems to be what’s calling loudest to me right now.

By the way, Helen LaFrance will be 100 years old in just a few weeks. Her old church there in Mayfield, Kentucky, is planning a big birthday celebration for her. They’re going to send me videos of it, which the director will upload to the Tell My Bones website.

Oh, and also, please visit the web site and sign up for the newsletter! Even if you don’t think you’re likely to get to NYC to see the play —  you never know!

(And follow it on facebook here. And on Instagram at tellmybones.) (Please!! And thank you.)

Okay. I just went down to get more coffee and the world outside looked amazing as the sun was coming up, so I went out onto the kitchen porch and took a photo of Basin Street (the light there in the tree is a street light, not the sun):

Basin Street from the kitchen porch just now, as the same came up.












All righty. I just got a text from Peitor just now, as his plane was landing in NYC, and he was trying to come up with loglines for our first micro-short production, Lita’s Got to Go. Here’s my favorite so far (although it doesn’t even hint at the key thing that happens):

“A psychologically disturbed woman becomes obsessed when she senses her housekeeper has been inappropriate with her furniture.”

(This is a micro-short piece of abstract absurdist humor, with that creepy Bauhaus cinematography. And erotic undertones.) (I’m guessing it will be 8 of the best minutes of your life.)

Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure now if the writer’s retreat is going to take place in Italy or not. There’s issues with the electricity there at the villa that Peitor is unhappy with, so he might be moving all the various retreats to a castle in Devon — in England. Of course I speak fluent Devon, so that would make my life a lot easier!! But we’ll see. Either way, it’s not getting underway until next year, so I’m still studying my Italian. I’ll keep you posted.

Okay, gang, this is short today because I want to get started on the play.

I leave you with my breakfast-listening music, “In My Own Particular Way”; a wonderful song off of Marianne Faithfull’s album from earlier this year (or maybe late last year?), Negative Capability. It’s an amazing album, by the way; really just sort of chilling but celebratory, too. And it’s one of those things that makes Instagram so great — I initially found out about it on Instagram because of following Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. (I find a ton of cool music by following musicians on Instagram.)

I met Marianne Faithfull once while I was working at MoMA in NYC. I think it was 1986; I was maybe 25 or 26 years old. Broken English had certainly already happened, and I think she had another album out by then, but regardless, she was this mega icon from my girlhood and I had just turned around and suddenly she was standing right there. She was smoking (you could still smoke indoors back then) and I remember she was wearing a leopard-print blazer of some kind. I was so excited, I blurted, “Oh god — hi!!” And she smiled and said, “Oh god — hi!!” It was really sweet and funny, and she had the throatiest voice since Dietrich.

I was a lot taller than her, though. I’m not sure why it bothers me that so many of these cultural icons from my youth are not taller than me. But anyway, she made my day. She even asked me my name. She was very nice.

Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Thursday, wherever it finds you and with whatever it finds you doing (or perhaps meeting!!). I love you guys. See ya.

“In My Own Particular Way”

Send me someone to love
Someone who could love me back
Love me for who I really am
Not an image and not for money
I know I’m not young and I’m damaged
But I’m still pretty, kind and funny

In my own particular way
In my own particular way
Capable of loving in my own particular way
And ready to love
At last

It’s taken me a long time to learn
In fact my whole life so far
So much rubbish I had to burn
So much I had to go through

Send me someone please who’ll love me
Someone who can see all my faults
But love me nevertheless
And we will love each other

In our own particular way
In our own particular way
Capable of living in our own particular way
And ready to love
At last

In my own particular way
In my own particular way
Capable of loving in my own particular way
And ready to love
At last

c – 2018 Marianne Faithfull, Ed Harcourt, Warren Ellis, Robert Mcvey

For Fuck’s Sake, Why Can’t Life Ever Just Stay Awesome?

It’s just been one of those days.

First. Work on the micro-short with Peitor went extremely well. We got great work done. We finished the 2nd segment of the script. 4 more segments to go.  The 2nd segment is approx. 90 seconds long. Still not a word of dialogue.

And the 2nd segment relies heavily on the filmmaking style Antonioni used in his movie from 1962, L’eclisse. Did you happen to see it? I thought you had! I know how much you enjoy black & white Italian movies from 1962. (You know, the reason Peitor and I have been friends for something like 35 fucking years is because when he said he wanted the segment to have the look of Antonioni’s L’eclisse, I knew exactly what he was talking about.) (Except for the part when she’s walking down the hall, I want the shots to have more of a feel of Polanski’s Repulsion but without all the arms molesting her. And I know you saw that!!)

Image result for polanski's repulsion
Catherine Deneuve in Polasnki’s Repulsion, 1965

By the way, our film is not in black & white. It’s just designed to feel like it is. And it’s not set in the 1960s, although our main character kind of is. (And as an aside, it’s kind of interesting that I didn’t end up like Deneuve’s character in Repulsion, all things considered. And even though today sort of sucks — overall, I think I’m doing pretty darned all right. However. If I end up wanting to eat an uncooked rabbit head that I’m carrying around in my purse, we can assume that things are at long last going seriously awry…)

Anyway. That was the highlight of the day — working with Peitor for a few hours.

My work on Letter #5 for Girl in the Night is frustrating me so I deleted all of it. I’m still going to keep the same premise for it (“Hymn to the Dark”) but it just kept feeling too plebeian. Sometimes plebeian is wanted. But not in this particular section of the book.  In this section, I want it to feel like, I don’t know — the genesis of angels or something. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. I don’t even know what I fucking mean, at this point. I only know I haven’t captured it yet. So I will spend tonight trying again.

I did manage to wash my hair and shave my legs and even pay some attention to my (hideously chipped) toenails for the first time since before I went to New York — over a month ago already! (Can you believe that it was one month ago tonight that I saw Nick Cave at Town Hall? Man. In some ways it feels like a year.) (I wish I could just persuade somebody to live my life for me while I just stayed in bed and reaped the rewards of dreaming.) (Except for the times when I go see Nick Cave.) But anyway, when the weather gets colder and I wear actual shoes most of the time, instead of flip-flops everywhere, I tend to forget to look and see if my toenails need re-polishing. And I also tend to not wear my glasses most of the time, so I don’t usually see much of anything.  But today I got out of the shower and suddenly it was, like — holy moly. So I dealt with the toes.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my sweet cat, Bunny, dying of a heart attack. She was the last of my house cats. I cannot tell you how much I miss having cats that actually interact with me. You know — the kind that let me cuddle with them and that purr and that like to sleep on the bed with me all night. Who look at me like they understand me when I chatter at them. Who act as if they actually love me. I just miss it so much. Even though Daddycakes was feral, he would purr and get on the bed with me a lot of the time, but he didn’t want to be cuddled or petted — he did allow me to do it, begrudgingly, so I tried not to overdo it. But, man. Feral cats are rough on the heartstrings.

Although, for the past several mornings, when it’s still dark out and I go into the dark bathroom to pee first thing, Huckleberry and Doris will come into the bathroom and lick my toes! This is a totally new thing. They will let me sort of reach down and pet them, but only once. If I try for twice, then they nip at me. So, you know, I’m trying to make the most out of peeing in the dark while they lick my toes… with those sandpaper-y little tongues.

This business of allowing life to be however it’s going to be without me orchestrating it to suit my needs… I’m not a big fan of it.

It sort of reminds me that I feel kind of at odds with what I posted this morning about Ghosteen. I even thought about deleting it. I wish I didn’t feel so deeply about things. I decided to keep it posted, just because I guess it’s better not to censor myself. To just “express.” I just think it’s such a beautiful album and I still don’t know how to process how it makes me feel.

And I wasn’t being mean about his wife’s dress. I mean, she does sort of describe it like that in that movie, not those 2 exact words, but they amount to the same thing — she had a sort of mission to have every woman wearing the same dress, and looking like some sort of prim cult from 40 years ago. I don’t remember exactly. But if you didn’t see One More Time With Feeling, then maybe I sounded really mean.

But that was not my intention.

Well, I guess I should either get back to work here, or do some yoga now. I’ll make up my mind momentarily. I just hope something wonderful comes out of this brain of mine tonight to salvage this frustrating day.

Oh you know, I saw something online today that the late painter Basquiat said about what the Lower East Side of NYC was like back in the late 70s & early 80s (that bombed-out, war-zone look), and there were some photos from back then included. This was when I lived down there, in Alphabet City. I just sort of take it as a given that people remember what it was like back then, but a lot of people who read my blog weren’t even born yet back then. So here is a really good photo of what it looked like on E. 12th Street back when I lived there (for 9 years). I don’t know this particular building’s exact location, but so much of the LES looked exactly like this back then. This could have easily been the “apartment” next door to me:

Somewhere below E. 14th Street, NYC, early 1980s.

It is so weird to think I simply lived like this. For so many years. I didn’t even think about it. It’s just how it was.

Honestly, a lot of the times I miss it. I don’t really enjoy what NYC has become.

All righty! I’m off to do something. I don’t know what yet. But here’s hoping that before the night ends, I will have written something worth keeping. I love you guys. See ya.

Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me

Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous — after all those mornings of not wanting to budge from bed until long after the sun was up, this morning, I was up and out of bed by 4:30. What the hell, right?

I guess just go with it.

I have a lot to work on today. Not only Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, but also Peitor and I are supposed to work on our script for a few hours this morning over the phone. (For our micro-short known variously as “Lita’s Gotta Go” or “Lita’s Got to Go” or “Leta’s Got to Go”, or the Swedish subtitle, “Lita maste ga.”)


Wow, Instagram sure was pink last night.

I didn’t stop working until about 10PM last night, and that was the first time I’d gotten on Instagram all day, and quickly discovered an ad campaign or Vogue layout or both for the Vampire’s Wife’s pink dress.

Then I awoke around 3am, thinking about that pink dress campaign and how it sort of has the feel of a visual offshoot of the Ghosteen album cover — soft, pink, harmless. Not that the album cover is pink but it does have pink in it and it does feel intensely harmless. Like it could be a mural on the wall of a child’s nursery. And it struck me that the two projects combined — the new album and its subsequent merchandising and upcoming tour, and the pink dress merchandising campaign — is not just the processing of grief, but inadvertently the merchandising of grief, on a huge scale.

You know how I ponder things, and sometimes I ponder things past the point of no return, because I certainly don’t want to see Ghosteen that way. But it is part of the job: you make the record, you have to tour, sell tickets, sell the merchandise, hopefully sell the record itself; earn your living (even a guy’s “gotta make ends meet/on Jubilee Street” right?).

The dress doesn’t really weigh on me as much. Although, I don’t support women’s fashion overall, whether it’s the puritanical conformity of the Vampire’s Wife dress, or the sort of horrific complicated torture chambers of Alexander McQueen’s fashions, and everything in between. I realize, at the bottom line, women’s fashion is really just about the mind of the designer, but the overriding consequence of “women’s fashion” still bespeaks of the trivialization (and sometimes the attempted annihilation) of the minds, unique identities, and bodies of women. You know, there’s just no way around the decades, and decades, and decades of that symbolism. I’ve always been attracted to style icons — Bianca Jagger in the 1970s rushes to mind — but an overall blanket of “women’s fashion” has always sort of repelled me (the primary reason I didn’t last long as a professional fashion model when I was in my late teens — my own agent, the man responsible for getting me employed, yelling at me in front of the entire office that if I didn’t like being treated like a piece of meat, I was in the wrong business. And he was right.). (And then my adoptive dad coming to town and taking me out to dinner and finding out that I was working as a professional fashion model: “If you want men to think you’re stupid, Marilyn, then being a model is the best thing to be.” Thanks, Dad.)

Well, anyway.

I do love where men’s fashions have gone in this current century, though. Men’s fashions used to be just as annihilating of a man’s psychological freedom, his spirit. And now, with magazine’s like Another Man especially, men’s bodies, their personae within the fashions, within the mise en scene, seem to have become liquid art. Just something so invigorating and uplifting to look at there. To my mind, at least.

But I’m digressing. I was just lying there at 3am today, thinking about Ghosteen and the necessary fact of having to merchandise it, and then wondering what on Earth that would really mean. Are you ultimately merchandising the death of a child? My mind can’t really even begin to go there. It was so disturbing. I’m hoping, of course, that the experience is something that helps audiences transcend some specific grief; find release, maybe? Not just be swept into some sort of oceanic abyss of emotion, being that it will be on that frenzied scale of a live concert. That ultimately uncontrollable emotional scale. (I’m guessing you can tell that I don’t go to concerts, either. They just have become this huge, unwieldy “thing”. A veritable sea of “too much.”)

Skeleton Tree felt so different to me, as a record. There was still a lot of grief there, but it did feel like individual songs. And even while they were equally abstract, there were songs that I could viscerally connect with in terms of my own life — “Girl in Amber,” “Distant Sky,” “Jesus Alone,” and “I Need You.”

Ghosteen just seems so sweeping and not as if it contains separate, individual songs that you can just sort of toss out there in a song lineup. And it’s just a devastating album — in its grief, its beauty, its overwhelming, abstract imagery.  It might be easier if it wasn’t a sort of “concept” album; if it wasn’t a sort of microscopic focus on the byproduct of emotional chaos brought on by a child’s death. But I guess that’s sort of obvious, isn’t it — it would all be so much easier if it wasn’t that. Jesus. I just can’t process what it means to create a (hopefully) cathartic work of art about grief, about life, love, death; and then have to, you know, “take it on the road!” and wear a pink dress.

Just forever and ever, right? The death of a child has been unbearable. Psalm 137 (KJV) springs horribly to mind — and that’s from twenty-five hundred years ago.

Oh god. Some mornings,you know,  life is just a wee bit stultifying.

But then I started thinking about David Byrne and how he has this really popular show on Broadway right now — American Utopia. I hope I get to see it. The Broadway cast album is out already, and it made me think of that Talking Heads song that I used to just love – “Don’t Worry About the Government”. Such simple times, you know? Early days in NYC. Life, even in its turmoil and awfulness, its drugs and booze and poverty and violence, was still new and still full of kinetic excitement for me and my friends. Daily.

But being in my early 20s, and being age 59 now — you can’t compare the two. You just can’t. There’s that pesky thing of experience fucking that comparison all up.

Still, it did make me go on YouTube at around 4am and play that song and realize that I still know every glorious word to it. And I remembered just how much that chorus meant to me, spoke to me, in those days.

Anyway. I gotta get started here. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Don’t Worry About The Government”

I see the clouds that move across the sky
I see the wind that moves the clouds away
It moves the clouds over by the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

I smell the pine trees and the peaches in the woods
I see the pine cones that fall by the highway
That’s the highway that goes to the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

It’s over there, it’s over there
My building has every convenience
It’s gonna make life easy for me
It’s gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

Loved ones, loved ones visit the building,
take the highway, park and come up and see me
I’ll be working, working but if you come visit
I’ll put down what I’m doing, my friends are important

Don’t you worry ’bout me
I wouldn’t worry about me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout me

I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me

Some civil servants are just like my loved ones
They work so hard and they try to be strong
I’m a lucky guy to live in my building
They own the buildings to help them along

It’s over there, it’s over there
My building has every convenience
It’s gonna make life easy for me
It’s gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

Loved ones, loved ones visit the building
Take the highway, park and come up and see me
I’ll be working, working but if you come visit
I’ll put down what I’m doing, my friends are important

I wouldn’t worry ’bout me
I wouldn’t worry about me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout ME…

c – 1977 David Byrne

Quick Tuesday Afternoon Update!

Okay, for reasons related to publishers, my short story “After Hours” has been removed from the above linked drop-down menu, From the Vault.

I replaced it with two other short stories, of a similar temperament (meaning erotic but not as hardcore as some of the stories in the vault).

The stories added are:

The Epicures : a previously published short story that eroticizes food and wine and that includes sexually graphic depictions of sex with food and eroticized simulations of childbirth, so squeamish readers should be forewarned.

August on the Lake: an erotic short story about fellatio and divorce. It originally appeared in French. I don’t think it appears in English anywhere, except here and in my collection The Muse Revisited, Volume 3.

I also decided, after a zillion months, to update the excerpt in the section above titled, Excerpt: The Muse Revisited. If you are the sole person left in the English-speaking world who has never read my short story, Anal, from 1994, here’s your chance to unburden yourself of that uncomfortable moniker!

But please be forewarned: The story contains sexually graphic depictions of anal sex that, even after all these years of being in print, will still not be suitable for all readers.

Okay! Back to your regularly-scheduled Tuesday programming!! And I’ll get back to mine!! See ya!

Image result for vintage drawings of naughty little girls getting spanked

Well! Now We Know Just How I Feel About That!!

Yesterday was sort of magnificent.

Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse began its transmigration from the ether to the page!! I was not really expecting it, so I was really excited.

It’s titled “Hymn to the Dark” and it begins with the idea that angels can be pretty dark, that they aren’t always about “hallelujah,” but that my Muse has shown me that the dark can sometimes be glorious.

So it goes to some beautiful  (& erotic) places.

The title came as a sort of play on Novalis’ famous Hymnen an die Nacht (Hymns to the Night; Germany, 1800).

Novalis’ real name was Georg Friedrich Philipp, Freiherr von Hardenberg. He lived only from 1772-1801. And Hymns of the Night is an often heart-rending poem of grief that he wrote after his beloved Sophie died (very young) and then he died shortly after her, at age 29. They both had consumption.

The poem was a sensation when it was published in Germany in a literary magazine,  Athenaeum 3 (in 1800), and the poem heralded the birth of German Romanticism.

The book (it’s a long poem mixed with prose), is a staple of Divinity studies and so I’d read it when I was studying for the ministry.  But I think that Christian theologians only look at one specific segment of the poem and don’t really consider the entirety of what Novalis wrote. Even while he does do an uncanny job of capturing what the idea of Christ brought to masses of people who moved out of paganism and into monotheism and then needed to re-frame their idea of Death.

I’m making the poem sound scholarly, but it’s not; it’s really fluid and deep and beautiful. Still, Novalis has a really succinct grasp on how three different eras of Western humanity dealt with the loss & grief of death, and since it was still only 1800 A.D., he ends with the Christian era, nailing it precisely:

“No longer was the Light the seat of the gods or their heavenly sign — over themselves they drew the veil of Night. Night became the mighty womb of revelations — the gods drew back into it — and fell asleep, only to go out in new and more splendid forms over the changed world.”

But in the beginning of the poem, where he’s talking only about his own deep grief and deep loss, he is surprisingly modern and doesn’t represent traditional Christian thinking at all, so why Christians sort of seem to ignore that part is a bit of a question mark for me. But it’s that early, non-Christian, part of the poem that moves me most. Lines about how the secret heart remains true to the Night, where creative Love comes alive, and how we owe everything to that Love (and you can easily read several passages of it as implications of erotic love):

“Won’t Love’s secret offering ever burn forever? …Only fools misrecognize you… They don’t feel you in the grapes’ golden flood — in almond trees’ wonder oil — in poppies’ brown juice. They don’t know that it’s you hovering around a tender girl’s breasts making her womb heaven — and don’t suspect that, out of old stories, you, opening heaven up, come and carry the key to the Dwellings of the Blessed, quiet messenger of infinite mysteries.”

“Doesn’t all that inspires us bear the color of the Night? It bears you mother-like, and you owe all your magnificence to her. You’d evaporate inside yourself — you’d crumble away in endless space if she didn’t hold you, tie you, so that you became warm and, flaming, sired the world.”

His beginning premise seems to be that the Night saved him from his grief and returned his passion, as well as his lover, to him; that in the Night, he engages in some sort of erotic  coupling with her soul once more. And at the very end of the poem, he seems to be plainly speaking about it:

You come, beloved —
The Night is here —
My soul’s enraptured —
The earthly day’s past
And you’re mine again.
I look into your deep dark eyes,
See nothing but love and bliss
We sink onto the altar of night
Onto the soft bed —
The veil is gone
And, lit by the warm pressure,
There glow the pure embers
Of the sweet offering.

None of those sentiments are encouraged in true Christian theological mindsets. Unless, of course, you’re subversively dressing it up in the guise of how you feel about Christ. But Novalis isn’t talking there about Christ at all; he is plainly talking about Sophie’s soul coming to him at Night after her death.

Well. All right. I have truly digressed there. I only meant to say that Letter #5 of Girl in the Night is underway… And won’t it be fun!

Anyway, yesterday was wonderful and I’m thinking today might hold more of the same wonder. I will indeed make time to drive into town and buy groceries!! Yay! That’s always fun — having food in the house.

(And I did go to the gas station yesterday and I begrudgingly bought the smallest bottle of milk available. And then, while making my way to the counter to pay for it, I passed through the candy aisle.  I am not a big candy-eating person, at all. However. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a Kit-Kat bar in dark chocolate!! I did not know they made such a thing! I do love dark chocolate. So I bought the darn thing, and four-hundred-and-ten calories later!!!!!! I had eaten it in its entirety and it was incredibly good.)

Okay-doke, gang. Oh — Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files newsletter today. (Linked there.) But only read it when you truly have the time to contemplate his always-eloquent reply. If you hurry through it, you will only do yourself a disservice.

I am, of course, joking, This time, his reply was only 2 words long. (If you’d like to know which words, they are linked above.)

Okay. I’m gonna scoot!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I’ll leave you with something somewhat appropriate, somewhat not, for today’s ramblings.

This is the song I personally played (over & over) when I graduated from Divinity School (Magna Cum Laude, but on my heady way to nowhere because I just see Christ so darn differently than everyone else does.) It was in December, so it was around Christmas and this song was appropriate to the season. While I do not believe in transubstantiation, I do believe this is a truly beautiful (and beautifully sung) hymn. (It’s actually about Easter, but we sing it at Christmas…) Okay, I love you guys. Have a splendid day!! See ya!

Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus, et humilis.
Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.

Three! No, Four (!!) No, FIVE!!! No, SIX!!! Cars Coming Right At You!

Yes, that is currently me, in the happy intersection of life.

I have three projects, front and center on my plate. All of which call out for my attention; all of which engage and delight me: Tell My Bones rewrites;  Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse (erotic memoir letters);  and In the Shadow of Narcissa (memoir of childhood).

Then I added Thug Luckless to the stack of projects — a porn thing I’m writing that I really, really love but I’m basically writing it just to sell it.

Then, of course, Peitor and I got back on our writing schedule for Abstract Absurdity Productions.

And then I heard from Sandra last night that our other theatrical project, The Guide to Being Fabulous, is once again moving to the forefront in Toronto. (Translation: TONS of rewrites needed there, plus a trip to Toronto for an initial roundtable with the director and the producers at the theater.)

It’s like standing in an intersection and having 6 projects coming right at you, all of which make you really happy, and all of which require 100% focus, attention, concentration. But if you don’t make a decision immediately about which one to focus on, they are all going to run you over.

I think this is why I’ve been staying in bed a little later every morning, even though I’m still awake every day at 5:30 am.  Still going down to feed the cats, eat breakfast, listen to music at the kitchen table — in short, enjoying my peaceful little early morning solitude time. I then go back upstairs to meditate and then center myself by writing in my Inner Being journal thingie. And THEN — I go right back to bed and stare out the window.

Because, by then, it’s still only about 6:30 in the morning; it’s still dark out. There’s no imperative reason to get dressed while it’s still dark out and sit down at the desk and try to tackle that now daily question: which project am I going to focus on first? That daily question that is starting to make me insane. (In a good way, but nevertheless, insane.)

And undeniable proof that I’m staying in bed too long in the mornings is that this morning, I ran out of milk for my coffee!!!! I cannot drink black coffee, and so I never run out of milk. To me, that ranks as a terrible (albeit, First World) catastrophe: Snuggly fall morning in October, still in my PJs, still in my quiet pre-dawn place and suddenly out of milk for my coffee.


I only drive into town once a week to buy groceries. It’s 25 miles each way, so that’s an hour of driving. I drink organic milk, too, so that’s why I buy my milk in town. There is of course milk readily available at the gas station. Two minutes from here.  And even though it’s actual milk, you know; it works. It makes my coffee not-black. But still. Come on. I’m surrounded by farms here for miles and miles and miles. I want my organic milk. But the gas station is not going to carry that and yet only the gas station is open at that lowly hour of the morning… (Which reminds me, yesterday, I was out on the main road that heads out of town, where all the farms begin, and I actually saw a bull trying really hard to mount a cow who kept  sort of scurrying away from him — if cows can be referred to as “scurrying.” It was funny.)

But I digress. My point is that I did indeed run out of milk, which never happens, which tells me that I’ve been hanging out in bed too long, drinking way too much coffee…

But how do you prioritize projects when every single project you’re working on is something that makes you really inspired? Or feel fulfilled, or what have you. My brain gets sort of jumbled. And when that happens, stress sets in.

(I think I will blame my Muse, for being too intensely and wonderfully muse-like. But I’m not gonna shut off that valve, no matter what.)

So, here I sit. At my desk. Dressed. Black coffee in my enormous autumnal coffee mug. I have no clue what I’m going to work on first today. And the morning is already half-gone. (And I need to get my ass to the gas station and buy some fucking milk. Because black coffee sucks!!)

But I’m happy! So that’s cool.

And while I try to figure out what the heck I’m doing today, I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning! I just love this song: “Crow Jane” from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads, from something like a million years ago (or 1996 — something like that).

Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope Monday is just a really great day for you, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!!

“Crow Jane”

Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane
Horrors in her head
That her tongue dare not name
She lives alone by the river
The rolling rivers of pain
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
There is one shining eye on a hard-hat
The company closed down the mine
Winking on waters they came
Twenty hard-hats, twenty eyes
In her clapboard shack
Only six foot by five
They killed all her whiskey
And poured their pistols dry
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
Seems you’ve remembered
How to sleep, how to sleep
The house dogs are in your turnips
And your yard dogs are running all over the street
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
“O Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson
Why you close up shop so late?”
“Just fitted out a girl who looked like a bird
Measured .32, .44, .38
I asked that girl which road she was taking
Said she was walking the road of hate
But she stopped on a coal-trolley up to New Haven
Population: 48”
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
Your guns are drunk and smoking
They’ve followed you right back to your gate
Laughing all the way back from the new town
Population, now, 28
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

c – 1996 Nick Cave, Martyn Casey

Yes! Coffee’s Ready!!!

Yes, I confess!! I am blogging from bed again. My cup of coffee on the night table beside me once more.

A different cup, though. Still autumnal, but this one is really huge.  Requires fewer trips downstairs:

Enormous autumnal coffee cup requires that I leave the bed less!


I’m also  blogging in the dark (I only turned on the lamp to better regale you with the photo), plus I’m blogging without my glasses on and hoping for the best!

As much as I love summer and truly hate to see it end (grieve when it ends, is more accurate), I sure do get used to the quiet coziness of fall mornings in a hurry. I cannot emphasize enough how cozy my bed is in the dark, when there’s a little chill in the air.

Kevin is supposed to come by sometime today with his dad to come get his VW camper van from out of my barn.  It’s always so great to see him, if only for a few minutes! He is definitely a wonderfully quirky guy.  Just a delight to know. About 20 years younger than me. Born and raised out here in the Hinterlands.

The first thing he said to me yesterday was, “Are you still giving that guy piano lessons?”

Funny how, when someone is gone for a few months, their perceptions of you remain back in time. Alas, no; I’m not still giving that guy piano lessons. He did finally move to the new house and took his piano out of storage, but he also got a new girlfriend and she moved in with him and he wasn’t making any dedicated time to practice.  So sadly, it was really just wasting my time.

Regardless, though, it was enough time to help me reconnect with myself musically, so that was perhaps the hidden blessing within that whole experience.

But between all the writing projects and trying to learn Italian every day, my intellectual plate is kind of full. If I still had my own piano in the house and could teach here, without having to do all that driving, I would probably be able to be a little more tolerant of people not practicing enough between lessons. Otherwise, to me,  it just feels like a hobby for them, not something serious, and I end up thinking, “Jesus Christ, do you have any clue how busy I am?”

That said… this morning, as I was lying here, doing absolutely nothing besides drinking my coffee, I was reflecting on how incredibly great it feels to do absolutely nothing.  Just lie here. Even while I’m getting excited about Letter #5 of Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse forming on my inner horizon. I’m not sure yet what it’s going to be about; I can only feel a darkness to it and a depth. No words are forming yet. So I’m excited about all these things I’m writing, but it sure feels good to lie in bed for an extra hour or two in the dark and do nothing!!!

There has also been some interesting stuff going on regarding both of my adoptive parents. It has given me food for thought. I don’t actually know if my adoptive mother is still alive; I’m guessing she is.  But I’m also guessing that if she is dying, no one is going to rush to alert me because they wouldn’t want me to pop up and contest her Will. (Yes, I think that highly of all of them…)

Anyway, my adoptive dad has nothing to do with any of them, But I was lamenting this morning that my relationship with him has really begun to deteriorate again. Part of it is me just becoming this total emotional minefield now.  It doesn’t matter if he tries to be nice (in his own nearly unidentifiable way of being “nice”), I make sure to keep moving all the active mines so that he’s gonna step on one of them, no matter what.

I’m just awful. Like I’m not going to give an inch anymore. I’m just one big minefield, loaded with active mines that are constantly shifting around so that he can’t possibly make any headway with me at all right now.  Pretty much everything he tries to say to me is WRONG. I don’t know if I’ll stay like this forever, but it’s definitely who I am with him right now.

Okay, well. On that cheery note!!! Have a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world. It is of course Tom  Petty‘s birthday today.  Have some cake or something, okay?

(From before he even moved to LA — a really long time ago!)

Okay, I love you guys! See ya.

It Seems That Things Are Getting Better!

It is a really glorious October day here today.  I’m feeling a little more centered than I’ve felt in well over a week. Balanced, I guess.

Yesterday’s work with Peitor, over the phone, was really just great. Not only productive, but also it was really so much fun going over the script and all our notes for the script and both of us being kind of amazed by it. Some of it is intense, but on varying levels, all of it is funny.  We hadn’t worked on the script since July, so it was just fun to realize just how much work we had already gotten done on it before life went off in various intense directions.

It was also just great to be working with Peitor again and not feeling so isolated. I love writing, and I usually don’t mind that I have to be alone while doing that. But sometimes I really do feel intensely isolated. So it was great to be creative but have someone to laugh with, too.

And the movie is going to be so fucking cool even though it will only be about 8 minutes long.


Well, tomorrow would have been Tom Petty’s 69th birthday so there are memorial concerts all over the country for him this weekend and the proceeds go to his 2 favorite charities in LA — mission charities that help the homeless and homeless children, and maybe homeless addicts, or something like that. I don’t really remember the exact charities. But a lot is going on.

I am doing incredibly good about all this. Only an occasional twinge of sorrow and then only when I think of him from the late 70s & early 80s — sometimes that whole Tom Petty era really still gets to me. The loss of that. His incredibly intense and wonderful youth. But overall, I’m good.

Both of his daughters are in my Instagram feed but I don’t usually pay too much attention to either of their feeds because they are both very intense, outspoken women — both artists and extremely political.  I usually find both of them a little disarming. But for some reason, it feels rude to just unfollow them. But this weekend, one of them posted just some horrific stuff involving animals in peril, it was just awful, so disturbing. So I’m guessing she’s still having some really deep issues about her father’s birthday & his death. (Last year, she was intense, as well, but not in this horrific way.) So very public. All of it. I’m sure that has got to make everything so much harder to process.

But right at this very point in time, I’m coping with all my own issues of loss. I really am. I’m feeling that sense of perspective that’s calmer or perhaps more accepting of things? And not just various deaths, but other issues of loss that I’ve had to confront over the last few (extremely difficult) years, especially revolving around my adoptive mother. All of it is easing up now. It really is.

All right. Well I’m gonna scoot. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with two things. A photo of Tom Petty with his granddaughter shortly before he died:

Tom Petty In LA with his granddaughter, Everly.

And a great song of his off of Damn the Torpedoes, their breakout album from 1978.  This is a live  version from that time period, in London, but Tom sings  his original lyrics to the song. On the album, Jimmy Iovine, the producer, made him get rid of the drug references.

All righty! Enjoy what’s left of Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang. I love you guys. See ya.