Wow, gang. The temperature dipped down into the 50s Fahrenheit, making for just a delightful little morning here. I could still keep some of the windows open during the night, but also get snuggly in bed. Perfect sleeping weather.
And now the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and it just feels like a perfect morning.
I got good work done on the edits of Peitor’s new book yesterday — still have a few days worth of work ahead of me, though. But he’s written a really cool book — a really engaging read, so I don’t mind editing it at all.
And when I wasn’t editing, I was continuing to read Sharon Olds’ collection of poems, The Father. And even though it is extremely well written, and some very arresting imagery is expressed (it’s a collection of poems chronicling the death of her father), I just kept going right back to Anne Sexton’s Complete Poems. She just inspires me to the moon and back, you know? And she’s really moving me along in Letter #8 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.
It’s weird because this is certainly not the first time I’ve read Anne Sexton’s poems, or even The Complete Poems — Wayne and I had that book, back when I was still married to him, back in NYC. And I used to read it. But for whatever reason, right now, I am totally hooked into it. Totally. Can’t put her poems down.
And even while she is not the aforementioned “Muse” I’m writing to (i.e., “erotic love letters to the Muse”), she is definitely “musing” me right along right now. And I am really enjoying that flow.
I’m reading the Sharon Olds collection specifically because I began reading an academic book that focuses on how the “confessional- style” poets Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Sharon Olds deal with the themes of father-daughter incest in their poetry.
(After Anne Sexton’s death, a previous psychiatrist of hers, violating the mandate of doctor-patient confidentiality, released Anne’s private transcripts to the world (via a book about Anne’s life), revealing that she may have been the victim of incest with her father when she was growing up, and also that Anne herself had engaged in incestuous behavior with one of her daughters — with which that particular daughter concurred, later, in her own memoir.)
Sharon Olds doesn’t seem to have had that issue to contend with in her life, but some of the ideas she touches on in The Father poems could be construed as exploring a certain sexual energy, for lack of a better way of explaining it. But, to me, it feels more like a human energy, a “thought-exploration” that opens all kinds of doors inside a woman’s mind when someone she loves has died. I certainly wouldn’t describe it as “incest” or even truly “Oedipal”, for that matter.
I’ve read a lot of Sylvia Plath in my life, but not a lot of Adrienne Rich poems, for some reason. But I still found that academic book (mentioned above) highly interesting because the incest theme is certainly a huge part of my own life and my writing (my biological father, not my adoptive one). And the book did sort of indicate that, in regards to that specific theme in my life, I definitely seem to have never grown up. (I am paraphrasing, hugely.) But in that same regard, based on the author’s conclusions about Anne Sexton and Anne’s approach to that topic in her own work — and drawing from Freud and that whole crowd — neither one of us really grew up.
It could be that my intense immaturity is why I find Anne Sexton’s poems so inspiring! (I do, of course, jest.) (I think.)
Anyway. I appear to be deep into some sort of digression here. Not sure how that happened. One minute, I was talking about the lovely weather, then the next minute, I was talking about incest…
But that’s just the splendiferous joy of spending time in Marilyn’s Room. We never know where my digressions will take us!!
Wow, I really enjoyed that movie I mentioned yesterday Behind the Curtain (1929). I finished streaming it last evening, and it did indeed have Charlie Chan in it — midway through, the location switches to San Francisco and that is where Charlie Chan is living at that point. AND, I might add, they had an actual Chinese actor playing Charlie Chan!! Something they don’t seem to have ever again done, until some remake in the early 1980s, or something like that.
Plus, Boris Karloff puts in an appearance, as well — playing a Persian manservant (!!). But overall, I just felt the story was really good, really engaging. I mean the morals are outdated, but the storyline was really good for its era. It was certainly a much deeper film than any of the Charlie Chan one-hour movies that Hollywood began making in the 1930s, when Warner Oland began starring as Charlie Chan. (And the Charlie Chan movies get even more formulaic after Warner Oland died and Sidney Toler was playing Charlie Chan — well in the 1940s. It gets to the point when I can no longer even watch them; they just become paper-thin.)
Anyway, Behind the Curtain was a nice surprise.
Overall, I had just a wonderful day and evening yesterday. Today, I’m scheduled to work again with Peitor on Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. Plus chat with Valerie about design-related stuff for my upcoming novel The Guitar Hero Goes Home.
Which reminds me… I was chatting on the phone with my ex-husband, Wayne, in NYC, the other day. And he was commenting on a sample of the cover art I had texted him for The Guitar Hero Goes Home. Apparently, he had gone onto Amazon to see if the novel was for sale yet, and he told me he was kind of astounded by how many of my books are for sale on Amazon…
Well, this astounded me because nowadays I have only two-pages on Amazon, mostly for out of print books or for eBooks. Whereas, even just a few years ago, I had a couple dozen pages, and most of my books, from all over the world, were still in print.
Wayne commented to me, “Wow, you’ve really done a lot of writing.’
And then I thought, like: Wow, where were you the entire time we were married? You know? I was publishing tons of stuff the entire time we were married. I was winning literary awards all over the fucking place. Giving readings all the time — and not just in NYC, but in Boston, Cambridge, LA, London, Paris. I was using my advance money from publishers in Europe to take us on great vacations. And I was always, always, always working on one publishing project or another the entire time we were married.
It felt shocking to me that he seems to have no recollection of this. And it makes me wonder who he remembers being married to for 14 years, you know? It was actually kind of upsetting to me, but I didn’t say anything. We’re not married anymore, and haven’t been since 2007. There’s no reason to even go there, right?
However, it did sort of renew that feeling in me that the work women do is never deemed as important as what the men are doing. At least, in my marriage it felt that way.
Although, when I left Wayne and began living with Mikey Rivera, it was just so different. Mikey was unbelievably supportive of my writing — of every single thing I wrote. He was an under-educated Puerto Rican plumber, raised in a Brooklyn ghetto, but he was just so proud of my being a writer. And during those early years with him, I really began to write some of my best work.
Anyway. Life goes on.
So, I’ll close this now and get Saturday happening here! Thanks for visiting, gang. I was listening to the Essential Nina Simone last night while drifting in and out of sleep — and, eventually, I was dead to the world as it played on into the darkness and turned itself off.
What a great collection! I’ll just randomly leave you with her version of a BeeGees’ song I’ve always loved, “To Love Somebody.” Listen and enjoy, but the entire selection is just stellar. And have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang! I love you guys. See ya!