ON BRATTINESS


two of my friends are having a conversation about the lover by marguerite duras in the form of a magazine article because we are reading it for our prose workshop and the whole reason the three of us, who are poets, primarily, at least in terms of our identifications in mfa-land, took prose workshop so we could think about writing differently together and write about it together and we are supposed to be writing a collaborative blog post about it except I have not read the book because 1) we were at awp and 2) one of my friends told me the book would probably make me incredibly sad and I have literal physical reactions to writing that makes me incredibly sad which is to say writing that reminds me absolutely that I am alive and I do not want that influence in my life right now. what they are doing is translating the plot of the book to me in the kinds of long abstract questions used in especially smart vogue interviews and even thinking about the questions and the answers makes me already so sad I feel immobilized.

there is a chopin nocturne playing on my pandora station based on the song nineteen by tegan & sara and I would say that exactly describes the sentiment of my weekend.

we have decided the process of writing the collaborative blog post is too stressful for all of us except maybe jiyoon who says she likes the music. she says it during an especially bratty section in the music involving a lot of heavy virtuoso cascades. this weekend I only bought books from fence and one book from a press called magic helicopter because there was a box of franzia on the table which was intriguing even though I didn’t drink it and the boy at the table was charming and not-irritating and I opened to a random page of the book and read it and immediately needed to own it; also there was a melting. now seth is reading from a book called gowanus atropolis by julian t. brolawski and I wish I had bought this book as well and now in fact everyone in the room who doesn’t own the book is buying it online. we are having tea on the floor. somehow we all started talking about talent and what happens when one falls so in love with talent or tries to kill it and how when very talented artists do either thing to the fullest extent it makes something at once incomparably beautiful and fundamentally damaged. this weekend I went to the action/fence reading and saw poets make extraordinarily beautiful things and part of what made being there so wonderful was that the voicing of those poems through those actual bodies that were alive and susceptible to annihilation made it rare and somehow exceptional. I am amazed sometimes when I encounter live people with incredible talent, amazed that they are able to live every day inside of their bodies and produce work that is a body. when I see these people living and making work it makes me want to live and make work and it is a strange and dangerous space to inhabit, that matchstick between death & glory.

this weekend I wore sequins and played rock music and spent a long time on a velvet couch staring up at a painted ceiling and when I think about the moments when I was most pleased with my state of existence as a girl alive and writing in this moment of extreme decadence, in hotels, in taxis, in furs, etc., thinking about them now having tea on the living room floor of another girl and a boy who are alive and writing and knowing that there are other people, people I sometimes get to see and touch and hear and know they are absolutely real and that the world is real because it proves their suffering and their art and their eventual existence. I feel selfish and over-indulged and a little hopeful.

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