Professing * Reflecting

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hands, Feets, Guitars

And like a Phoenix rising from the ash, a ruby-toed Medusa returns to the scene.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Night Cats (a return to Friday poetry blogging)

Night Cats

A cat has how many stars,
they asked me in Paris,
and I, tiger by tiger, began
to observe the constellations:
because two watching eyes
are pulsations of God
in the cat's cold eyes
and two lightning bolts in the tiger's.

But a star is the tail
of a cat bristled in the sky
and a blue stone tiger is
blue night of Antofagasta.

Gray night of Antofagasta
rose over the corners
of a lofty defeat
over earth's exhaustion
and it's a fact, the desert
is the other face of night,
so infinite, unexplored,
like the non-existence of stars.

And between two goblets of the soul
the minerals sparkle.

I never saw a cat in the desert:
but the truth is, I never
slept with anybody
but the sands of night,
the circumstances of the desert
or the stars in space.

Because they aren't and they are
my humble discoveries.

--Pablo Neruda



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What could have been a serious post

I am feeling slightly wacky, so rather than blogging in any serious way about the kind of heartbreaking and complicated problem that is my relationship of the past 11 months, I am going to boil it down to the following questions:

Should I stay with my boyfriend or get that kitten I so desire? (Note: Boyfriend is deathly allergic.)

When it comes to being with someone, do you really "just know"?
(Note: This sounds like an adolescent question, but I do have 20 years of dating experience and a handful of long-term relationships under my belt. Yet, people of all ages and levels of experience still dispense this advice with conviction, "Oh, when it's right, you just know." Is it that simple? What if you go back-and-forth between "just knowing" and not knowing at all? Does that not count as "just knowing"?)

So . . . one kitten or two?


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Act as if you are always (already) pregnant . . ."

. . .in order to maintain good health. This just in, from whom: Misogynists-R-Us? The Society for Uber-Heteronormativy? The Junior League of Just When You Thought You Had Transcended Your Ovary Determined Identity?

Yes, all three of which are more commonly known as the United States Government.

It's the rhetoric here that is disgusting. Why not just say: as a woman, you should take folic acid, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid alcohol and tobacco from an early age in order to maintain good physical health?

Frightening times. I am anxiously awaiting the federal guidelines on the health benefits of keeping women barefoot.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Rainbows from the attic

May I take this as a sign that the nastiness of this academic year is officially over?


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Finis! Finis! Finis!

Finally. Have calculated final grades for all classes. Done. Donedonedonedonedonedone.

This wretched academic year is officially over. OVER! Sure, I am painfully weaning myself off of a couple of addictive meds I had to take in order to endure it. Sure, my psychopathic and sadistic institution has me attending two more weeks of totally bullshit meetings. Sure, I have a nasty cold that I am certain I contracted at a recent college function from an obnoxious close talker who talks so close that she spit not only in my face but also IN MY MOUTH. If one of those decontamination stations you see in movies had been close by, I swear I would have jumped into it in full panic, stripped off all of my clothes and have let the sulfurous decontaminating chemicals have their way with every orifice of my body. Seriously, she SPIT IN MY MOUTH. I know I have been known to "swap spit" with those we might in the end call strangers, but PLAGHH! PLAGHH! BWAGHHHH! to what I experienced with this colleague. I am not a germophobe. Just really, though, UGH UGH UGH. So, anyway, yes--this is why (I am convinced) I have a nasty cold. In any case . . . YES! FINISHED!

You, my dear students (you know who you are, could you read this or hear me), are the only ones who have made this difficult year in any way bearable. And you blog world, for welcoming me back after my long silence, rock.

Why am I suddenly turning this into some kind of award speech? Ah yes. . .the exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, the addiction, the weaning. . . it muddles. But hey, DONE!


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Night Treasures (in honor of not sleeping)

Night Treasures

keeps me waiting
so I stand at the window
and watch night
turn small green pears
to silver
they hang like rare treasures
I dare not touch
from a tree
I never saw before

--Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

Last night was the first night in some time that I did not medicate myself in order to sleep. Yes, I was incredibly restless. Yes, I woke up every hour on the hour. No, it was not what anyone would call a peaceful rest.

But my dreams are back! I had lost dreaming! I have always had elaborate, graphic, beautiful dreams. Last night I had one long amazing dream about being in a house with a man I know in real life, an acquaintance I have known for years. He is a bit of a madman but also a creative genius. I was in his great rambling house, which I have never been in in real life, with all of his books and poems and drawings.

It was one of those dreams that continued throughout the night. After waking every hour, spending some time awake and thinking about the dream, I would fall asleep for a little more time and dream a little more of the dream. I kept this up until morning. I just spent the whole night looking through his books, which all had notes and doodles and drawings in the margins. One was an elaborate book on flowers. It had photographs of every flower in the world. In the margins, he had made a sketch of each photograph and written a haiku about each flower. Another was a book of James Joyce's "The Dead," translated into a dozen or so languages.

The man, my acquaintance, would wander in and out with his friends. Each time, he was surprised but happy to find me still in his house. One time, he was drunk and he and his friend sat down, lined up shots of whiskey, and downed them before they left again. One time, he asked me to feed the animals in his back yard. I went out to find acres of brambles inhabited by foxes and gray hounds who spoke to me. I was delighted that the dogs and foxes could speak, and I tried to have conversations with them. We were completely at odds with topics, though. We could not connect. Their eyes were amazing, warm and incandescent but completely wild and dangerous.

One time, the man and I lay in his bed together. His skin was incredibly smooth, all over. We cuddled. He was uncomfortable. No sex. It was just understood that we were together now, and neither one of us really knew what to do. Unable to sleep, he left again and I went back to the incredible stacks of books of drawings and poems.

It was still night in the dream when I half-awoke this morning, cramped and dazed and tangled in damp sheets, thinking I would walk down to the public library and spend the whole day if I had to looking for that book on flowers. I was happy.

I feel like myself again. I am so grateful.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday poem, Lorna Dee Cervantes


A man who once loved me, told me
I knew nothing of beauty.
He had loved a double
more beautiful than I.

I'm hexed by a girl of pale heart,
a dove who wouldn't circle in day.
The thighs of her jeans are speckled with mustard.

Her hands are in her pockets too much of the time;
if they left, they would be birds, fragile, humming.
They are right where she puts them.
She's a farmer, plowing
the gray dirt.
She loves the land, its

I'm an ugly woman, weedlike,
elbowing my way through the perfect
grass. The best of what I am
is in the gravel behind the train yard
where obsidian chips lodge
in the rocks like beetles.
I burrow and glow.



Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cheers (Virtual Happy Hour)

It's been a long semester and while it's not quite over for some, it's damn near close enough.

For this reason, Dr. Crazy and I are enjoying glasses of wine telephonically and blogistically.

Join us! Raise a glass! Propose a toast! What's your poison?

I am having a glass of Finca La Estacada, and Crazy is enjoying a lovely bit of the Penguin.



But of course!

Dear Professor Medusa,

Could you please email me my final exam grade and along with my final grade for the course as soon as you have them calculated?


The Most Annoying Student in the World

Dear M. A. S. I. T. W.,

Sure! Could I just send you, instead of the Registrar's Office, the final grades for the other 94 students in my classes so that you can email them individually?


Prof. Medusa


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Final Word (in honor of finishing grading)

Via Profgrrrrl, posting the final word of my dissertation:


Is it weird that I kind of knew this and pulled out the diss only to confirm?

I think a whole meme could be created out of this one, but I am far too exhausted to make one up. All of the last words should at least be connected to form some kind of perverse statement about dissertations.

After grading steadily for days, I finally liberated myself from the pile of essays that has been with me since I returned from conferences early last month. Done, done, done! Hurrah!