March 25, 2010

Random Thoughts

Spent the weekend in Chicago. Ate at Frontera Grill: ahi tuna ceviche with jicama and duck carnitas with mole. Devine. Sat next to an older gentleman at the bar. When my food arrived, he asked what I had ordered. I looked at him, paused, then said “You look like Rick Bayless.” It was not RB, but an insurance guy from Macon, Georgia. We talked about Gone with the Wind. A bible of sorts, apparently. Folks from Atlanta must memorize it. 

The city from the Hancock bldg at night: one word: lights. 

Next morning breakfast at theWit with Laura Goldstein. We discussed Minced English by Amira Hanafi. Can’t wait to read it. Laura gave me a copy of her chapbook: Ice in Intervals: “outstanding sounds wintering our blood.” An afternoon of walking in the snow to Millennium Park (slush on “the bean”), then inside the Art Institute: Agnes Martin, Rothko. And Richter: dragging a dry brush over wet pigment. Acknowledges the photo as fleeting moment. But “the pull” exerts force on the one who cross the border.

When I returned to my hotel, I ran into ... Amiri Baraka. We had an awkward exchange (I kept getting interrupted by the desk clerk). See surreptitious picture below. Then an evening with friends Biles and Yuki, where we had a heated discussion (in a good way) about sampling/collage/bricolage and the potential impact on redacted identity. That is, the tension between erasure and aesthetics.

I am trying to finish the manuscript now. This has been the hardest writing month. The book wants to stop. But it is not finished. Failure: the omission of expected or required action; the state of not functioning. This stillness only feels like stillness. In fact, it is the moment before the moment before. A stirring. I am a floating child. Snapped up by the pond.