radfrac_archive_full: (john simm)
I read at the local open mic Friday, and then that night I dreamed an urban portal fantasy -- a gate between two worlds that weren't very different from one another, except that the new world had fewer people. Things took an uncomfortable turn when, as I sat in his lap, my friend's husband wanted to demonstrate to me how someone could be strangled, so I elected to return across the portal.

At intervals I become addicted to games on my iPod -- chasing the dopamine hit. Eventually I remove them, until another game captures me. I can proof myself against the previous game, but somehow I can never prevent the new hook. It's like falling in love without the meaningful connection (or fantasy thereof).

The game I've been hooked on for the last -- year or so? -- really hooked on, in that way where you quit and go back, quit and go back -- is the app version of the tabletop game Agricola. I've actually pretty much cracked how to beat the AI every time, which is unprecedented for me and any game. It works for me because it's turn-based, founded on hoarding, and has incredibly low stakes (you're a subsistence farmer and if you get a cow you are SO HAPPY.)

I have a lot of jouissance locked in this game, and I need to release it so that I can have it back in my life. I know I should come up with writing exercises that have elements of the strategy, iteration, and structure of the game -- as someone said in a podcast today, "What is a sonnet but a game you're trying to win?"

I am pants at sonnets, though, so I... am writing haiku. About the game. To keep from playing the game.

Do not play your phone
app. Write a haiku instead.
One for every* round.

Golden grain: so hard
to turn into food, yet with
oven: abundance.

Vegetables, you
are less nutritious, except
with expansion packs.

Market woman, your
generosity is huge
but late in the game.


*Or I guess that should be "ev'ry." I have a BC Interior accent, which tends to drop out whole syllables as a waste of breath. We definitely say "pome" rather than "po-ehm." I've let "vegetables" scan with four syllables, but I always say "vejt'bls."
radfrac_archive_full: (7 inches)
Theory class ends anywhere between 6:45 and 7:30 depending on the weekly algorithm; but last night I needed to leave early, so of course we went overtime.

I speed-limped across to the library to meet S., who has not seen me in yonks (five or six yonks at least) but still beatifically offered to drive me to the reading (as recorded in the comments to this very LiveJournal.)

The reading being the This Side of West book launch at Open Space last night, which I more or less failed to properly inform anyone about because I felt embarrassed asking them to come see me read such a short story.*

I'd emailed that I'd be late and that the organizers should put me in the latter part of the program, but never really heard anything further.

We arrived midway through someone else's reading. We waited politely on the stairs, partly out of consideration and partly because we'd have to cross in view of the entire audience to get to our seats.

An organizer-type came over to us and negotiated in whispers. There was applause. As we negotiated payment, I heard my own name and realized that I was in fact being introduced.

I strode across the floor, shrugged off my coat, stepped to the podium and launched into my reading. I read the story straight through, nodded, smiled, and left.

Afterwards I realized that other people had, you know, said something before they read, given a title, anything; but since there was also apparently a fairly stringent time restraint, I think it worked out well. I didn't have time to get self-conscious, though I also didn't have time to check the microphone. I popped a few P's (rethinking that whole "Prank" thematic), but I am told I could be heard reasonably well, and there were at least a few laughs.

My long-ago poetry prof was in the front row. She was quite sweet to me afterwards.

[livejournal.com profile] argus_in_tights and [livejournal.com profile] geniusoutlaws were in residence, and even bought me a drink after I read. Joy.

There is something about drinking pinot blanc out of a clear plastic cup with a scratchy rim, listening to a nervous young poet at a music stand reading their Words -- o yes, there was Poet Voice, and self-referentiality, and in-jokes I was not inside -- but I felt so affectionate towards the whole enterprise of trying to make things out of language and show them to people.

I don't know if student writing is just getting better in general, or if I am more well-disposed to humanity than in my youth, but I enjoyed the whole process. ([livejournal.com profile] geniusoutlaws did say they only put things in they actually liked, which seems to have been a fruitful strategy.)

We left early -- S. to Sooke and me to a quite night walk and think.

S. is working on a fascinating book project entailing research in the new special collections room at UVic. I got to hear about that. In return I'm afraid she had to listen to me Hold Forth a bit -- that has not, I'm afraid, gotten any better since she last saw me.

It was a good sort of day. Reading theory in the morning, then driving out to Langford for the brilliant hair stylings of B.'s sister. That's two people in one day who were willing to drive me places in the most useful possible way, and to entertain me with good conversation while they did it. Then writing out my assignment (bit verbose), then class and discussion of Affect Theory, which I enjoyed very much even if we did go over. Then S. and book projects and readings. Then home to discover that [livejournal.com profile] inlandsea had conceived the selfless project of cleaning out under the sink. Me, I watched "Arrested Development" until much too late.

And now at last it is 10:30 and I can register for my summer courses. I hope your day goes as well.


*Though actually it was longer than I remembered.

**ETA: Here is the book project.
radfrac_archive_full: (hunnybear)
I will be reading at this:

This Side of West Launch
March 27, 7:30 pm
Open Space Gallery (510 Fort St)
Admittance: $5

Since my piece ("Prank") is about 300 words long, my part will be brief.

I would be happy to pay the $5 admittance fee of anyone who would volunteer to pick me up at UVic around 7:15 and whisk me downtown to the reading. Technically I am in class until 7:30, but we shorted our breaks, so that theoretically (ho!) we end at 7:10 - 7:15. I've asked to read late in the program to accommodate a late arrival.

I'd even buy you a non-alcoholic beverage once there. Actually, hell, an alcoholic one. I can walk home.



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