I forgot that anyone even cares enough (or can make good enough crema) nowadays to bother decorating lattes with lattice/lace/fern patterns. I forgot that flying into Seattle always feels like coming home no matter where I actually live.I forgot that when the plane finally breaks through the endless black mist Seattle appears like a mirage of green and yellow light below me winking 'hello! hello! we've missed you!' and looks like a magical city floating in the mountains/clouds/sea that only exists when you arrive...and you can can never quite find the right comparison to describe it: some sort of Oz, Hobbiton, emerald isle fluttering with les fees vertes in hardboiled noir get-ups...? It's the closest you can get to being in Europe and still be in the United States.
I can't help but wish I'd been able to move back here instead of to Austin. I wish I didn't feel this way but I walked out the door this morning in a turtleneck and wool pants (!) the trees thrilling outwardly, the fine cool mist on my face, the earthy green salt smell, the brownstones along the hills, the ferns and vines and roasting coffee smells.
I haven't written or edited a poem in over a month (the whole time I've been back in Austin) which is severely stagnant for me, but I'd only been back in Seattle five minutes when I was flooded with the desire to write. Also, inexplicably, I feel like a kinder person; my face is relaxed, my headache is gone and I feel like I can breathe. I don't really understand. I'm trying to convince myself that it's all mental because I love Austin. I really do. And that's the psychic place where most of my poetry comes from. Maybe I just needed a vacation?
Lots of good e-mail this morning. jeremyrichards
(who's, hilariously enough, in Disneyland with Christabell right now) just sent me the link to an interview he did with me and Ragan Fox (ragan
) which is up on the Poetry Foundation website.
It's been forthcoming for sooooo long I'd almost completely forgotten about it, and when I got Jeremy's e-mail my tummy plunged; I was really afraid to look at it. But, actually, it's pretty good! Apart from a couple of questionable word choices on my part and an always-already out of date bio (and a punny title, which people are utterly incapable of foregoing when it comes to slam), I think it's really pretty good and I enjoyed reading it. Joy!
Much more to tell but I have to leave this Vampire Weekend-infused coffee paradise to meet glaucon
for wedding-gift-buying and chrisanthos
**UPDATE 30 minutes later in which I try to attach significance and universal design to my face's chance encounter with a poorly designed door**
So, after typing the word "Seattle!" and hitting "post entry," I shoved my laptop in my bag, grabbed my purse, put my dishes in the dish-tub, and opened the door to leave...the door which proceeded to punch me in the face with all its solid oaken force. I actually don't know what happened--whether I walked into the door, or it swung at my nose--but, either way, I don't think I've ever been hit so hard in the face in all my life. I lost vision. I lost all thought. I don't know how long I was standing in the doorway reeling alone in some white-hot nowhere, but when vision and pain poured back into me like gunpowder, all I knew was that everyone was staring at me and that it felt like an anvil had been dropped on my face and that I was about to cry and needed to get away. I didn't even know where I was or what had happened. As I walked back to Chris and Sharon's with my hand cupped over my face, all the details began to drop into place like metal fillings and I became convinced that the universe had essentially punched me in the face but I wasn't sure why. Because I was deliriously happy for a moment? Because I keep attributing Austin to my poetic laziness? Because I'm deluding myself about Seattle's transformative powers and the universe wants me to know it and not ever move back?
In any case, I don't know whether the experience woke up my senses or I'm just having olfactory hallucinations but everything smells like something else that sets off a chain of associations and keeps confusing me. For example, a moment ago I thought I was in my grandparents house because of the way it smelled. I thought my gradmother--who's dead now--was standing right behind me.