I chose sleep over the blood moon last night and woke up to good news for a change. A poem I’d been tinkering with over the past few weeks surprised me by being accepted in a journal. I included a draft of it in a submission package a while back and its acceptance this morning made my heart lovingly rattle in my chest. Did the moonlight light up some darkened part of my chart? The woman at the bakery offered my the largest peach muffin they made. The bus driver, a queenly woman I’ve seen most days over the last couple of weeks, cheerfully honked and waved at me over the weekend while driving a different line. This morning on my regular commute, she said: Did you know that was me? and we exchanged names and I felt like a shy schoolboy for even asking.
That I was without any weed over the weekend made me very productive. I got out of the house first thing Sunday and went down to the café to write. More of a clearing my head: six unlined pages, shaking thoughts from my mind like a wet dog shaking water off itself.
A while ago I wrote notes for a poem inspired by laying on the beach at Pyramid Lake and being awakened by shooting stars and the choir like waves of the water. A couple of the best lines in those notes were used already in another piece. But looking over the remaining notes during my session yesterday, I was able to rescue the unused lines and thread them into something different.
Another rough poem, a memory piece involving my grandfather, has disappointed me yet again. At some point I’d typed and printed it and made a bunch of edits then left it unfinished. I took that poem and applied the edits but it still doesn’t have much of a narrative and worse, it doesn’t end it just stops. There’s value there, something’s going on, but it needs a radically different form or way of telling the story. I will have to break open the poem and my expectations of it and create something totally unexpected and new.
The little neighborhood café I was in began to fill and get busy and by the time it got noisy and crowded I was already a bit thought-fatigued and ready to take a walk. I got some supplies at the supermarket and went home and cleaned house.
Over and over I listened to Williams Blood by Grace Jones while I swept and Pine-solved my apartment. The night before, I saw Grace Jones live. I was neither drunk (I had a single shot of Maker’s Mark which was no more dizzying than a spoon of cough syrup) nor high and I’m going to use the words Thrilling and Breathtaking to describe that show, which could be one of the best live concerts I’ve ever seen. I expected something theatrical which I got, and then some. A body painted Grace hoola-hooping through Slave To The Rhythm I expected, but she brought so much more, in terms of fashion and fun and control of the stage. The hoola-hoop stunt would have been enough, but she encored with Hurricane while wrapped in a black cape while standing before an offstage wind machine and holding onto a strippers pole. Several times I turned to my friend and said: She’s 67?? He nodded yes. The aforementioned William’s Blood was a new song to me. She performed it in the middle of the show (“We’re going to church,” she said wearing, what best constitutes an appropriate Church crown for Ms. Jones) and it was enthralling. Both as she staged it visually and now my ear can’t get enough of it.
I went with my coworker who’s a couple years older than me, openly gay and said he expected to see “a lot of people from the past” out there. He did. A youngster in a tight knit cap that seemed like something he’d wear 24/7 that my friend said was probably ‘concealing some secrets’. It was a queer positive and diverse house. We sat on a cement planter just at the corner from the venue after the show was over, him smoking and me processing the experience. Of all the concerts I’ve attended, this is the only one I didn’t immediately leave. I sat with him while he finished his cigarette and watched the parade of people. Men and women, men in LED-lined fur jackets, women in mini dresses with delicious thighs. Dudes dressed as Urban Cowboys, Village People-style police, and a very skinny member of 300 people fresh back from Burning Man, people like me in jeans and a t-shirt, people dressed more formal, people in glitter. Ripped t-shirts and dinner jackets. Slick bald dudes with scraggly beards and a woman with three kids, maybe a 12 year old right up through college freshmen, I guess. All of us were brought together in love and got an extraordinary show. I don’t think I will ever need to go see another live concert. Grace, looking as if she were having as good a time as we were, killed it for everybody. As expected.