Dear Diary: Mermaid Musicale

Thinking about, reading, feeling, experiencing several things at once, always, but noticing it especially today.

Reading about Baroness Elsa, noticing how she is so often described olfactorily, as pungent and repellent but also animal and intensely desirable. How WCW “loved” her so much he punched her in the face. Thinking how when I learned about dada in my teens she was never included. Like how I never learned about Mina Loy in college, even though at SFSU.

Noticing that on the very well-edited new remix of the Studio 360 radio show on the flarf phenomenon, my name doesn’t get mentioned, although there are a couple of my lines in the mix. I’m not huffy about that, but just sayin’. That’s OK, after I die someone will do a big university press book about me like I’m some kind of avant-garde “rediscovery.”

In fact, of the women of flarf, only Sharon’s name is mentioned on the show. Just sayin’.

The Baroness painted her nails at a time when only I guess underclass women painted their nails, if anyone did. In maybe subconscious mimicry of that, I painted my nails this morning, roughly the color of the background of this blog, and realized after the first coat that I was thinking of the Baroness. Now thinking consciously that I should endeavor also to make my outfits a little less boring, at least as a tribute to her, although the winter in this city does a lot to deflate sartorial inventiveness. Tomato can bra, anyone? Bald head tinted with iodine?

(Gary comes in to say, “I’m helping you out, sweetie, I put away the book about Baroness Elsa and put a book by William Carlos Williams on the table instead.” Laughs, “Just kidding.”)

Lately I am more interested in technology than clothes, and that worries me a bit. New camera, new netbook, new hard disk, and even coming soon an analog2digital converter. I am morphing, in middle age, from odalisque to dork. A dork with hot flashes! I did try on a beautiful faux-50s rose print dress at H & M yesterday, thinking in terms of spring, but the fit wasn’t right. That means, of course, that my sewing instinct is kicking in again, and there will be custom-made rose-print items for Nada in spring 2009.

Reading bits from Song of the Dodo and Keats and Embarrassment. Yesterday watched Abby Child’s On The Downlow (loved it!) and part of the Shaw Bros. Hong Kong Rhapsody, which I’d seen before. A-go-go contest, anyone?

Quotidian life so much about weathering irritation: with oneself, with other people. Not letting me get off the train. The horrible ugly fucking grim damp dark cold subway train. And this restless feeling of why aren’t parties better? Why are there no leaves on the trees? Annoyed, in general, by shallowness: I want vertiginous resonance. And of course I want time, I want to possess, squeeze, envelop, exude, and caress time.

Shall I wear my trousers rolled? Get botox? (I’m only half-kidding.) I am the goddamn mermaids singing to my selves, a whole goddamn mermaid musicale, but a fat lotta good it does me!

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12 thoughts on “Dear Diary: Mermaid Musicale

  1. Oh please don’t get botox, it de-animates the face. You are the opposite of an expressionless life!At least they put up your picture. The Baroness narrative (and all those other stories of neglected women, “discovered” after death) exists just one step below the avant vs. mainstream AGON narrative (and all of those other idiotic agon narratives, this v. that) as things we have to shrug off, however we can. They are horrible stories, and not without effect: I was convinced for years (when I was a poet but knew no poets, did not know how I every would, but knew these stories) that this neglect was the only possible story.What is imposed mostly from outside — the “charismatic alpha-male leaders” — is such bunk — only it is just a familiar story, at least in the avant garde, and people are comfortable telling it. It even more fully enables those stupid agon narratives — no one but kent johnson likes to fight “girls,” but Gary is fun to rile up. ;). But not everyone is like this (and this is key), and certainly it is up to us in some way not to fall in line.

  2. Well, I don’t mean to be overly technical, or in any way, you know, “hetero-normative,” but every person on earth was made by the combined friction, pleasure, cells, and fluids of a woman and a man. Isn’t that just too weird?

  3. Lanny, you think I’m just pouting, mebbe?Anne, you’re right. I don’t swallow those narratives, really I don’t. I do notice them, though.

  4. Apologies for not mentioning your name in the Flarf story, Nada. I really wanted to include that one clip of Mitch from the original version where he mentions both you and Katie and talks about your books. But for brevity and efficiency’s sake, I had to leave it out. Plus the new interview with Drew sort of changed the whole trajectory of the story. In any case, mea culpa. And hoping this finds you well. With love, — Sean.

  5. Hi, Nada. I long ago made the transition to dork, and after the initial shock, it’s not all that bad. I wish you all the vertiginous resonance you can handle in the near future.J

  6. hmm… whatever Prufrock may be, I don’t exactly think he’s “cool: 🙂He was on my mind because of Stephen Colbert’s interview with Elizabeth Alexander. So fonny…

  7. I’m so pleased to have the time registered when I write, but I still wonder what day it is. The technology is moving that fast, I guess. Anyway, you are doing *us* good, Nada, so keep at it, and push is to do some good back if we’re getting distracted by our navel lint.

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