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September 22nd, 2003

Sheer Stamp Attack

I finished two of the letters I'm writing lately, only to find that we are out of stamps. How can this be? It seems that I buy stamps fairly frequently. Lately, they've been so good--Ogden Nash, Cary Grant, and all sortsa hip looking 1920s women pioneers of journalism.

I never took up stamp collecting, although I love the idea of sea turtles from Belize, or Harry Belafonte memorialized in, say, Belarus. Colorful stamps are to me a quiet indicator that the world may not be a Hell dimension. In the Hell dimensions, the stamps are all bland.

Similarly, I never did rubber stamping, but it always seemed to me to be cool. There's such a gamut, from artistic and obscure to really sentimental and commonplace. It's such a cool, non-sequitur hobby. Maybe I should have been a rubber stamp vendor, like marstokyo used to be. I'd stamp out justice, warning and joy between my brothers and sisters, but mostly I'd hope to stamp out my competition.

I saw an ad on eBay for a really cute ocarina, which actually had simple instructions on how to play them. I never knew that fingering ocarina notes was so easy--I've always used them just for Peruvian-jazzish sound effects. Sadly, the ad pointed out that to get the full 8 notes out of a four hole ocarina, the holes need to be different sizes. My Tijuana turtle's holes are the same size, which limits the number of notes. You can find the universe with 8 notes, well played.

I'm in a "music" making mood again. I like the idea of entirely home-made music--music as noise, as experiment. But part of me wants to sing, as I have an inner Patty Larkin, only less folkie, somehow, lurking inside me. I suppose singing and weirdness are not incompatible--I think of Harry Partch's "Barstow" pieces and my own odd voice, memorialized. Maybe a chant to ball bearings or a reading of bad poetry over bad music. I have a Maggie Estep CD which tries bad poetry to somewhat punkish, Sonic Youth-y stuff. It does not work, but she looks so cool on the CD cover. I want to record on a cheap 8 dollar cassette, and then make CDs and be raw and real and so very me. This bit of delicious exhibitionism seems to be part of who I am right now, but it seems somehow superior to so many other vices.

Yesterday I realized that I wish to eBay another chess poem book, because I had such fun with the first one. I have had a soul or two mention they'd like to read a sequel, though the clamor is anything but a sounding roar.Maybe that's what I'll do in November. A November poetry project. Of course, I need to finish the poetry call booklet, which has sat dormant for six weeks. I figure I'll get documentation out in a few weeks on that one. "Chess Opening Poems", though, intrigues me today. It will be quite a task. It may take an entire weekend to write.

But this week is perhaps one of the heaviest work weeks I've had in years. Four days of solid slogging, and then major hearings in Los Angeles. Afterward, though, I'll be hiking in Oklahoma with an old friend, barring the unforeseen. Life could be much worse.