Friday, January 06, 2006

slush, aliens, and a book

okay. so it's winter. we've noticed. the message has hit home. you can stop throwing snow at us now, thank you very much.

snow, i firmly believe, belongs in the countryside, snug little villages, fields where kids can spot traces of deer and hare or whatever local wildlife there is, and forests. snow does not belong in cities. though snow is quite alright compared to what it inevitably turns into: slush. yucky dirty stuff that you find yourself sloshing around in as soon as you venture outside. and, occasionally, venture outside is what a girl's gotta do.

standing ankle-deep in filthy-looking semi-frozen stuff is not my idea of a good day. the first thought is: "bleargh." not very eloquent, but entirely appropriate, closely followed by a mental note to never go to the trouble of shining your boots again in this kind of weather, it is a waste of time.

so, having sloshed and splashed one's way to the nearest tram stop, not at all amused by the state of one's formerly clean boots and jeans (now more or less soaked and filthy at the back up to, say, approximately the hollow of one's knee), one glances at other people's shoes and boots and trousers, and discovers that they have just as much reason to be pleased.

but then, inevitably, this one woman turns up. not always the same one, you understand, but some woman - though i secretly believe they are all aliens, really. some woman who, amidst all these puddles and half-melted heaps of soiled snow and filthy-up-to-the-knees (ie normal) humans, looks so squeaky clean as if she had floated to the tram stop inches above the ground. not so much as the tiniest splash or spot on her shoes, immaculate trousers (often cream-coloured or beige, sometimes even white, WHITE for goodness' sake!!) or long coat. how on earth do some people do that? it's not NORMAL!

bo will forgive me for quoting something i said in an email to him yesterday (i am not going to make the rest of our correspondence public, don't worry, although i do wonder whether the world might not benefit from that story you told me about ... oh, perhaps some other time. *smirk*), but: it's like those people who wake up with almost perfect hair - and i am talking about short hair, not long straight hair where you cannot do much wrong. uncanny. i always want to ask such people which planet they come from originally, and how they like it here.

and there is a third specimen of aliens, as i pointed out to my husband yesterday evening: the jeans-always-fit-me kind. people who will walk into any clothes store anywhere in the world, pull out a pair of regular jeans, try them on and announce happily (and very, VERY annoyingly): "okay, i'll take these!" there are other categories of jeans-buyers, i fall into the one titled "hopeless: 723 pairs of jeans later ..."

phew. i am glad i got that off my chest.

the good news is that i received my contributor's copy of "in our own words: a generation defining itself, vol 6" yesterday. edited by marlow peerse weaver, as usual, the book is about 120 pages longer than before, still chockfull of voices from around the world, all born between 1962 and 1980. my poem is called "fuck me lips". the book is available from

"hiss quarterly" told me they have fallen in love with the two poems i sent them, and they will both be published in the next issue - which means i have fallen in love with the magazine all over again. ;)

i think i forgot to mention that i am once again part of a campaign supported by gino d'artali of C.A.U.S.E, the D.I.S.A. ECUADOR 2006 CAMPAIGN which is all about creating awareness of child labour. i am happy to see my friends annette m hyder and anjana basu are also part of the poetry section of the project.

allen's website is almost done, i have been working hard on it, and enjoying it tremendously. my song of the day has to be BMFA by martha wainwright. i really am listening to her all the time at the moment. not tonight though, as gudrun and i are going out for cocktails! we've only been planning this since october, so you see, we are not the dithering kind.

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