Email blog

I asked Erik what a good title
for a poem was and he said
“butthead, knife”

At the Picasso museum in Paris I was looking at a display of doodles on scraps of paper when I realized that I don’t make time for doodling on scraps of paper. Instead, I fill my life with self-inflicted tasks to complete as a way to cope with anxiety and depression.

But, on the first day of 2018, it immediately felt like the year was over because I already scheduled out my whole year with tasks. Now the year really is over, just like I predicted. I’m trying not to do it again, but 2019 is starting to feel a little bit over.

Slowing down feels right. I’ll check it out.

 

It seems customary to share a year-end list of favorite books. Here are my favorites read in 2018, in no particular order:

Close to the Knives by David Wojnarowicz

The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan

Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval

Outline by Rachel Cusk

The Lottery and other stories by Shirley Jackson

The Teeth of the Comb and other stories by Osama Alomar

Jane by Maggie Nelson

True Stories by Sophie Calle

Pitch Dark by Renata Adler

Motherhood by Sheila Heti

Not Me by Eileen Myles

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

 

I just finished a good book of essays called Prisons We Choose to Live Inside by Doris Lessing. I felt hopeless through most of it because if after all these centuries of human civilization and we are still this fucked up, how are we ever going to reach a good place? But then on the last three pages she says the individual and individual-thinking is our only hope, it just needs to be taught as a basic part of education. Governments will never encourage this because they prefer to have their people impressionable to rhetoric and unresistant to the mechanisms that govern them.

This excerpt was one example of follow-the-leader group think:

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I started paying closer attention to my subconscious because I read somewhere (but I forget where!!) the more you listen to your passive thoughts, the chances are higher for you to catch very original thought-content that would normally drift and disappear between regular thoughts.

Here are some subconscious thoughts I captured in my notes app:

thought “who am i?” during deja vu

i hope that when they find my skull thousands of years from now, they will also find the thoughts i had inside my skull while alive

reading words in the book inside the shadow cast by my head, as I put the words into my head

thought “i’m fine with anything as long as i don’t know about it” and then i chuckled

i wonder if i’ve ever been the adult that a kid accidentally followed in a crowd instead of their parents because the kid wasn’t paying attention

 

If you don’t already subscribe to The Smudge, you have to. It’s a very funny and cathartic publication for both contributors and readers. And proceeds go to a different good cause each issue.

 

This custom word poem features “hell” submitted by Sarah Jean Alexander.

i asked erik what a good title for a poem was and he said “butthead, knife”

i am 32 and i still
do homework from a desk
in my bedroom
and by the time
you read this
i’ll be 33
or 34
or 44
or dead
and i’ll still
do homework from a desk
in my bedroom
in hell

My birthday was yesterday, so by the time you read this I’ll be 33 and still doing homework, like this email blog, from a desk in my bedroom. Happy New Year. My resolution is to win the hundred years war against my acne before I get wrinkles.

:0)
Cortney