Massy Paradise

How is it already June? And what does June even mean anymore, when not in the context of a school-year? In that case, what has it meant for several years, for me at least? It’s weird, this business of re-defining months and seasons and time; I imagine it’s even weirder for those who live in pretty homogenous climates (I’m talking about you, San Francisco. Or, am I wrong?). 

I don’t know about you, but my roommates and I have all been feeling this new-season-tug of…something. I’m searching for the best words to describe what it is I think we’ve all been feeling with Summer rearing up first the kind of hot that makes whole blocks of New York City smell like its rotting garbage core, and then the kind of cool that makes you want to lie spread-eagle in the dew-grass and just suck in the clean air until it gets dark and the drunks settle in to displace the calm dark with their whiskey-howling (oh god, how dramatic. I’m exaggerating. There isn’t usually “whiskey-howling,” though sometimes there might be, and, mainly, I just liked the way it sounded I guess. And I’m allowed to, dammit!)

I think of leaving this place often. I think of running away. I’ve been of the mindset lately, though, that whatever my head tells me to do, I should do just the opposite. The head is tricky business sometimes, and, often, it bears no witness to the workings of your less self-ish parts which gurgle when genuinely in need and twist when genuinely afraid and are just less bull-shitty, I guess. Or, maybe they’re not. The brain is just this mafia-tycoon that every other part’s forced to serve to avoid being offed.

Silly Tycoon. You will be overcome by my better parts!

A small poem in this regard, by Emma Jones (whose lovely book I picked up several years ago at a shop in London):

The Mind

flares out —


as though it held a separate existence,

as though it were

a kind of massy paradise

closer to God than the venal organs–


electric marmoset,

diminutive earl —


here are your subjects and your penal inhabitants,

your cracked and cleaving citizenry.


Worldly, you cling: I live in you like a paradisal ape

lives in a garden, walled, with onlookers;

as the zookeeper lives; as the girl lived in that house.


In other news:

Signed at BEA yesterday at the Javits center in Manhattan (which is a crazy-looking place), and picked up Sherman Alexi’s new book of stories, which I am very excited to read. I’m sort of up to my neck right now in too many different books (because this is what I do when I listen too close to my brain: read four books at once, unable to focus my diehard attentions on a single project at once. Gah!), but, when I get to it, I’ll let you know what I think. 

And you should do the same, in terms of whatever. Send me poems. Send me short stories. Send me drawings. Send me love. And I will do the same. (DEAT: I OWE YOU A CREATURE, I KNOW.)


About kateellison

Author, artist, weirdo
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