Friday, July 24, 2009


Ireland had a wolf-whistling contest. Read here. As someone who has degrading things yelled out the window at her practically every day, I'm disgusted. Wolf-whistling is a symptom of a larger problem of disrespecting and devaluing women. I first learned about this on I am so sick of this bullshit. Yes, it's politically incorrect. Pointing that out doesn't make it ok to keep practicing it, or to make a competition out of it. We should be discouraging this ape-like behavior. Not rewarding it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Village Adventure

I went to Ballincollig Castle today! B and I trundled across the fields, were chased by really cute puppies, waded through a bog, and stepped over a large dirt pit that felt like walking on chocolate cake. The castle is mostly taken by nature, beer cans, and graffiti, but it's clear it was a rather large castle with great towers and maybe a moat. The cross section of a spiral staircase flashed across the expanse of grass where floors once were laid. Wonderful.

The sidewalks in town were odd today. Gasoline spattered the streets like molten silver. A bird was flattened on the sidewalk, its eyes eaten by ants, the skull crushed and cracked, and the brain bulged out of the open head like an opal glowing strangely in pale sunlight. Two men in a car laughed at a tractor crawling toward them. I brought glass to the recycling plant: my bag ripped open and a bottle shattered on the street. I worried about kids feet. Cleaned up best I could.

Waiting for L to come home to me. England is far away.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cork has a faux Banksy

I can't help but capture street art.


I haven't written in a few days. That's because I've been trapped in an oneiric smoke for the past week or so. I have been outside in the sun, examining white lilies, hot pink and purple grape hydrangea, myriad roses, straight laced lavender, holly trumpeting with sticky red and yellow flowers, endless plants... and then feeling sunlight reach right into my guts and massage any agony out. Yes, it has been that strange. I know I've eaten, but I don't remember. I know I've slept, but dreams and waking are the same tenor. And I miss it. The blissful fog lifted this morning and I woke up startled to remember that I have things to do, people to write to, arrangements to make, even important forms to submit: it all seemed ridiculous to imagine that there is more to life than being in nature and being happy.

Outside is such an odd idea. I think nature is inside, and the removal from it through homes, schools, and buildings is outside. How could someone be genuine in a classroom or on the sofa? You go in nature to remember that you're an animal, then you feel human, and then you know yourself. It only makes sense.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Lisp Kiss

Butterfly face

ETA: excuse the vanity-- I'm just learning how to use the fancy-phone I got for xmas from my in-laws. Ooooh.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My first international reading!

Yaay! I'm doing a poetry reading at SoundEye, the Cork Poetry Festival, on July 10th at 9 PM during the not-so-open-mic. If you're in Cork check it out.

I just realized that I do that really annoying thing where I learn certain phrases in French, Italian, Spanish, German, even Balinese and Hawaiian and use them constantly to the point where I sound like some Hamlet-educated polyglot. But in reality I just have a few tricks and a perhaps unconscious need to sound Euro-chic. Cest la vie. I love words.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

People are Strange When You're a Stranger

It's true though-- that doesn't mean you don't see the weirdos in your hometown, but when you are somewhere new, life's odd people seems that much more mystical. Like in Ballincollig.

First there is The Rain Woman. She is a tiny, ancient woman who changes her behavior based on the weather. On perfectly dry and sunny days, she waits in alleys for passerby. When the unsuspecting pedestrian approaches her nook she leaps out and shouts, "WAS THAT A DROP OF RAIN JUST THERE!?" When the startled pedestrian says, "No," she then latches on to his or her arm and begins chatting non-stop. "Well I very much hope it won't be an ol' drop o' rain there, tis wet enough already-- I was just telling me brother Jimmy, do you know Jimmy? He's a good lad. Went to the doctor for his liver an' the quack nearly killed him! You don't go to Dr. McGrath now do ye? I certainly hope not! I could take him to court, I should, I know, he gave Jimmy cat vitamins and cheese instead of a blood transfusion. Poor Jimmy with those cat vitamins for days. His eyes turned green! And it's gotten bad since the foreigners came and the priests should really be allowed to marry...." And so on, and so on. The pedestrian is absolutely forced to shake her off by mumbling an apology and ducking into a store lest the madness continue indefinitely. When it *is* raining she ties a cloth shopping bag over her head and waits in the bus stop shelters moaning, "Oh damn this rain!"

Next is The Existential Crisis Minstrel: he is a big, strong looking fellow in his late thirties, often dressed in a red Cork jersey. He is wont to run down the street singing, "We are nothing, We are nothing," with a deep lively voice and a surprisingly chipper tune, grinning away.

Then there is The Outside At All Hours Man: he is a much older man in a long, dirty grey-beige overcoat who wears a little green hat through all seasons and stands on the side of his house practically all day, sometimes smoking but usually staring off into space, never speaking and only going inside to eat, sleep, and use the toilet. L said he saw him cutting the hedge once, but I don't know if that's true. I've never seen him do anything but stand outside, no matter what time we walk past.

I'll add more as I see them. I think three is a good enough introduction to the social scene of this dingy dark hole. There is a problem with the sewers in town so it always smells like 12th century London. That is, it smells like human waste and misery. People never clean up after their puppies either, so not only does it smell like waste, but there is the very real presence of feces strewn all over the streets. Classy. There aren't many police here (I don't think there is a police station... maybe I'm wrong though) and scumbags are forever doing silly things like stabbing each other to death in housing complexes. And then there are the perverts who shout degrading things out the window at me (and probably every other woman). It's amazing.

There are some wonderful people too though. The Italian couple that runs Vino & Panne are so overwhelmingly sweet. They love to make recommendations and get really excited when you enjoy their food or buy the wine that they told you would go well with cheese. They call L and I caro . And then there is the French cheese monger who lets us try all sorts of cheeses and tells us about where they come from and how they're made, and all her dairy adventures in France. She's adorable and kind. And then the people who run Quay Co-op are happy and cheery too, and once gave us free Polski Chleb that fed us for a whole week. So, yes, I complain, but there are spots of magic practically everywhere I've been.

P.S. I'll start adding pictures soon.