Been Awhile…

How many times have you read that on someone’s blog?

I have to admit: facebook did it.

I realized today that I’ve posted many things on my fb page that might have otherwise gone here, PLUS! I had to limit my word count!

Still, the discipline of having to write in short blurbs, a la twitter (which I do not do), is sometimes liberating, certainly challenging.

I also had to sum my self up for an online application form lately; serious editing there: from 450 characters down to 200.  200 characters to describe, for instance, my past experiences, and things I’ve learned from Writing!  in 200 characters???

I didn’t do too badly, either –   might use it on a resume someday.

One of the annoying things about filling out job applications is, you spend a lot of time working on, perfecting your resume, and what happens?  You’re asked to fill out, by hand, all over again, all the stuff that you so carefully parsed for that nicely designed document that is now rendered redundant.  jeez.

…and then there was the 25 minute fairly invasive questionnaire I had to fill out for a retail job at Macy’s!  the first three questions were about whether or not I obeyed rules, and my superiors, and authorities in general – I really wish I’d cut and pasted the whole thing.

Way more fun than that was filling out a personally designed set of questions for a music/video store.  I wasn’t even sure I wanted a job there, but I just loved answering their questions: 5 fave movies, fave cds, interests, and so on.

Meanwhile, been tinkering around with a blog site for the radio show I’m doing for the summer at least. Plans in my head for podcasts too.

The world is really crazy right now, and I wake up to BBC  World Have Your Say every week day – my time live it’s 10 am (bbc time I believe it’s 6pm).

I’m still ranting, but I’m also dancing.

Hope you are too.

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Henry Who????

Oh, Tom Ashbrook has Henry Kissinger on his show right now, interviewing him like a good ol’ boy – shite.

I had to post (OnPoint site) my poem about him, written in 2001 in response to a lament and curse for voices to haunt Henry Kissinger (found here, by Chris Brandt).

Here it is for all of you:


Response to “For Henry Kissinger” by Chris Brandt.

Victoria Larkin


Henry Kissinger couldn’t give a fuck…

He won’t be hearing voices in his dotage

His conscience is clean.

He’s quite happy with his long list of accomplishments,

And laughs at all of us sorry Poets

Crying over the long dead…


Henry Kissinger regrets nothing –

He only says that now and then;

It sounds good.


The Devil laps up the curses of the vanquished,

They are his morning’s fare.


Songs of love are sentimental hogwash

When The History of the World is at stake.


Henry Kissinger has made History;

We are merely the dust on his hem:


Shoo away little flies, I have Empires to build!


Henry Kissinger sleeps well tonight,

Despite our condemnations –

Hot air to the winds…


His mind dances over the bodies of those he’s felled,

Fertile and brown, in the dirt where they belong…


Henry Kissinger’s name is known to all,

Henry Kissinger rules in Hell.


Sing on, Poets, sing on,

But don’t think Henry Kissinger hears your song…


Red Red Wine….

There’s this phase, the one that I’m in, of being between sober and drunk;

the phase where you’re just feeling it, it feels good; it also feels slightly crappy; recklessness has awoken, and you want more.

This is the precipitous phase before too  much.

All the world’s beauty and all the world’s ills are pulling you into their undertow. Another drink and you won’t feel any of it anymore;

Another drink, and you’ll be staggering.

 

How to navigate this phase?

 

Sloooooooow down, even though you don’t want to.

Drink some water, even though you don’t want to.

 

The next drink with alcoholic content might be your last drink of the rollicking fun evening you’re having right now.

 

It’s hard to navigate these things when you’re in this phase, because as I already mentioned, you’re feeling reckless.

But if you don’t want to waste some good, and potentially expensive alcohol,

Slow Down Now.

 

Savor it, wallow in it, maintain…

Facebook Debutante

So, I finally made a facebook page.

Over the past few months I’d become increasingly frustrated to hear about events only after the fact because they’d only been shared on facebook; events I would’ve been glad to know about: readings, shows, workshops, and gatherings.

This was after years of already feeling sheepish and mumbling ‘no’ when asked if I had a facebook page, this being the replacement for phone numbers and/or emails.

I still had my reservations, but I began to feel hemmed in.  How much longer could I hold out?

Meanwhile, many of my younger friends are already dropping out of facebook, sick of the impersonal, recognizing their own tendency to waste time, finding it invasive, etc.

But then, the biggie happened: Egypt, preceded by Tunisia, used facebook and other “social media” to facilitate a Revolution!

If you’ll forgive the analogy, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I mean, if Egypt can have a revolution on facebook, I guess I can have a facebook page.

Of course there’s that important flip side, not to be underestimated, that facebook was actually cut off by the powers that be, whoever they were/are – and we must remember that:

“they” are in charge of the grid, not us (not yet!).

(Can there be facebook/internet that belongs to “the people”, is run by the people, that we the people control?)

Nevertheless, the fires were stoked – Wael Ghonim, who was a major player in the online aspect of the protests, claimed he was not a hero; said that all he did was sit at a keyboard.

Well, there must be something to that social keyboarding thing, eh?

Time to join in.

Not knowing the territory, I began minimally.

First came the all important profile pic: I don’t have many photos of myself, so I chose a somewhat blurry picture I’d taken in my full length mirror while dressed as a witch last Halloween.  It was too long to fit in the allotted size, so I cropped myself from the waist up, wearing black with my pointy black witch’s hat.  Not bad, but okay for now.  At least it’s my face.

Within 24 hours I had an onslaught of friend requests, including some from people I don’t know, some really cute guys…How very tempting.  It made me wonder what I’d posted that got them there; was it ShahRukh Khan as someone who inspires me? or Jon Stewart?  Who knows what goes on in the geographical moonscape of facebook…

With my new facebook access, I got to see all these other profile photos, and quickly got discouraged with my own – too blurry, too black.  The full photo was more interesting: below my ruched black skirt, I’m wearing bright orange socks with black and white striped tights, and Dickensian lace-up boots.  I decided to post this lower half instead – essentially posting only my outfit.

This caused me to think about how much more the bottom half of my photo – that is, my outfit – represents me than the photo of my face does.

We can take far less credit – or blame – for our faces and bodies than we can for our clothes.  After all, what is my face but a turn of genetics? Something I cannot really alter without lots of cash and lots of surgery – and certainly not on a daily basis  Whereas my clothes really are more of an expression of me; they are my artistic statement, my daily moods on my sleeves, so to speak…

The boots and the tights would work for awhile.

Then, within days, I had what I would call my first true facebook experience.  Someone I am friends with in physical life, though not in regular contact with, posted on facebook that he was coming to town but had no idea where he was going to stay.  Having plenty of spare room in my house at the time, I emailed him to say he was welcome to stay at my place.  We proceeded to spend a lovely evening catching up and talking philosophy.

There was no denying: something had happened that would NOT have happened without facebook; A human connection had been made from a virtual one.

Another week went by and I began to desire a more purposefully designed profile photo.

I happen to be immersed in studies for a short story full of Persian carpets, so I took a pic of myself lying against a lovely russet rug of my own which is not Persian at all and is undoubtedly machine made, but felt just right, especially in my present state of mind.  I tweaked it a bit, and there it was, my new profile.

The next day while walking down the street I actually felt different, and I knew it was because of this picture.

I thought of something I’d heard recently, that spending even a short time as an avatar in a video game can enhance a person’s confidence for up to 24 hours (Jane McGonigal on Colbert).

When she said this, my mind traveled in a more menacing direction than she was heading in:

I thought of Jared Loughner (who now has his own wikipedia page – killing people publicly, always one way to get famous).

I also thought of the one time I’d seen Grand Theft Auto (the video game). It was over the shoulder of a man who was my housemate at the time, with whom I did not have good communication.  The clip I caught was of his ‘avatar’, armed with a high-powered rifle, running through a city landscape shooting people; a woman jumps up and screams, the avatar says “Shut up, Bitch”, shoots her and keeps on running…

How’s that for boosting a man’s confidence?

Still, after I’d posted that photo of myself, I really did feel like I was strutting differently. I’d framed something about myself, and now it was my public identity for everyone to see…There’s something intimate about it, and it marks this moment in my life, the story I’m working on, and even Egypt having a revolution before the eyes of the world, which is part of what I want to post about.

As for that, I also began to notice that I was almost the only one of my friends posting about world events.  The ratio of my concern with “what’s happening out there” to theirs was drastic, and I was confused. I’d expected to find myself deep in conversations on fire with the world, but…no.  Just daily doings around the house.

I began to infer from this that I have yet to find my ideal community.

I suppose one day I will start being in conversation with people I’ve only met in cyber space, people who are thinking and writing about what I’m thinking and writing about.  I’ve already run across blogs written by these kinds of people, people often from other countries, people I can exchange ideas with only because of the inter-net.

Will we one day be “friends”?  I hope so, though I worry about what will happen if the whole net goes down and our “friends” all live too far away for us to get to.  But in the meantime, simply connecting and finding others with like minds is a mighty thing.

With all its pitfalls and evils, I must say that so far my facebook experience has been illuminating and even exciting, especially as I’ve gotten connected to news pages that are important to me.  It allows me to continue being the one who brings up what’s happening even when others don’t want to know. It allows me to share new ideas, and whatever else I wish everyone knew about, even if they don’t take the time to look in depth.  And it allows me to be exposed to all kinds of things my friends share that I would know nothing about without my facebook page.

I guess I’m finally part of the social media mix.

Pakistan Starving

Pakistan:

In a short time,

many people will die,

will just die,

of exposure, and

of hunger.

Entire families, entire villages,

will lie down on the barren soil

and depart from this life.

This,

just months after wings of

families and their homes were

washed away…


Meanwhile, I sit here, worrying about getting a job,

which I am worried about,

but still living in such comfort that I can barely realize

how worried I should be,

how concerned, made active…


I have my laptop, plugged in,

playing some music from India, my lamp is on,

my little candle is burning away…

I’m in my single bed, tucked in under my warm

soft blankets, surrounded by

more books than some towns have had,

with more snacks stashed away than

whole families/villages/camps have eaten today,

pouring myself some tea…


And what can I do for Pakistan?  Report on it?  Go there?

They need clothes…if only I could send all my clothes –

though it’d be sad to see all those

Pakistanis wearing western garb

from now on

because of this…


And meanwhile,

what is the taliban doing?

What are the bad guys doing?

Planning to bomb some more Sufi shrines?

That’ll really help.

Taking some more jet liner trips

around the world?

Eating on gold plated dishes?


Redistribution of wealth:

How can one person have

mansions when

so many die of hunger?

Well, I know how, but…


Where’s the heart?


Can you imagine, sitting there

in the hot, quiet sun,

hungry, weak, afraid –

in despair.

DESPAIR…


What do you do when you know

there is no food,

no food anywhere –

no stores,

no houses,

no tents,

no food:


You stare out across a horizon that

stretches out into time, and you know

your candle is burning out,

that horizon being all that is left between you

and your end;

then,

as if time is creeping you up to that wall,

suddenly,

you are there,

and your crying is

finished;

you are done.


“god”:

how people can call on god…?


but who else are you gonna call on?


And,

everyone knows that

soon, those people will be

quiet;

they will stop troubling

us….soon.

By Christmas.

By New Year’s.

Soon their stories will be gone,

even to each other,

and we can go on in peace.


We need to change our priorities.


Or be heartless.


We gave ourselves over

to the idol of money.

We’ve coined our own hearts.

But, we are made of flesh

and blood,

of stomachs,

of nerves,

of limbs, and eyes,

and nipples, and of

our minds.

We think thoughts,

and we have feelings.


Everyone has feelings.

Whether they want to or not.


I suppose it can be easier

not to have feelings.


Whose voice can trouble you then?