429. Hungry for a holiday

September 24, 2012 § 3 Comments

In the past three months, I went to Iowa City, taught at a summer writing camp for high school teenagers, read in Kansas City with Anne Boyer and Debbie Hu, whose poetry & whose crying made me cry, read at a new house in Columbia, Missouri, went back to Iowa City, read in an art gallery for Dana Ward‘s reading series in Cincinnati, read in a bar in Akron, Ohio where the lights swirled around us like we were at a high school dance for the best bozos in the whole world, drove back to New York, went to the beach, peed in the ocean, peed on my own leg, read at the Boston Poetry Marathon with my idols, went back to New York, went down to Atlanta to read in Emory University, fell in love, found out my parents are moving out of the house where I became a teenager, angry and prickly and depressed and lonely and romantic and crushed, read after Sarah Sophie Flicker and before Lena Dunham at the Rookie Yearbook One book launch at McNally Jackson, felt the presence of so many girls in one place wanting to be near each other and wanting to support each other and felt so, so, so lucky, wrote a Super Friends poem with new friends over po-boy sandwiches, danced underneath a ceiling of glitter and tinsel and confetti at the Rookie one year anniversary party at the Ace Hotel, told everyone I loved them, talked about poetry and REAL LIFE with Ben Fama and Dan Magers at CultureFix, finally ate at Prosperity Dumpling, flew to Chicago, went on a mini-poetry tour through the Midwest with Zachary Schomburg, sang Alanis Morissette and 4 Non Blondes in Iowa City after a trembly reading at Prairie Lights, had to have my “shitting” “scrubbed” from the radio, drove to Minneapolis and read poems at a brewery and then cried through a free Built to Spill show because I knew I was happy and lucky and also scared and sick, drove to Racine, Wisconsin where the magnificent Nick Demske took the above photo of Zach & I with Zach’s camera over breakfast where we talked about our dreams and profanity, drove to Madison, Wisconsin and read to a room that was so warm my insides wanted to be outside, woke up the next morning to the sudden death of our hosts’ cat, cried on the way to an IHop an hour later, drove back to Chicago, slept in a dark basement bed that tricked me into thinking time would exist as I wanted it to exist, woke up and read in Dolly’s apartment where there were so many people that my wild heart only grew wilder, got on a plane, got picked up by my mom, went to see our new house, drove back to our old house, went through the hundreds of CDs I listened to when I was a teenager and thought they would save me and they did, sort of, went through drawers and drawers of old notes and diaries, put turmeric on my brother’s tongue at two in the morning, found a hundred dollars in my sixth grade piggy bank, came back to Brooklyn, remembered this blog and felt like I wanted to say something in it, so I wrote all of this, which is not all of it, which doesn’t include how this time of year is when I start to feel afraid of dying one day but also afraid of living forever, which is not profound or special or anything, but just how I feel this time of year, and just how I feel when I am able to say how I feel.

love,
Jenny

428. Rookie’s coming to Brooklyn TODAY/ my Popsickle brat/ last week’s official officiating

June 25, 2012 § 5 Comments

Last weekend, I officiated the wedding of my oldest best friend. Everyone cried, the wedding was beautiful, at times I felt like I was at the basketball game of my dreams, my mother told me I was the “star of the show,” which is an absurd thing to say about someone else’s wedding, I might have gotten one or maybe two job after the ceremony, I met Ha Jin’s colleague, and I danced with at 6-year-old to “Call Me Maybe,” and by the way that song now has a resonance in my life that is too unbelievable to swear publicly is true but it’s true, I swear.

This weekend, I jumped out of a moving car and read some poems at the Popsickle Fest with some of my favorite poets, frenched a boy in a McDonald’s, and slept in a room with burgundy curtains that made me think my arm was bleeding when I woke up.

Today–Monday!–I am going to go to the first stop on the Rookie summer roadtrip. It’s gonna be in BROOKLYN! Have you seen this? Here’s a link to the DEETS. Tomorrow, please bring the teenage girl(s) in yr life and/or in yr heart, meaning bring everyone who still crushes and still wants to be kissed in the full light of mystery and clarity and still dreams and still fears and still needs bigger or smaller dreams, aka everyone including you, should come to Littlefield in Brooklyn from 4-6pm. I’ll be there, chatting with Rookies and shoving cookies into my mouth.

love,
Jenny

427. I’m reading tonight with my best girl at Public Assembly in Brooklyn

June 5, 2012 Comments Off on 427. I’m reading tonight with my best girl at Public Assembly in Brooklyn

Hello rosebuds,

June’s gloom has big plans for us and I have plans tonight to read poetry for the Hatchet Job reading series with my best girl, Anna North, & Guy Pettit and Rachel Glaser. Ben Fama is hosting. It’s happening tonight at Public Assembly @ 7pm. Poetry, prose & the weird shit in between.

Public Assembly is on 70 N. 6 street between Wythe and Kent. The reading will be held in the Back Room. There’s also a Front Room and once I went there by mistake and heard a guy making really cheesy jokes about YEAST. To get to the Back Room, walk towards the right when you walk down the entrance to the venue. Here are the FB deets: http://www.facebook.com/events/428768387140786/

Love,
Jenny

426. I’m reading this Sunday at Flying Object in Hadley, MA

June 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’m traveling up the Northeast corridor. The last time I was in New England, I was with my aunt, my cousin, my brother, and my mom and dad. This time it’s just me. I’ll be reading poems from my book, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find for the LOOT reading series. Ruth Garbus will play music and you will want to hold her songs in your baby fist and turn over your palms in reverie, and it’s all happening this Sunday, June 3rd at Flying Object in Hadley, Massachusetts. 8pm. Come say hi and temporarily reject solitude with me. Here’s the Facebook invite and DEETS.

Love always,
Jenny

425. Not moving on but on on on

May 29, 2012 § 11 Comments

Listening to MIA on the LIRR

my dresser, my mom

Some weekend morning on our deck; cheesy smile.

Maybe I talk too much about hating the town where I became a surly, gross teenager who walked around with sugary spikes and a bad attitude, and not enough about how much I love the house where I kept that spray bottle of sugar water, the house where I thought my rebellion would get me nowhere, the house where I put up posters of the Hanson brothers and other teen creeps and heartthrobs from the mid-90’s, only to scrawl “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE” all over said posters with my mom’s lipstick and rip them off a year and a half later. I don’t know if I ever talk about how much I love that house and the deck and the backyard that my little brother pissed all over when he came back from China as a weird, little toddler–my own personal plaything–the backyard where my grandfather jumped right into a beehive to fetch my brother’s badminton bird and came back with welts up and down his arm, the house where, for the first time ever, I had my own room and picked out a vanity dresser that reminded me of the ones I read about in Sweet Valley High, the vanity dresser where I kept a little brass bell that contained slips of paper that said “I want want want want want to love someone and want want want want want that someone to love me,” where I kept the Thank You card with milk chocolate lips that this Venezuelan girl on my schoolbus gave me on Valentine’s Day for being her friend that year. I must have mentioned the carpeted floor in my room where I would lie at night waiting for the good, happy, fragile possibilities of the future to show themselves to me, to give me a sign that if I lived long enough I would want to keep living.

We’re moving out of this house soon, and I am trying to see it as often as possible before that happens.

This weekend, I read poetry with Paige (whose bling does sing) at my pal Polly’s reading series (WRITERS READING TO WRITERS LISTENING TO WRITERS READING TO WRITERS) in Brooklyn. We ate brats on the roof with mango salsa before the reading. There were so many poets and writers that I wanted to talk to but I get tired and embarrassed for myself when I talk too much. I feel like I talk a lot. I went to a swank-ass terrace barbecue at my best friend from childhood’s swank-ass pad. Someone told me there’s a good chance I won’t get married and start a family because I seem to be “a strong, independent woman.” I would not mind being that woman. I was really happy to get an email from my friend Marianne the other day, and I was happy when she wrote that she detected a note of melancholy in my last few blog posts. I guess sometimes I just want to be known by anyone. I really want to tell you about this sad thing that happened me a few years ago and how I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it these past few weeks, maybe because I know my family is physically moving on to a new house soon, and maybe because I’m finally moving on from the old, outdated dreams I had for myself and the old, outdated way that I thought about myself, but I have a feeling there are certain losses you don’t move on from. I feel like maybe I will learn to live with this one in a way that is so totally and utterly bearable that the difference between leaving it behind and living with it forever will be as unknowable and unforgettable as the invisible world that Millhauser’s maker of miniatures creates in extraordinary solitude In the Reign of Harad IV.

Love,
Jenny

424. BALLS OUT COMEDY

May 21, 2012 Comments Off on 424. BALLS OUT COMEDY

This Thursday, I’ll be performing a story about my grandmother’s breasts and how she tried to breastfeed all of her grandchildren as part of BALLS OUT COMEDY, a monthly comedy-variety show held at the Bowery Poetry Club. I’m hella nervous and hope it ain’t gonna be crickets and pity-laughs. The line-up is gonna be sick. The Bowery Poetry Club is gonna be sick. And I think I’m gonna definitely be sick, in the sorry-I-just-fainted kind of way! Cover is $12. Come by if you wanna see me get big or fart tryin’.

Love,
Jenny

423. My bubble

May 18, 2012 § 9 Comments

Having had moved three times in the past six months, having had long bouts of loneliness and happiness knocking against each other like helium balloons tied to a fence post, having fits of brattiness when my friends are doing fine, fine jobs of being reasonable, admirable adults, having a lot to do and having mounting, unconquered fear over doing it, having cried at the end of the last four books I read and having been too stricken to get off at the right subway stop and having ended up in places I thought I might as well get to know, and having said all that, I just want to say that I’m still here. A little overwhelmed. A little monstrous. My little life and my little world still eager to interact with the larger lives and the larger world out there.

I’ve written a lot of things lately, but the one I really hope you’ll read (if you want) is a little summa summa something I wrote for Rookie last month about growing up lonely and weird, and being unable to let go of my misfit/loner/outcast identity even long after I had built the happy, creative bubble I’ve always wanted for myself. The essay is called Outsider/Insider, and I really meant everything I wrote and also everything I didn’t write in it.

Love,
Jenny

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