BAT

wrecking all things virtuous and true

“I have stopped paying a whole lot of attention to what is being said verbally at the federal level right now.”

Chicago Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady to Washington Post reporters Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun
*

but my friend who had a brain tumor was vaccinated yesterday and my friend who works at an ALF has an appointment to be vaccinated this week: so at least there's that.
don't tell me i laced up

i need help reacting to something

i didn't know the my pillow guy was an elected government official.

or a formally appointed government official.

or an informally appointed government official.

or a shiftily appointed government official.

i did not know that the my pillow guy had anything to do with the federal government at all.

i thought he made pillows that he sold through creepy commercials for pillows.

holy shit what does this even look like in a history book if there are even going to be history books after all of this
when you reach for me and i'm not there

getting no higher from the ground

“My view is what the President should do is finish the last ten days of his Presidency. The President touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again.”

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) CBS, "Face the Nation," Sunday, January 10 2021

*

"I believe that the president has learned from this case. The president has been impeached. That's a pretty big lesson."

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell, Tuesday, February 4 2020

*

the most horrific aspect of both these comments is how recklessly they minimize the crimes to which they refer; how they make 45 sound like a naughty little school boy instead of a corrupting influence destroying millions of lives in the course of getting whatever it is that he thinks he wants, which is as much everything as it is absolutely nothing.

nothing will satisfy 45.

listen to me: nothing will ever satisfy 45.

part and parcel to that, 45 did not "touch the stove."

45 wasn't even in the same building as the fucking stove.

45 incited hundreds of thousands of devoted followers to throw themselves on the stove on his behalf.

now, many of their lives will go down in flames because of it. they will lose friends, family, community, jobs, livelihoods, health, freedom, trust, relevance, and maybe even their lives for 45. it was, of course, not anywhere near enough for this hungry abuser.

nothing ever is.






painted lady

in the ocean, washing off my name from your throat


seven objects portrait, no. 3, december 31, 2020

infinity sign anniversary of my thyroidectomy. a lot of iowa here, too. marvin bell led my first undergraduate poetry workshop at uiowa in 1996. he passed earlier this month. INCARNATE collects his decades-in-the-making dead man series. marvin, you are remembered.

the backdrop is the olive green men's workshirt i was wearing in the hospital new year's day when they told me i couldn't go home yet (it also happens to be the shirt i wore home: it's heavy and soft and button-down, so i wouldn't need to pull it over my head). other objects are a copy of marvin bell's INCARNATE, neurodivergent icon 4:1 AGENCY - my first athame with a recently refinished handle, the ID bracelet from my thyroidectomy, the silver sanskrit ring i bought from a vendor at the student union my first semester at uiowa, a mason jar half filled with incense ash and a plastic monarch butterfly figurine.

blessings and healing to you in the new year.
coral

solstice wish

i'm hoping, dear reader, that you can help me address a couple problems i am having.

because here's the thing.
i matter
and
my work has value

i think.

i would like to think.

i am trying to get myself to think, with greater consistency, in a wider variety of scenarios.

one problem: more and more when i come here, it's to prove to myself that neither of these things are true.

because i don't believe anyone is reading. not really. nobody acts like they do.

except: cognitive dissonance a go-go.

i know it, you know it.

someone is reading.

you are.

so: i matter to you
and
my work has value to you.

even if you're hate reading, this is true.

but i don't think you're hate reading, not really. yes, there are random drive-bys, one of them quite recent, and and one long-time regular who occasionally feels the need to remind me that yes, i am still as awful as i am wrong, about everything, but know what? if they're choosing to be someone who weaponizes their attention in this way, that's ultimately the world they are making for themselves and themselves alone. and hey, don't doubt it! alone is what they'll continue to be. they've earned it. i have nothing to do with the self-injury compulsions of hate readers. never have, never will.

another problem: a growing number of desirable venues will not take writing that has been published in any form anywhere else. this includes, very explicitly, personal blogs.

i hope you understand why this a problem for me, and why it's turned this venue, originally intended to be a space where i could experiment and dialogue, into something of a sinkhole of resources for which i am not being compensated. certainly not monetarily, though this has always been the case and for the majority of my time here, this hasn't been a problem.

the problem: i am no longer being compensated with community. community was a big factor in my decision to be so free with my work here, my work that has value,* because i value community. sharing my writing for interaction and connection with my readers and other artists was an incredible bounty for which i am still grateful.

but community is no longer one of livejournal's strong points.

so here's a potential solution i have decided to try out.

i'm going to put a "donate" button on my homepage and at the bottom of every post. i'd like to get enough to cover writing submission fees and maybe (maybe) the occasional contest (though i'm half past done o'clock with writing contests and... that might be a rant i need to sidestep right now) ...and i suspect it would be empowering, as well as motivating, to be able to fund that with the readership i know exists here. please know i ain't talking like, OMG sums. i'm talking like, $5, $10 bucks. enough so i could maybe splurge on a slightly fancier notebook, or not agonize for three months over ordering a book i think might be helpful with therapy stuff, or not have to refuse a promising submission opportunity because i can't afford the reading fee.







i have a couple other ideas, but i'm still researching. if you aren't in a place to throw a few dollars my way, i absolutely get it. i wouldn't be able to contribute monetarily either, and i've been in that situation for the better part of four years. i feel for you, but also know you could do just as much toward helping this feel a little less like a hole in the ground into which i endlessly scream by suggesting some ideas, or just carving out the occasional "kilroy was here" in the comments. i miss comment threads so much.

i hope i will receive something and anticipate that i will, but if i don't? then i have my answer for how much this content is valued and will need to redirect my energies accordingly.

here's hoping. solstice blessings, either way. to a better 2021.



_______________________
*apologies for the repetitions: the idea that my work has value is something i am trying to get myself to understand more than extraneously, with words that are not simply the cracked husks of seeds harvested for another's nourishment. it is a complicated matter, as i've used the idea of my fundamental worthlessness to justify a great deal of abuse, exploitation and abandonment over the course of my life. as it turns out, i was roughly as angry about the mechanisms in my life forcing me to do this as i was the injuries themselves, so the whole situation? is overwhelming, overwhelming to the extent of my bottom lip perpetually chewed bloody over simple affirmations that should have never been made to feel so ugly and unreasonable, why can't i believe that my work has value? why is that idea so dangerous? and, wait, no apologies for repeating myself. if i don't repeat myself, i'm not going to hear it, and i need to hear it. it's the way my brain works. i love the way my brain works. i matter. my work has value. i matter. my work has value. why am i always blowing out my tires apologizing for other people's intolerance instead of doing the things i need to do?
it's not special either

it wasn't like christmas at all

yesterday, at the behest of notification from local government, i installed the MD COVID ALERT app on my phone.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY

encouraged ben to do same, as he's the one who actually goes places beyond the building stairwell. i mean, i go for walks, i've gone for a flu shot, to the dentist and that one time the ups store? by myself? in a cold sweat the whole time? i think the christmas tree farm on tuesday was my biggest excursion this year, all the way over to taneytown. the place we've been going since before i moved to baltimore ran out of trees.

on the way out, we listened to an episode of wait, wait don't tell me from the second to last week in march, when everyone thought a whole month in lockdown was unbearable. there was one other car in the farm lot, a couple that was leaving as we got to the fields. for an hour we wandered alone through the pines. very 2020.
commodified self

cognitive rigidity

two weeks of headlines: FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING SACRED THE CDC THE HHS THE FDA THE WKRP ALL ARE FLASHING RED NEON DON'T!! DO FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS! FOR THANKSGIVING! OR TRAVEL UNNECESSARILY FOR THANKSGIVING! BECAUSE IT IS DANGEROUS! AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE WILL DIE! THE SURGE, THE SURGE, THINK OF THE SURGE! OMG LOOK AT THE AIRPORTS! HOLY CRAP WHY ARE THERE TOO MANY PEOPLE AT THE AIRPORTS!* HAVEN'T WE LEARNED ANYTHING!

and they are right, of course they are right, this is incredibly important messaging at this moment and i'm glad to see it, but?

with regard to crowding into nonessential retailers to buy nonessential products from minimum wage workers no longer getting even a little bit of hazard pay and still no federal or corporate backup on basic safety procedures in their facilities (pandemic fatigue, you know) on black friday using money folks might consider hanging on to in case they suddenly lose their jobs and need to stock up on dried beans, toilet paper and hand sanitizer during what is shaping up to be a very difficult winter what with the virus! and the climate change! and the political unrest! while the GOP tries to figure out some means of funneling our tax dollars into protecting a tyrannical billionaire white supremacist serial rapist from prison while blaming the whole entire situation on them socialist radical leftists and their nannystate insistence on social safety nets: BUT AMERICA NEEDS RECREATIONAL SHOPPING

and i ain't saying that's not true, because for all intents and purposes this is the world we've been making. the american economy does need recreational shopping, almost as much as it needs people living below the poverty line to spend outside their means and middle class workers to live in debt for their entire adult lives.

i'm saying: that is messed up.

i'm asking: why haven't more people realized this is a problem?

an exploitative economy is not sustainable. one year of pandemic and there are families that will never recover. do we need to start pushing the system to stop brainwashing people to act against their best interests for sake of an economic model that isn't working? how do we start?

please don't shop for recreation while your fellow citizens wobble on the brink of homelessness and line up at food banks. please don't feel you are entitled to a "normal" holiday season while hospitals erect tents for pandemic overflow in football fields and parking lots in late november. yes, i scaled back my original text there because it was triggering to me as someone whose at-risk family lives in another time zone in a region where the surge has been bad enough to start another lockdown.

claim your agency. figure out another way.

do it for america.
___________________
*travel restrictions, maybe? big business taking a leadership role in public health policy and building good faith with their client base, you think? yeah. right. never mind