Monday, December 02, 2013

The rest of us


I’m always surprised when someone is worried that it might be creepy or stalkerish to tell me that they love my work. If that’s creepy, then I love creepy! It’s a cliché to say that writing is lonely, and that isn’t true for me anyway because I write against loneliness. I mean, I write in order not to feel lonely. Which perhaps is another way to say that of course writing is generally a solitary process, which can feel lonely if no one acknowledges the work. Or a companion anyway. Apparently Mary Cheney thinks her sister Liz is on the wrong side of history because she opposes gay marriage. Is this a comedy routine? Honey, look in the mirror – everyone in the world knows that your whole family is on the wrong side of history. Mary Cheney gives new meaning to the phrase oh Mary.

Sometimes you find beauty when you’re looking for it: an abandoned cornfield on a thoroughfare, broken stalks still arranged in rows, tiny yellow fruit growing from weeds. These trees must have been dividing line between property, all these thorny plants and looking out into a field of something like wheat, but wild, I don’t know the names for these things so I study the way the light makes everything orange and yellow, even the browns reddish in the sun and then a moment later everything turns chalky, grey, dusky, but then back to orange and yellow again.

Thinking about queer theory, so often a disappearance act, sucking up identities, movements, emotions and lives in a commodified status ownership game. I don’t think knowledge is ever invented. Queer theory has the amazing ability to take everything that means something to me, and make it into a rarefied product for elite consumption. I don’t want to feel dead, so I try not to read it. I have enough trouble with parasites. I just remembered that someone said I was just like Cheney once, implying that by critiquing the academy I was furthering the goals of the Christian right. That was at the only queer theory conference I’ve ever gone to.

I hate when I’m staying somewhere for such a short time that I’m packing while I’m unpacking. But then I look out the window, and there’s a whole tree of birds, literally a whole tree, what are all these birds doing landing on one tiny tree in a parking lot, and the sun, the colors of the grass, green and brown and the sky so soft in this light. Maybe we should start a movement for the dead to marry. I just don’t want them living in sin. Turnip greens, what could be better than turnip greens? Like mustard without the mustard. Why aren't turnip greens more readily available on the West Coast? We definitely have turnips. If only the dead had the right to marry, that really would be better for the rest of us.

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