The Haunting of Toby

I have gained an hour's sleep only to lose countless more to these hauntings.

Location: Northeast, United States

I live in a haunted house with one dog, one man, and many, many, restless souls. I am wandering through the halls of academia trying to figure out what to do with the degree I have and what one I want to work towards next. Mostly I just like the wandering.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wow is it really Monday again?

It has been a busy week, and yet I feel as though I haven't done anything. So to get back on blogging tract. It's Monday again and a lot can be deciphered from what is still sitting in my CD player.

1.) David Bowie and related to that, as "Rebel, Rebel" always makes me think of
2.) Marilyn Manson, and "Rebel, Rebel, Bitch, Bitch" (I'm not sure that is the actual name of the song, but you get the idea.)
3&4) Ani Difranco- Living in Clip ~ This is a staple when I am writing, or cleaning, or drinking at home with friends, and probably a whole bunch of other things, most of which I have been doing for the last week.
5.) The Pixies- 'cause who doesn't love The Pixies?

I have been imagining myself as rebellious while working on a paper this week, and I have been bitchy about housework lately. Somewhere in the past month, what seemed to be a pretty equal division of household crap work has shifted. It would be a lot simpler if it were possible to have a standing agreement that was consistently followed. That just does not seem to be how things happen, at least not around here. There is the need from time to time to revisit how "chores" are divided and making sure agreed upon divisions are honored always falls to me. I am sure that a lot of this has to do with a subconscious attitude towards women, but also my own attitude towards housework. If it needs to be done, I do it. I have tried the waiting game and no one ever wins at that. I'm going to think about this some more and write a more thorough post at some point this week.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday Morning Leftovers

My house has been officially dubbed a "rock n' roll hostel" by a friend of my husband B and I's this weekend. The phrase is appropriate seeing as a month rarely goes by that there is not some band or another staying here. The couches, floors, and spare bed room, are frequently sleeping spaces for rockers, and I like it that way. Of course there is no charge, just don't drink all the beer, and you better play something while you are here, be it the piano, a guitar, or the kitchen cabinets (that was one of my favorite nights!). Its good karma first off. B is on the road from time to time. Touring bands, especially when they are first starting out, rely on others for a place to stay instead of the van/bus if they can't afford a hotel. And second, you just can't beat the people. They are always a good time, and almost always fill the house with live and improvised music. Couch surfers are always welcome around here. I don't have much musical talent myself, but I sure do like to support the talent of others.

On to the Monday Morning Leftovers, or what's been playing in my CD player all weekend.
1.) The Bee Keeper -Tori Amos
2.) The Best of Bowie
3.) Life in Slow Motion -David Grey (a big disappointment)
4.) Around the Fur -The Deftones
5.) Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge -My Chemical Romance

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Poerty Blogging

The Expiration
So, so, break off this last lamenting kiss,
Which sucks two souls, and vapours both away ;
Turn, thou ghost, that way, and let me turn this,
And let ourselves benight our happiest day.
We ask none leave to love ; nor will we owe
Any so cheap a death as saying, "Go."
Go ; and if that word have not quite killed thee,
Ease me with death, by bidding me go too.
Or, if it have, let my word work on me,
And a just office on a murderer do.
Except it be too late, to kill me so,
Being double dead, going, and bidding, "Go."
-John Donne
This week, being the first week I'm doing Friday poetry blogging, I thought I would stick with the ghostly theme and post a poem by Donne that I have always enjoyed. Especially after visit from one particular shade. I will post some of my own stuff, but for now... parting is such sweet sorrow... Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Spoken Skeletons

One of my favorite spoken word recordings is The Ballad of the Skeletons. Ginsberg, McCartney, and Glass combined Ginsberg's words with music to create a recording that is as profound as it is redundant, provocative, and evocative. Produced by Lenny Kaye (who also plays bass for the project) in 1996, the year before Ginsberg's death, the project is full of kind of big names, but it is Ginsberg's words that still stick in my mind even when I have not listened to it in some time.

The imagery of a skeleton, a speaking skeleton, reminds that what we consume, our culture, our politics, our private lives, is deeply connected to the body. With all of the conflicting voices in a litany that includes: "Said that Gnostic skeleton "The human forms the mind!'" followed by "Said the Christian Coalition, 'No its not its mine!'", and "Said the down-sized skeleton, 'Robots got my job!'", and "Said the Ecologic Skeleton, 'Keep skys blue!'" followed by "Said the Multinational Skeleton, 'What's it worth to you?!'" Ginsberg captures the cacophony of value systems that leave the "couch potato skeleton" saying "What me worry?" and the media skeleton signing off with "That's all. Goodnight!" All of images are revealed as a cadre for the body in the skeleton, but the act of speech itself comes from stereotypical signifier of a construction of the body. The most powerful aspect of this ballad, to me, is the reminder that discourse, in the speaking, is tied to an organization, in the skeleton, of the body.

This ballad is all refrain, and has no refrain at all. The same lyrics are never repeated in their entirety, rather it is the structure, the rhythm of speech, that is repeated. It becomes somewhat idiomatic in its structure, if that makes any sense I am not sure. The story takes place in the refrain, which is very much a refrain in that it is repeating the same imagery for what might seem, to some, ad nauseum. At the same time it resists being a refrain in that it does not follow the assumption that a refrain is identical in each repetition, instead it operates as a supplement for the refrain.

Ghost Stories

The winds of late fall stir the ghosts of old stories back into prose. Tales that came to The End appear again in the mist of visible breath while walking home in the evening. The morning frost makes blood run cold, what was the conclusion? The branch work of trees is laid bare, the hidden appears once again.

We are nothing less than all of our stories, whether leaf cloaked in Spring iridescence, or reflecting sunshine like the petals of sun obsessed flowers, or somber under the placid gray of winter. Here, on the cusp of what we were and that we will become, disembodied pieces of our selves revisit and are revisited. The first snow flakes remind us of what will be. We never read a story the same way twice. We are never the same always, each year brings a ring of growth that echoes through what was.

I have gained one hour's sleep only to lose countless more to these hauntings. All things are slowing except my imagination. This moment, after the final distraction of burning color and the rich earthy aroma of falling has passed, is a precious one, for all of its supernatural tension. I will tell the story again, I want to. Is there any other way to deal with a ghost? This time it will embody all the growth, the work, of a year. We really are all of our stories, and stories never die. They linger.