I don’t have a story currently in-process (oh no!) because I just got back from the lovely British Columbia, and I'm still trying to reacquaint myself with my real-life (cat pee, empty refrigerators, too much traffic, not enough incense, sleep). But, I have managed to squeeze out a few new poems--even with a mushroom-scented, hairless cat refusing to leave my lap.
Take a peek:
if you keep on cracking, you might break
we’d all go tumbling out like
a fruit basket abruptly upturned:
i am a lemon, he is an apple.
we can be cut into slices, pressed into juice,
left pulpy and seedless in our lack of forgiveness.
Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block.
For those of you that know me, you probably know that FLB has been one of my biggest inspirations ever. She is the reason that I started writing when I was 14, the reason that I moved to Los Angeles for graduate school. In fact, whenever I return to LA, it’s like her characters are at my side: skating with me down Venice Blvd., taking me for Oki Dogs, whispering fairytales in my ears, or reminding me what it feels like for my nerves to jangle like plastic skeleton jewelry. I am almost always reading (re-reading really) one of her books along with whatever other book I am reading that week. (I generally read her during my daily bathtub rituals.) Her characters are my friends, brothers/sisters, muses, and reflections. I was nicknamed Witch Baby (a character from one of her novellas) 19 years ago, and there are still people who call me that today. I wish I had enough knuckles to memorialize the nickname on my fingers. Maybe my toes?
Pink Smog is the story of how Weetzie Bat became Weetzie Bat. It chronicles her junior high experience, and is filled with barbie-doll-magic spells; palm trees twinkling under the LA sun; drunk, movie-star-wannabe mothers, and all the uncomfortable anecdotes of growing up that FLB is so adept at portraying. At first, I was skeptical of this book because the Weetzie Bat books are so very close to my squirmy, little heart and prequels can be daunting in their ability to effect and or/tarnish. But, really, I am pleased to read Weetzie as a younger, less-cool, less-divine being--just a regular tween, forced to grow up too quickly and take care of more than her little hands were built to manage. I'm thoroughly enjoying this magnifying glass into her early insecure attachments, her experiences of being bullied, and the coping mechanisms she finds hidden within that guide her into a magical, powerful girlhood. Weetzie is astounding in her ability to make connections even in moments of deep darkness. Weetzie Bat is my hero.
All of the new Haunted Mansion merchandise that has been scheduled to appear this Fall! Hopefully some of it will be available on October 13-14, when I hop over to Disneyland for a quick and random Halloween-infused trip to my favorite place on earth. (This trip just happens to coincide with a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in LA.)