DECEMBER 2014

First Night, of course.  $10.  http://www.firstnightboston.org/

 

What’s up with me?  Writing Moby-Dick poems.  Keeping these old bones warm.  Looking wistfully out the window for some real snow.  Creating sentence fragments.  Trying to fix my memoir image, as it keeps showing up backwards.  Eep.

Dropping the Mask (Hidden Charm Press, 2014)

Dropping the Mask Coming from Hidden Charm Press Artwork: copyright 2012 Patricia Wallace Jones

Artwork: Copyright 2012 Patricia Wallace Jones

 

 

 

March 15, 2014

Only halfway through the month, here I am posting.  Awake at midnight with pain shooting down my spine and the backs of my legs.  Sniffing a menthol stick because my allergies are acting up – allergic to a sunny day? – or maybe it’s a cold because my heart is racing a bit.  Cannot get comfortable worth a damn!

Yet, I feel crazy-happy!  The cover of my memoir is done.  I still can’t do page numbers, so don’t ask when it will be published, but it’s done.  And the feature for my Buk tribute poems was fantastic Monday.  Yup, I’m wiped out for a week after one social engagement/creative work event, but I’m pretty tired after a day of laundry too yet laundry doesn’t leave me smiling like in the photo below!

Dropping the Mask Coming from Hidden Charm Press Artwork: copyright 2012 Patricia Wallace Jones

Dropping the Mask (Coming 2014, Hidden Charm Press)
Art:  “With My Own Eyes”  C. 2012 Patricia Wallace Jones

Celebrating Women's History Month at Stone Soup Poetry - the Buk feature

Celebrating Women’s History Month at Stone Soup Poetry – the Buk feature

photo by shannon o’connor

 

 

Finished for the Summer!

Finally done with all the creative work I needed to do this summer.  Two months of Friday and Saturday work binges, but now I get to relax for August.   Good timing.   Scared to think how hot August could get.   Can’t wait for Autumn!

Now all there is to do is decide whether to risk screwing up the first Hidden Charm Press book by doing the whole thing myself since I won’t have any dinero to pay experts any time soon.  I’m so excited to get to the second book that I finished its mss. ahead of schedule.   The Extra MoJo! anthology (The Best of MoJo! Issues 1-10) will be around 100 pages when it’s done.   It makes the two+ years since I started the online journal feel so incredibly rewarding.

I Miss My Muddy Water!

OMG!   The water main broke, so we have to boil water here in Beantown before drinking it.  It tastes nasty as hell boiled!  Well, technically, it tastes like absolutely nothing.  Boston water, even with the too-much chlorine and other junk added since I was a kid drinking the good stuff, is like its architecture.  It has Chahm! I don’t even care that I brushed my teeth in the iffy back-up reservoir water before getting the FYI on that; I just care that the water tastes too pure, like unspoiled woodland or rainforest water.  This is the city, baby.  Give me some rust.

Kanye, Brother, what the…?

I was all ready to say, “The media is blowing things out of proportion again!” but that was unnecessary, Kanye.  Truthful, but not necessary.  She’s 19.  It makes sense that we’re just not that into her, but let the girl enjoy her moment.  Call her.  Twitter.  Something.  But apologize already!

[Update:  He did apologize the evening this was written.  I think he’s right to deduce that he seriously needs a vacation.]

Black History Month Series (II)

Q: What does it mean, really, to be a multicultural writer?

A: I write as I live, through all of my valued private and public traditions and experiences…as an American. There’s no pie chart for my cultural percentages, and 9 times out of 10, the Black part is not open for discussion.

Blackness is a state of being shaped by experiences, not just a biological “marker,” so when I say “Black” I am not talking about physical packaging—9 times out of 10. Why is that such a difficult concept for non-Black Americans to get, especially women? Is “woman” just a biological fact or marker for them? When a man relates to a woman’s “femaleness” or refers to her as a woman when that specific fact seems irrelevant to the current human communication or interaction, doesn’t that woman get angry, defensive, feel insulted, maybe think “sexist jerk”?

If so, why do I get labeled an ABW or militant for thinking “race-obsessed jerk” when my race is gratuitously or inappropriately “related to” or referred to? When is it inappropriate for another person to refer to my race? 9 times out of 10 that the person is not one of my oldest and dearest friends, and yes, especially if the person is not a Black American and/or of African descent. It’s a cultural understanding thing, complicated by both historical and present racism. I catch a lot of heat for mentioning my own race, asserting that it “makes a difference,” so all non-me’s should have even stricter racial gag orders than I.

Turning specifically to the question of art, when I apply pen to paper, it is not with the pressure of a monocultural agenda. That is, if I’m in a Black state of mind, my pen writes about race, or culture, or racism. When I’m feeling my “woman-ness”, I write about sex, or gender, or sexism. Major holidays bring out my inner American; that’s when I write about friends and family, or mistletoe and pie, or anti-patriots. Some days, when socio-economic inequities are especially noticeable and infuriating, I write about class prejudice. In other words, I write what I write, with neither boundaries nor pretenses of belonging to any one literary tradition. To write with respect for the past, appreciation for the present, and an eye on the future is perhaps my subconscious, apolitical, multicultural agenda. A reader who possesses a monocultural agenda or monomaniacal obsession with any one part of a writer’s personal features or demographic categories (i.e., with her “markers”) will probably find my work disappointing.