blOgbuefi

writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

chicago home poem

it's sad.
but true.

this always happens, whenever i move to a new location, when i am geographically and emotionally separated from the familiar, i shrink and shrivel and retreat into myself, i forget how to exist with others, i forget how to breathe with another individual, how to relate and identify, and enjoy the pleasures of human company.

and it becomes especially painful in the city.

to be in the midst of people constantly, to drown in a sea of strangers, to be alone but never alone, to be lonely when in constant company, it does something to you:

it's like having thick twine or rope wrapped tight around your arms, and the slightest movements slowly rub away at the gentle skin and flesh. or, it's like developing a callous on your foot throughout the day, the pain only slight and avoidable, perhaps even ignorable at first, but then, surely, the skin screams with pain, each step reminds you of it, and the skin thickens where the pain is, leaving a scar, a reminder of your hardness.

being a stranger to the city is to be a stranger to its people, its customs, its daily life. people see it on my face, in my walk. it's in my morphology. they know i'm different, and they don't let me forget.

the city has a strange coldness that i shelter myself from. in the house, i curl up in the sun on the couch with a sweater pulled tight, holding my latest book close to me like a babe. doors open and close again, open windows remind me of the conversations that could be happening, memories of past relations and comforts from home. a girl walking with her father in the park reminds me that father's day is coming soon and that i won't have seen mine in over a month. my dad and i are close. it is strange to be so far away.

but mostly, the city reminds me that even in the strangest and least familiar of places, i still detect residues of home. the awkwardness of my walk in crossing a room, or my avoidance of the two lovers in the kitchen, the deepening of my frown as i contemplate the next public event i will attend for my job. the forced interactions i must endure and tolerate to survive...

and it changes the meaning of home. is it a place? or is it really just a state of mind?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

invincible city


if ever there were more of a city, i cannot think of it now.

getting to chicago has truly been a journey. and i suspect my life here for the next two and half months will show me something of myself and humanity that i may never see again.

there's so much wonder and beauty and so much fear in this here in which i am n (in, i-n, i, see?) and i await each day, each moment, each interaction and step and movement with bated breath for to hear better the words and whispers of the people and the city that surrounds me.

it will be... well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

stunningly stunned,
o.stephi


p.s. check out my new chicago blog [link now up -4:13 central time].
p.p.s. picture from ken papai.

Monday, May 15, 2006

feeling city

there are little birds nesting outside my window and their birdy baby chirp-chirpings are making me sad for home

living in a bustling city can be so lonesome tho you are constantly surrounded by people

i am sharing an apartment with two other people grad students at northwestern university both males whom i have never met and tho i like the sound of their voices on the phone i suspect i will be very alone and lonely this summer and dread moving in and away tho home can be a lonely place as well

it seems i am always alone

i imagine sunning in the park before the coming evening dusk steals away the safety of the day and forces my retreat into the confines of a sacred summer space and the summer spent in libraries and coffee shops trying to steal wireless internet for my work and stealing glances at strangers i will never kno sitting quietly reading on the train into town and wondering when i will bump into someone i knew from home

reading invisible cities by italo calvino and enjoying it immensely using calvino's vision as an idea for a film and a focus on the city of chicago as a living document filled with signs and structures the buildings and landscape like the writing on a page and the people its units and their relationships its meaning

"your gaze scans the streets as if they were written pages: the city says everything you must think, makes you repeat her discourse, and while you believe you are visiting [the city] you are only recording the names with which she defines herself and all her parts" (calvino, from "cities and signs 1")

Friday, May 12, 2006

personal progress? not so much. but grassroots are the way to go!

i hate blogger.

it's a bitch.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

the sultan's elephant in london


people have said this is amazing, and i don't have my doubts (a two story puppet, that is undeniably amazing, it's true.)

but this.
<---this is just freaky is what it is.

yikes!
o.stephi


(photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenlad/141345106/in/pool-sultanselephantlondon/)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

some spam poetry

from Oedipus McCarver:

think. They fled further down the tunnel glad to be still alive, while
behind them outside they heard the roar and rumble of Smaugs fury. He
was breaking rocks to pieces, smashing wall and cliff with the lashings
of his huge tail, till their little lofty camping ground, the scorched
grass, the thrushs stone, the snail-covered walls, the narrow ledge,
and all disappeared in a jumble of smithereens, and an avalanche of
splintered stones fell over the cliff into the valley below. Smaug had
left his lair in silent stealth, quietly soared into the air, and then
floated heavy and slow in the dark like a monstrous crow, down the wind
towards the west of the Mountain, in the hopes of catching unawares
something or somebody there, and of spying the outlet to the passage
which the thief had used. This was the outburst of his wrath when he
could find nobody and see nothing, even where he guessed the outlet must
actually be. After he had let off his rage in this way he felt better
and he thought in his heart that he would not be troubled again from
that direction. In-the meanwhile he had further vengeance to take.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

what is human nature?

argh, i don't give a fuck.

this is the topic for my wcp 261 final, and let me tell you: it's been a bitch (tit) and a half to write.

here's a little piece from my intro that i hammered out this morning. i had to take it out because it began devolving into what could have been a totally sweet, and really sarcastic and flippant, but unfocused and irrelevant, paper.

so enjoy, the out-takes, if you will, of my human nature final:


what is human nature?
[this question] is quite the pit of quicksand, as far
as lines of inquiry go. Every time I attempt to formulate
a response to the question, I find myself sinking deeper,
becoming enveloped in the process. It is a deceptively
simple question that provides a phenomenal workout for
the mind, as one is darting back and forth between ideas,
picking some up, discarding others, but always on the move
and never pausing, never stopping to take a break or to
breathe. It is life, and the purpose of it, and its
definition, that continually evade me. It is suffocating,
life-sucking, and it grips me by the neck and throttles me
while continually keeping me running.

too bad... it really would have been a fine piece of writing...

-o.stephi

Monday, May 01, 2006

flickr is my fatal flaw

it's true.

instead of writing the 30 some pages i haven't started yet for finals, i did this.

bad bad.
doubly bad.
-o.stephi