I’ve started to dig out some of my older work – most of the time I don’t really know what to do with it, so it stays buried on my hard drive. Photography and I haven’t really been talking this year – we’ve been eyeing each other from opposite sides of the room, looking for an excuse to start a brawl.
I took these in 2019, pre-pandemic. It felt disingenuous to glorify normalcy of any kind in 2020 so I didn’t look at them again, but now I feel a small ache creeping in my chest. Looks like we don’t have to come to blows after all.
This morning I woke up to an email saying that a video poem that I put together last year for a unit on Sex, The Body and American Poetry (I did the coolest M.A) has been selected for the 9th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens. I’m still not sure how I feel about it (aside from shocked and grateful and humbled, which is a given). This thing (like so much of my work) would still be on a hard drive if it hadn’t been for a friend convincing me to throw it out there and see what comes back. So I did, literally an hour before deadline.
It’s not an easy watch. I was bottoming out mentally at the time, just before Zoloft kicked me into high gear and I ended up dodging involuntary hospitalisation a few weeks later. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to film trains or just walk in front of them. I was obsessing over Maggie Nelson. I’ve never wanted to be a poet per-se, but I am a whore for fragmented memoir – so much so, that I ended up by writing my thesis on it. At that time, fragments were all I had. The idea that any of this can resonate with a selection committee is humbling.
Yesterday I wrote a whole holier-than-thou post about how I escaped 2020 relatively unscathed, mental-health-wise. It’s bullshit of course. Spotify/Last.Fm reminded me of this when I began to put together my annual playlist. (If you ever want to get to the core of what you were feeling during a particular time in your life, keep a time-stamped running list of the music you listen to. Fuck.)
Euthymia is seductive.
I’ll write more when it’s sunk in.