Love Lovely in White Rooms

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Most often, he puts us in white rooms. The love of my life carrying me to the city with the proverbial lumbar vertebrae of  a giant, and we are in white rooms that hum with the light. The photos here are in the Allerton Hotel in Chicago. Every moment there was a poem. And every moment was a love lovely with the strength of tombs in a midday with only a few birds looking like confused little balls of music.

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And now as the cusp of my second life stands before me in the coming week, I know I am okay if only because I am finally truly loved by someone who also does not believe it is all a game. And those like us know the value of life for our own unique reasons, mine often being the thoughts of my almost taking it so quickly, so aimlessly really, for reasons of losing something, usually something I never even wanted to begin with like bad love. Mad love.

Andre Breton wrote, “Convulsive beauty will be veiled-erotic, fixed-explosive, magic-circumstantial, or it will not be,” in Mad Love. My convulsive beauty is here now, guiding me into the white still deeper, sometimes in the forms of hotel rooms, a vicuna overcoat pretending to be white, or in the  form of a detour second-guessing the white moon.

I have already hated and been hated once. Never again. So there it sits and nonexists like god in our backbones.


Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  

My father helped me to reexamine my chapbook, Ohio Lonely

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I didn’t get to see my father on Father’s Day since Don and I stayed in Michigan. we did get to visit Don’s father, a man I am excited about getting to know in our little visits just into Indiana.

Until this morning, me trying to awake after a night of deep but terrified sleep, I realized that my neglected chapbook project (poetry and visual art genealogy), Ohio Lonely should return to me. My father helped me to realize this, giving me a poem in a few little phrases over the telephone last night … his burying 2 dead squirrels in our yard as if they were public figures peppering the news.

I felt a great depression, that great loss, after completing The Chase even as I felt a great release in releasing these poems into the world, poems that would never see the light of day had you asked me even six months ago. My heart had been devoured, my confidence wittled away the lock to my cage, everything escaping and almost killing me till I let them loose into the world. Such emotion  shouldn’t be kept in a journal under a mattress.

And so with this newfound passion .. I am completing and then releasing Ohio Lonely.

Visit http://www.carriemcgath.com to stay posted on this and all other news about my work.

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

On the Move to Chicago … and for art school at The Art School of art schools.

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The last several nights, my dreams have been ransacked by what I assume is this worried-excitement I am feeling now … about what will be My New Life. My tarot card reading on Friday revealed my need to pull my head a bit more out of the clouds thus making this art school dream truly the reality it is … but these dreams. There are always the dreams.

As a teenager, mainly the years surrounding the death of my aunt Shirley and my subsequent Bipolar diagnosis, my dreams were terrifying. Like night terrors in children, I would have them as a teenager thus telling myself I could tell no one of these things, these dreams, especially the parts about being touched and screamed at by “the monsters”. These monsters were, and still are, the things that are monstrous that moment to me. Last night, bats again, terrorizing my every moment, seeing myself finding pieces of them everywhere, waking up to jump up terrified believing a bat’s head was truly resting on my chest. And more and more. Each night, it is something else, the only thing seeming to tame them being the nights I am staying with Don. That safety. “That nothing bad could possibly happen when he is here” feeling. Don (love) and Art (also, love).

Is this all about my new life? It is all a test of this new woman inside of me … watching the old me die again (whomever she was.) And the new one moving, moving in, moving to Chicago to fulfill a long dream that has always tempered my terrors — the taste of art, the feel and being of it.

Living in an alive city without my hangups (as Kalamazoo has in droves).

Attending a premiere art school where I will learn my new self, learn to channel my unbattered love for art as a way of life always. My little bedfellow next to the love of my life. The art of possibility, randomness, and chance … waiting in the wings always like courage.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Debut of My New Chapbook @ FIRE, June 5 @ 9:00p

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The debut reading of Carrie McGath’s chapbook, The Chase: Friday, June 5th, 2009 at FIRE Gallery in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1249 Portage Rd.). Doors open at 8:00, Open Mic at 8:30, and Carrie’s feature reading at 9:00p.

For more info, please visit:

http://www.carriemcgath.com

http://www.thisisfire.com

$5 at the door.

Carrie’s merch:

The Chase for $10 special debut price with one copy awarded as a door prize.

Carrie’s other books also available.

Published in: on June 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

What happens to me at night anyway?

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Another terrifying dream that got me pacing, and up at 5:00 a.m.

Don and I were staying at a motel in the middle of nowhere. I hated our room since the lock on the door only worked sometimes. We would return to our room to find books and magazines left for us … both about very random subjects — from cleaning our latest bird-kill to influencing people. I was upset by the lock and by the odd gifts that greeted us upon our return, but I felt safe as I always do with Don. I was surprised, also, that he was getting along with our clearly strange neighbor in the room to the left and also that he was undisturbed by our door’s lock.

Someone keeps trying to pull me away from you. I kept saying this to Don, greatly fearing the man the room to our left and the general oddness of the neighborhood where our motel was situated. It was a small town that had that Lynchian feel of deep dark secrets. I didn’t like where I was, Don was adapting. He would not respond to my statements that I was scared and that scared me still more. But I felt safe b/c I was with Don. But I was truly scared. Terrified.

One day I caught the man who was staying next to us watching me in my room. I was attempting to fix my nylons with toupee tape. This man was very large, balding but not bald with a dirty golf shirt that had likely once been white but now had the look of a chalkboard, newly erased. The door was slightly ajar, but he was choosing to watch me through a small slit in the curtains. I shut the curtains, and I shut the door, attempting also to lock it and he walked in anyway, asking me if I wanted to see the show that was happening in his room. My sadness at suddenly being alone in my room (Don was just suddenly gone) and my curiosity about “the show” enticed me there.

There was a beautiful woman who looked dead in some moments and alive in others, hanging from the ceiling just above his bed like a burlesque dancer. Her costume was hot pink and lime green with lots of satiny fringe; even when she was not moving, she was. Then there was proof  she was alive when I detected her eating a chicken leg in a very amorous manner. The big bad man beamed with pride.

His smile terrified me. Plus Don looked to be completely gone and this was what terrified me enough to get me out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and pace, and write and write.

My psychic just reminded me of the Jungian Animus / Anima energy. My Animus seems to be working over time. This seems to be a warring she said, within me. And this explains my feeling so horrid all week till today, after this dream. As if the dream saved me from myself. My own damn mind and fears.

So much is on the horizon in the next what, 14 weeks … so many changes. And fear. Then, this warring.

I also think this dream has helped me in titling my newest chapbook … it shall be called Slit.

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

you look. i feel. you look how i feel.

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This Thursday, a day when the sun comes out in bathroom breaks and then encloses herself again is heightened. The only good thing to come out of depressive episodes triggered (I am guessing by little to no sleep these last few days) is the heightened heights of everything. I see my fingers in a different way, my chair, and this Gregory Crewdson photograph I have witnessed so many innumerable times is different. Different today.

In this I do not see the societal message today, I see myself. My complete and utter domestic displaced feeling. Like my living room’s a circus and my kitchen’s a slaughterhouse. So many things surround me in my tangible rooms — things that evoke horror and sadness. Even getting rid of them entirely, still I see a ghost of its shape: a small rectangle from a deck of cards I tore to pieces, the ghost of a beer glass I broke accidentally-on-purpose, a bag of sugar, a sleeve of mints that sat on my bookcase for 6 months. In getting rid of the physical we are only doing that. Just that. There are everywhere and everyday ghosts, bursting into our ears, eyes, and breaking into our minds as if we were an open carnival in a lonely town.

Most of this started late Friday night. Well, in the middle of the night. He was breathing next to me. He was warm. I was cold and felt like I had died and hadn’t been discovered yet. But I was alive. I had a reflection in the bathroom mirror. Water ran over my hands as I rubbed them together. And in my eyes I saw the facade. The facade so many have accused me of having, was there, plain as my nipples sitting innocently just inches below. I thought of tard stick postcard shelves, doing my dishes, cleaning my closet like these were events that could bend time, effect the lot of us, and kill me all at once. In Ann Arbor the next day, I was in a fog. Walking behind the love of my life and a best friend, I was the ghost I had seen in the mirror very early that morning. During the Anne Waldman reading all I could think: “Clean Americans. Clean Americans.” And I felt like a ghost whose life had been a joke, mundane like a crumb under a refrigerator. Up and down. Alive and dead. Then, now.

Now this place again. I see this emotional place as a room. In this room, I have witnessed so much. The look of this room is very similar — I have just suddenly realized — to the Crewdson photo. When I realized this only moments ago, it was enough to make me scream. On Saturday, my mind kept saying, too: Scream and cry, same time. Scream and cry, same time. Is it any wonder this happened today? No. It is no wonder.

In this room. Last year. Just before my birthday like last year, I sensed deep hurt, the deep kind that has physical feeling — like something in my chest got stuck in a car door; those seconds of intense pain followed by swelling, throbbing majesty of pain across all senses, in all places.

In this room. I thought he broke my heart since I thought … had convinced myself … I was in love. And it was all so stupid. Looking back now, I wonder how I ever ever ever thought I was in love. Instead, I was “in desperate.” I didn’t want to be alone. Lived in fear of it and so would settle for anything warm and breathing. And I did. And it almost killed me. Truly. Friends are good for saving your life. In my complete fear of being alone, I was willing to be alone and in the role of wait wait waiting while the bad man played like a termite in an outhouse.

And I was in my house. My room. My birthday came like a shot in the heart. There was blood shed and regrets that dug deeper than anything I had ever known. Regret that was horrible because it was over every single thought I had, feeling I felt, and word I had uttered for two years — from April 2006-April 2008. Almost every single day. And every single moment. All of this evident only now, a year later. Maybe birthdays do make one wiser. Funny how so much horror has happened on my birthdays, in April, that “cruelest month.”

And now. I sit and reflect on how much has happened for me. Good things. Goodness returned completely. Only weeks after my horrible birthday moments gifted upon me in April 2008, this. Complete love and also friends returning to me. And art. Art becoming a true reality. A city on a horizon and I can see it breathing just as my warm sweet lover does.

This is to be my first true and beautiful birthday since it is not merely shreds of me, but all of me. I will be back together by then. Ready to carry on like a happy fanatic in love. For absolute and complete real this time. And forever.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Anne Waldman in Ann Arbor, Michigan this Saturday!

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And my buddy Gina, and my love Don are making the trip to Ann Arbor for the event.

The event begins at 11:30 at Jewelheart (1129 Oak Dr.). Click on this link for more info:

This is to be a historical afternoon of poetry.

Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

“I am feeling … very Grey Gardens today.”

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This statement just came out of my mind, sitting here trying to make sense of why and what I am feeling. Feeling Grey Gardens is feeling complexity to an unnatural degree, an emotion amalgam that is really inexplicable, at least in everyday words strewn into everyday sentences. It is the shaky place between losing it and writing a poem — feeling very Grey Gardens.

And in feeling this, I feel for it.

I am madly disgusted that Hollywood has to break into the house of the once and often forgotten yet again. There will never ever never be another Grey Gardens film. And there certainly will never be another Big and Little Edie.

But how arrogant I am acting saying this, having a blog at all? Somewhere, I am also riding this boat to nowhere gloating words outward and rolling them all over my body; I am a public display that makes someone else sick no doubt.

I must learn to deal with there being this sudden greed to finally see art that has been there for so many midnights, ignored like a madwoman in the attic?

Oh, opinions. Opinions in the world’s face like this. I feel something sinister now. In this. I need to take it or leave it. To take me or leave me.

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We should all choose a day to eat ice cream with knives.

I choose tomorrow’s Friday evening after a swim.

Grey Gardens, to me, is pure poetry.  I only wish I could be even a pinch so poetic.

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm  Comments (4)  

“just don’t say anything.”

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Sometimes life can feel as busy as a clock. And dreams are no different: fast, busy, ticking like little bombs under our sternums, delighting in the last gasps of us on the track of our over-nights. I received the above postcard this week from poet, Mary Ruefle, not only a genius poet but sweetly enough  a friend. We have begun to write back and forth as people never write anymore — collaged and aged postcards, typewriters, pens and paper.

Years ago, when Mary was in Kalamazoo while teaching at Western, she attended one of my esoteric cocktail parties and the topic that evening — past life readings. Mary sipped red wine from my demitasse cups and was told she had been an 18th century English poet. Our excitement led us to believe John Keats was among us. And it was revealed to me I had died in childbirth hundreds of times (as the mother and the child) as well as my time as a Salem, Massachusetts witch-burner. But I digress.

This postcard was a gut-shot … “Usually the radiant is a small area.” Mary is the master of the erasure … just pick up her erasure, A Little White Shadow. See the excerpt below:

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And for some reason, all of this has similar emotions to my dream last night. I recall only bits with no narrative structure.

Bits I remember:

Large 1970s Cadillac, brown; me driving aforementioned Caddy naked; watching an older gentlemen (very Frederick Seidel-ish) cleaning bloody rags in a white sink, then having to clean the sink while glancing back at me longingly and saying: “Just don’t say anything.”

I have a vague recollection of being lost in a place I had never been and I think this is the residue from Don and I discussing our Jamaica trip with our friend, Nan who was married there in December. I have great apprehensions about this beautiful man in my life wanting to literally show me the world.

Beautiful apprehensions … the radiant in a small area.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming Together to Honor Herb Scott

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The afternoon I found out Herb passed away, I walked to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts to sit with his favorite painting there … Sleeping Woman. A group of little ones lined the sidewalk as I walked into the museum, just finishing a field trip no doubt, their wiggling little bodies smiling like suns. The day felt strange — heavy and light at the same precise moment. And sitting there on the floor for the 2 or so hours in front of that painting, I was disturbed by my not crying, but smiling … but Herb was always the harbinger of smiling in me, in my happiness as a person and as a poet; he understood better than anyone being a poet was the main part of my complete capacity as Carrie the person.

In the KIA that day, sitting before that sleeping woman in blues, I wrote a poem called, “Going to See Her 3 Days After”. When I found out about Herb’s passing, it had been 3 days after his passing … that number 3 coming into my life again like my black cocktail olive from my old martini glass. Those days when I drank martinis while reading manuscripts for Herb and New Issues.

Those days. I think of burgers and beer at Corner Bar and Full City Cafe cakes while I looked at his original Calder’s in he and Shirley’s beautiful home on Inkster. Those days. Still here with me. Still and always to be with me.

Small Murders came to be a reality in print because of Herb and his sincere belief in me. It was with his sincerity, I began to send out my poems, receive publications, and truly embrace the poet inside of me. The poet who had been careful and often cowering inside of me, waiting to come out but being afraid to, afraid of a failure that Herb zapped away with the magic of his words, his amazing editor’s soul, and immeasurable talent as a teacher and poet.

And now, years later, he brings me back to my friends from Western. To us toasting him together in our common love, memory, and neverending pieces of our soul he still daily touches.

Cheers, Herb … I will love you always and ever.

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment