Thursday, December 19, 2013

From a High of Fifty

We are coming to you live from beautiful sunny Portland, Oregon.
So far we have had three Kraft beers, two cups of coffee, one black pepper sausage, and a lot of sweet dreams.
They keep their soy milk on the counter here in sunny Portland.
They also name their houses here in sunny Portland.
Things like castle
or compound
or silk

I'm sitting in a wing backed chair in front of an open coffee shop door wondering if I should read some more of my book or meet my brother at the Chinese dumpling buffet.
I bet if I picked up that banjo everything would suddenly make sense.
I was looking forward to this span of six days with my life raft and my siblings and our friends.
I look to the easy times.
They look great.
Amazing shoes tied to cute aprons held upright in adorable wooden pins.

Brunch anyone?

I'm a writer.

That's great,
Skin and Gillian Welch

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For those of you keeping score:

I'm twelve hours away from finished.
I splurged on some vitamin D serum for my face and it is working miracles.
I went to central Ohio this weekend for an angel food check in.
She's sad but good.
She's angel food underneath.
(I miss my mom too.)
And when it gets like this, our second floor windows speak to us. They mew secret window languages.

And if I just keep breathing that old in and out ribbon of light I'm pretty sure I can crank these final pages out by 5pm.

But, the most important thing is looking right up at you behind soft bangs
from zebra print onesies.

Skin & Footnotes

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Grand Daddy of Chicago Holiday Entertainment.

The jury is still out on this whole revision thing.
So open.
So early.
Like when the automatic doors to the hospital on Winnemac slide wide open with a gust of hot air and an eye full of pastel panels not because you are visiting a loved one but because you are walking to the Clark bus stop and are cold and thus hugging the Wall.
It's all peripheral.
It's all blind spots and ear buds.
The nice man at the front desk doesn't seem to mind.
He's busy.

Your headaches have shifted to the left side of your face.
But, this time it's not so much an ache as it is a fuzz.
You have fuzz head.
Happens to everyone you're sure.
Prefer obstructions.
You'd rather obstruct than revise.
If you're in front of an audience that is.
My revisions are private.
I'm a goat.
Keep going with that.
Put your writing in a box and stack it in the crawl space over the garage.
Next to the water damage and the twin bed.

~Gas & Light

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back From Jersey


Went to Jersey to the house on the waves.
Fake mom purchased real dinner from real ladies who work in real shops.
They'll cater your thanksgiving real nice.
It's off season of course.
No problem honey.
Sure is breezy on the dock.
The good doctor is now one hundred and one
he has a chair and a piece of pie all day each day behind just the biggest windows you ever did see.
Rejoice rejoice fresh towels red skies.

It's advent in Chicago.

There was a baby in church today eight
days old.
They brought her up and blessed her head.

Life raft turned 32 years
last night.
Mulled wine and brilliant conversations.

I registered for a two week summer class in London with professor haven't worked with yet.

It's advent in Chicago.

Means good luck,
Skin & Blue Grass

Monday, November 25, 2013

Under Energy Saving Lights Next to Ceramic Bowls of Kale

Wake wired and early to watch a foreign film under a pink blanket from Mexico.
Clean the kitchen.
Stare at the wall for a while.
Watch the sun take spaghetti stripes over fuzzy legs and stiff curtains.

Looks like nothing
is actually how to successfully false start
every essay.

Meet smiley at Perfect Cup.
Sit on hands and talk circles.
Looks like nothing
actually is step two of how to draft
every essay.

The big ones are coming up quick.

We're handling it extremely well.

Can naturally deduce that no one will die. Nobody dies from this.

Walk to the market for a slab of fresh fish and a bag of kale.

Tis the season of dark colored produce and plastic handles round freezing fingers.

Happy thirty pages double spaced everyone,
Skin and Butter

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Freezing Light.

1) Apparently I'm incapable of even remembering I ever started a blog during the span of dead time that connects week five to week fifteen of a semester.

2) Evidently there's only one more semester left of course work.

3) Clearly I've started on a thesis.

4) Strangely I'll be a master of fine arts in one year and three weeks.

5) Not that strange. Swing a dead cat and everybody has an MFA.

6) But, kind of cool.

7.1) I wont have to wonder.

7.2) Anymore.

8) Terminal degree.

~And then you get in a jeep with your friend Bird and drive through the night to a service. Angel Food lost her mother suddenly and we just had to go. We just had to. Just had to give her a big buck eye hug. It was ten thirty in the morning and the light was pouring. And the grace was amazing. And the eyes were red but the arms were out. Up and out. Every day she teaches me how to be strong and good.

Lucky Every Day,
Skin & Skin

Friday, September 27, 2013

Just Pretend You Have an Agressive Brain Tumor.

1) Seriously. Say to yourself, it's inoperable. There's nothing anyone can do. Say it. It will help you to stay in the moment. It will keep you from crying all the time. It will feel like a release. It will feel like a fuck it, I'm dying. Might as well just do this. Just do this. Just stay right here and be here. For me anyway. That's how I feel about pretend brain tumors. I'm not the sell all your possessions and live on the sand for the next six months type. I'm a sandwich on a couch in a church with a warm cat type.

2) Poetry is dead.

3) You're not going to get anywhere turning in these long prose poems to your fiction workshops. There's nothing really to critique. Class will end a half hour early and you'll cry.

4) You're just going to have to write a novel. Or something. A collection of short stories?

5) It shouldn't be so excruciating to write in a different genre. If you're studying writing you're studying all writing.

6) I got Tylenol 3 and muscle relaxers for my headaches.

7) Professor fantastic writes in lots of different kinds of forms. She does it. She's nurturing. She mentors. She's not mean. She believes in second chances. Right? Write.

8) Do not mix with alcohol.

~Skin & Toast

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Am I Still Awake?

Because I'm not mad.
It all really runs together doesn't it?
Didn't mean to imply that there was ever a reason to be angry.
It gets so late.
It's so late.
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of a thing that is changing rapidly.
If only you were on one side or the other, am I right?
That's what I mean.
You are never right.
There's nothing to get.
It's like talking to a wall.
Am I still awake?
I've had a headache for three days.

~Skin & Toast

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Have To Say

Professor man is the man.

Thank. God.

I told myself I would not be angry at anything Roosevelt related.

Opposite of Angry,
Skin & Toast

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Notes.

The waitress went to work.
The writer went to her restaurant job.
The artist has a day job.
On Wednesdays the artist works from six thirty in the morning to three thirty in the afternoon.
At a restaurant east of Wriglyville, just west of hell in a place called Lake View of the privileged.
Usually takes the artist about forty eight hours to recover from a Wednesday.
The waitress went to work Wednesday morning.
The waitress has Clariton for breakfast and Bennedryl for supper.
On Wednesdays.
The waitress is keeping up with the reading.
The writer is tired.
Her chest is covered in cheese cloth
thin layer
cooling gel.
The writer is stacking her pages next to her chest.
Neat piles.
Sharp corners.
The waitress likes meeting people.
The waitress likes to describe sauce.
The writer recommends the quiona porridge always because she likes the loops of the vowels and the soft hooks of the plosives.

Day Off,
Skin & Toast

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Boardwalk Notes.

Went for a visit to fake mom
and doc
they live
on a dock.

Life raft was with me. Together hysterical laughing mad. Mad fever sandals. Martinis. Stripes. Cameras. Points. Pickles. Tokens and shells. Easy.

It's like a post card. The candy spins ice into gold. The wind combs your hair into waves. The lanes marked in bright long sticks of chalk. The shrimp sleepy and fried. The sheets damp. Brother sturdy. Mother sturdy. Madly hysterically laughing. Stomachs gone. Taffy gone.

The summer gone.

First half of every class is lit with the final thirty minutes of that day's allotted fiery ball of light
in a school for the working class.

And the board is green. And the chalk is short and dull. And we are tired and famished.

And hysterical laughing mad at the people lagging behind us in surreys and tandems.

Know the answer,
Skin & Toast  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall Notes

Sometimes fall means extra drags on the inhaler at night. Also spring, and balmy early advent afternoons. Maybe it's anytime the seasons change. Anytime the night temperature is drastically different than the day temperature. The shuffling of new schedules leaves a sticky film of dander and pet saliva over every flat surface. And I can't quite breath. And the night is measured in trips to the back pack where I keep my bright red emergency inhaler. Maybe it's nerves. Back to school nerves. Sleeping for a few hours slightly propped up against the wall to avoid that dull upper right quadrant fall pain. And I wake kind of early with burning eyes to read the handouts on dialectic Marxist Delillo theory. And the wheezing subsides, and the coffee perks. And I gaze intermittently at the first degree thumb tacked to soft cork above my desk. And I feel the unlived years of my life extended far ahead of this place. But, still. Wondering. Other people, other people have fuller lungs and sharper brains. Wondering. Can they see me? Across the classroom, squeezing my own face into focus. Can they call my bluffs?

Nothing to do but write. Tap the keys while nobody's home.

~Skin & Toast

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fall Notes

We keep our printer in the kitchen
on top of a pink filing cabinet next to the litter box.

There is no tray.

The pages bounce down on
to the brick red tiles like mercury.

Smudges and cat hair on bone white drafts.

And I think, someday there wont be any marks. Someday the pages will be clean.

~Skin & Toast

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sugar Camp

1) Professor fantastic, if I remember correctly, says Just Say It. For this class, just say it. That's not a direct quote. I must be paraphrasing. I must be. Because it's not a performance class, it's a poetry class. So maybe she said, just write it.

2) It makes sense though. It makes sense in a class. In a workshop. Even out of a workshop if you want to take it home with you. It's a good rule to always follow and sometimes break. Sure, there's an appropriate established time to not really say it exactly, that's a choice. But, in a workshop, in an early draft. In a beginning. In an emerging. In a hopeful. In a letter to a young. Say it. For god sakes. If you want a response you're going to have to meet me half way.

3) Gamma died.

4) Passed. She passed. Her name is/was Joann. Actually it'(s)/((was)) spelled Joan, but pronounced Joann. And Joan is actually her middle name. It's a tradition in her family to call folks by their middle names. For example Lynn Baber's name is actually Carol Lynn Baber. (I have no idea what Joan's first name is. I call her Gamma. Most people do.)

5) Gamma is Lynn's mom. Lynn calls Gamma Mamma. Sweet mamma.

6) I met Lynn when she saved my life when I was fourteen. I met Gamma when I met Lynn. If Lynn loved me, Gamma loved me. That's the way it works. That's the way it is. That's it.

7) I love you too. I love you so much.

8) It's devastating.

9) It's an extraordinary life to celebrate.

10) The memorial was packed. Packed and happy in that devastating way. There are lots of me's. None of us would miss Gamma's memorial for anything, we were all there, folding in on each other like puppies. Gamma's home was a resting place for, for... For people who, for people who, well, ummm... For people. For anyone. Her home was for anyone. Everyone.

11) I read a poem. Lynn asked me if I would read, and I said yes. That's the way it is. When Lynn asks me for something, I say yes of course. My voice shook uncontrollably, I felt like a bird, or a sniffling "best actress." Oh my gosh, I felt my heart beating in my face. a.) Because I was trying so hard not to cry up there, please just cry in the parked car Jessica, and b.) Because I was standing in front of the most talented theatre artists in the country. Possibly the world.

12) It's July. The cherubs are here.

13) God Bless.

~Skin & Toast & Jessie  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From the Pages of the Food and Drink Diaries

From the pages of the throbbing knees. From the pages of the cramped hands. From the pages of the Indian pale ale at three in the afternoon. From the pages of the outdoor patio. From the pages of the new line cook barely over the age of twenty four you'd guess by the name of Dallas you call her Texas and do not dare tell her her Cuban sandwiches take longer than the average Cuban sandwich because she is nice and you like her and she's brand new and you figure they can wait because you are wearing a hot pink bra under your cotton weave and it is cutting you in half but it is worth it for the extra single dollar that you will keep to every five company dollar. From the pages of very nice company. From the pages of wonder if Tim still checks your blog. From the pages of clairvoyant readings in girl's town. from the pages of too much television. From the pages of permanently lost feelings in the tips of your toes numb forever in twelve dollar keds from standing too early too late. From the jalapeno pepper juice misting ghost buster green from the squeaky power of your nozzle of your horse of you field its like plowing a field between the sink and the cotton weave of your brown t-shirt. For all the times people have said there's nobody like you. For all the times you wanted an older brother. Brother. Brother. Brother. From the pages of work is good for you.

From the pages of it doesn't matter what the woman said. From the pages of it doesn't matter how she said it, doesn't matter what the co-worker said in consolation or defense.

What matters on Wednesday is that nobody in the service industry gets paid enough. Nobody. Nothing. Is. Compensated. Nothing.

And I know that I am awkward. I know that I get tongue tied and shy. I know that I shut down. I know that in some certain ways I am just not smart.

But, I am not mean. I have never been cruel to a stranger. Never.

~Skin & Toast & Heat & Rash


Monday, July 8, 2013

List Formation.

1) You are off theatre. You can hear yourself saying, "nope, I'm off theatre." People will smally talk in their most pleasant of talking voice inquiries, "any shows?" And you will tell them no. You are off. You are off theatre. This is not to say that you are divorced, separated, or otherwise estranged from theatre. You are just off.

2) You and life raft are teaching a class next Saturday at cherubs. It's called Neo-Futurism with Kurt and Jess.

3) The restaurant has extended their weekend hours to include supper. Small share plates and fancy cocktails. Your manager has scheduled you to work these said nights because you have a "great actor personality."

4) You should think hard about what you are doing, and to what end before you embark on a third person narrative. Yes, of course. I will. But, for now it seems to fit the list formation.

5) Where have you been? What exactly are you doing? Well, it's called summer break for a reason. Miss Neo closed with a bang. Fake mom threw roses at your feet, and you were in a good confident mood. And ready to be off. You went to Berlin, Ohio. And also to Dayton, Ohio. You saw aunt Elaine and uncle Don. Then You went to Amish country. It was so Amish even you were driving. Swerving through buggies and bonnets, up and down these rolling things called hills. Chilly Bird was turning forty, and he invited friends to come swim in his old pool and pet his old dog. It was quiet and lovely. You slept through the nights.

6) You went Chiang. Jessica Anne Chiang. You have a license and a debit card referring to you as Jessica A Chiang. You love Chiang. It is thrilling. It's a real last name. A family name. Sure, Jessica Anne is your pen name, your professional artistic name. But, now you can go to airports sans mouth full of blood.

7) You applied for some office assistant jobs. The waitressing is so hard on your knees.

8) There are lots of things to do regarding writing, and reading, and development. There is time. There are breaks, and levies, and tides.

9) Chilly Bird says if you can make a list of eight, you are well on your way.

Open Windows/Lots of ins and outs/Open palms/Soft foreheads,
Skin & Toast

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Buck Eyes?

I don't think I've ever really spent any significant amount of time in Ohio.
I've driven through it.
I've maybe stopped at that rock n' roll hall of fame.
Uncle Don and Elaine live in Ohio.
It's not that far.

And then
and now
Angel Food lives there.
She got in a truck and drove there
to live.

Angel Food is my friend. I just love her. That's all there is to it. It's like that moment you realize you can boil your own sugar in your own water on your own stove to make your own simple syrup. That's how I love Angel Food. Easy and sweet. She's my easy sweet epiphany. She makes my lonely kitchen a bustling shop. Fills it with life and decadence.

I cried. When you told me. Well, as soon as I got home of course. That kind of dry, heaving, Clair Fisher cry where you start laughing in the middle of it because you know you're being ridiculous, and probably a little drunk.

I have a problem with trucks. Sort of like some people have a problem with bikes. Or red hooded sweat shirts. Or gas stations at night. Or camp grounds. Or men.

When someone I love loads a truck, I'm a little girl, and I just want to go with you. So. Bad.

But, I'm an adult now. A real adult. I made it. I made it to your front porch the night before you left. I drank two of your beers, and hugged your father in law, and sat right down, and let the dog lick my face, and watched the rain, and talked, comfortably, sweetly


I squeezed you like a sponge. But, kept my eyes dry as a box of course. Because you don't need to see that. Because you have a long drive ahead of you. Because you have to be up early. Because the truth is I'm really happy for you. This is your life that you've been planning and dreaming since as long as I've known you. And I'm so proud of you guys for doing it. This is why I love you so much. Your follow through. Your attack.

And I'll probably see you MORE! Because when we're together we'll like totally be like together. Like doing everything like together in a different place! Just like on tour! Sleep over!!!

Oh, Angel Food
I love your hair
I love your shoes
I love your glitter
I love your string cheese
I love your snort
I love your clip boards
I love your art
I love your clown
I love your husband
I love your daughter
I love your dog
I love your God
I love your red wine
I love your porch
I love your silly


Break a leg,
Skin & Toast & Cake

PS: Thanks for suggesting I audition. I never would have thought of that on my own. You changed my whole life.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grilled Cheese Brioche Taylor Swift Lazy Cafe Days

Spending a non day camped out at the place with the warm lamps and the bottomless cups.
Catching up on all those thoughts I stopped having sometime in between the end of the semester and the opening of the show.

Life raft and I are sharing a large rectangular handicap accessible four top. He seems to be composing. He's wearing the large black cushion-ey head phones and taping his thumbs feverishly over loose leaf graph paper and illegible notes. It's hot.

At the window is, I think, some kind of professor. He has a stack of stapled papers, and a really juicy red pen, and a white dress shirt, and a macbookpro, and a soda, and a bag that flips open, and a wedding ring, and, and, and. And he's murdering the paragraphs as he reads them, slashing them to the ground. And he just whispered an f-bomb. And, a few minutes ago, he exhaled the word "genius," not from a place of nurture or respect. The pages are double spaced. The spitting image of my driver's ed instructor. One of them. I think I had three.

In the corner, normal woman with iced tea. And possibly yogurt. In my blind spot.

The show is going well. Nina liked it. I think. Whatever 3.5 stars means. I'll tell you what 3.5 stars means, it means maybe the dates and times of the remaining performances will reach the living rooms of people who have to take metra trains, or four door vehicles to reach us. And, that's a win. I think.

I think I'd drive a hundred hours for a good ol' fashioned state fair. I'd kick up dirt, and guess how many pennies for as little as two stars.

A woman in a long coral colored sweater upon entering exclaimed "hi, I'm the one who just called about the cream puff!!!"

I talked to Mr. Smarty Pants about thesis stuff just before the semester ended and he said I could get away with a book of flash non-fiction. I'd just have to call it a novel in short chapters. I think. Sometimes it's hard to gather all of Mr. Smarty Pants' nuts if you know what I mean...? Don't get me wrong, he's great. I just get real nervous in the company of men. Especially when said man is in a position of authority. It took me a full calendar year before I could ask the head chef how his day was going.

I'll work on that.

I wish there were more women.

The Internet connection is suddenly real hazy at The Taste of Heaven.

Abrupt endings,
Skin & Toast

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Found Objects:

bathing suit
brown shirt
native American literature

Coffee table:
huge cup of tea
sleek apple TV remote attached to season one of Parenthood at low volume
native American literature

native American literature

patterns/final week of second semester/skin/toast

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The thing about theatre is it goes away.
Pretty quick.
There's nothing to touch.

Happens nightly.
For a few weeks.
Then puffs out.

Arrived three minutes late to a ballroom on Ravenswood and Irving Park.
Ate a blueberry muffin on the floor.

Sacheted awkwardly to Shania Twain.
Secured new lines concerning gender, Hathaway, sex, competition, and so on.

And so on and in his Honda he was out there a waiting,
and staring
and leaning
Chinese dumplings in hand.
Winter coat a gape

And so on,
and lots of thick skin and lots of settled dust and lots of perfect toast.

Monday, March 18, 2013

And then she took the red scarf off of her head and used it to dry his feet.

The boys were doing they're gesture piece.
And I was watching from my stool.
And I caught a glimpse of all the people leaning forward in their blue velvet seats.
I was so proud.

Life raft also just got the coolest job.
Artist in residence at Children's Memorial Hospital.
To terminally ill kids he's going to walk in and say "hey, wanna write a story about it?"
At times he'll have to wear a mask.
They are very sick.
I'm so proud.
That's a ministry.

Also there is this man that we work with
his name is the first letter of my name
and the things that he does are take the breath out of you things.
They are plays.
The things that he does
and the price of the ticket usually includes the cost of asthma medication because one usually develops asthma during the durations of the things that he does.
And for his next thing he wrote in a silent character for life raft to play.
That is going to be so lovely.
Wheezing organ lovely.
I'm so proud.
It's called Ivy Wild.

I was talking to Jesus and Anne Lamott about how it feels good to watch it all happen from my stool in the dark. It feels really good to breath it in happy, and watch it puff out my chest in pride, and fill my lungs with support, and form the congratulations and the excitements from the marrow of my smiles and my hugs. It feels so good to be happy for people. Especially and most importantly when that person is your life raft. Your partner. Your biggest fan. And Jesus and Anne Lamott looked right at me and said something a long the lines of


And then I said thank you for putting up with miserable little me all these years. Thank you for always having my back even when I'm a horrible mess.

And then they looked right at me and they said

pay attention, don't miss your cue.

To love & Serve,
Skin & Toast

Monday, March 11, 2013

Reviews: Not Bad

Attendance: very low

On: to the next project

Because: that's how we roll

Skin&Toast&Tights&Our Lady of the Flowers

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Women Girls.

When I say that I love my friends
when I say that I'm lucky
when I say that I drank a little too much the night before
but I was in complete control actually
because I was eating the whole time
when I say that I no longer have time to be fat
or splotchy
or small
or shy
or boring
or tired
or stressed
or loathing
or quitting
or embarrassed
when I say that I don't know what I want to be when I grow up
when I say that I hope the Benedict comes with potatoes
when I say that I'm having fun
when I say that it's easy really
it's just my thing
I'm jealous
sort of
also proud
or not surprised
I hope it's a good book
I hope Lenna Dunam writes a good book with that 3.7 million dollar book deal
I hope it's good so that I can read it
and get mad with you
and talk about the things I want to do
with my late twenties
oh wait

and it's not fair
and you're the only one who understands
that I'm in debt
and I'm white
and I'm fine
and I lost my virginity when I was twenty
under a white mesh canopy from Ikea
when I say that I got my period on Friday when it was supposed to come on Saturday because you sent me a text message about how your tampon fell out while you were walking home in the snow
you shaved off pieces of my uterus with your mind because you're
and powerful
when I say that I had a photo shoot today
in a garage
with my friends
and Stephanie Shaw
and Joe
and two large dogs
and a magenta t-shirt
and very little make up
when I say that
when I say that off hand to the lanyard in the elevator
when I say that
what I actually mean to say is go to hell
go to hell with me and all the lakeview women who ask for separate checks
just for a moment we'll wade up to our ankles in hot lava
just for a moment before we turn around and reach for our phones
stand on our toes and reach for
like this.

Love Always,
Teeth & Bones

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oh, How I Miss My Paper Girl.

Paper Girl.
I remember the instant I met you.
In the nasty kitchen.
The nasty upstairs kitchen.

Oh, the kitchen.
Oh, the individual bags of chips.
Oh, the brilliant rotating flavors of generic sodas.

Heather of all people introduced us.
I bet you remember.
I bet you remember your leather jacket
and my red sweat shirt.

Oh, the leather jackets.
Oh, the orange dresses.
Oh, the stenciled heads.

We were turned around with dough in our eyes.
Heather was leaning on the counter.
Over the counter.
Muscles bulging.
Bosom dripping.
Authority reeking.

Do you two know each other?
Are you the other one?!
                The other one?!
Big hug!
Big stranger hug!
When do you start?

I miss you.

I miss walking down very cold streets with you.
I miss talking to you in the car in the morning on the way to packed high school auditoriums.
I miss whispering to you in the summer.
I miss standing next to you at baggage claims.
I miss borrowing your deodorant all the time.

I miss you on a Wednesday night in an over sized white bathrobe under a quilt that you made for me with your hands.

For no particular reason my temples are throbbing
Paper Girl Mine Paper Girl Mine Paper Girl Mine
For no particular reason other than I think I would go anywhere, anywhere
For you,

Skin & Toast.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jesus Gave Me A Snow Day.

For real.
It has to be Jesus.
Jesus and the snow day parable.
MFA college was canceled today. All of it. The whole day locked up. No classes. No meetings. No entry.
How nice of you Eleanor Jesus Roosevelt.
How nice on the day after my opening night.
How nice of you to alert me so far in advance.
My performance was so focused and charged.
I was thinking about what I was saying instead of what was due tomorrow.
Can I get an amen?
And that extra celebratory whisky and soda water went down so smooth on account of I knew I didn't have any responsibility today.
Today has been hoarded up with the kitties and the grub hub.
My pants are not pants at all and it's well into the evening.
Venn diagrams litter my living room floor.
Softly interlacing in dusty pastel chalk the same differences between writing, and performing, and writing performing, and workshoping, and presenting, and devising, and leading, and editing, and listening, and me.
And us.
And all the things we do.
Skin & Toast

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Enter SL.

Cue off of Lizi.
Take chair from SL lip.
Place front right leg on spike mark.
Cue off of Lizi.
Lizi exits SR.
Finish text.
Exit SL.
Enter SL on Kurt's "Transcribe a passage of...." Line. Anticipate.
Sit at ajoining desks DSR with Tim.
Remember cues.
Lots of one liners.
Just keep looking at Tim.
He knows what's going on.
Exit SL on Tim's "Lets be beside this thought..." Line.
Come right back on SL.
As soon as podium is set.
Tim helps you on podium.
Deliver sad text.
Tim carries you off SL.
Considerable amount of downtime during Trevor's interruption.
Enter SL for gesture piece.
Cue off of Tim.
Tim hands you desk.
Place it DSR.
Chair should already be there.
Kurt got it.
It will take a while for table cloth and pickle/glass of milk to be set.
Just look interesting/ed.
Still doesn't make abundant sense.
But, looks good.
Do the pickle thing.
Exit SR.
Get folded piece of paper off of shelf.
Hold it and stand off SR until
Tim's "fucking some other guy." Line.
Enter with bottle cap text.
Talk to Lizi.
Do beach/Katherine Hepburn stuff.
Watch Kurt exit SL.
Cue off of lights/music to start talking to Hank.
Talk to Hank about love.
Slip paper to Lizi.
Pass paper from Lizi to Hank.
Hank reads it.
Stand on "it is a fine story." Line.
Walk DS.
Turn SL.
Walk SL.
Walk to desk.
Sit at desk.
Clean up.
Eat orange.
Listen to Lizi.
Say hi to Kurt.
Give papers back to Kurt.
Let Kurt sit at his desk.
Finish orange.
Look pissed.
Interrupt again.
Sit SL of Kurt in chair.
Move chair DSL on "Fake." Line.
Watch Kurt do tribal dance.
Walk off arm in arm SL.
Feel it.
Fake bow.
Actually just come back out and say thank you.
The end.

To see the play that happens by this, and with this, and in this, come to the Neo-Futurarium TR/F/Sat's through 4-6, 7:30pm. Opening this evening, 7:30pm.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

They are logs at my feet.

The cats are logs at my feet.
Throats twitch. Necks sputter.
Eyes half open.
Dreaming easy race track dreams.
Chasing cheese or sand.
Reminding me from the inside of their cotton avalanche that the hardest thing about writing is writing.

You decide to create an hour and a half of art.
You commit a project to your year.
And then three days before the people come you have something.
Not sure if it is at all what it set out to do.
Don't mind.
Don't mind entirely what exactly they say.
As long as they wait at least an hour.
Just please don't talk while I'm talking.

One draped over the record player like it's his job.
The other coiled on the mattress edge as though it's crowded up here.

You decide to try to be a master.
And you commit your life to two and a half years.
And it starts out rough.
But now gleams back at you like a wet penny.
Even the hard days are nice.

Wake early.
Skip church for a cut and a color.
It was her only free slot.
And anyway I think it was Jesus who said, when you look good you feel good.
Get the bangs blunt.
Feel like a winner.
Check reflection in every store window on Damen between Lawrence and Winnamac.
Check on life raft.
Not in the bed.
See light.
Pages cover the bathroom floor.
Pages of the script that we wrote with our friends.
Up to his chin in mustard bath.
Hot mustard bath.
Good job.
Looks nice.

Switch bags.
Go back out.
To talk and work.
In a Sunday apartment.
Sunday friend apartment.
Two friends.
Three if you count the skinny man watering dead plants.

All the changes are made.
Now memorize it in a day.
Keep running those baths.

Don't forget about all the homework.
I wont.
It's fun.
Read a book of poems.
By Sommer Browning.
Like it a lot.
The words we read for this teacher
all of them
feel connected
as though she has a very large point
a really pretty point
not pretty like pink
pretty like you want to live there.

Get a little nervous about everything that is supposed to happen between now and the next seven days.
It is a long list.
Get a little exhausted wondering where the last five weeks went.
Vanished like mustard powder on top of hot steam.

Search the kitty dander for suggestions.
They tell me the Oscars are good this year.
Turn them on and garlic the toast.

Life raft jets to be with Tim.
Living here for six weeks from LA.
To do the show.
He looks the same.
He lives the same.
To be the same.
Good old.

Back to the avalanche to write the hardest thing about writing is writing.

Always enjoy the dead montage. Place bets on who will be the last slide in the show.

Final on Final,
Skin & Toast

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Woke up in time for Sunday Morning.
At a low volume.
Stretched over sized sleep shirt over folded kness.
Made sure not to get horizontal.
Didn't want to fall back asleep.
Life raft creaked out to snuggle.
Knew he had a long day out.
For six years of my life I marked my second week in January with a salon.
A Neo-Futurist prime time salon.
Wierd to imagine them all there.
Eating dohnuts over ideas.
Stepping over each others sentences.
Getting nervous.
Getting tired.
Getting excited.
Working out loud.
Went to the 11am service.
Fran preached about the three words you would use to describe yourself.
Or call yourself.
If you only had three words.
But you're not in trouble if you don't call yourself a Christian.
Or if you don't call yourself a Christian every day.
I mean she didn't say that.
This is an Episcopalian church.
These are my freinds.
Something to think about.
In list formation.
List formations are healing.
No matter the heading or margin.
In my opinion.
The lady in the scarf asked for volunteers to stay after service and help de-green the church.
The wreathes are dying.
Kind of sad.
You can take a pointsetta home if you want.
No thanks.
Poisoness to cats.
Wanted to walk to the Sweedish pancake house for sausage and lingden berries.
Got too cold.
Jutted into the deli/cafe/brunch/novelty item place.
Ate chilequilles at the counter.
Kind of sad not to be with rosey cheeked friends and their warm stacks of paper.
Thought about going to the twenty dollar spa.
Decided it was just too cold to go back in and go back out.
Went in.
Ran a very hot bath.
Lit votives.
Stayed in the water just long enough to work up a sweat.
Felt good.
Felt eased.
Put clothes back on.
Much too early for pajamas.
Needed to stay awake.
But not crazed.
Not frantic.
No spirals.
Clothes on.
In the bed
But only half way under the covers
With the book.
Took my time.
Doozed a little.
But finished all the reading for tomorrow.
Did not get horizontal.
Felt very good.
Very proud.
Got up.
Did the dishes.
Cleaned the litter box.
Rewarded myself with Downton Abbey.
Switched over to the globes.
Wanted so badly to be a famous actress when I was younger.
Didn't everybody?
Glad that dream has faded.
Prefer this.
Life raft came home.
Just like he said he would.
Always does.
Order pizza.
Pushed it all through.
The whole day.
Time for pajamas.
A little.
Not at all.

Good Job,
Skin & Toast

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's Easy

It's really easy to miss her at a table for two by myself.

Comes to me as easy as a drop of water....."As take from me thyself and not me two."

Eggs in the middle of the day.

Twenty seven cups of coffee.

Toasted brioche with lots of butter on top of the butter already on top.

Very warm desk lamp light on top of very polished tables next to very big already dark windows.


More coffee.

I feel like I am killing time before a train ride to the loop.

I feel like I have your twenty dollar bill in my coat pocket.

I feel like I am twelve and you are meeting me on the steps of the Art Institute.

We're members.

I'm in a dress.

I feel easy and endless.

We lived like kings for no reason.

Sometimes I get angry.

Why would you pay Anna fifty dollars a week to scrub our apartment top to bottom, but not save a penny for your daughters education?

But, I'm not angry right now. I'm stacking the dust of you on top of the ether on top of the seat across from mine.

You're young, and healthy, eating lots of bread, sitting on the butter to keep it warm. We're talking like we used to. We agree on everything exactly. We have exactly the same taste in exactly everything. I'm you. You're me. I'm wearing your sweater. I'm not angry.

I went to a spa. It was only twenty bucks for a steam room/sauna room/Jacuzzi bubble three hour rotation. I took a power sculpt cardio something something yoga class, my co-worker teaches those things--discount! I splurged on a dark pair of no hole jeans. I bought some, what's it called? Kava? Natures natural sleep aid. Keeps me on a schedule and feels better than beer.

It's a new year. I'm committed really seriously scouts honor sears seriously really really hard to working on the sadness/anger thing, it's a full blow part time job don't get me wrong, but so worth it, or so my inner chi tells me.

No more temper tantrums. Please. Not unless they are on stage.

She will always be in silhouettes of dust across from you.

Just breath it in and breath it out.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Oh Christ.

I think, from what I can piece together from the scriptures, and the epiphany advent baptisms, and the homily eucalyptus oils--is--that the day is really awesome. Actual awesome incarnate. But, the juice really starts to flow once you get home--after the Shepards retrace their steps if you will. That's when you start working. That's the change you wish.

Like when you get a book deal, lets suppose, a book deal, with a handsome advance. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Well, then you have to write it. And it should be longer than a page. So, that's a challenge.

Maybe that's a bad example. Maybe that's not it at all. maybe that's all receiving and not a whole lot of giving.

Or maybe it's the greatest of gifts.

Or maybe you really love your friends. And maybe you feel the need to keep them so close, so very close, so close and squeezy you're almost afraid you'll kill em. Just strangle em. Like a whittle teeny tiny bunny.

And it's always easier to see them this time of year, when there's a big ol' spotlight beaming down on their mangy lil' roofs.

And then the routine starts up again, and the salt goes right to the ankles, and you try on jeans at the Gap all by yourself. And you really really want to see your friends looking Rosy and gifty right now. Cause its just so fun. Cause it goes by so fast. Cause we don't have a lot of time.

So, that means you have to call them.

Ya big loon.

They all live in like a three block radius from your lil' slanty lil' pile of hay and life.

Lean too,
Skin & Toast

Friday, January 4, 2013


Hello to you.
I'm writing to you from under a pile of blankets and trash.
I'm OK.
I did it.
I got pneumonia.
But I did it.
I got all A's for the first time since first grade.
I got a fresh set of classes.
They start next week.
Not till Friday.
I'm under a pile of trash and blankets.
The titles
Less Trash.
Less Itch.

And we're now full speed ahead on Analog; the Kurt Chiang tour de force. So, watch for that. It's crunch time.

Warm Showers,
Skin & Toast