Monday, October 30, 2017

Kate Siklosi : writing day

i’m calling this a day in the life of my (small press) (writing) writing life, because i am a poet and co-editor of a small press - with a day job. i’m a writer by day, a poet by night, and an editor by dawn and dusk. here’s the inbetween.

6:43 am –’s 3046 and people have waffles for heads including me and a trumpasaurus rex is running after me with syrup and just as they’re gaining....

6:45 am – my saint bernard puppy starts bawling in her crate, wanting to start the day. i take her to pee and then crawl back into bed for another half hour until

7:17 am - i wake up to the cat licking my eyelid and then my armpit. get out of bed and throw on some espresso – think to myself, is the grind too fine? and then laugh out loud because life is a fine grind, innit?

7:25 am – shake my hair out and dust a little face powder on and maybe some blush while i have an internal dialogue about whether my choice to wear a little makeup voids my entry into true feministdom or whether it’s the choice that counts.

7:36 am – i’m out the door headed to the car to drive to work, meeting my overweight grey tabby friend on the sidewalk and of course, stop for a few belly scritches. drive to work in oakville today (in my work week i rotate between working in our toronto office, oakville office, and my home office). as i round the winston churchill bend on the qew i wonder why on earth i’ve yet to put my name in for this radio contest where you get to be on the station’s payroll at $100 an hour. seems easy enough for some quick money, no?

8:10 am – arrive at work. as in my day job. as in my job in the day. my day as in my job. in the day job as my. as job as my day in.

8:15 am – check all my emails – work, personal, gap riot press. we’ve just gotten our chapbook cover mock ups for canisia lubrin’s new book coming out with us, augur. looks sooooo good and i think to myself – this small press thing is something i’m most proud of lately, and I’m so glad i have the time and energy for these projects post-phd. i muse about the community i’ve built in both my daylit and moonlit double life. i am a sucker for community, or so i think. or is it the commons. communis as duncan would say ripping off kant one moment then telling olson and creeley to piss off the next. i like that guy.
life affirming moment of my writing day [check.]
and at this early hour! [check. check.]
enough to stave off the omnipresent existential funk [question mark. question mark.]

[As I will later discover that night, YES, yes it is enough. my affirmed self will indeed live another writing day.]

8:10 – 4:15 pm – i’m at work. as in my day job. write write write. meet meet meet. think about anarchy in the workplace and play around with titles for a piece. think about the sunlight crossing its heart as i walk to lunch.

4:15 pm – drive back home to toronto, thinking the whole way that i could have been making $100 per hour if i just signed up for this stupid contest. july talk comes on the radio, and i still can’t believe that robust bearish voice comes out of that slight steve buscemi body.

5:00 pm – get back home. take bonnie aka bon bon aka roberta bondar aka bonnie m aka nina bonina brown aka banana pancakes out for a walk to the park up the street. get mad inside but smile every time (EVERYTIME) someone “reminds” me how BIG my saint bernard will be as if i had no idea as if i did not understand that a bernard is a giant breed as if i did not anticipate being eclipsed with love and slobber and 150lbs of a weighty cuddly couch.

5:45 pm – get back home from the dog park, then run back out in search of a ripe avocado up the street. get cat called, even in my sweat pants i think, by old portuguese men loitering on sepia toned pasts outside nondescript sports bars. stare their masculinity right back down into the pavement, clench my fists and remind myself that they do not even know who the fuck they are dealing with. lament about the world and how gender is so tied to one’s spatiality. think about space. think about place. think about how men will never know this same intricacy between.

7:00 pm – make dinner – tonight it is ratatouille. the garlic skins scurry across the table (resurrected by the wind of the open fire escape – the cat desires to be out) and as the knife cuts the squash into coins i can’t stop thinking of emerson’s self-made man slicing zucchini so thin and so fine.

7:40 pm – eat the ratatouille and sing about it aloud as i serve it because life’s short and it’s a funny word.

8:10 pm – get out the letraset and a blank page. rub on an M. rotate page. rub on an X. rotate page. rub on a g. rotate page. rub on a line using a border. rotate page. think that y should maybe have been an A but then do it anyway. lament half-rubbed on letter until i own it as part of the thing. rotate page. rub on a J but make its tail kiss an i.

8:45 pm – a shape emerges. it looks like a clitoris, i think to myself. i couldn’t be more ok with that. it’s done. finito. this one is small, doesn’t take up too much space or just enough to know it’s there. you can always add more and can’t take less but the wisdom’s in knowing when to stop.

9:00 pm – check email again – adeena karasick is writing from the catskills (what a great name for mountains – as if soft little pads and retractable claws could masterfully form peaks out of granitite). speaking of cat, cat seems happy on my lap, so i decide to look at my love songs to hibernia material – a book of experimental poems to the hibernia oil platform in the jean d’arc basin. reams upon reams of lines i’ve stolen from the canada oil & gas operations act. the words that take more than they could ever give. the ones that have taken advantage of all of us without taking us to dinner first but goddamit, paid for and provided us with the gas to get there. i take the authorless words or is it authored by canada and slice them open like a maple-flavoured aspic. a meat jelly that includes cream is called a chaud-froid. how canadian, i say to myself and get back to the stolen goods. to make oil slicks in muddy language so slippery and so fraught even your chelsea boot would trip. i take and take and take from the act until i finish off section 4.5.9 and decide that is enough government bullshit for a day—for a night—’s work.

10:20 pm – richard and i, plus our two cats (doggo is now crated and snoring like a groggy toad at dusk) settle into bed with an episode of master chef. me, tucking into a snack of korean japchae sweet potato noodles worried with sriracha. him, skor ice cream. typical. gordon ramsay yells something about raw duck meat migrating to brazil. outside, a blaring siren signals air too hastily dissolved in salt.

11:33 pm – i lay down for bed to sleep. mind turning over minutes into memories – did my tone to the fellow dog mom at the park about not taking my puppy to puppy school seem overbearing? who is bob anyway and why is he a thing-a-ma? where should i use my arts council grant to go on a writing retreat? prince edward county is so hot right now. what if we all had lego hands and clipped into everything with our uni-digit cylindrical grips? i really should publish more. i haven’t read that yet. climb out of bed to write a fast line about grief and pomegranate seeds on a post-it. i think i have do to more. i’m content with where i’m at. i’m so happy i’m not in vegas right now and not necessarily just because of the guns and the terror but because of the whole sea of greedy mermen thing but maybe the desert is a great time especially with maybe a little peyote andor some ayahuasca. weird that that shit is brewed from the banisteria vine as if it needs some help getting down the stairs. burroughs - kick is momentary freedom from the claims of the aging, cautious, nagging, frightened
flesh. fuck that guy. a certain violence. the drugs, kick and junk, 
running with bulls, machine gun dick swinging. or
maybe it’s me who needs the extra
support. who i am. frig.
okay. tomorrow
i’ll. now

Kate Siklosi lives, writes, and thinks in Toronto. She holds a PhD in English Literature but has defenestrated from the academic ivory tower in search of warmer climes. She is a writer by day and a poet by night. Her first chapbook – a collection of really neat letraset poems – is coming out with above/ground press this spring. She is the cofounding editor of Gap Riot Press and is currently working on a manuscript of experimental petro-poetry, Love Songs for Hibernia.

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