The Downlow

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austin, texas, United States
aspiring writer, English and journalism student, hails from Texas. likes include writing, coffee, books, whisky and people.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

lovers in Japan

Lovers, keep on the road you're on,
runners, until the race is run,
soldiers, you've got to soldier on,
sometimes even right is wrong.

Tonight maybe we're gonna run, dreaming of the Osaka sun,
dreaming of when the morning comes,

They are turning my head out to see what I'm all about,
keeping my head down to see what it feels like now,
But I have no doubt,
one day, we are gonna get out.

pretty sure it ruled

So on Friday I was walking to get dinner with this girl and she mentioned that people were going to Dallas the next morning for my friends birthday and that there was an extra seat in the car, so I went. Taking an impromptu road trip is really head clearing, as it turns out, plus I got to see some people I missed a lot. Some shit went down but overall, last night was entirely worth the hangover. It was the first time I've ever done something that unplanned and it was really good :)
I'm in the newsroom right now, waiting on edits and writing and wishing that I had coffee/a water bottle that I left in my dorm. 

hott and dangerous,

So I started talking to someone at a party last night and eventually came upon the fact that we are both novelists. He was writing a satire on southern California and the public school system, and talking to him was fascinating and he made me want to be a better writer. I called my novel Sci-Fi again, for the first time in a while, actually. He told me that he finished a novel in college (he had graduated one or two years ago) and that it wasn't very good in retrospect. I hope that doesn't happen to me. The conversation was long and difficult to shake.

*This was written on Saturday morning.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

if i do what i love

I'm sitting on a couch in the union right now waiting to go meet someone to do an interview, watching the rain die down and thinking about the emails I'm waiting for and being somewhere foreign. There is only one thing in my life that I would change right now and it's making me a little uneasy, because when things go this well it's usually the calm before a storm.
Words change everything. Whether we realize it or not and certainly whether we like it or not, words and language form the lenses that we see the world through. They create the space we live in and our perception of it. Nothing really exists without communication, and harnessing it can make you the most powerful person in the world, if you're good at it. The trick is that it's difficult to know whether or not you're actually good.
The sun is starting to come out again.
Love always,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

when food is gone

I love everything because everything is exactly how I want it to be.  I got a promotion at work, I have the next three years planned out to the T, I found a place I love and I have who I want. Life is chill. I'll post something more in depth tomorrow, I promise.
Tonight I ate dinner at an actual table on real plates with real forks and two dogs by my feet, and I didn't even have to leave the city of Austin to do it. Today was good, I am happy. 
I love love love love love you, 

Monday, February 21, 2011

a lion-hearted girl

Everything is officially exactly how I want it to be. That's all.

Love always, 

but i really can't complain

Today I met with an advisor and planned out the next three years of my life down to what classes I'm taking each semester. There is nothing more exhilirating and head clearing than planning things, except maybe making lists. Maybe. One of those pictures is where I'm going to be this time next year. PS. I stole one of them from another friend who blogs, so if you're looking at this and thinking hey, that bitch took my photo, you're right :p
Things I'm looking forward to
reading my nook before I fall asleep
spring break
summer break
a phone call from this one cute boy
studying abroad in Singapore
graduating early
having better grades
spending more time outside
no more heavy coats
going to class all the time
not cooping myself up in my room
this weekend
the weekend after that
other weekends
new friends and old friends
setting up next semester's schedule
making more lists for you

Love always, 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

i ain't perfect

This weekend has been warm enough that Friday I wore a tank top and yesterday/today I donned shorts. The overcast weather is putting me in my favorite kind of thoughtful mood that always seems to work best for me when I'm writing. I keep feeling like  I do during overcast days in July, or late in the afternoon in June or August. Good thing it's fucking February. :)
This weekend was also long and more fun than I've in Austin since I got back for winter break. I think it's cause for a while I was broody for no reason and this weekend I actually did shit, which was entirely worth it, just saying. I have tests this week but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to be worried and I think that tomorrow if the weather is good again I might go to one of my fave spots on campus, this grassy area by a fountain on the east side, and just write for a while and think. This weekend it slowly dawned on me that there are probably a few things that I should be thinking about that I haven't been, and I'm glad.

I love you, I love everyone,
ps. I am not a child, stop treating me like one. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm just so tired

From: Verses Adressed to the Imitator of the First Satire of the Second Book of Horace
(A Reply to Alexander Pope)

When God created thee, one would believe
He said the same as to the snake of Eve:
'To human race antipathy declare,
'Twixt them and thee be everlasting war.'
But oh! the sequal of the sentence dread,
And whilst you bruise their heel, beware your head.
     Nor think thy weakness shall be thy defense,
The female scold's protection is offence.
Sure 'tis as fair to beat who cannot fight,
As 'tis to libel those who cannot write.
And if thou draw'st thy pen to aid the law,
Others a cudgel, or a rod, may draw.
     If none with vengeance yet thy crimes persue
Or give thy manifold affronts their due;
If limbs unbroken, skin without a stain,
Wunshipped, unblanketed unkicked, unslain,
That wretched little carcase you retain,
The reason is, not that the world wants eyes,
But thou'rt so mean, they see, and they despise:
When fretful porcupine, with rancorous will,
From mounted back shoots forth a harmless quill,
Cool the spectators stand; and all the while
Upon the angry little monster smile.
Thus 'tis with thee:- whilst impotently safe,
You strike unwounding, we unhurt can laugh.
'Who but must laugh, this bully when he sees,
A puny insect shivering at a breeze?'
One over-matched by every blast of wind,
Insulting and provoking all mankind. 
     Is this the thing to keep mankind in awe,
'To make those tremble who escape the law?'
Is this the ridicule to live so long,
'The deathless satire and immortal song?'
No: like thy self-blown praise, thy scandal flies;
And, as we're told of wasps, it stings and dies.
     If none do yet return th' intended blow,
You all your safety to your dullness owe:
But whilst that armour thy poor corpse defends,
'Twill make thy readers few, as are thy friends:
Those, who thy nature loathed, yet loved thy art,
Who liked thy head, and yet abhorred thy heart:
Chose thee to read, but never to converse,
And scorned in prose him who they prized in verse:
Even they shall now their partial error see,
Shall shun thy writings like thy company;
And to thy books shall ope their eyes no more
Than to thy person they would do their door.
     Nor thou the justice of the world disown,
That leaves thee thus an outcast and alone;
For though in law to murder be to kill
In equity the murder's in the will:
The whilst with coward-hand you stab a name,
And try at least t'assassinate our fame,
Like the first bold assassin's be thy lot,
Ne'er be thy guilt forgiven, or forgot;
But, as thou hat'st, be hated by mankind,
and with the emblem of they crooked mind
Marked on thy back, like Cain, by God's own hand,
Wander, like him, accursed through the land.

I would genuinely really like to eat dinner with Lady Wortley Montagu, because everyone needs someone with that level of sass in their lives. Basically this poem was written to tell off Alexander Pope and this poem he wrote that bashed her/women poets in general and I think that she is absolutely hysterical, plus I give her props for being so good at bitching people out because I didn't even know they did that in the eighteenth century. She is generally impressive and would be a fabulous dinner partner. She does a really awesome job of saying that nothing he says matters, despite his talent, and no one really cares about him at all and people are basically laughing at him because he's so pathetic. I would hate to upset her and have something like this published about me, but I would love to have her on my side in any fight because her wit and words alone could win.
This poem is also a really amazing example of what makes words so powerful. While I'm sure Pope would have been too pompous to admit it, having this published about him by a woman he was scorned by was probably horribly humiliating, especially since the two ran in the same crowd. That quote, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me," is completely inaccurate, because while a broken bone may suck, after a while it'll heal. The embarrassment and insult and sting in a poem like this will never truly be forgotten, not really, especially since students like us are still reading it in English classes. Montagu really knew how to hurt.


when it comes to men

The Flea- John Donne

Marke but this flea, and marke in this,
How little that which deny'st me is;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;
Though know'st that this cannot be said
A sinne, nor shame, nor losse of maidenhead,
     Yet this enjoyes before it wooe,
     And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two
     And this, alas, is more than we would doe.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea space,
Where we almost, yea more than maryed are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed, and mariage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloysterd in these living walls of Jet.
     Though use make you apt to kill mee,
     Let not to that, selfe murder added bee,
     And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.

Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty bee,
Except that drop in which it suckt from three?
Yet thou triumph'st, and saist that thou
Find'st not thy selfe, nor mee the weaker now;
     'Tis true, then learn how false, feares bee;
     Just so much honor, when thou yeeld'st to mee,
     Will wast, as this flea's death to life from thee.

So I read this poem in my senior year of high school and then it popped up again on my poetry syllabus for class a few weeks ago, and it has always been one of my favorites. I think what gets me about it is that it's basically a love poem, but it's completely unconventional and the ideas presented in it are a lot more convincing than the more typical 'I love you so much yay' type of thing.
The way I interpret it is, Donne is basically saying to this woman he's in love with that they are going to end up together because of fate, and this flea is mixing their bloods anyway so they may as well go through with doing whatever they want to because it's pretty much already happened. He says that doing their thang isn't a sinne any more than being bitten by the same flea is a sinne because it's natural, and no one can judge them. It's a strange poem and the title is a little lackluster, plus the sexual innuendos are practically overflowing the page and his end goal is pretty obvious throughout the poem, but in a way I think it's one of the most romantic things I've ever read because he's just talking about how she can't deny that they belong together because even the flea is showing it by taking both of their bloods, and their union is something totally natural and normal and not-scary. I'm a big believer in fate and things being meant to happen, and he plays on that idea a lot, and in an unconventional way I think this poem is really beautiful.

I love you,

hide your ring

A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body
Andrew Marvel


          O Who shall, from this Dungeon, raise
     A Soul enslav'd so many wayes?
     With bolts of Bones, that fetter'd stands
     In Feet; and manacled in Hands.
     Here blinded with an Eye; and there
     Deaf with the drumming of an Ear.
     A Soul hung up, as 'twere, in Chains
     Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins.
     Tortur'd, besides each other part,
     In a vain Head, and double Heart.


          O who shall me deliver whole,
     From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul?
     Which, stretcht upright, impales me so,
     That mine own Precipice I go;
     And warms and moves this needless Frame:
     (A Fever could but do the same.)
     And, wanting where its spight to try,
     Has made me live to let me dye.
     A Body that could never rest,
     Since this ill Spirit it possest.


          What Magick could me thus confine
     Within anothers Grieg to pine?
     Where whatsoever it complain
     I feel, that cannot feel, the pain.
     And all my Care its self employs,
     That to preserve, which me destroys:
     Constrain'd not only to indure
     Diseases but, whats worse, the Cure:
     And ready oft the Port to gain,
     Am Shipwrackt into Health again.


          But Physick yet could never reach
     The Maladies Thou me dost teach;
     Whom first the Cramp of Hope does Tear:
     And then the Palsie Shakes of Fear.
     The Pestilence of Love does heat:
     Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat.
     Joy's chearful Madness does perplex:
     Or Sorrow's other Madness vex.
     Which Knowledge forces me to know;
     And Memory will not forgoe.
     What but a Soul could have the wit
     To build me up for Sin so fit?
     So Architects do square and hew
     Green Trees that in the Forest Grew.

I feel like this is probably the most interesting poem we've read during class, and one of the few that doesn't have anything to do with social status, arguing about writing or whatever else, being pompous, or trying to get into someone's pants, although thinking you can predict what a soul and body might say to each other could be construed as a bit self-important if it isn’t done well. However, I don't disagree with anything that Marvel is saying and I think the idea that a mind and body are actually detrimental to each other's health is really fascinating because it’s so unusal. There's a lose-lose situation that isn't really presented in many other texts or ways of thinking. Typically, in religion especially and in a lot of classic literature, the soul is seen as being all-good and the body as its vessel, but adding a negative connotation to either, and particularly to the soul, provides a completely different dimension to the situation.
The back and forth is also really interesting because you don’t usually see personification of a body or of a soul, since they’re kind of part of a person anyway, so you don’t usually think about what they might discuss if given the chance. The two, in my mind at least, don’t separate from one another that often, and the soul is something really abstract that it would be difficult to place a personality on, but Marvel manages to do it really well in a Dialogue between the Soul and Body. I thought the poem was really fascinating.
PS. This is for a class.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

there is love in your body

I got a weird feeling tonight so I took a really long walk and listened to music I typically reserve for long, night-time car rides by myself. Somewhere between the fourth and fifth block, I realized that there is only one thing that I know for sure that I want, and everything else could be me just fooling myself. 
I haven't written in a while but I really, really need to. There's wayyyy too much material building up in my head. Also, I drank a weirdly large amount of tea today. Like, hot tea. In place of coffee. Strange?
You are all that I want, always,

wake up, my love

Life isn't about being nice. Life is about being happy. There is a difference.
Books are more important than anything. I've been in a funk all day. 

I love you,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I just wanna be

I feel like I have to apologize wayyyyyy to often for random elongated absences, but once again, I'm sorry.
This week has been full of planning planning planning and it is slowly dawning on me that this is not the beginning of college anymore, this is the middle and the part where I'm supposed to either fade into the background and chill in my dorm and have fun and graduate to be mediocre or the part where I work and lose sleep and get stress induced headaches and come out on top, and I will be damned if I let myself be mediocre. There is so much at stake right now and I have to pull my grades up and plan better and write better and be better than everyone else, and that is exactly what I am planning to do and no one is going to stop me no matter what.
"If you're not part of the freaks, you're part of the boredom."- Perry Farrell

PS. I have to write these reflection things about stuff we read in my poetry class, so I am going to post them on here as well as on the class blog. The first one should be coming in a day or two. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i never had to fit in

I am in a funk, I can't write anything. I'm sorry. I can't even get out anything for my poetry class.
This should sound familiar to you by now, but despite what I'd like, you probably don't know who you are.

I'm sorry I keep breaking promises,
maybe I should stop promising.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

a blind man's bluff

I am getting an unusual sense of deja vu, and I'm not particularly fond of it.
I know I promised you writing but I'm tired so I am going to post it tomorrow, I promise-for-real. I'm still trying to decide between poems.
This weekend was long and way too full of gossip girl and pretty little liars. Next weekend will be better.
I love you, take me somewhere new?