Welcome to Ptown! by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Just downloaded here in my spacious studio apartment at FAWC. Feeling so grateful to have this time to relax and meet other poets and of course, work with Martha Rhodes.

JB was so generous--and dropped me off (from Brooklyn!)--a long 6+ hour drive, then turned back around to drive home. I love him so much. If he weren't teaching, I know he'd enjoy the space, quiet, artist community/space, and Ptown culture.

Right now I've set up my desk at this lovely sheaf dark-stained wood dining table and the fan is whirring in the background, and I can hear light rain bouncing on some shingles outside my kitchen window. I've unpacked all my bags, put sheets on the bed, unloaded my toiletries--for the first time in over a week, I feel like I have a home! All of last week was spend living in an empty room on an air mattress since JB and I moved all our stuff into PA storage (where we'll be at the end of August, at the end of our travels, etc.). It feels wonderful to have a home, even if for the week--and I can't help but imagine the previous writers/artists who called this unit (#2) home during the residency season (Oct-May). I can already imagine how productive I or any other artist could be living here.

It's been a while since I've been dwelling alone, and being here with the object sounds, the natural sounds--reminds me a little of my farm hut in Kythera in 2009. The solitude and richness of potential drove me to document my thoughts via blog then--and here I am, now. I even have the same haircut (though it's growing out)--and I certainly feel older than the previous version of me--I feel calm, at peace with my life (but also of course, excited for all the things I'm pursuing in the short/long-term).

It feels strange and unceremonious that I'm no longer a resident of NYC. I'm vagabonding it for the next three weeks--days filled with poetry, writers, love, laughter, dark 'n stormies, rain, green, water, food. I'm also already looking forward to unpacking all of our items from storage into the poets cottage--and I'm going to Loew's/Home Depot to finally start a garden! A mini herb/natural dye garden--maybe I'll start with mint, since that grows like a weed. Sad to say I killed my cactus when I went to California last month (totally forgot about it). RIP little one--my love is a desert filled with neglect.

When we were driving on the Cape to reach Ptown, there were a couple shops along the way that had HUGE displays of inflatable floating devices! Like: dragons, SWANS, sliced watermelon wheels, etc. I WAS SO MESMERIZED and really not-so-secretly wanted to stop so I could buy a HUGE swan. But I figured it would probably cost like $30 and plus, don't I have to earn the privilege of SWANNING the Atlantic Ocean first? Like by somehow saving a mermaid, cultivating a coral reef, kissing a frog, and raising natural foie gras like that one guy in Spain? I imagine it'd be like the LABOURS OF HERCULES, except Heracles was a short girl who looks exactly like Mowgli from The Jungle Book.

I'm hoping there's less mosquitoes here than in a jungle, but I saw one attack this Harvard senior at the BBQ dinner tonight and I ran away from the table/group/dinner, up to my own room--in the middle of a bunless burger bite. I think the staff/participants already have the perception that I'm very strange, so I hope tomorrow I can gain some group-assimilation/pack points. I don't want to be the weird girl! But I am weird. And was feeling so anxious about being surrounded only by strangers and there wasn't enough picnic tables to sit down at and I panicked! The fears of a child never leave you because they are the fears of homo sapiens since DAWN.

To keep in line with my strange/hermit like status, I'm holed up in my wonderful studio for the evening. Too tired to explore town or go to a drag show. I just wanted to bask in my first free moment in a long time--since I triple-booked myself for the summer and never let myself have a me-day. Needless to say, it's taken a toll, and I didn't realize I'd been holding my breath, running around--until I sat down here at this table.

I'm going to do a luxurious facial and bath and watch HBO until I fall asleep. OMG I didn't mention:

There is a framed canvas facsimile of one of the unicorns from the tapestries hanging above my kitchen sink! IT IS LIKE FATE KNEW I WOULD BE HERE. I refuse to believe that this unicorn is in all the apartments here.

And it's the unicorn pre-capture, so it looks like it's footloose and fancy-free, but we/I with dramatic irony know it'll soon be shivved in so many places, the least of which is in the ass.


Week 3, Day 5: "Everyone knows an unworshipped woman will betray you." by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Update for this week:

  • Mark Strand's Man and Camel [done!]
  • Karen Volkman's Spar [done!]
  • Monica Youn's Barter [done!]

Rereads: (counts as 0.5 each):

  • Sarah Gridley's Weather Eye Open
  • Lucie Brock-Broido's A HungerThe Master Letters, and Trouble in Mind

Beginning the great LBB rereading (in chronological order) today, and I'm savoring each moment--like when you get a cone vs. cup at the ice cream/gelato shop.

A bit of pressure in figuring out what the last 5 books should be--seems so final! And JB got me this amazing book on unicorns when we went to the Cloisters on Sunday. I didn't know I'd be such a fan of unicorns--or more accurately, a fan of captured/wounded/bleeding unicorns.