Saturday, August 30, 2008

Analecta has a booth in an art event,
Art Beat, in South Bend Downtown

on Thursday, September 4th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm!

I am thinking to advertise Analecta with fliers and past issues of Analecta
to showcase the writing community at IUSB. In addition, all artists can sell their arts and crafts. All writers can introduce their magazines, chapbooks, articles, websites, blogs, and etc.

I am looking for someone who can help me to set up the booth.

I do not know where the booth will be until the day of the event,
but if we meet sometime around 3:00pm, it should be enough time to set everything up.

So please email me back by Thursday if you can help me.
I will give my cellphone number so we can keep in touch.

Of course you are welcome to stop by!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Empty Suitcase:
Flash Drive, Baking Powder, and Limitation

My flash drive was suddenly lost all of its memory— my graduate research projects, poetry, official letters, and all of last year’s columns for the Preface— my creative works are gone, gone, gone in between some microchips and the black hole-mystery of a computer system. I screamed, “Come back to me!” like a crying woman who was under a messy blanket on a bed while her lover left through the door. It was the most selfish, cheesiest break-up I have ever done.

Surprisingly, I did not really freak out. I wandered around in my apartment a couple of times reciting, “this is a betrayal of modern technology,” cut my nails, and kicked a trashcan. The plastic trashcan was cracked and filled with baking powder—I threw old baking powder from the refrigerator away before I started writing this column. Believe or not, I was excited to write about my refrigerator and its odor problems— so my carpet was white as a dune by Lake Michigan, the baking powder.

There is no solution by destroying the trashcan; anyway, all the documents in the flash drive will never come back. It is amazing how such a small object makes me frustrated. It was obvious that there was a certain trust between me and the flash drive, a modern technology, even though I double saved the documents in other computer files. I vacuumed on the carpet and collected the plastic pieces. Only my black cat enjoyed playing in the white powder; of course, I got mad about her behavior, so she hid behind the couch all afternoon.

Maybe the flash drive sneakily tells me that this is the time to write on the next level— forget about all the old stories and poetry— maybe I can write something fabulous beyond the tragedy of its memory loss. But my heart still ached because I was the only person who believed that the flash drive was the most important thing, even more so than a passport in my life. It was my love. I realized that the flash drive was; indeed, a heartless piece of plastic. It did not think about me but just kept doing its work and suddenly quit our relationship.

Now my flash drive lies next to a bouquet of artificial flowers on my bookshelf as if it sleeps. It is not a funeral but an experience of being a sleeping beauty. Somehow the flash drive got poisoned and lost its memories during sleep. It waits for a kiss, the reformat by connecting with a computer.

But does the flash drive really wait for the reformatted kiss? Looking at the small object on the bookshelf, I questioned myself whether I can make it happier after the reformation. Is it a delight for the flash drive to restore my documents again? Is it not painful for it to accept the reality of being a flash drive— the destiny to memorize my writing; perhaps, my horrible literature research papers?

Those questions are all over my thoughts, more than how much I can trust the flash drive again after reformatting. It seems that the flash drive is on strike holding a board, “No more junky graduate papers in English! Write something academic! Use your brain!” Perhaps, the flash drive’s screaming refers to my professors’ voices. The flash drive knew that I just typed words to fill the pages of assignments with my limited knowledge. When I saved my papers, my brain falls out from my head. Its stains were on the carpet, which were harder to clean than the baking powder.

I bought a new flash drive and its capacity is 2GB. I am restoring new documents from my limited knowledge into the almost unlimited memory—the imperfect modern technology— the flash drive.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Empty Suitcase: Closety Experience

When I finish a painting, I frame my art, which I usually find at Goodwill and antique shops. I put on my yellow rubber gloves and place those dusty frames on my dining table and vacuum them first. I clean them with a bathroom cleaner with bleach for the glass surfaces and wax spray for the wooden frames. As a special treatment; perhaps, spiritual treatment, I put a little bit of salt on the frames. Because I have no idea where those frames come from— they may come from some grandma’s death bed; perhaps, from a murder case— I usually sanitize spiritually with salt. Salt is helpful to purify objects and human minds in Japanese culture. So I put a little bit salt on the frame and pray— thank you for accepting my art— then I put my art into the frame.

So the other day, I found nice frames from an antique shop— the frames were dusty like charcoal— so I hesitated carrying them into my apartment. When I used to live in school housing, I had an art room by the entrance, so I did not have to worry about any dust or paint. But now I am living in a small apartment with a little black cat. There is no space for big, dusty frames. In addition, the black cat is terrified by the vacuum cleaner.

So I called my death-metal guy. It is great to have a boyfriend when I do not want to mess up my apartment but his instead.

The frames are usually stapled three to five times in each corner, so I need a particular kind of screwdriver in order to take them off. But I realized that I forgot to bring my screwdriver and other tools when I reached his apartment.

“My screwdrivers are in my closet,” said my death-metal guy.

It was fatal mistake to open his closet. I would say that the closet is full of bachelor life. He did not use the upper half of the closet— amazingly there were only three hangers— his clothes, underwear, socks, games, and books were randomly piled up in the closet. He is a death-metal fan so most of his clothes are black with painted skeletons on them, so they just looked like holocaustic corpses in the closet.

“Why do you keep the frying pan here…I found bacon…” The bacon was bright red next to the skeleton T-shirt; perhaps, hunger next to the death T-shirt in a starvation camp, the closet.

“I was eating but you came so I put it into the closet because you like a cleaner apartment.” I appreciated his kindness. His apartment is ‘clean’ because he hid his junk in the closets. I wondered why he could not put the frying pan in the dish washer. The kitchen was just around corner of where he was.

The tool box was supposed to be under those piles. I started digging, digging, and digging. I doubted that my death-metal guy was a human; perhaps, a king of centipedes, because he owned about three hundreds socks or maybe he is a packrat with a body as white as marshmallow. I could not tell whether those socks were clean or not; perhaps, if I am my mother, she would throw all them into a boiling–or burning— washing machine with Febreeze on them. But I am neither my mother nor his mother; I started putting all those old socks into trash bags.

I found a box but there were hundreds of DVDs exploring female beauty, including Japanese girls wearing particular uniforms. I organized the interesting collection into boxes and I sneakily thought that I will watch them when I have a chance. I am kind of curious about a DVD with the pirates in an English class.

Then I finally found the tool box! I opened it but there were no tools!

He carries one of tools from the bathroom. Since the box had been under the wholesale slaughter-T shirts, he did not put those tools back after using them. So the tools were randomly located in his apartment, just like treasure hunting. He found another tool in the pantry. When I looked into the pantry, I forgot how to speak.

I decided to clean the frames in my apartment and I promised to bring him hangers the next time I visit. Also I will bring my sanitary cleaning collection in order to face the pantry. I would like him to say that the pantry is for food and spatulas; not for…yuck.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hell Paper

Dante Inferno X T.S. Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock