Friday, August 15, 2008

from the allnight diner at logan airport - boston

The installation on the main floor of Terminal E helped me calm my nerves. It's this incredible concoction of a music box, made of giant chutes and balls, resembling a "lifesized" wire maze bubblegum machine, only the balls hit musical instruments on their way down the sloping paths. Very Japanese. Very calming. And I needed that...

Flight cancelled. LaGuardia would rather think about having a tornado than get me home quickly, apparently. No U.S. Airways love on putting me up for the night. Flight doesn't leave until 7 a.m. it's only 8:00.


Well the Dunkin Donuts stays open all night. And Hudson News. And I can watch the cleaning crew dump the trash cans the reservation agents put up on the check-in baggage scale at the end of their shifts.

So I guess I'll follow up to my post about Provincetown. Lovingly referred to, I've realized since then - as P-town.

First I should say the workshop was incredible. The week with Ross Gay as an instructor is undoubtedly the best workshop experience I've ever had. It was exactly what i wanted (a better than traditional approach to poetry workshop), and exactly what i needed. I wrote some good stuff and more importantly, I feel a bit transformed.

The folks in the workshop comprised of three CC'ers and five other pretty dope poets. It was nicely mixed - a whole lot of different perspectives, but similar artistic objectives. I want to say more ... about some of the breakthroughs we made, but I'd like to get a bit better about allowing what happens in the workshop to stay in the workshop. It should be that kind of space.

The work center was mostly very relaxing. The residency is low maintenance and pretty laid back. Lots of time to write and hang out and see stuff. The schedule is not hectic and so I had all kinds of time to do what I went there to do. Wind down and focus.

Getting there was a bit of a nightmare. And getting back ... well, hell I'm spending the night in a chair at an airport in Boston. Transportation that goes into P-town quickly is expensive (an 8 passenger craft that flies over the ocean is $90) and everything else takes awhile. I hear the ferry is amazing. The bus up there takes 4 hours from Boston. I actually wound up taking the plane back, thanks to some love from my class who thought it was important I not miss the last class to take that 4 hour bus ride I originally thought was 2 hours. (Here's my cyber-wineglass cheer to all of you!). The plane didn't terrify me nearly as much as most ground covering planes. Something about the immediacy of it all was comforting. Drop out of the sky into the ocean and you're fucked. That's it, done for. I hear drowning sucks, but I'll take it over being splattered across a corn field.

Eating there turned out to be pretty fun. Communal dinners with the couple other broke people made for long evenings of lots of laughing. The couple times we did eat out really felt like a treat and I guess that's as it should be. Particularly since even the burger joints were delicious.

As for the town itself: Well. It was interesting. I think I have a low threshhold for being the outsider and not really being able to escape into any kind of safe haven. There really are no black folks on the cape, that I could tell, save a few vacationers and a few West Indian workers. I didn't get to talk to any of them really, but i got the impression that they don't really live around there. I have to say I found the vibe there troublesome. Lots of rich folks. And people seemed more impatient with me than any New Yorker I've encountered, even in people's stereotype of them. Maybe it was just that kind of week, but I felt like simple courtesies, like saying excuse me if you need to get past me, seemed to pain alot of folks. I lost count of how many times someone gestured at me, stared at me, spent alot of words saying everything but excuse me ("Ya' know, if I could just get to that cart right there..." or "If you could just take one or two steps over..." note the unfinished sentences here), or just flat out told me to move in some weird way...

That was difficult. When I lived in Arizona I got used to people staring at me like I was an alien, but that took some years ... I only had a week in P-town and it got old to me pretty quick. And just generally, there is that air of and what are you doing here?. But in all fairness, no one else seemed to feel it quite as strong. So maybe I was just being insecure.

The ocean made up for alot. One day I walked from Provincetown to Race Point beach. I didn't mean to. I thought it was closer. It took close to an hour and a half. But my toes touched ocean and my belly white sand, even though I couldn't stay terribly long, I was happy. I actually hitchhiked back. Caught a ride from a nice couple from Quebec who'd been nude bathing on the sand. They wouldn't take gas money from me.

The readings at the work center rocked. I really like the idea of having a reading mixed with poets and fiction writers and scriptwriters. It was a real nice variation and everyone was hella' talented.

Great library. With an incredible sculpture garden (see photo) across from it with twenty foot tall demagogues staring in through the library window.

The place was insanely peopled. I told someone it felt like a little italy turned boystown. I guess that's about my report.

I have a feeling the trip meant something to me I can't quite put my finger on yet. When I figure it out, that might be a new post. I know I met some good people who already seem to care about me in a way that means a whole lot, for a smalltown girl from Detroit.

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