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Inspired Pleasure

Diary of a Poet Who Happens. to be a Dancer

Tues, midnight, 9 Feb 78
        What a day. Lost a contact just before bed, which put 

me in a hideous temper.  1 ½ hrs sleep, drove A to Laundromat, did
laundry, bought cosmetics, picked her up, did lunch and visited broker.
Just like the other rich girls except for the Laundromat part.  Then to
MVA, got MD license renewed, new address, not too horrible photo. Avril
flunked her test must retake Wed.
Back to house managed 2 more hrs of sleep.  Woke
up feeling cheerful and streaked hair with L’Oreal.  Still have a rotten
cough. The trouble with being sick is you can’t imagine yourself well. 
Intimations of mortality.  Ate lasagna with A, then off to work.  J dropped
in second set, said his car was fixed, seemed cheerful, said his sister-in-law
(whom I suspect of being The Pirate Queen) is reading my book “to
figure out what kind of person I am” (uh oh).  He left during my 3rd set
without saying goodbye.  Should I drop in on him? Tempting.  
He also asked to read Demon. Hmmmm. A of course
thinks I should clamor for “boundaries”  “rights”, “clarity” and “definitions.”
 I am embarrassed even to tell HER that this is all completely hopeless.
I’d have to set him on my knee and move his mouth. I’d end up defining
every term and he would immediately forget anyway. Anyway, in my
experience, the less “clarity”, the better the sex.  Once things have
been completely defined you no longer want to touch each other.
Missing Devon of all people.  He must be sick of
Gwynne by now. Where will he find another like me? But it’s always
a bad sign when I plunge into “default” mode. So, I dropped in on Ryder
to take him by surprise. He was there and it was worth it. Gave me a
gorgeous massage. I gave him my cold.  We are at the wrong points in
our life trajectories to connect in any meaningful way. Picked up Holt’s
Lord of the Far Island which one of the other girls is reading. Unbelievably
crappy. Why do people prefer this stuff to mine? Oh well.  Feeling better –
night almost over.   
  Sun. 12 Feb 78 – 10:20 PM     
Psychic tremors driving home. But when I walked in the
door everything was fine.  It’s so comforting to be surrounded with one’s
own stuff – it seems to assumes a personality – like a separate self. A
reassuring stand-in – someone who “goes on” for you when you’re tired.
Very busy weekend – A moving into her own place – sorting, packing,
cleaning, buying. Moving.  Hard physical labor since we are doing it all. 
“Mother Truckers.”  Rushed on to work with my arms aching – J. showed up.
His body seemed solider, less fragile. I gave him a comforter for his birthday
– he seemed to like it – we went to his place to watch Harper – side by side
like an old couple on the couch.  I’ve decided he reminds me most of some
wild animal. He always wakes up like a deer finding itself in a cage. He seems
to be just now comprehending that I’m there.  He insisted on pleasuring me
so I just accept it. Said his body “hurt”. I wish I could convince him that
caffeine, junk food and alcohol are his enemies, but he is too stubborn to
believe it.  I fear a return of that kidney thing that felled him before.  I’m
afraid our relationship belongs to the bar and his apartment, however.
Can’t get him to go anywhere with me; he is “tired” and he works enough
that it’s a believable excuse. He’s so beautiful you’d think he’d be more of an exhibitionist but it’s just the opposite. Three days off. I need it. But on the
whole I am pleased with my life. 

    1:45 PM MON 13 Feb 78
            Lovely dog walk. My desk collapsed under piles of 

books, so I bought new furniture – unpainted.  Cleaned, redecorated
spare room (A’s old room.) Looks good.   Decided just thinking about J
is channeling my energies away from writing. We have a “sexual friendship”,
so there.  That’s Hugh Hefner’s “highest good” so presumably some people
would be happy with it.  But J has no influence on my life-plan.  R called.
We had a decent conversation.

            5:45 PM Snow pouring down – four more inches 

expected so I decided not to go out. Last night was the first night I’ve
actually been unable to rouse J – so I just left – went home dirty and
sleepless to a couple of short-changed dogs.  Now it turns out he’s in
the hospital undergoing tests because of “passing blood”. Medieval
sounding.  Does he have those big black knobs under his armpits?
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. The sister in law phoned with this info,
also gave the brother’s number where J will go after tests.

    9PM Plush Palace – Wed 15 Feb 78
            J quite drunk when he came in this evening – said 

he’s turning in his notice and returning to the South. (I wondered if they
fired him but didn’t say it.) I was so upset I walked into the men’s room
by mistake! (No one in there.)   He did say “or I could live with you.”  
This does not sound good to me. My monogamous soul does not aspire
to a lifetime playing nursie.

    10PM – Plush Palace – Thurs 16 Feb 78
            3 sets done – I’m exhausted and my legs hurt but I’ll survive. Spent the afternoon with Chloe and Dennis Parks at WPFW, taping 

a vibrant show on paperback publishing.  Really enjoyed myself.  A came
over for dinner and helped me paint my new study furniture.  Got a
frightening letter from the IRS – I phoned – turned out that they think I
owe them an extra $56! They can have it.   Electric bill $76.   Disappointed
by Noel Coward’s Future Indefinite, seeking escape instead in
Mona Farnsworth’s Dark Wood.  I deserve escapism after all I’ve
been through.    

               11:40PM – Plush Palace – Fri 17 Feb 78     
Just finished Rosenberg’s bio of Dorothy Richardson.
She seems just like me – then when I get to the end of her life – poverty
& anguish! Oh dear!

4:00 PM Mon 21 Feb 78     
Lying in bed – hair set – an hour to go before work. 
Spent all day tidying study – including file drawers – if I was to die this
minute I would give everyone the impression of being a hardworking
artist and an astute businesswoman. Maybe I shouldn’t wreck it by ever
going in there again.  Gregory’s book about Dorothy Richardson – lots left out. 
Putting myself to sleep with Homage to Daniel Shays – I must have a
lready read this because all the essays seem so familiar.   Very unpleasant
Vidal attack on Anais Nin.

    Plush Palace – 7:45 PM
            Lots of comforts in this job. Inhale the pleasure 

of a messy dressing room, so full of life & hope. I was sitting down
taking out my curlers when GiGi asked me to do her last set – her knee
hurts – so I put on a gold G- string and did one set without makeup. That
paid my electric bill right there.  Settle down with Anne Tyler. Comfortable.

    10:30PM – Plush Palace – Thurs 23 Feb 78
            Avril came to work with me – I’m having a great night. 

She met a guy here she likes who asked for her number – he seems nice,
but he must have the problems intrinsic to all who haunt this place – alcoholic
or druggy – or just unmotivated in some fatal, fatal way.
Paz’s been telling me her new honey’s too “big”
for her – makes her bleed. That can’t be right. This triggered an
avalanche of gynecological horror stories that ended up with all who
are interested examining Fatima’s hanging “meatus” left over from a
“botched childbirth”. She has trouble tucking it into her G-string!
I declined inspection. Missing an opportunity other writers would have
jumped at? Will I need to describe this someday?

    Sun. 26 Feb 78 – 9:45 PM
            J actually showed for dinner last night – while I was

stuffing the baked potatoes – we had a wonderful evening, played Clue,
very good sex. Said his sister read my “gothic” but called it Too Victorian.
Disguised praise? I decide to think so. He asked me to visit him in Alabama.
I’m sure there’s a novel in that but do I want to be the one to write it?
Then of course he had to leave early. I called A – had kind of a psychic
flash – a feeling of trepidation about the human condition – she said she
had been sobbing all night. Are we going no place? I asked her. Is it all an illusion? She said she feels she once had a home and family but somehow lost them and can’t adjust.  She has a life others would envy – young college student with her own apartment in DC – but she wants back something she never had. “Neva vu” ex-husband Bruce and I used to call it.  The unrecognized familiar. I am reading – very appropriately – The Troubled Helpmate. Misogyny in literature.

To Drown In Air

Were the world as simple as

At first it seems

I’d be sky-haunted

Lay my emblems end to end

Ever seeking upward.

   Have a fine ambition;

Possibility becomes the future

Without the prodigal waste of past.

Turn your gawper turkey-wards;

Survey the clouds for nourishment

Breathe in all that

Oxygenated snow; be


Be beautiful

Be dead.

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