"Paloma kickstarts with 1996, a punk rock war-cry of nostalgia and a final lingering note of sadness. This, like many others in the collection, is a poem that resounds with everything oh-so-90s; but make no mistake, this is meant in the best possible way. A mixed tape soundtrack that plays like growing up, it sets the tone to whom this collection is dedicated– as much funeral dirge as it is love song for a sister and friend. The final line of the first poem rings melancholic: “Who’s gonna take care of us strays now?”
It is this echoing theme of finality, of trying to grasp the concept of loss, that carries on through the entire collection, questions of mortality and suffering scattered like the ashes of the departed, asking the question specifically in Lauren Kate is Dead: “Where the hell is this better place people are always talking about”"
part of a wonderful new review of the Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, "Paloma" by Jennifer E. Hudgens which appeared in a Featured Author section of SWIMMING WITH ELEPHANTS last month.
A face-focused rant (that nobody should read except for me - but
for some reason, I felt the need to write it) :
Not a fun day so far, although hopefully I can somehow manage to
improve it. I woke up with uncomfortably puffy, swollen, itchy eyes (not the
inside of my eyes; but the eyelids and the area underneath my eyes). It was
probably caused by my eye cream, although I've been using the same eye cream
for years, because it's been successful, but maybe they changed their
ingredients or maybe my annoying skin suddenly developed a new allergic
reaction or something.
When something unexpectedly unlikable happens, my mind has a
tendency to feel like it's my fault and like I did something wrong and then
after that, if it's anything body/skin related, I start worrying it might be
the sign of a serious health issue.
Part of the reason for that is because I too frequently follow
the accidental error system of looking up health-oriented stuff online and then
I end up mentally inundated with seriously scary possibilities.
So I woke up with swollen, itchy eyes and then I ended up
worrying that I had some form of Periorbital Edima (mainly because a guy's eye
in an online photo seemed to resemble what's going on with my eyes), which has
all kinds of different causes and effects, some of them not very serious, some
of them very serious (allergies, skin disorders, kidney issues, heart issues,
and something called periorbital cellulitus which is a serious skin condition
caused by infection and inflammation of the eyelid and the skin around the
eyes, which may require emergency treatment if symptoms last beyond two to
But I think suddenly developing a serious health-oriented eye
condition in less than one day seems to make even less sense than suddenly
suffering from some serious eye irritation caused by an eye cream in less than
one day, but what do I know? All I know is that I woke up with fucked up
looking, uncomfortable feeling, inflamed eyes and I must have somehow brought
it upon myself.
Puffy, swollen and uncomfortable eyelids and at the bottom of my
eyes too - and it looks like there's water retention there and why? Due to an
all natural eye cream I slathered on yesterday? I'm certainly not immune to
under eye bags and wrinkles (which is why I use the eye cream), but this is
more extreme. The bags look like little water retention balloons.
Part of me wants to buy a new eye cream, but what's the point?
All natural facial care products tend to be expensive and lately nothing I use
on my skin seems to have good results, so why spend 15 more bucks to fuck up my
skin even more with another natural product?
If my eyes still look/feel like this this weekend, then I won't
want to leave my house or do anything with anyone else. I'm upset because I
feel like in the last few months, I've been trying to do a slightly better job
than usual with my diet and my exercise, yet it's one annoying random side
effect after another lately. Am I being punished for my past mistakes or is
this a part of perimenopause or what? For several months, I had bloated stomach
discomfort - then shortly after that finally got better, I had some random
vaginal or urinary tract discomfort going on for a week - and today I wake up
with swollen eyes and I feel like a bad person.
Also, today I received a poetry rejection less than one day
after sending the submission and I'd blame that on my perimenopausal eyelids,
except that three of the poems were collaborations, so...
Anyway, time for my apparently pointless exercise routine, then
a shower, then making one of my apparently pointless smoothies, then trying to
get some stuff done that doesn't involve looking at my own eye area, which is
reminding me of nuts stuffed inside a squirrel mouth.
"...manic repetition and obsessive production is met with depressive withdrawal and melancholic annihilation. This psychological and creative spiral - propelled by what Freud termed the death drive - persisted with growing intensity throughout their careers. Bourgeois confronted and repeated the traumatic implications of her childhood more intently over time; she was in her eighties when she began creating her powerful and iconic Cells, various enclosures filled with symbolic objects, sculptures and highly charged personal items"
(from the MELANCHOLIA / MANIA part of an article called "The Creative Spiral of Bourgeois and Kusama", associated with an art show called Traumata: Bourgeois/Kusama")
Sometimes I wish certain people would notice and appreciate my ongoing creative productivity more than feeling drawn to frequently point out the things I don't do enough of a good job at.
Maybe I don't vacuum my floors enough and I don't have an incredibly well organized house.
But my space is my own space and my brain space takes precedence for me.
I have unique art on my mantel. I have tons of poems I've written over the years, poems I've had published, poems I've published by others, handwritten chapbooks I've created, oodles of books I've read and still have to read, all kinds of other art and artsy memories and specific personal expression (creative and otherwise) I've worked hard on.
In my mind, spending ongoing personal time and effort and energy on expression (creative and otherwise), poetry, and art feels more meaningful and important than keeping one's space physically organized, regularly tidied up, and frequently vacuumed.
Your priorities are yours; mine are mine. If you want a primary focus in your life to be frequent house cleaning and organization, then fine. But that will never be one of mine and I'm going to try to stop letting myself care enough to get so upset about accidental insults about my different priorities in life. We have divergent priorities and that's just the way it is.
With that said, I would like to make an effort soon to spend some time organizing all my books and chapbooks and other poetry/art stuff and that will take a long and involved time/effort that will be more exciting and interesting than sweeping and vacuuming my mind to meld into someone else's priorities.
Today I mailed hand-designed copies of the four most recent Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbooks to the Poets House Showcase (the 26th annual Showcase opens on Thursday, June 28, 2018 and the exhibit will be on view through August 18:) - and I also mailed review copies of the recent chapbooks to Galatea Resurrects (from which anyone who would like to receive a review copy of a specific Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook can request it from Galatea and then write a review for Galatea).
Tonight, I'll be hand designing a few more Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbooks, in order to prepare the latest order for mailing and have a few more in stock.
Tonight might be a good time to acquire yourself a copy of a Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook!