Sweet Love Magick Hangover.

Last weekend, I had the honor of participating in the NYC Love Magick Anthology reading at the amazing Bowery Poetry Club, and I’m still reeling from the lovebuzzrush. But first:

Saturday: I had a nice little walk around Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill with fellow Love Magick contributor LM. We did some rapid fire editing and giggly confessions of jangling nerves over chocolate loveliness and a single rose at The Chocolate Room. (Try the Francesca and Lola truffles. Seriously, heaven.)

More importantly, we picked up swag (on sale!) at By Brooklyn, a brilliantly curated little general store on Smith Street:

The tee is for my lover man. The Tumbador chocolates are supposed to be also, but…we’ll see.

Seriously.

Seven Deadly Sins chocolates, fuck yeah! Gluttony (center gold-flecked) never looked so good. 

Then Lover Man and I wandered the rain-soaked streets of Downtown Brooklyn until, famished but still in good spirits, we landed at a little pizzeria in Ft. Greene. We were hoping for a romantic date night, and let me tell you, there is nothing more romantic than the first euphoric bite of a Sicilian slice. That little snap of crust, the pillowy, chewy center, the rich, salty cheese strings stretching from my mouth to the plate. Oh. My. God.

Sexy time.

Sunday was the big day, which I started out by getting a bitchin’ mani-pedi using Essie’s A-List. Fakin’ it ’til I make it, lovelies.

And then: The John Barrett Salon Braid Bar. Oh yes. It is everything you would expect and more.  Alex, the man with hands of gold, diplomatically advised I treat my (stressed out scalp and fried) strands with oil but assured me that I “have great hair!” Alex shampooed my stress away; for the first time all weekend I truly relaxed. I had no idea how tense and nervous I was until I realized I had been sitting in the shampoo chair with my feet arched up, tiptoes bracing for–what, exactly? Breathe. Breathe. The shampoo smelled opulent and beautiful; I imagine this is what heaven would smell like. I thumbed through a recent issue of Tatler and had my hair braided by the brilliant Bonnie. The resulting braid was exactly what I had envisioned: a little tough, a little edgy, a hint of softness, perfectly me. A brief makeup refresher, and I was off!

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So pretty!

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Love the side view!

But what about the reading? The Bowery was wonderful, the crowd and community of readers were wildly supportive, and we all had a blast! Liz Axelrod wrote an amazing review for Electric Literature’s blog, The Outlet: http://electricliterature.com/blog/2012/02/23/magickal-readism-at-the-bowery-poetry-club/

I celebrated with dive bar margaritas, hugs in the middle of St. Mark’s Place and a late night falafel sandwich from Mamoun’s. It was perfect.

Before returning home the next day, I stopped at Smith Canteen for a chicory latte and got one last smile from the barista’s description of my order, written in such perfect script on my cup:

Chic Jessa

Indeed.

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I made soup. It was awesome.

Making soup is one of those brilliant meditative experiences that silences the noise in my head, the echoes of haters heard ’round the world. Chopping, dropping, stirring, seasoning, simmering, slurping. SO GOOD.

STEP ONE: Pick a veggie, any veggie.

I chose a bunch of kale, a pound of mushrooms and a big bunch of celery. So earthy and amazing, each smell bringing me back to myself. Nutrients abound!

Pretty!

STEP TWO: Put the veggies in a pot, stir it up, nice and hot….
A little olive oil, some salt and pepper, and let ’em sizzle for a bit.

STEP THREE: Add carbs, and, you know, soup.
Organic vegetable broth in a box, perfect for lazy soup making. I put in 6 cups, along with a bag of tortellini. INSOUCIANT LIKE A BOSS. Let simmer for a good long while, til things are soft but not mushy. That’s just gross.

STEP FOUR: Pour in a bowl, top with fresh grated romano. Fancy!
Also, make a sandwich, will ya? An English muffin, a slice of cheese. Show a little ambition, dammit! (Also, I am aware this has a whole lot of cheese in it. It was one of those days, man.)

STEP FIVE: OM NOM NOM!

Sip, slurp, breathe, relax, nourish. YUM.

[sic]

Why Somewhat Damaged?

Try to forget. Pray for normalcy. Ache from the pain. Ask for an end to the chaos.

An end to the tragedies and agonies.

A longing to belong in the elusive circle of people who didn’t have to deal with the weirdness.

This, my friends, was me.

And then, I said, FUCK IT.

I am scarred. So what?

I think strange thoughts. Oh well.

I’m fat. Eat it.

A past full of pain can create a present filled with beauty. The little things:

A well-loved candle guides me out of the darkness.

Heyland and Whittle

Beautiful soaps from Saipua that smell like fresh-cut lavender, vetiver and clay resurrect me.

Saipua Soap

A handcrafted pair of Osborn Scottish wool booties were made for tap dancing in the streets at night.

A trip to Lush and a hand treatment with Ro’s Argan Oil Body Conditioner literally makes me sing, my parched skin grateful for a little attention. Bath bombs with names like Phoenix Rising are love bombs that perfume my room, my skin.

Phoenix Rising Bath Bomb

A pair of ballet slippers, shredded with two years of hard work and bravery, a victory.

The smell of freshly ground coffee beans, a tin of loose leaf tea, the perfect croissant, a bowl of homemade soup, all worth savoring. Inhale. Exhale.

A fresh notebook and a brand new pen. A half-filled notebook and a sense of accomplishment. Stories slowly being born.

A well-loved journal

Books bursting with poetry, and the magazine editorials that emulate their magic, life saving.

Violet and Clair meet Zink Magazine

A day with my niece and nephews, a night racing through New York with my best friend seeking ADVENTURE!, a walk with my sisters, un bendicion from my mother, that first hug of the night from the love of my life when I get home from work too exhausted to stand. These are the moments I live for. Whirlingtwirlinggigglymadnesslovelovelove.

The title is an homage to Nine Inch Nails, whose music is the epitome of catharsis and healing.

See, that’s the thing: being angry is okay. Don’t repress it. Channel it. Let it fly and flail through the air, mosh and maul the bad spirits around you, trap their souls in your pages until you find some semblance of peace.

Embrace your past, all the ugly things. Dress the wounds in glitter. Spin the straw to gold.

Create.

And share.

[sic]