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Tender Situation

this is indeed a tender situation

Thanks for coming to my blog! My name's Jay Thompson, I'm a poet who lives in Seattle WA.

I co-edit an incredible literary magazine called Thermos.

I keep a blog on aesthetics, philosophy, and politics here; the blog you are at right now is different is personal spasms, temporary sunlit modes, and good chat because LJ is the best.

I used to write a weekly column on literature at the Kenyon Review, too, and I have poems in Super Arrow, Microfilme, the Country Dog Review and The Stranger's Seattle Poetry Chain. I also have writing coming out in Kenyon Review Online, EOAGH, Rain Taxi online, Jellyfish, Poetry International, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review and Pleiades. I have D&D fiction in Pathfinder (a Dungeons & Dragons fiction and game manual magazine) too. I tutor adults at King County Jail.

I'm part of an arts collective called Princess Seismograph, with whom I printed a zine of my poems, Marry Me. I'll sell you Marry Me (16 pages, 7 poems, really nice art) for $4 including postage if you want (comment below or email me! I'm jaybthompson at gmail), or for trade for your zine or chapbook. Lay it on me, sport!

he makes this face whenever

he eats something sour, squeezes something soft, or drinks from a cup. Captured by my dad's quick camera. Enjoy his photos of our dude, updated weekly, here.

Feb. 10th, 2011

I was out running errands with a low fever. I felt how hot the skin of my face was when the cold breeze blew across it, how remote my thoughts were—peck-pecking at their own tired mystery—when chickadees chirped, congregants around a small brick of suet hung in the yard of one of the fine old houses in my neighborhood.

Noon moon out, thumbprint half-inked. Told a stranger with braces I was going to New York. Closed my eyes for ten steps. On the bus home I looked a quarter of the way around the head of the man ahead of me, to see if it was him I heard saying, “When you talk about it that way I get really angry.” He and the man ahead of him both had hands-free phone mics dangling out of their ears.

Someone lately told me pasta makes poor leftovers—fresh like five-minutes-fresh from the water of its own boiled starches is the best—and the advice trained my mouth, which finds now that I’m home it doesn’t like this pasta from yesterday, with mushrooms and chard, the tomato skins from the sauce molted off it in threads. On the other hand, someone told me lately that suet, the romantic cakes of stuff to which the chickadees were applying their winter appetites, is made of fat from mutton loin.

Jan. 21st, 2011

My friend came to the same restaurant I did but in the wrong neighborhood-- or we were both in the wrong, neighborhood--, so I had noodle soup alone, between the two mirrored walls in back of the shop. Me and my dirty dividing replicas, not "I" but "he" on the phone with her, choosing a different date. I ate the jalapeno, seeds and all, that floated in the soup...

I had just gotten a book of Lydia Davis's stories from the library on the way to the restaurant planning what I'd talk about with my friend, so I was thinking like Lydia Davis and watching dogs, after, as I walked back to my job. Dogs: one lady lifted her dreadlocked terrier to sniff the toddler the dog was straining at, with one hand under the dog's jaw so it wouldn't nip. One man embraced his friend one-armed and kissed his cheek while his dog did a three-quarters loop around the man's friend (the leash hand was the one in the embrace, feeding out leash as it lifted-- you know the kind) to sniff the friend's tote bag. There was turkey sausage sticking out of the tote bag, and in the sidewalk puddle at the men's feet time was being divided up by tiny flecks of rain.

Jan. 12th, 2011

Played in the powdery just-under-freezing snow last night. The humongous field floodlights turned the sky over Cal Anderson Park white, the air full of these shifting, unarrestable sheets of snowlight, flake motion, all random and slow, people running their St. Bernards and Lab puppies and pugs, a utopian mess, this bunch of boys rolling a snowball as huge as it could go (six feet around until it collapsed under its own weight-- everyone went awwww who saw) without even any gloves on their hands. The fountain pond was frozen. And I also saw that the snow falling under the streetlights cast shadows straight down onto the snow already fallen; the shadows got sharper and sharper until they were snuffed out when the snowflake touched the drifts and just joined the mass.

carla bozulich

She makes me feel a little like how Prince makes C feel

She gives good interview, I find myself wanting to be her when I grow up

Her band is called Evangelista

at work

My lady's parents got us hot water bottles for Christmas (mine was embroidered with Kay Ryan, hers with Rosalind Franklin), so there's this happy slug-creep of warmth for our poor feet in bed every night; our bedroom's across the apartment from our unit's one gas heater so most night C falls asleep with a knit hat on her head. This has been the head-y-est year change I've ever had. We're planning two weddings, figuring out how to schedule lives and callings, asking ourselves what an ideal week looks like. I have a new blog, notes toward the huge creeping intellectual blob I've always wondered how to write, something about aesthetics and nothingness and anti-authoritarian good cheer, which lives here: named after the place the Underpeople live in Cordwainer Smith's "Instrumentality" stories.

Hello LJ! If you found out this morning you lived in a mesh of bad power relations and people who will never feel like subjects in their own lives, what could you do about it this afternoon? How to live? Who is your raggedy mysterious art for? Have been reading Foucault and George Oppen and Fanny Howe. In the morning, the street gangs tear down the prison and free the prisoners. In the afternoon, the same street gangs start a temporary detention facility for counter-revolutionary elements. What breaks cycles? Do we need redeeming, and from who? Snowed here this morning, thin wide icy flakes that immolated on the ground; my friend Arya calls it "fool's snow." See you again soon LJ!

Hi livejournal!

I forgot until I ate a few that I've turned out a little allergic to the pods of snap or snowpeas. My throat gets pleathery and constricted and rough (I do that click-in-back-of-the-palate thing to scratch it) and my eyes water when I eat them, as happened in the meeting I just had.

Last year I broke my pinky toe and my doctor-- I wonder if podiatrists have a reputation, like dentists; this guy had gelled-down curls and a Boston braying laugh-- told me my big toe is almost arthritic. "But I wouldn't worry, you seem like one of those guys really likes prevention." Pre-arthritic! As is, another doctor told me, my right index finger, which I spent adolescence popping for that same constricted warm feeling my throat gets, except in my hand it was a pleasure.

On July 30, 2008 (I recorded the date), I got my first smile lines, which showed up as I relaxed my face from its flossing scrinch. This was around the time I became a little allergic, too, to walnuts and almonds.

Interesting that immunity-through-exposure-- a basic emotional metaphor, I feel like, for endurance in life-- is often backwards. Weakness through repeated trials is evident more places in my life, and in my feeling life. LIke upon repeated offerings from the universe, repeated signs (the sensual thrill of peeling off a sunburn, a stew chicken slipping out of its bones in the pot, rotting leaves, slipping into sleep, the relaxation after the tub's first scald, the limb-daze I feel when I stare into the dregs of an emptied bottle of wine), the body allows itself to be seduced, to give in to the temptation to decay. You know that feeling, when someone whispers in your ear, It's all right.