Author Archives: evahou03

P – Week 6 Poem – Homecoming?

The locals all think we’re wild gypsies

–and maybe some of us are–

“watch your wallets and hide your daughters.”

They know the men by their muddy work boots

and eternal sunburns, by eyes lined

too deeply and too young

from squinting into the sun twelve hours a day.

They know the women by the big pickup trucks

we drive, too large for our frames, but just right for

pulling a small house down the interstate every few weeks.

We leave the powerful diesel engines running

when we stop at the bank or for a carton of cigarettes

or gallon of milk.


Even though this is all pretend,

even though I am wearing a costume and

playing a part,

even though I’m not really here,

I want this. This life.

The freedom of space, of a movable place

to call home.

I want this life I walked away from

so long ago.

They say you can never go back and

I never thought I wanted to, but

is it going back if it’s on my own terms,

this time?


I’ve always enjoyed being an outsider and

am rarely at home in the spaces I inhabit,

but I am at home here, without a home,

in this mobile life of everywhere and nowhere,

where the view from your front door

changes overnight and your little piece

of the sky follows you down the highway

with every change of address.

The open road has been calling me

my whole life, but I wouldn’t answer,

afraid of what would happen if I listened

and let go, but now I have my map and my compass,

I can read the signs in the sky and in my heart.

If every road leads me back to where I want to be,

why don’t I just get in the car?

P – Week 7 Reverie

“Lombroso’s catalogue of physical deformities and anomalies of behavior…laziness, frivolity, use of argot, tendency to adorn body and surroundings with hieroglyphics, moral insensibility, and emotional instability.” (Rose/Abi-Rached, 170)

Tattoos spelling out a destiny they don’t remember, a life they never knew and cannot have…the slang of another time and place firmly planted in the lexicon without knowing the source, bread for money, raspberry tarts and glass bottles, cats marking their territory with paint rather than scent—can you find your own way home or do you need a map that no one can read anymore? Laziness and frivolity in spades, I would share with you but I need it all for myself. Emotions are running hot and bothered and my morality is severely lacking in fortitude and grace.  The stakes are high but my expectations are low.

Word count:  108

P – Week 5 log and update

So, I have not been keeping up with my updates lately like a good girl, so here goes:

I have driven back and forth across the midwest several times in the past month, both as a passenger and a driver, helping my friend to ferry his many vehicles and plethora of work equipment to his new house in Kentucky, where we were staying in between jaunts, although for the first few weeks we were actually living in his travel trailer parked next to the house, as the house had been empty for a year and was not habitable.  I have been to Houston, Texarkana, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Davenport, Iowa, as well as all of the rural spaces in between.  I have slept in a trailer parked in various locations (next to a house, in rv parks, at truck stops and rest stops and once in a Walmart parking lot for a few hours), houses, cheap motels and nicer hotels.  I helped my friend make his house livable, turning an uninhabited space into a place–a home.  I drove a gigantic pickup truck, pulling a gigantic travel trailer from Texarkana to a tiny town in western Kentucky, and then from the tiny town in Kentucky to a tiny town in Michigan, which is where I am now and should be for the next couple weeks, until I get back to Olympia in time for the week 10 presentations.

While riding around the country as a passenger, waiting in the truck in various pipeyards and mechanic shops, at truck stops, late at night in hotels and motels, and in my “office” on J’s front porch in Kentucky, I have done a lot of reading on space and place, including The Eyes of the Skin (really great book, I’ve read it through three times), the Poetics of Space, Place and Experience (available through Evergreen’s e-brary), the Body and the City, and lots and lots of poetry.  I have found that, strangely, I get more work done when I am in places not generally conducive to schoolwork.  I even had a minor breakthrough on what to do for my research paper at a truckstop somewhere in Ohio, where we had stopped for a few hours so J could make some repairs to his work truck, and several truckers came by my table in the cafe/lounge to see what I was doing behind my stack of books and papers, feverishly typing on my laptop.  (I had been planning on doing another Holdrege-style paper, but now I am working on something more in the vein of The Midnight, which fits in much more with Anais Nin’s style in House of Incest, which is something I have been playing with lately.)

Oh, and I think my accent has gotten thicker, but hopefully it will fade pretty quickly when I get back to Oly–my accent has always been very fluid, changing depending on who I’m talking to and where I am.


Log of hours:

4-29-13: 2 Poetics of Space, 2 Body & City, 1/2 morning pages, 1/2 yoga at hotel

4-30-13:  1 truck stop free writing

5-1-13:  1 reading seminar passes, 2 wordpress, 2 moodle readings, 2 HOI reading and writing

5-2-13:  1/2 morning pages, 1/2 tai ji, 5 wordpress, 1 poetry observed, 2 “Writing Poetry” wb

5-3-13:  1/2 morning pages, 1/2 Bodystories, 4 wordpress, 1 self-eval, 2 Poetics of Space

5-4-13:  1/2 morning pages, 1 photos for gallery, 2 trailer park poetry, 1.5 nature hike/meditation

5-5-13:  3 Perloff, 3 Neuro, 1 sem pass, 1 NKN (not knowing notebook)

Total:  43 hours

P – Week 5 Poem – “Fruit Stripe Barn”

Fruit Stripe Barn


O fruit stripe barn,

in the wilds of western Illinois,

down an old highway

traveled only by those seeking to avoid others,

you rise from the oppressive flatness,

a beacon of whimsy

in the monochrome landscape.

What farmer planted you there and

what attack of fancy led to the pastel

stripes of your suit; every color of sherbet represented,

faded and peeling but still

colorful after all these years?

You are long disused, a crumbling monument to

different times, and I

can’t help but feel that you

remained standing just so that I

could see you this morning

and smile at your audacity.

P – Week 6 Reverie

“What is in our nature is the fact that we humans are born incomplete, requiring interaction with others, and enmeshing in language, meaning, and culture, to be completed…we are not born, but become social.”  (Rose/Abi-Rached, 142)

Monkeys with wire cages for mothers, Romanian babies, feral children, Victorian orphanages, Jodi Foster, Genie, the Jungle Books, the founding of ancient Rome, Ramachandra.  It is a problem if your mother didn’t hug you enough; likewise, it is a problem if she hugged you too much.  Why are tales of orphans so popular? Lack of parental guidance, some children would be better off. The Boxcar Children were polite and properly socialized, but they got to keep their glass bottled milk in a brook, too bad Violet was sickly and ruined it for everyone. Lord of the Flies. How quickly we revert back to our natural(?) states when there isn’t proper dinnerware available.

P – Week 4 Log

4-22-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Tai Ji, 2 House of Incest (reading & writing), 2 freewriting, 2 reading Body & City, 1 seminar pass

4-23-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Tai Ji, 2 Everything Being Is…, 3 writing, 2 House of Incest

4-24-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 meditation, 2 Poetics of Space, 1 Place & Experience, 2 poetry workbook

4-25-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Tai Ji, 4 Neuro, 2 Body & City, 2 Perceptual Experience

4-26-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 yoga, 4 Howe, 4 writing, 1/2 Poetry Observed


4-28-13:  1/2 MP, 2 seminar pass, 2 WordPress

Total:  46 hours

P – Week 3 Log

4-15-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Bodystories, 3 Body & City, 3 Space and Place,

4-16-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 yoga, 1 Space & Place, 1 active observation & notetaking, 2 reading Moodle handouts

4-17-13:  2 1/2 computer time (Moodle, blog, research), 1 voice notes, 3 writing poetry, 2 poetry workbook, 1/2 MP

4-18-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 somatics, 2 Neuro, 2 Not Knowing, 2 seminar pass, 1 writing

4-19-13:  2.5 computer stuff, 1/2 MP, 3 writing, 2 photography

4-20-13:  1/2 MP, 2 House of Incest

4-21-13:  1/2 MP, 2 freewriting (experimenting with “fever dream” style in HOI), 3 Space & Place

Total:  44 Hours

P – Week 2 Log

Monday, 4-8-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Bodystories, 2 reading Space and Place, 2 freewriting, 2 internet research

Tuesday, 4-9-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Tai Ji, 4 hours fighting with WordPress, posting to Moodle, resizing photo for e-alphabet icon, trying to figure out how to upload MP3 to WordPress, 3 Perloff, 2 writing

Wednesday, 4-10-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 making chart to keep track of hours, 1 notes from Perloff, 4 My ED, 2 writing by bonfire, 1 “Writing Poetry”

Thursday, 4-11-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 porch Tai Ji, 2 Neuro, 2 “Writing Poetry”, 5 My ED close reading and notetaking

Friday, 4-12-13:  4 Neuro, 2 My ED, 1/2 MP, 1 free write, 1/2 yoga

Saturday, 4-13-13:  1 My ED, 2 Neuro, 1 writing

Sunday, 4-14-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 Bodystories

Total:  49 hours (not bad for spending several days driving back and forth across the midwest and sitting in a truck in a pipeyard for several hours)

This week started off in Kentucky.  We were still hanging out at J’s house which had been empty for almost a year, fixing it up and trying to make it habitable.  While doing that we have been living half in the house, half in the trailer.  Kind of annoying and kind of fun at the same time…While getting the house ready, we’ve also been getting ready to move again in case he gets called to a job–usually very little notice–so we are also spring cleaning the trailer and making repairs to both his pickup and gigantic work truck.  As some of you know, I am a terrible procrastinator and tend to put my schoolwork off to the last minute, but J has been really good about reminding me to do some every day, he even set up a desk and chair on the patio so I can work outside when it’s nice.  On Thursday he decided to go to Illinois for the weekend, where he has family and business interests near the Iowa border.  On the drive to Illinois, I did a lot of reading and leaning out the window taking photographs, and J taunted me that I was going to drop my camera on the freeway (I didn’t).  We spent most of Friday driving back and forth between Iowa and Illinois, stopping at various pipeyards and mechanic shops while I sat in the truck doing my schoolwork, with my books spread all over the dash and my laptop on my knees.  For some strange reason I get a lot more work done in less than ideal environments than I do sitting at a desk.  We are probably driving to West Virginia on Monday to pick up even more work equipment, and then back to Kentucky for a few days to regroup.

P – Week 1 Log

Monday, 4-1-13:  1/2 hr morning pages, 2 reading Neuro, 1/2 roadside Tai Ji (I got some very strange looks from the truckers at the rest stop, and J made fun of me the rest of the day), 2 experiential geography (travel and active observation and notetaking)

Tuesday, 4-2-13:  1/2 hr morning pages, 1/2 meditation, 2 freewriting, 6 reading Eyes of the Skin and copious notetaking

Wednesday, 4-3-13:  2 hrs reading Space and Place

Thursday, 4-4-13:  1/2 MP (morning pages), 1/2 Bodystories, 2 notes, 3 re-reading Eyes of the Skine, 1 writing, 2 exploring town, photography, & notetaking

Friday, 4-5-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 meditation, 1/2 recording frogs and birds, 4 blogging & online research, 2 writing

Saturday, 4-6-13:  1/2 MP, 1/2 med, 2 reading Writing Poems, 1 1/2 writing poems

Sunday, 4-7-13:  4 reading Neuro & My ED, 1 sem pass, 1/2 MP, 1/2 Tai Ji

Total:  41 hours

Hey you guys!  So my plan was originally to hang out with my friend J in the RV park in East Texas where he has been living the past few months, studying and acting as a platonic housewife in exchange for room and board.  He moves around a lot with his job, usually living in rural areas or small towns, and lives in a travel trailer.  But last week his plans changed unexpectedly and he told me that we were going to be doing some traveling instead.  Because my field study is on space and place and their effects on our consciousness, and because I secretly harbor the heart of a gypsy, this sounded even better than my original plan.

J picked me up on Friday at my mom’s house in Houston where I had been visiting for a few days.  We spent the night in his trailer in an RV park in Jacksonville, TX, then got up early on Saturday to get things ready to go to Kentucky where he inherited a house and wanted to go to check on things.  While we were prepping the truck and trailer, he informed me that I would be driving his pickup, pulling the travel trailer while he drove his big service truck.   I assumed that I would be doing some of the driving but was not really prepared for this.  I grew up with my father doing the same kind of work that J does and was accustomed to the sudden packing up and moving that comes with the lifestyle, but have never driven anything larger than a conversion van, so I was pretty scared.  He rode with me driving for a while, giving me pointers on turning and braking, and how to account for pulling a small house behind the me.  When I got a little more comfortable (I still had a death grip on the steering wheel, but my hands had stopped going numb), we stopped, parked the trailer, and went back for his service truck.  It took a lot longer to get to Texarkana than it should have, but we finally got there and stopped for the night in an RV park with hands-down the nicest bathroom I’ve ever seen at a campground.  We drove for the next two days, making a lot of stops, both to give me a break and to make some repairs on the vehicles.  We finally got to Kentucky on Tuesday morning.  Since then I have been doing a lot of reading, mostly The Eyes of the Skin, Space and Place, and the Tuesday texts, exploring the tiny nearby town, and helping clean up the house and acre of land it’s on.

We are in a fairly rural area, but with so many churches I don’t see how there are enough people to attend, unless they all go to more than one church every week.  Every time I have gone into town so far, someone stops me and asks what church I belong to, assuming that I am Pentecostal because of my long hair and dresses.  Needless to say, they are a little taken aback when I turn and they notice my facial piercings (more common in small towns than they used to be, but still not de rigeur) and dark eyeliner.  It’s kind of funny.

We don’t have any definite plans right now.  There is still some work to be done on the property, and J has business to attend to in Illinois, West Virginia, and New Mexico, as well as having a line on a job in Pennsylvania.  I am trying to learn to be more patient and to be comfortable with uncertainty, so I suppose not knowing where I will sleep tomorrow is good for me.

Houston, seen through a very dirty windshield.

Houston, seen through a very dirty windshield.


Somewhere in Arkansas.

Welcome to Kentucky.

Welcome to Kentucky.


P – Week 4 – Roadspace Reverie

Taking the old gold Mustang out on the backcountry roads. It’s older than I am but with decidedly more energy. The cassette tapes rattling around on the floorboard are all country music but the radio stations from the nearest town spit and crackle as I turn the dial so I grab a random handful and pop one in. The owner of the car said not to take it over 75—something needs to be replaced on the front end—and the sign says 55, but the car wants to go faster; I can feel it willing my foot down, begging for more gas. On an open stretch of emptiness the pedal touches the floor and I watch the speedometer with morbid fascination…65…70…The front passenger wheel starts vibrating a little too hard, but I don’t let off the gas…75…The car wants to know how fast it can go…80…I tell myself that I will turn back at the next crossroads but they pass in an unconsidered blur…85…Every curve leads to another…90…I finally understand the thrill of speed…95…I turn up the volume and sing along. Yes Garth, I also have friends in low places and you know what? They have faster cars than friends elsewhere. Naomi asks the same question that has been on my mind for weeks, “Baby, why not me?” I wonder if she ever got her answer…I lose my nerve just shy of 100 and I can feel the car’s disappointment as I back off the accelerator. I pull into the boarded-up driveway of an old strip mine and sit for a moment. The cows in the field across the street look at me. I look at them. I take a picture. I put the car into gear and back out onto the old highway, heading in the direction I just came from. The engine growls at me and I comply, even as I realize that we have both developed a taste for something dangerous.