October 26, 2012

Warming Up from the Chill

The temperature in the Bay Area has dropped to a moderate 65 degrees, and Californians all think it's fall. People are walking around in scarves and wool hats, the signs outside coffee shops promise to warm them up from "the chill" with chai teas, and the fireplace in my apartment lobby now always has a fire. Meanwhile, I'm still wearing shorts because its sunny and 65 degrees and where I come from that's still summer. Being here in October--my favorite month--has made me homesick for foliage and the northeast.

To remedy this, I've been making apple-and-root-vegetable everything, despite the fact that avocados are still growing nearby; I carved a pumpkin; and Brandon and I have been spending the month watching horror movies. I hadn't seen many before now, and am catching up: Silence of the Lambs, The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, Rosemary's Baby, etc.

I feel a bit silly watching horror movies to fix my nostalgia for New England when I could just watch Gilmore Girls, but I've found myself absolutely thrilled by them. The ones (or moments) I like the best aren't necessary "horror" so much as "creepy." Their attention to mood, atmosphere, and suggestion are things I think about a lot with poetry. How, with a movie like Blair Witch Project, a second-long shot of a (spoiler) wall with tiny bloodied hand prints (that the filmmakers wisely know needs no further explanation) does more for the imagination than anything they could show us directly. It reminds me of the use of metaphor and white space, and how to evoke an emotional reaction with a single image, or even better yet, without one.

I suppose all this makes me a nerd. I suppose having a blog about poetry also makes me a nerd.