Monday, December 28, 2009

"Because of the Forts We Built and the Things We Did Inside Them"

A basic reminder to myself:

I read to have my mind changed. To have my mind and ideas impacted by the words of everything from stories written in Chile a hundred years ago, to notes scribbled in margins of letters written by strangers that surface, mysteriously, in the attics of old houses.

I write for escape, survival, and love. Within this understanding, I write because language and images can and do change the world: These are not the words of a seeping poet; this is the truth that any propaganda machine will tell you. My pen and fingers ache to pour out flowers so as to strangle these machines- to create worlds and realities that are pungent with collectivity, collaboration, mischief, love, and the struggles that exist by definition and design of these things.


"Our position is that of combatants between two worlds: One that we don't acknowledge; the other that does not yet exist." -- Raoul Vaneigem

Be well; Be loved,


(photo: Taken from the 2nd floor of Cindergarden almost 1 year ago)

Title: Line from the poem "Why" by Bob Flanagan (thank you for existing and for writing your existence).

thank you

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cipher in the Snow, or, Being Picky During Brainwashing May Just Lead to Hilarity

My mother called this evening to tell me that the recently-fired priest of her old church has gotten a permit and a gun and is quasi-threatening to kill people. While this phone call comes as no surprise to me on a number of levels, I do think it offers an accurate frame for the unfolding of next few days this holiday season.

(Pause. Insert image of me toasting a chipped wine glass full of apple cider to the ceiling, here.)

Here is to those without shame of what ignites them in life and love.

May the next few days offer you the exact lengths you need in order to feel.

Good luck and good love,

Happy Holidays.


Current Sideshow:

If you've never seen Cipher in the Snow, it is one of the weirdest films I was ever forced to watch while in the 'at risk youth' program in my school district. As part of an anti-bullying curriculum, I was made to watch this Mormon film. While it is only 24 minutes long, those who have seen it never forget it due to its high content of bizarre-o-ness and 'lesson-by-trauma'. I tend to think about this film in the wintertime for obvious reasons.

(Plot= A kid gets off a bus and drops dead in the snow because people didn't love him.)

Here's a clip:

prepare to be creeped

Monday, December 14, 2009

Warm Your Toes By the Fire While Your Hands Are Doused In Gasoline

In search of the delicate.

Today I took a photograph of a necklace for my friend that he had sent to me. It slipped down my shirt while taking it and so, in the photograph, you can only see its chain. It is a a simple, silver chain and at its end, a silver oval baring an image of Saint Sebastian. On the back it reads, Pray for us. The flat of this side of the oval taps morse code messages into my chest that make me feel protected, somehow.

Pray for us.

The superstition of Catholicism has always haunted me.


As with many people brought up with the fingers of violence and violation, I am convinced, at times, that there is something sewn inside of me that beckons brutality. That- no matter how much I wrap myself in the disguise of the delicate- it will sniff me out, sink its blades past ribbons and pearled beads to rip out the red depths of me in its frantic following of this vicious siren song hidden within me.

The other night, I was joking with a friend about how I am a magnet for a particular strand of unpredictable events and people. Sometimes it's funny. A lot of times, it's not. It is a particular type of attention. Unwanted attention. A man staring at me without blinking while his hands curl themselves into fists. Clench, unclench. All the while, his eyes threaded to mine: pulled closer if I look away; taken as an invitation if I do not.

Today, a 50-some year old man came into the library looking at me in this way as he walked towards me. I, too, was walking towards him en route to my office. As I got closer to him in my modest skirt, opaque tights, and heels, he stepped into my line of walking, took the books he had under his arm and punched them into my stomach while attempting to walk through me. It sent me backwards, folding up in half like a faulty rental chair, leaving me with no air in my lungs. I caught myself on the wall next to me with one hand, and clutched at my stomach with the other. When I turned my head to look at him, he was steam iron stalking away without pause. A few minutes later, he would walk by me and command me with "YOUNG LADY" to talk to him and when I tell him "I don't want to talk to you" and try to get past him, he would spit out, "You DISGUST me You DISGUST me" as I break past him to get to a coworker.

It has found me again. Or perhaps it is something else. Something else. It has to be something else.

Pray for us.


Listening to:

Oscillate Wildly by The Smiths on repeat.

Also, reminding myself of how and why I walk:

This is an acoustic version of a song by a heart who has inspired me for a number of years in a number of strange-weathered cities.


Thank you, John. Somewhere, sometime, I will see you again.

(top photo credit Dark Daze Photography)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Street Spirit (Fade Out)

A few weeks back, a favorite person of mine rolled through town. Every time he does, it serves to remind me of the patchwork that makes up 'home'.

The smell of gasoline. The hollow-strong bounce of a basketball. Grease under fingernails that will alway be there. The grit texture of Lava soap, and the waterless soap that now comes in orange-smell. The crunching of tires on gravel. Matches. The smell of Marlboro Reds mixed with beer mixed with the warmth of skin that presses up against the shirt collar. The slight weight of frozen breath leaving parted lips. Burning leaves. The bang of a screen door. The rattle of a chainlink fence at night.

It's not just sights, sounds and smells. It's the way people *are*. The way they talk and carry themselves. The way they support you, and the way that they don't. The people I love support me in all sorts of ways~ but there are particular ways that reminds me of home. When being sexually harassed and fucked with at work, it is the difference between someone offering to go with you to talk to your supervisor, and someone offering to "take care of the fuck who is doing it". Both are arguably valid forms of support. One makes me feel safer.

I remember the exact place that I stood on the end of my driveway when Dave told me he would kill my father.
He wasn't angry while saying it.
It was a discussion.
I decided against it but from that point on,
I felt safe in a way I never had.

I've never been able to articulate this particular piece of home. I've been rolling it around on my tongue for the past lifetime, but have yet to come up with its language. If were a split second of late-80s-cusp-of-the-90s imagry, it would be split second 4:09/4:10 (almost 4:11) of this video. [This video was- as most things in life-influenced or replicating the Fritz Lang film, Metropolis.] It is the hands, the grease, the pull. More than anything, it is the exact moment that grease smears satin.




I've been reading Fromm lately. Love being a form of art. Jeff telling me that I *am* art. That letter he wrote to me, got to me. Man, who did he become? The same dude who was always so comfortable. With sex *and* with farting. He's the kind of guy that isn't afraid of blood- both as a nurse and as someone who fucks women on their periods. He holds his daughter with the ease of a pro holding his football. That old Escort wagon. Dark blue. Tapping at the window, 3 am. I have a memory of standing out in front of my parent's house on the driveway. It is broad daylight and I have on a skirt, knee highs, and a thin, kelly green v-neck cartigan sweater. Jeff is slant-lounging on the sidewalk, and I am standing above him. He is looking up at me while he's talking. His hand is on my leg while looking up at me; his fingers on my pussy through my panties while looking up at me.

I liked looking down at him.

Perhaps that's when it started. Perhaps that is when I learned that I like looking down at people during sex. Mike, Eric, Erik. We all tangled at some point, but none of them held a candle to Jeff. It's not because I was in love with him. I never was. I was in love with the safety. I was in love with the comfort. I was in love with cumming as hard as I wanted to because I could with him. For all of the above listed reasons. I always felt safe with him. Maybe it was because of Eric and him being former best friends. Maybe it was because of his wide smile. Or the way his eyes (fittingly midnight blue) would narrow when he wanted me. Maybe it was the "Who would have ever imagined such"? he scrawled on my bedroom wall with a felt tipped marker. Maybe it was the roughness of manual labor fingers. Maybe it was the mole on his cheek I found sexy, or the way he wanted to kill Jon for breaking up with Renee because she ended up killing herself over it.

More than likely, it had at least something to do with the fact that he was a man's man who wanted to be a nurse for the elderly and never had to defend it because no one would dare challenge him on it. And so he became a nurse: his trajectory so clearly marked. So obvious.

I wonder if it feels that way to him.



The last time I saw him was the year he, Rob, and Duncan came to my parent's house for the first and only time. We walked through the house like a crime scene: Careful, but with heavy-footed detachment. When we made our way back to the living room, we found Rob huddled against the wall, and he asked to wait outside.

We were 18 then.

Years have grown ivy of the same roots that connect us. He is glass ground in honey; he is black eye removing hat when I walk in. He is home. You know the kind. The kind that loves his friends and his kids with every piece of his heart and, at the same time, has 'ASSHOLE' tattooed on the inside of his bottom lip.

That night, we were years later, sitting inside a borrowed pick up truck. The night was cold; his bus would leave in 20 minutes. He offers a way to contact him, and we make the pact of sailors.

He reaches into his pocket for a pen, and as he pulls it out, a pair of brass knuckles falls out onto
split leather
of the bench seat between us. There is a
split second delay as the air rearranges itself between us.

"Can I see those?" My voice is the lick of a reed and before he even answers, I am turning their weight over in my hand. Sliding stirring straw fingers through solid brass. He watches with eyes ready to catch me. I am not looking at him, but feel myself transform into his son riding by without training wheels for the first time. The brass is wrapped in a thousand different rubber bands- a muted rainbow criss-crossed and stretched.

I run my finger across them.
cold dull cold dull
I clench my fist and imagine.

"What are the rubber bands for?" My eyes leave brass to meet his. Blue gold safety nets worry back at me and, again, I am reminded that the angels watching over me have always played dirty and with knives. "They make it hurt less when you use them", he says

and I am barely aware that he is slipping them off my fingers.


It has been a month of writing, reading, poetry, and gossamers of symbolism the size of an auditorium. It is because of this that I am in the mood for the primal. The crass. The uncoated emotion. I am craving the abandon of throwing concepts of 'truth' out the window in order to appreciate the rawness of what someone is feeling in a particular moment. The abandon I am craving is not that of anyone, however. I'm craving it from people who are usually so careful and eloquent in their speech and/or art. Poetic, even. Chomsky, belching out "The United States is a fucking joke" mid-lecture. Yo-Yo Ma breaking a string and saying "Arghh...that fucking RUINS it." Edward Said (retroactively) saying "No, ASSHOLE, I would prefer to NOT DIE and continue working/writing" to the interviewer who asked him in his last interview before dying if he felt a sense of peace because he had accomplished so much in his lifetime. Saying what is true without impulse control. No filters.

With that, I will leave you with a line I've been appreciating in this way. Blake Schwarzenbach is one of my favorite lyrcists when it comes to imagery and word choice, which is what makes these lyrics fit so perfectly into what I'm craving. It also makes it just fucking awesome/hilarious. Imagery of broken hearts and thought-out ideas are tossed. What remains both feeds this craving and also serves to illustrate my never-ending preference for beauty mixed with a broken bottle.

Be well; be loved~



They're playing love songs on your radio tonight

I don't get those songs on mine





full lyrics

(photo by me)