Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Unfold in a Generous Way: The Art of Undoing

Meet me at midnight.

When I was twenty, I fell in love.  The best friend of a best friend. The strangest part of the story is that, although I had always found him to be a kind and beautiful heart-ed person, I had never been attracted to him. Actually, that is putting it lightly.  I had always actively been slightly repulsed by him.  I recall finally cluing into the fact that he wanted to kiss me just as he went in for the kiss. I froze, didn't kiss back (his mouth just pushing against mine like a warm but dead fish) then clumsily made an excuse to leave the room.

If one asks me to recount how I got from repulsion to being clearly and honestly in love, I would have no idea how to draw that meandering scrawl of a path. I simply know that that is what happened.

We were/are both magic, and the combination of those two magics went on to create the lyrics of at least a dozen songs, collages, zines, journal entries, discussions on rooftops, slow dances, running in dress shoes, and no less than two meetings (one with candles; one without) in a deep forest just outside of a Michigan city.


I want to say something about magic:

It exists.

People who don't believe this are missing out on everything.

The art you make, the ideas you have, the bizarre connections that happen in collaborative weavings.  There have been, will be, and are people in our lives who glimmer when we remember or think of them. It is not make-believe. It is not delusion.

I've always felt a particular pity in my heart for people who shoot down the incredible.

The unbelievable.

Dismiss and strip down the spectacular things that happen in our lives and, ultimately, make them go away.

It is unfortunate, but never has to be that way.

There are those of us who lean into these bits of magic- curious and enamored- to see what will happen.  That's when it happens. That's when the strange back plates of the universe start to shift.

It is when we lean into these particular moments that their invisible trap doors fly open, playfully sucking us through their doorways lined with floral garland and golden light. We fall through their depths that somehow, and confusingly, leave us both falling and floating- perfect and scared- in the heights and beauty of the clouds, above.


Friendship and love and art and strength. Building always being bigger than hiding away:

The best places to find yourself will always be with the ones that carry you away.

Let them.

Happy New Year~ be well; be loved~ always.


(image by: Steven Meisel, 1991 via lilyhex Tumblr. Yes, that's Madonna in the middle.)
(title, in part, is a reference to the Bjork song, Undo)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Let It Sink In

The feeling of growing attraction is addicting.

Sometimes, short cuts are easy.

But what absolutely unravels me is the deep feeling of safety that allows for the most fucked up levels of danger.

In a good way, of course.

It comes rarely

but when it does

it comes so fucking hard.

So let it sink in

open you

so wide

you will inhale

what you believe to be

your last breath

and be completely grateful

and wanting

to leave in such a way.

You will

not just spill

you will


in shards

With the insides of your head

turned inside out

and splattered across the stars

in a


Silence before

the fall

Total honesty




(photo: Jim Connell via ArtPropelled Tumblr)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Northern Lights

It's cold.

Christmas morning with no snow where it is incredibly rare for snow to even show its face.

Sometimes, there is a disconnect.

Between what I feel, what I want, and what I do.

I've always known this to be true.  Or, rather, it has been true ever since it has needed to be.

I'm not sure what to tell you.

Sometimes, I am like Legos and can disassemble myself for self-amusement or for curiosity and, within minutes, erect a fortified wall around me and be off to my own planet to watch you from afar.

It happens.

I've seen it.

Sitting here upon my perch.


(image: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bay of Sagami, Atami, 1997 per Elegialane Tumblr)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just Look Like We are a Married Couple Spanning Time

The crunch of the last dead leaves underneath my boot.

When I come home, I will strip myself of everything I think that I need and submerge myself into hot, almost boiling, water.

Such a strange tightrope, this balance: Keeping connection with love and with fire and with tenderness and with wholeness, all the while the leathers I have made over the years- of metal, of scar tissue, of ice- still hanging steadily upon my coat rack in case I may need them.

I may need them.

I may not use them, but I need to know that they are there.

Like checking your pants pocket for your wallet, or your hands for your keys.

I suppose it is more akin to checking the room for the exits, your keys for the metal file that dangles from its chain.

I've grown tired of those who do not recognize we who sleep with the hands of ghosts upon our shoulders.

The ghosts who shake us periodically but always from a peaceful dream

only to remind us

that we do not live in such a world.

be well; be loved,


(title: Quote from Billy Brown aka finally a character I can relate to in Buffalo '66)
(image: Martin Rak)

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Desires

If there was a way to tell you what has unfolded, I would.

All I can tell you is that there is desire, and there is desire.

There is a lazy interest, and there is involuntary heart-racing.

There is a slight eyebrow raise, and there is the lips that part in want of tasting you.

I know the difference between these two desires.

Tell me:

Do you?


(image: 2013, Álvaro Vásquez Barrios.This is a Job For...  via Red-lipstick Tumblr)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Carnival Storytellers

I am not one for regret.

When I think of my life: Its loves, its friendships, its decisions, its paths- I've never been able to think of anything I have "regretted" as they say. Maybe this comes later in life.  Maybe it never comes at all. It may just have to do with a particular perspective that I have that is, well, admittedly different. Not better, but just different in all of the other ways I feel different: Having no interest in getting married, no interest in having a dog and dressing it up as things, no interest in having children and dressing them up as things...and the like.

But the other day, I did realize that there are two things that are as close to regret as I can imagine.

They are silly, but they are true.

The two things I regret are not overcoming my shyness or uncertainty enough to write a letter to two particular people I admire before they died.

They aren't even people I knew 'in real life' so to speak.

They were writers who changed my life.

One impacted me for reasons that have to do with description, precise language, and the ability to imagine the unimaginable and/or the inevitable.

The other for reasons of connection, of story telling, and of the documentation/amplification of voices that white supremacist capitalist la la land historically and always wants to smother.

They stay with me. When I'm writing. When I'm living.  When I'm interacting with the people around me.

To this day I have no clue what I would have written.  If given the chance, I still don't know what I would say.

Maybe just what I have written.

Thank you to Ray Bradbury and Studs Terkel, for the gears they have turned within me, and the lessons of accessibility, voice, and compassion they have taught me. Not a day goes by that their ways, perhaps more than their ultimate words, don't brush themselves against the back of my mind.

be well; be loved,


(image: Joseph Webb via Untrustyou Tumblr)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Your Monolingual White-Guy-Writer-Producing Machine Can Eat My Ass

There is nothing like talking with other punk writers.

(Alex, I'm looking at you.)

There is just nothing like being able to talk music hilarity as easily as talking craft and practice and getting over the bullshit that clogs up our tapping fingers and our pens.

DIY doesn't always mean doing it in isolation.  It just means that you may not need the mthafkin  MFA that you can't afford in order to do it.

Love and light and writing:  I will always love the creativity and work-arounds that have been plotted and planned by people who have been finding the loopholes and piecing shit together their whole fucking lives.

Duct tape. Photocopies of photocopies. Stolen bank pens.

Here's to doing it yourself- together.

Now let's get to work.

be well; be loved.


(image: Marc Ribes Day After Day via dark silence in suburbia tumblr)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

(Every Bad Girl Knows) Arch Your Back and Point Your Toes

It's storming outside. A decent amount of the city has lost power.

Not us.

Not yet.

The smoke of just-lit matches and initial burnings of all sorts are in the air, anyway.

This is the type of night that I love.

The kind in which I find my chest warm, almost hot, beating,  and I am ready for everything and nothing all at once.


I received flowers just over a week ago.

They were beautiful and celebratory.

I am, tonight.

The flowers of tonight are not pink, of course.

Nor are they red

or even invitation yellow.

They are a deep plum,

and have thorns you can't quite see in the dark.

But you can feel them.


it is how I prefer to find my way.

 (image: Arvida Byström via Dark Silence in Suburbia Tumblr)
 (title: bits of a Miguel song I've been listening to, again)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Turbulent Wave

Go ahead. Click it to enlarge.
It is December. The sun is shining, and my spelling has gone to shit.  Whomever told me as a child "just sound it out", as it relates to English, is full of shit.

I've been thinking a lot about mentors, professors, teachers, bosses, police officers and other people with power who abuse power.  More so, currently, I am thinking about adults who impose themselves on kids in sexual ways.  I feel like there are so many stories I hear from friends of mine who had some coach, or teacher, or whatever, take advantage of them.  People who abused the role or position of power that they had, and it just bums me out. Amongst other things.

I went to lunch this afternoon and, realizing that I had returned all of my borrowed books from the library, I went into my office to see if I had anything stashed there.  I found a copy of Lolita and brought it to lunch with me.

Needless to say, I just wasn't feeling it.  Descriptions may be beautiful, but when it comes down to it, you're reading the perfumed tale of a child-rapist.


There are two go-to signs in American Sign Language that one tends to use for phrase "take advantage of". 

For one sign, you have your left palm facing upwards, and with your right hand, you swoop down and grab an invisible something off your left palm, leaving your left palm with your right hand turned into a fist.  Picture someone running by and grabbing a trophy by its neck and then running off towards a victory march.  That's what the motion is like. It's the sign one would use in the phrase "This internship will be great for you- you should really take advantage of it!".  It is the same sign that is used for the word "win" in most contexts.

Let me set the stage, a bit, for the second sign: You know how there's that thing that creeps would do when they would shake your hand?  They would kind of rub their middle finger into the palm of your hand?  Urban legend says that this was the coded way of saying 'I want to fuck you'. Fucking gross.

Well, the other sign is you sliding your middle finger, quickly, down the center of your upturned left palm. Almost in a backwards flick towards yourself. It is harsh. Quick. It feels like you are stealing something when you do it.

That is the other sign for the phrase "take advantage of".

As in, "My friend's tennis coach took advantage of her when she was in high school."

It makes me sick.


(image: Elisa Sednaoui and Baptiste Giabiconi by Karl Lagerfeld for Número, 2010 via Colpevole Innocenza Tumblr)