Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hallowed By Thy Name: The Evoked Thirst at the Mention of a Book Gutter

The rain came this morning.

I am currently hiding out in an empty room that, although lined with copious amounts of windows, is dimly lit due to the weather outside.

I've been reading a book that, at root, has to do with magic and quantum physics. The intersection of science and the occult and life and impact. Information about engineers and scientists and philosophers and inventors and electrical geniuses (or genii, if you really want to use that word) who all say similar things about the fields that connect us all and our ability to impact and/or read them. It's fascinating stuff and, without question, it is exactly what I need to be reading at present.

I'm keeping up with my readings for class. This additional reading just offers me the type of necessary dessert to maintain my quickened pace of excitement for life at this moment.

Be well; be loved,


(image: Paul Huf: Zadkine’s Garden, Paris 1947 via belazela tumblr)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pouring Water Upon Ice Cubes: The Elegence of Being

I am currently willingly stuck in the crevice between the wall and the mattress of my bed. My shirt has lifted up just a bit to expose my lower back, and I am enjoying the feeling of the wall's coolness against my skin.

The window in my bedroom is open about a foot, and the birds that tend to perform high wire feats upon the telephone and electrical lines outside of my window are busy chatting and investing their songs and chirps into the local dialog. The sun is out but hidden by some clouds at the moment. The air feels crisp and pepperminty on my feet, that are also sticking out from the crevice between the wall and the mattress of my bed, and that are closest to the window.

Things feel so good and right at present. Nourishment in the form of good food, good company, good conversation, good books, good films, good ideas, ...dare I say good news? Good news.

I've been having the time I need to be able to write. It's important to me. This writing that I'm working on. There's so much more of a process before one gets to writing or typing, as the case may be. I think only writers understand that.  I'm thinking back to when Alison Bechdel was here months ago, and now thinking of words that Jacqueline Woodson echoed when she was here, recently:  That writers are lovable maniacs to live with and be around.  That they need copious amounts of alone time. That one moment they will be out and about and cheering and chatting, and the next minute, they will have disappeared into the closest shadow to write something down, or to simply go think.

The balance of these things has been sorted out for now. Social with solitary. Wandering with directed. Uncertainty mixed with confidence.

For now, I'll just continue drinking down the last bit of this coffee from within the crevice of this bed and think about what's to come.

Then, as most writers must, I'll jimmy myself out of this crevice to run a brush through my hair and get myself to work on time.

Be well; be loved,

(image via chromatic-porn Tumblr)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Safe Villian of Secrecy

There is an author that I am reading who describes the feeling of loss, a particular loss, as an airless rectangle that rests between your sternum  and spine. The airlessness within this sharp rectangle is much like the inside an elevator with its motionless air. 

I've been thinking about the description today.  (It's Francisco Goldman. I would type out the description, but you should just read the book.  So that you know, as exactly as you can, what is inside the rectangle that he is describing.)


What I know is that people don't like to talk about unpretty things. And that is why I don't share a ton about my life up until now.  I sense it. The shift in the air that happens when someone asks me about my family and I answer them honestly.

The people who have stories like mine become the holder of other people's stories.

Because we are, of course, the story keepers:  The people who do not flinch at other people's stories and, thus, we can both listen to and keep them.

I know and see the value in that.  I know and see the value in myself and in people like me. 

It is not our only function.  But you would be amazed at how many people will pour out everything they ever wished to have held as if, in fact, it is.


Let me talk with you about secrecy vs. privacy.

Secrecy is the omitting of truths. The blurring of stories. The erasure of communicated pillars of one's life.

Privacy is discreet and opaque, but open about that fact.

There are reasons to be private.

There aren't many good reasons to be secretive.

Think about how you are and with whom and for what reasons or ends.


I'm thinking of quite a bit tonight.  It was nice that I ran into a stranger who shared a brief conversation about books and we traded recommendations of recent reads.  He was so outside of my world and who I hang out with (think: self help business major) that I will take the recommendations seriously. The two books are on their way to me from the library system as I type this. It may be silly, but chance and momentarily frank interactions with people you will more than likely never see again tend to be the kind I pay attention to.  Other worlds sending ripples to push you towards something you need to know.

In any case, that's what I have for you tonight.

I felt really shy today.  Too much attention*. There are days that I find it upsetting to discover that I am not invisible. Today is one of those days.

Be well; be loved; find your meaning in what surrounds you in a larger sense, and keep paying attention to all that it includes.

 (image: Alexander Arnild Peitersen via untrustyou tumblr)

[*=  "I feel like I've commented on your lip color before, but it's on point again tonight." -- stranger 1

"She's very compliment-able! She's reading! It's not very often that I see people reading in the Chipotle line." --stranger 2 in response to stranger 1

"I can't help but to be curious about you..." -- stranger 3]

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cool Cotton on Warm Skin

At last: The weather where everyone is out in the streets until at least 1 am.

Now, I know for cities like New York and the like, this is nothing. But for here:

it is something.

Spaghetti straps and sundresses, flip flops and sunglasses, pressed shorts and tight t-shirts. Mandatory lemonades, or alcoholic drinks made to look like lemonade, all around: red and white twisted stripe straws sticking out of them like fat, thirsty invitations.

Tonight, like many nights, consisted of drag queens, friends, humor and street harassment. It ended with ice cream and closing out one of those restaurant bars that closes early.  Walking through the streets I saw a roughly 50 year old man riding a skateboard in the middle of the street and HE WAS FUCKING GOOD AT CONTROLLING THE BOARD.

I shouldn't be surprised. I was. It ruled. The traffic had to momentarily fuck off.

While waiting for the bus, some guy started trying to hit on me in Spanish so I decided to pretend I didn't understand and just ignore him.  That's when he pulled out an English phrase to say as sexily as he could. He took a few steps closer to me and said..."Oye, mi amor...big pussy."

Big pussy.

That was his come on line.

At that point I turned to him and started speaking to him in Spanish asking him if he had sisters and when he said yes, he had four, I asked him if he'd be cool with some dude talking to one of his sisters like that. Then I lightened it up and started laughing and asked him if he'd tell me a story about when he was a little kid. (My recent tactic for street harassment is confusing the fuck out of people by turning the harassment into an interview about their lives. So far, it has worked.)

All in all, it was a summer day and a summer night. The kind you can feel all over your skin. The kind that makes you want to bare your shoulders and lotion your legs.

Things feel so good as of late.

A friend told me recently that he believes I get crushes on the most complicated people in the world.  He is most certainly right.

But what of it?

There is nothing better than a complex mind.

be well; be loved,


P.S. You should listen to this old song off of Shhh on repeat: Here.  The lyrics, alone, are amazing. Here the are:

A phonebox rendezvous, don't whisper a word
Half a million by Monday
Or Roger Waters gets it
My little baby, they cut off his ear
Half a million by Tuesday, then
Don't whisper a word

(image: from la-flama tumblr)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Communication of Channels

He told me that he didn't believe Aura would want to see me going around all of the time in a black mourning suit.  Gesturing at the photographs of Aura all over the apartment now, the tailor said, I can see from her eyes and her smile that your wife was full of life, Francisco, and I know she wouldn't want you to drag yourself down like that, showing such a heavy sadness to the world. Can I recommend a charcoal-gray wool? It's dignified, but it has some lightness to it. And he opened his book of fabric samples.

                -From Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

Facts, at times, surface in my dreams.

It would have been Megan's birthday a few days ago.

My dreams remind me of seasons I would prefer, at times and in some ways, to forget.

It's not a betrayal; It is a reminder of honesty.

Of lack

of loss

and of love.


I've been beginning and completing things today and this evening, as need be. A check list existence of necessary movement.

Although lately I feel like someone getting a running start on a bullet they know will be shot at them 25 seconds in the future, I still feel productive:

My success tentative, but momentarily existent nonetheless.

For now,  I have given up on anything too intricate and laced to future. I have been enjoying the present day that has loose ribbons tied to an untrustworthy bird that has a sign strapped around its little neck that reads "FUTURE BOUND".

It feels better this way. More present. More doable. It's no surprise that I am able to get things done a bit easier since this has shifted.

In other news:

I've been funnily accepting the warm and cool tones that have been surrounding me.  The golds, the greens, the blues. Allow the crystal slipper'ed foot of her majesty the sun to click the sidewalk, and all one can see is her gold. How she somehow manages to illuminate the blades of grass until your eyes water, and electrify the sky until you are certain you are staring at the sparkled swirling dance of the most clear and churning ocean.

May we all find what fits, and get lost in the depths of it all as we do.

Be well; be loved,


(image: Miles Van Rensselaer via cosmicclusters tumblr)

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Crush of Poems

My mind is honey and marbles thinking of you
A drunken sailor's crush
even though
this sailor doesn't drink.

Feeling silly
when I see a lone daffodil
growing next to the road
and think of you.

When our cheeks touch while we hug
I don't know what to do
so I look immediately
to the ground
when I let go of you.

I want to tell you
I want to hold you
for as long as you want
if you'll let me.

(image: Fred Cuming via ArtPropelled tumblr)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What is it That You See?, or, Thick Skin and the West End Girl


In elementary school, we had a project having to do with the five senses.  We made a mobile that included an eye, an ear, a hand, a nose, and a tongue.  We were given glue to spread on the tongue, and a plastic cylinder shaker of sprinkles - the type of sprinkles typically used on sugar cookies. They were rainbow and stuck to the tongue to visually emphasize the sense of taste.

I can still picture that tongue and its little, tiny, rainbow balls hanging from its edges. I spent so many hours looking at it. I remember, as a child, looking at it and wondering if I would die if I ate the sprinkles if I needed to in a pinch.

In a pinch.

What I remember about growing up is the hunger.

It wasn't economic class that was starving us.


I've been thinking a lot about class differences lately.

Thinking, gently, about neighborhoods I recognize in a way that a lot of the people who surround me, these days, don't.  Neighborhoods that have nice-to-very-nice cars parked outside of black and grayed houses that were once white. Houses with broken steps and hanging gutters; ripped screened porches and makeshift mailboxes.

These days, as all days, there are too many people with money telling poor and working class people that they talk loud or swear too much.


It's so much more than that. More than class differences and attitudes that I'm thinking of. It includes violence and racism and murder-by-the-police and gentrification.  I've been thinking about Alex Nieto and how he was shot at 59 times by the police while he sat eating a burrito in a park.  A park in a neighborhood he grew up in, and his parents grew up in.  And then two techies walking their dogs feel scared of him and read the (licensed and for his job he was on his way to) taser he had in its holster as a gun and call 911.

It's also about shit like people using the website nextdoor dot com to basically start doing their own vigilante (in the racial profiling shitty ass meaning of the term) policing and reporting sightings to other neighbors of "suspicious people" (commonly people who were living in the neighborhood for years and generations before the people clicking away about said "suspiciousness") and these reports ending up in things like what happened to Alex.


The other morning the bus driver, a woman of about 50 years of age who was from Michigan, was chatting with a passenger, another woman, who was sitting close by. It was a lengthy ride.  The conversation was intimate. I started typing out the dialog as it happened. There was something about it that was so familiar. So needed:

People don't really drive sticks anymore. But back then, you had to learn. If you learned how to drive that, you could drive anything. 
If it snows like it does in Michigan, I mean,...we always had something with four wheel drive.  

We were together for 30 years. 

We have three kids and eight grandkids. But I never married him. 

And then it was time to go.  

So I started over. 

Bought a car...everything.   

That's why the Mustang is kind of sentimental: 

I bought it myself. 


There is a lot going on these days.  It may feel hard, sometimes, to know where and how to be most effective.  Don't stop. Don't give up.  Don't numb out.

Extend your hands when you are most afraid or unsure; keep your eyes and heart open.

It's worth it.

It matters.

be well; be loved,


(Democracy Now did some updated coverage of the case having to do with Alex Nieto yesterday, in case you're interested. You can watch/listen to it here: )

(image: from Sandra Osip's work having to do with her childhood neighborhood in Detroit. Check out more of it, here.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

[Baby Likes To Pony]


I believe that, at this point, 60% of the classes that I have taken in this program have gone over the ideas of the theater of Brecht.  I am not studying theater or theater history or German arts or anything of the sort. I see his relevance and influence.  I just had no idea how far reaching his influence was.


Today I was in the women's locker room and overheard a young woman about to graduate college telling another young woman about her boyfriend asking her to her high school prom.  She had felt ambushed and odd about it. Evidently, a friend of hers had collaborated with him. Had brought her to a beach where he was hiding in a bush. The following conversation ensued between the two women in the locker room:

-He was hiding in a bush?
-Yeah.  I don't know. He should have told me he was thinking of asking me to prom to see if I was up for it. I don't know. I felt bad. I guess it was kind of expensive for him. Well, the torches were.
-The torches?
-Yeah...he had a bunch of torches lining a walk way. And flower petals. The torches were like 90 dollars.


Do something to interrupt transphobia and the casual bullying of gender non-conforming people. Throwing binary notions of gender out the window actually liberates everyone. Trust me. I have seen this to be true.


Note to self:

Be careful how much and how often you compliment someone's lipstick and/or uniform.  They will eventually catch onto you.

Note to self:

Let them catch onto you.


(title: I love this phrase. It serves as the name of an underwear company I am still obsessed with. Mostly their harnesses and waspies. Here's one I have been admiring as of late.)
(image: Beauties from the Crazy Horse Cabaret through the lenses of Gaincarlo Botti Paris, 1965 via deshistoiresdemode Tumblr)

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Lamb That I Lay Upon; The Lions That Surround Me

The weather is the kind that makes you not bother to close the windows, to pull the blinds closed, or to put pants on.

There is a second wave of energy that happens close to 9 o'clock at night.  Perhaps closer to 10.

There's been an electricity going through me as of late.

Of ideas, of goals, of archival footage.

I've been letting my hair down. Letting it spill around my shoulders.

I've been doing this with what I slide into these days, as well.

This morning, while sitting in class, I was at peace.

When I am sitting in class, listening to a lecture I could swear was tailored just for me, I am entirely content.

There are no people trying to cough their insecurities out onto me.

What I've noticed is that some people are so quick to try and shoot other people down. If they hear that you are in school, they will interrogate what it is that you study and try and shoot holes in your aims.  If they hear that you know languages, they will try and tell you that you'll never learn it, or that that they were going to learn it but went for a better aim, instead.

It's such an odd reaction.

To try and take the glow away from someone who is excited about something.

To try and discourage someone who is doing something to better themselves and their minds.

I am not looking to gain knowledge so that I can slap everyone in the face with it.

I simply enjoy learning.

And I do think that it is important.

I do think that learning (in life, on a shop floor, in a classroom, from your grandmother, from an overheard conversation on the bus...) matters and has an impact on how we can treat each other in this world, and how we can create changes.

I enjoy learning. 

Histories, stories, movements, struggles, languages, skills, tactics, compassion. 

I'm not aspiring towards a job that will make me want to kill myself

or kill other people.

And I know that, sometimes, the fact that I'm not aspiring towards that kind of life pisses people off.

I'm not sure why.

But it does.

The only thing I am certain of

is that I am not the one that they are mad at. 


Be well; be loved; don't let anyone steal your glow.

The trick to becoming good at anything

is to just keep doing it.


(image: via camilleas tumblr)

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Angels That Arrive By The Chances That You Take

Sometimes it is hard to say goodbye to a friend who is moving away.  Sometimes it is harder, or odder to get your mind and heart around, when you know that it is fairly likely you will never see each other again.

It is remeniscent of when you were a child, and a friend's family was moving away which meant, of course, that your friend would be moving away with them.

But in adulthood, this type of goodbye feels more rare.

It's an odd feeling knowing that this person you hang out with every week will not be there anymore, but there is no death involved and there is no falling out.

I appreciate the experiences and the conversations that we had together.  There were a number of them. It will feel sad and good and a part of life.

I'm not sure how to tell you this, but you have moved me.  There is a gentleness underneath your toughness that I can relate to, and that I've needed to be around.

Thank you for bringing me a part of home, and for bringing that part of home around me each time that we hung out.

I love you for that. 

And while I'll miss you, I know that my life feels fuller because you were once here. 

Thank you for that.

Thank you for everything.

My love,


(image: Gregor Gaida via Belazela Tumblr)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Never Tired

The day started out with a discussion of Rodolfo Gonzales' epic poem Yo soy Joaquin at 9:30 in the morning. A political boxer that some would describe as a 'non-poet' (even better).  I was caffeinated. Prepared.  Luis PĂ©rez's El coyote la rebelde (1947) was mixed into a discussion of pachucos and class.

The perspective of "hoodlum" will forever be saturated with class-based residue. Who you think is a hoodlum/bad seed/troubled youth/shady character can easily and simply be someone more loyal than anyone you've ever known in your delicate little life but, instead, you choose to hang a loose frame of BAD around him/her/them/us.

Don't be fooled by what you think you see.


In other news:

That wall you're afraid to let drop?

Let it fall.

It's not serving anyone in an honest or sincere way.

After all:

What good is the peach that you cup in your hands

if you are too afraid

to allow your mouth to move towards it?

be well; be loved,


P.S. I've been listening to a decent amount of Childish Gambino, lately, but I've also been stuck reaching back for  Frank Ocean's Thinkin Bout You , lately as well.

(image: Tumblr)
(title: Lyric from Drunk in Love/Beyonce)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reflections Upon Reflections

A note:

You aren't rummaging through my underwear drawer.

Nor are you reading my diary.

You should know that the words, here, are fiction and non-fiction and magical realism and everything that exists in the in between.

I'm not concerned if you get your feelings hurt, if you are offended, if you become insecure or if something that I have written makes you nervous.

On all fronts:

This arena, in its intention, isn't for you.

It is for me.

If you are looking for secrets and clues, let me be the first to tell you that this is a waylay.

It can also be a trap.

And, yes, as with every designed trap, there is information about its maker.

But be careful of what you choose to see, here.

It is largely

only a mirror

for you

to see yourself.

be well; be loved,


(image: Guinevere Van Seenus by Erik Madigan Heck for Creem Magazine, 2014 via edithshead tumblr)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Absurdity of Answering "How Was Your Day?" : A Celebration of Undercurrents

I. Above

Waking up, drinking water on a Saturday morning out of town.  The air here smells like cinnamon and eucalyptus; my hair is dripping from having just taken a shower.  The sun is out. There is a breeze that is slight enough that the trees don't bend, but instead, appear to have periodically waving hands.

The past week or so has left me with a sore throat. Not from allergies. Not from being sick. Not from being sad.  It's something else.  Something related to not saying something you should or need to say. No evil secrets, no unsaid horrors. Just simply being able to find your voice in a situation you do, ultimately and very much so, want to be involved in.


II. Below

There was a room you always tried to keep me away from.  Each time I would drift towards it in your home- the room off and to the right from your living room- you would intercept me, casually, and lead me away from its door. 

One morning, I pretended to be sleeping. I heard you go into the bathroom, turn on the shower, fumble with and drop the soap.  I got up quickly and walked directly toward that door you kept me away from.

What I saw as I stood in that now opened doorway, seized every bit of oxygen from my lungs; pushed tears to the rims of my eyes, automatically. It is what the body does in terror. 

I took one step inside of the room to take in the obsession.  The seasick dark maps that I saw spread across the walls of your room. 

I couldn't go completely inside of the room. 

I could feel my heart pounding inside of my wrists, my neck, my eyes. 

 The metal squeal of the shower being turned off, behind me.


(image: Dante and Virgile in Hell, detail (1850), William-Adolphe Bouguereau via detailsdetales tumblr)