Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Your Diamonds and Your Pyramids: A Smudging

I've been listening to Chad Lawson's A Grave Mistake album. Mostly piano with some other effects that was composed to accompany a particular episode of a particular podcast.  The episode mostly revolved around people who were accidentally buried alive.  I believe that you will like it.  You, who listens to mostly non-lyric'ed albums by candlelight. Sure, it is on Spotify, but Lawson's website also offers the option to buy it on vinyl. Even the art on the cover is good. Or, at least, stereotypically me.

One word on the podcast it is connected to:  I want to believe the hype about Lore.  I saw the art on the front of the book (which came after the podcast and a series that was just made on Amazon based on the podcast), and this is how it ended up on my radar.  I listened to a few episodes.  The narrator and creator of it seems a bit too self conscious of his cleverness that isn't really that clever.  The topics are researched, but not as well researched as other programs or books are or can be. I'm curious what you think but, to me, it reads like a gothy version of Sex and the City. Each episode- and here I will admit listening to only eight or so of the 18 minute-ish episodes- the narrator seems to ask a question or make a statement in the same cadence that Carrie Bradshaw would while staring at her computer screen and blinking cursor.

In any case, as with anything in life:  It was worth it for what it lead me to which, in this case, is this album.

[Here is the Spotify Link]

It is something to read to. Something to write to. Something to paint to. Something to think to. Something to calm to. And, my favorite from last week, something to drive through 40-to-60 mile per hour winds in the rain across a bridge at night to.

Be well; be loved.


(image: Vincenzo Agnetti, Free-hand photograph, 1974 Osart Gallery, Milano....via giampxxx tumblr)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Find Me On the Grit; Find Me On the Pavement, or, Walking From Around the Corner of a Building

There is something in the air that is something between premonition and conjuring.

I see your tired eyes and fitting jacket.  Your ruggedness and perfect frays.

There is something that is about to come.

Be prepared for it.

I already am.


(Image: Splish Splash; Marilyn Minter)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Do You Believe in Magic?, or, Your Belted Hips and Paint Spattered Pants

Dear C,

It has been just over a year since you died.

It is the autumn that reminds me of you the most.

That face, those hands, that laughter and that wild, wild look in your eyes upon learning.
I miss you everyday, and can hear you best as my shoes click upon the pavement.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Solitude of Corpses, or, The Depth of the Ocean

There are odd, even embarrassing facts that follow us at times.  Accidental occurrences that instantly expose a truth and/or contradiction of ours that is undeniable.  One of these accidental occurrences is that, every time Miley Cyrus's Adore You comes on somewhere, I think of a person I am surprised I think about so readily. Always. (I know, I know. Where am I that this song is coming on?  It's as if this sliver of pop culture haunts me through the electrical sockets of most buildings.) It's a funny, sad, weird betrayal of heart and mind.  But it's enjoyable all the same.  The truth rises no matter how deep you attempt to bury it.


This weekend has been one of recharging.  Of writing. Of creating. Of friendship. Of late night adventures with people I sort of know. Of revisiting a film that speaks to me in different ways every time I watch it.


I have been thinking about time, lately.  Not in the typical ways of scarcity or big questions of life. Rather and simply, the enjoyment of time.  Even when that enjoyment involves sadness or worry or fear.  There is so much going on in the world.  I want everyone to feel safety and certainty, but I also know that these terms are relative and can instigate so many ugly things. But in a fundamental way, a basic way, I want people to feel these things, and for these things to be true.

be well; be safe


(image: Lush Paintings of Solitary Swimmers by Pedro Covo via genetic-freak Tumblr)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Penny Dropped Into a Puddle of Oil

As the core of the world goes up in flames (literally; figuratively), I am relaxing into things with a functioning box fan and a red bra.

These days have been odd, indeed.

From time to time, I pair myself with someone quite the opposite of me. I like to study their stitching; their routine. I think of it as a form of self restraint- my curiosity peaked by their checks and balances; the way they butter their toast.

It's only a matter of time before I daydream into the more complicated.  I take a bit more time for myself to ride the anchor down to the bottom of this sea. Past the firm handshakes and punctuality; past the sports fans and socially acceptable DUIs.

During my descend, a thousand images of black, blue, purple and a pitch gray.

It is where I find home.

Above, there are the perfect haircuts of the blue eyed, blonde-haired religious children of the corn, all grown up.

Below, there are the perfect haircuts of those sable- and black-haired beauties who study and practice the most dutiful way to shine a boot.

There is a difference, after all,  between one who cums in a surprise and fear of their own body, and one who familiarly taunts you with its peaks.

(image: Betony Vernon The Boudoir Bible via korlaena tumblr)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Angled Asylum

There is, of course, something to be said of the feeling of a hand clutching the face.  Fingers spread over fingers and eyebrows, a thumb almost touching an ear but failing to. The meat of a hand pressing into your mouth.

There is something to be said about this.

Tell me about the last time you had lipstick spread across your face. Who was the original wear-er, and why, please tell me, was it spread?


Last evening I had eleven minutes before I had to board a train. It was rush hour.  He was in his high towered office that looks over downtown from a middle height. 

"I'll run,"  he said.

He did.

He met me as I sat perched upon a ledge that long outdates most of this city.

"Let me walk you underground."

The thing about rush hour is that, while everyone is running and walking everywhere, no one is running up that winding staircase that has at least five flights of stairs. No. Not when there as escalators. Elevators. This collective laziness and expediency offered stone-stair isolation between the third and fourth flight, and it was only a split second after I turned that sharp corner, that my spine was pressed up against its wall.

Here is to expediency and the pain and pleasure of ninety degree angles.


(image: Florence Henri, Portrait, 1928)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Upon the Wilderness Quixotic

This morning I woke up in what looks to be a stylized Italian mourning dress.  My make up was still on, but my shoes had disappeared.  There was no drugs involved. No alcohol. Walking past a mirror at 6 AM was both odd and enticing. I showered. No one was there to stop me.  I dressed, quickly, and left while there was still water dripping from the tips of my hair.

I have been lead up to a project that will begin, officially, tonight.  Although its pieces have been falling to me from the sky, found in sandwiches, written on crumpled up pieces of paper I find one the bus: It is tonight that it officially begins.  The air is still in its knowing.

Will you hold my hand as I go on my adventure? I wouldn't ask.  And even if you did make movement to hold it you would find, upon squeezing it, that you had been left holding
a thick rubber hand.


(photograph: This is a photo of Renee Zettle Sterling's Object of Mourning Veil #4. Here is an article about the art of Renee Zettle Sterling)

(To accentuate: From the 2014 display at The Met )

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On Wondering if You Have Dodged a Bullet or Lost the Love of Your Life

The past few days have involved a lot of dancing, amazing conversations, and wrestling with furniture.   I've been reminded that all of the beautiful and complex minds in my life are exactly what I need at any given moment.  These conversations just continue to affirm that it is best to be who you are- always and boldly- in an unapologetic fashion.

(It's not my concern that you don't understand my gender, my inclinations, my high heels and tie wear.  I see you.  Your widened eyes and quickened pulse, coming at me: a finger fascinated with the blades of a propeller.


Around this time last year, I was in a class learning about oxytocin. This time around, I am a graduate once again and ready for the next step in this dirty-clean forest.  I am both nervous and excited about it.  I look forward to floundering and making atrocious mistakes so that I may get better.  The art of saving face has long since been abandoned:  There is no thrill to it.  Look like an ass for a while.  You'll feel the burn of your face, the beat of your heart, the thrill of the lesson. Save the perfect masks to hang from walls. They simply are not worth the lessons you lose by wearing them.


As per usual when the sun comes out, I am covering myself with the pages of books scribbled with thoughts and prose.

Book wise, I've been reading David Sedaris' newest book and it cracks me the fuck up.  His observations are so stark, accurate and deadpan.  How does he not laugh at his own jokes?  I must study him if only for this reason. (I'm listening to the audio version because he reads it.  I've always loved his cadence and delivery).

I appreciate that the latest book is made up of a series of diary entries from the 70s through the 2000s.  Within his stories, there are threads - single sentences- that breathe the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. He talks about his father getting weird about him drinking out of other people's glasses in a way he isn't with his other siblings. There is no pain in his voice or words- it is stated simple and matter of fact.

 I've been thinking a lot about how the things one witnesses, reports and does day to day can matter in a way one is not aware of in those exact moments. Best to think that everything you do matters. What you are a part of in this moment you can only begin to imagine.

So begin to imagine.

be well; be loved,


(image: via crystal-black-babes tumblr)
(title: slight wink to the embarassing fact that I, admittedly, can't get the Zayn and Taylor Swift song out of my head.  I have been watching this choreography video for the past 3 days and am not stop dancing in the same outfit as the first woman who dances. See it here if you are curious. )

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Girl Loves Me

I've been listening to Bowie's Blackstar in the dark for the past few hours.  Good headphones. A cold room.

Girl Loves Me.


(photo: Catherine Louis via giampixxx tumblr)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Be Yourself, or, Salt at the Door For The Night Hags

What I've got is that art ignites art.  This is more true than ever, at present.  There is art that, absolutely and without question, actually has a visceral impact on my body. My heart beats quicker, the ideas start storming, I can feel a hot warmth in my throat and upon my chest. 

Tonight things have been good. Really good. So good that you find yourself slightly sunburnt and sitting on a stoop talking about shit that matters. So good that you're up at midnight eating chocolate cake with one of your favorite people in the world and talking about how your heart can't stop beating so fast from the consistency of sound and image brilliance you both just witnessed.


I've been thinking a lot about love and how much it means to mean when people can call each other out and neither of us is too big of a baby to own it.  I love it.  A while and a step back, there were too many people in my life that were too soft for my liking. Too soft to be able to find their legs and stand for what was right or aimed for. Too soft to hear someone tell them Look, man. You're smart, but you gotta act right and stop acting like people owe you shit for your parents being dickheads.  Things like that.

Anyway.  That's in the past now.

Now, it's nice. Talking with people secure enough to love themselves and other people.  Making phone calls to Madrid because why the fuck not? Getting packages from London because sweetness, I'm here for you.  Writing letters to Chicago because, of course I am.

Life can be hilarious in the number of doors it will slam in your face.

Good thing I've always climbed in through the windows.


P.S. I've been listening to Charlamagne tha God's book (the audio version that he narrates), and I am currently living for it on multiple, multiple levels.

(image: Chaim Soutine Red gladiolis, 1910 via lecollecteur tumblr)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

But, Your Honor, My Friends Will Tell You I Wasn't There

Recently, I attended a lecture that revolved largely around Phalaris's brazen bull (the concept of which is illustrated to the left).  The concept is pretty gruesome, but the lecture was incredible and went into the politics of sight, compartmentalization, and the politics of pleasure and pain. It was pretty fascinating to learn about this killing device and how it's aesthetic beauty (the sculpture itself), pleasurable scent (the heat would eventually ignite incense that is kept in the nose of the bull), and pleasurable sound (there were pipes within the bull that would convert a person's screams into music) would sometimes lead people to not know of its function or, perhaps more often, would sway them into willful ignorance of what was happening.

I've been thinking a lot about this concept and some of the things that came up in the lecture quite a bit since attending it.  I'm not quite ready to rehash or to riff on it. For now, and pardon the disgusting pun, I will let it simmer.

[This lecture was based on ideas and research of Timothy Pachirat, Univ of Massachusetts Amherst]

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Don't Look Now, or, The Pretty Construction Worker Fumbles His Smooth

Currently, I am a feather floating down to the ground from the heights of an airplane.

And, let me tell you:





Let me say something, here, about the power of being treated right: My body is not on guard 24/7. There is no stress and random bleeding because there doesn't need to be.

There is only sleeping in
and kissing
and fucking
and coffee on a white bedspread in the sunlight on a Sunday morning.


I am currently reading Tragedy: A Tragedy, the play by Will Eno that was suggested to me by uncertain yet talented lips. I am also reading the third book of a trilogy that will not be named. It is an escape. It's not that I am embarrassed. It's that I'm not quite sure I would like to endorse it quite yet. There is, I must say, the satisfying feeling of coming around the bend of the last few chapters of the last book.

Completion, in all of it forms, seems to be a theme in my life as of late.

be well; be loved,


(image via bluesonplanetmars tumblr)

Monday, February 27, 2017

The T-Shirt You Left at My House That Meant Something to You Having to Do With Your Best Friend, or, Cum Rag for My New Lover

Today it is snowing, and my room smells like marjoram which, if you are unfamiliar, could be described as a mix of cedar and citrus and camphor. The window is cracked open, slightly, because I love the feeling of inhaling cold air mixed with this scent. It spreads my lungs open. Makes me feel clean. Open. Limitless.

I am.

Conversations in dark bars about Alfred Kubin and theater and history all the while seeing into each other for once. You have become someone unafraid of your history and that, in itself, is beautiful.

You are.

There is a romance in hearing what we have learned from each other.  In being able to meet each other's eyes before you leave to return to Spain for the last time.

Although the powder has long since been wiped off of your face and replaced by a diligent reader's expression, you will still always have a flair that I recognize.

It is, after all, that of a dandied chimney sweep with eyes as lost as they are penetrating.

be well; be loved,


(image via santgazi tumblr)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Threatening Thirst and Razor Sharp Wit

This morning I listened to the news and then to a lecture on the Russian Revolution.

There has been a focus, today, that is both falsified and needed.

This afternoon was amazing, in the true sense of the word.  Artists, whom I respect and have admired from afar for years now, were a few feet away from me, making eye contact and shyly shuffling about.  I felt fortunate, beyond words, to be in their private and invited presence.  So different than what it is like to be at an opening of theater or an exhibit. Impressive to study and watch them as they interacted with me and with each other in their true selves.  Acting and directing both remain a mystery to me in their disciplines and art forms.  Incredible to be in such an intimate space with these hands and mouths.

In other news:  Fear.

It is something both  necessary and something needed to be flushed away.

I am not afraid. I have seen to much on the other side to think, for one moment, that there is anything more substantial than a pitiful pile of salt that comprises it. Fear. Step past it. Better yet, step through it. The feeling of its weight as it sheds from  you is exhilarating.

be well; be loved.


(image via pronao tumblr)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Road Ends Getting Nearer / We Cover Distance Still Not Together

It was me on that road, but you couldn't see me

There is a depth associated with childhood that I tend not to bathe into. It is all consuming. It is dark.  But it is also creative.  It is being cold and hungry and rocking back and forth and not realizing that there was anything wrong with this until one day, your friend's mother reprimands her for starting to rock as well.


Last night a tiger paced in front of the building I was in.  Slow, short paces. Impatient, but disguised friendly. Destructive but cloaked in cotton.  Its head as it paced was the lull of an infinity symbol. (If you've ever seen it, it is the swaying of the tiger's head as it rips a man apart.)


For a few years, I was in a fairy tale. Something of Cinderella. Something of Hansel and Gretel. The woods around me had no leaves. The paths within them had no end.

and then flashlights 
and explosions

be well; be loved,

(title and italicized words from Röyksopp's song What Else is There?)
(whimage: Fei Fei Sun photographed by Josh Olins for Vogue China November 2011 via pradaphne tumblr)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Petals and Water

The smell of rose water reminds me of my mother, although she never used it.

There was a woman, a handful of years older than me, that would use it on her face at night.   A found this woman, a friend of a friend, to be beautiful. Her parents from Argentina; herself born in a town in New Jersey.

One day, I thought, when I am older, I will do the same ritual, in order to look like her.


My aunt, the one woman in my extended family to have married a man with money, sold Mary Kay Cosmetics in her spare time. When I visited their home, which felt like a mansion at the time, she would carefully go over the three steps of cleansing one's face. After washing and toning her face with liquids and pearlized drops of cleanser from the tiny and pink containers, she would tell me that the last step was to moisturize.

She would reach a miniature spatula into a small tub of cream, explaining that it kept the oil from one's fingers from contaminating the jar, then transfer the small dollop onto her middle finger.

She would then dot her face in five places: Her forehead, her chin, each cheek, then her nose.





I would hear in my head

Although there was an extra step.


(image: a close up of a depiction of Mater Dolorosa. I believe this is Dirk Bouts, 1460)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Autobiography of an Engraving

Let me tell you something:  There are the times that you feel completely loved and lovable simply based on who loves you and how much and how complexly they do. Now is one of those times.  Although it was the birthday of someone I love so deeply and who I respect to the end of the galaxy and back, somehow it was me that left feeling gifted.

I've always been of the school of thought that you should surround yourself with who you want to become.  Be around those whose activism, politics, brains, fashion, artistic ability, well-read-ness, creativity, joy, hilarity, sexiness and every single other thing you can think of you wish to emulate, cultivate, and create synergy with.

There will be people who come into my life- for a month here, two years there- who will not be permanent. They won't be permanent because, although they have their own beauty I am certain- they are simply not who I want to be like.  They are not who I look up to.

If you have been in my life for more than four years, I can guarantee you that I admire you. I respect you. I want to become more like who you are and what you put out into the world and into your friends. I am, in short, in a respectful and grounded state of awe of you. "Awe", here, not in the "I could never be like that..." type way, but, rather, in the "holy shit! This person is amazing. I want to live my life in a way that they respect. I want to build community in a way that they would approve of. I want to be a person that they want to have in their life." type way.

It doesn't matter how frequently we talk or hang out.  If you are a person I text randomly every few months to talk about writing or politics or humor or art, you are one of these people.

In any case, it is something on my mind tonight.

Those beautiful and complex and historied lattices that we create that hold us together so that we may fall apart.


I love you.

And to those that are new and flirting about in the margins:  I invite you.  This isn't the lipstick-wearing boar's clubs that I have seen: The ones who keep people out. Who cackle and are cool. Who are careful with their words in a way that only monolingual and monocultural people can be.

We are big. We are beautiful. We are bright. We are complex. We are sloppy. We are awkward.  We are loud. We are quiet. We are jagged. We are smooth. We are loving.

We are loved. 

be well; be loved; be the person you want to be for the people who you love.


(image: Grace Jones via whiskeyboat tumblr)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Fingerprints: A Study in Rebirth and Discovery

Here we go.

2017, and everything starts tomorrow, somehow.


A list of what I have been thinking and talking about a lot lately is: White supremacy, love, activism, being smitten, being driven, being connected, mass incarceration, and really, really good drag.


I will admit that I am savoring the feeling of these moments of "smitten".

It's the way my body feels when you get a hold of me even if I don't have time right in that moment to respond to you.  It's the way my heart leaps when I hear you intermix intelligence with humor. Politics and pop culture. Research and good recipes for juice.

I've been wondering what's been taking you so long, but, I have to admit that I enjoy being the person you chat with just before you go to bed at night on nights like this. Even when there is an event that surrounds you. Even when everyone is there to celebrate you.  It's like being inside of Madonna's dressing room during the filming of the Truth or Dare documentary. Sure, the fans adore you, but it's me that gets to see you with your silk robe falling open and the cosmetic tape on your face.

Both beauties of you are, indeed, beautiful, but I will always covet that you come to me after your spine unwinds. When your wrists and your lips are a bit looser. Bolder. Careful, but with a crass that slowly eclipses your sensibilities: The slow, secret spiral as you come undone.

I could listen to you for hours, and love the self consciousness that creeps into your voice when you realize the ease in which you spill the stories that you share.

Before you go you say to me,

"I'll talk to you soon, I hope.

Thank you."

Unsure but certain at the same time.

It's been over a decade now, after all.

be well; be loved,


(image: Francis Lane shot by Matthew Pandolfe via Endarkenment Tumblr)