Tags: summer 06


(no subject)

a song of political unimportance
or, my post katrina voice

in the era of the soundless locomotive
our glass inspired symphonies
will dance like
lead upon charcoal upon paper
revealing to us the very upmost s
cream of tunnel echoes

in that great era of the silent tracking
all that shouts,
the mighty seagull, trumpet and
the great dissent
will partner with the great divide
and fall with the sound of
a thousand pins dropping
leaving a trail of light
pointing to some archaic scribbling on decrepit walls.

and in the heyday of the muted narrow forging
our banners will strike,
unknowingly, a current, a solid silencing of
the sky
and like glass upon water
the clouds will be framed
for righteous use,
one nation
under water
for all.


Though I sit in Chelsea today, my heart is far from New York. Listening to KMHD's beautiful tribute all morning, with the rain falling here, wanting nothing more than to race down south and make something happen. The incredible pull I have felt all summer to be in New Orleans, but knowing I don't have all the pieces yet, all the necessities. Realizing that so much of my sadness this week isn't just from here, from stressors, but all those incredible waves of energy that seem to ride themselves north, that city that holds such a dear place in my heart.

My god, what a year of heartbreak it has been.
  • Current Music
    [the dirty dozen] feet can't fail me now
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Touch me where I'm rusting, let me stain your hands ...

i give it three drinks
before the conversation
becomes confessions

the penance here
will simply be
the morning after,
a vauge recollection
of what was said
and (not) done.

friendship is actually
a convention of pivoting,
a transition from trust
to intimacy, from lust
to love, or what appears
to be them.

when his mouth opens,
and it begins, first
with those mumbles of her,
the other,
i become
that girl
to anyone who overhears and
doesn't stick around.
i'm not.

quickly, the truths
snowball, melt, waterrush
and standing sober,
steadfast, i'm
that my words not make
too many promises.


(i want to say)
i don't sleep with him
because i don't love him
(because i love him too much)

[i had another stanza and i forgot it]

some stones are never meant to be cast.


very in progress, it took me over a week to get this out, needs a lot of work, but some initial feedback would be great.


(no subject)

Well, it's just about 4pm, and I've spent most of the afternoon reading (mostly my own work, blech) and Something Corporate just came on my iTunes ... clearly, updating livejournal was the next step.

I'm actually prostinating my procrastination activities. Ridiculous, I think the stress of my apartment dramas (yes, plural) mixed with being inbetween gigs and jobs has left my mind a little frazzled. I should just type up some cover letters for my next batch of submissions. But goddamn, after reading my stuff, I'm petrified to the point of Prufrockdom. Inactivity. Alllll hollow ... well, not all. So that's what I'm not doing .. I'm also not doing the laundry list of other things I should be doing - mainly calling landlords frantically begging to see their properties. Oh yeah, and finding a crap waitressing job. It's gray out, I want to drink tea and write poetry all day! And read the New Yorker. So ... that's what I'm doing. Though I partially blame the New Yorker for this current Prufrockian state. (I'm so fucking pretentious, I swear I only mean to be 50% of the time). See, I was going through some publisher listings blah blah clicked over there, read Richard Ford's short story and was blown away. Gorgeous. But then I go back through my stuff and I'm feeling a little bit like a permanent member of the workshop circle. Forever workshopping. Giving others "suggestions" (criticism carries negative connotations). Perhaps some rad indie publication will save my deflated ego.

Really, though, this really wonderful person said just how cool I would be if I could swing getting published in there (New Yorker) and you know, I do want to be cool. And I said I'd send over some of my stuff to said wonderful person and that has me on this whole re-evaluation trip which I'm beginning to realize was the theme of the summer.

And I'm beginning to realize that this may be a near life-long process. This is a hallmark summer, is all, I'm on to some somethings, and I feel a little bit like Orpheus sometimes, needing to trust that the right ghosts are behind me. Lame. I mean, I'm lightyears from where I was, things are filling themselves out, but I feel the instruction manuel I had not only was taken from me, but what I remember from it is proving useless.

Really, you should just go read Richard Ford's piece. Go! http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/

I'm at the point where no matter where I am, I'm there and that's fucking beautiful. [this explains the new love/interest for installation work, hey?]. This has been a long time coming, needed, not feeling like I'm running away from, to something, simply moving.

Learning that storms pass, and I think I'm just evaluating what's left, for real, using what I've got to rebuild, renew. Hoping to marry the fright with the hope, build up better for future weather. It's good to be here, now.

Onward to productivity ... or some sorbet ...

What the Carpenter Said

THE moon's a cottage with a door.
Some folks can see it plain.
Look, you may catch a glint of light,
A sparkle through the pane,
Showing the place is brighter still
Within, though bright without.
There, at a cosy open fire
Strange babes are grouped about.
The children of the wind and tide--
The urchins of the sky,
Drying their wings from storms and things
So they again can fly.


The long journey

In packing I discovered this, and ... well, I think it speaks for itself:

+ On the road to Jasper, Christmas, 2005.

his silouetted reflection lies above me, in the back of my eyes and i know it's an image that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

watching him watch the rest of the world is (sometimes) like spinning a globe on your finger and dangerously balancing a world you have no control over.

(the road is icy. i am returning to a place i have never been, to a place he has brought me and i have followed him,
time and time again.)

talk of the future is like an iron casket on my lungs.
i cannot think past these mountains, beyond this frame.

escapist theory:
if it's loud enough,
if the hood is (big enough) deep enough,
the casket will melt.

i am sorry to watch this
particular mountain pass.

  • Current Music
    [jeff buckley] hallelujah
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Real Life 101 - the summer session

Today i win at the adult game. I rolled out of bed just before eight, having taken a glorious shower last night, did some of my own work, had a cup of tea, took my supplements, made toast for my roommate, got dressed, brushed my hair and flew out the door in a timely manner, with the recyclables and garbage in my hand (already sorted at that).

With my tote bag filled with books and my planner and an organic new zealand apple I headed way in a polka dot dress to a temp job in Chelsea, at an art auction house that deals with illustrations. got an egg sandwich and orange juice, did all the work i could do here in a morning. so with classical music streaming (i'm awaiting the mozart noon block) and norman rockwells about, i'm feeling a little more together, a little more in touch with the world. Well, the "real world" at least.

Strange as it may seem, it's nice to work for someone else for a little bit.

Mondays are quiet. It is me and walt, the founder of the gallery/house. walt is old and hard of hearing, so anytime someone calls and is transferred to him i have to say "Walt is a bit hard of hearing, could you kindly speak up?" And usually that makes people laugh, and apparently I'm very good at answering phones. Blessed with a thorough tongue - and they tell you theater is useless!

My roommate is in from Seattle, so currently her, our cats and I are in my one bedroom and it's making thankful that we are looking for bigger spaces. We saw a gorgeous apartment in Astoria, but the walk to the subway made us wish we had bikes, and for girls who work nightshifts and dance in the mornings, that's not great. Tonight we look in Williamsburg, tomorrow in Prospect Heights, then Long Island City and Lefferts Heights for the rest of the week. Neighborhood is beginning to matter to me, and not just in the immediate ways, I've got this secret fear of being the face of gentrification. I just want to be able to call someplace home for a bit.

Got news that my piece is opening the September Concert at Central Park's Merchant's Gate, which is pretty exciting. Now, if only I had a piece ... it's still in process ... should work out. I'm looking to book up for fall/winter, just open showings and maybe some performance art at some galleries. I have two solo bits I'd like to play around with and my next big project should be getting started after Christmas. In the meantime, I'm getting the basics on some grants and looking to apply for some residencies, and I'm always looking for new schools to teach at ... nothing too too big on the horizon, when the 9/11 piece is rehearsed I'm sure I'll be more enthused about it ... Im submitting some poems for publication and still hoping to pool funds for a chapbook. I have an editor, just need to secure publication stuff. I figure from there I can take the next steps for publishing more work, bigger publications, submissions, etc ... I've realized I'm in no huge rush for this, especially since I'll be wanting to publish academic papers in the near future ... knowing I can get my writing exposed through my performance work has helped relieve me of any big ego-panic attacks. Haha ... ohhhhh .....

... Classes begin next week. I'm looking forward to getting my butt kicked a bit in my writing course and hopefully reading some new literature in my Multicultural lit class ... otherwise it's a lot of rehearsals and practical work .... Lots of meetings with advisers to figure out next steps - fellowships, residencies, grants, blah blah ... Really, I'm just trying to pull the right pieces together at the right time so I can go where I need to go, do what I need to do.

I have a huge project in the very early planning stages that has come out of my work with Urban Bush Women. I'm hoping it'll come to be, I'm very much attached to it and feel like it would ... well, make a difference. If it can't happen through school (which would be a shame because I'd like to use it for thesis work too), then I'll be desperately pooling other resources (contacts, funds, etc) that I have here ... I was just so moved, changed even by the work of one of the women in the Institute that I feel this incredible need to work with, for, and learn from her company ....

Well, I now have the task of deciphering handwriting for letters ... so I leave you with this, compliments of the poetry on the subway:

The sands whispered, Be separate,
The stones taught me, Be hard,
I dance for the joy of surviving
on the edge of the road.


(no subject)

i stood outside the UN
and cried
it was just before midnight
the flags were folded down,
ceremonially arranged in
their resting places,
the top of the Chrystler Building
jaggedly reflected itself in
the dark cubicle windows,
uniform if only for the careless
light breaching forth, disrupting
the flagpole's sleep;
but wouldn't you know
from where i was,
you couldn't see the Chrystler, you
just had to assume that the building
wasn't lying,
that the Chrystler really existed beyond
the other black buildings.

my heart is breaking
for reasons highly publicized
and widely unknown;
truths lifted and folded,
revered prophecies lasting
into the twenty-first century,
an undeclared war on the
state of each union -
the sanctity of space
at risk like the sanctity
of unorhodox marriages,
each to his own but
not like to like.

the broken red light preserved
the idle taxi's wandering
and the iron curtain gates
protecting this most holy of
international grounds clanked and
clinked not so subtley, not so securely,
and opened for a volkswagen,
Hitler's trust vehicle

and I wondered

what is a beetle doing at the UN
at midnight?

the security guard just nodded and i'm
thinking, i'm most at risk in my american complacency.


to be continued. broke that goddamn writers block. thank goddess (and angelo, thank you angelo!)

Words, words, words ...

I'm in a little bit of a writer's block, mostly out of frustration with the universe, but seeing as it is such, I'll talk about other people's writing.  I kept my promise to myself that I wouldn't stop reading this summer and it has done my soul (not to mention brain) some good .. 

+ Oryx and Crake. Margaret Atwood. 
   I know, I know, I was a late bloomer in my Atwood development. I just didn't want to believe the English major hype, you know? But actually, she is as incredible as everyone says. I know this is called a dystopia, but it's so much more than that, which is why I'm going to stick with what the author says and tell you to go read this amazing piece of speculative fiction.  Her research is incredible, Atwood created a world out of the possibilities of that which is already happening, her foresight like a notable prophecy.  Her narrative structure is perfectly crafted, flip flopping between past and present not through a typical series of triggers, sense memories and the like of the protagonist, but through a careful beading and past and present sense and followthrough of ideas .... Yes, read it. It's Atwood at her best. 

+ Wilderness Tips. Margaret Atwood. 
   What can I say, when I jump on a bandwagon, I leap ... or something. This is a really fabulous collection of her short stories that I devoured basically. Her character development and subtle commentary on the environments of her characters is quick, succint, sharp and full. I pretty much fell in love with her characters.  My favourite stories: Isis in Darkness; The Age of Lead; Weight

(Later, after she had flung herself into the current of opinion that had swollen to a river by the late sixties, she no longer said "making love"; she said "having sex". But it amounted to the same thing. You had sex, and love got made out of it whether you liked it or not. You woke up in a bed or more likely on a mattress, with an arm around you, and found yourself wondering what it might be like to keep on doing it. At that point Jane would start looking at her watch. She had no intention of being left in any lurches. She would do the leaving herself. And she did.)

[The Age of Lead] 

+ Aristotle's Children. Richard E. Rubenstein.
   This is a beautiful history book I've picked up again. It traces Artistotle's philosophies through the middle ages and renaissances, focusing on it's impact on, and transitions through the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths and institutions of education (and thus education itself, as well as theology). It's a smooth read and is written based off of a really solid base of understanding and research, a strong balance of primaray and secondary sources and some very fresh and refreshing interpretations and ideas of education, theology, etc ... Rubenstein does a great job and putting the pieces of theology, education, philosophy, politics and the occasional social construct/schema, creating an understandable whole. This book has also reminded me how much I abhor religious institutions (especially the almighty Church) and how much I love classical philosophy. 

+ The Secret Teachings of Jesus. translated by Marvin W. Meyer. 
  What can I say, I can stick to a theme. From what I've encountered, I've enjoyed and trusted Meyer's translations and works. However, I'm a little ... insecure in my reading here.  It's a collection of four gnostic gospels, Secret Book of James, Gospel of Thomas, Book of Thomas and Secret Book of John. I haven't finished and Meyer's notes are pretty good. I'm sure having the most recent Int'l English Bible around would be more helpful, I'm picky in my Bible translations as it is ... Anyway, this is a good mind-fuck, as most Gnostic writings are. It's good to have them, I don't know, it kind of feels like a small academic victory against the Church and against censorship in general. Really, though, sometimes I fear the Church overestimates the larger population's ability to ... think. 
  Let's just say, if you read The Hobbit and were able to answer Gollum's riddles, you may want to give James and the Gnostics a chance .... but I'm not gonna lie, I sat in that movie theater and I felt the confusion all around. And they didn't even include the real riddles .... 
  (Either way, I still hold to my most recent Jesus statement: Poor Jesus, he was just a black guy trying to do some good. )

+ directions for an OPENED BODY. kenneth k. Harvey. 
  from the beautiful Miss Julie herself! Harvey's short fiction is the type that takes up those really gruesome topics in a less than grusome manner. The great thing about it and about him, is not necessarily the content but the tone - the entire time, Harvey is pushing you, daring you to read on and in each of these stories manages to create a world that you can't turn back from. Not always my cup of tea, maybe because I haven't yet learned how to handle these subjects as bravely, but great work and definitely a strong voice of a type of contemporary fiction and a definite voice that has had a huge impact on my generation of writers.

  Craving comfort from each other we sight directions for 
     the closing of our opened bodies. 
[kenneth k. harvey]

+ The Leaf and the Cloud. Mary Oliver. 
   She is simply one of the most artistic poets.  She is brilliant, beautiful. 
If you are in the garden, I will dress myself in leaves. 
If you are in the sea, I will slide into that
smooth blue nest, I will talk fish, I will adore salt. 
But if you are sad, I will not dress myself in desolation. 
I will present myself with all the laughters I can muster. 
And if you are angry I will come, calm and steady, with 
some small and easy story. 

Promises, promises, promises! The tongue jabbers, the heart
strives, fails, strives again. The world is perfect. 
Love, however, is an opera, a history, a long walk, that 
includes falling and rising, falling and rising, while 
the heart stays as sweet as a peach, as radiant and 
grateful as the deep-leaved hills. 
[7, Rhapsody.] 

+ By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. Elizabeth Smart. 
    One of the most beautiful works in the English language. Please read this. Elizabeth Smart was the young poet who fell in love with and had a long, heart wrenching (and childbearing - four of them!) love affair with George Barker, the English poet. This book has so much of my heart, of myself. I feel as if I could say, if you wish to know me, where I come from in this new place, read this book. Part/chapter 9 was what solidified that ...

  By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept: 
  I will not be placated by the mechanical motions of existence, nor find consolation in the solicitude of waiters who notice my devastated face.  Sleep tries to seduce me by promising a more reasonable tomorrow. But I will not be betrayed by such a Judas of fallacy: it betrays everyone: it leads them into death. Everyone acquiesces: everyone compromises ... 
 ... The pain was unbearable, but I did not want it to end: it had operatic grandeur. It lit up Grand Central Station like a Judgement Day. It was more iron-muscled than Samson in his moment of revelation. It might have shown me all Dante's dream. But there was no way to endure. 

I am going to have a child, so all my dreams are of water, across which the ghost of an almost accomplished calamity beckons. But tonight that child lay within like the fated and only island in all seas ....... 
[9, Elizabeth Smart] 

  • Current Music
    [rufus wainwright] go or go ahead
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(no subject)

+ Call super at new apartment re:seeing the place
+ See the apartment   No go. Harlem? Maybe. This whole moving thing is a mess ..
+ Pack up winter stuff / things I won't be using in the next month 
+ Laundry 
+ Get in touch with Union Square Partnership re: Sept 11th performance Not only am I booked to dance in Union Square for the festival, but also Central Park, at the Merchants Gate. It's going to be really incredible - I'm aiming for a 20 minute piece.
+ Schedule meeting with 9/11 dancers In process. Yay.
+ Schedule a schedule for 9/11 rehearsals
+ Start organizing poetry
+ Write at least one poem 
+ Go through and file paperwork 
+ Pilobolus @ the Joyce. 8pm.  Holy moly.
+ Start booking for Fall gigs. 
+ Apply for real-people jobs   In process. Waitressing/hostessing as well as some museum jobs. 
+ Contact composers for music for piece.

So apparently ... I'm a promotional model now. Go on, laugh. But it pays. Whatever, life is ridiculous .... 

In other news, Friday night I saw Pilobolus. And was pretty stunned. Granted, the early 70s contact stuff doesn't always thrill me in terms of content, but that's purely a generational thing ... and the partnering is incredible.  The newer work coming from the company is breathtaking, I was thrilled. But also scared shitless.  Seeing a well-established company like that is as inspiring as it is frightening for probably any contemporary choreographer. It is, or at least seems here, broadly recognized that the hey-day of the permanent company is over. Those that are here still - Graham, Cunningham, Taylor, even Brown, MOMIX and Pilobolus - are sticking around on big donor money and big repertory and on the legs of history. They are history. But what's a dancer to do now? We don't marry companies like they used to. And what's a choreographer to do now? We are forced to recognize, or so it seems in post-post-modern education, that we are never going to achieve Graham status. And that we weren't meant to. We're part of a newer, unnamed movement in which many of us will contribute but few will be remembered. Not that this is about remembrance. Let's not even jump that far. What I mean to say, is sustained. Few of us are going to be sustained.  The repertory of the future will be choreographed by Anonymous and Dancers it feels like ... Where am I going with this? I'm not sure, this isn't much an inquiry on the state of things as it as a rambling ... I've wanted an arts company for as long as I can remember - just ask my siblings who were early victims of my art, pudding masterpieces, front lawn musicals and all -- but me and everyone and their mother wants that .... Maybe the playing field hasn't gotten bigger, I've just been spending too much time in it .... Anyway, it's pretty intimidating and inspiring to go to a show of a company (Pilobolus) that has a 4 or 5 week stint at the Joyce. Four weeks. I can't really conceive that and I wonder if it's because I'm told not to bother, those things don't happen anymore .... hmmm .... Success' definition seems to be ever-changing. 

Anyway, I'm actually quite optimistic and excited about my path ... the 9/11 festival deal is going to be a really beautiful opportunity. I should be working with some wonderful, committed dancers and putting together something that's been waiting a long time ... We're booked for the Merchant's Gate of Central Park (Columbus Circle) and Union Square. Not too shabby, methinks ...

In other news, I'm reading Ulysses sans any kind of aide/references. Just me and the Joyce. And I'm really enjoying it. Though I feel like I have a much more solid grip on it, the context, references (not to mention Latin and French) I'm finding that the same phrases and nuances of it are capturing me. Beautiful phrases like I am a stride at a time ... 

I have to get back to data-base-entry for Artichoke ... whose next piece by the way is going to be incredible ... it's good to be here, very good to be here.


  • Current Music
    artichoke's next piece composition ...
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(no subject)

Stepping into my smaller picture, I am feeling desperately cramped. Figuring out future living conditions, the need for a regular job, trying to keep my credit straight and my paperwork in order ... all the real-life things that complicate themselves. I am very ready for a patron and manager, I can pay in poems and interpretive dances. Holiday bonuses are vegan desserts and a used book from the Strand. Any takers?

So, it looks like Williamsburg, it looks like I will be part of the great migration to Brooklyn. East Williamsburg, don't worry I haven't abandoned all of my grassroots, against the grain values. It's a little bit of a weird situation now, I'm all up in the air about it, for lotsa reasons. However, I do want to be a Brooklyn resident, and I need to move for so many reasons. But anytime I cross Third Ave and look up, I think, I will miss this. Regardless, I need a new space, and I need to go through my material posessions, re-evaluate what I need and don't, what I want still and why etc etc etc

I had dinner with my family last week before one of my kids rehearsal. As everyone was dispersing, my dad gave me some money for food, and I said, "Thanks, but what's this for?" and he replied by saying "Well, you're not employed right now ..." My artistic endeavors don't count as employment in the land of picket fences. It's a hard call in my heart, my parents have been supportive, which I am grateful for, but it's something that bothers me. It all bothers me. Why isn't what I do considered enough? I'm aware I need consistent money, but I'm also aware that I'm a professional artist, that I'm successful by many standards, and that I do make money doing this thing. I just hate money. I'm all for a trade system again.
Realizing my need for consistent pay, I have a list of places I can bop around to these upcoming mornings. Hosting, waitressing, cocktailing, retailing. Sure, there's a fancy twist to the SoHo boutiques, there's a tragic glamour to being a dancer waitressing in a 3-floor bar/lounge called Tonic - black eyeliner and heels. The New York dream.
it doesn't always sit well inside of me, I can't figure it out. Maybe it's my inner idealist, always wanting to be part of something better.
Another possibility has occured,
and that is part time work in the museums. Customer service, membership work stuff. I like the idea of working where Frank O'Hara did; of walking through an Andy Warhol or Monet or juarassic dinosaur exhibit on my lunch break.

Knowing me, I'll probably end up doing both.
Dorky museum worker by day ... Sexy cocktail waitress by night.

These mental adventures have caused the following to happen:
I have,
spruced up and updated my resumes.
not started packing.
not cleaned my bathroom.
not done laundry.
gotten decent poetry submission/publication leads.

In other news, I'm officially a performance-artist, complete with mention on Hamptons.com
The great things about this article are
a. I'm mentioned in the same article as the Ralph Lauren benefit
b. I'm mentioned in the same sentance as wine sorbet, my new favourite dessert
c. My photo is there. 
d. My photo is in the same place that Susan Sarandon's is in this week's article. 

Crazy days, I'm telling you. 

I sing the body electric 
I celebrate the me yet to come


  • Current Music
    [tegan & sara] come on kids
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Come one, come all ...

Dates, dates, dates:

+ July 15th - Art for Progress Benefit - Bridgehampton, NY - info: www.artforprogress.org

+ July 29th: 4:00pm, 7:00pm - Urban Bush Women Summer Institute Performance - Kumble Theater, LIU, Brooklyn Campus

+ August 11, 12, 13 - Fiddler on the Roof - St Thomas Youth Theater - Hempstead, NY -- my children. all 70+ of them.

+ September 11th - The September Concert Series - Venue, details TBA


I am excited for all of these things for so many reasons. Please come to what you can // contact me w/questions.
  • Current Music
    [buffalo springfield] for what its worth
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