staccato

I like words that can be soft
like peach preserves
saved for cold winter mornings
over hot buttered toast.

Words that mend hearts.

Aug15
Richmond, CA Aug15

hedonia

Pleasure. This should be our lifetime pursuit.

ritual June15
ritual June15

Following horoscopes like choices, prioritizing sharing, locating power and minding interpersonal boundaries.

Matters of the heart extend beyond erotics.
We dare to say please and ask to end with thank you.

The summer days draw strength from warming slowly.
It is energy saved to make those days that seem to find you.

rückkehrunruhe

point reyes june15
Point Reyes June15

Peaches says living is more important than making sure you write every day. My mom told me the prairie is the ocean. Both are true.

__

rückkehrunruhe n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness, which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut.

master & servant

that feeling when you are rendered invisible
that process when you have no ability to move forward
that entrenchment when you know everyone is battling each other’s evils
that line around and that territory where power thrives

14th St & Rhode Island Ave NW, DC

cat cafe Jan15
cat cafe Jan15
Norman, OK Feb15
Norman, OK Feb15
ax the rich DC March15
ax the rich DC March15
hot toddy NYC March15
hot toddy NYC March15
xolo April15
xolo April15

5 Euros

In all these ways
we carry ourselves
according to manifested desires
to be taken, wanted,
and to be consumed.
Today I watched the City wake
while clouds slept.
The past few days have been spread thin,
like that space between epiphany and practice,
beautiful.

I have many thanks to give to you, you, and you.

 

mesmerizing

The sunset hit the mountains right where it wanted. Long, slow strokes showing how time moves with us rather than against us. The clouds manifested into curled thoughts: smoking pigs, deformed angels, naked divers, schools of fish with a solo seahorse, dusty cat tracks, dancing rabbits. Cloud shadows performed vignettes on a landscape that, up until that precise moment, had been a light and a topography I had only seen in movies. Swimming to the sound of my breath, I found suffering gave way to resistance and eventually settled on intention as the palm trees swayed to the rhythm of jet trails miles and miles above me.

stepping up to the mic

distance equals power
unbearable lightness of being
courage takes practice
double entendre

Walking around DC, lost but generally in the right direction, allowed me to settle back into my bones. I recall the room you asked me to think about: yellow paint raised like Braille; its speech ready to be discovered through touch.

Judith Butler asserts, “the very terms by which we give an account, by which we make ourselves intelligible to ourselves and to others, are not of our making”.* This theory is comforting and forgiving. It allows for perception, which is shaped by unconscious distortions. It means the first person narrative is always unreliable. This should not be seen as negative or even fatalist, nor submissive. It’s obvious which is why it is shocking. I am not who I was yesterday.

I think about memories and where I store them. Some have leached back into my consciousness despite the high security barriers I placed around them. Others have settled into the rhythmic beat of my heart, my speech, and my ways of knowing. Many have been crushed into the mortar that binds me.

I remind myself that I feel for a reason.

__________

* Judith Butler, Giving an Account of Oneself

looking for joy

“How does she get rid of that thing standing between her and what she wants? She says God may show her. But how much more does she need to see? Every day she pulls her chest open and looks at a ruined life. The heart all bloody. What is the name of the thing eating up her only life?”

– Minnie Bruce Pratt Making Another Phone Call

20120302-235127.jpg
Portland, OR 2012

holiday dysphoria

To quote Kim Gordon, “my future is static, its already had it ” (Schizophrenia). My holiday wish is pretty simple: please let the next sixteen days zip by and let the future year roll forward like it’s no big deal. Expectations, purposely constructed or illusionary, make me nervous and if past experiences are indicators of anything, vehicles of disappointment. This is not an indictment. It’s a calculated reference to the title of this post.

I love reading the top searches that a random passerby used to find this mess of a blog. Child vagina (WTF?!) and man pussy apparently are two tubes you can take to find this url.

As American feminists were hissing about the Plan B reversal due to “common sense,” British feminists rallied for the muff, in her original glory. The body politic is gloriously exposed; sexuality was rationalized on the lips of politicians and defiantly displayed on the streets. It’s all so Victorian. Foucault just yawned.

A random list of ten good things from the last three months:

  1. kisses in elevators
  2. braless weekends
  3. pink sunsets
  4. responding
  5. doing
  6. thanking
  7. protesting
  8. speculums/feedback
  9. solo expeditions
  10. December sunshine
photo by atlee

No one belongs here more than you.

“What I meant was, Life is easy with you here, and when you leave, it will be hard again. The day felt like a birthday, our first, and we ourselves were the gifts, to be opened again and again.”

“I was experiencing a paroxysm of selfhood.”

-Miranda July

Negative Space

found via unintentionallycreepy.net

A recap of the past negative space*:

Museum of medical curiosities:

Vaginas in jars, human horns, input about the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng (e.g. they raised over 21 children and maintained separate households), jars and jars of fetuses, a giant’s skeleton, and a history of the forceps.

It was the intimate possibility of how grotesque the human body can be, neatly displayed in tightly sealed jars, that validated my skewed body image – in a good way.

Philanthropology:

Professional development: Relationship building, inspiration, intentional knowledge fortification, and strategic epistemological adventures.

Personal development: Deflections, sidewalk propositions, anarchist bookstore, blue-eyed funk, and missed Amish apple dumplings.

The experience of focusing on the space outside the intended focus provided the best learning. It ended up being more accurate and balanced that way. The undercurrents of access, influence, and unintentional nepotism were the white noise to the dance of my own rhythmic exploration. I’m building my own portfolio of success.

_____________________________________________________________

Change is inherently risky but the alternative is not my modus operandi. Within the next few months, I will no longer be in the same place and that fact is both surreal and acutely corporeal.

As the days grow closer to the launch, I feel more and more like a situationist. I’m constructing situations that fulfill my desires, presently and for the unknown tomorrow. The geography of such an architecture is fraught with dérive but that’s where the beauty lies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Negative space – the space that surrounds the subject to give it meaning and shape

D.I.F.Y.

photographer: bobby whigham

Do It For Yourself

It’s a new philosophy*. DIY has old roots that have been appropriated in the most unholy ways. (Sorry Etsy, I love you but you’ve perpetuated DIY masquerading as capitalism on an unprecedented scale).

I’m taking it back, demanding to differ, and making it my own like it’s supposed to be.

*thank you Andrea

the personal has gone political, I can tell by the weight of your words

Michael Lewis

An Escalade, a night with the same sex, and some of the best original jokes I’ve heard in a long time; what is a Saturday night adventure.

————————

I’m reading a book entitled, Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality, and the Hygienic Imagination. Only an inch into the book and I’m feeling urges to take a personal day so I can finish this exploration of fringe academia. Who knew you could think about bathrooms, sexuality, gender, architecture, and intersections of power for a living?

Sheila Cavanagh states, “…the unconscious, like the toilet, is a dumping ground for the unacceptable impulses, practices, identifications, and desires.”  It’s enough to make you blush.

Since I can’t take a day off, I’ll have to settle with bringing the book to work and reading it in the bathroom. I will be able to privately think about “how the gendered spacial design of the public bathroom is dependent upon a cissexist and heteronormative ideal.”

It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks of such things and it heartens the soul to know that the education system isn’t completely anemic of stimulating knowledge production.

————————————–

I missed Feminist Coming Out Day (March 8th, mark your calendars for next year).  I can’t reconcile the image below in a way that is comfortable to me. I’m both impressed and honestly horrified at the intensity of those amazing t-shirts. An explosion of transgressions that dares you call them anything but a feminist. It’s also radically essentialist with little context as to why this equals feminism. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of cunt with vajajay that’s throwing me off.

busman’s holiday

The busman’s holiday is not only an idiom, it’s an axiom.

Reading Gender/Body/Knowledge/Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing has been my vacation treat, my busman’s holiday if you will. So far (I’m up to page 92) I’ve had the intense pleasure of knowing the following:

  • “Eroticism is calm passion.” This almost turns me on.
a photo of a page of a book in Powell’s Book Store, Portland, OR
  • “…unless women can authentically voice their own desire and pleasure, then all forms of political liberation will be to no avail.” This may be why silencing women’s voice is golden in a capitalist society and “well-behaved women seldom make history.”  What is authenticity in a culture that does not allow autonomy?
  • “Woman’s body is already colonized by the hegemony of male desire; it is not your body.” Good. Let them own a body that bleeds but doesn’t die. The horror!
  • Helene Cixous invented the word “sext” in 1981. According to Cixous, sexts is a pun on sex and texts. Because the body is a text. Or as Susan Bordo so eloquently notes, “Our conscious politics, social commitments, strivings for change may be undermined and betrayed by the life of our bodies…the docile, regulated body practiced at and habituated to the rules of cultural life.”
  • “Erotic experience is extraordinary, lying somewhere between dream and daily life.”  This turns me on.

Exploring resistance and the erotic construction of building knowledge has left me feeling very satisfied.

Underground Praxis

 

Sara Marcus reading from Girls to the Front 10.11.10

 

Watching self-defined riot grrl, Sara Marcus, read from her book, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrl Revolution, was nostalgic inducing. Feeling that old confidence, the passion, and the idealism of being what you want and not giving a damn was rebellion in its purest form.

Sara wrote this “true story” because as she articulated, “the specificity needed to be reclaimed.” Riot Grrl was more than music, it was a radical feminist youth-led movement to change shit. I was late to the grrl party but its influence was still thrashing, even in the heart of America. It changed and shaped me. It was the method of delivery that infected my consciousness; a theory of practicing what you preach.

Ending with “settle for nothing less than absolutely everything,” I walked home with a little extra revolution in my hips.

A permanent MUM?

 

Judy Chicago - Red Flag (1971)

 

Read this interview with Harry Finley, curator of the Museum of Menstruation.

An excerpt from the interview:

On menstruation enthusiasts: “Probably 99 percent of the visitors to the museum were women in pairs, or women accompanied by men. I got the feeling that the men were body guards. Almost never did single women visit the museum. I think they were afraid of what they would find. I can understand that. When I step back and look at it, it is kind of weird. Occasionally a single man would come in and take a look, then hurriedly go out. These are men who are interested in the subject but didn’t want anyone to know they were interested. In a sense, I have functioned as a surrogate for these people.”

If I had the $, I would so make the Museum of Menstruation a permanent public display.  It’s an incredible dedication to the private space, to confessions, to transgressions, to sexuality.

V

Le Corbusier II, Ofer Wolberger

Practicing what you preach is hard. That’s why most people end up preaching.

Life With Maggie by Ofer Wolberger effectively conveys that feeling of  living a life in which you mask yourself, not for any sinister reason but rather that just seems to be the status quo of our oppressive culture. Wolberger’s images are innocent yet curious. They reflect a hyperreality.

It’s been a week of exhilarating explorations. There is a wide gap between implementation and theory but that’s the fun and messy dance of exploring. The moment you realize that you don’t need to wear a mask is the moment when you know you’ve stumbled upon something really amazing. You’ve discovered new terrain and despite the risks, you bravely forge ahead. I can always put my disguise back on but it’s easier to breathe without it.

We may just be pixels but keeping a sharp focus will make this expedition a revolution.

__________________________________________________

It’s a good thing I’m on birth control. Apparently it’s making my gray matter grow which has definitely enhanced my awkward social skills but alas, it has not improved the memory recall.

color and satellites

Railroad workers, 1943, Iowa (photo by Jack Delano)

Bound for Glory: America in Color is an amazing color photo archive of Americans from the Great Depression. Bound for Glory contains some of the only known color photographs taken during this era. They are beautiful. There is dancing, sleeping, learning, eating, working, and amazing blue skies. And no plastic.

It reminds me of my childhood. It was a childhood of sparse landscapes, hard work, dynamic adult dinner table conversations, and frequent moving to new desolate locations. It was a life lived in the middle of nowhere; nothing but your imagination to keep you from accepting the reality around you. I managed to transcend the endless boundaries before me.  Now I’m able to orbit other spaces and places while occasionally transmitting new data to those left behind. I am a satellite and looking for other astronauts.

day business or running money

artist: gilles krivich, found via hard feelings blog

A few things I learned yesterday:

1. crows have memories that last forever so be nice them

2. interactions with young, like 13 years old, boys are beautifully brave

3.  when analyzing information, look beyond the obvious and start there

4.  finding oneself in spaces where you can literally feel a tension or dynamic should be internalized and remembered like a crow

5. there is nothing better in this world than a west coast sunset

conjoined

artist Lucia Dolci; found via new bodies

Manifestations of dichotomies and coding perspectives can be minefields in a culture that demands you don’t notice the wires.

I really like this praxis (and this blog!). I think we should practice the same discipline when we see racism, sexism, and classism. Imagine that possibility.

Getting stuck in the grind makes it hard to recognize that life is always around you.

January 1st is the prescribed time to make changes, June 1st is the time to assess that reality. The last few days of my Jesus year afford an opportunity to join those theories with the anticipation of what lies ahead.

You are right. It’s summer and we aren’t machines.

Assholes

You know you’ve had an interesting week when you start and end with two profound comments about assholes.

The beginning of week started with a conversation about life’s eternal struggle – finding a job that satisfies.

One person’s perspective on the dream job:

  • work on projects you love
  • avoid assholes
  • get paid enough to travel to far off lands

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The end of the week was enlightened by a Kiki Smith lecture.  A lecture of casual f-bombs (feminism), deconstruction, self-determination, changing forms (drops: blood to rain to milk), animal hair, fighting like hell to not be culturally owned, flipping meaning, and embracing then utilizing contradictions. Kiki Smith called herself a “self-righteous asshole.” She was irreverent and brilliant.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strengthening the power of interpretation, having the courage to envision, and demanding to be dynamic in a static culture, these are a few things on my to-do list.

Loving the Straight Line

“Paintings speak for themselves,” said Carmen Herrera. Geometry and color have been the head and the heart of her work, she added, describing a lifelong quest to pare down her paintings to their essence, like visual haiku. Shown here, “Blanco y Verde” (1966), a canvas of white interrupted by an inverted green triangle.


Margaret Kilgallen said, “I like things that are handmade, and I like to see people’s hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn’t matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don’t project or use anything [mechanical], because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it’s human. And I think it’s the part that’s that’s interesting…that’s where the beauty is.




{five years, one hundred seventy five posts later}

I like good news!

A Saturday editorial in the NY Times, End to the Abstinence-Only Fantasy, is news that makes the heart grow fond.  It’s a bright light on the absurdity of abstinence-only ideologies in a decade of restriction of choices. With the recent abortion debates surrounding government health care, here’s to hoping that comprehensive sex education works.

The entire article, the emphasis is all mine:

“The omnibus government spending bill signed into law last week contains an important victory for public health. Gone is all spending for highly restrictive abstinence-only sex education programs that deny young people accurate information about contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. The measure redirects sex-education resources to medically sound programs aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy.

Federal support for the wishful abstinence-only approach, which began in the 1980s, ballooned during George W. Bush’s presidency. As the funding grew, so did evidence of the policy’s failure. A Congressionally mandated study released in 2007 found that elementary and middle school students who received abstinence instruction were just as likely to have sex in the following year as students who did not get such instruction.

Many states rightly declined to participate in the abstinence program, forgoing federal money. Most of the nation’s recent progress in reducing the abortion rate has occurred in states that have shown a commitment to real sex education.

The last Bush budget included $99 million for abstinence-only education programs run by public and private groups. The new $114 million initiative, championed by the White House, will be administered by a newly created Office of Adolescent Health within the Department of Health and Human Services with a mandate to support “medically accurate and age appropriate programs” shown to reduce teenage pregnancy.

Unfortunately, some of this progress could be short-lived. The health care reform bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee includes an amendment, introduced by the Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, that would revive a separate $50 million grant-making program for abstinence-only programs run by states. Democratic leaders must see that this is stricken, and warring language that would provide $75 million for state comprehensive sex education programs should remain.

In another positive step, the spending bill increases financing for family-planning services for low-income women. It also lifts a long-standing, and utterly unjustified, ban on the District of Columbia’s use of its own tax dollars to pay for abortion services for poor women except in cases when a woman’s life is at risk, or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Ideology, censorship and bad science have no place in public health policy. It is a relief to see some sense returning to Capitol Hill.”