What a savage year. Calendar time and actual time disassociated. Let go or be dragged. I got dragged and then I let go. In this protracted state, I mended critical boundaries and broke open new patterns. I made the days useful to me. I wrote about cowboys while breathing in fire. I listened and was seduced. I transmuted silence, my way. Drowning in manufactured violence and drama, we held each other longer and tighter. I saw urgency extract exquisite ideas and leave behind ghosts still in motion. Recognizing that glitch, I give myself infinite permission to fail, to risk, to revive. I still believe revolutions are frenetic desires and armor myself contextually. Curiosity is my ideal pace. I follow cats and poets. I came into this world greedy. I need reminders when my body grips fear: be awake for soft pink sunrises and orange suns floating into fading darkness. It is my responsibility to source these personal validations and ritualize inspiration. Reflex grace. Find balance in distractions and create sacred ceremonies with your hands on my hips.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
— T. S. Eliot
2017 notes to 2018 self:
- seek light / confront darkness
- feeling worthy is a practice
- be clear about priorities
- inspiration is a higher form of knowledge
- “discipline creates spaciousness”*
- no matter how deep the ocean is, you will always find sacred land
These are my centerfold memories — the lessons I opened to over and over again. The specifics are tenderized images of evolution unraveled, then a consecration of release. As tipping points and space to witness, revision expanded bravery and abundance shifted structures.
My past experiences have been arranged into possibility bright as desire’s capacity to make power transparent. I exorcised ghosts to bankrupt suffering. I transitioned from shame to justice. I bartered verses delicate as externalized validation. I owned my name and its history.
Absorbing only credible echoes, I dreamt I was safe and expressed joy religiously.
I wake curious.
I. spam is a language and a strategy
II. our hearts are rabbit holes
I. interstates *need* mirrored billboards
Inflections reflect emphasis, and opening and closings. Some days I think being ___ is the best way to survive. An existence spread. That feels aspirational in vision and phonetically embodied. A form of capacity. Or dispossession. A bridge as much as a boundary.
Christmas fell on a Sunday, as ordinary as on a Tuesday.
Wants were absence so we honored each other’s realizations.
A modern birth narrative.
Liturgy presupposes witness as its baseline function.
Transitions have made you partisan.
Dancing as walking.
Sidewalks are walls.
Stoplights are lamps.
Eating as warfare.
Bombs are poems.
We find comfort in staying warm and undefeated.
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. –Kurt Vonnegut
I was radicalized. Force-fed ancient beliefs. Required to center sin instead of self. Drank from an endless well of false promises – an afterlife.
Then I learned the sun holds all our light. Holy fact: sunsets are 8-minute delayed images of an absent sun. Divine visuals of calculated perspective.
Beg for satisfaction. Wring hands and gnash teeth. Look past stains of neglect. Ordain historical trauma as profit. Prick arousal.
One morning, after I left, I walked into buttery light. The City coated in its luminescence. Clouds billowed pink and shone unconsciously.
Acknowledge how ghosts bleed out.
Embellish for clarity’s sake.
Honor nothing but this subtle effort.
If you are a private poet, then your vocabulary is limited by your obsessions.
— Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town
It’s a fact. Cycles sync. It is October, 2016. The word pussy is in our mouths again. Full and heavy bodied, it’s paired with a specific violence as naturalized as an inherited ownership tone. This is the fetishized frequency of law and order.
*** you’ve got to stack it so it’s stable – Low, No Comprende ***
So this is what whiplash from a mass capture of imagination feels like. A forced common image. Pussy, for now, functions as an ironic partisan anchor, while still maintaining its gendered significations.
What is the whole of this historical objectification of our parts? Patriarchal logic argues that this violence of disassociation is necessary and even desired. This detachment is inherent in our economic theories, consumer-based language, and mass-produced representations.
We learn, repeatedly, there are far more serious and urgent issues to concern ourselves with than ritualized gender-based violence. We are dismissed. We are told to question less and obey more.
*** underneath this hood you kiss, I tick like bomb – Perfume Genius, Hood ***
We perform this idealized creed through a perpetual liturgy of demure expressions in a culture that protects mobs of high-volume denials. This contemporary shrill masculinity is socially recycled into discourses that tap into an idolization of individual perspective. For most, this illusion only creates isolation.
Manipulating the dark side of vulnerability isn’t a new strategy to win elections, or maintain control. What feels different this Presidential election cycle is the dredge of cultural material to mine and the hypervoyeurism that has been produced. Public and private boundaries are as unstable as our contemporary understanding of when virtual becomes reality.
As we bare witness to the misogyny that rages beneath all our sacred institutions, may the soundtrack to this ride to November include Magnet by Bikini Kill.
I’m keeping this advice on a loop: I’ve got the love that’s strong and not weak.
Have you noticed love is always on sale and violence is on demand?
she dug deep, and still,
my hips held position
walking through clouds of words
hearing only “baby”
performing radical distortion, always inward
personally speaking, “no” is aspirational
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Lately, this fevered responsibility begs for:
- cultural affection
- mass-blessed kisses
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
She wore tights the color of sun-hidden skin.
I stole touches. Even in stillness, the body has a beat.
Oblivion’s call such a tempting response.
our days have been brighter
an optics, a behavior, of being awake
this year’s declarations:
* occupying neutrality is poetic nuance *
* embody love as deep as it can go *
* shame has subjective exchange rates *
* judge listening and justice as actions *
* what feels good and safe is happiness *
* it is ok to change your mind, to leave, to quit, to cry *
* apologies and forgiveness are patterns of endless appreciations *
“show me how to love and I’ll show you how to beg”
– Lullaby for the Working Class
anthologies of thought curated by universal themes:
resiliency, worthiness, credence
move from punishment to acceptance
towards complexity or, if fortunate, erasure
say yes when you beg
when you solicit
open inward (like a prism)
intimately filled with your effort
Kiss me hard before you go / Summertime sadness – Lana Del Ray
I remember the red, blood red, carpet.
The sun, both setting and rising,
made the western facing room feel that much warmer.
I remember the heavy dining room table,
a dark honey wood, with majestic claw feet.
This is where we were forced to cry,
to talk about the weather, money, crops.
This was the house where I realized that speaking up meant salvation,
a deliverance of blame so that others could go unpunished.
It also meant wooden spoons broken across our bodies.
There were dinners of noodles, meat, tomato sauce.
It meant mom was able to go the store.
I was grateful to have something else added to the endless supply of ground beef.
The driveway was circular,
it went nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
The dogs were treated as workers.
The horses were tall, smelled of earth and hair,
their soft velvet noses stiff with whiskers.
there is a futility in capturing light
when all orbits have remained the same
(grounded in our bodies)
watching their sway,
thigh gaps, strong arms,
the golden light was not yet warm
creating fog that caressed just the tips
of downtown, driving west, away from
the dismantled bridge
a vanishing mile marker
returning to what we know
a team of horses, a blush of boys
all self-referential codes aside
revision is a type of prayer
a methodological desire for revival
I read the words “indulgence in loss” after absorbing the previous passage “and that kind of indulgence is understandable, but it’s regressive.” Regressive had been defined as, “when you celebrate something you know you’re going to leave.” (William Stafford interview)
Haunting thoughts dance between those words – a performance perfected through practice.
William Stafford notes what a person is shows up in what a person does.
Those habits are manifestations.
No longer abstractions, unable to able to hold my breath, I surrender.
“Therefore, dark past,
I’m about to do it.
I’m about to forgive you
— Mary Oliver, from A Settlement
I dedicate myself to uncertainty, the future. This is about feeling brave.
In Berlin, I thought about how far away heaven was. This is about the discovery of forgiveness.
There is not enough ocean to keep me from thinking about you. This is about asking.
I believed you when you told me you were happy, or getting there. This is about desire.
I expanded and shrunk and sustained. This is about keeping myself whole.
A list of best moments this month:
1. Telling that drunk businessman who touched me to “think harder” when he asked me what my tattoo meant. He had no answer.
2. Recognizing early evening light is different from a month ago. It begs to be noticed.
3. Living ethics that are thoughtful and grounded like the patch hanging in my bathroom that says You dont [sic] have to fuck people over to survive.
5. Watching ferns dance.
We find ourselves in places where belonging is a luxury.
By definition, this means it is unnecessary.
Her see-through plastic bag, oversized,
contained hundreds of half used soaps
stolen from her job cleaning hotel bathrooms.
Soaps rubbed on morning bodies sleepy and thoughtful
as unconscious as the walk to work every day.
Bodies that hold secrets of unwanted advances,
deposits of having perpetuated untruthful yeses and no’s.
Simply becoming reminders, faint traces, like wandering
so deep the path blends into the horizon or the way pleasure
can be found in those delicate spaces where limbs join torso.
Our secrets are exposed as nervous laughs and sighs of hope.
Hope is the energy that fuels this story of how we got here, or maybe this story is really about how we have changed in the process of wanting more. If hope is the energy, then gratitude has been the structure from which we are able to draw breath on our own. I have finally accepted that this light, with its various hues of apricot, and if fortunate, shades of ripe grapefruit, warms by promising new beginnings.
This was a year of submitting, writing and then revising; asking for it because I wanted; and taking breaths so deep my lungs collapsed. There were days I woke up broken, days I did not know how to sustain vulnerability, and many more days I woke to an acute feeling of being alive, a feeling deeper than bruised bone. I was witness to fog so grey it pulled the blues from the Bay.
These dances, this rhythmic gradation of give and take, have transformed old fault lines.
Below are ten things I’ve learned during this cycle around the Sun:
- the best decisions are the ones that fade the quickest
- immolation through the act of pressing pen to paper is my valued haptic practice
- the knowledge I have embodied was shaped by intimate failures
- crosswalks can be catwalks with the right song in your ears
- bravery manifested has exponential rewards and consequential risks
- justice is a habit I can’t break
- inability to forgive yourself is a cardinal sin
- it is true that the world continues to revolve with or without you
- how we see matters
- I really enjoyed eating a blueberry muffin naked in front of you
This post is dedicated to nearly nine years of maintaining this space of inquiry and intentional deconstruction. I wrote to survive, to have a voice. Each sentence is an act of breath, a release of internalized tension and anxiety. This call and response has been my baptism by epiphany.
In the silence of consciousness I asked myself:
why did I reject my life? And I answer
Die Erde überwältigt mich:
the earth defeats me.
I have tried to be accurate in this description
in case someone else should follow me. I can verify
that when the sun sets in winter it is
incomparably beautiful and the memory of it
lasts a long time. I think this means
there was no night.
The night was in my head.
Louise Glück | from “Landscape”
I want to lay to rest what I saw and felt when I went home almost a month ago. A home that was a desperate sanctuary during those teenage years of economic struggle, maternal abandonment, and good old fashioned repressions of thought, body, and spirit. I feel compelled to honor those sharp memories of family, community, and those intimate transgressions between loyalty and independence.
I’m old enough to know better that I should not force this process of internalization and still I desperately want to name these experiences. I don’t know how to own them.
The endless landscape connected by bridges and resistance shaped my core sense of self. I returned with an embodied joy in knowing conscious disobedience yields revolutionary results. I may have adorned myself with fancy theory and identities that I have fought to name in my own words but the class I was born into, that binding agent of perspective, is unescapable.
For now, I distilled these details:
- my grandpa did buy a car with only silver dollars (two cars in fact!)
- my value was defined by others who did not exist (husband and child)
- survival is predicated on silent obedience of unquestioned rules
- broken sidewalks paved a geography of constrained despair
- if you look up and out, the clouds will guide you
- I’ve always been this way
- the consequences of choice matter and language continues to fail me
We live in a century defined by its curation; we are a nation of tags. Economies are based on it.
I prefer my inspiration random, underground, catalytic, and authentic.
The challenges today are the same we faced yesterday. Too much time has been spent on the details, it is time to move forward with eyes open. Below is a random, catalytic, and totally authentic curated list of good things that happened this past year (since April).
- sunglasses and an original packet of erotica
- bonsai and desire
- the ocean
- standing ground
- stick shifts
- having a beard
- pink sunsets
- warm bodies
- winter sunshine
- sick days
- consensual hugs
- asking what feels good
- goodbyes and hellos
Below is a list of good things that have happened as my days turn into months. This project of finding a thread to hold has allowed me to build a structure of my own, a crystallization of a positive proof of existence.
These fifteen good things are in no particular order except for the order in which they occurred:
- sisters and kittens
- saying what I want
- building callouses
- phallacy: hard/soft
- dirty dreams
- righteous anger
- the rawness of vulnerability
- remembering to breathe
- ice cream for lunch
- ashes from a phoenix
- not owing anyone anything
- joints and metaphors
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:
- kisses in elevators
- braless weekends
- pink sunsets
- solo expeditions
- December sunshine
Disaster Capitalism: The East faces a pumpkin shortage.
Math matters: A rotation of 180 degrees results in “packaging error” on 1.4 million birth control pills. It’s an interesting angle that having an unintended pregnancy is not “an immediate health issue.” So decrees the spokesman.
Other things I learned yesterday:
- The body is mostly water so choose positive words or phrases to memorialize on yourself.
- Atlanta has the real housewives scene. Word.
- South Dakotans are rare and mystical creatures.
- There is a genre of porn in which women pop balloons between their thighs.
- Offices at Google let babies roll around between the cubicles.
- Some believe that clowns should modernize their look.
I was a stranger, an outsider. I adore the experience of observing circles and their connections.
Yet this departure is different. I leave satisfied, (more) complete, and stronger.
Finding a way to translate these past five years is proving difficult. It’s a matter of who and what, and more importantly, how they fit together into some cohesive vision. The fracturing of my experiences was both thrilling and gut wrenching.
I carry with me a mosaic of memories that have become the foundation for my curiosity, exploration, and awakening. There were lessons that challenged assumptions, opportunities to find and use my voice, and the warm realization that autonomy requires an incredible support system.
A “mixed tape” will have to suffice.
- Rockets – Cat Power
- Little Eyes – Yo La Tengo
- O Let It Be – Will Oldham
- Oh Comely – Neutral Milk Hotel
- Still – jj
- We Used to Wait – Arcade Fire
- Just Like Heaven – Dinosaur Jr.
- Shake Our Tree – Rosebuds
As I look forward to the unknown, there is wisdom in my vision, new understanding in my heart, and prolific capacity for constructing my destiny.
Toi et moi – it is the only thing worth living for.
A few random words that I’ve jotted down the past few days because I know my capacity for recall is being reserved for far more important things like connecting dots and planning for success. The illogical and random synergy of these word crumbs are provocative.
In alphabetical order:
- le regard [you can learn a lot from gazing]
- sanitary socks
* (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions
Evelyne Axell: “Evelyne Axell lived her art like a destiny, violently dramatic, demanding, absolute. Through it she has left us the breath of life, a life which she rode bareback like an Amazon.”
Theresa Sapergia: “Her work uses sentimentality, sincerity and humor to call into question contemporary art’s current relationship with irony and distancing.”
Recording every minute of your life can make you instantly nostalgic. I haven’t figured out if I enjoy that feeling of memory or I’m afraid that if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget. Both are satisfactory to me.
Here are some things that happened over the past few weeks:
- Printing prints with numb fingers
- Mad dress, gold shoes & ripped shirts
- Rocking chairs & a softer hair of the dog
- Sexual terrorism memorialized in a museum
- A 54 year streak, broken
- Those who were formerly known as “tea baggers” (never forget) rode a gendered Trojan horse to the mobs.
- Rejected at the first hoop signaling my exit
- Out of control plate of charity donuts
The rainy season has started. You plan for it, sometimes you even wish for it. Your eyes eventually adjust to the fading darkness. Looking for new perspectives, new ways of seeing, is my urban hiking goal.
Winter accomplishments this year will include cataloging subtle similarities and observing wide ranges of differences through photos and random epiphanies. Writing every minute down is not the goal. The goal is to live one’s life.
While I was letting my life pile up around me, the following history happened:
1. comprehensive evidence based sex education got paid, specifically $155M in federal grants
2. medication abortions did not increase the total number of abortions in the United States
4. a new wave – post-feminism feminism – was born
I see a dull light shining out from the past dark ages that was the noughties. Let’s stop and celebrate these successes. The list above reads like a cornucopia of change from the status quo.
The crumbs listed above led people to this blog. I’m equally proud and horrified that the internet and its series of pipes dumped people here. How these terms correlate to cacheculture’s content is literally accurate but it’s certainly not definitive.
Summer Wish List:
things i’d like to see:
curb feelers on city buses
Bush said: “It’s important for people to know that I’m the president of everybody.”
The military is barred from recruiting anyone who takes the drug Ritalin, commonly prescribed for attention deficit disorder. That alone makes about 4% of all high school seniors ineligible for the military, according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey. The military also doesn’t take asthmatics, bed-wetters, or anyone with flat feet.
“I’m not a protester, and I don’t like protesting,” she says. “But I want to make a statement, to be a statement.” – protester outside Terry Shaivo’s hospice March 29, 2005
McDonald’s is 50 years old:
Jean Baudrillard said the Big Mac is “the degree zero of food.” A product ubiquitous to the point of invisibility.
The closest he or any of his fellow soldiers came to wearing ear protection was stuffing “squirrel tampons” (cigarette filters) into their ears.