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.
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.
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.
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 *
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.
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).
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:
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.