holy memories

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

December light, 7:51am

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.
_______________________

* Naimonu James

theories

Manuel Calvo, Sin título, 1960

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.

cracked

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.

Cleveland Dec05
Cleveland Dec05

Liturgy presupposes witness as its baseline function.

Transitions have made you partisan.

escape
escape

Dancing as walking.
Sidewalks are walls.
Stoplights are lamps.
Eating as warfare.
Bombs are poems.

We find comfort in staying warm and undefeated.

bow to the middle

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

November16
“Last year. Last night. I’m tired. Let’s fight.” – Superchunk Yeah, It’s Beautiful Here Too

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.

pussy whipped

If you are a private poet, then your vocabulary is limited by your obsessions.
— Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town

hedonism by genis carreras
hedonism (the ethical position that pleasure is the ultimate goal and greatest good, and should be the central aim of all decisions made) by genis carreras

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.

after extra time

Have you noticed love is always on sale and violence is on demand?

Oakland, May16
Oakland, May16

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
  • wanting

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

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.

epistemic relevance

our days have been brighter
an optics, a behavior, of being awake

12-31-15 5:48pm
12-31-15 5:48pm

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  *

pleasure triggers

“show me how to love and I’ll show you how to beg”
–  Lullaby for the Working Class

Trotsky_Nov11
Trotsky_Nov11

anthologies of thought curated by universal themes:
resiliency, worthiness, credence

Trotsky and I_Nov11
Trotsky and I_Nov11

move from punishment to acceptance
towards complexity or, if fortunate, erasure

bedroom_Nov11
bedroom_Nov11

say yes when you beg
when you solicit
open inward (like a prism)
intimately filled with your effort

discursive thoughts

Kiss me hard before you go / Summertime sadness – Lana Del Ray

8-6-15
8-6-15

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.

7-4-15
7-4-15

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.

6-26-15 "fuck new money SF"
6-26-15
“fuck new money SF”

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.

bleeding boundaries

there is a futility in capturing light
when all orbits have remained the same

SLT, CA May15
SLT, CA May15

form fitting
(grounded in our bodies)

watching their sway,
thigh gaps, strong arms,
weak eyes

sugar pine may15
sugar pine may15

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

emerald bay may15
emerald bay may15

 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

future tense

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.”

west coast
west coast sunset

Haunting thoughts dance between those words – a performance perfected through practice.

comfort kills
comfort kills

William Stafford notes what a person is shows up in what a person does.
Those habits are manifestations.

studio 45 March15
studio 54 March15

No longer abstractions, unable to able to hold my breath, I surrender.

victory formation

June 2014 (photo by Atlee)
June 2014 (photo by Atlee)

“Therefore, dark past,
I’m about to do it.
I’m about to forgive you
for everything.”
— Mary Oliver, from A Settlement

*********************************************

I dedicate myself to uncertainty, the future. This is about feeling brave.

being

In Berlin, I thought about how far away heaven was. This is about the discovery of forgiveness.

wanting

There is not enough ocean to keep me from thinking about you. This is about asking.

submitting

I believed you when you told me you were happy, or getting there. This is about desire.

opening

I expanded and shrunk and sustained. This is about keeping myself whole.

dinosaur jr. for the win

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.

4. Renunciation.

5. Watching ferns dance.

6:26pm Oct 17, 2014
6:26pm Oct 17, 2014

luxury

We find ourselves in places where belonging is a luxury.
By definition, this means it is unnecessary.

east side gallery, Berlin, Aug14
east side gallery, Berlin, Aug14

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.

a retrospective: this should be sung

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.

waves of transgressions

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”

looking beyond the horizon
looking beyond the horizon (May13)
where I dreamt
where I dreamt (May13)
downtown middle america
downtown middle america (May13)
grandpa's house
grandpa’s house – now abandoned (May13)

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

specular reflection

artist: Pakayla Biehn
artist: Pakayla Biehn

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
  • bourbon
  • 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

good things

this has been a process

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
  • friable
  • saying what I want
  • building callouses
  • yes…and
  • phallacy: hard/soft
  • dirty dreams
  • righteous anger
  • silence
  • the rawness of vulnerability
  • remembering to breathe
  • ice cream for lunch
  • ashes from a phoenix
  • not owing anyone anything
  • joints and metaphors

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

Felt

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.

artist: Rob Steel

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.

mosaic melancholy: a soundtrack

And so it begins, again.

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.

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.

Pochemuchka*

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:

  • agape
  • arête
  • le regard [you can learn a lot from gazing]
  • sanitary socks

~~~~~~~~~

* (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions

seducere

The ecstasy of discovery:

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.”

Hannah Arendt: “According to Arendt, our capacity to analyze ideas, wrestle with them, and engage in active praxis is what makes us uniquely human.”

Erotomobile, Evelyne Axell

Recording

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.

 

Ephemera matters

 

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.

unpacking your life pile

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

3. students want to learn

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.

feeling presidential

I did go outside this weekend, I promise.  Today is the first day of summer in the Emerald City which means 10 o’clock sunshine and vitamin D euphoria.

7.2.10

7.3.10
7.4.10

Summer Wish List:

new-found freckles
out-of-body experiences
thought-provoking catalysts

Pattern Recognition

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.