Monday, June 12, 2017

Returning From LA

13 February 2017

We are parked again now. A spot closer to the water than the first. The beach was one of our destinations after all. I wasn't sure. There had been talk of beating the traffic.  I know so little of LA traffic.

We walk down to a cove. A hidden gem. 

It is easy to find a place a place to unfurl a blanket. 

Young teen girls, blonde, still fair skinned, athletic- California to the core- play pyramid and splash in the surf. I wonder at their two piece suits and that they are not in school.  Older folk, more clothed, sit and let the sun dissolve their thoughts. 

In time, both of my companions strip and aim themselves at the waves.  

They let their bodies be jostled by the water giant. 

Content with my notebook and pen, I do not go be laughingly drowned.

I turn my back to the sun. Under my hat, I feel rising heat tug the water out of me. 

A man sits topless and cross legged in the dry sand to meditate. Or so it seems. 

In the very next moment he is spitting into the sand and laying down. His actions registers as repugnant to me. 

I look away from him uncertain if I want to spend any observational effort on such a self-involved creature. 
But inexplicably he begins to walk on his hands. 
I give him a few more seconds of my time.  

Clearly, he is very proud of his physical accomplishments. If only his spirit were in such capable shape. 

Time is moving differently. How long will we stay here? 
A couple of hours to avoid the general rush to get home? Is that possible to avoid? 

The amused girls squeal. 

A crow calls. 

The freeway is far away. The country I am in is far away. Mexico is far away.  

Adrift thoughts anchor as I my drenched friends return to the blanket. They dry and dress once more. Though I am content to sit and write, I am invited to explore the tide pools off to our right. I accept this offer. 

One agrees stay to watch our belongings. 
Two are free to clamber over rough and wet surfaces. 

I feel unusually certain on this terrain. Using all my limbs every once in a while for balance feels very natural. 

We peer into so many different scrying glasses. Every possible reality just a bit different than the next.

Careful not to disturb any of the pools with an indelicate step, my canvas shoes soak through from the tide's unpredictability anyway. 

A guide is available to explain the shore life to us. On such a lovely day there are three or four of them leading on small groups of curious people with fancy cameras. 

They boast that the cove's ecosystem is recovering after some sparse years. All thanks to their preservation efforts.

In direct opposition to the posted (and guide reiterated) rules, I keep two small shells in my pocket. I remain confident the cove will continue to mend itself just fine, in spite of my transgression. 

Just before feeling that we have over-indulged ourselves in this daydream retreat, we go. Back to the car. Back to the freeway. 

Happy to have been there. Happy to get moving. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

International travel - like a rock star

 {photo credit missing!}
In the company of my fellow artistic collaborators, I finally made it to Canada: the stomping grounds of my French ancestors. We would be there for no longer than a day.

In the Montreal airport I saw many obvious Mexican immigrants. Remind me again- which country has that big green statue and that lovely poem about huddled masses?

During lunch, I sat in a vegan cafe alone in Mile End. I had been ditched there so more errands could be run before show time. It was my impression that no one wanted to share 'healthy' food with me either. 

The clouds gathered enough to let down a spring rain. The musical selection connected me back to NYC. Brooklyn Rider played. I'd been in a performance with those musicians!

The time with my own thoughts, scrawling long hand in a note book was not under appreciated. 

Part of me was wondering why I didn't speak French; part of me wondered why I was born in America; part of me wanted to go to sleep in a comfortable bed, in a lying down position. There was no hostel, motel, hotel or b and b (air or otherwise) reserved for us on this trip.

Pictures weren't snapped. I was not in tourist mode. I was running on a scant few hours of sleep and was expected to get on stage to do a performance. That was why the three of us went to this northern city: we wanted to expose Heroic Procession to a different crowd. It was something they did not expect. Of course. Other performers who stopped to watch us voiced their admiration for our efforts, I can't say how anyone else roving the Rialto received the work.

After the dj's interminable set faded out and the last of the booths were stripped, we taxied over to waste time at a 24 hour dive unremarkably called Joe's Panini. It was right next to a happy ending massage parlor with an honest to Venus barker inviting males to enjoy the heights of relaxation and pleasure. He didn't stay outside of the establishment very long though. He noticed we weren't potential clientele and ran along to find more likely types.

It was the small hours of the morning. The rain of the day was still soaking in. The panini place was quite busy. There were lone super drunks, a lesbian couple, an EMT guy wearing pink camo patterned trousers.. who knew 2 am would bring a rush?

I ate a questionable soy veggie panini. It was absolutely perfect given my setting. 

One of the super drunks went off about bacon being the best kind of vegetable. He was trying to get a rise out of someone he perceived as vegan - I wondered if he pegged me as such? Sometimes drunks have magic powers after all. And he was supra-drunk. 

This large inebriate had ordered a panini. He ate it. Then ordered another panini heavy with bacon, plus a large portion of mac'n'cheese. He ate everything. He was so far gone, I don't think he would even remember that he ate enough for three and a half people. I avoided eye contact.

At the airport: I over heard a couple of gentlemen who sat at the same gate. Their conversation moved between what sounded like Scottish accented English to full on Quebecois. That was a treat for my ears. 

We still had so many hours to kill before our flight. The airport was too loud for me to sleep more than a moment or two. My animal self felt too vulnerable.  

I survived this adventure in one piece. Or so I thought. The effects of stress were merely delayed. It hit me a week after arriving home: Vomiting. The runs. Menses. Missing out on work. 

But anyway- What's next? 

A jaunt to New Orleans?
(Come on, Papa Legba. Help a white woman out.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How We Hang

I am no tarot card expert but I have come to this conclusion: 
The Hanged Man card is most representational of the Film Extra. A modern deck could include a card called Film Extra and it would still be all about surrender, non-action, yielding...
Extras are things fluctuating between living beings and set props- Between subject and object- stalled out between heaven and earth. They are 'bound' hurriedly in costume and makeup then left hang around waiting. When they find a comfort zone something is undoubtedly changed and they are forced to redefine their comfort levels yet again. They are able to see the value of hanging around. Their vantage points are always unusual, surreal. 

Many of my days since the beginning of this year have gone into being "awake" and present in this place of suspension. Ready and waiting no matter what the hour. Stuck on the set. Or in holding- which is never too far from the set. 
My reward for this? I play make-pretends with famous-er people who remain as aloof as possible. But then I get to meet a whole host of other folks in the same holding patterns.
My fellow extras, unlike the famous-er people, are get-to-know-able. We spend twelve (and often many more) hours out of a day together sans internet connection. What else can you do but bond?
A lot of sharing happens anyway without social media: stories, jokes (of the delightfully lowest quality), business plans, interpersonal dramas, cigarettes. Then some where in there we experience being placed and directed on set. 
We extras are never considered actors; not even part of the crew. But, begging your pardon Gentle Readers, fuck you -all you production targ dren who uphold pointless hierarchical systems. Systems which keep extras at a sub-human status level. Is the Hanged Man treated as a lesser Major Arcana? I think not.

If you sit me in the sun (I hate being in the sun bloody sunshine!) to "enjoy" a meal made of food I cannot even put in my mouth, then this is acting. I am an actor pretending the sun does not effect me, pretending to dine on "food." 
I am not a field-hand, a pet, or child. Nor am I an idiot. I do notice when the 'umbrella boy' does not give shade to everyone sitting at the same blasted table, under the same yellow hot sun. I do see the trays of food and drinks brought around to everyone else but extras. 

How will this dynamic be broken down so that we become more equal players together? Will there be a revolution for us in the coming months? I can only hope. Injustice is injustice. Especially for us who are now known well enough by face if not by name on the set. 

Apart from the conviviality, at chance moments we retreat into solitary activities: sleeping, reading or, in my case, writing. Con tanto tiempo en mis manos, I don't want it to carelessly flit from me without some record of what transpired behind the scenes- beside the scenes is more accurate. (¡Si-món!) Memory is less than reliable and we are not allowed to have recording devices with us. I also just wanted to keep up the writing habit in me. It's easier to scrawl phrases than to even do any stretches in my fligging uncomfortable camo pants, military grade fanny pack and ploddy-clod stumble boots. Escribo en un cuaderno y there amid my endless remarks about being mentally incapable of conjuring language to express my experiences, I do manage to come up with salvageable kernels of poetry. 

Here's a is light revision of something written while at a holding location; during an unusual weather event:
Adrenal burnout
Feeling nothing when the cup of drug hits
Not even sure if it has hit
A ball bounces off the tarp
Missed marks
Mist today
Whets my awe
The Ocean has heard my railings against the Sun
He sends a fog to sneak around these now green hills
My eyes open to inhale that abundance of green
Irises can open easier and peer through
Shifting, obscuring grey tones
Without excess radiation burning them
The whole of my form retreats from its most expanded borders
Chilled, relieved
Greedy, I breathe water vapors
Horses whinny in the middle distance
They graze as muted silhouettes
Human chatter rises and falls from around the tents
Of those sounds I was heard 
The frisbee flies
Frisbee and flies
Baseball catch and
Fog off the Pacific
Around my shoulders 
Raven wings around my head 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Grate Full

{ s elf }

A Grate Full 

-of lint or ash or wet, dead leaves... or something pleasant maybe. 

can you find something pleasant in a grate? or do grates just grate you.

In lieu of a rant post (because tis the fourth year designated for ranting) here below is a collection of words, a listing that- that I thought would be more appropriate than some half crazed explosion of overpowering emotions squeezed into the shapes of symbols and stuffed in between the gaps of those symbols arranged into words and sentences. I understand that sort of display is easily scorned and laughed off- due to misconstrued facts or something. So. As this is the manufactured season (day) of thanks, I thought I'd display a bemused image of the s elf with #nofilter. Because that is an expected and customary thing to do. And then express some gratefulnesses; in no particular order. 

i am grateful for the green fruit and vegetable juice that will sustain me through my fast today as i give thanks and not glut on thanks.  

i am grateful to have learned what it means to be a christian and what is means to be an american.

i am grateful for those standing against the enemy even though they are swallowed whole by it. 

i am grateful for the storytellers who remind me of the deep magic. 

i am grateful for those who can still remember what the dark is. 

i am grateful to those who have done me good turns. may i be able to return the favors to them or pass it on to others in need.

i am grateful for those using their ignorance to illuminate ignorance. a dim bulb is better than none.

i am grateful for the repetition of the times though i earnestly desire something new and genuine to spring forth.

i am grateful to those who have killed me in one way or another. i know now i can rise up from many kinds of deaths. 

i am grateful to those who have failed me and those who have broken my trust / my heart. i would be a far less complex and interesting person without you.

i am grateful for the depression / anxiety i suffer. by it i am already prepped for the worst that life can bring.  

i am grateful to be free from financial debt and that i manage to stay alive within my meager means.

i am grateful to know that wonderful things exist in the world even though i cannot currently experience them. 

i am grateful for the dead who aught to have outlived me. i think of deceased next generation family members and feel more connected to what lies beyond this life. 

i am grateful for not being caught up in car culture. i know what humans are in cars: most like themselves and least like themselves.

i am grateful for my battle with scoliosis. i know an envy of, and see beauty in alignment that most take for granted. 

i am grateful to those who do not understand me. may i ever be a reminder that the universe is so much more than just  you.

i am grateful to those who made the effort to learn my song. even just parts of it. i hope they will remember to sing it back to me when I am lost.  

i am grateful for my empathy though it makes me an easy target for self loathing narcissists who don't even know what they are. 

i am grateful to have been given gifts. now, if i had the wisdom to use them more effectively...

Friday, September 16, 2016


{pan ducle en OXXO. for no reason.}

GoooooooooL for today: 

(because I still have a really hard time doing this.)

to write something in my blog AND PUBLISH IT

..ublish it. bulshi it. Aaand there we have it! Bullshit! 

(You see? Do you see how my brain can work sometimes?)

Now, be warned. This rambling came out in Spanish and English.  I don't know where I was going with it, but I started talking about displacement and tumbled into Heroic Procession and some of what all that is about. The links go to a video- if you want to one incarnation of it.

Estoy cansada por ese manana y no me importa sobre cualquier dia grande.
Hoy es el dia de independencia - de nuevo. El Grito - de nuevo. Tocan las campanas - de nuevo. Pero yo no soy mexicana. No soy una gringa tampoco. Me siento como una extrana. Aqui, en San Diego, en Chicago, en Webster soy rara. 

I am diaspora from a non existent Europe. The French I would have spoken is mutating in Canada. The giant black bows I perhaps would have worn on my head are for the tourists and those special cultural occasions. 

I learned Spanish in high school instead of French because I had to choose practicality over ancestral pride. I did not have the capacity for both while juggling anxiety. 

Quiza puedo aprender frances ahora. Jej. 

Y claro que sí, puedo comunicar en espanol. Entiendo! Puedo hacerlo.
But what ever.  
                             Escribiendo no es hablando... 
Estoy atrapado dentro idiomas. A otros no me entiendan...
Entonces bailo. No hablo. Pero quien comprende me cuando bailo?

I have at least one more scheduled performance of  my collaborative piece Heroic Procession coming up in October. This project is so timely that it has grown longer legs that I expected. With politicians forgetting what year it is and saying the darnest things you ever heard, why, it's no wonder we continue getting chances to address the masses about emigration, migration, immigration... 
Es chistoso-

Thinking of migration, my mind goes to an impressive flock. The Vikings. Boy, did they leave an impression. And for that, many people are enamored of the Vikings. But why? Why, honestly? Generational Stockholm Syndrome? 

Vikings moved about and that was- uncomfortable. In the same vein, the Mongolians moved about and that was- also uncomfortable. 

But then, ok, so, Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Guatemalans, Syrians... moving about are worse some how? They are thieving, murdering, disease ridden, rapists some how? All of them? People struggling away from poverty, violence, no opportunities and no education are going to do what? Make your food at your favorite restaurant? Clean some floors? They are going to destroy the cotton fabric of a society that was picked by the hands of the impoverished?

If you come humbly to prune topiaries and build houses (and railroads, at one time) you are worse than organized gangs of hooligans who steal offerings from your churches and livestock from your land? 

You can respect force, but not humility? And America is a 'Christian' culture? Really? 

Suddenly there are so many question marks on the page. Because I have so many questions! So many things do not make sense.

When it comes to emi- immi- mi- gration, you can have what ever opinions you want. Just remember people change,  culture changes,  laws change. And change is not a thing to be capital lettered, boldfaced FEARED.

Miro al mundo, mis ojos ven infantilismo. La ignorancia. 
Me cierro la boca en frustration. Bailo.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

They Ship It. Ship It Real Good.

Anthem novelAnthem novel
I know I missed the big up-trending a few years ago when Ayn Rand came back into blog / article circulation. I believe the popularity surge was thanks, in no small part, to the stupid activities of certain members of this entity out there in the United States called the Grand Old Party- which is full of good ol' boys- which should be disbanded for being such a useless, self-serving, penile-centric club- who like to think Ayn Rand wrote another chapter to the their Holy Book- or something. 
So why am I dedicating a blog post to this authoress, this would be screenwriter, this denouncer of It's A Wonderful Life?  Because here is where my little world tangles with this branch of popular culture:

I have one Ayn Rand book- Anthem. It was given to me when I was working in Queens, NY. I keep it because it was a gift and the object itself has some historic value and significance. An unnerving significance, in that it is officially property of the US. Army. It must have been very required reading for all the soldiers who could get into the 3rd Division Marine Library in the 1950's (or so).

I read Anthem once and that was quite enough for me to feel the author out and consequently, I will not read it again. Nor will I read any of her other books- if I can help it. I understand now why so many are duped into following her propaganda. Basically, all of it- this book anyway, is propaganda against anything resembling Communism. Because one time, in Russia, Communism hurt her precious feelings.

If you read between the beguiling simplicity of the writing,  you can see how it encourages being a dick. Not a detective. Not a straight-talking person- An utter prig. And somehow this is supposed to make the world a better place. Maybe she thought if we were all egocentric prigs like her the world would be practically utopic. That woman was not happy at all in her life.

When I think about how Conservative Christian Americans come to take up her banner, I don't feel surprised or shocked; not even mildly outraged.  It all really makes sense to follow her teachings if you are going to call yourself a Conservative (contracted, low energy, extra protective, self-interested) Christian in the first place. Swayed by her declarations of freedom, I can only figure that they thought she sounded even better hollering them than the Mel-Gibson-as-William-Wallace. I mean America is supposed to be god's country and freedom is the god given right we have earned. Yet it's been 'earned' from making niggardly deals with the people already living in this land that used to belong to everybody and then, at length, renege on those deals... But my glorious US History gets kind of weighed down by all these secular facts... That isn't where a lot of Christian Americans get their information from.

There Christians who think they are really, really clever though.  Like alchemists, they find unnatural ways of coaxing the language of Love and Compassion into mingling freely with Objectivism and Capitalism. They gossip and daydream with the rest of the curiously named 'Neoliberal' clique and make up these little fan fictions together; these stories where Jeyand is shipped so hard as THE ONLY OTP that they forget it's just perverse fiction they are indulging themselves in- with extra thick fiction sauce. Yes, it's creamy.

mediaeval art comment on by tumblr

Did I lose you? 
I'll put it this way if you don't understand the Internet language of girls/boys suffering brain fevers:
Conservative Christians (Mainliners even -wetf that means) and the 'Neoliberals,' in the pursuit of their own happiness-interests, throw these wild house parties where they try to get Water-into-wine Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand to snort ultra refined social Darwin dust laced with CC (corporate capitalism), go in a closet -and make a baby. And hope, with fingers crossed, that it wont turn out to be utterly psychotic. This time. 

Not only do Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand hate being put in closets together, but all the hopeful 'babies' of the messiah they squeeze out just can't quite function in society without doing harm. Have you noticed the asinine things pouring out of politicians mouths? That kind of crap has been the best they can do. Really. It's true. Jesus can make crap too. But he was raised by a craftsman- a carpenter. Not a crapenture. I don't think he'd be very conformist comfortable tied for long to such ill-wrought, ultimately degenerate constructs. It would be overly insulting to all his skills as a being being human.

Jesus would definitely, I think, take the time to go into a nice, safe space with Alissa Rosenbaum and have a real deep conversation about a few things (Cuz, daaamn son. The lady need therapy.), but he wouldn't dare snog in the dark with that bitchy, argumentative, human farce clouded in cigarette smoke, calling itself Ayn.

She's like a subtle version of Hitler. Yeah, I know, I just brought Hitler into this thing. How dare I be so... cliche? But here's the line of comparison: They both suffered slights in their youth and made the whole world pay in one way or another. Adolph didn't get into art or architectural school and generally had a rough go of starting his adult life. The Rosenbaum family came into hard times when the Communists took over in Russia so Miss Alissa had a bit of a rough time seeing her family flounder while trying adjust to the new social climate. And here we are now, still not able to get over their inability to constructively cope with circumstances beyond their control. They got over it. They are dead. But the rest can't seem to move on.

So echoes of their whinging can still be heard and will not fall silent for a while yet. It's just another aspect of the Great Cosmic Joke that these hateful types of people can have near boundless influence through time... and... the names and deeds of so many good (read as great) people will be misused and/or lost in the aggressive excitements that people tend to get caught up in.

I cringe.

I laugh.

Can we do better yet?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Child Parts Can Kill You

broken tooth
Do you want to know a strange fact about the already strange tm?

I have an adult sized baby tooth. 

This baby tooth could be a complete mutant that sprang up instead of a normal, rooted pearly white after I lost my first one OR it could be that I always had this oversized child's tooth and a horrible memory for that sort of dental oddity.

It's the #29, the second bicuspid on the lower right. It as no root and looks like it wants to be a molar. It it did anyway, before it cracked in half. I bit down and shattered this possible last remnant of childhood on an unexpected olive pit. (Isn't that how everyone's childhood goes?)
I left the tooth sections alone until one part was so wobbly I could not stand it any longer and I took it upon myself to rip the loose bit out. There was no pain and a little blood. With a swish of hydrogen peroxide all was as fine as could be. You can see the lower portion of the tooth in the picture were the root should be is just a jagged edge that had the whole thing hooked in place.
Thankfully, the occasion was nothing like those dreams where your teeth just kind of fall right out of your mouth into your hands in broken shards. *shudder*

Now I have half of an adult sized baby tooth. And though I was told it should be pulled, it must stay right where it is because the molar that would be right next to it has long since been removed. If I were to pull out the fragment, I would be left with a  significant gap. And then how am I supposed to predigest my veggies? I have a hard enough time as it is with two gaps wide enough to get whole almond stuck in them. And while temporary almond teeth are fun things they are uncomfortable and very impractical.

Other than being something of a child-ish curiosity, this tooth thing is significant for another more sobering reason; a possible link to cancer.
Here are some statistics! -
20% of women with epithelial ovarian cancer have hypodontia (congenitally missing teeth), as opposed to 3% of women overall. Women who have ovarian cancer are 8 times as likely to have hypodontia than those without ovarian cancer.  
In the light of these facts plus not knowing if I am missing an adult tooth or if this is some other anomalous-ness really puts a damper on things. It prevents me from enthusiastically celebrating yet another one of my subtle, freakish qualities. I mean, what would I say then? -
Huzzah, I have a higher chance of developing cancer because I have a genetic mutation! -?
Put something like that on a banner. Write that in icing on a cake.

broken toothI'd do it. It's seems like a good laugh if you are in that morbid kind of bent, but I would be eating cake alone. I just know it. And I don't even want cake. Damn the refined sugar! I want implants.
Dental implants to keep that clear. While it would be amusing to have other sorts of implants, they aren't so necessary to my survival and wellbeing as teeth.
Dental implants seem to best option because they are just like natural teeth once they are in. Dentures just suck (from my observations of the people in my life who have them) and bridges damage existing teeth which makes no sense to me. Why damage what is there? Doesn't that come across as absurd?

The cost to restore my teeth (all of them that need work) will total at least 6000usd. At least. That is without insurance coverage; providing I have the work done in Mexico. At the rate I am going with work it would take me years to come up with that kind of money. Seriously. Some aspects of my life play out like 1916 rather than 2016. I do appreciate history really, but sometimes... it just bites- or maybe gums you into a severe state of annoyance when you get too far behind the current norms.

Well, um, on that note:
If you would like to contribute to my fairly toothy fund, 
I am shamelessly posting these links:  ||  No PayPal account? Click here.
With that put out to the Universe, I can only hope for all the benevolence It has to offer and the ability to laugh it off easily if nothing comes of my asking. I do get moody about things a bit too often- maybe... So why not help me reduce my chances of being moody? Give a little something. Share the links around.

Besides the dental fixer-upper, I guess I would have to be tested for cancer as well.. sigh.. Does any one else think it's weird to have a wish list (at my age and in my supposed good health) that involves medical things like getting an MRI or a blood test or new teeth or an eye operation?