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?

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Life Or Death Nature Intervention

{ longing for freedom can look like this }

Our canine resident El Rocco took rather doggish action against a dove about a week ago. He caught it and gave it a chew or two before he was stopped.
The dove was in a shock and tried to get away, but could not fly. It was captured yet again and examined. We figured it was suffering from wing sprain and bruising. There was no blood and the joints/bones seemed more or less ok.  It would not have been right to leave the animal outside in it's maimed but curable condition. One of our local cats would have surely taken advantage of the easy meal situation.
The humans of the house were determined to care for the dove as long as it needed (less than two weeks was the accurate guesstimate).
At first it was kept in a wooden crate, but when I got close to look in, the dove just glared out from between the slats, unmoving. I knew the look. I've seen the expression in guinea pigs and in my own reflection. It was not a happy creature. It had not processed how it was hurt or why it was confined.
Not much later, things were arranged for the bird to have an entire room to itself. The room made for a lonely aviary.
Almost every morning I paid a visit. I, as a giant, stupid, flightless bird was better company that none. The bird seemed to perk up at my attempts at cooing noises and would become more active.
Each day the dove was calmer, bolder, more curious and displaying clearer desire to get outside. It was encouraging to see such improvements.
Though it is still missing wing feathers, today, la palomita showed obvious signs that it was well enough to be let out. In due course, the window screen was left open and it got up into a tree outside. I guess our intervention worked and now I wish our bird friend better luck out there.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Silence Time

τὸν τεθνηκóτα μὴ κακολογεῖν

What? It's a new year? Twice over now?
No. You can't fool me with that talk. There's nothing new about this year. It is decidedly a continuation of the last one- which was, in fact, a new year; though I won't trouble you with an explanation of how time does not move the way you think it does.
And this post here, well, I guess it should finally go out. Ready or not. It's been sitting in edit mode, being edited sporadically for many, many months. 

Last summer it was strange to be a tourist in Boston as I had never been in my younger days; when I lived closer to the city and it would have made more sense. I learned about the Bunker Hill misnomer mixup (go look it up) and walked the Freedom Trail. I felt the contentment of the dead in the much visited cemeteries. I saw at least two anorexic women in a posh neighborhood.
But hey- why begin an actual written post after all these months of silence by jumping into random comments about Boston? Well? Why not? 
I never wrote about my brief stay in Boston in 2015. Or my awkward time at my brother's wedding- after I nearly killed myself (so to speak) in New York- Oh it was so strange and brief at time with my family in MA. And then there was my very first visit to Chicago and it's northern suburbs...
I did get around a bit last year and had much to relate, but let this blog fall into silence. It was time for my silence. There was a point when I saw that my words and actions were  having very little effect on anyone except to get myself overly excited and therefore lead straight to poorer health. 
What I was doing, with all it's positive intention, was having a negative impact. So I stopped. I threw down everything; walked away from a few things completely even. The struggle was not even making sense. Why was it even a struggle? Why did anything have to be a fight? I still don't know. I've stopped asking that question at the moment. 

My Human was hoping to start working on a mural in NYC this year (least year actually) that would have brought us some much needed income, but thanks to one man that $40 thousand job was scrapped in favor of a mirror instead of a mural. (That's the wrong 'm' word, mister dude.) I had refused to get my hopes up about the job because I felt the negotiation process was not going smoothly. I was not utterly crushed when Human got the bad news. Yet, I can't help having this mild bitterness toward a certain Tom C- However! May all (continued) blessing come upon his 5 star restaurants and TV appearances and his family. Because one must not speak ill of the dead- And how he must be dead indeed if he cannot comprehend the need to support the arts!

It's now focus on a migration/immigration collaboration project of music, performance (butoh, if you must call it that), and drawing. I'll probably write more about it, when I am more comfortable with what the thing wants to be- for my part of the collaboration, that is. We have a musical score though! And that is something! 
In April, Human and I will be doing this Chicago residency thing at Mana Contemporary for a few months. The residency had been in the works since last year. The dates have been shuffled and reshuffled, but it looks like we are still on for that at least. And who knows what can happen in Chicago? Maybe I can even find some work there...