2/2/16

cookie time

I can't believe I'm here. I mean you are too. I can't believe we're here, together. The new year drew to a close and I got my shit together. I mean I didn't; I've been a mess, but making progress. I haven't known for the last few months, and I still don't know, what's worth saying, thinking, feeling, noticing, remembering. For who, even? Right?

I did Dry January and there is romance in my life and I feel much less urgently hopeless than I have in maybe a year. Retrospect is funny. I'm still really frustrated by some things though. I wish I was performing more. A weak, stupid part of me wants attention for the sake of attention. What part of the person, the personality, is it that craves identity, existence. What evolutionary impulse was perverted into narcissism? Which biological imperative has mutated such that I don't know if I exist anymore?

That's not fair. I know I exist I'm just not doing it the way I have been and I feel alternately awful and great about it.



I want to be doing more readings. I want to do more poetry readings and performances but maybe
with a mask on? I want to do more ukulele shows. Read more. Talk more. Just... I don't know. Show up more. Disappear less. Have somewhere to disappear from, and to.

I'm performing in Austin, Texas this month, where I've never been and am quite excited to go. I'm doing a revamped version of The Good Daughter. With only the best songs. My idea for this performance is also me working through a question my therapist asked a few weeks ago:

Why Make Everything Harder for Myself Than It Needs To Be?

Why not just perform the things you want to perform, right? Why go looking for trouble? There are legitimate reasons, I guess, to look for trouble. In general. But for me, right now. I don't need to. Being cautious, cognizant of risk, that's not the only affect that I have inside of me.

Went to see the Mickalene Thomas show Muse at the Aperture Foundation last week. I'd mostly known Thomas as primarily a painter and have long liked her collage work as well. The photos in the exhibition were awesome.


Racquel Leaned Back

The photo set used as a background in many of the images was installed in the gallery. A wood-paneled, cat-decorated carpeted living room, seemingly straight out of the 1970s. Replete with stacks of records and fake houseplants. To the extent that I'm familiar with her work I really love Mickalene Thomas' art. It's vital, exciting, and gorgeous. She also has a penchant for the Comme des Garçons clan (she named her kid Junya Rei), so I feel an affinity there as well. If I were to decorate my own room/fantasy photo studio, it would probably look a look like the space she used. It's a fantastic show and it's up through March 17th and worth seeing.


Negress with Green Nails

I feel like the last year I was so worried about how bad I was. How worthless. And I don't feel contrary to that anymore, but now I feel sort of stupid in a good way. Like; I might have a use. I might be good at something and I don't even know what it is and I might find out. And that feels good.

Some things feel good. Really good. Maybe even too good to get into here, yet.

Speaking of Comme des Garçons I liked seeing the new collections from Paris last week. The COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS Fall collection had the theme/title "Armor of Peace":





It's complicated, the continued explorations of armor, peace, war, etc. I'm not crazy about the sleeves but I AM crazy about the floral flower-power hippie shirts and I hope she makes a t-shirt version. It's weirdly moving. Not weirdly. Just that it's so much, it's so immense, if you think about it. The scale of the creativity here. It's in a way admitting it's limitations, reveling in them, even.




and the COMME DES GARÇONS SHIRT / SHIRT BOY presentation:










Like, what even is a shirt, right? I'm really into the crazy tartan SHIRT BOY things that opened it. I like the feeling of basics being expanded, being blown open and redefined. I like the extent to which shirts can become a kind of metaphor or symbol for youth, masculinity, identity, history, whatever.





thanks mom




as I was finishing this thought, the Girl Scout cookies I ordered arrived.



I'm thrilled.

11/30/15

Pinocchio's Diary



Thinking a lot about the nature, the character of desire and, his sister, disappointment. It seems to me that to disclose a desire is to admit a kind of weakness. I'm all about debasing myself. I'm really interested in the process of becoming, remaining, being abject. Yet somehow the revelation of a desire feels existentially dangerous. It means to admit that I want something I don't have and might not get. Some people say that the first step in getting what you want is admitting what you want but I'm not so sure. I think that admitting you want something is admitting that you are incomplete, somehow. Does that make sense.

But then on the other hand to conquer desire, to achieve desire, to get the Thing You Want is equally dangerous: it's a death, in a way. I wonder why the only viable way of being that ever occurs to me, or the mode of being that somehow is my most reliable fantasy is one of constant disappointment, exclusion.



I have to put myself on the fire because then I know where I am. If I torture myself I can locate myself. I'd rather be pinned down than potentially lost. It feels like everything is so fragile and will blow me away.

On Thanksgiving Teebs and Kayla and Chantal and I hung out and we did some writing and we made martinis and watched TV and ate pie and played mad libs. One of the themes for one of the madlibs was "Pinocchio's Diary" which I found oddly resonant. Something about Pinocchio always feels really important to me. I feel (I'm sure I've said this before) like a reverse Pinoccio. I'd so much rather not be a real boy. Pinocchio, for me, is about the desire for subjectivity and the inherent danger there. Maybe I should do a show about Pinocchio? Somehow the notion of Pinocchio's Diary seemed really cool to me because I imagine that if Pinocchio had lied, his nose would grow (we know this) and then writing his diary would be an exercise in bringing his nose back to normal. A place to tell the truth, or something. In his Diary. Do I tell the truth here? For the most part/basically always.



I don't know why but lately it seems like I'm making a tiny bit of progress. Everything still kills me. I'm still painfully insecure and jealous and feel pretty worthless every day but these symptoms seem to be lasting shorter periods of time. Like I'm watching myself torture myself. I have an iota of leverage to stop, at a certain point. Usually. It just sucks to be in pain. My health insurance is changing and I think I am going to go off my meds (with a doctor's help). I don't know if they've been helping, and it's been a year and the biggest change is I don't feel like it's important to say but the big change is that I feel less... creative? Maybe I'm just less creative. Maybe I should quit more.

Saturday night Erik took me to a very nice, extremely fancy dinner of Peruvian food (nouveau-Peruvian, I should say) at a new place in Williamsburg. It was totally excellent, and maybe the fanciest and best meal I've had since lovely Sugar Baby took us out in Berlin to that restaurant underneath the pied-a-terre. You know, that really really really really nice Italian restaurant owned by the lovely old German gay couple. That place was so fancy that they put a fresh astray at my left elbow every time I finished a cigarette. It was really beyond. I wasn't allowed to smoke during the Peruvian dinner but they did give us some really nice dry sherry after the meal in one of these annoying effete little glasses.


I want everything to be salty and bitter and strong. To wipe out a dream with a toothache.

I thought it felt like kind of a Salon des Refusés being at a gallery opening in New York City last night. Being among the ones who're not in Miami we're the one's who're not at Basel. We're at an art opening for NOT A PHOTO paintings and art inspired by photos. It was great, of course.

Shoutout to Adam Parker Smith whose painting (installation?) Crush kind of stole the show, to my mind:



Seems to be a pretty perfect way out of painting, drag, love, etc. I just stood in the middle of the gallery watching the hair being blown by the fan. Watching people take videos of the hair. I took a video too but it didn't come out well enough for me to post it here.

Before the opening I went to Prada and bought these shoes I really wanted that were on sale. I felt dizzy, like I was buzzing. I had gone to two different stores yesterday looking for these shoes in my size. Not helped by the fact that they have their own idiosyncratic sizing... system. I don't know how much to write about this thought process without making myself seem/feel like an asshole. I was immediately reminded of that Wayne Koestenbaum essay about buying a Prada suit. I bet he's in Miami right now. The shoes were on big sale and I swear I'll never buy anything else ever.



To blow off steam I went to the gallery opening but I was there with a big Prada shopping bag and it was Humiliating. No, really. If I was actually wearing the shoes I bought I'd look fine, but there I looked I just looked like someone who swung by this art opening after shopping at Prada which was true. Thinking about the difference between wearing and buying. Shopping and being, having. Knowing and hoping. Can't I do both? Why not?

Thinking of the new Comme des Garçons bags, the laminated shopping bags. I almost bought one. Like a permanent customer. Weird.



So then what, dear Billy? So he didn't call you back. Or he didn't call you back fast enough or enthusiastically ENOUGH so by the time he did by the time he did you had woken yourself up and taken yourself out to console yourself with something lasting.

Thinking about that passage in the Grace Jones memoir: “I never ask for anything in a relationship, because I have this sugar daddy I have created for myself: me. I am my own sugar daddy. I have a very strong male side, which I developed to protect my female side. If I want a diamond necklace I can go and buy myself a diamond necklace.” It's weird. I feel complete, done. Fine. Peaceful? Sure. I feel sure. No I feel less uncertain. Hmm. Maybe that's not entirely true.



Felt a bit better after five glasses of free wine. I don't pay for wine. And now the anxiety of care. Now that I got my Dream Shoes I enter the panic of parenthood: what kind of wax do I need to put on them? How much longer will I have them before I ruin them? How can I live up to my new shoes? Having something nice, expensive, cherished is so unusual for me. It's a way for me to measure myself against my life. That time I went to the Prada store and just walked in and bought a pair of shoes, like an asshole. That one time. I think about boys. The only things I want or let myself think I might admit wanting: love, desire, shoes, food. Cigarettes. Something adjacent to being alive. I want watercolor sets. I don't want paintings I want art supplies. I don't want an actual lover I want a pile of scribbled phone numbers. Who am I kidding.

Tonight I'm going to the gym and then I'm going to make mujadara to eat the for rest of the week.
I wish instead of torturing myself or lavishing myself with un-earned love, accolades, punishment whatever. I wish I could treat myself as something other than bland. I wish I didn't have to hide, obliterate myself with hot sauce.

I am mourning, in a way, the death of my senses. I think I know what's been weakening them-- chemicals? How to be critical, engaged, and not be paranoid? And not be untrustworthy?

How to find a sense of self, power, direction in admitting or charting desire. How to have a map where I locate myself instead of a record of places I've been and cannot return to. How to convince you to fall in love with me. How to be less reprehensible. How to take care of fine Italian leather.

To pick out a book. To carve out time in your day to quietly reflect. To just make lists, just take notes. It might not take much, just recounting little details, tiny bits of it until my nose shrinks back down to a manageable size.




11/13/15

Can I Show You

It's fall. I'm falling. I'm into it.

I'm really excited about this new art book project. If you're in New York, please come check it out.



DARK LEVEL

Art by Julia Norton
Text by Max Steele
Published by Art Vandelay Press

Release party with reading 11/17 at Endless Editions (191 Henry St Brooklyn NY)

Facebook Event

I am beyond thrilled to collaborate with one of my favorite artists and dearest friends, Julia Norton. She asked me to contribute text to a project she was working on, and which she describes like this:

"The idea behind Dark Level started as a coping mechanism. This past year I began living alone after a lifetime of living with others. Sleeping in an empty apartment at night, I was wary of every sound and every dimly defined shape. I tried to remember the countless times in my life where I have felt scared in the darkness - in the woods at night, on an empty street, in a laser tag arena, falling off the rainbow road - and what it took to overcome those emotions. In a parallel way I have also felt at home in the dark - perhaps at a nightclub, dancing carefree. Darkness can change its implications depending on so many factors. It shields you, it blinds you, it makes you vulnerable, it frees you. In the end, for me, it comes back to risk-taking; walking into the unknown, daring to be yourself." -JN

Curator Rick Herron gave the project a sweet shout-out on the BRIC blog:

"Julia Norton makes paintings about the architecture of childhood nostalgia. Her work functions as urban planning for space colonies, or blue prints for a vast bio-dome to usher in a neo-Cambrian explosion of unimaginable flora. In a new series of photographs called Dark Level: Process, made in collaboration with artist Max Steele, detached hands reach in from the edge of the frame to stretch, tear, and pull at a thin veil of fabric appearing to distort the fabric of the universe itself. Created to accompany written works by Steele, Norton’s Dark Level series doesn’t so much illustrate the text as haunt it."

The party will be fun and we'll have this gorgeous book available. Please come.




ALSO, I am excited that a piece I originally wrote a long time ago, MY DREAM DATE WITH DAVID WOJNAROWICZ is now published, truly, on DANDY DICKS.

10/26/15

Full Correction



Today's the last day for my contacts. Tomorrow I change them. I need to get new lenses put into my glasses frames. My vision, my prescription has increased. Closer, I'm told, to my full correction. Full correction seems like something of a moving target though, right? What a nice thought.



WAKE UP and have a cute idea. ROLL out of bed. The first thing I saw this morning, I should clarify I try not to look at media/information before I meditate in the morning but sometimes (often) I fuck up and check my phone or facebook or something and this morning even before the sun came up I was reading press releases. I was the target of unpaid labor, emotional labor. Excitement, pressure. While you were away, the world tells me, your friends made money, got laid, had kids, etc. I wasn't away, I want to say, I was sleeping. I was sleepy. But I was right here.



Wake up and have a cute idea. Wake up and say the thing that everyone else was struggling to say. Think the thing we're all saying. I have several points of pleasure and pain in my life. Fear and excitement. It's not unbearable.



I don't exactly feel guilty for being different but I do feel a bit ambitious or frustrated. When people ask what are you working on? I have to say I have no idea.

My thoughts returning to Mary Heilmann. How cool, right?


Ground Control

I wonder if there's something else I'm supposed to be doing. Some superior application of my intellect, energy. I think of it as part of my mental disease but I am certain that there is always a more ideal way for me to be, in general, that eludes me. Which isn't to say I'm constantly striving towards this more ideal state; it's more that I often/eternally feel lacking, dysphoric or something.

I want to go to nightclubs and dance until my legs are sore but only sometimes. I want to gorge myself on pasta and cookie but only sometimes. I want to hide, shut myself up somewhere but only sometimes. I feel restless. And futile. But not as dark or urgently bad as I did the last time I posted. Just trying to make some progress.



Save The Last Dance For Me

Part of me wants to catalogue. To note. To keep recording, you know, the cool stuff that happens. I saw Cole's latest show, I went to see some bands play. I don't know. I ate or whatever. Felt things all over the place. Nothing seems interesting or worth remembering. No catalogues seem worth writing, keeping, reading.


Rosebud

Wake up and have another cute idea. Sleep through a calamity. Check your messages. Make yourself. Update your status. Let everyone know.
Like what's even worth writing about, right?

I'm desperately broke as I've been for months. Rich in some ways (not really) but broke beyond belief in others. I need to find a way to make some extra money. I need extra gigs. I need magick. I hope I can take care of myself. I need green candles. I need gods, angels, demons on my side. I need to make deals. I hate negotiating. I need to be there and also remove myself at all times. I want to fuck you and your room mates and your exboyfriend and your neighbor. I want to make dinner for everyone. I want to be noticed, to be the subject of a PR blitz. To be congratulated. Waited for, doted on. To see yourself reflected. To see yourself as an idea. As topical. Boy will become symbol. Person into icon. Would you rather be an idea or a human. I guess.

I'm just so tired of nerds or uptight people or more generously scared boys. I mean why do we keep having to talk about what you would do if you were there. You're not there. I'm there and I'm not doing ANYthing. Am I secretly super empathetic. Why do I have it in my head, as clear as day, that animals are far better than people. In a way they're both more and less cruel.

10/16/15

Silver Session

Deeply frustrating. To feel like I'm gaining a foothold, I'm making progress, things are going forward. So heartbreaking, even, to think that just as I'm starting to get the sense that I might some day be okay, that I won't always burn quite so often or so hot, that it won't seem quite so urgent every single moment, this self-hatred. So disappointing to fall backwards. To realize there is no escape. Taking pride in progress, stopping to enjoy a given moment, that seems like, unreasonably delusional. It's becoming another way to hurt myself: get my hopes up and then dash them.

It really doesn't take much. I mean it never did but now it's like the weather. Anything can destroy me. I have become paper, tissue. Flimsy. Weak.

All it takes is a gentle reminder that everything around me is golden but I am not. All it takes is the nagging sense that I have to come to my senses: No one wants me. I have nothing to give.

It's so hard. I have to work so hard to screw up my courage. To forget how worthless I am. To forget that nothing I do matters.



Thinking a lot lately about Sonic Youth's Silver Session for Jason KnuthA description of the project:



What's it called? Musical Thanatology. Maybe I mean an Elegy. I'm just trying to console myself by tricking myself into wonder. By catching myself rediscovering, among other things, records I had long overlooked.



What if we already had the answers we wanted? What if it was sitting in a dark corner somewhere, waiting to be rescued.



I know what that's like: waiting to be rescued. I wish someone would rescue me. Scratch that, I wish I could rescue myself. It's not about commercial success. It's not about being famous. It's not about attention, love, friendship, sex life. It's just that I want something.

I want a story. I want a fake story a happy story a boring story I want to find a way to feel like I am not a waste of space. Like I am not a foregone conclusion.

I did these shows this summer, I worked really hard on them and basically no one came.

People keep saying oh you're so busy you're everywhere you do so many shows. Let me explain why this isn't good: these aren't people who see my shows, have read my work, or know what I do. It's a way of saying "I don't want to see you." People keep apologizing for missing things I've done. People keep asking for copies of my writing but then not reading it.

People just want me to introduce them to other people. No one wants to meet me.

People just want to hurt me. People just want me to die.



I'm not even really being hyperbolic, really. It's deeply scary to feel like these things which are so plain to me are "made up". When people say it's not that bad, I don't need to be so dark, it's not as bad as it seems, I'm making a big deal.

As if I'm making this up, right? As if this is all a fantasy and I'm an asshole for dreaming it up.

As if I'm doing this, thinking this on purpose. As if I could just think a different thought. Instead of thinking "I'm worthless" I could instead think "I'm a person." As if it were that easy.

I'm stuck, man. I have been looking high and low for years. I have enlisted the help of several professionals, several medications, several friends, many many strangers, philosophies, science, art, sex, patience, etc. Nothing works. I cannot find any evidence to the contrary but that I am entirely worthless. That I can't do anything that matters. It sucks.

Even moreso because I want, really badly, to not be in pain. I wish I could change but I don't know how. I so badly want to feel like I make sense somewhere. Like I'm not just an unwelcome intrusion. But instead it becomes either disappear, be a mirror, or be worthless. Stay that way.



10/5/15

What's Eating Billy

So, last week I met Grace Jones.



My brilliant and very sweet friend Michael, who wrote a brilliant profile of Grace (including the only interview she's giving as part of the tour for her memoir), brought me as his guest to a book party she did last week. She didn't make it until quite late, after Michael and most of the parties had left. I stayed. I was very drunk. I met Grace. It was surreal.



We took photos together and she chastised me to look at the camera. I kept wanting to look at her.

I really can't. I want to explain more but maybe it's better to save it for real life. Suffice it to say that it was literally a dream come true, an amazing gift I cannot fathom, and I feel if not let down, a certain curiosity. There is no one I would rather meet than Grace Jones. I feel a bit like... well, what else? I mean I met Baby Donut and asked her to write PxRxDxCxTx on my tummy when I was a go-go boy and now I've met Grace Jones, she snapped her teeth at me and we had our arms around each other's waists I mean really. What else is there?

Could not have come at a more perfect time either. A tiny white spot of light in an otherwise interminable, long, dark, cold and black night.



The day after I met Grace Jones I got a rejection for this fellowship I really wanted, and have been rejected for a number of times.

I'm having a hard time socializing.



I did my show, Mad Girl, on Saturday. A couple of friends came, it was good. I mean it was okay. I feel like I needed to get through that. I went to a party that night and all weekend, really, people kept asking if I am okay. Some people kept asking. I feel like it's a lie to say yeah I'm okay but I don't know. Maybe not. Everyone's okay. I think I feel better than I did one week ago.



I woke up this morning and I meditated and I made breakfast and it was quiet and calm and I felt kind of optimistic. At some point this afternoon though some icy draft blew through my mind again. Why does it matter. I picked at an emotional scab. And I'm glad I'm going back to shrink tonight but honestly, it feels like hopelessness, like sadness, is the real me. That is the real me. The me that goes to parties and makes art and fucks your friend's room mate and gets drunk and always has cigarettes-- that's the passing fantasy. The real me is the boring me. The sad me.



I feel like I have been falling down the side of a mountain (and I am still falling). I feel as though I am at a remove from the rest of the world. From the world of the living. I feel like no one wants to be with me or be my friend or hang out with me. Like no one misses me. And I miss so many people. Including me.



I want to think movies are fun. I want to remember the possibility that something exciting might happen. That I might feel good. That desire might be sort of, I don't know, interesting. But right now (and by right now I mean the last year) everything feels dangerous. Precarious. Threatening.

Why bother going on a date with someone when it is certain doom. Why bother feeling when the real feeling, the true feeling, is pain.



Why bother with humanity.  What is actually eating Billy Cheer? What is his problem? What's wrong? What are you so upset about?

Feeling sort of stupid because I wanted or I thought I wanted something. A bunch of things. Closeness. People. Space. Time. Something, and not only do I not deserve it but I feel as though I am being punished for my desire. For having unrealistic expectations.

People keep telling me that I'm overreacting or I'm being paranoid but it is hard not to feel like everyone is on some level (whether they know it or not) out to get me. It is hard not to come to the conclusion that no one would like me, if they really knew me. That I am having to keep my worst secrets, and, being unable to, am being slowly and endlessly killed over and over again. I feel kind of incredibly, surprisingly lonely.

9/30/15

MAD SKY / MAD GIRL / MAD SKYWRITING



This Saturday 10/3 I'm performing a new piece called Mad Girl at an evening of performances called Collapse (or, falling flat). It's free and it's close by and I want you to come. Mad Girl is a punk performance about hell and feminism and mental illness. It's different from THE GOOD DAUGHTER but a couple of the songs might carry over. It feels right for right now.



Last night I started watching Krzysztof Kieślowski's Trois Couleurs: Bleu, but eventually had to take a break because I needed to calm down before bed. It's gorgeous though. I want to see more heartbreaking things. I want more sadness because I feel very sad. I feel like a crazy person, a wreck.



Truly, Mercury is Retrograde. I want to blame the stars. I want to blame celebrities. Instead I blame myself. I should know better. I should have known. I should have listened to my horoscopes. The various forecasts, the coins I constantly toss. To be fair, all my horoscopes predicted me falling into certain traps. Some unavoidable miscommunications, hurt feelings, et cetera. Some of this is business: I'm no good at business.



But some of it is also, some of the confusion is really deeply troubling. I feel very upset over very small things. And I lash out, and I'm disorganized. And I'm confused. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It seems like I'm just doing everything wrong.

God, that scene in Bleu where she scrapes her fist along the wall?





So now what? How to apologize. How to go back? Can we start over. Can you forget me. Can you delete me. Let me add myself again.



Who are the other girls in Mazzy Star in 1994? What were their other bands? You know? This is what I preoccupy myself with. Were they in Dickless or Pork or some other Foxcore band in Los Angeles in the late 1990s?



Last night I had a dream about Doppelganger from LA. In the late 1990s. They were this death-rock band fronted by Janna James and Joan Sceline. I think I saw an ad for their single "Mad Sky" in Spin Magazine and I mail ordered it in 1998? 97? Later I got their album Meet Your Evil Twin and eventually I got to see them open for Switchblade Symphony.



At some point I wrote a fan letter and Joan Sceline wrote back, with some advice about how to learn to play guitar, and warning me not to do drugs, saying "there's nothing glamorous about a coffin" (sort of off-brand for a rock group). Anyway last night I had a dream about them, about Doppelganger. I dreamed that I ran into Janna James and I told her I'd seen them in the late 1990s and we laughed and she said that at that show she was the only original member, everyone else had been a studio musician or hired hand for the tour or something. We had a good chuckle about it.




I woke up and had been bitten all over by mosquitoes again. Rubbed more antihistamine gel into my legs, my face, my arms. Sleeping pill gel. Checked my phone in the middle of the night to see another confusing rejection. How disappointing.





Something about staring you right in the face. I sometimes make fun of people for having crazy goat eyes. You know what I mean. Like... Susan Sarandon is an example of how pretty it can be, but it can be scary.

Ugh. I feel like I ruin everything I touch. I feel like even trying to take care of myself, I do it wrong. Either I piss everyone off for legitimate reasons or illegitimate reasons. I feel that I cannot win for trying. Everything I attempt blows up in my face, spectacularly. what's more, I am convinced that I deserve it, somehow. And so I'm just racking my brain to figure out what I did wrong. Why don't you like me but you like my friends. Why don't you want to date me. Why don't you want to be around me. What is wrong with me. What is so wrong with me as to be blatantly obvious to everyone else but me.



How to console oneself when one doesn't feel worthy. How to console the worthless?

9/28/15

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mesothelioma



Posted by Kenneth William to THIS IS FAG CITY at September 28, 2015 at 10:50 AM"




Oddly enough a relative died of mesothelioma before I was born, I sometimes think of this as a genetic inheritance or the way the grief of their death could be inherited. Thanks Kenneth.

9/27/15

I am worthless. All I can accomplish is to connect other people who might like each other. This (me) is a complete waste of time. Everyone else's feelings matter more than mine because they are real people and I am not. No one could possibly want to spend time alone with me. I don't want to spend time alone with me. I don't blame anyone. I'm just admitting it. I am no one's favorite person. No one's secret crush. No undiscovered country. No untapped resource. No one's preferred        anything. I am worthless.

9/25/15

Some Horror Solidly Anchored In Me, In Us



Last night after work I hurried home to go for a jog and then I hurried over to Bluestockings and still I was late but did manage to make it to the Karen Finley reading, celebrating the reissue of her book Shock Treatment. Finley talks about the book and its reissue and where it came from at Artforum.

When I got there she was finishing up "Enter Entrepreneur". She was wearing all black and shiny silver nail polish. As a sort of encore after taking some questions, she performed "The Black Sheep". It felt weird to be seeing her do these performances, these texts/poems/things that feel iconic, for free. How many times have I listened to "Enter Entrepreneur". It's like a hit song, they all are.

On my way back to Brooklyn I overheard a girl on the train talking about what she's gonna tell her cleaning lady. How the place she's moving into (or something) is so big that she's going to have to tell her cleaning lady to come more often. Why, I wonder, if you pay for someone to clean up after you, why do you ride the subway. Why wouldn't you pay someone to drive you around, right? Why wouldn't you have your own car? Maybe this is how people feel connected in New York. I don't touch my own bathroom tiles but I do touch subway poles. We voted. I'm a citizen too. Right?


Philodendron in Puerto Vallarta

Back to Brooklyn, having a drink by myself before going home to make dinner. Roast a yam. Listen-- it's 8:30. In the backyard, the smoking lounge a boy with blue hair is having a video conversation with his mom about his drinking. How he orders a single but in a double glass. How it's less alcohol that way, how it's more watered down. His mom says that she's worried about him getting home. He might fall down or walk into something. He reassures her. He says: "No it's okay when I'm drunk, I always take a car home."

I can't help thinking about this neighborhood. I can't help thinking, worrying, fantasizing about the future. All neighborhoods. One of the questions for Karen Finley was about gentrification and nostalgia and the East Village. I can't remember it, but even this thing-- this constant anxiety. That we'd go to a Karen Finley reading and wait until the end and ask her about it. I mean, it was a beautifully-phrased question even Karen thought so. I just mean there's something weirdly upsetting about the ubiquity of this fear. Like we all know, here, at the end of the world, that it's ending. Is the word finisterre? Like that Saint Etienne album I never really got into? A cute boy I'm only in touch with through the internet (though we used to sleep together) posted photos of himself on vacation somewhere with that word as the description and I thought Oh How Cool of Course He's Into Saint Etienne All The Hot Guys Are but I don't think he is, I think he just meant that he was at the end of the world, meaning the beach.

I guess roast a yam, for dinner and eat leftovers. Speaking of Karen Finley. I've been so fucked up lately. So sad and angry. And confused. I mean ashamed, too, or whatever. But I don't feel embarrassed. And I ought to. It just feels like telling the truth though. I feel fucked up. I AM fucked up. It's been this weird explosion. A slow-motion train wreck. I mean, another one. Another of what feels like a cycle, a routine of breakdowns. A habit of coming apart.

I thought, while I was still in the city, I want to get a drink among the fabulous set. Where can I drink with sophisticated people who will understand my outfits? Probably a hotel bar, right. Probably somewhere rich where I'm not welcomed or invited. Why bother. Probably somewhere where I can't afford to drink.


UNDERCOVER Hamburger Lamp

A couple sits down in the smoking area. A boy wearing drop crotch Comme des Garçons pants like the ones I wear. His lady friend sits down and says "I'm STILL recovering from fashion week".

This is the reverse commute. Instead of gearing up for my day I'm winding down. Boys nearby are talking about their upcoming 28th birthdays, the fear of their Saturn Returns. I mean God. You have no idea. I want to tell them: "I looked into the void. Into the mirror. And I smashed my face into it and died. Okay. Are you scared yet." On a date this guy said one of his friends was about to turn 30, "a big one," like it was scary I was like you don't even know.

The fashion kids are whispering conspiratorially. The blue haired drunk boy keeps dropping his pack of cigarettes. He's got little ear gauges. I think I saw him on cruising sites. Years ago. I'm writing this on my phone. It's 2015. The machine phone autocorrects "cruising" to "ruining".

Planning a new Scorcher. A sad one. Out of desperation. You know?
Also in the smoking lounge, before 9pm, an old man in a suit. Smoking as if he doesn't really smoke.
The boys nearby are saying how great his Saturn Return will be. How he'll find a partner and get a great career and everything will fall into place.


"Jungle Room" at Graceland

It's eclipse season. Everyone's finding everything out. Right. I lost-- didn't I lose my tooth during an eclipse? Fuck.

Blue haired boy is busy on his phone then suddenly screams "oh God!" startling the fashion couple next to him. "Mosquito." Another guy shows up, the guy with really droopy ears from bigger ear gauges. He's here. All the drunks, the regulars. Know each other. And the bartenders. If I'm here, does that mean I'm one too?

Isn't it funny how when you're younger, free drinks are like a status symbol. And when you're older. Free drinks are. A status symbol.

Okay, the blue haired boy is scared of mosquitoes but has a sleeve of tattoos including butterflies. I'm texting with this boy in Los Angeles, trying to convince him to move to New York and become a go-go boy and be my secret boyfriend.

It's like let's get one more. What's it called? It's called, like, smoke 'em if you got 'em and I got 'em I broke down again this week. I am a pack a day smoker my sign is: Nicotine Sun, Tar Moon, and Cancer Rising.
No really I am a Cancer Rising that's why that's why I'm so emotional but I can't cry.

God, Karen Finley is such a fucking inspiration. It's staggering to think about. Okay I'm drunk I'm leaving, it's almost nine, I'm going.

A guy on the train home is some kind of fitness instructor. Talking about how he went to Dubai for work. Some kind of fitness trainer. Said he lives in Bushwick. That this is even a place. I mean it was. It's always been, but it was something else.



Thinking about the upcoming CdG collection, reading the most recent interview with Rei Kawakubo, she talks about her most recent Fall 2015 collection, whose theme was "Ceremony of Separation." She says the collection: “had nothing to do with politics or wars. It’s about something deeper, some horror solidly anchored in me, in us. The impetus was also about the sense of loss, someone dear leaving, but also the ceremonial ritual accompanying this departure that could make things bearable. There is very little creation without despair.”

9/23/15

Here I am puppy chow. Now I'm mollusk. I'm barely vertebrate. I've been devolved. I'm reduced. Here I am sous vide; shrink-wrapped.

Me: "I just feel so stupid."
Psychoanalyst: "Why do you feel stupid?"
M: "For winding up like this."
P: "What do you mean?"
M: "I mean despite my best efforts this is worse than anything I could have imagined. This is the worst possible outcome and I feel stupid for letting it happen."

Here I am babyhood. Here I am untrained. Here I am, if not wild or feral exactly, I am stripped of my civilization. Here I have forgotten my training. Here I am unskilled. here my faculties fail me. My wits let me down again.

8/26/15

Changed Twice

This morning I saw two guys taking a dead cat out of the street. I didn't get a good look at it, but it wasn't gory. It didn't look dead. They were getting it out of the way because someone needed to get into his car and drive away. The cat had probably been there for a while. It was stiff. The guy was just softly kicking it towards the gutter, out of the way of the car. I thought it was sleeping. I was groggy. I thought: "Why is that kitty just letting those guys boss her around like that?" but she was already dead. Do cats get rigor mortis. How cute.

It's funny, I've been saying for the last few days that I was sort of ready for summer to be over. And then this morning I woke up and I was freezing. I feel ashamed for wearing a short-sleeved shirt, for not wearing long pants and a coat. No matter where I go it's too cold. But it feels like it's not just in my body. It's weird how being cold is can go from pleasurable to energizing to numbing to painful. The only place warm enough was the subway station. Maybe I should just have stayed there. How does someone become a mole person, really?



The big thing is this weekend I saw Grace Jones perform twice. It was amazing. Friday night I was very close to the stage, it was a smaller crowd, and I ran into a bunch of friends. Saturday the crowd was much much bigger but still it was a ecstatic experience. I've seen a lot of people perform in a lot of different ways. I've been around performers and artists my entire life. Grace Jones is honestly, without exaggeration, the best performer I've ever seen, heard of, or could imagine. It's just different. On one hand she's kind of a minimalist. There's a vaudevillian or kind of noh formality to her work. It'll be, like, one Look per song. A nice hat, or a cute coat and a particular lighting effect. But the results are magick. She belies this kind of simplicity by just being herself so much. She's not doing that thing that contemporary pop stars do, the heart-breakingly naive cynicism of "Can you BELIEVE I'm wearing his crazy dress while I sing this song?" There's something cold about pop performance. The ambition or something. But Grace Jones isn't being ironic. She's not daring you to laugh with or at her. She's just wearing this hat because she likes it. Sure there's symbolism, too. It's not about getting it or being in on the joke or included or whatever at just about being there while it happens. While she happens. On her last record she sang "I'll be a hurricane" and it's not just poetry. So much of art, music, pop culture aspires to become a god, to become an icon, to become immortal, relevant, powerful, more than just a person. A person plus. But the Grace Jones shoe seemed to be different. People are just one way of being. You could be a storm, an animal, a nightmare, a fantasy. I don't feel up to the task of trying to fully explain it.

After the shows, I heard so many people saying that they weren't rally fans of hers, or familiar with her work, but were blown away by her performance. I met someone the second night who asked me how the previous night's show was, and I said "Okay, we're strangers, but it changed my life." And it did the second night as well.

So now I'm changed again, Twice. And now I guess the third time for the chill. I'd like to warm up, I guess. Maybe that's not true. I could deal with some frost, I suppose.



I'm seeing Earth tonight for the first time, which I'm really excited about. I was going to say that they're about as different from Grace Jones as you can get hit that's not true at all, they're kind of similar. In terms of weight of sound. Wouldn't that be a cool collaboration.

Last night I think I had a dream that I ran into my extended family, in some random store in midtown. It might have been Ricky's or Beauty on 35th, where I buy my wigs. I saw a girl and she looked familiar, and we had that awkward moment of recognition but without acknowledging each other. Then we said hi. It was my cousin. Both of my cousins, who live in New York, and their parents, who live in New Jersey. I rarely see them even though we live close. It was a strange feeling. I was happy in the dream but I was also guilty. That feeling.

What do you do with that feeling. Where you are guilty but also happy. Do you show up and bring flowers.

Remember last winter or last fall when I said I was going to become a demon. I sort of take that back. But I also did become one. And I want to become more of one, I guess. How should I put this? I'm kind of struggling again. Some more. I'm confused. I don't know how I feel. I mean I think I feel a certain way, but I'm guessing. I don't feel very certain. It's difficult in this position to get a lot done, so I'm not getting a lot done.



It's weird how sometimes you can know a thing before you actually really know it. Or it's funny to me how the temperature makes me lazy. I haven't been trying very hard. I was just being silly. On the Fourth of July Erin I were walking around the track in McCarren park and we were talking and I was saying I'm ready. I didn't think I was ready for it but I guess I am ready for it. Is it possible to miss the absence of something you've never had. Is it possible to be ready for something you can't really articulate or name? I think I am.