6/19/17

REST IN CORRECTNESS

This is the thing I read at Walter Cessna's memorial last Monday. I miss him a lot.
What to wear to Walter’s funeral. What song to sing. How to look. What to serve. How to say to those gathered what I know you all know. How to remind. How to pay tribute. How to remember. How to keep in our hearts. How to bring him with us from now on. How to say goodbye. How to be correct in the future, without him.

How to find him. Where to search for him. If I encounter him again, will I recognize him?

How to stay fukt and fix it. What to capture, describe, photograph, dress up, remember, love. Which pieces to save. How to arrange our selves around him.

How to share. How to hold up. How to position ourselves. How to project our true nature. How to be your self. How to see what he saw. How to incorporate. How to love. How to be as fascinated and in love with the world as Walter was.

How to do what he did. How to let him keep doing it. How to live again, like Walter did. How to be as forgiving as Walter was. How to be as wise as Walter was.

If we’re not ready. If it’s too soon. If it’s too hard, too painful, too unbeautiful, too incorrect too sad too much to reckon with.

What sound to make. What to cry out. Where does it make sense.
What order is there? What beauty to locate?

What song do you want to hear, right now? What fond memory springs forth now.
Who did you love? And where are they now?
If I don’t have an answer it’s because I’m stuck and I am heartbroken and I am asking the wrong questions. The right questions are the ones I haven’t asked yet. The questions that lead him back to us. The question whose answer is Walter. Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here? How did you know him? Me too.


6/13/17

READING TONIGHT IN BROOKLYN


BROOKLYN TONIGHT 7PM – reading at Book Row / Better Read Than Dead. Featuring BRONTEZ PURNELL, TOMMY PICO, FRANKIE SHARP, DICK VAN DICK and MAX STEELE. Free! 7pm! Cheap beer! – 867 Broadway <3 <3 <3

6/12/17

GHOST RINGS

“I can tell you stuff / that makes you stronger. /
That lets you forget."


One of the reasons I wanted to start writing this blog again was to write about things I really like and one thing that I like a lot is GHOST RINGS by Half Straddle.


Half Straddle's GHOST RINGS Trailer from Half Straddle on Vimeo.

I saw the show last October at New York Live Arts and I bought the record (compiled from live performances during the NYLA run) as soon as it came out. It moved me deeply and so I wanted to write a reaction / review of it. I think it's probably my favorite record of 2017. I’m calling it early. They're going to tour it again soon. The album is released by 53rd State Press on delicious pink vinyl. Imaginary candy.

There's going to be a record release show June 16th at Pete's Candy Store.

I so rarely feel like I like new music. In that Richard Russell profile in the New Yorker he talks about how people are so stuck in their ways that they don’t listen to new music.
Most people, he suggested, eventually lose the impulse to discover new music, “because of what’s going on in their life.” He went on, “I suppose that doesn’t matter—you can listen to old shit. And that’s O.K. as well. People get a lot from that. But they’re missing something. Because, whatever it is they’re into, that thread’s right there, in something being made now.”
GHOST RINGS feels like new music that I can get into and I don’t get into a lot of new music. I mean this in the best possible way, but “Big Woods” sounds like a mid-90s sort of hip-pop pop admixture that I really needed when I was a teenager and I’m glad to have it now. It’s also the best title for a song I have seen in a long time. I always knew Erin was a good rapper but this song blew my expectations away. There’s a lot here.


Ghost Rings Excerpt, "Hellock's Brimble" from Half Straddle on Vimeo.

I first heard this song when Erin performed it as part of one of her solo shows at Joe's Pub. It stuck with me, especially the lines "It so could be real" and "all the Darkness you can bear".

I have such a crush on Half Straddle and it's thrilling and somehow not too surprising that it became a band, you know? I've already written about the time I saw a girl sneaking into a performance of Half Straddle's Ancient Lives.

Erin Markey leading a riot grrrl band is verging on a wet dream for me. It's a fantasy I couldn't ever declare out loud. And it's so obvious and perfect. Here’s how I imagine it came together: Tina wrote the story and the lyrics and Erin and Chris wrote the songs with her words. I’m making this up/guessing. I’ve been a fan of Erin for as long as I’ve known her and I’ve never heard her voice sound as amazing as it has over the last few years. I think because she’s singing more songs that she wrote. She has an amazing instrument and unfortunately a kind of ceaseless focus. She seems like she can always go more places, vocally. And now she makes songs where she gets to. She sounds amazing on this album and it shows off many (but not all) of her best tricks.

I mean everyone sounds amazing. I love Chris Giarmo. We danced in a Ballez performance together and I think we may have played drag bills together but I’ve seen him perform a lot and have always been intimidated by his talent particularly because he’s also very sweet which I find disarming. The songs they made are really wonderful. Tina Satter's thought process is inspiring and fearsome I was really into this interview she did about the project. It's funny to me that she describes this project was exploring virtuosity, because of course I took this to mean musically. And it is, it's insanely ambitious and technical and riveting and probably really hard to make and execute. But for me the sucker punch, the one-TWO effect here is that behind the sonic experience of facility is the emotional virtuosity. The use of great force and finely honed skill to articulate a frailty, a faltering quality. This skill and force and power of the musical chops are used in the service of describing an emotional experience that, to me, feels like a loss.

You can be strong and you can be beautiful and you can sing better and more wildly and louder than every before but you can't make them hear. You can exceed yourself but you can't make yourself into them. You can show them everything, but they still leave.

I feel cracked open by these songs, dressed up by these songs. Like someone comes to collect you before you go to a nightclub and they have good makeup, the perfect mix to listen to. A bottle of rum. I guess my one critical feeling is that I don't love the phrase spirit animals. I do, though, really love the puppet alter ego characters that the ones in this show represent. They feel like gifts. A sort of avatar of responsibility. Like how I imagine it might feel if your parents give you a car when you're a teenager. Or a pet. "It's a lot of responsibility." I'm a vegetarian; I love all animals. All animal voices. All animal desires. All animal romances resonate with me. I know how the beasts want to be together. I recognize that feeling from GHOST RINGS.

The show kind of feels like it's a secret message, but of course it's not. It couldn't be. It's about Tina and her sister. It's about Shawna and Samantha. And the baby. But it feels beautiful because of how conspiratorial it is. I love that they're not mad at each other, they love each other, but they know they can't travel arm in arm. They know they can't go together so they call out to each other from across the distance.

I desperately want that- a sister. An imaginary friend. A band from scratch. A powerful voice. Gorgeous outfits. A story. The thing of imaginary sisters. That the story is about someone you love leaving, wanting different things. Loving someone and being unable to keep them. It’s not just about sisters. I mean it is but it’s also different.

Like a hypothetical band, a side project, and imaginary project. And because of its putative imaginariness it’s so much better than any real thing, any real band or true human relationship. The fantasy is always so much more perfect than the real thing. And the memory, the story of the fantasy, the songs that incorporate the fantasy and the disappointment of corporeal reality, the band that you make about the story is so much better. It can go anywhere. You can write songs and those can be the story, the heavy lifting.

Listen to "I Love That."

... I mean, yes, sisters but I guess also it’s about drag too. In the sense of writing songs using someone else’s words, someone’s voice, someone’s melody. And singing about a whole other person. Speaking for/as. Imagining a shared understanding. That’s sisters and that’s also drag queens (or what I think drag queens is) but it’s not drag sisterhood. The love that exists outside of time/life, the perfect world of the imagination sister wife. When someone you love becomes everyone you love, when you love someone as much as and maybe sometimes more than yourself.

“8 ways to see us / 9 to die. / It’s all connected / it happens when you cry.”

I haven't cried in many years but when I listen to GHOST RINGS I feel as close to crying as I've come in a long time.

I've wanted to cry for so long and these songs feel like release. Or like cumming. Like when you feel yourself falling, turning inside out. Tiny, intimate, nuanced feelings. Things you'd need to invent a secret language to expressed. They're talking about these feelings and they made a band about them and they're belting. They're harmonizing. They're playing in there there. It's as if an attic room is finally opened and it's so much bigger than you thought, bigger than the house it sits atop of.

When was the last time I felt like this? Maybe seeing Khaela Maricich perform for the first time, sandwiched in between Dear Nora and Mirah. This would have been in 2001? 2002? At the 40th St Warehouse in Oakland. Khaela was performing as The Blow, but very recently. She was still selling CDs with her precious band name, Get The Hell Out Of The Way of the Volcano. And I was about to graduate high school as move to New York, though maybe I didn't know this yet. I felt transitional. Her songs felt like they were in a time capsule to me from the future. I saw a way to see the hard, funny, sad, huge, overwhelming and unspeakable feelings. And to sing them, get through them.

It's not like I'm jealous even. The way I am with so many other things. So often when I love something I think (sometimes subconsciously) "Oh I wish that I wrote that". I listen to music at the gym and I fantasize that I'm the one singing, playing the music. Or I'll see a movie or TV show and wish I was the actor. Wish I was the character. It's a quirk of my narcissism. I was literally raised by performers but I'm also a queer person into art and stuff so we have to read ourselves into the world. But with GHOST RINGS I don't feel jealous. I don't project myself into the music or read myself into the text. With GHOST RINGS I find some part of me confirmed. I find myself validated, reassured. The part of me that didn't know he needed to be seen, spoken, sung and made real.

Something about the size, the shape, the pink record also made me think of this Pussycat Trash 7" I rediscovered this weekend.




6/9/17

WHY I STILL SUBSCRIBE TO VOGUE

WHY I STILL SUBSCRIBE TO VOGUE (US)

Last year I was on the verge of letting my subscription lapse, an then they featured Hari Nef and Juliana Huxtable as the bright young things they are and it roped me back in.

This year it was up for renewal again and because I'm sort of around a lot of magazines for work I thought I didn't really need the subscription delivered to my apartment, but that was wrong.

The new issue features a cute piece about women in theater including NYC's own resident genius Young Jean Lee.

But honestly? I'm obsessed with Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis and her TNT column. It's like the bizarro high society Literal Princess version of Fag City / the type of zines I love and want to make. The most recent issue's column begins thusly (emphasis mine obviously). As I read it last night during dinner, the blithe, glamorous, nearly sinister and gorgeous sentence here actually made me stop breathing for a second:
"Texas stole my heart, or maybe I just dropped it somewhere whizzing along those arrow-straight roads, wind in my hair, that extraordinary light bathing everything in a golden hue. I took the plunge with Lacey Dorn, a seventh-generation Texan whom I had met at my cousin's art opening in London, and our first stop was her uncle's ranch near El Paso. There were red mountains on the horizon, a few wonky signposts... and nothing else. The emptiness made me gasp.

A proud West Texan, her uncle gave us the grand tour. From his jeep we spotted coyotes, longhorn sheep, and quail before stopping for a delicious mountaintop picnic. Then he let us try out his elegant white-gripped revolver, which, he told us, "won the West." Turns out we have quite the shooting skills, Lacey and I, even though I hadn't held a gun since I was a child."
Looking forward to more.

6/5/17

PRETTY'S LESSONS

Listening to the indie rock radio Sunday afternoon as I did my exercises.
Prayers for
Olivia Newton John
A legend.
Sick again.

Went in the rain to see the Red Aunts, a band I never really got into.* But if I could rewrite my adolescence I'd have made myself a fan. Just because.

Ooo I'm tired of having spilled myself out so much. So publicly! Unpaid. I've been an intern many times. I don't need to be reminded that my exploitation is essential, lucrative.

I'm the fool. I let my cash crops go to seed. I used to that this was clever, and it was. It still is. I think that it remains a clever gesture: to willfully unfuck yourself. To stay out of the fray: to make a better world. To refuse to play the game. To recognize ill-gotten advantages and decline them, in your manner. When you feel like it. To be the cute boy and to be so uncute inside. To make people uncomfortable by getting real.

It's in a way to counteract the misconception that Pretty is stupid. That Pretty is simple, superficial. That Pretty has nothing to teach us. Pretty has a lot to teach is and not all of Pretty's Lessons are good. Not everything Pretty has to say is beautiful. And that shows us that even Pretty is disappointing, fallible, mendacious.
So who else is? Use the spotlight to highlight ones flaws. Because here's why: that's what it does anyway. Even if you're pretty your failure is demanded. Like that Beyoncé song.



Like any clever gesture it's only cute when it's up to you. Once you get to a certain point it's not a choice but a fact Of the world.

Thinking of global warming. Here in New York the cocaine is polluted.
Do we all have to get trained on Narcan.
Are we all gonna have to riot for drinking water.

I used to love opening bands. I don't have so much patience anymore.
I still want to be one though. An opening act. On a tour.
It has been a dream of mine for a long time.

Hardcore for old people.
It becomes drone music or techno.
It's not entropy-- that's
romance. A fantasy. Old-fashion.
It's that we atomize as things progress.

And what is a golden age, really
but a growing surfeit of reflections?

PLD said he saw this famous fashion designer at the fag bar.
A cute talented famous person and he was star struck.
And I would have been too.
I'm always startstruck. A little bit.

One thing is I love seeing punk musicians, or any artist, who is in their 40s.
It's a similar thrill to see newbies: people decide in performance. That's why it matters.

Writing new B0DYH1GH jams last night.
I'm excited for our show on the 29th.

Come closer.
If my smoke isn't bothering you.
I'm filled with love and chemicals. Compounds. I'm swirling. Who else has water rising?

O I've been so low.
But I still
consistently got high.
That the world’s going to end-- is that really news per se?


Some of us stayed punk.
Some of us still have our seven inches.

Some of us hung onto them.



* It's a lie. I didn't really get into them super deep I always knew about them and was sort of a fan, I guess, from afar, for a while. Honestly the cover of Saltbox is a queer root for me.


I know I must have posted this image at least 1,000 times but this is v much how I see myself spiritually/sexually. Or at least used to, one aspect of me. I guess the kids would say Mom. Same.



When Kerry was touring in Two Tears she'd often play at QxBxRx where I go-go danced and we'd hang out. I begged her to reunite the Ref Aunts. She said at the time she wasn't sure (I'm obviously paraphrasing) that she loved those songs or needed to hear them again. “But” I said “we” (the fans?) “NEED to.” Who was I kidding? Two Tears was great.

She made a cool zine about living in Dubai. The Red Aunts are cool and necessary. Messy, bluesy, fun, mean, cool, slick. Strong, tough, weird, funny. Scary, cheesy. Bratty, grimy, shuddering, wild, rich. Loud.

The set ended with Kerry saying: "We never did encores before and we're not gonna start now." And they didn't. They didn't even play "My Impala '65" which was a minitime bummer.

I crashed early and slept in a cloud of nectar from the Ti plant blooming in my room.

5/19/17

Give Up

I want to say I give up. I mean, I did. I said: I give up.
I have said it a few times. I’ve done this, as John said, before.



I don’t know if I really mean that.

Instead of I give up. I mean
I don’t care what time it is.

I don’t know where to throw myself.

Want to write about rejection, and failure. Want to talk about exclusion, mass psychological violence. Writing a song, practicing my poem about how queer adults bully each other instead of eating our vegetables.

We're finally free, we think.

Marriage and Medicine let us stay up all night. We don't have to dream anymore.

No it's not that I can't tell time, or that I'm lost or unhooked. I haven't given up I've given my self over to the galleys. I'm waiting on my edits. I thought I had submitted myself properly. I spaced myself.

I'm actually fucking livid. I forgot how angry I am. I keep forgetting -- ban subjunctives.

I don't know why I can't be part of the world. Why can't I be someone you know. I want to be an artist. I want to read the stories I've been writing and I want to perform the songs I've been writing and I want to put together evenings of poetry and performance and video.

And I've done this in the past and people have (I think) gotten something out of it.

But it seems like I've been blackballed or something. I know I sound paranoid, but it feels as though no one wants me at the party. Everyone thinks I belong somewhere else.

So I took a few years off. I went on meds, then off of meds, because I wanted to die really bad. I guess some days I still do.

But what I really want is to feel like we're not living in a vacuum. It's galling to me to keep hearing this feedback: you have your own thing.

I don't have my own thing. I want people to be part of my thing. I don't know what I did to upset everyone but I have an idea and I think the idea is I literally didn't suck enough of the dicks that i was probably supposed to.



And then now today the people we think are our friends want us to be more sensitive. Want us to stop piling on. Why can't we let some people succeed? Why do we have to tear each other down? They want us to feel bad for holding them accountable. They want us to hold our tongues. They want us to consider how it might feel to be shunned, bullied. How might it feel for your world to turn on you. How much would it hurt if the entire scene you had spent years cultivating and supporting all of a sudden wanted nothing to do with you?

Well I know how that feels. It feels bad. But it doesn't feel as bad as trying to get help and no one believing you.

I don't know how to say this but I think we're putting ourselves in the position of defending bullies if they're cool or successful or white enough.

"Oh yes, they're awful they are mean they attack you and they're out to get you but they're so funny. They are gonna be on TV."
Who gets to be invincible?

Suppose I really was desperate.

Suppose I wanted to get my life back together. Suppose I would actually pay money to get to perform for people. To get to read my stories. Would anyone let me? I know the desperation is cloying and off-putting. The fact that I want it, that I need it, doesn't seem to matter.

They keep telling me I'm barking up the wrong tree and that I should get out of the forest. And it's hard not to hear this as my community, or my imagined community, telling me they don't want me to be part of it.

I keep asking and asking and asking for help in getting through this patch, finding a way to be in the world with you. And you keep telling me to leave and it feels like maybe I'm not the one that came up with the idea of suicide. That maybe the world wants me to kill myself. And when I keep hearing the feedback of "you're not really the type of artist we like to support" or "you're wrong for this" what I am hearing is "...and kill yourself." Maybe that's not how it's intended but I think you can forgive me.

How would I act, how differently would I present myself if it did mean something to me. Why am I so bad at making a case for myself? Is it because I am unconfident? Or is it because I really am confident but there's nothing to make a case for? That in fact I am empty, fallow, etc.

This is what I cannot resolve. This is what I have been struggling with. Should I even bother continuing? I feel like I am on the side of the road unsure of which wilderness, which death to court. No one wants to help. And I keep asking.









So, two nice things

1) After hearing how sad I was the other night, my amazing boyfriend surprised me with tickets to see Elza Soares tonight.


"I lived in New York in the 80s — in Brooklyn and also on 43rd Street. I have wonderful memories — my greatest friend in New York was Eartha Kitt and we had a lot of fun together. I moved to New York when I lost my son and wanted to escape the pain a mother feels from losing a child. New York was the city that took me in its arms. It's been over 25 years since I've visited, but I think it will be a happy reunion."
2) The Ti plant I've had in my bedroom for at least a decade just started, for the first time, to blossom.


Yesterday morning when I woke up with a broken heart. 


Yesterday afternoon.

I can't wait to see what the flowers look like.

5/15/17

The Market of Me

Norma, Maria callas. I keep meaning to listen to.



Like the pile of books on my bed I keep meaning to read.
Ok there's a few ways of talking. I made the zine voice blog and vice Versa.
I'm always using the wrong voice in the wrong place!
I did a good reading. It reminded me of the ways of talking
Writing
That I used to know how to do.

But now I'm at witch camp writing on my phone.
Always the wrong voice in the wrong place. Endlessly wearing the wrong outfit. I worry too much. Literally hiding in a corner. I was like let me just disappear.

For the longest time
For my whole life
I thought
I loved performing.

This one girl whys she hate me. She literally crosses the room.
Oh who cares about your horrible old condition.

I go to metro to meet Max. It's awful. Yuppie fag couple cuts me in line for a drink. I have to hear a 24 year old wax poetiC about how long they've been coming here. Three years.

All the cool girls you went to college with. They still smoke.

Met max had one drink got a sandwich and went home and watches trailer park boys. I don't know why I'm so into it. It's so brilliantly acted. It's like ... bizarre.

Weekend list.
Saw a boy in pink shirt dinosaur bag rose earring

Lois Maffeo. The first time I listened to Lois was actually on the bis song "detour". I didn't really get super into her though until I saw her perform at Ladyest.

I remember as she started there was a sea of camera flashing. It seemed to annoy her but she was good natured about it. Saying something like okay you have enough pictures of me sitting and playing guitar and singing. She did a few goofy poses as photo ops then sat back down and played her set. I couldn't tell you what she played except I know she brought out James : Brendan from Fugazi and they played songs from the new record that was about to come out, and she ended with strumpet and I think Molly Neuman played with her on at least one song. Heather Dunn? Who was the tiger trap drummer? Anyway that fugazi guy record the union themes is kind of crazy.
This song stumper is also crazy it's like Mecca Normals walk alone or Bikini Kills rebel girl or Nikki McClure omnivore a riot grrrl anthem a true thing. I covered it in a show I did here I sang the songs trumpet over the music of local h's high-giving motherfucker. It was okay.
She s lind of source.

Pizzicato five
Yeah the met ball
I don't even want to anymore

Share anymore
Finish strong
Finish aging
I no longer want to complain

Time was I thought it would bring what I wanted to me

I no longer think that
It's not enough to want it and try hard.

I liked writing poetry
The bartenders boyfriend showed up.
Who will visit you at work

I wanted to ramble. I wanted my ramblings to be the truth of me the market of me
I wanted to sleep through it the indignity of life. And get paid for my time. No wonder I stopped dreaming. Who am I gonna bill for those hours? Who pays for my dreams.

I live in fear. So many times I've written checks I coiudlrn cash. Accidentally, almost. Subconsciously at least. Therefore I thought my fate was my curse my responsibility. I thought that it was my fault, anything band that happened to me. Including people being mad at me. Including meeting their unrealistic expectations, making myself responsible for their own fucked up shit. I put myself on the line -- maybe I am a narcissist after all i guess they were right.

And so I make this list of topics to return to. A list of destinations tropics to revisit.

I love exotica it's for people who've never been been tourists.

“ladies and gentlemen” what a wonderfully fucked-up phrase.

What's my dark secret. That I've made questionable decisions. Loooked gift horses in the mouth. That I'm secretly sloppy, lazy, careless. That I give less of a fuck than I want people to think?

Fag City I had to imagine because I needed somewhere to live. But then maybe if changed or I did. Which one of us gentrified? One of those words that's lost its meaning. It's maybe too PC?

I just mean it no longer feels the same. As I put myself on the line less. I had to become so strong. And I stayed strong.

Remind me to put this in the new issue of scorcher: how I stayed hard for so long.

You see that's like a note to myself to write a poem. This could never be my prospect, brand, market, story. I am telling you that you're there.

5/3/17

SUNDAE FANTASTIQUE

You guys I am featured as a guest on the new episode of the SUNDAE FANTASTIQUE SHOW STARTING SUNDAE FANTASTIQUE. We filmed it a few weeks ago.

I'm most proud of this than anything I've done lately.

I've long been a fan of SUNDAE FANTASTIQUE (aka Carrie-Anne from such bands as Clapperclaw and Bad Credit No Credit). We've played shows together and I've seen her perform a bit and she is literally amazing. One of those artists in New York that make you thankful to live here, right now, with them. When she invited me to be on her tv show I was intimidated!

I had a lot of fun filming it, especially our interview, which we didn't plan a whole lot for. Somehow the impromptu vibe was productive, I feel. I'm glad we had that talk and I'm glad that I got a chance to compare Judy Garland and Henry Rollins because I do think they have a lot of similarities.

I also perform a song I wrote, “How Could It Be Bad?” which I made for this EP I'm dreaming about making, NIGHTFRUIT. I debuted this song at The Amber Zone at Sid Golds. The crew on the tv show was amazing and sweet and sympathetic and reassuring and I really like how it looks! And Carrie-Anne produced the sound mix for the video which I also love. I'm like so incredibly flattered.

I didn't really think I would like this. To be honest. I didn't go watch it live because I was sure I'd be embarrassed to see myself and also I had plans with Miss Jiddy No-No aka Ewok Vixen aka Lioness Maven at the New Museum opening. It was great! You should all go!

But yeah I'm surprised at how well I think this turned out. I am more proud of this than anything in a while. I've been pretty down on myself lately but I like this, so please check it out.




4/16/17

I am the snow. I am the snow. I am the snow.

There ought to be a star named after Mykki Blanco. Call it Quattlebaum. A girl so famous, so beloved that one of her patrons bought her a place in the firmament. A home away from home in a galaxy out of town. That would make sense: that Björk sends you a note saying that she's bought a star and named it after you.

That morning I went for a run at sunrise and when I got home I saw a man sitting in a bakery truck, nervously and slowly driving through red lights, smoking. I thought about the pastries (I'd still eat them and gladly).

It's not that I'm falling backwards it's that I'm using what I know to heal myself. I really felt out of control for a while. It's like in some ways I'm done being a teenager, but in other ways I ache to not be getting to do it all over again. All I want is to begin again. To master adolescence. Knowing what I know now.



Two phrases I hate and why I've come to hate them:

- "Self-awareness" this is so frustrating to me because I feel like its willfully dispensing with consciousness the word the concept the feeling. And I'm fine to dump it there are a lot of good reasons to do that and none of them come to mind when I hear "self-awareness" it's particularly annoying to me in adjective form as "he's totally not self-aware" it feels wrong. I literally hate grammar but this feels like an incomprehensible sentiment.

- "Self-care" I'm all about soothing. I'm all about healing. Empowering. But the premise of self care is that you provide care for yourself, inherently a performance of dissociation. Treat yourself like someone you care about. Give yourself the care that you know you deserve but which am ignorant selfish world cannot give to you. It's not the pathos that bugs me (pile it on) it's the premise that you don't take care of yourself. I mean I don't. I think deep down most people don't but want to. I think I have a good sense of human nature. Not to brag. But "self-care" is a call to be a parent to yourself. Which is great but nothing works forever and why trap yourself in a dynamic where you need a parent? For me self care is like gently reminding that I need it I'm not getting it I think I need it I think I'm not getting it the world is insensitive or I just think the world is insensitive. It's more about admitting my needs than doing a magic trick, putting on a fake mustache and funny voice and pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Wore my new baseball cap on the subway. It's oxblood dark maroon and it says SCAB in stylish bright blue fake farsi embroidery. It's by Undercover and while I love it part of me does worry that it makes me seem anti-union.

You know when I was younger I was really into the thing of the home wrecker, the libertine, that position. But a scab, as in someone hired to cross picket lines? How awful. Because they're desperate too. It's a notion of no winners. Not even the bosses. Nor the witnesses, the customers.

But a scab as in the healing crust of a wound? That I support. Something daring you to pick it. The body's way of demanding patience, management, attention, care. The veiled threat of a scar. A great fashion statement.

Waking up on only the wrong sides of the bed. Hungover, un-joyous, distracted, angry, pissed-off and confused. I sat on my stoop and smoked a cigarette and tried to make out the tiny buds coming in on the tree branches across the street. I've been in a bay mood forever. I've been moody.



Revisiting my favorite 10"s. When human beings upset me, when the ghosts online are barking on their wire leashes, when my newly aging body betrays me, when Spring isn't fast enough, when the Sun ain't gentle and the world doesn't care I can always comfort myself with the records I listened to in high school. My favorite format, the ten inch. I had to wait until my 20s to finally find my favorites on vinyl (Sleater-Kinney's Self-Titled on Chainsaw, Cat Power's Dear Sir on Runt, and Huggy Bear's Taking the Rough with the Smooch on Kill Rock Stars). Just put my angry records around me. They never let me down. They don't boss me around, they don't have parties without me. They don't hurt me.

Part of me thinks jewels are tacky and vulgar and part of me thinks mineral, geological proof of age and development is the most sophisticated and straightforward type of value: adornment. I want to protect myself from my own insecurities.

Thinking about the first two lines of Cat Power's "Great Expectations": I am like powder, I am relaxation

4/10/17

Pita Palace

So it looks like Bushwick Pita Palace has closed. I’ve been going there at least once a week and have since I moved to New York in 2006.



Back then it was a Mexican restaurant, which I seem to remember being called Mission Burrito. I was obviously leery because I am from the Bay Area where so-called Mission burritos are not a joke. However I did eventually get into the Mission Burrito near my house because they had good vegetarian burritos (fake cheese and tofu sour cream) and horchata and salsa verde, so eventually I was down.

I took everyone there. I think I took my boyfriend there. I wonder if I went there with Walter. I feel like I did.

They had a buy 9 burritos get one free card, of which I fastidiously availed myself, reasoning that with regular use it brought the cost of my weekly burrito down a whole 78 cents.

At some point they got bought, or half merged with a Yemeni Middle Eastern restaurant. I ordered falafel and burritos alternately for many years. There was a vague sense of tension between the two counters/kitchens and menus. Like which were you more loyal to? I honestly came to love both nearly equally, but was miffed that a falafel sandwich never counted toward the free burrito on the frequent buyer card. It was years before I actually read the full menu (or they updated it?) but at some point a few years ago I finally saw the “Crazy Burritos” section, which included the falafel burrito.

It was a kind of platonic ideal of a sandwich, it requires both chefs to work together to make the falafel and tahini etc. ingredients plus the Mexican restaurant staff to make the burrito. It was overwhelming and almost disgusting and I loved it and I ate it almost every single week, usually on Thursday or Friday nights.

I was last week. Everything seemed normal. In fact they seemed really busy, it was annoying. I redeemed my free burrito and left a $7 tip, as I do whenever I get my free burrito, which is basically every two months, like clockwork.

It was one of those things where by going so often I became a regular and the man who usually worked the cashier would recognize me and call out my order to the respective cooks, essentially letting me cut the line. Which is sort of unfair but sort of sweet too. A lot of people dithered in line and did t seem to know what they wanted, between the Mexican, Middle Eastern and middling "American" menus (honestly who goes to Bushwick Pita Palace to order a hamburger? Turns out lots of people). Between the gentrification and the band practice space and the methadone clinic the layers of white bullshit I had to wade through, far surpassing my own, had increased dramatically in recent years. I often saw people earnestly ask what a burrito is.

When I moved to my neighborhood I thought I was the bad guy, the yuppie. Temping in midtown for a cool $11 an hour, wearing sweaty h&m sale rack button downs.

The thing about the falafel burrito is that it requires both kitchens to work in tandem. It's therefore easy for the falafel burrito to get lost in the shuffle, especially if it's busy. But they always took care of me.

Anyway now it's gone. I found out the other night because I'd been looking forward to a falafel burrito all day and night. I went for a jog with PLD.

I’m trying to feel relaxed. I mean I'm not trying very hard. I'm starving.



Some dread. I mean everything's changing. Max B and I went to Best Pizza then to this bar on Union, across from Over the Eight, which is closed now. I remember when it was Royal Oak. I used to date a boy who lived across the street we'd often go there and drink beer out of tiny little mugs and dance to 60s music. There was a pair of twin boys who threw an oldies dance night.

There was also if I remember correctly this gay couple where one was older and they styled themselves to look the same, or had matching names or something, some kind of proto-branding and they threw a dance party there too but I never went. It was kind of a concession bar, Royal Joke. Between Teebs and I and our straight girl friends. None of us would get laid but we'd all get wasted. Dancing to like, Annie.

Some things you don't miss and some things you miss very much.

This weekend was perfect running weather, warm bright and incredibly windy. I was in heaven, delirious. Kind of unsure what else to do with myself after I’d spent an hour running. What else is there to do.



UPDATE: Today I did some more stalking online and found someone who posted about Pita Palace closing. Someone online who I recognize as one of the staff said they’re not closing for good. Only for renovations, and that they’d be back soon.

Feeling grateful.



4/6/17

I Will Come Again



I was going to walk away from this altogether, but in the spirit of Mercury and Venus Retrogrades, I had another idea.

I started this blog on August 24th 2007, and so I will finish it on August 24th 2017. A full decade. I need some time to figure out what to do with this, and what to do next. I've had online diaries of some kind of another for what is now most of my life, and I'm sure I'll have another one.

So I've decided to finish strong.

9/13/16

Happy Birthday, Fiona



Thinking a lot lately about the Fiona Apple cover story from the January 1998 issue of Rolling Stone, with the mortifying title "Fiona: The Caged Bird Sings". But then, I think of this article a fair amount. It's kind of a touchstone for me. I don't necessarily want to reread it but I'm thinking a lot about it lately. As a kid I wanted to be like that. Written about like that. I wanted to be so fascinating the way Fiona Apple was in the interview. To live a live worth scrutinizing. As I recall, in part of the interview she listens to Janeane Garofalo's parody of her 19967 VMA acceptance speech and gets upset. Fiona says something about how "Of course I have an eating disorder. Every girl in fucking America has an eating disorder." The reporter writes somethings about her getting upset, about her breaking down. The reporter writes something beautiful about Fiona's tears. Okay I looked at the article again and the exact quote of Fiona's reaction to the parody is: "It's then she cracks. Big tears dollop down her face." I loved this as a kid and part of loving it was that I felt so sad for Fiona. She was being teased. She's actually really articulate and seemingly "on it" in the interview, in a way that I didn't put together at the time.
























Thinking again about the cover of Tidal. It was so personal and so weird and dumb and intense but not corny. It was real, it was too much it was somehow excessively personal but it was real. It made me feel sort of seasick. This is my experience of Fiona in general, I think.

Fiona Apple also performed at the first concert I ever went to. I often tell this story. It was at Kamp KOME 1997. I remember that it was was Fiona's birthday that day. Her band gave her a present, and she unwrapped the glittery ribbons from the gift and wrapped them around her waist for the rest of the show.



































I remember that it was Fiona's 20th birthday that day, and I remember thinking "God, she's so old." I must have been what. 14? 15?

Oh -- that concert was on September 13th, 1997.

Happy Birthday, Fiona.

I hope you're happy Fiona. I remember an interview (in Pitchfork) where you talked about just being either at your house or the club nearby. I don't know. Do you want to come home Fiona. Do you want to come back to New York? Do you want to go back?



































Birthdays are so hard. Just ask anyone who's ever had one. But I want you to feel good.

I remember in that Rolling Stone profile thinking how gorgeous how smart if you just listen closely enough if you just provide enough of yourself to fill up the frame. If you just listen to yourself. If you go crazy with listening. I'm not trying to make it be some crazy sad genius girl thing (though it is that too). There was just something so appealing to me about the thing of ones life being worth watching that much. Something along those lines. If you believe in it it's there. If you give yourself credit for making something then it's there.

I remember watching the infamous speech at the VMAs that year when it was broadcast live. I was, I think, Sarah's house. That sounds about right. She was who I went to the concert with. That speech was incendiary.

I've gotten to perform it twice and Michael Schulman and Rachel Shukert's legendary awards show tribute night "YOU LIKE ME". Apparently last time I performed it Tavi was there but I didn't see her. I was too busy acting. Here's a video of thus year's performance:



I want to feel like that, in the profile, like my every move is scrutinized. Like people know and love my for my genius and my generous sharing of my pain. Like I'd have an army of fans mailing in apples on my behalf to get my lost album released.

I'm sure it's not all autograph booths Fiona. I know your life isn't easy. I'm sorry for making you into a fairy tale. I don't know you. I'm sure you're a real person too. You deserve a private life. Am I able to feel sympathy for a reluctant pop star. How delicious right. The passive sadism of the fan the consumer. Someone's always worse off than you are on the New York City subways. There's always someone drunker, weirder. Worse. Not that its bad to be weird or drunk-- just the feeling of subjectivity which I've said before is seawater (it encourages insatiability).

When I first hooked up with Scott Panther who I gave a new nickname to (I now refer to as "the cokehead who wouldn't share"), the first night we hooked up on his stereo we listened to a lot of things, including Fiona Apple's cover of "Frosty the Snowman". I can't believe that song exists, to be honest. To hear it for the first time when you're having sex with a stranger and it's nowhere near Christmas. Fiona you are magick and have been with me for so long.

Fiona's response to Janeane from the article:
Well, I best be off now to primp and preen
But before I go, here's an end to your mean
I be a paradox of gestures and genes
But you are a cowardly bitch, Janeane
Today I'm not happy with how I look in New York - everyone else feels so stylish and I feel very frumpy, bland, uninspired. I want to feel how I imagine Fiona Apple feels: that there's something inside worth noticing. Maybe I want to feel how Magazine Articles feel: that the beautiful art is the product not of industry, history, fate, etc. but the sheer fascinatingness of the personal pain. That we are archives to ourselves. That we contain and overwhelm ourselves. That we crash into one another and can bear each other's beauty and pain.

Is it sick or sycophantic of me? To think that this was the ideal? This having a music journalist write about seeing you cry? How is that ideal? I guess maybe it's the thing of no hiding. I'm so sorry, Fiona, that you had to do this in a magazine so I could see it as a tiny little baby queer in California but it means so much to be, this thing of letting yourself be real, painfully, and forcing that to occupy the space of a pop career. Fill up the album cover with your gaze. Let multiple meanings reverberate, revise your statements. Say you meant more than what you meant at the time. Be mean. Go with yourself. Go with yourself.

Dear Fiona what are you going to do to celebrate your birthday? Fiona I hope you have friends and cake and presents, again. Even if you don't I'm glad you're here.


9/7/16

All the day the wire is spun



Construction noises. I think I need new underwear. I want something new, something I keep close to me.

On my way uptown to Zabar's.
I Fucking hope they still have gazpacho but its September 9th and mercury's retrograde I'm starving I've wanted it all summer and I wonder if I've missed my shot. (Well see)

Woke up this morning thinking I finally I got good sleep, enough sleep, for the first time in a week. A solid seven and a half hours. Next thought the sound of jackhammers. Construction has started on the building next door.

I've lived above a bodega and a live chicken shop for eleven years. The bodegas changed names many times but there's always been a chicken shop here, which recently became halal. They both closed and someone bought the properties and is building restaurants in the ground floor and high rise apartments above. It's going to be nuts. One of my bedroom windows will be blocked. Our kitchen window will be blocked.

At work as well they're doing construction next door. It's ominous. I mean I think we're aware and not of how it works. You think you're driving but you're a passenger. You think you're talking but you're advertising.
You think you're a person bug you're a brand. Your stock is falling.

Sometimes when I tell close friends about feeling bad or depressed or crazy etc. they say well it's maybe a rational response to your conditions. Facebook wants us to feel sad. Like also in that Ann Cvetkovich book, explaining how depression is the logical result of a system (or number of systems) and that system is capitalism. There're lots of other systems too.

I'm taking a long bus ride. I feel the walls closing in I mean they're making them as we speak. I'm watching them go up. Where will I go?

How will I find a place to be in the new world when all of my life I've been living in the old world. To be honest I haven't been doing an amazing job there but it's all i know.

What could I be so afraid of? Leaving New York? Dying? Being someone other than me. What death is left unfeared. What nightmare undreamed. I got it. When do I get to pull my hand back from the stove. When is my lesson learned. What lesson anyway. What mystery what depth what cool delicious plumbs un tempted. What mistake not made. I thought it was just a thing of not being enough not disappearing enough. I'm secretly weeping. On some level.

I'm a vampire stalking gazpacho like my clone doppelgänger tumor I'm desperate for minerals but this train underwater smells like compacted farts and belches. Bodyghosts.



Will I have to move. What will I eat how Will I live?
Am I afraid of having to make more decisions it's like I'm trying to dream don't wake me up I'm sleepwalking afraid to be woken up. It's dangerous right, for what reason.

Last night I sang at Hot Fruit at metropolitan. Sparkles hosted it was cute. I sang my Laura Nyro cover "Captain for Dark Mornings" but I end with her other song "Captain Saint Lucifer". A guy in the crowd recognized both songs and said he liked it, which was really cool. No one ever gets it or is a big enough Laura Nyro fan to care. Only a very few other super cool people have gotten it.

Someone else said they had to go back to school today. I said I'm sorry. They asked if I didn't also have to go back to school I said no. But I wonder if they knew that on some level I do in fact have to as I do every year. In the fall.

But how if everything feels so desperately vulnerable. Not in a precious life moments way but a painful way. How can I make this beautiful right what's the low key Buddhist evolved response aka what would my psychoanalyst recommend my response be. Like how best to think act be like everything's fine I'm just you know not inspired big that's not true. It's not just that I don't care it's that I care but everything feels scary and bad. I don't know.

Will anything ever matter.
I don't know what I want. My body is falling apart and has been for a while. I need to quit smoking. I need to get minor plastic surgery. Just a few things some benign miles burnt off.

Barnacles of attention.
I wonder would it make me feel better if I got my tattoo removed? Would I be free of myself.

I've already imagined it the worst the betrayals the feelings of surprise and pain. It doesn't matter if it's true or not I've experienced if. I remember it. So it's in the past. This is what I mean when I am this chandelier this paper bag full of shattered broken glass.



It's my Monday.
I had gazpacho at zabars among the elderly they eyed me suspiciously. I adored them.

I'm alone at a bar drinking a beer and smoking.

A guy rummaging through our trash warned me he said its gonna rain I said not till later he said you better walk fast I said I know. I will.

I love this wind this offshore hurricane it's how I feel. Windy. Weepy. A little unstable but bearing moments of clarity, beauty, and pain.

Moved inside because of rain.
I love this bar. I wish they weren't playing Michael Jackson. I mean I wish there was no music.

Been so into En and their album City of Brides. Drone music. You see.


Artwork by Justin Almquist "Religious Rally or their Satanic Majesties Final Request" 2011 - Ink and collage on paper.

Like I want art that's bigger than art. Louder slower and more beautiful than music.
It's not that I want to be a singer it's that singing helps me get there.
I want people to feel good. Feel fed feel smart feel clear eyes.
It's a difficult pivot to go from sick sad failed artist TO psychotherapist who specializes in working with artists.

Whitney Houston was an angel and she always will be.

How do we do this watch each other burn up expire. Is the human condition to be a fuck up? To witness and do nothing? I'm excited and curious for Sarah Schulman book Conflict Is Not Abuse.I'm scared of both. I've been accused of mistaking the two. I think I've seen abuse directed at me. I think I've been abused. But conflict is hard.

"Ohh I wanna dance with somebody I wanna feel the heat with somebody."

As of today I've been with my boyfriend for eleven months which is the longest relationship of my life. So far. It's kind of inexplicable the way an anything truly amazing is.

I am writing a new Scorcher too about partly things before we were together but seen through the lens of my life now.

On the train again to go get dinner even though I'm not like officially hungry yet. I mean I am. Just making my life a to do list. Distracting myself from something. I don't know what. Not boredom. Not pain. Not uncertainty. But if I can pin my sense of empowerment to painting my toenails, at least trick myself for a few hours then why not so be it. I did not manage to paint my toe nails today though.

I think this should go. I think we should go. I think I ought to make something new like a new blog instead of Fag City.



Now it's Wednesday my Monday. My chosen Monday. It's also sort of my Thursday. I woke up at 6 and the sun wasn't up yet. THAT was unexpected, and a little bit disturbing. But also exciting. That chill.

Construction update: they're covering the buildings. They've partitioned off the sidewalk which I don't think is legal and are putting up panels of plywood. I guess they'll finally destroy the remnants of the buildings.

There has been a chicken shop in that building for over one hundred years.

I guess that's just what it is in New York. Maybe America. Maybe everywhere. That thing of watching. Witnessing. I mean you pick your battles and your life is about that perceived choice of how to do it, navigate being a human. Okay.

It's just a commitment to affect. It's not that I want to be free of feeling it's just this fanciness. This fantasy. This imagination. This will. It makes me feel strange.

More internet on the L train I certainly have noticed in the last few weeks. Which I suppose is nice before they shut down the L.



Imagine the lifestyle that leads to making this kind of beautiful music. Imagine the amount of time you need. The skill to hear this, envision it somehow.

Should I move to California and become a drone musician or drone musician journalist or something.

Last night I watched a documentary about James Booker. Trying to find that clip of him performing live, screaming about his mothers death. I think he was so cool. A genius. It's like songs can be so good so smart so unreasonably logical. Queer geniuses.

I don't want to go someplace else. I just want to go inside.
Good thing it's almost autumn then I guess.



9/1/16




Hillary Clinton telling me not to kill myself, generally. In general please don’t commit suicide. We need you. We need your American minds, your special talents, to help us realize a better future together. Don’t deprive us of your brilliance.

Don’t drop the ball.

Don’t call in sick to work. Don’t fall asleep on the job. Don’t miss these once-in-a-lifetime deals.

At the designer boutique the manager remarked that I'd gotten sun. I said I was in California. Where? The Bay Area. She said oh were there wildfires in that area? I said no thankfully. She said she's from another part of the world with wildfires and they have one now that they're just going to let burn. To get rid of the dead trees left by an insect infestation. I said its so strange to watch it on TV and know there's not a lot anyone an do about it. She said no they're just going to let it burn till October.

I thought: could she tell that I am having a nervous breakdown?

Probably.
But of course wildfires are natural.
Of course nothing (else) is. Thinking /Not thinking
Talking a lot lately about the Kim Gordon song "making the nature scene"

You know me and my friends, and strangers, everyone we all used to talk ALL DAY at school ALL NIGHT on the phone ALL DAY on line ALL NIGHT on line AND NOW no one talks.

i mean we all talk but now our speech is media. we're being mined for content. it's like that's how I know how young I am how Millennial is my relative not caring about being spied on.

Charming snark popular mad fm any hot blooded tough love thick weapons big machine complex calculation

Answer me with computation
Answer me with industry

Your paycheck is ready
When that direct deposit hits
When your guy shows up (finally!)
When they shine you, your outside. When they accept the ransom payment.

Walking back into a bed of nails.

All I do is go from one be to another. It's a reverse pendulum. I bounce. I'm aloft. Work home lover home work home. Beds everywhere.

At work I get paid to take pain. Under capitalism pain is money. I don't know why people see it differently. Fuck what you heard all human consciousness is masochism.

8/23/16

precarity



Yesterday Jamie Lee Curtis type art lady hustled her way onto the train behind me at Bedford so forcefully I though it was a gay dude (because haircut) but when a seat opened up greedily jumped in front of me (and everyone) to sit down and open up the New Yorker app on her phone. The face of gentrification. The feeling that you have to be proactive of taking what's yours, what you've paid for. She has someplace to be. She's from somewhere, she's somebody, she has somewhere to go and is ready to fight for autonomy.

My neighbor was talking about the new building by the Grand street stop where the former store Liberty was. He said it's gonna be that many more people on the subway. Well yes. But there're new buildings all over town. Everyone's clogging the subway-- that's what the subway is for, no?

I guess I'm lazy. I'm taking the ambition the rudeness the entitlement personally because it feels like who I am. The person who gets trampled on by rich hipsters.

Certain death - either way I lose - why suffer? But then how to proceed in any other way ethically? How to act like I'm a person without acting like white older art butch lady gentrifier on the train. Even the New Yorker app is gentrifying because of the way it uses data and battery your phone.

My jaw hurts for the first time. It's a new pain. Do I have TMJ? Is it related to my other sicknesses? Is it stress? Why do I keep falling apart.

How to convey?
Wanting to share, to explain the context.
To project, imagine together the circumstances I'm operating under.
How can anyone know? What can I do to give you a sense?


Of the precarity.
The entropy.

My house being literally devoured. It's collapsing slowly around me. Everything's falling apart.
I'm watching the world end. Silently.



If you knew how chaotic it was you'd see how I'm actually doing a lot. A lot of beautiful goes into making even the smallest peace here. On planet chaos.

I want to instead of showing something beautiful I worry about adequately conveying the ugliness of the context.

I want you to appreciate the void I'm screaming across. It's a miracle any echo makes it through at all.

Typing this morning on my iPhone I imagine isn't so unlike stenography shorthand which my
Grandmother did.

Free writes. Feels like cages. Got bars got chains. Got jeweled cuffs. Got perspective. Got lenses.
To have to move. To go to school or something. Just be a fiction writer or something. Be an artist somewhere else?

God, can you imagine if I moved to some new city and had to make new friends, now, at 32? That would be cool. Imagine at 65. Maybe it's easier.

Do people even have friends
I mean does anyone.

All I want is to be someone. To mean something. To be a thing, to mean someone.
I sound like a fucking idiot.

I went away and I came back and I feel myself dragged across the surface of a stucco wall. Suburban and bloody and burnt and irrelevant. Aborrhent. Escape-bait.



Last night my analyst was saying how I'm hiding, how I've been hiding for years. How I'm afraid to come out. What would it take, he asked, for me to have a coming out party. What would it take for me to be able to come out?



Other people, I said.