I didn't get tickets for the special Breeders show, the website sold out in under a minute. I think it was rigged (naturally). But they announced that they're going to add more dates, so I guess I'll just buy tickets then? As a teenager, I used to fantasize about how great my adult life would be, specifically because I could buy tickets to any concert I wanted, and I wouldn't have to get a parent to go with me. My parents used to go with me to concerts. My mom and I saw Portishead together. My dad and I saw the Creatures a few times. It kind of became our thing, though he did say more than a few times how "unprofessional" Siouxsie was, in the sense that she took so long to take the stage.

I heard a rumor from one of my fun New York City queer art friends that Siouxsie is currently living in San Francisco with a lesbian lover. I want that to be true. I want that for her. But I do have my doubts. Hasn't she spoken about not being gay? About wishing she was gay? I mean, everyone wishes they were gay.

Gay means happy, and who doesn't want that?

Here's a great video of Kim Gordon's performance in Body/Head at Union Pool last weekend:

So amazing, right? This is the "Actress, Actress" song I was talking about. A total highlight. Wish you could have been there.

Also, here is an interview I just did with 12 QUESTIONS. I'm duly flattered to be asked to be part of this rad site, especially sandwiched as I am betwixt Francesca Lia Block (!) and Dame Darcy (!). How bizarre and wonderful.

Going to an Art lecture by dear heart Alex Da Corte, then going to Analysis, then going Home to Cook Dinner. I'm pooped. I went out last night to the Drink and then to the last Les Garçons au Baron party. Good times. I'm not scared of going out on weeknights anymore.

There's really nothing to be scared of, you guys. It's basically never the right idea.


Considerable Command


Hi, how's it going. I just found out that apparently space-time is smooth (as opposed to "foamy"), or, in any case, smoother than everyone except Einstein thought, which seems cool. I was talking about it with my room-mate over the weekend and he said that he had never thought of space-time as foamy. Neither had I. So it's cool that it's consistent. Thanks, I guess. Out here it's cold, right now. It's still definitely winter in New York City. I mean, you know.

Anyway, I did have some questions. Whenever you have a chance it would be great to know your thoughts. So:

1) Is it too late, and or am I too dumb to go to graduate school? Am i too much of a free-spirit or burnout to go back into Academia? Would I get in? I have some friends who are into being academics and seem to get a lot out of it. But they're intellectual and social superstars, and I'm not. What do you think? Switching gears:

2) Should I move to Los Angeles? And be an actor? Come to think of it, that's what both of my parents did. But they did it when they were younger than me (and also my age, I guess). I'm getting older. I'm 28 and a half, and I'm not really gorgeous.

Not that I have to leave New York. I love it here! I'm just curious. I haven't been to Los Angeles since I was 9 years old when my family left. I don't know how to drive. I want to go really badly, though. I wish I could get it together. I know, I know, I ought to stay in New York for a while.

I don't need you to remind me, U, that New York is on its way out. I know, and you know I know, that it won't be around forever. And so of course I want to enjoy it for as long as I can.

Sometimes when I'm by myself walking around the city, depending on the light or the weather or the way the air smells or the breeze, I'll feel suddenly overwhelmed with my love for the city. That happened a lot on Sunday afternoon. Walking around the Atlantic Mall in Brooklyn, which I normally hate, just feeling so much love for Brooklyn, New York, my fellow citizens. Everyone just... being so busy and happy and preoccupied. It felt great. I couldn't give that up, not really.

But if you tell me that I really ought to move to Los Angeles, to become an actor, then that's a considerable command. Maybe if you just give me a sign, okay?

I'm usually around a computer during the day, all the time. Plus I can get e-mail on my phone. So I'll just wait for your answer. Write back soon.

Your truly,


Actress, Actress

Full Moon in Leo last night. Not sure what I was meant to feel, personally, but I sure did feel something. I had a very quiet, meditative day. My performances done for the moment, I spent a long morning at the gym, took myself to lunch at Vanessa's, finished reading Sarah Schulman's heartbreaking and genius "The Gentrification of the Mind". Did laundry, painted my nails. Just chilling, you know? The big excitement was that Perfect Little Daniel and I went last night to go see Kim Gordon's new band with Bill Nace, Body/Head, at Union Pool. I saw Miss Isaac and Miss David there too. We were all excited to get to see KG such a small venue. During one of the opening acts (this cute boy making psychic evil computer noise, charming and I liked it) I heard a woman kind of complaining about something. I wouldn't say whining, but I did think: "Why is this lady talking so much during the nerd performance" and it was KG talking logistics about moving gear or something. Am I being creepy? I wasn't eavesdropping. I was kinda starstruck though and moseyed away. I bought a drink. Everyone, including KG and me and everyone in the room, was wearing parkas with fur-lined hoods. It was a cute moment.

Anyway, the show was great. You know, PLD and I's band B0DYH1GH, has had a truly unbelievable rise to the top of the top of the cream of the culture. I think I speak for both of us when I say that we really do have the nicest fans. Oddly enough, most of B0DYH1GH's fans tend to be very well-connected and culturally-significant movers and shakers. And, get this, our fanbase is distinguished (at least to my mind) by being mostly blonde white women. I think that's sort of curious, but maybe it's because we used to always wear those blonde weaves. But these girls are wandering into our shows, our front rows, nonstop! That internationally famous blonde american fashion editor who made the trip down to deep Gowanus Brooklyn caves to see us in our new dresses. The famous actress and legendary NYC style icon/party girl who checked us out in our New Year's attic performance a while ago. I could go on and on. I think maybe our famous blonde white woman thing started with PLD and his relationship to/with Gwyneth. Which, you know, I can't abide. Anyways these blonde celebrity gals love us. And so seeing this new development was such a treat. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and they're usually right. We're so tickled to be paid homage, who wouldn't be? By one of our biggest fans and inspirations.

They're a new act, so we wanted to show our support.

In all seriousness, the performance was amazing. It's so weird to me how most people only know and love KG for her work in Sonic Youth. I mean, that totally makes sense, but her own work apart from the band has always been so much more exciting, funny, intense, and wild. Last night was especially wild. Union Pool is so small, it was a real treat to get to see it up close. (SIDENOTE: I once got thrown out of that bar, for holding something contraband for my then-boyfriend while he tied his shoes (seriously). The bouncer saw me and threw me out. Outside the bar, I started to call my then-boyfriend to get him to come out, and when he came outside and saw me dialing my phone, teased me: "Oh, are you doing that, 'pretend-to-be-making-a-call-because-you're-embarrassed' thing?")

Kim and Bill have a real great, groovy and versatile sound. In surprisingly melodic and ambient moments, it seems quite poppy. At other times almost violent. Kim's moves onstage were so great. It reminded me of the performance I saw a couple years ago, this insanely amazing benefit for... Writer's House? I forget. It was a bunch of wonderful legendary artists, Carolee Schneemann, Yvonne Rainer, Eileen Myles. And Kim Gordon. She read a piece about watching a guy rock star swing his guitar around. And then she had a guitar plugged into an amp which she put on and swung around. Then, I swear to god, she put the guitar down on the stage and humped it until it screeched with feedback. It was amazing.

And last night was like that: sexy and scary and brilliant. Kim Gordon is a hero. Thanks KG and you're welcome KG.

For those of you curious about B0DYH1GH, we'll be playing at the inimitable Shane Shane's party FANCY on 2/15. I'm so excited to be part of it, and to be on this bill! Shane Shane put together a lil video teaser for it:

I'll Take My Clothes Off in Meteor Showers

What's your favorite Mirah record? Mine is probably Storageland. I bought it at the Capitol Theater in 2000 at Ladyfest after seeing her perform. Mirah had been selling vegan samosas or tamales from a backpack around the theater that week. (She was running a restaurant called the Red Horse Cafe in Olympia at the time). I remember onstage in between songs, Mirah told the audience that she was selling these vegan samosas (or tamales, I can't remember) but that the dough, actually had honey in it. She apologized, because she couldn't find bulk brown rice syrup to use, and had to use honey instead. "I've made my peace with the bees."

Feeling a little bit  sorry that I didn't write any of these things down earlier. I meant to talk about how great it's been on the monk tip, not really going out at night and just focusing focusing on the ENCOURAGER works in progress show I did this weekend. I thought that I would have to stop being a monk. But I didn't stop, so it's as if nothing was missed.

I did perform an early draft of maybe the first half of ENCOURAGER, this new performance I'm working on, at Brooklyn Arts Exchange this weekend. So many near and dear friends came, I was really touched. Thank you. I think the performances went well.

I'm pretty loathe to feel good about myself or something I did. It's mildly dissociative to feel so bad about yourself and then talk about it and have other people not feel bad. It's a good thing! I guess what I mean is that at a certain point (I can actually pinpoint it-- when Molly Pope was singing an unaccountably beautiful cover of Modest Mouse's "Float On" on New Year's Eve), things came together. Or started to become apparent that they were together and that it was actually okay. I don't know how to put it. I've just been realizing more and more how much I've been worrying about what's gonna happen on the Trip, how I'm gonna feel about the Trip, etc. And waking up to the fact that I'm missing the Trip by worrying about it.

It sounds counterintuitive to me, but the more you pay attention, the more good things you notice. It's counterintuitive because then you also notice the bad things too. So it's a gamble. One I haven't been really interested in taking for a while, and I'm kind of getting into it.

As much as I'd like to think that the Internet is a kind of magically anonymous utopian place, I think I can be real: if you're reading this, we probably already know each other, or are friends, or would be if we knew each other. As the ever-inspirational Doctor Mary Beth Ditto says: "I've never met a stranger." So I feel I can be honest, patient reader: I've been on such a bummer tip for a while now. And working it out on here, or not working it out. And so today I'm just trying to catalog and notate the fact that I don't feel like I'm on quite so much of a bummer anymore, right now.


Photo by Earl Dax
Do you guys all know the story of Narcissus? He was this really cute boy who was out in the woods, and these fairies were teasing him, just repeating everything he said back to him over and over. And it drove him crazy, so he fell in love with his own reflection and he drowned. But he was bullied to death. This is a kind of suicide, falling in love with yourself and then drowning. But it’s the result of bullying. I mean, look; if the world is mean to you, you have no option, no choice, no recourse but to fall in love with yourself. You think it’s safer, and hey, I don’t blame you. But if everywhere you look, you see you, looking for you, if everywhere you look, you see the same thing, that might mean you have bad eyes. It might mean that you’re sick.


Like me, Like me

Yesterday morning I rode the train across from this guy wearing cropped pants. He looked kind of ridiculous and also really sexy. I couldn't make up my mind, or unpack what I liked about him. He had facial hair, which, first of all, ugh. And his jaunty cropped pants seemed to be trying too hard. But he was dressed cute and had a cute face. I figured it out; he had wrinkles, tiny little ones. He was probably anywhere from my age to 40. He looked not like an underage boy, but like a grown-up. I thought he was so sttractive. I thought "Oh cool, his face has wrinkles too!" I thought of that Björk lyric in "Isobel": "Like me, like me." Isn't that song about someone falling in love with herself? I thought of the cover art for the CD single, too:

Some fags only like to date or have sex with or fantasize about young boys. When I was 15 and had a crush on a boy for the first time, the boy I had a crush on was also 15. That made sense to me. But now, as an adult, I cannot fathom a 15 year old as a romantic or sexual entity. Some fags still want to fantasize young boys even when they themselves are no longer young. I only want to fantasize about boys who are more or less "where I'm at" in the life process. Like, seeing this sexy older guy in cropped pants who had wrinkles but he was still really attractive (I wanted to go sit next to him and flirt but it was 8:45am and I was bleary) was sort of reassuring. I like guys that are like me. I'm not cursed with being a chicken hawk. That's nice, huh.

I met up with Erin the weekend before last for lunch. We went to Wild Ginger, that all-vegan "pan-asian" Thai place on Vedford. it's corny, I know, it's kind of touristy, whatever. I order from there all the time. It's kind of rare (for me) to find a Thai restaurant that serves food that's vegan and doesn't have eggs or fish stuff in it. It was a lovely lunch. I might like going to lunch more than going out to dinner. Depending. Anyway, Erin brought me a present. She presented me with a copy of Mary Gaitskill's book Veronica, which she lovingly inscribed for me:

I'd been meaning to read this forever. I remember our friend Thain saying how much he liked this book. Erin and I both like Gaitskill's work. I just finished the book last night. It's so fucked up, you guys. I mean, just like everything Mary Gaitskill does; it's fucked up and gorgeous. Icky and incendiary. Sometimes I think her writing is too wrought, or tries too hard, or is too deliberately inscrutable, and I'll get turned off by some of the descriptions, but then there'll be some amazingly insightful revelation about human nature. Like, she maps out these really tricky interactions between people in such a direct and muscular way. it's incredible. It's not even the amazing dialogue or something, it's how she describes characters' understanding of each other. It's so cool. It had been a long while since I read any of her work, and, as painful and disturbing as the story was (I mean, it's Mary Gaitskill's AIDS and Fashion novel), it was so good. Such a good lunch gift. Happy New Year to ME.

Now I'm reading Beth Ditto's memoir Coal To Diamonds. Written with help from the legendary Michelle Tea. I'm obviously such a big fan of both of them that it's impossible for me not to be biased, but so far the book is really good. One of the things I really love about Beth Ditto's work, even before the Gossip got super duper top of the pops famous, is that she always addressed the ways in which classism and feminism, homophobia, racism and ableism worked together. Now, she's totally a pop star now, and has a certain amount of authority in culture (moreso in Europe but still) so it's one thing to write a memoir from the position of a successful singer, looking back on your journey.

It's really hard for me to convey to you, though, how cool and radical it was for Beth to be talking about and singing about classism in the context of underground punk rock. Even feminist punk rock, even indie kids, you know, whatever. The scene. So many things go unsaid and unaddressed, privilege functions by maintaining it's invisibility, even within the so-called liberated context of underground youth culture. I've always admired the fact that Beth told the real truth about her background, highlighted the fact that not everyone had access to cosmopolitan culture and irony, etc. When they were a small-ish punk band opening for bigger acts in the early aughts, her interviews and soundbites where she talked about coming from really severe poverty were eye-opening, at least for me, and part of a larger discussion within "the scene" about class, money, our backgrounds and our privilege. I think it's cool. Even now, in New York, so many really cool, liberal, awesome people are totally scared to talk about money. Maybe for fear of admitting they have it?

Totally obsessed this morning with the Vainio/Vaisanien/Vega album Endless. Here's "Medal":

I don't know why I was even aware of it, but I was really obsessed with this record when it came out. I think maybe because at the time I was obsessively reading CMJ every month. I don't know why I even subscribed to that magazine, in high school, but it totally changed my life, and exposed me to a lot of really cool things.

It's funny, when I got this record, I did actually know who Pan Sonic (formerly Panasonic) were, because they had just changed their name from Panasonic to Pan Sonic because of a lawsuit, and the "a" which they deleted from the band name became the title of their then-current album A, and I had just read articles about that. And they also remixed a song on Jarboe's amazing, totally underrated, life course-altering record Anhedoniac. So I knew who they were and I liked them, even though I wasn't into electronic music as such, I guess. I had no idea who Alan Vega was. I had a loose notion of who Suicide was. I was just really into this record. I remember it getting not amazing reviews, but I liked it so much. I think they put out a second album together but I don't remember hearing it. or, if I did hear it, I wasn't crazy about it.

Suicide is so nuts too. It's wonderful to think how much of an influence they had on so, so many people. Including me, of course. But you read these descriptions of what their live performances were like, and I wonder if I would have gotten into it, if I had seen them in the 70s. It sounds scary. This idea of bringing the street into the nightclub. The crazy guy on the corner who talks to himself; put him onstage in your disco. Make it real.


Wake Up I Love You

I hate Tuesdays and Tuesdays hate me. I've said just about everything I felt like I've ever needed to say about Tuesdays and my feelings about Tuesdays. How I've historically navigated Tuesdays. My current feelings about Tuesdays, as they crop up. The state of research into Total Tuesday Elimination, the grueling, intractable, and ultimately personal war I'm fighting against Tuesdays. We don't need to go there again.

This one's no exception but it is over. I didn't go out last night, though I totally meant to. The show didn't start until midnight, though, and I had to get up at 7am to go to work. And that wouldn't be a problem except that I'm rehearsing tonight until 9pm and I know I couldn't do it hungover or under slept. I feel bad, like a loser, like I never go out anymore.

Something a wise therapist once told me was that when we find ourselves using words like "always" or "never", that's often a good indication that the feelings we're expressing may in fact pre-date the current circumstances. I release myself from the guilt of not going out all the time. I've never gone out all the time. For a while I was working a few days at a gay nightclub in addition to temping. For like, maybe a few months. I totally hated it. It was agonizing. Who am I kidding.

Last night I had a video conference with my best friend BOBO. She ran through her set for a stand-up comedy performance she did last night. I'm so gutted that I couldn't be there! It's her third time or so performing stand-up. Lucky Seattle. Bobo is, of course, hilarious. This is one of the many reasons she's been my best friend for so long. Although as proud of her as I am, I'm a little bit miffed that she's performing stand-up, because then it's like all these other people (in Seattle, no less) get to revel in the hilarious crackpot genius of Danielle Rainbow Motherfucking Rosa. But that's the point, I suppose. I still get the good parts. Her set was so funny. I hope she taped it.

Been thinking a lot about stand-up comedy as a category, art form, context. I keep noticing really cool people doing stand-up here in New York, and I'm not at all part of what would be considered the stand-up "scene". There seem to be people doing stand-up where, to my mind, they could just as easily be calling it performance art or whatever. I'm thinking specifically of geniuses like Max Bernstein, Becky Eklund, Caroline Contillo, Casey Jane Ellison, and of course dear Bobo. On New Year's Eve, the co-host Jessica Halem said that she wanted people to start identifying as stand-up comediennes. That makes sense to me; I think maybe it's the right time to reconsider what it means. I'm excited by the possibilities here. I wish Danielle would fucking move back to New York. But I'm glad she's holding down the radical truth-telling possibilities of stand-up in Seattle.

But at the same time, I'm way too unfunny (on purpose, natch) to call myself a stand-up. Performance Art has had a rough childhood, please be nice to it! I guess I'm just always super skeptical of people who are anxious to contextualize themselves. Like, Oh, I'm sorry, is the audience understanding you incorrectly? Are your intentions not being satisfactorily understood by the audience? Are we projecting? Is this not what you meant at all? I'm so sorry. (Hint: I'm not sorry). The art work I'm making right now is something I very much, absolutely consider to be ECHT performance art, but likely no one who sees it will get that. And that is okay with me. I definitely have much bigger fish to fry.

That thing though, of worrying about your context. I want to slap your face and then kiss it. Wake up! I love you. Wake up, I love you.

Super fucking duper excited to get my hair cut tomorrow by thee lovely William at Seagull Salon. It's been too long, my hair looks disgusting. I'm also seeing the new Comme des Garçons collection tomorrow. I kind of want to buy these jeans, from the Ganryu CdG line, but like... do I really need another pair of batshit crazy jeans? Doesn't everyone? All I want is to have no habits; no reflexes. Or at least, no habits that aren't earning their keep.

Like, if my life was a ship, then my habits, my reflexes, my assumptions, would all be stowaways. And I want to put them to work swabbing the deck. Make my neuroses work for me. Instead of getting me lost and dragging me down, they could (I imagine) be guiding me, cooking me food, repairing my sails.

All aboard.

Oh gosh, yesterday also Saint Mix Justin Vivian Bond posted a new episode of vs new amazing video series DRUNK NEWS. It's absolutely my favorite TV show. I'm so obsessed. Please stop what you're doing and watch this right now.

Ok. Off to the studio.


Cooked, eaten.

Last week I had the supreme pleasure of being on Joey Hansom aka GODMOTHER's legendary radio show Expatriarch. Running my mouth off about feminism and male appropriation, as is my wont, and talking about my current obsession, which is the new song by the Julie Ruin featuring miss Vaginal Crème Davis, "Girls Like Us". You can hear the new song (if you haven't already) HERE. That song is kind of like a dream come true for me, like all these great things put together. Definitely an auspicious start to the new year, you should all listen to it. You can hear the adorable full radio show with me and Joey on EXPATRIARCH RADIO. Joey was on a whirlwind expat tour of the US, I wish I had screwed up a bit more my my nocturnal courage to hang out with her in NYC, but she's now departed back to Berlina, where all the cool kids are. I want to go back very badly. I guess I need to start planning another trip. I want to hang out with La JJ and all those gorgeous kids. There're so many place I want to go, truly. I'm working on getting more of my nocturnal courage together. Tonight I'm going out, for example.

Friday after work I ran home just long enough to take a short and change my clothes. Something weird has been happening to me the last few months where I never know what to wear. it's not that anything really depends on what I wear, but in my indecision I locate a fundamental anxiety about my life. I stare at my clothes, which is essentially a pile of black jeans and striped or polka-dotted tops, and I don't know what to do. I think: Who am I? Where am I, in here? It's a little bit scary to be so indecisive. Anyway I wore all black, and this black rope necklace my aunt gave me, which has titanium woven into the fibers. It's supposed to improve your circulation, or you qi, or something. I already had about an inch and a half of titanium drilled into my skull three years ago, so I'm probably maximizing my titanium exposure. I just wear it to look cute. Baseball players swear by them. They say that despite the  dearth of actual evidence showing that they do anything, that they really help one's baseball game.
I should specify: they're worn mostly by Pitchers. Natch.

So whatever I looked cute in all black, I really spent a lot of time getting dressed, putting on moisturizer and cologne, thinking really intentionally about my presentation, to go see Laurie Weeks and Pamela Sneed read at the Bureau for General Services Queer Division. I met up with Sister Pico, Perfect Little Daniel, Boy Genius Sam, Anthony Laureate Thornton (who is doing her OWN reading at the BGSQD herself on 1/17 please go!) and sweet sexy wordsmith and art star Joseph Whitt (who's incendiary new chapbook is now for sale at the Bureau). It was so great. I thought I was going to be epickally late, but I wasn't. The reading didn't start until after I got there. And it was fantastic. I wasn't so familiar with Pamela Sneed's work, but god fucking damn it she broke my heart way open. It was such a good way to spend Friday night. I had that thought, really consciously: "I'm so glad I'm doing this right now". Of course loved Weeks' reading, from Zippermouth, which is about (for me) being totally out of it and also being totally on top of it. I felt kind of self-conscious, getting all dressed up to hear stories about office temps snorting unknown (unknowable) drugs in the bathrooms of their horrid offices. But it felt right. To honor this experience, or something. After the reading I gave Laurie a zine, admitted that we follow each other on Twitter, totally geeked out on her, she was very sweet. I went back to Brooklyn with the boys and we watched The Simpsons and ordered Thai food at Pico and PLD's house. Eventually I slunk back to the city to go to Gio Black Swan Peter's new party BROTHERFUCKER in the basement of the legendary Pyramid club. It was actually so cute, and such a trip to be at the fucking Pyramid Club, right? When was the last time you were there? Maybe you are like me and you went there right when you moved to New York and then never went back. You should come back, to Gio's party. It's like-- it makes sense. It's perfect. I ran into my old, old party buddy Mordecai and we caught up, after having not seen each other in years. The last time he saw me I was very, very hungover and performing an actually quite intense piece. I was so touched that he came to that performance. He was one of only a few people I knew who went. On Friday night, he suggested we go around the corner to check out this fashion party, but they wouldn't let us in. And the people they did let in sucked, so I just went home. We exchanged numbers again and I am excited to hang out be back in touch and hang out with him.

I didn't go out much this weekend, I was rehearsing my performance for the ENCOURAGER Works in Progress performances at the end of this month. If you're in New York, I really want you to come see it.

Tonight I am going to try to save some strength to go see this new queer performance art night at the Metropolitan. I'm gonna try. Let's see.


I Love Everyone

Swans' The Great Annihilator is maybe my favorite record in the whole world. It was the first Swans record I got. It's totally their poppiest, 'for beginners' record, but so perfect. It kind of ties together the myriad of themes and threads they had been working with up to that point. It closes the chapter on their "Rabbit Years", setting the stage for Soundtracks for the Blind, their final masterwork. Something about this song I've always loved. And that something is, duh, Jarboe. Jarboe might be my favorite singer in the world. I say this a lot. The end of the song is the best part. 

I Love Everyone. I Love Everyone.I Love Everyone.I Love Everyone.

Such a positive message, but it sounds so sinister. 

A long time ago I was working with this producer on music. Nothing ever came of it, for a number of reasons. I still want people to work with on music projects (meaning, producers who will make tracks I can sing over), but one of the big things was writing songs. Like, on my end. Writing lyrics and melodies. I had been working on a song, and maybe I should keep working on it, that seems to keep coming back to me. Or seems to keep being important to my thinking, this concept of: JEALOUS OF YOURSELF. Is it possible to be? I think so. Is it nicer or is it meaner, more selfish? I go back and forth. I'm all for eating meat as long as we start with human meat and as long as we start with me getting to eat myself. Can you imagine? 

I feel so fascinated by this idea of pursuing masturbation to it's logical conclusion. Which is not suicide, but instead, cannibalism. I do feel jealous of myself, and jealous of other people too! I wish I was playing more shows. I wish I was doing what I see so many other people doing. But at the same time that's not really true. I don't actually wanna be someone else. I think I want something. Maybe I don't really want it. This is confusing. 

Excited for this weekend. I'm working a lot on ENCOURAGER. I think it'll be kind of a shit-show, I think some people will really hate it. I think a lot of people won't be able to come or won't bother. And that is okay. I have to believe that a few people who do come will get something from it. And, as with cannibalism or the legendary Ouroboros, the snake who can suck his own dick, I need to start with myself. You have to make a life that you think is worth living, first. 

Tonight I'm going to see Laurie Weeks read at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division. I'm so excited. Zippermouth was one of my absolute favorite things of 2012. I was going to do a highlight of 2012, but 2012 was sort of excruciating for me. And anyway, all the cool performances, fun records, wonderful books, thought-provoking art, none of it matters much. Everything last year pales. There's only one thing that I was happy about for 2012, and it came very slowly. Number One Thing That Happened 2012: my friend who had a terrible accident in January of last year made a totally fucking miraculous recovery. That's it. Goodbye 2012. I feel grateful. 

It's raining and I don't know what to wear tonight. I want to go out drinking and dancing after the reading. So funny that I often forget to eat, or put it so low on my list of things to do. Some things feel so unimportant. Treating yourself normally, with consideration among them. Like, I'll totally spend exorbitant amounts of money on overdyed black polyester Comme des Garçons clothing, but taking 15 minutes to feed myself a $1 slice of pizza feels extraneous. I have some writing projects I should be doing and I'm way behind on. 

Things used to bring me joy and they don't anymore. I sometimes wonder if I really am an artist. If I'm not performing, am I a performer? If I'm not writing, am I a writer? What's so great about being a thing, anyway. But so anyways sometimes I think I am not interested in writing, or it doesn't bring my any joy, or I have nothing to say. And no way to say it. And I think that anyone who liked Scorcher only liked it because it was dirty and they want to be dirty. But that's not really true. 

Because sometimes. After keeping your heart in a bucket of ice for a year, it does hurt. Of course it hurts, it hurts to stop being numb. But when you take your heart out of a bucket of ice after a year and it comes back to life and you're okay with the hurting part (which is a lot easier said than done), things start to happen. I thought I would never have another idea and then this week I was at the gym, and whole avenues started opening up for me, in my head. It became clear that there was a way forward, a way of continuing Scorcher, in a new direction, with integrity and intensity. it might not be great or even very good. It might not be anything that anybody ever sees. But I'll know. I know. 


In every science fiction movie, horror movie, fantasy movie--  in most every movie involving magick, there's a scene in between when the character drinks the potion and when they realize the ultimate consequences of the magick. And in that moment the character invariably says something like "I think it's working" or, in a comedy, "I don't think it's working" right before it does. I feel just like that this morning. I definitely feel like something's happening. I can't tell if it's a comedy or not, because nothing is happening.

I want to be close to you so I listen to the same records you do. That used to be this really easy thing we could organize around. I should stop being so nostalgic and sad for it-- people still do organize around it, but just not me. I keep losing followers on Twitter and it keeps feeling bad. I know that the only people I'm losing are either a) marketing robots or b) boys who don't know me and don't want to (and who I guess I don't want to know either) but it's hard not to feel like I'm losing my hair or something. And then again who uses Twitter? Who needs followers?

This is what I think the moment is: when you have to reckon with the potential consequences of whatever magick you're working with. Oh, you think, oh, yeah. Right. Who cares about losing followers though. If that is how you measure yourself, by your audience, then it does, I gotta say, put you in a precarious position. I don't want to to valorize selfishness, I don't want to make it seem as if the one true action is making yourself up, by yourself. But I feel remiss in not reminding anyone who will listen: it's not important how many people listen to you. It's not as important as you think.

We measure ourselves by the amount of attention we get. But that quantification, that's magickal thinking. That is onanism. That's fantasy. And the attention itself is also fantasy. So why not pick a more social fantasy, once which does not rest entirely on delusional self-perception. Why not divorce ourselves from the project of constant invention? Of the genius working alone in her laboratory, struggling, doling out tidbits of wisdom to her adoring fans, followers, friends. It's not real. So what if you stop inventing yourself. So what if you are the tree falling in the forest that no one hears. That might not be so bad. Is this a cop-out? Is this me being a quitter? Is it okay to be a quitter? Isn't okay to cop-out? We've established, I've discovered and rediscovered that it is in fact okay. It seems to me to be a more morally sound way to move through the world, quitting, admitting defeat constantly. This seems, to me, to be a more honest and truthful and social way of being. So much less harmful than the alternative.

So much less destructive and delusional that the opposite, which I see everywhere. Like a soft diagnosis. Like the word: "precancerous". What I notice as the opposite, toxic attitude is: I will tell you who I am. I will let you into the endless fascination of my life. The sheer unknowability of myself. I am unpredictable. My friends would describe me. My enemies describe me, too, but I take what they say as the opposite of the truth. Everything reifies me. All roads lead to the City and I am the Mayor. I am the director, producer, star of my own life. I am the audience member, watching the film of my own life. I am doing the DVD commentary of my own life. Don't you see. I'm making a cartoon of you because I hate you for refusing to be anything other than cute. If you stopped trying to be cute for 15 minutes, would the world end? Try it and see.

Two final points:

a) I want to go have sex with this kid who lives near me and has been messaging me on line. He's into some form of fantasy dress-up play and he is also into some form of recreational drug use. I feel like I am working to try to impress this person. Impress him just barely enough to want to have sex with me. I think he used to want to have sex with me (he was telling me so online) but I may have blown it. That kind of uncanny moment where I feel, as if I am in a dream, that I am worried about or working towards something which I might not care about. One person's disinclination to have sex with me is, on one hand, further evidence in the case to prove my ultimate unfuckability (unloveability), and, on the other hand, a release in and of itself. Proof that it doesn't prove anything. Running up that hill, indeed.

b) Sometimes I pace my room and I feel like I'm assaulted by the space my belongings take up. Old books, clothes, records, bits of trash. I feel like I live in some kind of post-apocalyptic dump. As if by holding onto all my shit, I can remember. The truth is that my memory is softening, and not by mistake. I used to be able to remember every details of every conversation, it was a big point of pride for me. But then at 18 I started deliberately blocking things out, and now my memory is like a game. I can choose what to keep. In my head, I can choose. In my room, I keep basically everything. I am gripped with panic at the thought of getting rid of, say, the stack of 70s romance novels I read in college. Or even newer things. Clothes I saved up for but ended up never wearing. Those shoes I bought for job interviews for jobs I never got.

It's changed so much, my room, over the last handful of years. The last time you were here, the bed was against the other wall, and I had so many fewer books. I wonder, if I could bring you back to my bedroom, if you would recognize it. What you might think of it. Would it seem like the Max you knew back then, but just older, sicker, with better taste? Or would it seem like a stranger, someone unrecognizable? I do feel like I've changed since the last time I saw you. I feel like I am hiding. I am in the witness protection program. I wear kevlar vests. I use a false name (my real name, just evacuated of all significance). I am protecting myself from the forces that want to harm me. Those forces are me. I'm protecting myself from me. I am in a witness protection program. I saw myself, and I know that myself wants revenge. And so now I spend my days quietly. I dye my hair. I make myself unobtrusive. I wait. I live in fear of the revenge that mySelf will eventually seek, must in fact ultimately extract from me. For spying. For knowing. For having seen. For having seen, and done nothing about. For not having done enough.


It's time for ENCOURAGER

Another quick update:  as you may know, I'm an Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) this year, where I'm working on a new solo performance piece, ENCOURAGER. The BAX Artists in Residence are having our Works in Progress performances at the end of this month, and I'd like to invite
you to them. Although there will be a full production in the spring, I want to invite you to this iteration of the project, and get your feedback on the piece so far. You can see some more information about the series, as well as the dates which I'm performing, below. (I'm performing the first two nights: 1/24 and 1/25 only).

About the piece:
ENCOURAGER is a solo performance piece in which Billy Cheer leads a "Courage Workshop", helping the audience to free themselves from their egos by loving them to death.

This project involves working in an entirely new way, and in putting together this show, I'm attempting some untested and exciting things. I'm definitely asking deeper, weirder questions. I'm trying to make a solo performance piece as a gift for the crowd. Radically social, to the point of threatening the individual ego. And I am so happy to invite you to come be part of the process. There will be a talk-back after the performance, and I hope you can make it.

January 24-27, 2013 | Thursday-Saturday @ 8pm | Sunday @ 6pm

Since 1991, our Artist In Residence program has served as a core for our work with artists. The AIR program provides participating artists with one to two years of uninterrupted artistic, technical, and administrative support, as well as the rehearsal space and guidance necessary to take chances, refine their craft and expand their horizons.

The Works in Progress Series continues a shared journey through the creative process by allowing these artists take their new works-in-development from the studio to the stage. This journey began with the Open Studio Series in November and culminates in the Spring performances. This is a rare opportunity to follow a work and engage its creators from the early stages through to full productions. These evenings are designed to offer both artists and audience the opportunity to exchange their impressions of the work. After the artists show their excerpts, they return to the stage for a moderated discussion that delves into their intentions and inspirations, and the audience’s perception.

See BAX’s Artists in Residence showcase works in progress as they prepare for their evening-length performances in April and May 2013. Stay after each performance for a moderated discussion.

THURSDAY — January 24 @ 8:00 PM
Max Steele (theater) | Jess Barbagallo (theater)

FRIDAY — January 25 @ 8:00 PM
Mariangela Lopez (dance) | Jillian Peña (dance) | Max Steele (theater)

Brooklyn Arts Exchange
421 Fifth Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Tickets: $15 General | $8 Low-Income
More information about the Artists-in-Residence and the work they
will be showing HERE.


NYE 2013

Last year was the best New Year's Eve ever, and this year was too. Soul sister Francine asked me to perform as part of her STORMQUEER event at Dixon Place, and I was very happy to. I have much love for Dan, as well as Dixon Place, of course. Dear heart Thain was working at the bar, and the other performers included some of my favorite people ever: Erin Markey, Glenn Marla, Molly Pope, Kit Yan, Becky Eklund, and Miss Molly Pope at midnight. Everybody did such a good job.

I did a new number which I had never done before. I sang a cover of PJ Harvey's criminally underrated and gorgeous song "Reeling" over the music of Ashford & Simpson's "Bourgie Bourgie". I wore the Halloween costume I didn't get to wear this year (a black Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons dress, a witch hat, gold nail polish and vintage sequined jacket. And gorgeous wig).

The songs are, of course, PJ's "Reeling:

And "Bourgie Bourgie", written by the legendary Ashford & Simpson and famously recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips:

I sang PJ's words in my deepest possible register. For me, the performance was about something so over-the-top as to be obscene. Lately I'm so obsessed with the logical conclusion of the pleasure drive, which is horror. The uncanny disgust one feels at fulfillment. In PJ's song, she maniacally names her fantasies, caterwauling and calling the corners. Naming a desire becomes a shamanistic command ("Robert DeNiro, Sit on my face!"). "Bourgie Bourgie", on the other hand, is ostensibly a cautionary tale about materialism and wealth. It taunts you with the life you think you want to be living. The music itself is emblematic of a post-disco mortification of the flesh. The sinking feeling that what you want might not be so great, what's so great might be so possible. The opulence of the musical arrangements, the insatiable desire for the forever-unattainable "good life" is a kind of postmodern Shangri-La. We want it but we know we can't have it. For me, I wanted to juxtapose that musical backdrop with PJ's song, where she may well get what she wants. But what she wants is freaky and over the top. The point is losing control. And, for me, the idea was to present it as a kind of quasi-drag. A sort of lazy cabaret performance. Towards the end of the piece I started singing lines from RENT ("...Only thing to do is to jump over the moon...") since it was, after all, new Year's Eve. I like pastiche, and a kitchen-sink effect, as a way of expressing overwhelming, conflicting desires and drives. I wanted to force the audience to recognize something there. Like a collage.

I don't think a lot of people got it. Some people got it. Probably nobody knew both songs I was referencing. Most of the people there probably didn't know either of the songs. And that is OK. Anyone could get something from it, if they wanted to. (Who wouldn't want a young, or even not-so-young, DeNiro to sit on their face?) Maybe people didn't want to get into it. I know I was probably a little bit awkward and freaky and boring. But you know what? That's ok. I actually pretty rarely perform my own ideas like this, inasmuch as any of this was my idea, because I'm afraid of being misunderstood. But I've wanted to do this PJ Harvey/Ashford & Simpson number for so long, I didn't care if I was misunderstood. I was in a room full of my peers, my evident community. And I don't need everybody to know all of my references and to support me. I don't need everybody cheering wildly and exploding with recognition. That's not a tenable goal, for me. What I did want to do, which is what I think I did very well, was bring to the stage the sense of overwhelming, debilitating thoughts. I want you to see someone struggling to sing, jumping through a couple of hoops. Kim Gordon famously wrote: "People pay to see others believe in themselves" but that presupposes something, which is that the people paying don't believe in themselves. That the person they're paying to see gets to the stage and THEN reveals that they believe in themselves. I'm so obsessed with this idea of "getting away with" something (in the Kathleen Hanna sense-- which I wrote about for the first issue of International Girl Gang Underground). I feel like the performance was, for me, a qualified success. I chose my ingredients diligently, I assembled them in the way that made sense to me, and the finished product looked, sounded, tasted, and smelled exactly right to me. If it didn't please everybody's palettes, well, that's not something I can control. My hope is that a few people thought about it for a few minutes afterward. That's all. I think I did that.

I did shed my hat and my coat onstage, and the one fuck-up I'm willing to concede is that I always break that rule about leaving clothes onstage. This is a rule that was taught to me by the drag queens of my generation, which is to say, burlesque stars-- a lady never carries her own coat. I know I'm supposed to just bow and leave and wait for someone to bring me my stuff from the stage, but I'm too caught up in the moment and trying to remember everything that, right as the song ends and the audience applauds (to whatever extent they feel like doing that), I immediately turn my back to them and begin grabbing my stuff. Very unladylike. I wish I could smash not only the fourth wall, but the first, second, third, and fifth as well.


I'm sorry for not remembering your name.
I'm sorry for not remembering when we met.
I'm sorry for being late.
I'm sorry for hurting your feelings.
I'm sorry for making fun of you.
I'm sorry for not taking you seriously.
I'm sorry for making you feel like everything you did upset me. What I meant to say was that everything anybody does upsets me. What I meant to say was that I was upset.
I'm sorry for making you feel like you're not special.
I'm sorry for acting like we're different.
I'm sorry for bossing you around. In so many different ways.
I'm sorry for stealing, for taking what was yours.
I'm sorry for being stingy, for not giving you enough of what's mine.
I'm sorry for taking too long.
I'm sorry for not calling you back.
I'm sorry for quitting.
I'm sorry for not going to visit you when you were in the hospital.
I'm sorry for not standing up for myself.
I'm sorry for saying I'd do things I didn't want to do, and then doing them half-heartedly.
I'm sorry for not trying harder.
I'm sorry for wanting too bad.
I'm sorry for being weak. (I'm sorry for apologizing so much.)
I'm sorry for holding back, for blaming myself. For keeping it a secret when I wanted, really badly, to tell you. And I'm sorry for not telling you, even after I knew that you wanted me to.