“This morning at the Chinese bakery in midtown,
Off-duty drag queen (turban)
casually reading the newspaper.
She’s not in any rush.

Last night for dinner;
Frozen broccoli, Keith Haring.

For dessert I waited
until my roasted yams cooled,
to feed myself with computer noise, ground glass,
chaos, toxic
personhood or subjectivity.

Vertigo’s got an excuse
like everybody else
he’s just doing his job.”

On the morning after the verdict (which is to say no verdict, no indictment) I woke up to a text message from my friend. We had plans go to out drinking, to go to Karaoke on Tuesday night but she wonders if maybe we shouldn’t go out, after all, because there will be protests.

I’m thinking how will you talk to your kids about this. This time, in America

Meanwhile in New York I’ve had to start setting an alarm for 8:00am every morning, an hour or two after I wake up, to remind me to take my antidepressant. The alarm is the sound of windchimes. I had to set the alarm because I kept forgetting to take it, and would spend the day worrying that I wouldn’t be able to effectively treat my symptoms. My symptoms: feeling worthless, listless, powerless. Feeling emptied out. Feeling like nothing. But on Tuesday morning I take my pill after the reminder chimes

Is wanting to listen a feeling. Is listening a feeling. Is watching a feeling.

I was telling Daniel that is just sucks, so much. That thing of being human. Of having to watch the world turn to shit, NO MATTER what era you live in. It sucks. Of having to watch everyone you know get old and sick and die. Of having to, the indignity of having to live through it yourself. The fucked-up thing of bearing witness. It’s all you or I or anyone can do, right. Tell the world about what we did to them, what happened, so it’s not forgotten. It seems, I was saying to Daniel, it’s just so fucked up. So unfair. I mean I know it’s fair, of course, I know it’s the only really fair thing or whatever, but just that THAT’S the basic requirement of humanity—bearing witness. It’s just, like, ugh.

Is watching a feeling. Is paying attention a feeling. Is there a name for that emotion.
Yeah so I’m thinking how will you talk to your kids about this. This time in America. How will you explain it to them. We can’t say it just started happening because it didn’t just start. We can’t say it was new because it’s not new. What’s new about it. The videos? That we know the names, now? We could all have known the names all along if we’d tried. Is it that there’s actually such an incremental shift towards justice and empathy, such a SMALL step, that actually the slowness is what’s so freaky and painful? That’s a nice fantasy but that’s not true. We can’t tell that to the kids.

I don’t want to have children nor do I expect to but I do expect someday to have a conversation with a teenager and have them ask me: what did you think, what did you do, what happened. Why did it keep happening. What would we say.

When I was a kid I grew up in California and I remember Rodney Kind and the OJ Simpson trial and my parents sort of explaining things to me in the way they did because they had lived through the 1960s and 1970s in California but I wonder, will we tell the kids that we protested, that we wore signs that said BLACK LIVES MATTER. Of course black lives matter, right. It’s like insulting that that’s the slogan. Are we protesting ignorance or displaying our own.

Who gets to be a person. How’s subjectivity meted out. I mean. That’s what I want to see. It’s like some people don’t get to be human so they’re deaths don’t count. And other people don’t HAVE to be human, others of us get to shirk the responsibility of humanity. The responsibility of humanity being: bearing witness, empathy, being accountable. Does anyone get to be a human.

I’m not equating all experiences with one another. I want to point out, of course, that’s it’s not a two-way street. It doesn’t go both ways, obviously. It is like a road though, in the sense that we see where this is going. It’s like a bad movie. It’s so bad you can tell what’s going to happen before it happens. Does it make me a bad person if I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t indict Officer Wilson. I Wasn’t surprised. They planted a tree in Washington DC in memorial of Emmett Till, who was murdered in 1955.


Your Things

Thinking a lot about grunge records. Indie as a genre. I was talking with someone recently and I made this joke about how all I'm really good for, my skill, my "thing" seems to be reminding people about stuff that that they know about, have already forgotten about. Like indie rock bands from the 1990s. Or other things-- I'm usually way behind the curve. My lateness and my... "enthusiasm" could be a great entry point for other people. Maybe you don't know a lot about Miriam Makeba. I don't either but I'm a big fan. It's okay to not know a lot about her biography but to check out her music. It doesn't make you ignorant or stupid. It doesn't make you more ignorant or stupid than me, I mean. So it's okay. Let me be this for you, a doorway, an entry point. Your goofy friend who gets uncool and excited about dumb unhip shit. That's my "thing" I guess, right?

Couple things about that:
- It's not like I actually make or do anything, myself. So there's no glory to me. I know that. I don't want glory.
- It's a way to be in the world without actually being in the world. It's a kind of cop-out. Being a sort of vessel or mirror or something, a way of not being a person.

But then again, even having a "thing" is sort of silly. Who has a thing. Who, really, wants to be better understood, boiled down. Why is being a vessel a bad thing? Why do I have to be a person? I'm not so interested in myself. I don't want to bury myself. I don't want to superimpose myself into the things I love. It's more that I don't feel that I have a self. I don't feel like I am a person, so instead I look for, if not myself, a way of existing. SO I go by what I love, by what turns me on.

I'm not saying that my love or my taste has any meaning. I'm saying, in fact, that it has none. That it's not at all particular to me. That's it's not a way to be a person or have a thing-- it's a way to meet other people, to be less of a person, less of a thing, more general. I don't want what I love to inform who I "am". I want what I love to be, full stop.

But sometimes, in some way, somehow this got lost. At some point, I stopped loving things. Not to be dramatic, but at some point the idea of passion just stopped occurring to me. I don't want to plumb the depths anymore. I don't want to have to go so deep. It's humiliating; depth. Interiority. How silly and strange. I just noticed that things that used to turn me on like writing, music, live performance, talking to people, kissing, whatever. Nothing seems enticing. I wonder. I got some mean feedback. There was weather. I could have been knocked off my post and been to ashamed or too unfocused to notice. Why does it always come down to me simply not being vigilant enough? This is my answer to everything-- I must have done something to deserve this. I could have a physical injury (such as I do right now), one that could and does happen to literally EVERYBODY. And still, I think, I assume-- this must have happened because I'm such a uniquely shitty person. I must have put myself in harm's way somehow. It seems to corroborate my general feeling, my hunch, that I am worthless and that everything is constantly in the process of falling apart. That we live in a chaotic world and that some people can negotiate that and some people fool themselves and others into believing that they can negotiate it, but I cannot fool anyone and am doomed, by my own mistakes somehow, to suffer continually.

I was given to understand that this was like, a nuclear reaction. Like it just perpetuated itself, and all I could do was keep dumping water onto the toxic fuel of my so-called self obsession. Is it self-obsession if you hate yourself? Tempted to draw a comparison, to flatten out all nuances of narcissism. To make everything be the same because, as I said, then it seems to explain so much more. If the theory is stupider it's so much more applicable. The problem is that I think I exist and my pretending to be in denial of my existence is what's keeping me suffering. That was one way of thinking about it. But no, it's not exactly the same. I'm not served, even on an unconscious level, by being so down on myself. I know it's a turn off. I know people don't want to hear about it. But I also know it's not the fuel. Or it doesn't have to be. I also know that it's not because I deserve it. It's so easy to blame nuclear power. It's so easy to judge. I guess I've been listening to the wrong things. I don't know.

These are some videos of songs I hadn't heard in a while. Maybe you forgot about them or maybe you didn't know they existed in the first place. Or that we do too.


I don't really know. it feels like I broke something. I chipped a weight-bearing bone. I punctured some membrane. I woke up with a fever. That's not true, I didn't wake up like this, I've been hurdling towards it for at least a few years, but now it's here in a new and different way.

I don't really feel much shame or compunction about it, I probably should, I guess. I feel like I'm coming out of the closet again. As a crazy person. As a person who is struggling with... if not mental illness (this is fraught) then at least someone who is struggling with, let's say, insurmountable struggles.

I try. I try really hard, you guys. I exercise at least three times a week. I never get less than 7 hours of sleep. I use alcohol and other substances in moderation (to say the least). I meditate as often as possible, though not every single day. I have creative outlets, I guess. I write here and all sorts of other places. I see a psychoanalyst. I try to tell my friends what's wrong and get advice from them.

And yet, I'm still buried. And for the first time in a long time I'm really trying to face this thing down and start, I don't know, doing something.

I used to think that it was just a matter of my perspective changing. Of being more present. Of paying attention more to the present moment. Of not wishing for some imaginary future, of just dealing with the here and now.

But what if the here and now sucks. What if you can't actually get into the here and now because you don't feel like you're allowed one.

I've gotten some really sweet and supportive advice and assistance over the last few weeks. People have reached out to me and tried to find out what's wrong with me. Yes, I'm struggling to get my work shown, read and seen. Yes, I am struggling with loneliness and isolation. Yes, I am having a very hard time being around other people or talking to people or being heard or seen by people. I'm very frustrated. A lot of the advice seems to boil down to, you know, suck it up. Do your work. Keep writing and making things and then eventually that will prove to be its own reward, the right opportunity will present itself, you can save yourself.

But I can't do my work. I can no longer sift through what's "real" and what is "not real". It seems very real to me that I am hated, strongly. That people in my town, scene, community, that people who'd consider themselves my friends, even, want me to disappear. It seems very real to me that I do not exist. That I would not be missed. That there are significant forces and desires working towards my erasure. It's hard not to see this as real. I have to find a way to move forward and nothing is working.

I don't know. I feel like it's a compulsion, this making stuff lifestyle. Like I don't have a choice. If I lost my job I'd functionally wind up homeless. I could probably get my parents to let me stay with them, but then I'd be stuck in California.

No one wants to see my art or my writing or have me around. Thanksgiving is coming up and I am totally mortified that I'm going to spend it along again. I don't know how to fix anything.

I have an appointment with a mind doctor this week. I'm having actually a lot of kind of protracted and very painful medical issues right now, all of which are very expensive. Here's what I want: someone to hang out with me. Someone to want to see me, not have me come to their party to "bring friends!" Sorry.

I'm getting bitchy. A few different friends have said that I seem angry and that I should let the anger out. I'm scared to do this. I'm scared because I habitually make myself the object of my anger. I'm scared because I don't know if I feel like I deserve to have anger. I haven't cried in, I don't think, five years? Though I've certainly wanted to. I think a lot about the circumstances of the last time I cried, in January 2009. I sort of forgot about those circumstances. Essentially, it was someone I didn't know very well just laying into me about how much they hated me when they met me. Other people could take that, I couldn't. Then some other fucked up stuff happened while I was crying. I guess my big take-away from the last time I cried was that it's not safe for me to cry. That I have no right to cry. That I have nothing to be sad about. That I have nothing worth loving in me. That my only use/purpose is to make other people feel good about themselves. That I am empty, worthless, stupid. I've apparently devoted energy and time in reinforcing those ideas and finding people who would reinforce them for me.

I feel like, I know on some level that something is fundamentally wrong with me but no one can see it, or me. Because the thing that's wrong is the thing that's me. And it doesn't help that trying to talk about it, thus far, makes me seem like a crazy person. I know, I know, "don't care what other people think" but I keep saying, when people ask what's up, what's wrong, how can they help, I keep saying that I feel left-out, that I feel worthless, that I'm struggling to form coherent thoughts or connect to people, that I feel mad and angry about being kept out of so many things. And people keep saying that it's not real or it's not happening or maybe I should try fitting in elsewhere. The writers think I should try to the theater kids. The theater kids think I should try the writing kids. The music kids think I'm too performance art-y and the performance people don't want to know who I am. It's like I keep trying to say that i'm out here, but it just keeps me out

It's a cruel irony that trying to get help results in people being grossed out by me. The only thing worse than being me is being me when I'm down, right? Because it just adds this shitty untouchable layer to everything. Why bother getting involved. He's just being self-indulgent. He's just trying to get attention. What right does he have to feel good. Doesn't he deserve to feel bad.

I wanted to meet people and learn things but it feels like every move I make, in any direction, just makes me less and less a part of anything. No one wants me around. No one wants to actually be my friend. No one actually thinks anything I do is valuable or could be valuable. There is no promise in me. There is no point in being me. This is really frustrating and painful and I'm sorry if it grosses the two people who read this out, I need to get this down.

I do not know what to do.