Pinocchio's Diary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Can I Show You

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

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


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

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

Facebook Event

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

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

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

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

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

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


Full Correction

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

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

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

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

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

Ground Control

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

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

Save The Last Dance For Me

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


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

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

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


Silver Session

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What's Eating Billy

So, last week I met Grace Jones.

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

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

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

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

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

I'm having a hard time socializing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


"Kenneth William has left a new comment on your post "I am worthless. All I can accomplish is to connect...":

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

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


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


Some Horror Solidly Anchored In Me, In Us

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

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

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

Philodendron in Puerto Vallarta

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

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

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

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

UNDERCOVER Hamburger Lamp

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

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

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

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

"Jungle Room" at Graceland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Changed Twice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


black and white and red all over

Maybe don't worry so much. I love this article I read today about Dame Judi Dench who "lives in fear" as an actor. If she can, why can't I? Probably neither of us should. What good does it do. I guess it's nice to know that even excellent famous celebrities worry. I feel like I don't know where to go, or something. On the plus side things don't feel so urgent, but I never know if that kind of lack-of-urgency means I'm okay or if it means I'm checking out.

Hey real quick what's the difference between "a feeling" and "a symptom"? Asking for a friend.

Another thing my mom and I have in common is our insatiable appetites for banana chips

I want to dye my hair black. I want to wake up with a different face.

my current obsession, the best sunscreen I've ever tried

I mean I'm working on stuff. I'm working on, at the moment:

- A short story for a picture book project with one of my best friends
- Editing a story for a website that is (inexplicably) going to pay me to publish my writing
- Working on nailing down my new solo show, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, which I'm performing on 9/20 as part of the Queer New York International Arts Festival (yes really)
- Planning the next B0DYH1GH appearance, at Bushwig this year.

I guess there's some other stuff too. Writing my horoscope column. Applying to some stuff. You know.

It's just that nothing feels super duper necessary. I think I'm maybe keeping my head underground. I'm kidding myself. Or else I really am in what I now know to call a mixed-state. Mixed-State reminds me of food, for some reason. I'm always hungry. How out of whack could I be, really, if I'm still so hungry all the time. This is the life force in me.


I'm excited to go jogging today, outdoors. To sweat in public. To come up against the limits of my breath. It's like I don't want to be pretty or something. I don't want to be funny or interesting. I want to find something that feels unfuckwithable.

I mean I guess I don't care so much about aesthetics. Maybe this means I'm not really an artist. I feel like I'm only a performer because I don't know another way to do stuff. But like my comfort and my "aptitude" don't seem to... shine... After I did MAPPLETHORPE someone told me they had a discussion with their friend about how I seem like a natural performer and that show really illustrated that for them. I know I'm insecure and all (to say the least) but I feel like the subtext there is... I'm a natural performer, but not in that show, the show I wrote and performed by myself. Fair enough. I'm probably a better actor than I am... maker. This being said I'm excited to do my new solo show.

I had said in the description that I wanted to reverse-engineer drag and fail at it. I had said that I wanted to make work about fags and feminism. And I felt like, at first, I needed to be really heavy-handed and specific about it. But now I just want to write love-letters to my girlfriends and read them out loud in between fucking awful covers of like, "Iceblink Luck".

I want to find a way to make theater and drag and punk rock recover its glossolalia roots. I mean I don't care so much about beauty. Beauty is fucked up, right? Inherently? Like abstraction isn't more interesting or more fair or more righteous to me. it's just less overtly oppressive. Like it's a thing of modulation. Resistance is a spectrum.

There's this idea that imagination is the same as action.

There's been this misapprehension that desire will save you and that's not true. All you need is not love. You need love but you need a bunch of other shit and you can get by without love. Trust me.

for when I'm trying not to smoke

Though I'd like some more, now. Love or whatever. It's like I'm not battling the idea or darkness or trying to get more light. I'm just trying to skate my program.

Been so obsessed with Royal Trux all weekend I feel like my mind is either becoming stronger or weaker and this is some kind of a sign.

Like why can't I just calm down and be happy. Alternately, I'm feeling okay today, which is a blessing.

I'm just having these romantic and nihilistic feelings. Alternating. And it's creepy and weird. But not bad.

Still hungry/


Rhythm Section

I got some money from my mom for my birthday. She asked if there was anything I wanted for my birthday or if cash was okay, and I said cash was okay because I want to buy myself some new running shoes. I've had the same pair for like 5 or 6 years now and they're starting to fall apart and I wanted to really recommit to my workout routine.

I haven't bough the shoes yet. I am paralyzed as always by indecision.

My birthday was pretty fantastic. Last weekend was kind of boring. Things are both exciting and totally nonexistent.

I'm having a really weird time this week, or the last few days, parsing out some information. What if you thought you knew something about yourself and then it turned out to be totally different. Not to be vague. But just what if you were going about things the wrong way.

In some lights there is a clearly defined pattern to my feelings and my thoughts and in other lights it's kind of random and so should I cling to any form of structure. What does anyone want from me. What can you relate to. Who wants to listen to you.

I want to be the favorite person of someone. I want to be exciting. I want (still) not to care what anyone thinks. I want to not be so bogged down. I wish I was less fascinated.

It's funny, y'know, this thing of confirmation bias. When I was 19 I was diagnosed one way by one psychotherapist so that's formed a pretty interesting, fascinating, and to my mind really solid backbone of a story I've been telling myself for 11 years now. But what if it was a totally different story. No less dangerous or gory or bad or dark or tenuous, but just a totally different one. I mean I don't know. Since when did my life become so much about equivocation!

I did a ukulele set and it was pretty okay. I messed up the words. One of my absolute seriously favorite most admired truly iconic #1 movie stars was, randomly, in the house. I didn't get to meet them, but it was still a mindfuck.

Been going to a lot of parties. Been partying a lot. Been shopping a lot. I want to buy new running shoes and new running clothes and to have an all new body. And do know about new songs to run to. I want to sweat out the years of doubt.

I want to prove that I am in fact, you know, perfect for you even if you don't think so. I want to surprise us both by being exactly what the situation calls for. I want to relax into the late afternoon sunshine of being okay, enough. I kept thinking I was making progress in analysis and I guess I am, thinking of how I'm trying to re-route myself all the time. How I'm scrambling to make a map of where I go and where I don't want to go.

But at the same time I've always been kind of a drummer. You know? A percussionist. I was telling someone recently that on the east coast there's one school of thought about self-harm and on the west coast there's another and I was being cavalier because it seems easier than trying to explain. I don't have any interest in self-harm when I say percussion anymore. I mean rhythm though. How many times in the last year have I described this as a fever, a process, a cycle. A reliable series of seasons in hell, boredom, love, fear, etc. Except not all of them. A palette rather than a rainbow.

I wonder though. If I am the rhythm section. What am I measuring. Maybe it's up to me. Maybe it's not but maybe it is.



ok you guys tonight Monday August 10th I'm be performing a new set of songs with ukulele and some beats. The evening is called FOLK SONG. It's like my interpretation of folk songs.

The Amber Zone is a new series of Monday night solo shows at Sid Gold's Request Room, curated by NYC superstar Amber Martin. I'm obviously obsessed with Amber. She's a huge inspiration of mine and a big star and I am such a crazy fan of her, so I am beyond honored to be part of this series. Sid's Gold is a really cute new bar and I'm not actually just saying that-- it's a funky piano bar in Chelsea and it gets cute reviews and has food and fancy drinks and most importantly features like gorgeous interiors by buddy and genius art babe Steven Hammel. SO like even if it wasn't me, it's a cool place to go.

But it is me and you should come. It's been a few years since I played this kind of music, but this is the kind of show I originally gave back when I started. I'm really excited to be playing some of my favorite west coast love songs and stories. This is a pretty different thing from the kind(s) of stuff I've been doing over the last few years, and I hope you can join me.

Doors open from 7pm and show starts at 8pm.



I dreamed I got my hair dyed to look like that girl I hate. The girl who Hates me. Black in the back bleached blonde in the front. We don't hate each other we just don't understand one another. I just know she'll hate my outfit and she'll have something to say about it too. She doesn't get it. She just doesn't get me.



1. I was explaining to someone recently about this easy thing I did, in the midst of losing my mind. I went to a friend's party. We used to date many years ago but then we became distant friends. I like him and he likes me and the possibility of us as a couple remains so much better for being unrealized. I went to a party for him by myself feeling really terrible and out of place and I hit it off with a cute boy there. It's like we're all exes. We're all the same type, and we can hit on each other. I had someone recently try to explain the different pokemon types to me, it's similar. I was telling someone though, how easy it was to flirt. How familiar and easy. That muscle is stretched. With this skill I do not doubt myself. I don't worry. But standing up for myself? No. Taking myself seriously as a person? No.

2. Thinking about the recent pathology of "Low T". How men feel that they lose so much testosterone late in life that they have to take it as a drug. It's taken, often, using this topical gel. The thing about the gel is that once it's applied you can't touch anyone or you could accidentally spread your hormones to them, and fuck them up. It's as if Daddy needs to take his special Daddy medication to become more male, to staunch the feminizing forces of aging (the three fates were, after all, beautiful ladies), and in order to take this medicine, he has to cut off physical contact. Retreat to the man-cave. To recuperate. To become a man alone. To fight this battle for maleness by yourself. PLD brought up a good point-- that queer people subvert these kinds of gender paradigms. Two people who both wanted more hormones could use the gel and touch each other. They could use androgel as lube. Love or sex or desire could be a matter of having the same diagnoses. Needing the same medicine. Being fellow-travelers on the same or at least intercepting paths towards (y)our resolutions. What happens, I wonder, when you realize that these paths diverge. We shared a nice slimy maleness together, dear.

3. So boy crazy all of the sudden. Maybe it's the heat or the increasing desperation to feel like something/someone. Maybe it's my own medication. Maybe it's my chemicals. I've been noticing this cute blond boy I ride the train with in the mornings. Dyed blond. Buzzed. He's very cute and he dresses nice and he sometimes carries a big black BaoBao Issey Miyake bag. Do I know him. No. He of course avoids me.

4. Questions that come. Are you a ghost. Are you becoming a ghost. Are you becoming replaceable. Do you want to be replaceable. One of many.

Same songs different day. Same dances different floor.

Was thinking about something recently-- do you turn into ore. Are you golden. Am I buried.



I was gonna invite people. I was going to say you should come but really you shouldn't. I can't in good conscience say that I'd love to perform because I don't know if I would. I'd love to be asked to perform. I'd love to feel like I had something that someone wanted. But in a way I do: presence right. Like I can be an audience member. A punching bag. All the world wants from me.

I want so badly to be part of something, to feel like I fit in or I might not be such a waste of space but I can't. It seems like everything I try just fails and gets harder and turns people off. And I know it's creepy and I know I'm belaboring the point.

I wanted to be okay and to have fun to participate but I can't. It feels like something years ago happened I don't know what or when but I've tried so much, pills now and spirituality or whatever. being patient, being nicer than I ought to be to people who don't deserve it. Nothing makes me feel like less of a loser. Nothing makes me excited. Nothing wants me. I don't have any ideas. I don't have any longings.

All I see is everyone around me moving forward, getting recognition, being invited to participate, being encouraged and being able to believe in themselves and all I see is this happening all around me and I try and I try to act like it's okay

but really, it's not going to happen for me. It probably never was. I never really acted like I wanted it to. But I got punished it felt like. And I'm still being punished. For what I don't know. But it just seems like I'm caught in this loop and I can't get out of it and it just gets worse and worse and harder and harder

and I was making it felt like a little progress. Like I wouldn't spend the same amount of time (days, weeks) brooding as I used to. But maybe that progress was kind of a delusion. I keep sliding back. And it gets harder and harder to screw up my courage and act like everything is okay and to be the fun and funny and laughing person that the world wants from me. I can't exist, I don't exist. I know it sounds dumb but I feel like I'm just this fucking black cloud of pain and I don't know what to do.

I don't want to write I don't want to perform I don't want to be an artist I don't want to fuck I just want to stop hating myself please


So don't get me wrong. I love my new snail cream, I switched to the Black Mizon kind.

I woke up the greasiest I've ever been in my life. Went to the kitchen to make coffee and was immediately drenched in sweat.

I tried to nap for a few minutes on the floor as I've often been doing lately

And I woke up five minutes later not only greasy and sweaty but in extreme pain from a new round of mosquito bites.

Sunday I went to barneys' and Zabar's and Central Park and talked to my Mom and got bit by one million bugs and went windowshopping and came home and went for a jog and ordered takeout and finished the wine I had bought to take to parties and watched that stupid fucking chef's table show. My god. Everyone's so emotional. It's rare that displays of emotion gross me out, but there you go.

Saturday I yknow exercised early in the rain. As I said I did laps in the park. Then spent much of the day like pacing my room. Met up with Erin and Becca and Horsey and we want to Jiddy No-No's roof to watch the fireworks and saw Paps and Ben and Maggie there.

It was such a nice night That we went to the park to walk laps. They shut off the lights on us though. Went to Metro ran into buddies it was packed. As we left there was a line down the block to get in. I was mortified. We had run into Pailo so we went to a new bar around the corner, where Cheers Thai used to be. I never liked that restaurant so I'm fine with a fancy beer bar opening. I had fancy beers.

The very real threat of possibly having to someday move reared its ugly head again. I need to be a grown up and accept that someday I will have to move, change, etc. this is all to say I'm recommitting to my new project of rearranging my room and drastically paring down my belongings. I have lots of cool stuff I've collected. But the collecting was the thing. I don't need this. So I want to give lots of it to good new homes.

What is the best way to do this, do you reckon.


Another Late Start

GOt another late start this morning. I had wanted to wake up early. Yesterday I got a late start, I woke up at 11am. I woke up at 11am again today too, somewhat shamefully. I went for a jog, when it was raining. It was great. I listened to Ivy.

Then my headphones broke and I think a bug flew into my mouth. It's okay. Another sweaty morning before I really wake up. Another late start. Another painful skin infection, right. Another immune system response. Another wake up call! Another love story. Another boy. I'm making food, sort of uselessly. Just because I like it the thing of cooking. I'm making collard greens and black beans with curry and coconut and lots of garlic and brown rice and I'm hoping to cure myself through sheer force of will. I mean I'm not like sick sick.

Another holiday. Another weekend. I'm worried that one of the trees in the backyard is dead and needs to be cut down, or else it'll fall over during a storm and take out our internet or electricity or something. I'm worried they're going to sell the building or tear it down or kick us out. I'm worried about pests. Real ones, imagined ones. I'm worried about laziness.

I rarely wonder what would happen if I didn't have something to worry about.
I think it's cool to talk openly about taking drugs, in the sense that I think it's cool to talk openly about anything you're enthusiastic about. I was saying this recently about people who consider themselves exhibitionists: they seem hotter somehow because they're really into it and being really into it makes you hotter. I'm not an exhibitionist but I am I guess an enthusiast. That's like all I have, right. Is that enthusiasm.

Is there a way to brand or monetize this.

The fanboy brand. Is being nice market able?
I was talking with Logan at his show recently about identifying with Generation X so much that he notices a difference in the values with the current culture of, say, startups. And I agree. I also feel like selling out is inauthentic at best and dangerously exploitative at worst and failure and destruction is the only truth in the world, right. But I guess some people don't think Kurt was right, or something. Our Icarus. I loved in Girl In A Band how Kim talks about --- she makes the salient and often under-recognized point that Courtney and Kurt weren't together for that long before he died. But she doesn't share the fact that she believes Kurt's death was not a suicide. Which I think is cool and I think it's important to have critical thoughts whatever.

Kids these days don't care about kurt and courtney. To be honest I never did either. I didn't care about anything. I guess I cared about Belly. I've been thinking lately how Star was so important to me, for some reason. Why? I think because of the Tank Girl soundtrack? Which is how I heard of Belly (even though the song on the soundtrack was "Thief" which was a King b-side). And that soundtrack was organized by Courtney Love.

But no one thought Belly was cool with me. Not in 2000 when i was first getting into them. Not now. I remember finding Baby Silvertooth at Amoeba Records in San Francisco and being so excited and no one would ever know or care.

A guy I knew in New York who I promised I'd stop writing mean things about obliquely on my blog used to complain about how he liked Hole and some people liked Belly and I wonder if he meant me. If he knew that I like Belly so much. Did I tell him that? I rarely tell people that. It rarely comes up.

I mean it used to apparently be a thing to make fun of Belly, right? Like Free Kitten titled one of their tracks "Feed the Tree" for that Rock Stars Kill comp.

And I feel like other people make fun of them too. Like it was a running joke to be like "Well at least we're not singing 'Feed the Tree' you know?" But I dug it. I thought it was really deep. It's funny because I don't even listen to or like pretty much anything else other than Star though. I like the Muses okay but I haven't gotten into much of Tanya's solo stuff or the second Belly album.

I do like this though:

I mean I like them so much. Sometimes, more than once but not so much that I'd say often, but like... no, often. Often when I find myself writing (poetry or fiction or songs or thoughts or whatever) I'll feel stuck or like I'm struggling to express something and then the thing that comes into my head that's perfect is a Belly lyric. Maybe you know the feeling.

Jess is an Angel: