Happy Birthday, Fiona

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday, Fiona.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


All the day the wire is spun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whitney Houston was an angel and she always will be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Don’t drop the ball.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer me with computation
Answer me with industry

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

Walking back into a bed of nails.

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

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