Front Street

Sep 02 2014
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Sep 01 2014

TRUTH.

(4 notes)

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mellowpagesoralhistoryproject:

COMING SOON —- MELLOW PAGES LIBRARY: AN ORAL HISTORY

More details to come, soon-like.

(6 notes)

Aug 26 2014
Aug 25 2014

What is a body?

A shell a vessel to contain a series of sinews and organs and nerves and scars and fear and fluids and systems a dying thing a living thing a dying thing a cage a cage a cage a prison.

What is a body good for?

Fucking and fighting and seeing and moving and sweating and fucking and bleeding and eating and sleeping and carving and tasting and decaying and decaying and shriveling and growing and revolution.

What is a body trying to say when it is destroying itself?

You are not worthy of this vessel and you took this vessel for granted and this prison was necessary and you didn’t value it and now you will learn humility and now you will see the light dimming and feel the cells disintegrating and now you will know regret and blood and tears and time and that everything decays and everything ends.

******

Indeterminacy.

******

I am fighting with my body while I fight with my spirit. This is something that maybe others do, but I am not sure because it isn’t something that people discuss often. My body is breaking down and aging and my mind is confused and my spirit is yelling FUCK THIS SHIT and trying to push through the walls. My body is in a revolution and refuses to listen to my spirit and this is a war and wars always have casualties and I don’t want to be a casualty and I don’t want to fight this way and I am troubled, oh, am I troubled.

This is only the tippy-tip, though.

There is more.

******

“From the discovery of that necessity which inevitably reduces man to nothing, we have shifted to the scornful contemplation of that nothing which is existence itself. Fear in the face of the absolute limit of death turns inward in a continuous irony; man disarms it in advance, making it an object of derision by giving it an everyday, tamed form, by constantly renewing it in the spectacle of life, by scattering it throughout the vices, the difficulties, and the absurdities of all men. Death’s annihilation is no longer anything because it was already everything, because life itself was only futility, vain words, a squabble of cap and bells. The head that will become a skull is already empty.”

—Michel Foucault, from Madness and Civilization

******

I am still angry about the event that occurred and the ripples it has caused inside of my body, inside of my spirit. Not about what someone else did or did not do. Not about what could have been done. Not about what others may think should have been done. I am angry because none of it matters until I do something. What matters the most is that I learn. Me. I.

I am learning that I have not spoken out enough. I am learning that I myself have not made others comfortable at times. I am learning that every day I do not speak out and speak to men who do these things and try to maybe shake something loose inside of them to get them to see what they are doing I am wasting time and time is finite. I am learning that who I have been has lead me to where I am and who I am now and my amends for those things is to open up all the way and speak out. Speaking out is the only way.

I cannot continue to support my own ideas and beliefs in silence. I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone else to do a thing. I cannot continue to listen to what amounts to hate speech and sit on my tongue. I cannot continue to witness misogyny and homophobia and transphobia and racism and classism and monstrous behavior without speaking. I cannot.

This is not a warning, this is a promise.

******

None of us asked to be born. We all deserve freedom. 

(4 notes)

Aug 24 2014

Made this yesterday in the few moments where I felt like I had control over my body and pain. 

(2 notes)

Aug 20 2014

Anonymous said: How do you have such self control? I am glad your buddy was there for you.

I am glad he was there for me, too.

I don’t know how to even define self-control, or if I even had any in the situation—and I have been thinking about what happened almost obsessively since it happened. All I know is that the anger/violence that was inside of me and starting to come out was dangerous and reckless and even though I felt[and continue to feel] that my indignation was somewhat justified, there wasn’t anything good that would have come from the violence bubbling up and out of me.  

One thing I was very aware of and is part of what I have been playing over and over again in my head is this –- Mellow Pages Library is a very important space for me and countless others. Someone like me—a person who spends his time there, volunteering, helping out, trying to help the community grow—snapping and loosing the violence inside of me would have tainted the space. It would have ruined everything. Who would want to come hang out in a space where a veteran lost his shit and hurt someone? Of course the person was out of line or pushing an agenda, but that’s on them and their system of beliefs. My system of beliefs is different. Violence doesn’t teach. Violence doesn’t serve anyone. Violence is just what it is—an acting out meant to inflict pain AND control over a situation.

I should have walked away or asked the person to leave. Period. I violated that person’s space by getting bigger and louder and trying to drown out his hatespeech with the threat of my violence. That serves no purpose.

One thing I forgot and it makes me sad that I did is this—

A faultless person is one who withdraws from affairs. This must be done with strength.

—which is from The Hagakure, and something I need to remind myself of every day.

(3 notes)

Aug 18 2014

Aug 17 2014
Last night I had a problem.
Woke up today and the problem is still here, simmering and wounding.
We have to talk, me and myself. We have to talk long and hard about this problem and we have talked about it many times over and yet, here we are again. Problem, still around. Problem, still a bruise. Problem, still a wall to scale to get to a different place.
******
Dear White Male Poets,
Just because you write the words you write doesn’t mean everyone in a room wants to hear them. Please understand—and I am not trying to speak for anyone else here, this is just an observation, I assure you—that when you start to riff on titty-fucking and cumslop and cornholing and the women in the room all visibly cringe and shift their weight where they stand and sit, well, you may want to rethink what you are saying in front of a room full of people who came to hear poetry. Saying “I curse a lot” is not fair enough warning. Saying “I curse a lot” doesn’t give you a hall pass to rattle out your laundry list of jerk-off fantasies. Saying “I curse a lot” when you are obviously in your thirties and then going on and on and on about titty-fucking and cumslop and cornholing shows a room full of uncomfortable people that you do not care about them or their experience or their mental state.
You can do better.
You know you can.
And if you can’t?
Hand in your keys and gather your things.
******
Freedom of speech is a motherfucker.
Some people live in tiny worlds and don’t interact at all with a larger world and then things get all kinds of jumbled and regular social cues make zero sense to them and do not register and if you add alcohol and bravado and a lack of self-preservation to the mix, well, then shit can get real ugly real quick-like. It’s always painful to be a witness to something of this nature but it sucks even more when it happens and you’re the target and you’re the one who tries over and over again to be polite and ask someone to stop speaking about something and they disavow your humanity and keep going and keep pushing and keep smirking and keep putting their drunk hand in your face even after you’ve made it clear that you are done with their “conversation” and their “freedom of speech” and then it escalates and then you find yourself nanoseconds away from prison because your hand wants to do nothing other than stop their talking forever by pulling out their voice box and shaking it in their face and saying “Where is your freedom of speech now?” and “I asked you repeatedly to stop, this is what happens when you disrespect a person asking you to be a person.”
******
Last night, for the safety and sanity of myself and others, I had to be forcibly removed from a place that means a lot to me. The person who removed me is someone I love with all of my heart and I am thankful for him in my life and thankful that he witnessed what happened and thankful for his friendship and brotherhood and kindness. I had to be forcibly removed because an individual who was intoxicated and swollen with ignorance was spewing racism and hatred and doing everything he could to flex his ideas into myself and my friend and he pushed and pushed even after I asked him to stop, asked him to be careful, told him he was out of line, asked him to stop again and again and then I lost control and stepped to him and he put his hands on me and “thanked” me for my service while continuing to belittle me and belittle my dead and abuse his freedom of speech and thank all the gods that my friend stopped me and put his loving hands on me and pushed me all the way out into the street so I could walk and walk and get home and not go to jail.
I should have walked away. I should have walked away, but that space is my home and I wanted to defend it. I should have walked away but after hearing the two while male poets “read” their hateful and disdainful poems about women and their lack of understanding about women and their total ignorance about how to read a room and know when you are going too far and actually making people uncomfortable in a way that makes them want to leave, I just couldn’t let it go. I should have walked away but my heart is so tired of people who think they can use words to bully and yet there I was, letting this person bully me with his jive and ignorance, a dude who referred to black people as “they” and “them,” a dude who said he’d never move to a neighborhood full of Jews, a dude who admittedly said he never leaves his home and yet there he was, in my face, mocking my service to my country, mocking sacrifice, ignoring a plea from another human to stop and all I could do was snap into a place inside of myself that I do not like and then I am the one who had to leave.
Me.
I had to leave.
******
I am embarrassed that I lost my shit and embarrassed that I let someone get to me this way and embarrassed that I did this in a place that matters so much to me. I am sad that it happened and sad that I have these feelings and sad that I keep on seeing white male poets who have no regard for anything other than their childish and ignorant desires and sad that they are everywhere and sad that I don’t speak out enough about it and sad that I didn’t leave the space that matters to me on my good foot, my loving foot.

I have to leave.

Last night I had a problem.

Woke up today and the problem is still here, simmering and wounding.

We have to talk, me and myself. We have to talk long and hard about this problem and we have talked about it many times over and yet, here we are again. Problem, still around. Problem, still a bruise. Problem, still a wall to scale to get to a different place.

******

Dear White Male Poets,

Just because you write the words you write doesn’t mean everyone in a room wants to hear them. Please understand—and I am not trying to speak for anyone else here, this is just an observation, I assure you—that when you start to riff on titty-fucking and cumslop and cornholing and the women in the room all visibly cringe and shift their weight where they stand and sit, well, you may want to rethink what you are saying in front of a room full of people who came to hear poetry. Saying “I curse a lot” is not fair enough warning. Saying “I curse a lot” doesn’t give you a hall pass to rattle out your laundry list of jerk-off fantasies. Saying “I curse a lot” when you are obviously in your thirties and then going on and on and on about titty-fucking and cumslop and cornholing shows a room full of uncomfortable people that you do not care about them or their experience or their mental state.

You can do better.

You know you can.

And if you can’t?

Hand in your keys and gather your things.

******

Freedom of speech is a motherfucker.

Some people live in tiny worlds and don’t interact at all with a larger world and then things get all kinds of jumbled and regular social cues make zero sense to them and do not register and if you add alcohol and bravado and a lack of self-preservation to the mix, well, then shit can get real ugly real quick-like. It’s always painful to be a witness to something of this nature but it sucks even more when it happens and you’re the target and you’re the one who tries over and over again to be polite and ask someone to stop speaking about something and they disavow your humanity and keep going and keep pushing and keep smirking and keep putting their drunk hand in your face even after you’ve made it clear that you are done with their “conversation” and their “freedom of speech” and then it escalates and then you find yourself nanoseconds away from prison because your hand wants to do nothing other than stop their talking forever by pulling out their voice box and shaking it in their face and saying “Where is your freedom of speech now?” and “I asked you repeatedly to stop, this is what happens when you disrespect a person asking you to be a person.”

******

Last night, for the safety and sanity of myself and others, I had to be forcibly removed from a place that means a lot to me. The person who removed me is someone I love with all of my heart and I am thankful for him in my life and thankful that he witnessed what happened and thankful for his friendship and brotherhood and kindness. I had to be forcibly removed because an individual who was intoxicated and swollen with ignorance was spewing racism and hatred and doing everything he could to flex his ideas into myself and my friend and he pushed and pushed even after I asked him to stop, asked him to be careful, told him he was out of line, asked him to stop again and again and then I lost control and stepped to him and he put his hands on me and “thanked” me for my service while continuing to belittle me and belittle my dead and abuse his freedom of speech and thank all the gods that my friend stopped me and put his loving hands on me and pushed me all the way out into the street so I could walk and walk and get home and not go to jail.

I should have walked away. I should have walked away, but that space is my home and I wanted to defend it. I should have walked away but after hearing the two while male poets “read” their hateful and disdainful poems about women and their lack of understanding about women and their total ignorance about how to read a room and know when you are going too far and actually making people uncomfortable in a way that makes them want to leave, I just couldn’t let it go. I should have walked away but my heart is so tired of people who think they can use words to bully and yet there I was, letting this person bully me with his jive and ignorance, a dude who referred to black people as “they” and “them,” a dude who said he’d never move to a neighborhood full of Jews, a dude who admittedly said he never leaves his home and yet there he was, in my face, mocking my service to my country, mocking sacrifice, ignoring a plea from another human to stop and all I could do was snap into a place inside of myself that I do not like and then I am the one who had to leave.

Me.

I had to leave.

******

I am embarrassed that I lost my shit and embarrassed that I let someone get to me this way and embarrassed that I did this in a place that matters so much to me. I am sad that it happened and sad that I have these feelings and sad that I keep on seeing white male poets who have no regard for anything other than their childish and ignorant desires and sad that they are everywhere and sad that I don’t speak out enough about it and sad that I didn’t leave the space that matters to me on my good foot, my loving foot.

I have to leave.

(25 notes)

Aug 15 2014
Honesty is some kind of motherfucker, ain’t it?
What I mean is, what I am trying to say, what I’m about to riff on, the things you will read if you keep reading beyond this part—well, this shit is straight, no chaser—is gonna probably hurt a little.
Breathe.
******
I don’t know oppression. I know what it looks like and I know what I have seen it do to people I care about and people I didn’t even know I cared about until I saw that shit fucking up their lives. I don’t know what it’s like to get profiled. I don’t know what it’s like to get stopped by the police for no good reason and have them go through my shit with glee in front of anyone and everyone. I don’t know what it’s really like to get cat-called and hollered at just trying to buy a goddamn bottle of water. I don’t know what it’s like to get followed around a store. I don’t know what it’s like to be making my way through a crosswalk and then hearing the automatic locks on a car snap-clack. I don’t know what it’s like to get called crazy every time my emotions are out in the open in a room. I don’t know what it’s like to have to think about getting someone to walk me home at night after a few drinks in the bar. I don’t know what it’s like to be ogled and leered at. I don’t know what it’s like to have my work disavowed because I am an other, another. I don’t know any of these things.
I know this.
******
I know addiction. I know depression. I know both of these things are forever. I know the only end to these things is the end, everything else is managing and caring and learning and growing. I know illness. I know sorrow. I know waking up in the morning and wondering if that morning is the last morning and I know making it to the afternoon is better than any other feeling one can have on a day like that. I know human touch is a dream. I know being able to put my hand in someone else’s hand or put my head next to someone else’s head when the shit goes dark is all I can do, words aren’t words at that point and are just mouth-moves and clustered ideas and shattered desires. I know blood. I know how blood works. I know why blood works. I know where blood works. I know my blood is my blood and my blood is clean blood and clean blood means I am doing something right and well and I might live longer than anyone ever thought. I know dog saliva is like the best shot of dopamine and better than any SSRI on the market. I know push-ups and sweat and mountain climbers and cramps and burpees and gasping for air and running until the heart wants to burst all turn into a better day and a better life and a better way to stay alive.
******
It’s not that I don’t have opinions or fears or thoughts about the world and where the world is going and the people being murdered left and right and the people getting tear-gassed and the kids seeing police in invasion gear and the women seeing their men with bloodied mouths and battered eyes and I just freeze in this spot. I freeze. Not because I don’t have anything to say. Not because I don’t think about this world. Not because of anything other than my own fight or flight response is different, and I know it is different, and I know it isn’t from a place of oppression or a place of looming prison time just for being myself or living in a place or being with some people.
Some folks think silence is some kind of nod that the one being silent is okay with what the fuck is happening. Some folks think silence is based in fear or uncaring. Some folks think silence is guilt.
I am not okay with shit. I care. My fear is my fear. I own it.
I am guilty, though.
******
Heard a tale about a thing that happened where my name was mentioned and someone else mentioned some shit and then it all went sour because someone seems to think their beef with me is worth something and maybe even worth something to me and all I could do was laugh. I keep my business my business and I don’t need someone’s publicist—please, please, you need a publicist?—rat-tatting my name out in emails mentioning how the possibility of violence is high if I am in the room with their client. Nothing sadder than that kind of middle school bullshit when I’m out here trying to do work and doing work and trying to build a thing. Nothing sadder than a kid who looks to be twelve mumbling about me in the dark and crying to a publicist to try and do a thing in a space that has my DNA all over it. Nothing sadder than said publicist emailing a brother from another of mine about the whole thing and practically begging him to make sure I am nowhere around her client.
Don’t you go worrying about me, young buck. You just write your books and do your thing and keep wearing that mask. Trust. I’m not the bear to poke around with—especially this kind of childish and boring shit—you just do you and worry about you and the things you do. We all have to do work. Do yours. Be a good human being.
I mean that.
I’m being a good human, too. Remember.
******
I’ve been drinking so much apple cider vinegar to try and dissolve this massive kidney stone inside of me and all I keep on thinking about is how this pressure inside of my body is like the pressure I feel inside of my heart when I am trying to write something I think is meaningful or when I am working on a thing with a guitar and the hair on my arms all stands up and my feet start to rock around. I can’t lie and say the pain isn’t welcomed or grounding, because it is. I can’t lie and say I would wish the pain away, because I like it and I know liking pain sounds insane to a lot of people but pain reminds me I am in this body and this body has an expiration date and is not indestructible like I once believed it was.
******
Stay alive.
******

 

 

Honesty is some kind of motherfucker, ain’t it?

What I mean is, what I am trying to say, what I’m about to riff on, the things you will read if you keep reading beyond this part—well, this shit is straight, no chaser—is gonna probably hurt a little.

Breathe.

******

I don’t know oppression. I know what it looks like and I know what I have seen it do to people I care about and people I didn’t even know I cared about until I saw that shit fucking up their lives. I don’t know what it’s like to get profiled. I don’t know what it’s like to get stopped by the police for no good reason and have them go through my shit with glee in front of anyone and everyone. I don’t know what it’s really like to get cat-called and hollered at just trying to buy a goddamn bottle of water. I don’t know what it’s like to get followed around a store. I don’t know what it’s like to be making my way through a crosswalk and then hearing the automatic locks on a car snap-clack. I don’t know what it’s like to get called crazy every time my emotions are out in the open in a room. I don’t know what it’s like to have to think about getting someone to walk me home at night after a few drinks in the bar. I don’t know what it’s like to be ogled and leered at. I don’t know what it’s like to have my work disavowed because I am an other, another. I don’t know any of these things.

I know this.

******

I know addiction. I know depression. I know both of these things are forever. I know the only end to these things is the end, everything else is managing and caring and learning and growing. I know illness. I know sorrow. I know waking up in the morning and wondering if that morning is the last morning and I know making it to the afternoon is better than any other feeling one can have on a day like that. I know human touch is a dream. I know being able to put my hand in someone else’s hand or put my head next to someone else’s head when the shit goes dark is all I can do, words aren’t words at that point and are just mouth-moves and clustered ideas and shattered desires. I know blood. I know how blood works. I know why blood works. I know where blood works. I know my blood is my blood and my blood is clean blood and clean blood means I am doing something right and well and I might live longer than anyone ever thought. I know dog saliva is like the best shot of dopamine and better than any SSRI on the market. I know push-ups and sweat and mountain climbers and cramps and burpees and gasping for air and running until the heart wants to burst all turn into a better day and a better life and a better way to stay alive.

******

It’s not that I don’t have opinions or fears or thoughts about the world and where the world is going and the people being murdered left and right and the people getting tear-gassed and the kids seeing police in invasion gear and the women seeing their men with bloodied mouths and battered eyes and I just freeze in this spot. I freeze. Not because I don’t have anything to say. Not because I don’t think about this world. Not because of anything other than my own fight or flight response is different, and I know it is different, and I know it isn’t from a place of oppression or a place of looming prison time just for being myself or living in a place or being with some people.

Some folks think silence is some kind of nod that the one being silent is okay with what the fuck is happening. Some folks think silence is based in fear or uncaring. Some folks think silence is guilt.

I am not okay with shit. I care. My fear is my fear. I own it.

I am guilty, though.

******

Heard a tale about a thing that happened where my name was mentioned and someone else mentioned some shit and then it all went sour because someone seems to think their beef with me is worth something and maybe even worth something to me and all I could do was laugh. I keep my business my business and I don’t need someone’s publicist—please, please, you need a publicist?—rat-tatting my name out in emails mentioning how the possibility of violence is high if I am in the room with their client. Nothing sadder than that kind of middle school bullshit when I’m out here trying to do work and doing work and trying to build a thing. Nothing sadder than a kid who looks to be twelve mumbling about me in the dark and crying to a publicist to try and do a thing in a space that has my DNA all over it. Nothing sadder than said publicist emailing a brother from another of mine about the whole thing and practically begging him to make sure I am nowhere around her client.

Don’t you go worrying about me, young buck. You just write your books and do your thing and keep wearing that mask. Trust. I’m not the bear to poke around with—especially this kind of childish and boring shit—you just do you and worry about you and the things you do. We all have to do work. Do yours. Be a good human being.

I mean that.

I’m being a good human, too. Remember.

******

I’ve been drinking so much apple cider vinegar to try and dissolve this massive kidney stone inside of me and all I keep on thinking about is how this pressure inside of my body is like the pressure I feel inside of my heart when I am trying to write something I think is meaningful or when I am working on a thing with a guitar and the hair on my arms all stands up and my feet start to rock around. I can’t lie and say the pain isn’t welcomed or grounding, because it is. I can’t lie and say I would wish the pain away, because I like it and I know liking pain sounds insane to a lot of people but pain reminds me I am in this body and this body has an expiration date and is not indestructible like I once believed it was.

******

Stay alive.

******

 

 

(8 notes)

Aug 13 2014
+

(Source: aliciadk)

(6 notes)

+
chelseahodson:

On Sunday, August 17, May-Lan Tan & I will be the Artists in Residence at Ace Hotel New York as part of Tumblr’s residency guest curation. May-Lan & I are collaborating on a durational performance in one of the hotel rooms. Documentation will be featured on the Marina Abramovic Institute’s Immaterial.

HELL YES.

chelseahodson:

On Sunday, August 17, May-Lan Tan & I will be the Artists in Residence at Ace Hotel New York as part of Tumblr’s residency guest curation. May-Lan & I are collaborating on a durational performance in one of the hotel rooms. Documentation will be featured on the Marina Abramovic Institute’s Immaterial.

HELL YES.

(51 notes)

+

Scenes from a life.

(3 notes)

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