Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Flora Voyeur


For this ritual, I used several different crystals as mediums between plants.  One was exclusively for indoor plants, another for wild plants, and another to talk between the other two crystals.

Indoors:  The crystal was placed for several hours on the soil of a potted plant, very near the base of the stem or trunk.  I would then hold the crystal in my left hand while taking notes with my right.  Then I would whisper to the crystal to please relay the message to another plant, and I would place the crystal in the next pot.  When writing with the crystal I could feel a conversation that was calm, centered on drifting through the seasons.  Their vocabulary for moving through time is something I feel drawn to remembering in my body while I eat, walk, dreaming about the possibilities of this world.  I also watched Kenneth Anger's INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME with the indoor plants.

Outdoors:  This crystal moved between wild plants, meaning only plants whose seeds were transported by birds or the wind.  The guardedness I was feeling at one point while writing with the crystal after it had been sitting with a plant did not make sense until I realized that the meadow within a few feet of it had been mowed.  How could I not realize this right away?  There I was in my human body not thinking that -- literally -- THOUSANDS of other plants had been freshly chopped to their knees, their bodies were strewn everywhere, their strong odor of chlorophyll pouring from their wounds in the hot sun.

In the past, I have used crystals to speak between trees and other plants and animals, but with this one, I am finding a new relationship to the language I am receiving for the poems.  What I can glean from listening to them in these writing sessions, the plants are telling me that their ability to change carbon dioxide into oxygen is what is also transforming my words I write.  Maybe, in fact, a better word is translate, like the leaves are acting as a translation device.  It feels like a sentence in the conversation comes back with one word changed, giving a completely new interpretation to both the ritual and the resulting poem.  The leaves are telling me they are a mirror, but nothing like the kind we humans have any real experience with.  Most of this information came to me when I was holding the third crystal, the one that I occasionally placed between the indoor and wild plant crystals.  While the outdoor, wild plant crystal had more life-threatening circumstances, there was beneath that a similar vibration as the indoor plant crystal's language for the movement of time, though more urgent, a pulsing pressure running through my body.  I place the crystal under my pillow for that song of time to enter my sleeping body and my sleeping travel of dreams.  Vegetables, sisters, brothers, unfurl a bit more with me in the poem. 




Friday, August 10, 2018

US-American Crystal Grid

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT

US-American Crystal Grid is an ingredient to a larger ritual, Resurrect Extinct Vibration.  The crystal grid was designed and constructed in the early spring of 2018, the first poems resulting from writing inside the grid came in May.

The grid's ingredients: Four solid copper 16-ounce water bottles, each containing 9 crystals of 3 pieces of amethyst, 3 pieces of carnelian, and 3 pieces of rose quartz. Each bottle was then filled with crystal infused water to the brim then sealed.

The grid is a triangle with bottles buried in Minneapolis, Memphis, and Cheyenne.  The fourth bottle is buried inside the triangle in Omaha, which is the seat of the grid.  Minneapolis gets its name from the Lakota word for water fused with the Greek word for city:  Water City.  Memphis is named after the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis, a dozen miles from the Sphinx and pyramids of Giza.  Memphis, Egypt sits at the mouth of the Nile, while Memphis, Tennessee sits at the jawbone of the Mississippi.  Cheyenne, Wyoming was named after the great Cheyenne native people and named so at the time when all migration of Native Americans and the seasonal routes of the many herds and flocks came to an end, abruptly.  The footfalls of millions, replaced soon enough with barbed wire, motorways, giant shopping plazas and miles of GMO monocrops grown by mega-corporations with pesticides and fertilizers.

The grid crosses and touches eleven different states:  Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  The Mississippi River touches the triangle three different times, charging the eastern wall of the triangle as the water and the grid's energy pushes to Memphis.

How the grid works:  I sit on top of the buried copper container of crystals in Omaha.  With a compass, I align myself with Minneapolis first.  When facing Minneapolis I eat a small amount of dirt from the Minneapolis location and listen to field recordings of the site.  I then face Memphis and repeat with dirt and sounds from Memphis, then again when I turn to face the direction of Cheyenne.  I take notes for the poems throughout this process.  I repeat the whole process again, then again a third time.  It is almost exclusively from the third round where the notes taken are the most heavily harvested for the construction of the poems.  The grid winds clockwise, winds tighter, the first round making the base of a pyramid.  The second round is the midsection of the pyramid, then finally the third round brings the peak of the pyramid, and the feelings of writing are a most extreme euphoria during the third and final round.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

LOVE LETTERS to Haters

Leading up to the November election I am writing a series of LOVE LETTERS to influential hate group leaders like Peter Sprigg, author of the brochure How to Respond to the LGBT Movement.  Others include Tony Perkins, whose born-again Christian radio program recently had US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a guest where Perkins wished for the old days when gays could be jailed.  Pompeo was on the show to promote the upcoming US Gathering On Religious Freedom.

These letters I'm writing talk about the upcoming anti-LGBTQ legislation and referendums and how harmful these laws are to LGBTQ people, harmful beyond if the laws are passed, harmful in that their very existence as POSSIBLE laws creates and sustains violence.  Appealing to these people as Christians, appealing to them through the Book of Matthew.  These people tend to favor Paul, the one person in the New Testament who never even met Jesus, the meanest of them all, Paul, he who weaves genocide of queers deep into the fabric of the USA.

WE WILL NOT LIVE IN FEAR!!
WE WILL NOT GO BACK!!
WITH THE STRENGTH OF THE MEMORIES OF ALL MY FRIENDS WHO DIED OF AIDS, MURDER, OVERDOSE, SUICIDE!!
We have another direction in mind and no one will stop us.
With Love, MUCH LOVE, CAConrad


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

APPENDIX: (this is how I write inside (Soma)tic poetry rituals):



Taking the Notes
One thing I like to suggest is writing in notebooks with lined paper, then completely disrespecting those lines.  Write wildly, like a child, for whatever we can do to strip away the various structures built to corral our attentions is important to this particular process of note-taking where we hope to find ourselves completely present and not troubled over lines on paper and other concerns we have been trained to obey.

Our internal editor is one we have built upon since we first learned to communicate, reaching for the milk, the shiny earring, the hovering gull, eventually learning the tools for constructing proper syntax, the uses of punctuation, etc.  Our internal editors are invaluable for shaping our poems, but they do get in the way of these raw notes we write inside the ritual.  When taking notes, as soon as the mind forms full sentences, or follows a thread of an idea, write faster.  We have the ability to outrun the internal editor, to fully trust ourselves in the middle of the ritual, and to arrive at that moment where all rebuke over words and their customs falls away.  It is here where we can cruise into the previously unimagined magical writing we had concealed from ourselves. 

Sometimes when attempting to write ahead of our editor we get caught in mind loops, thought and language patterns that keep circling around on themselves.  Here are three tools for breaking out of mind loops:

1) Inhale coffee beans or grounds.  This recalibrates the olfactory and can jolt us out of a mind loop we find ourselves caught inside while writing.

2) If the coffee does not work stare straight ahead at an immobile object and flick the tip of your nose with your finger.  Do it just hard enough that it disrupts your visual pattern.  This often helps release us to go back to writing.

3) If your mind loop is pernicious and not wanting to let go of you, then stand up and wildly thrash-dance, especially kicking your legs in the air as high as you can.  This always works.


Shaping the Poem
NOTE:  It is important to do this next phase in one sitting.

Take your handwritten notes to a computer and open a writing document, Word or whatever software you use for writing.  Click on the document to make certain it is ready to be used, then shut the screen light all the way off; this is to preclude our need to be watchful for typos.  Position your fingers on the keys, have your feet flat, then close your eyes and type as fast as you can for five minutes, and same rules apply as with the handwritten notes:  as soon as the mind forms full sentences, or follows a thread of an idea, type faster.

At the end of the five minutes of blind speed-typing, turn the screen light back on, then begin transferring the handwritten notes where you left off with the speed-typing.  In other words this is better when it is one unbroken document.  When you reach the midway point of the handwritten notes, shut the screen light back off, and repeat the steps for blind speed-typing.  I usually earmark the midway page ahead of time, make an X or checkmark.  When the blind speed-typing is complete, turn the light back on and transfer the remaining half of your handwritten notes.  When this is finally finished turn the screen light off and repeat the speed-typing once again.

The blind speed-typing will expand the notes for the poem.  The first bout of it unleashes whatever language we have stored in us at the moment.  The second and especially the third times are after we have been rereading and transferring our handwritten notes, our memories tripped over and over with images of the experience of doing the ritual.  These bouts of the blind speed-typing tend to enrich and compound the notes in ways that often hold unexpected, crucial language for the poem.

Print out two copies of this chaotic looking document.  Hide one from yourself for a month.  The other carry with you wherever we go with a highlighter pen, marking favorite nuggets of writing for the poem.  These pieces can then be culled by copying and pasting them into a new document to begin shaping the poem.  It all starts to come together on its own at this stage, awakening the internal editor to help build the poem.  The second copy you hid from yourself for a month can be taken out of hiding and read backwards:  last word typed is the first word read and first word typed is the last word read.  Reading the document backwards often uncovers completely new ways into the poem we would have not seen otherwise.






Friday, May 4, 2018

SEMEN: An Acquired, But Easily Converted Taste And Another Kind Of Love For My Man And For Poetry


After losing a boyfriend and many friends to AIDS, and another boyfriend murdered, I had a rocky series of relationships like many men of my generation who managed to survive the early years of the AIDS plague.  Then I met Tre, a truck driver.  A very handsome man (he really is quite handsome, but I also know he is going to read this) who is not like anyone I have ever met, let alone have sex with.  We were both thoroughly tested for HIV and STDs before moving deeper into the relationship.  If I say the number of funerals my friends and I went to in the 80's and 90's it would seem made up, but this is my way of saying I have had nothing but safe sex my entire adult life because I very much like being alive.  Tre and I see one another once a month or more while we both crisscross the country.  It is not like any relationship I had even imagined, falling in love with a man I see in a different state each time, pulled off a different numbered highway, with different trees, flowers, different dead animals along the road.  His first name is where we will stop.  His line of work is not queer friendly.  And when I was a teenager I swore I would never date a man in the closet, but then my boyfriend Earth was murdered and I said, "FUCK THAT, anyone who wants to stay in the closet to protect themselves from the evils of this world I will do all I can to help them stay in there if that is what they want."

We were both already aware how semen tastes different and has various consistencies and colors depending entirely on our diet of both solids and liquids.  I'm vegan and insist that Tre not eat meat for a full week before we meet up.  I have been vegetarian since 1988 and despise the taste of murdered animal ejaculating from a man, and don't think I won't spit it out and demand a funeral for it!  Rancid corpse flavor is not appealing, but a week is the perfect amount of time to clear away the cow, pig, chicken, squid, lamb, and other helpless, innocent ghost taste.  Being vegan even one or two days a week is amazing for the planet, and trust me, semen tastes much better. 

This (Soma)tic poetry ritual is an ingredient to my larger Resurrect Extinct Vibration ritual.  It seeks a more direct contact with the feral interior, that wilderness men, women and us many kinds of Other, no matter the deodorants, salves or sprays, cannot possibly deny its own wildlife when two or more people enjoy their naked bodies together.  Getting to taste what Tre produces with the extraordinary processes of digestion is as close to what I believe is a miracle, his body turning nutrients he consumes into a seminal delicacy.  I have eaten millions of his sperm and sometimes wonder how long I can keep calling myself vegan now that I am with a man I trust to not infect me with a disease for the first time in years.

For a few days before we get together, we both decide on a mixture of foods.  Walnuts and blueberries in large quantities.  Then apples and garlic.  Eggplant, onions, and sage.  Consider this an experimental semen cookbook and call me your friendly Faggot Gourmet.  We experimented with crystal infused waters, for instance, we both had a collection of 9 pieces of rose quartz in our water bottles for a week before having sex.  Everyone should try this because it made us much closer, feeding the heart chakra all day for days with crystal flowing through our blood, coming out of us in intoxicating sweat, our piss fountains of a glorious chemistry of feeling.  Semen formed on rose quartz infused water flies out of the body as close to the arrows of Eros we can imagine.  Waves of pleasure resonate through us, entering our dreams together which are warm and filled with utter tenderness.  My personal favorite food combination is dill, cilantro, and beets.  We spent a long time in each other's arms discussing how amazing that combination turned out to be.  Dill and cilantro together are extraordinary enough, but then add the natural sweetness of the beet and we never tasted so good to one another! 

Here is the part of the ritual where my sexy man leaves me to write as soon as he orgasms.  I hold off on my own orgasm until after I have written, wanting to keep all my power inside me for the notes for the poem.  I also keep his taste in my mouth as long as possible, savoring each note of what he produced for me.  Once I finish writing I shake him awake to get back to love which I insist always be placed before and after any poem I write.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Weighing WANT

Another ingredient to my "Resurrect Extinct Vibration Ritual" is "Weighing WANT."  My life has become streamlined since beginning this ritual.  I know every single thing I own as I have continuously gone through my belongings to recycle what I do not want.

Once a month, wherever I am in the United States I empty the contents of my car to reorganize my belongings.  I also remove everything I no longer want and weigh it before recycling plastics, clothing, (non-poetry) books, and other odd things I accumulate.

After weighing what I no longer want I write in my notebook raw notes for the poem.  After visiting the local recycling center or Goodwill I write more notes.  I keep a very thin digital bathroom scale in my trunk for "Weighing WANT."