Thursday, December 19, 2013

#94: YOU DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE MY NEMESIS

for Dorothea Lasky who also 
puts up with a lot of assholes 

To the friend you thought was a friend until they tried to sabotage a publishing opportunity. To the one who ripped your book in half on stage then wrote patronizing letters to the newspaper about how you should be writing and the poets you should be reading to become a real poet. HAHA!! To the creep who deleted your MP3 file because your reading was better than his. There are others, lying, conniving, envious sour pusses without the courage to be loyal to the love of friends and shared ideas. But finally to the worst of all, to the one you loved the most; your trusted collaborator, the one who wrecked true havoc, the gifted sociopath, the one you always dreaded, but they found you. That one, the best liar you ever met who took a machete to your life, their drama akin to opera. Even still they are given the parting words, “YOU DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE MY NEMISIS!!”

Take notes about each of them for the poem, their names are unimportant as such cowards are rarely remembered. Create a line of tiny photographs of their faces on your computer, ALL IN A ROW, and then print it out; this will be the rolling paper for a cigarette. Cover their faces with equal amounts of the following dried ingredients: Fennel seeds, pine needles, rose petals, mugwort, basil, white sage, red sandalwood powder, perique tobacco, and marijuana. These ingredients qualm negative thoughts, shift gears for transformation, and also invoke prophetic dreams, clairvoyance, happiness, honesty, peace of mind, and marijuana because you put up with a lot of shit and deserve to enjoy yourself! Roll it up, keep track of which enemy you are smoking, but smoke them all, SMOKE THEM ALL, sucking their faces into your lungs while writing notes for the poem, notes about the ones who didn’t have what it takes to beat you down, the ones who never deserved your friendship in the first place. Exhaling their faces on a braid of smoke is more satisfying than the usual forms of forgiveness. Find your poem in the notes and utterly relish your day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CATHETER ENJAMBMENT

(the resulting poem for the below (Soma)tic ritual is at THIS LINK, titled IT'S TOO LATE FOR CAREFUL)

--for Bradley Manning & Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

"And our lips are not our lips. But are the lips of heads of poets.
And should shout revolution."
--Jack Spicer

Anyone who makes us remember our naked animal beneath the clothes is dangerous, thank you Bradley, thank you Mattilda.  To remove the scandal of bare-assed nakedness would require the annihilation of every bureaucratic agency sending memos through our doors.  It is 2012 and some of us have positioned our boots in an attempt to hold back The Return To Modesty Campaign.  The American homosexual of 2012 unapologetically celebrates surrendering to the dominant culture for marital equilibrium and WAR! This swift, unmitigated return to wholesome values acts like bookends many willingly throw themselves between. The opportunity to challenge these stifling, life-threatening institutions passes out of the conversation entirely in 2012.

Notes for the poem began with a meditation on meeting Marsha P. Johnson in Thompson Square Park during the 1990 Gay Pride Festival.  She started the 1969 Stonewall Riot, her headfirst, unflinching fisticuffs with the police sited to this day by RuPaul and others!  She who started our revolution, a tall black drag queen, carried a sign in 1990:  STONEWALL WAS A RIOT NOT A TRADEMARK!  “You are the coolest person I have ever met,” I told her.  “YES I AM,” she said with a smile.  “What does the P stand for in your name?”  “It means PAY IT NO MIND baby, PAY IT NO MIND!”  Where are the statues, poems and operas in her honor?  She was homeless at the time she was murdered and thrown in the Hudson.  Our queen, our Mother of the Revolution!  She was the true deviant propulsion, pushing the culture forward ready or not!

Marsha didn’t live to see faggots putting rainbow stickers on machine guns to kill Arabs with impunity!  Faggots joining hands with a multi-billion dollar military industrial complex should alarm us, infuriate us, it should break our hearts.  Three children die of war-related injuries EVERY SINGLE DAY in Afghanistan.  And after ten years of U.S. American occupation, Afghanistan has been deemed THE MOST DANGEROUS nation on our planet for women.  How else can I repeat this so you hear it?  U.S. America makes the lives of Afghan women and children almost unendurable!  GAY AND LESBIAN U.S. AMERICANS HAVE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME!  Did you hear that?

The genocide of queer men in Iraq (called “puppies” instead of “faggots” in Baghdad) is undoubtedly a direct result of the U.S. American invasion and occupation of Iraq.  The most famous homosexual apologist for war Dan Choi helped make this genocide possible while serving as a U.S. American soldier in Iraq.  Destabilization of the secular Hussein government has brought destruction to Iraqi queers.  Our tortured, executed queer Iraqi brothers have become merely another item on our long list of collateral damage.

Many notes, many notes for the poem, my sadness, my outrage, my complete embarrassment for an assimilationist campaign gone mad!  Then I did research on how to catheterize myself to go out into the world with utter insertion.  I took notes, many notes for the poem.

I performed reiki on a long, thin piece of plastic tubing, reiki imbuing the tube with my intentions to be in conversation throughout the day about being queer.  Queer.  Today I will NOT ALLOW anyone to change the subject when I talk about what it means to be queer.  Today I will talk about the frustrations of watching war go unquestioned by the U.S. American homosexual.  Reiki.  I did reiki for half an hour on the plastic tube, then lubricated every inch of it to ever so gently insert it into the irritated, angry looking opening of my penis.  It was not for pleasure of pain it was for a chronic reminder of HOW the U.S. American culture inserts its will on my cock more and more each day.  You may now be married under our rules.  You may now engage in mortal combat in designated enemy countries by our rules.  I had many strained, bizarre conversations that day, constantly FEELING the plastic tube inside me while walking around Philadelphia, while walking around Occupy Philadelphia and talking about war, genocide and oil.  The following poem is the result of this writing ritual, which was more painful in spirit than it was for the plastic plugging my urethra.  After all, it’s much too late for careful.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#93: STRAWBERRY ASTRAL MASH

a collaborative (Soma)tic by CAConrad and Laura Schadler 
A MacDowell Colony Experiment

ONE: Put a strawberry and a couple ice cubes into a small wax or plastic baggie. Carry this into the woods, find a place to sit quietly with notebook and pen. With your eyes open for a few minutes hold the bag up in the air while staring at the world around you in the woods. Then lower the bag and close your eyes. Put your hand into the bag and slowly feel the last of the ice melt, then begin to tear and mash the strawberry between your fingers. Keep mashing it for at least twenty minutes, eyes closed the entire time, focusing on both the world around you you cannot see, and the feeling of the strawberry you can feel but do not see. Think about how the wild around you is like this strawberry coming apart in your hands right now. THEN QUICKLY empty the mashed strawberry into your mouth, but hold it there, and slowly, slowly chew while writing AS FAST AS YOU CAN whatever comes to mind!! 

DAY TWO: Find a comfortable place to lie down on the ground, flat on your back, arms slightly away
from your sides, legs slightly apart. Imagine you are surrounded by a warm, white light. Feel the sensations and atmosphere of yourself. Ground yourself deeply in your body and consider how this feels for a moment. Next, begin to slowly move away from these physical sensations. The goal here it to project yourself outside of yourself. Find yourself in a totally new and unfamiliar landscape, one you have never visited before. Consider the specific details of this new place and what it feels like to inhabit it. Are you the same person? Are you different? How so? What is your experience of this place? If you are not yourself or your body, who are you? Stay in this landscape for at least ten minutes. Move through it. If you float away or the landscape eludes you, allow yourself to move to somewhere new. Sit up and immediately write of this place and who you were there or of something else entirely. Repeat, if necessary.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#92: HANDLEBAR TREE


a collaborative (Soma)tic by CAConrad and Brian Bauman
A MacDowell Colony Experiment


DAY ONE:  Walk the dirt road to Handlebar Tree.  The top of an infant tree was consumed one night by the larger hungry father tree, bending the little body inside his larger trunk, making a handlebar of the infant.  The infant strangled the father’s heart and spleen, killing them both.  The suffering of Handlebar Tree is apparent when passing their tragic, dried husks of depravity and revenge along the road.  Grab Handlebar Tree’s handlebar, pressing your forehead into the bark.  Stay there with your eyes closed for a few minutes, then scream, “EEEEEEEEEE!  AHHHHHHHH!  OOOOOOOOOOOO!  VREEEEEEEEEEEEN!  BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”  There is a small pile of red glitter at the base of Handlebar Tree, dig into the soil beneath it and you will find a cigarette and matches in a small plastic wrapper.  Smoke two puffs of the cigarette, put it back in the wrapper with the matches, bury it again, and sprinkle a little red glitter and powdered dirt in your hair.  Then hold onto the handlebar of Handlebar Tree again, and bang your head five times into the bark, then RUN back to your studio and sit at your keyboard with feet flat, with screen darkened so you cannot see what you’re typing, but type as fast as you can with eyes closed for at least fifteen to thirty minutes.  Print out the notes and carry them with you for clues to the poem/play/story.

DAY TWO:  Visit handlebar tree and tell it one secret and one lie. Hold onto the handle bar and listen to everything in the world for one minute.scrape some of the bark/skin from the handlebar and carry it with you to your studio. Fill a sink basin with cool water until it is full. Dunk your head in the water and spit out the lie and the secret. Shake your head yes three times and no twice. Run to your writing desk and write for at least fifteen minutes.

Friday, October 11, 2013

#91: FULL MOON HAWK APPLICATION


(some of the resulting poems from this (Soma)tic were published in POETRY Magazine, BOULDERPAVEMENT and elsewhere. Many thanks to the editors.)


I had the privilege of spending a month in the Leighton Art Colony at Banff Art Centre, located in the Canadian Rockies.  The Native people once used Banff as a locus for healing their sick, but they refused to live there.  Banff Art Centre sits on top of an enormous deposit of magnetic iron.  Many holistic health practitioners today use magnets to pull toxins out of the tissue and into the blood to then be flushed free from the body.  The Native people would not live at Banff, but they did come with their sick to be healed.

Oread frequencies, this (Soma)tic poetry ritual resulted in a series of apologue poems without a definitive statement, the moral caught in a fang in a tree.  Every morning I would meditate on a hawk webcam in Philadelphia.  It was ridiculous leaving Philadelphia to visit it every single morning in Canada, but ridiculous was the exertion I needed to unzip the sublime.  I would prepare to write inside the hawk application, writing through the webcam in Philadelphia.  One day my boyfriend Rich appeared on the webcam, waving from the street below the hawk nest, then opened his sign FUCK YOU COME HOME!

On one of my first nights a young man drove me to the top of the mountains above the art colony to show me the hot springs and lake.  There were fish in the lake.  There were fish swimming above Banff Art Centre, swimming above my head each night, and this became part of my writing ritual.  I would go to sleep with a piece of celestite crystal, meditating on the swimming above me, the swimming above me.  The notes for the poems were often informed by nightmares.  Every night sleeping was difficult, the magnetic iron dumping toxins into my blood.  A few nights it seemed I didn’t sleep at all, but was instead dreaming about not sleeping.  Once I dreamed I had a vagina for a nose and this dream was fantastic!

Notes from the morning hawk meditations, notes for the poems.  I brushed my gums vigorously with cayenne pepper to stimulate the capillaries, JOLT the heart.  I then drank crystal-infused water, the
glass surrounded by a four-inch shaft of citrine, a two-inch pyramid of selenite, and dangling just above the surface was a piece of the ancient Russian meteorite known as seraphinite.  The citrine and selenite removed negative charge from the water while seraphinite infused it with the angelic order to trigger my spinal chord into epiphanic alignment.

Mountain lion paw prints in fresh snow, grizzly bear scat, elk, mink, a pack of beautiful coyotes, and the magnificent magpies were outside my studio in the forest.  It would be easy to write nature poems, documentary poems, straight up narrative poems, but my notes were for poems found in the greasy film along the engines of our planetary machine coughing, devouring, running in terror.  My unease of hungry mountain lions, grizzlies, and angry elk fueled the notes.  A strict vegan diet with deep tissue shiatsu massage once a week also contributed to the lens I brought to the notes for the poems.  Banff was scraping me clean each day, and I kept to the flow, kept the image of fish swimming above my head.  The hawks feeding their young, and the crystals I slept with on the full moon for the final hawk application.  The notes became thirteen poems.  The editing process for the poems included listening to three original movie soundtracks played simultaneously:  Paris Texas, The Assassination of Jesse James, and Brokeback Mountain.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(Soma)tic in DREAMBOAT

DREAMBOAT MAGAZINE
HAS ARRIVED ! ! ! !

I’m THRILLED to be published alongside POETS Marianne MorrisAmanda NadelbergAlan Bernheimer.

MANY THANKS to brilliant Bay Area POET and PUBLISHER Alli Warren ! ! ! ! (I LOVE that DREAMBOAT is 9 letters with the most magical letter M as the centerpiece, M the 13th, M the hidden pentacle!!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

October issue of POETRY


Will contain three poems from the (Soma)tic Poetry Ritual I did at the BANFF Art Centre in Alberta, Canada in April, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

#90: HEALING FOR A PEDOPHILE


--for Vanessa Place

I first thought about HEALING FOR A PEDOPHILE when I was in the middle of an earlier (Soma)tic poetry ritual, RESTORATION FIBER SONG.  With the RESTORATION piece I went back to where I grew up, fully immersed myself in my old environment, especially the most painful of memories, but NOT ONE word of memoir was to be written.  That was an exercise in resistance.

HEALING FOR A PEDOPHILE is a healing for a pedophile.  My stepfather is quite ill with lung and heart disease and may not last the year.  I spent much of my youth making certain he was never alone in the house with my younger sister.  I was given my first rifle when I was nine, and would sit in her bedroom at night with the loaded gun pointed at the locked door, my sister hiding in a closet.  John would be drunk outside the door moaning, “Show me your pussy, c’mon let me smell your pussy!”

A year ago my sister confessed a new piece of the story.  I had moved out as a teenager since he only seemed interested in her when she was very young.  It felt okay leaving, knowing that she would also leave in a couple of years, and I kept in close contact with her.  But my sister recently told me that once when she was sixteen our mother made her get out of a hot shower, wrap a towel around herself and sit on John’s knee in the living room.  My mother sat nearby, smoking dope and drinking gin.  My sister says he didn’t touch her with his hands, and that she jumped up and yelled at them both when he began bouncing his knee into her wet body.  They laughed, or maybe just he laughed, I’m too enraged to hear the story again, and I have been incapable of seeing my mother or her creepy husband ever since.

Also about a year ago I became certified in Reiki, an ancient practice of directing our inherent personal reservoirs of healing energy through our hands to help others as well as ourselves.  I was not only trained how to dispense Reiki on people in front of me, but also how to send it long distance.  This was the most miserable (Soma)tic, taking notes for the poems during these healing sessions.  First I performed Reiki on myself, then sent it to my sister.  Then I sent it to our stepfather.  The first time I sent Reiki to him I had to run to the bathroom to vomit.  I didn’t want to send it.  The truth is I didn’t want him to feel better, but I did send it.

The last person I sent Reiki to is our mother.  Until my sister’s latest story I had been able to fool myself into believing that maybe our mother was so abused herself that she chose to not notice her husband’s proclivity for desiring six-year-old vagina.  Our mother I will forgive the last, she who compromised our safety to bring a little order to a pathological disorder.  My sleepless nights of anger need to stop.  Sending Reiki to those who deserve it the least heals me in turn, and I can feel the building peace in and around me with each session.

P.S.  At my “Impermanence Is The Old Permanence” lecture at PS1 MoMA I read this.  Someone from the audience was upset because they have family who pray for them, they said, “I DON’T WANT MY FAMILY PRAYING FOR ME!”  One big difference is that I’m not telling my stepfather and mother I send them Reiki, I just send it.  In other words Reiki is not a weapon, like saying “I’m praying for you.”  I’m not interested in using Reiki to make them feel small, and bad.  If I want to do that I only have to point at them and say, “YOU are a pedophile and YOU are his accomplice!”