Wednesday, June 26, 2013

(Soma)tics at BANFF

BANFF Art Center 
made a short film of me working in my studio

CA Conrad Promo Video (Boulderpavement 11) from Boulderpavement on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


9 is an epiphany, the energy entering the bottom tip, traveling up the stem and circulating in the crown.  An epiphany cannot be taken away. 

I carried 9 adzuki beans with me for a day, talking to them one at a time, then as a group, then holding them to my ear with eyes closed.  Hearing 9 uncertainties, 9 calls to ration sadness.  They slept through
the night with rose quartz in a jar of warm water.  When I planted them I held them one at a time under the dirt, my eyes closed, tuning to a steady humming under ground where bean pulses waken.  Notes, notes, I took many notes all the while for the poem.  When they sprouted I held them in my mouth one at a time.  I sealed my ears with plugs so the only sound I heard was my teeth chewing adzuki thoughts to become myself.  9 thoughts for 9 requests for equilibrium, then more notes for the poem were taken.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


When I was given my first rifle at nine my friend Chris and I went into the woods.  I was a good shot and skinned and cleaned the squirrel in the creek and cooked him over a small fire.  This was the first meal I fully provided myself, my Lord of the Flies afternoon, something to measure against the world. 

How is wilderness memorized into the body?  What lens does it provide?  I went to where the wild is mostly hidden.  At lunch hour I walked around JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia where men in suits poured out of skyscrapers in search of meat. 

It was at busy street corners where I found most of my study participants.  I would ask, “Excuse me sir, on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being thin and creamy, and 5 being cottage cheese, how do you rate your semen?”

One man grabbed my collar to THROW ME against a light pole, “GET OUT OF HERE YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!!”  How thrilling!!  I was told to fuck off, called a faggot a handful of times, told I was SICK, a degenerate.  While all of this is interesting, I was looking for the few men who would step up to the quiet, feral interior.

Finally one man said, “I’m a 3.”
ME:  3, okay.  (writing in my notebook)  So that’s thick and creamy?
MAN:  Yes, no curd, HAHA!!
ME:  Very interesting.
MAN:  Thanks for asking.
ME:  Thanks for answering.

Another man wanted to know if anyone answered 5.  We wondered if someone rating their semen a 5 is unwell, not eating properly.  Semen is fascinating as far as suspension fluids on Earth go, created and produced with extreme pleasure.  The orgasm the flash of light reconnecting to the original proliferation of cells and the construction of sensate flesh, which is a very marvelous thing, being here, all of us.  My notes from the boulevard of quiet, feral interiors became a poem.

Friday, June 7, 2013

6/22/13 TORONTO (Soma)tic Poetry Workshop


p.s. I'm reading with Stuart Ross on June 21st, details at THIS LINK

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#85: Unknown Duration Of Fear

No matter how many human beings are born to overflow the land, we are still careful to touch. We are careful with the touching. On an 8-hour flight I took notes about a man pressed against my arm. There are so many men and I know almost none of them, even this one whose forearm heat mixed with my forearm heat. When he slept, quietly snoring, dreaming, jumping slightly in his seat, looking to recognize me from the dream? From the airport? Who is this? Who? Why who?

People he loved knew him in the past, and would know him again in the future. In the present he slouched against me and none of his loved ones were there to see him breathing the smaller breaths of a body taking down to rest. No matter how many human beings are born to push plants and animals off the planet, we only permit touching strangers in a few locations: crowded subways, buses, airplanes. You do not touch a stranger at the checkout counter, unless it’s an accident, and then you apologize, sorry, say sorry. You cannot touch a stranger at the restaurant. You are not going to hold the stranger’s hand while they cut meat because you will be called insane and asked to leave. If you refuse to leave, if you refuse to stop holding their hand, the police will be called. But if you know them, a little, you can shake their hand Hello and all is well. If you are friends you get a hug. If you are lovers you can taste and smell one another and this is a marvelous thing the world awaits.

When he woke a little startled I waved my turquoise glitter fingernails. Glitter twinkling in lamplight, his eyes caught by glitter, smiling and nodding. What a nice smile a stranger can have. My notebook was small to conceal my notes for the poem, notes on the experience of pressing against a man for 8-hours and to never see him again. Will he remember the glitter? How could he possibly forget? There is no way to prevent the cost of living a day as the loss of that day, closer all the time to no more days. Death pisses me off and I want strangers to know this about me. I will make a sign HONK IF DEATH PISSES YOU OFF and they will honk even though we don’t know one another. There’s just not enough time to know us all. My goal is to relax with you, stranger, to not fear grabbing your hand at the doorway and introducing myself with a poem.