Monday, March 8, 2021

Occult Poetry and (Soma)tic Rituals

MANY THANKS to Sarah Elizabeth Schantz
for inviting me to conduct this workshop
And THANKS to Harris for the SPARKLE flyer

Please register at writesofpassage13@gmail.com 

Class will meet May 22 and 23 
2PM EST
1PM CST
NOON MST
11AM PST

VERY EXCITED AND LOOKING FORWARD
TO CREATING RITUAL AND POEMS WITH YOU















photo is a still from the Norwegian TV show Are You Ready?

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Saturday, February 27, 2021

a (Soma)tic ritual for life after vaccination


Part of my Resurrect Extinct Vibration ritual included listening to extinct animal recordings while walking in a spiral formation inside Walmart stores across the US. Part of the experience was noting how The Walmart Portal had the same items for sale, same music, same lighting, and same smells.

After I am vaccinated and begin to move more freely, my goal is to visit as many different furniture, home improvement, food, clothing, and other retail stores in order to write through their smells---from fruit and wool to vile smelling furniture and building supplies which produce off-gassing.

I want my olfactory to push me into the new poem. How can the nose do the work of touch, of the ears? What memory reinvents a present smell? What actions exist around the present whiff? How is it possible to build a Scent Cave in the middle of a busy department store and go unnoticed? How can dance moves smell their way forward?


Friday, February 19, 2021

9-Poet (Soma)tic Poetry Ritual

To celebrate St. Mark's Poetry Project in NYC during their annual New Years Day Marathon fund drive 9 poets created the ritual together! 

Watch the video of us reading 
our ritual at THIS LINK



2 new poems in The Tower Babel

Very happy to have 2 new poems in 
The Tower Babel Notice Board
Please go to THIS LINK to read them



Monday, February 1, 2021

I am on episode 3 of the Norwegian TV show "Are You Ready?"

For all episodes, please CLICK HERE
My love to Gitte Sætre and Frans Jacobi
More about Are Your Ready? TV CLICK HERE

The poem, "Acclimating To Discomfort Of The System Breaking Beneath Us," is online at Blush Lit Magazine, please CLICK HERE

Thursday, January 28, 2021

MR. SQUID! Thank you Mr. Squid!

What an HONOR to be on MR. SQUID'S poem mixtapes with Lianne La Havas singing a beautiful song! THANK YOU Mr. Squid! 3 (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals and their resulting poems. Please CLICK HERE to read and listen!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

5 Elements Forming A Sixth

Each day this January, I am developing new relationships with natural elements. During the covid pandemic, I am staying in Seattle, so there is plenty of rain. I take a bowl of freshly cooked millet or rice or whatever I made that day out to the park bench where I sit and eat in my raincoat and hat—coating spoonfuls with freshly fallen water, which just dropped 3,000 feet from the sky onto my spoon. Water moving at 18 miles per hour to zero on impact with the grain. It is delicious and cool on the tongue. Each drop recycled for billions of years, rivers of the stuff flowed through veins of dinosaurs, ancient mammals, and our ancestors, from their mouths to ours. The sixth element is the imagination, which designed the other five. 

Another part of this daily (Soma)tic ritual includes watching the sunrise online in a different part of the world each day. Today I watched the sunrise in Tokyo via this outdoor public webcam: 


Eventually, I will watch all of these webcams in a row for 24 hours to witness the sunrise all across the planet, nonstop. The January rituals are the work I am doing to prepare for a larger one called "Ignition Chronicles." 

Two poems resulting from this new ritual are in ISSUE 8 of BLAZING STADIUM magazine. Please CLICK THIS LINK to read them.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction 2020

On Winter Solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest they have been in 400 years. So close, they will look like one in our sky, making it a good opportunity to expand our imaginations by examining growth's responsibilities. 

A night to actualize the vital need for nurturing our creative tools. 

Art is experience reflected upon, and every human being has this in them. 

There are various online telescopic webcams for poets like me under cloud cover. The European Southern Observatory and others will have access to live images. 

While meditating, I will listen to NASA recordings of Jupiter and Saturn simultaneously. 



Sunday, November 22, 2020

Equilibrium Transmission

for Natalie Diaz


Please think of a word; this is the beginning. Write it on your skin with a pen. 


Create space by an open window to sit comfortably with a table and chair. Bring a pitcher of water and a clear drinking glass, and mark the middle of the glass with a pen or tape. To enter this ritual, we will braid our senses for a moment.


Place your face near the glass on the table. Look while listening for the water to reach the mark when poured. Closely listen while watching the water hit it. Do this three times, then do it a fourth time with your eyes closed. 

Now sit back, keeping your eyes closed, listening; every sound you can hear, hold your attention against it. What are these layers you hear? During COVID lockdown, I am in Seattle, Washington, near Elliott Bay. The sounds are a continuous rumbling of train cars, highway traffic, water, birds, sirens in and out, but a steady drone building when taking it all at once. 

Listen until the sounds remind you of a song. Sit with your left ear pointed out the window, right ear pointed at the speaker inside your living space, playing the song. Set the volume so that it is the same as how and what you hear outside. Let the outside world come into concert with the room where your body lives. Lay a piece of juicy apple next to the speakers so that its water molecules absorb the song for you to eat. Enjoy eating music. When listening to the outside world, the song I could hear was "Rhubarb," by Aphex Twin. The song is also known as "#3," and this is it: https://youtu.be/_AWIqXzvX-U


Notebook and pen within reach, locate yourself in the center of the meeting rhythms. Feel yourself become where these two songs mingle; your body's cells are the place where this happens; now, please relax here. Is this not beautiful? How is your breathing? Are you feeling your lungs? Remember the word you wrote on your skin. Remember it now. In your imagination, see yourself slowly writing it, slow the memory down. What does this word mean to you? Pick up your notebook and pen and write. Write for as long as you want. Sit and listen some more. Listen as long as you want before writing again. Do this ritual as many times as you wish. Maybe some days, the outside sounds will resemble different songs.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Ignition Chronicles in Three Parts

Part One: Sunrise Pilgrim

Through a long thread of outdoor webcams situated across the planet, I am preparing to write poems through a continuous sunrise for 24-hours. The plan is to begin by waiting for the Sun to appear outside my door and then continue watching it unfold around the world online until it returns to my door again. I am not interested in extreme sports; this is not about endurance; it is about writing poetry by meditating on our planet's daily intake of our star's energy. It takes nearly 9-minutes for the light leaving the Sun to travel to Earth, bringing with it not only warmth and illumination but essential nutrients for the health of our bones, blood, and immune systems. Ignition of cells in humans, other creatures, and plants is my focus for writing poetry inside Part One's ritual structure.

            The next day after my writing session through continuous sunrise, I will work with a hypnotherapist to search my memory for the first time I saw the Sun as a child. I will then use the video documentation of being placed into the trance to continue my writing. The recall of my earliest contact with our star will expand the experience of watching our planet's sunrise for a full day. 


Part Two: Up Against the Night

Fear of the dark motivated prehistoric human beings to discover and invent ways of holding onto light throughout the night. Today many of us take electricity and light bulbs for granted. Still, for centuries humans found many means to harness different materials to make light: wood, animal fat, beeswax, and paraffin, to name a few. One crucial focus of Part Two of the ritual is a meditation on the various ways I have used or witnessed human-made light so far in my lifetime: reading lamps, ceiling lights, floodlights, emergency exit lights, streetlights, headlights, flashlights, strobe lights, lighthouses, oil lamps, wood stoves, campfires, torches, candles, twinkling Christmas lights, etc.  

            There is an abundance of stories contrasting night and day, but I am more interested in the moments between them; life just before flipping the switch when it is suddenly too dark to read, and how the manufacture of that light has evolved. We have pushed against our ancestors' anxieties and learned not just to be comfortable with nighttime but to revel in it. Who among us is ever the same in the day and night? There is history in muscles opening the door after dark.

            Each evening for a week, as the Sun is setting, I will go for a walk without a flashlight, stopping three times to narrate into a digital recorder what I see, with details on objects that stand out to me, like the texture of a tree limb, or the words on a label of a piece of litter. Later, I will sit in the dark to write while listening to the recording of my walk. When I write, I am not interested in what I narrate in the recording, but why my focus rested on the objects it did. 

            Then by candlelight, I will write about fear of the dark. What were the reasons for our ancestors to be afraid of the night? How have those fears transferred through the centuries? Are they felt in the body to this day? Are horror movies a conduit we employ for restimulating those fears? With each writing session, I want my questions to spur more questions to expand the poems I write.


Part Three: Vocabularies of Light

Marine Biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle says, "Bioluminescence is the most common form of communication on planet Earth." Dr. Earle and other early pioneers in deep-sea exploration have reported that up to 90% of fauna living in these underwater terrains have the capability of producing bioluminescence. These creatures emit light to attract prey, detract from predators, and signal for potential mates. 

            Part Three's focus is on interspecies communication, using my body as a translation tool. Glow in the dark body paint and gels are not bioluminescent since they are not produced by or emanating from my anatomy, but they are my experimental substitute. For a month, I will listen to recordings of different creatures such as wolves, crows, and eagles to mark the spot where their language settles in my flesh. For example, when listening to wolves howl, I will focus on where the sound locates itself in my body, then apply the glowing paint to that spot. While I continue to listen to the wolves, I will observe my newly illuminated body parts in a mirror before writing the poem.

            Dr. Arik Kershenbaum, a zoologist from the University of Cambridge, identifies twenty-one different dialects of wolf calls. Dr. Kershenbaum says, "Understanding the communication of existing social species is essential to uncovering the evolutionary trajectories that led to more complex communication in the past, eventually leading to our own linguistic ability." Keeping with the example of wolves, I will alert friends and share on social media platforms a link to the particular wolf howl I am working with that evening. I will also share the link to a public outdoor webcam where I will appear at a designated time. While we listen to the howling wolves together, I will translate this through my glowing body part for the camera. The interpretation of the howls I present for viewers through my luminous skin is unknown, but I look forward to the performance and writing poetry through the experience.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

21 Grams of Us

for David Buuck


In the early 20th century, an American doctor named Duncan MacDougall conducted experiments with terminally ill patients to find observable traces of a soul leaving a body. His study concluded that 21 Grams of weight left the patients at the time of their deaths. Is it true? It is an exciting idea, regardless of the authenticity of a soul's weight on Earth. 


Two AAA batteries are roughly 21 Grams. I am designing different methods of wearing the batteries on delicate parts of my body to feel the weight better. One day I will wear them as an earring, bound together with thin thread, pulling on my earlobe throughout the day. I will also wear them from my nose, clipped at the apex for balance and more explicit sensation. Finally, I will wear them as a splint on my pinky finger. Wearing them on my finger so that the knuckle cannot bend will only add to the feeling of weight. Write in the notebook, write in the notebook, please write as fast as possible in the notebook explaining nothing.


I do not want to have specific concerns but simply treat it as a small amount of extra weight I will carry around. There is no way to do this ritual without the (Soma)tic fully engaged; the body will remind every part of me what the weight suggests. I want a clean entrance and a wild ride! My boyfriend Tre and I will do a version together where we hang 21 Grams of battery from our cocks, then again looped around a testicle, then write and write and write together.



Thursday, October 15, 2020

Section 7 of Resurrect Extinct Vibration



 When I began writing poems using (Soma)tic poetry rituals, they became shapes. At first I tried to allow the poem to languish on the left margin, but I felt ill. Then I felt anxious while also feeling compelled to move the lines off of the left margin. The more I pushed the words into the page's interior, the better I felt. 

Muses, ghosts, spirits, there is no doubt of their existence to me. On occasion, I have met people who say they do not believe, and I am okay with that. For those who do believe in spirits who guide us in our poems, let me share a couple of things. One morning as I was waking, a voice came to me from the dimension I was about to leave upon waking. The voice said, "You have too many straight lines in your human world. We want to show you the way out of the violence of the line." After that, I never again resisted shaping the poems, and I was eager to allow all the help they wanted to offer. 

Another morning the voice said, "The shape of a poem is the space between us. The poems are the bridge we use to one another." Who are you? "Many" was the answer. Many? I began thinking of all the beautiful people I knew who died, not just grandparents, who I also loved, but the many souls I knew who died of AIDS. Painters, singers, prostitutes, janitors, poets, the many who died were somehow pushing up to my ear, to my hair and face, singing a little song for me to translate. From 1975 to 2005, they allowed me to write most of my poems on the left margin. Since 2005 they have wanted me to explore the broader reasons I find sustenance and strength in the poem's work.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

CROW DREAM-WEAVING

There seem to be more crows in Seattle than people; their caws are wherever you find yourself. Four floors up, I created a small, secured feeding bowl on the ledge outside a window and filled it with grapes, crackers, and unsalted peanuts roasted in their shells. For this ritual, I carry 9 peanuts with me for the day, pausing to talk to them, tell them how I am feeling and thinking. There are actually 18 peanuts since there are two in each shell. I break them in half in the early evening, placing one half of each out for the crows, while I open and eat the other halves. The last round of crows visits the ledge before flying off to the trees for the night. 

 I smell the empty shell halves before sleeping with 9 peanuts in my belly and 9 peanuts in 9 different crow bellies. While drifting off, I imagine the crows sleeping in their group. Many crows visit the ledge throughout the day, but these evening crows coming back to roost are a rowdy, noisy bunch of teenage crows. They are fast, diving into the bowl for the peanuts, chasing one another until they land in the trees to eat. Finally, I imagine connecting 9 silver threads in my stomach to each of the 9 crow stomachs. Then I braid our threads until we are one strong cord. When I wake, I sniff the empty shell halves, then write in my notebook. What were they feeling and thinking? Where were we flying? I know we were.





Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Occult Poetics & (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals ONLINE

I am very excited to work with 
everyone who joins us

Please register at THIS LINK

Many thanks to Cat Tyc and Home School





Saturday, July 25, 2020

FREE (Soma)tic Poetry Ritual Workshop

SUNDAY, August 9th
11 am San Francisco Time
12-noon Denver Time
1 pm Chicago Time
2 pm NYC Time
7 pm London Time

PLEASE REGISTER
AT THIS LINK

I dedicate this workshop to the 
memory of Kevin Killian (1952--2019)

This workshop will focus on turning our homes into a workshop space with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual. We will also discuss a nationwide collaborative project called The Poetry Commons as an extension of both poetry and ritual.

Please read THIS LINK ahead of our August 9th meeting.

---------
While this workshop is FREE, it is also a fundraiser for the Kevin Killian Memorial Scholarship Fund at Naropa's Summer Writing Program. He was an extraordinary poet, novelist, and playwright, and a kind, beautiful soul who is missed by many of us around the world. Kevin invited me to build (Soma)tic poetry rituals with his students several times over the years at CCA. Each time it was exciting to witness his enthusiastic, generous encouragement for his students to push open the possibilities of what it means to be a writer. His work as a writer and teacher is only part of the magical presence that remains of his time with us.

To DONATE please follow these steps:

First, please go to THIS LINK
Then select the Naropa Scholarship Fund in the dropdown menu
Then in the notes section write: "Kevin Killian Summer Writing Program Scholarship"
---------
MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE AT NAROPA FOR THEIR DEDICATION TO
Poetry, Art, Breath, Courage--- Love & Gratitude

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

GELANTINA Festival Madrid & (Soma)tics

It was such an honor to participate
in this year's Gelantina Festival

Please click HERE for translation of my poems

Please click HERE for an interview with me
conducted by Leticia Ybarra