Tuesday, November 23, 2021

there’s nothing here but flesh and bone, there’s nothing more

Curated by Eoin Dara for the 2021 TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, Ireland

The publication is a collection of letters of love and longing, written towards someone or something just out of reach, and includes letters from around the world by Sophia Al-Maria, Claire Biddles, CAConrad, Theodore Kerr, Sekai Machache, Mira Mattar, Mícheál McCann, Nisha Ramayya and Jay G Ying

Please see THIS LINK for details on the publication, as well as the artists and exhibitions

MANY THANKS to Eoin Dara, and to everyone who made the festival possible

This is my letter included in the publication:


Dearest Tre, it is 45 degrees Celsius this afternoon here in the Mojave Desert. I'm missing you, when do you arrive? The intense heat makes things seem further away; how is it doing that? Here is a new poem for you. Wet your finger in your mouth and spell each word onto your chest, and keep that finger moist, my dear!


When you get here, I will introduce you to the 9 animals who are part of my new (Soma)tic poetry ritual. The nocturnal animals include a band of howling coyotes who comb the sand and cactus around the house each night, looking for something delicious to eat. The kangaroo rat is one of my favorite creatures who live in this desert. My binoculars are good enough that we can watch their whiskers and little hands hold sunflower seeds to nibble while balancing on those massive legs, which actually evolved to kick their way out of a rattlesnake's jaws! I had a dream I was breastfeeding a kangaroo rat; it was beautiful! My mother came in the room and screamed, but you calmed her down while I continued to enjoy feeding my friend whose little claws were gently tangled in my chest hair. "Queers can breastfeed?" I nodded to her, "Yes, I used to breastfeed my stuffed animals as a child, didn't you know?" What a strange thing to dream of my mother seeing me feed a small animal with my body and that you had to intervene on my behalf. Queer needs for queer nerves revealing themselves in new ways.

Remember a few years ago, I asked you to cut my arm with your bowie knife, so I could write a poem while observing my cells in their 27-day repair cycle? There is something special about having the body be part of the writing experience, and with these birds and animals in the desert, each one is assigned a spot on my body. For instance, when the glorious quail come bopping into the yard, running across the sand together, I lightly caress my right jawline with my left thumb. Brush it ever so lightly for 30 seconds. Locating an animal on myself is an incredible way to enter the writing. You will LOVE THIS: the kangaroo rat is my left nipple. After the dream, how could it be any other part of me!? The coyotes are the backs of my ears. I can easily imagine that if one of them let me rub the back of their ears, they would like it a lot!

The lizard gets the spot just below my navel. I have no idea why my dear before you ask! You will have plenty of ideas, but hear me say the body needs our intuitive touch, the imagined cartographies of the flesh! Let's rub our bodies when we see creatures; in fact, let's scratch each other's ears when the coyotes howl! Let's do it! I'm ready! The roadrunner is the most aggressive creature who visits, and I rub my spine, all the way up and down I rub it. Chipmunks are my ankles, and I love how they stretch their bodies on the shaded cement patio to cool their bellies while eating peanuts and cherries. One day the roadrunner tried to catch and eat a chipmunk, and I was grateful for my little furry friend's speed. 

Doves are my hands, and I think it is from a television commercial of my childhood about a brand of soap named Dove. It irritates me, but there is nothing I can do about it. If I see doves or even hear them without seeing them, I feel them in my hands. It is not too much to surrender to in the end. And I like the doves and very much enjoy the use of my hands. My gratitude to doves and hands--- the perfect time to say I love you! Solar plexus to solar plexus! Your private forest witch, CAConrad








Friday, November 19, 2021

50th ANNIVERSARY of Diane di Prima's Revolutionary Letters

Please join us for an online event to celebrate this extraordinary book that Ken Chen calls "a time machine toward a better future."

Please go to THIS LINK to register
Please go to THIS LINK to see the new and expanded edition
 
MONDAY, November 22, 2021 
7PM LONDON
2PM NEW YORK
11AM SAN FRANCISCO

Helen Charman, CAConrad, Sophie Lewis, Mira Mattar, Sarah Shin and Francesca Wade

MANY THANKS to Sarah Shin, Silver Press, and London Review Bookshop

FULL MOON Reading (in-person event)

November 19, 2021
Lemington Spa
England
7pm

Please RSVP 
jonathanskin@me.com
MANY THANKS TO JONATHAN SKINNER!


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

GLITTER IN MY WOUNDS

I am honored that Adam Broomberg printed my poem GLITTER IN MY WOUNDS in his new book of photographs.

PLEASE SEE THIS LINK FOR DETAILS

Many thanks to Adam and the publishers at MACK BOOKS

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Herbs and the Touch of Our Ancestors

My new ritual begins on Samhain, 2021, the gateway to winter. At the moment, there are two main goals: (1) To approximate which generation of my family took the most significant step away from the natural cycles of the planet toward the more mechanized Anthropocene. (2) To begin imagining a system of reconnecting to the planet’s rhythm on a daily, if not permanent, basis.

I have been part of larger occult and pagan communities for decades, and I am grateful for the many things I have learned with these friends. Most of the contact with these communities has been attending Lunar and Solstice festivals. My favorite conversations at these gatherings have always been around our everyday magic. What are we living with after the festival?

My ancestry is Danish and Irish, and to begin my reunion, I am focusing on herbs used for healing and prevention of illness. Which generation started having more bottles of pills in the house than healing plants like Henbane, Goosegrass, Boneset, Feverfew, Meadowsweet, and many others? Over the centuries, what was lost that was too valuable to lose, and what have we gained? How to supplant some of the ancient wisdom alongside the new so both humans and the planet can thrive?





Thursday, October 28, 2021

TAROT and POETRY FUNDRAISER

I am offering 3 three-card tarot readings

And 1 phone poetry reading

 

FUNDRAISER FOR THE AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER LESTER SLOAN

A severe storm damaged his archive in storage 


PLEASE VISIT THIS LINK for Kickstarter DETAILS

 

(photo is Lester Sloan and his daughter, the writer Aisha Sabatini Sloan)




Thursday, October 14, 2021

Monday, October 11, 2021

MONDAY October 18th VOCARIUM READING SERIE

Very excited to perform with
DIANE SEUSS

Introduction by 
ARIANA REINES

MONDAY October 18, 2021 
7PM Eastern Time

Harvard University's 
Woodberry Poetry Room

PLEASE CLICK HERE
(to register for this online event)

MANY THANK to Christina Davis for
the invitation to read with Diane Seuss

Sunday, October 10, 2021

My writing on CASTOROCENE

please CLICK HERE

many thanks to George
many thanks to LUX, Scotland



Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Today my new book is officially released

It makes me very happy to introduce AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration
Please visit Wave Books for details:

Please consider purchasing a copy from Open Books at this link:

There are just a handful of poetry-only bookstores on the planet 
To celebrate AMANDA PARADISE I made a chapbook that is free if you purchase a copy of the new book, plus one other book from Open Books 

3 Sample poems from AMANDA PARADISE: 

Thank you for supporting independent poetry! 


New interview with me in Poets and Writers

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Astrology of Onward & the Onward Poet-Salutation

For the 2021 Graduating Class of Sandberg Art Institute

by CAConrad



Thank you for asking me to talk about astrology, and I start by saying that whether it is part of my worldview is not an interesting subject. What is more exciting is seeing how the zodiac frames our lives inside its systems of interpretation. As artists, we often aim our attention to critique culture by studying its mechanisms of control and behavior. Tarot cards are reimagined and reclarified with new decks printed all the time, and we can likewise challenge some of the aspects of astrology for an upgrade.


Capricorn is my Sun Sign, and I relate to many of the things said of us, that we work hard, push ourselves to hone our skills, and consistently improve our practice and, ultimately, our craft. Our symbol is the goat; one of the stars in the constellation, Capricornus, is dedicated to the goat nymph Amalthea who nurtured and suckled the infant Zeus until he rose to power to rule over Mount Olympus. Capricorn is a philosophy of "onward," meaning to move continuously forward, never stopping, never allowing others to come between us and our goals, and this is incredibly helpful for artists. 

Years ago, Black Mountain College poet Jonathan Williams showed me a letter from the poet Robert Creeley, who signed the bottom of the letter, Onward. I remarked to Jonathan about liking this choice of salutation, and he told me that he and Creeley had a conversation about it once. He was looking for the best way of saying what we must do, which is to be on a continuous path forward. It was beautiful, the more I thought about this placement, directly at the end of a letter, encouraging his reader, saying we must not stop!


Over the last four decades, I have known hundreds of poets, painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, and nearly all of them stopped doing their creative work. When I began writing poetry in 1975, I had no idea that my first book would not be published until 2006, nor did I imagine wanting to stop writing because it would take more than thirty years of hard work to reach that point. Onward we go! The uses of astrology often ask about the compatibility of lovers who are other zodiac signs, but what if we choose to see how our astrological traits can be of value to others? If we think of this belief system as a place to build community, then for Capricorn, instead of the competitiveness our horoscopes constantly accuse us of embracing, what if we channel it for change? Know your strengths, and in my case, it means to remind my friends how much their art means to me and not allow them to become former artists who stop making what they love.


We also do not have to quietly settle for definitions and prescriptions from astrologers. Capricorn is a goat with a fishtail--- a mergoat. Astrologers often say our goat upper-body strength helps us climb to the summits we desire, no matter how far away. They also say our fishtail is our weakness, making us unstable in water's subconscious depths. I disagree, having enjoyed balancing within myself these reputed conflicting halves. Much like the Great Sphinx of Egypt, it is not that the human head needs to tame the lion body, but instead needs to become at one and harmonious with the muscular, wild, fierce lion, and this is precisely the same with Capricorn.  We learn to incorporate our deepest feelings, synchronizing with the underwater source of potential power by cultivating trust in our abilities and allowing our strong, forceful fishtail to steer us in the direction we most want our lives to go. Whenever we Capricorns prove astrologers wrong and make our two halves work together, we are unstoppable!  We must not allow the suspicious doubts of others to interfere with the possibilities of our self-actualization, fully embracing all we have to offer our lives and the world.


Try this: replace "lover" in your horoscope with "community." Replace "should" with "could" and place "art" whenever they tell us about the things we need to do. Evaluate your zodiac sign for yourself, questioning everything until you have your personalized appreciation of the stars. Your life and what you want to create are quite possibly beyond the understanding of certain astrologers, so accept that you have a larger lens on the matter and find it yourself. You are now graduating from the Sandberg Art Institute, and it is up to you to love what you learned enough to continue making the things you came to Earth to do. Congratulations, and may you help the world around you thrive along with you!

Friday, July 9, 2021

On the BASILICA HUDSON podcast!!!

PLEASE CLICK HERE

MANY THANKS TO Melissa Auf der Maur, Allison Young, & everyone at Basilica Hudson for having me on your podcast with the amazing Kate Durbin & Cat Tyc!!!



Thursday, June 10, 2021

I was interviewed for the podcast YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Many thanks to Ned Buskirk and everyone 
who makes this podcast possible!



Monday, June 7, 2021

(Soma)tic lecture for Städelschule Fine Art Academy

Due to covid-19 restrictions I am not in Germany as
I had hoped to be, but will instead be giving this talk
via Zoom. Please register at THIS LINK.

Many thanks to the faculty and students at Städelschule
for bringing me. Later this month I will also teach a
series of workshops for the students. And I hope to
visit in person one day in the future.










Thursday, June 3, 2021

(Soma)tic Rituals and Resulting Poems on Yūgen App

Please CLICK HERE for Yūgen App

MANY THANKS to artist Alexander Burenkov!

(I knew the day was coming when my poems would move into technology beyond me. I only have a flip phone, but I'm happy if others can see the app.)