Saturday, January 31, 2009

My favorite time of day

Lostmissing: a public art project

You know when you have a friend who you think will always be there -- no matter what, at least you’ll have that friendship, right? Lostmissing is a public art project about the loss of that relationship, a specific relationship for me -- right now it’s missing. I want to express myself in public space in a way that feels personal and more meaningful than a private expression because I want to connect to other people and other lostmissing stories. This project is a public expression of grief in order to feel hopeful again -- it’s about that random poster you see and you don’t know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden.

I will be putting these posters up everywhere I can think of, and posting photos of the posters in public space, and even making new posters out of those photos and then posting photos of those new posters too. And I’m giving the posters out to people to put them up in their own towns and kitchens and living rooms and bathrooms and galleries and meeting spaces and community centers and bars and workplaces and on the street and on abandoned buildings in bus shelters and on public transportation at shows of all kinds and on bulletin boards and in store windows and in letters and in taxis and on the internet and near dramatic views and tourist attractions and in your own art and wherever else you can think of. I want to make this expression of sadness and anger into something collective, and I want people to add their own lostmissing stories to the posters if they want to, and then I want people to send revised posters or photos of posters in public or private spaces, affixed in any way you find appropriate, and then I’ll post it all on my blog and maybe make a zine or a handmade book or some form of documentation that puts it all together. What do you think?

Feel free to click the images on my blog as I post them, and print out the JPEG and post everywhere… I can also send you hard copies of the posters as I make them, or a PDF of each poster as it arrives -- just let me know, and I’ll make sure to send them your way! You can leave me a message here, or feel free to email or call or write -- all my info is here....

Yay -- I’m so excited!

Lostmissing #1

I'm excited because I have the first poster -- if you want a PDF or print copies to put up anywhere and everywhere, just let me know -- or, you could click the image above, and print that... Here's what it says:

I don’t know if what I feel is a sense of loss or if I feel like you’re already lost I mean I’ve lost you and now I don’t feel that loss. I know it’s too early. I worry about running into you and how I’ll feel, how I’ll feel and how I’ll act that’s different from how I feel. I could smile and say hi and feel my whole body get tense. I could turn away and feel my whole body get tense any hint of energy lost where is my energy lost. I could say something sarcastic and feel that rush from not breathing but all the blood to face. I could spit in your face and more of that rush but what would be your response?

I’ve never spit in anyone’s face, except during sex actually during sex that’s one of the hottest things, spit everywhere spit in my face but this would be different. I could scream at the top of my lungs why do they say top of my lungs or maybe it does make sense, head forward neck into chest up. I could scream as loud as loud as possible, head forward neck into chest up, scream what the fuck do you think you’re doing? What the fuck do you think you’re doing? What the fuck do you think you’re doing?

I could say how dare you and then spit in your face, head back and then. I could say how dare you and then spit in your face and then lick it off you like a dog. Maybe if I was a dog then you would bend over and pet me and then I could bite your hand and it would be okay. What if I see you and the wind blows in my face and my hair gets messed up? I’m not used to that, with this new style that moves around more. My hair looks good today, but I need stronger hair gel. Stronger hair gel that I’m not allergic to. Maybe I’ll see you and I’ll start sneezing.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Just clouds

I’ve decided not to worry about all my limitations, the way I envision so many layers to this LOSTMISSING project and then when I can’t do one layer because I don’t have the materials or the other because it hurts my body too much I think I can’t start but really none of that matters what matters is putting all the feeling out into the world, feeling through words on the page and that I can do. I mean that I can do when I have just a little more energy, right now my face clouds over as soon as I try to think of the words, everything was in my head last night before bed and then this morning when I got up or maybe that was the middle of the night but now it’s just clouds.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Juice: a report-back from New York

Gina went to a bar where they had a one-drink minimum, she didn't want any alcohol so she said to the bartender: do you have any juice?

And the bartender replied: yes, we have vodka, orange, cranberry, pineapple, and Red Bull.

Everything I wanted to write about, and more

I just threw a box of pistachios down the trash chute, not a full box maybe half no a third or possibly just a quarter maybe 20 pistachios I was doing okay with the pistachios I mean they were kind of digesting for a few weeks every few days I would have maybe 10 pistachios an attempt to get a healthy fat into my diet and it was mostly okay except sometimes they would give me gas or my stomach would bloat but it wasn’t too bad. Today I need escape, escape from this headache from this exhaustion from all the things I want to write about from pistachios no not from pistachios I ate a pistachio thinking maybe this will help. Immediately my stomach bloated, I ate a second one, confusion in my head not confusion about the pistachio but confusion from the pistachio that allergy feeling, a third one because they tasted good but then I realized oh, I have to throw these out right away so I don’t eat any more.

Usually I wait for someone to come over, offer them pistachios -- organic pistachios, even -- but I can feel my stomach clenching up it’s time to get rid of these pistachios. Maybe it’s something about how they get rancid after the box is open for a while or probably they’re already rancid but my body develops an intolerance so fast oh right, I almost forgot I was getting ready to steam broccoli when I decided to try a pistachio, protein to nourish while waiting for the broccoli but no, maybe the trash chute will enjoy the pistachios or the plastic garbage bin at the bottom or the elevator when the maintenance person drags the plastic bins into the elevator which now smells like rotten beer or maybe someone later going through the garbage, right I should’ve put them outside what was I thinking I was thinking I can’t have these pistachios here for one moment longer or I’ll hurt myself with them.

I hate the way these things work. Today I wanted to write about Derek, I wanted to write how maybe he cut me out of my life I mean his life because it was so easy because we don’t have many friends in common because our daily hours barely intersect because our paths through the city don’t cross I hate that it was so easy I mean easy to accomplish and somehow I need to get that across not in an ambush but the messages I want to put out in the world when I feel a little better. I wanted to write about disability and direct action or about my body and my relationship to the risks that just used to feel like breathing not breathing but thinking and taking risks that are important risks that now feel like impossibilities and how do get back to a place of empowerment, I wanted to write about my mother and the games she plays today on the phone she said she would definitely have created the account but her investor said it would make her bankrupt by the time she was 78 she said I know I said that before I’m just repeating myself but the difference is that now I’m saying that he didn’t specify why it was just something he thought and it made me uncomfortable if he had said it would be no problem then of course I would’ve created the account right away. But my mother said she would create the account over two years ago and when I talked to her financial planner then he said fine, no problem, and then she said what? But I don’t want to write about my mother.

I want to write about this headache where did this headache come from either it started after I ate the flax oil it tasted so good usually when something tastes so good it means I’m going to be allergic, either it was the flax oil or it was the amino acids that I ran out of so I was taking another kind that gave me digestive problems the worst was two nights ago when I woke up from all the pain especially when turned to my left side the pressure on different organs I guess and today I finally got the amino acids that really work except maybe that’s where this headache comes from. I don’t want to talk about this headache. Oh right, the broccoli -- I wanted to steam the broccoli. I can talk about that, but I would rather just eat it.

What does it mean to have an empty stomach? Because that’s when you’re supposed to take the amino acids, but what happens if your stomach isn’t empty? Actually, it doesn’t say empty stomach, it says in between meals or with fruit or vegetable snack. How long does in between last, I mean if one meal is 20 minutes before the next one is that 20 minutes in between or is that one meal? I try to keep an hour in between when I take the amino acids, so it’s one half hour after and one half hour before, except for at the beginning of the day when it’s at the beginning of the day, 12 hours after my last meal maybe I should take all the amino acids right then or not all but 3 to 6 capsules once or twice daily between meals except not between meals but right then although for optimal results it may be necessary to double or triple the suggested dosage so 6 to 12 capsules once or twice daily between meals or 9 to 18 capsules once or twice daily between meals but wait, I’ve been taking three doses of four capsules, between meals, but it says once or twice daily. Is it okay to multiply the times, or just the capsules?

At least the broccoli is steaming, a vegetable snack, I haven’t taken the amino acids yet I mean I took them a few hours ago so it seems too early to take more, especially if it’s the amino acids that gave me the headache the headache I’m trying to escape I wanted to write about the last book I was reading, except that was when I wanted to like it more and then I didn’t like it that much so I didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to write about craigslist or not quite craigslist because remember I banned myself until February that was in November or December but now February is right around the corner so maybe I can think of something creative for craigslist but it’s hard to be creative when my sleep has gotten so much worse. I’m so much more exhausted and everything is an edge or a headache a helmet on my head but it doesn’t protect me when I’m trying and then if I don’t try it’s just exhaustion, slightly more comforting but I didn’t want to write about exhaustion.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An interview on the Rumpus -- and, a rare reading in the East Bay tonight!

Can I quote myself for a moment -- here's an excerpt from the interview:

Complacency isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. I’m interested in accountability and I’m interested in building a culture of defiance. I think it’s perfectly fine if people choose conventional life choices but it’s important to figure out a way to do the least damage rather than the most. We all make horrible compromises in order to survive in this monstrous world but the point is to make the fewest compromises possible, not to push everyone aside in order to grab any privilege we can get our hands on and then police the borders to keep out those who have less access. If the status quo is a rabid, militaristic, imperialist project camouflaged by the illusion of everyday normalcy, then yes, it’s definitely a problem if you’re a willful part of it.

Oh, and here are the details for the reading:

So Many Ways to Sleep Badly in BERKELEY
Moe's Books
(with Thea Hillman)
Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 p.m.
2476 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley CA 94704
(510) 849-2087

Monday, January 26, 2009

Shadows and longing

It’s 7 pm but it feels like midnight so maybe I’ll turn on midnight music the same as morning music but a different flow with the lights outside against dark sky, why is it that whenever I feel the worst at home is when I start dancing it’s because I have nothing else to lose. Oh, dancing -- it’s always everything that’s missing from my life in that moment until the pain, oh dancing oh dancing oh anything would be worth it just to get here to get here and just lose it to get here and to stay until dark sky becomes light even if just inside oh. So hard to find something that lets me escape, into and out of body, because everything leads in that one or two directions of pain and exhaustion. Today I bought a chandelier, something I’ve wanted for at least seven or eight years and I found one at this used furniture store that wasn’t too expensive except now I think wait, maybe it was too expensive maybe I shouldn’t be buying a chandelier but hopefully when I get someone to go over there with me and a box and then bring it back and hang it up then maybe I can escape into that light I don’t mind the light in my apartment as much until people come over and then it’s all shadows and I become self-conscious about how it might be accentuated my flaws. Now I’m always worrying about things like that and I wonder if that’s always been the case or if it’s something about aging and worrying more or it’s always been the case and it’s something about aging or worrying more. But shadows and longing, there are always shadows and longing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That random poster you see and you don’t know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden

One of my rules is that when I wake up in the middle of the night, and by middle of the night we’re talking anytime before 1 or 2 PM, when I wake up in the middle of the night I shouldn’t look at the clock but wait shouldn’t doesn’t sound like a rule okay I won’t look at the clock. But then here I am, looking at the clock and it’s just after 11 AM the danger zone when I think maybe I slept something like eight hours and normal people sleep for eight hours and I know I’m not normal I mean I need more rest but maybe that was rest maybe I’m wired because I actually feel good not because my brain is in overdrive and as soon as I stand up I’ll fall apart. Or maybe not as soon, but soon, after I start to get ready or start to eat or start to go outside or start to think maybe I should go outside or maybe even go outside but probably before, before will be when I’m falling apart or worse actually, breaking apart, torn to shreds just because I’m trying to do something more than breathe or even just breathe.

Okay breathe, breathe, breathe, I still can’t tell. Yes, when I pull the eye mask down it’s already headache territory how can I function but am I going to sleep anyway if I stay in bed, now is the time when I actually have my art project about Derek all figured out, the project that will help me to engage and not feel so shut down. Here’s how it goes: it’s a lost missing project, a series of posters that are kind of like missing posters but they’re lost missing posters, and each one is a collage of some sort with this story about Derek or our relationship or how I’m feeling about our relationship or how I’m feeling about him, and then when I’m done with them I make tons of copies and I put them up everywhere. Neither of us will be named, necessarily, but I’m sure he’ll see them somewhere although that’s not the point -- the point is that I want to express myself and how I felt about our relationship and how I feel about his betrayal, to express myself in public space in a way that feels personal and also more meaningful like I can connect to other people and other lost missing stories. A public expression of grief and loss and coming together to hold beauty that random poster you see and you don’t know what it means but your eyes get bright all the sudden. So then I’ll make tons of copies of the posters, and give them to people to put them up their own towns and kitchens and workplaces and on the street and in letters and wherever, especially people who I’m close to now or people who I relate to and who don’t feel lost or missing to me, but also everyone really -- I want to make this expression of sadness and anger into something collective, and I want people to add their own lost missing stories to the posters if they want to, and then I want people to send revised posters or photos of posters wheatpasted or tacked up or taped in public or private spaces, and then I’ll post it all on my blog and maybe make a zine and throughout this time I’ll send them to Derek too, even though he probably won’t read them I’ll send them to him anyway.

Okay, so I told you the project, now I can go back to bed, and when I get up I’m better than I have been I mean I don’t feel totally shut down but I also don’t have nearly enough energy to do this project yet, except to write about it which is also part of the project and that makes me feel more present. I still don’t know how I’ll react when I see Derek, I mean eventually I’ll run into him somewhere and probably he’ll either try to ignore me or he’ll say hi and try to keep walking, and usually in a situation like that I would just act friendly and feel horrible, but in this situation I feel like I have to express my anger in some way, to show him that it’s not okay for him to shut me out like that like he’s in a cult and I’m not playing by their rules or something, 16 years of a relationship that always felt like the relationship that would always be there and now this. 16 years and he shuts me out like I’m the other side of a door he’s ready to close I’m just getting in the way and maybe the saddest part or there are lots of saddest parts but one of the saddest parts is that I know our relationship has meant as much to him as it has to me. I know that.

When I get grand and performance-arty, which is at least at some point every day or every day when I have some kind of burst of energy which I guess isn’t every day but most days, most days I think of something like this or not quite like this because this is the one I thought of today or over the last few days it’s developed into a bottle that I find, a liquor bottle, a small one with maybe a bright pink liquid inside -- I thought of red paint for permanence but blood seems too overdone, but the important part is that the bottle, recognizably a liquor bottle, would say ACCOUNTABILITY. And then, when I see Derek, I can run over and hand him a bottle of ACCOUNTABILITY. Or, even more dramatic, I could say: Derek, you forgot something! And then I pull it out of a paper bag, hold it in front of his face so he can read the letters, and then drop it to the ground so that it stains both of our clothes, or I guess it wouldn’t stain his clothes unless it really was paint, since most of his pants are black, maybe just staining my clothes and I don’t like to get stains in my clothes so then today I thought wait, actually I could send it to him in the mail but the problem with that is that I don’t get to see his expression. I still don’t know how he’s feeling, and I hate that almost as much as anything else.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Before I was sleeping relatively well, and feeling awful, so I guess the good thing about sleeping horribly for the last three days is that now I realize that before I was feeling better. Mainly, I was able to go on relatively long walks and even to Buena Vista Park without destroying myself. And -- wait, now I can’t remember and.

And. And. Let me refresh my not-quite-memory. Before I was feeling awful, but now I realize I was feeling better, I mean still awful really awful just as awful as I thought but better than I feel now -- that’s what I mean. But somehow I can’t remember what was better. Oh -- I didn’t have a sore throat. And: my body didn’t feel as fragile. What do I mean by fragile? I mean not as edgy, physically edgy like I could turn and hurt myself, just from turning that is -- of course, I could always turn and hurt myself, but now the possibility feels more present, more than possibility actually because it’s the way there are these little pricks and pulls on the sides of my neck like the tendons are more pronounced I can feel the structure and the structure is pain, little bruises on the tops of my shoulders, the burning on the bottoms of my forearms, wrists.

What’s strange about writing is that simultaneously I feel more tension which leads to pain, but also my head clears and then I feel like maybe there’s a way out of this pain, there goes the top of the arch of my right foot, burning, but somehow it’s no longer so overwhelming, remember to breathe, assess the situation -- is this a good way to sit or am I too far forward? Okay, now my body is more on my sit bones, burning on the sides of chest, tension in jaw, burning along the collarbone into shoulders, but what is it that feels better -- maybe it feels better because I’m paying attention I mean the pain isn’t making me pay attention I’m just scanning it, okay better go before it gets worse.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm reading this evening, yes this evening...

Here are the details:

So Many Ways to Sleep Badly RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO
Books Inc. in the Castro
with Thea Hillman, author of Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word)
Thursday, January 22, 7:30 p.m.
2275 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 864-6777

More flowers, yay for more flowers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Something she can't take away

These days I’m so tired that I don’t even feel like writing, what’s the point of writing when I feel so tired I mean usually I push through the exhaustion because the writing feels so important, even or maybe especially the writing about exhaustion, but right now I just don’t feel like it and so I’m wondering about the difference. Maybe I’m more tired or less inspired or less inspired because I’m more tired, but the good news is that I just listened to this feldenkrais CD about the nose or equalizing the breathing and now everything seems brighter, the text on the screen is sharper and maybe I even have more energy. Although I don’t know what to do with this energy, and I guess that means I’m depressed. Maybe I want to write about my mother, I mean I’m still trying to get her to create this account for me, and she’s still trying to tell me she’s not going to do it. The latest idea is that it’ll make her bankrupt by the time she’s 78,supposedly her financial planners said that and she’s not sure why but it’s what they said, right?

Here we are on the phone, and suddenly she’s asking me when we’re going to talk again. I thought we were talking now, didn’t we arrange this time to talk? She says I’m distracted because I’m watching the entertainment for the inauguration, so when can we talk again?

It seems like it was a longtime ago when I didn’t want anything from my mother, I mean when I didn’t want anything from my parents at all, or at least nothing that tied me to them. That was before all of this pain and exhaustion, or before all of this pain and exhaustion became so overwhelming, or before all of this pain and exhaustion became so overwhelming that I didn’t know how I could function. I mean I don’t know. And so, in knowing this, knowing that I don’t know how I can function on a daily basis, knowing that my father’s dead and my mother inherited all of his money, knowing all this I’ve asked my mother to create this account to pay my basic expenses. I guess it’s been two years since we started having these discussions, since my mother started saying yes and then no and then maybe and then yes and then no. Of course there’s a part of me that wants to give up, to go back to things that might be familiar or find other options, and there’s another part of me that doesn’t want to give up until I get something, something substantial, something substantial and permanent, something permanent from my mother who never gave me anything that felt like safety.

Of course there’s a part of me that thinks it’s crazy to imagine that my mother might give me something that helps me to dream, crazy because she’s the problem the root and who am I kidding when I act like the problem can be part of the solution? Except that still I want something, even if I get just a part of what I want maybe it feels worth it, even if meanwhile she’s waiting for my grandmother to die she brings it up in our conversation cut short by the inauguration entertainment, remember my mother is in DC she says she thought of going out but it’s too crowded to drive, she went to the subway but it was overwhelming so she came home. On the radio, it says there’s a celebration at 14th and U, a historic black neighborhood the site of tensions during the riots in 1968. My mother lives at 14th and P, formerly a black neighborhood now a white yuppie enclave like 14th and U but anyway she’s waiting for my grandmother to die. But she’s not going to die anytime soon, my mother says—there’s nothing seriously wrong with her -- and no one’s going to get any money from her until she dies.

Meanwhile, it’s my mother who has the money -- my mother who I’m still waiting for -- I’m pretty sure she’ll never be accountable for sexually abusing me, she’ll probably never acknowledge the full range of her or my father’s abuse, but at least if she creates this account then she’s given me something other than violence that she can’t take away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh, look -- everything has changed, even the street signs...

(Formerly Bush Street, that is)

Yes just around the corner

Sometimes you scan the CD rack in the morning, looking for something that maybe isn’t there or maybe it’s this and then yes, yes it’s this, yes it’s the way sometimes techno can give you so much it’s the way metal goes through all this pounding bouncing shaking and still it’s like a butterfly and maybe that’s you and you look at the title of this song, and no way did Miss Adam X of the graffiti rave underground call this song Birth and then there’s Grasshopper, and even the gunshot of Filter Beast gives way to a rattle and that rattle becomes a trampoline on the trampoline is a hailstorm melting into heartbeat over everything else and over everything else and over.

Wait, but this is how you know someone can mix, really mix because just as heartbeat trampoline hailstorm rattle gunshot is not quite fading out there’s the jumpy bumpy clumpy march shaking up the stairs with percussion more wood and hands than metal and oh those stairs those stairs and yes those stairs yes. But wait again, wait, maybe that wasn’t even the mix because then what, what on earth, what it’s like suddenly a celebration interrupts, someone’s inflating that giant balloon you can’t quite figure out that balloon that’s you and the sounds are all tinny and light but jumping yes jumping and maybe this is too much thinking about music this early in the day I’m getting too wired I need to figure out the rest of my nourishment yes just around the corner in the kitchen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Look -- I never even imagined that this plant would flower...

Queens in the world of men

The voice software has decided that every time there is a pause, it's time to insert the word "him" him him him, makes me think of something Daphne said last night that sounded like "I know nothing about queens in the world of men," and I said that's the story of my life, but actually she said something else.

And then Hilary says, "Perhaps the protocol is to make gay tv so clean that it bores people away from being gay." But she really said that.

How I'm feeling

I look down at my leg on the stretching mat him and I can’t tell how exactly it relates to me, I mean I know it’s my leg but what does it feel like exactly can I feel it? No it is me, part of me, I decide to rub the palm of my hand up and down, to feel more, the hairs rising up with fingers, but then my hand starts to hurt so I stop and look at my hand. The fingers look shorter than usual, my forearm looks small and the hairs darker than I expect. The most familiar thing is the way the palms of my hands become all red and speckled with the heat. Something itches, I scratch it, yes I can feel it but maybe most of my feeling is in my head except actually my head doesn’t feel any more me than the rest of me it’s more clogged, everything kind of floats or sinks and I can’t really tell the difference. It’s like this: sirens outside, oh, I look over. The world, sun setting into gray pinkish gray not really pretty the smog but the plant in front of the window I like the way different shapes and shades of green arch or point towards sky and I can follow to the tip of the leaves in front of glass in front of air in front of buildings and somehow that helps to clear my head a bit.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Radio documentary on the New Jersey 7

Thanks to Puck Lo for this great program on the New Jersey 7 (also known as the New Jersey 4, plus the three additional defendants) -- some of the material comes from a series of interviews I did with members of the New Jersey 7 + activists around the case...

A delicious recording from Montréal -- and hopefully it will get you excited enough to come out to my upcoming readings if you're in the Bay Area

Thanks to QueerCorps and CKUT-Montréal, here's a wonderful recording of my reading and talk at McGill University in November -- I start about 15 minutes into the recording...

And here are my upcoming Bay Area readings -- I'm reading with the delightful Thea Hillman, author of Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word):

So Many Ways to Sleep Badly RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO
Books Inc. in the Castro
(with Thea Hillman)
Thursday, January 22nd, 7:30 p.m.
2275 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 864-6777

So Many Ways to Sleep Badly in BERKELEY
Moe's Books
(with Thea Hillman)
Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 p.m.
2476 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley CA 94704
(510) 849-2087

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Writing without reading without writing -- and you, my dear

It’s harder to read without writing than to write without reading, that’s what I’m thinking my reviewer’s hands keep grabbing the pen. Or, just for memory, as in: I want to remember this line. Too many lines to remember, a compliment to the writing but remember I’m trying to practice reading without writing. Unless it’s writing without reading. Reading without you. I miss you, even while I’m reading. Even while I’m writing without reading, which isn’t really possible but it hurts less.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A lovely new coat of pink -- and new decoration, yay for decoration!

Everything drains out

Sometimes I’m just startled by how fragile I am, I mean first I’m surprised that I suddenly have all this energy, but that always happens. No, sometimes I don’t have any energy, I’m just acting like I have energy but then sometimes I actually feel okay, except I’m not okay. I’m even telling Ralowe: I seem like I have a lot of energy, but actually I’m a mess – I mean, sometimes I act like I have a lot of energy, even when I feel like I’m a mess, but right now I’m not even acting – I mean I feel like I have a lot of energy, but then as soon as I leave I won’t even be able to function.

But then, when I leave, and suddenly I’m so exhausted I can hardly function, I mean in the elevator I’m talking to someone, he wants to know what I think about the exhibit and then when we get outside we continue talking and then he says it’s nice to meet you, and then I walk a few steps and it’s like everything drains out of me. I can’t even believe that I’m out in the world I feel so awful and sad and luckily the bus is a block away I mean the bus stop is a block away but then the bus is a block away from the bus stop and when I sit in the back I could just fall asleep right then at first I decide why not but my apartment is only a 10 block ride so I guess I should stay awake.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh right, that shoe -- that shoe in 2009...

Somewhere I would never go

Part of me wishes I could always stay here, where the trees are spaceships leaning into the stars I look up and the moon is a spotlight really a spotlight and I can rest. I mean I could rest, if I didn’t have to get back down the hill this probably straight guy sucking my cock is camping here but that wouldn’t help with the rest I don’t see the stars when he says Jerry Garcia built Golden Gate Park he’s the one who made it a safe place. Not this park anyway. He’s wearing two pairs of pants, I’m not sure if that’s to keep him pure or to keep something hidden, maybe the pot he’s selling but what’s the difference between purity and hiding anyway? But I see the stars before, and then after, not usually so many stars because of the fog oh I also like the fog and I actually figure out a way to walk down the hill that isn’t so steep I really hope my body doesn’t hurt as much as usual until it does, but then I get in bed quickly and in the morning I’m back to the overwhelm of my limitations: I want to go to the Oscar Grant protest but I don’t know if I have enough energy, by the time I get to Oakland I might already be too exhausted to function and anyway I can’t go unless someone comes with me because I need someone to carry my bag, food and water, but I didn’t ask anyone ahead of time because I didn’t know if I would have enough energy. I still don’t know. I call Randy anyway, just in case he’s heading home because home is right by the BART headquarters which is where the protest is going. I think I need more friends who are actively engaged with their disabilities so that I don’t feel so lost in my own world of pain, that’s what I’m thinking before I’m eating the rice which makes me nauseous, and then putting on hair gel which maybe dries my eyes out.

The good news is that my hair looks great, I like this new style it’s a style I didn’t think would look good on me but it does, except when I look in the mirror at Goodwill and my hair looks kind of frizzy, maybe the lighting or maybe more gel I might be allergic to. The other good news is that I’m wearing the plaid pants I haven’t worn in so long because I didn’t bring them on my tour, some days they’re uncomfortable and tight another way I don’t have control of my body but today they fit just right and as I’m walking outside I think this would be a good time to run into Derek, if I’m going to run into Derek, even though I probably wouldn’t run into him around here.

Yes I want to go back to that place where the trees are spaceships, leaning into the stars, spaceships because of the way the wind has formed them but then also the way their branches are trimmed and then the hill ends at the top without foliage and that’s where I’m eating the little bit of food I could squeeze into a container in my pocket, no the hip sack didn’t work but this jacket fits a tiny bottle of water and a tiny container of food and that helps. At first there are only two guys smoking crack, one guy smoking a cigarette while leaning against a tree, and another guy bending down to expose his naked ass, saying hi! Hi! Really the best part about Buena Vista is the air and the angles between trees and city and sky, anyway – I’m almost relieved there’s nothing to distract me until this guy brings me down then uphill to his campsite and hunger and he does offer me water twice, why do I worry that there’s something in the water I only pretend to drink it.

Anyway I’d rather stay there with the moon and spaceships, not here, leaning against my kitchen table with my heart beating fast and then I have to shit again. Okay I’m going to call him, call him when I know he’s home 8 pm he’s always around and it’s that place between chest and neck which gets so tense it’s not just breathing it’s the way everything becomes suffocation and then it’s his voicemail again. Hi darling – oh, there’s a lot of static on my phone. Anyway, I’m kind of getting the idea that you don’t want to talk to me, I guess I would wonder why you wouldn’t tell me that. I guess there’s a slight chance that you’re at vipassana, but that’s probably not that likely. So I’d like it if you would call me. Hope you’re doing well. Love you.

This message is harder to transcribe, because of all the spaces where I’m not saying anything or where my voice goes from jumbled and tense to bigger and more relaxed, but also because I forgot to record it, I mean I listen to it again before I click send and I notice I say I would wonder instead of I’m wondering and I think about transcribing it then but then I wait. Afterwards, I do feel better – maybe I need to call Derek more often, just so I’ll feel better. I’m telling Grant all these ideas for things I might and might not want to do, like writing Derek all these letters that somehow look like what I want to say, since Derek might not read them, and maybe adding directions on the outside: burn this one. Recycle this one. Tear this one to shreds. I can’t figure out how many letters would be best – maybe 16 for 16 years, but somehow that doesn’t sound like enough.

Derek hasn’t told me that he doesn’t want to talk to me, and yes it would be better if he at least said something but even then I’m not sure I would respect his wish because I don’t feel like he’s respecting me. On any level at all. I mean, I wouldn’t try to talk to him but I would need some way to express myself so that I wouldn’t just collapse internally which means externally too and the irony of all of this is that it all started because I wanted to tell Derek that I still felt resentful for that five year period where he was an alcoholic disaster who lied about everything and of course he could’ve said that makes a lot of sense, thank you for telling me that I want to find a way for you to feel more secure in our relationship and maybe I even believed he would say that but instead he got enraged and now I have even less of an opportunity to express my anger.

More ideas: I could show up somewhere where I know Derek will be, somewhere I would never go and Derek would know that but no one else would notice. I would get all dressed up in something dramatic, and then just walk by. Probably that would be too exhausting, but I’m trying to figure out ways not to feel silenced, it doesn’t seem like Derek is going to listen to me but I still want to feel like I’m speaking. Even if I’m speaking in ways that are somehow symbolic or without words, I want to think of ways that I can represent our relationship and what it’s come to. What it means to me. What it has meant to me.

I used to think of throwing an anniversary party, 10 years especially, and then 15 sounded fun too, or sweet 16, but then I started to think about what that would mean and it sounded too exhausting and I’m not sure if I even mentioned it to Derek. We should’ve celebrated in some way, I’m not sure that we ever celebrated.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tweakers and me at 1 a.m.

Just when I’m thinking that at least thinking about Derek didn’t keep me up tonight, well that’s when I’m up thinking about Derek, I mean first I’m just thinking that I wasn’t thinking about him but then oh no I’m wired and I can’t even tell you what I’m thinking since I’m trying to fall back asleep again and by the time I write this I will hopefully have succeeded yay for success but there’s no way to tell you exactly what happens in bed unless I write from bed but that would make me way more wired so no writing in bed no writing until now when I’m too tired really, thinking about going to Buena Vista Park just because I was thinking about it earlier I mean because there’s a heat wave but then earlier I was thinking maybe I would go kind of early like 10 pm I mean early for me but now I’ll just go there and think why are there all these tweakers here, tweakers and me, tweakers and me at 1 am maybe that’s the story of my life. Maybe tonight’s the night to try out the hip sack I bought just for cruising, so I can carry food and water, I’m not saying fanny pack because that sounds awful and maybe it will hurt my back or hips or something anyway but maybe I’ll get dressed and see what it feels like it’s still warm outside and you know what they say about warm nights and cruising.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yes I'm feeling really great, really great and absolutely wonderful -- oh, and really great, I mean really...

It’s so hot today that I’m sitting on the fire escape in nothing but boxers not even socks, facing away from the sun because otherwise I’m worried my face will get burnt although I always worry my face will get burnt but anyway I’m facing away from the sun so I’ll worry less. And there’s that beer bottle on the fire escape of one of the apartments in the building next door, fourth or no fifth floor – wait, is that a six-story building, I guess that makes sense since I’m just above it. Anyway I’m looking at that beer bottle that’s been out there for at least a year, maybe two and glass is the most recyclable material but it won’t biodegrade just sitting out there in the sun, maybe if there was an ocean but not just the sun. I wonder if I should rescue it – I’d have to climb down my fire escape until I got to the bottom or no I could just take the elevator and go through the trash room to the back, then climb a fence and go six stories up to rescue that bottle, maybe we could be friends.

But I don’t even like beer bottles, or beer, and I guess it’s slightly possible that it’s a glass water bottle there are bottles like that when I was in New York I was drinking water out of a glass bottle in the subway and this guy was looking at me like I was one of those white kids who thought I could get away with it except no it was just water I mean it came in a glass bottle they’re catching onto that trend faster in New York the way trends work although maybe not tinted brown -- people don’t like thinking their water might be brown. Anyway I could rescue the beer bottle and then climb down six floors, scale the fence again a wooden fence like a fence for a yard but there’s no yard so maybe it wouldn’t hurt too much or would it be harder? It’s not very tall, have I ever climbed a fence like that? Soon enough I would be back in the area behind my building, tempting to call it a garden from the distance but up close it’s all shards of glass and trash and weeds, through the trash area I mean the place where the trash is stored in plastic bins until I’m waiting for the elevator again and then upstairs with my new friend.

Monday, January 12, 2009

He's holding me there

This happens every night now: just when I’m getting too exhausted to function, I start thinking about Derek and it’s like I’m rehearsing conversations in my head and it all just circles around and around because I don’t know what he’s thinking at all and I hate that. Tonight is a little better, because when I take the homeopathic remedy my head clears a bit and then I’m thinking I should leave Derek a voicemail, just so I say what I want, except that I can’t figure out exactly what that is. At first I think I want to ask how he wants to proceed with our relationship, or something like that, but then I realize I’m doing that thing that I hate – putting it on his terms, as if I’ve done something wrong. Facilitating his ability to speak, when he’s silencing me. Then I start to crash again, but now it’s all in my head I just want to leave a message so I don’t have to think about it so much. But what if he answers – I mean his phone is always off when he goes to bed, and he goes to bed at 9 pm, but what if he accidentally leaves it on, and he answers and then I’m a complete mess and I can’t even talk I mean I guess he would be a mess too, but that wouldn’t make it better.

Then I’m thinking about what would happen if he answered, I would say: sorry I woke you, I was just calling to leave a message. Maybe he’d say: don’t call me again. And I’d say: don’t talk to me like that. Do you see what I mean? At least now I know what I want to say, I’ve finally figured it out on a piece of paper so I can call tomorrow, when I’m not such a mess. But what if I’m more of a mess tomorrow? I just want to get it over with, so then I call and it rings so many more times than I expected, every new ring is like an inner tube around my chest and finally it’s Derek’s voice, softer and more friendly than his usual message I’m wondering if that’s something he practiced. I say: hi darling, how are you? I sent you a note, but I’m not sure if you got it – I’m wondering how you’re doing, and if you ever read my letter. I guess I’m feeling really nervous – I have a lot of fear about your anger from our previous conversations, which I don’t really think was justified by anything I said or did. And then I also feel a sense of loss about our relationship, since for so long it’s been the one relationship I felt I could count on—and I think you’ve felt similarly – so anyway, I want to know what you’re thinking. So call me -- hope you’re doing well. Love you.

I’m really tense while I’m speaking, almost mumbling but when I listen it’s clear, and then as soon as I say the part about a sense of loss than my voice gets bigger and more cheery almost because I said what I want, and when I get off the phone I feel kind of amazing, I mean totally wired and it’s 3 am not the best time to be wired but I get dressed anyway and go outside for tweaker realness of course I’m thinking maybe I’ll find someone to have sex with, someone to fuck is what I’m thinking it’s that desire mixed with anger, maybe that’s what most people feel all the time, I mean most of these people I run into in these spaces where I have sex. But not on my walks, I actually walk much further than usual, up to the top of the hill and I’m looking down and then to the left and oh these views is it possible to live somewhere just because of the views I love these views! Then I’m standing outside of Cala Foods, wondering if I should go inside because it’s open but I can’t think of anything I want there, so then I walk back downhill and my body’s hurting but when I get inside I still feel sexual, in a different way that’s calmer and maybe related to exercise the way the blood flows and then I’m on the phone sex line talking to this guy who says I love you which is hilarious and I love it, then he says I love your cock, which isn’t so exciting, so I say tell me you love me tell me you love me. I love you, he says. I love you.

I used to hate it when tricks would say I love you, I mean the tricks who would pay me and so much of that was about illusion not fantasy they really wanted it to be true but it was more fun this one time when this guy said relax it’s just a fantasy say you love me and that was perfect. I love you. I love you. And then I’m standing up to shoot my come out the window, every other window outside is dark, shooting into the dark seven floors up and I feel amazing, laughing with this guy on the phone who likes talking about barebacking or maybe it’s me who likes talking about barebacking that’s what the phone sex line is about more or less and it used to freak me out when someone said breed me or whatever but now I think it’s kind of the safer option, right? I mean safer on the phone. So I go there, into the porn talk and tragic masculinity and it’s fine as long as I can let it go, let it go with this laughter and he’s up early while I’m up late it’s approaching 5 am I have to go to bed and the strange thing is that when I wake up I actually feel better, better than I’ve felt in a while I guess because I figured out how to tell Derek what I wanted, who knows if he’ll even listen to the message. I don’t check my voicemail until later in the day because I don’t want to ruin my mood and then there are five messages and my body gets all clenched each time there’s a new voice, none of the voices is Derek and then I wonder if he’s decided not to talk to me at all, decided I’m not worth contacting or whatever some AA formula of cutting people off and that’s when I crash, mostly from the tension of anticipation and the sense of loss again, my closest friendship of 16 going on 17 years all crumpled into Derek’s fist he’s holding me there.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yes, darling, it's that time...

More textures, underwater

The best part of the movie is sitting in the bathroom and staring at the stall walls, the shadow of the recessed lighting shining down, what’s the difference between brushed steel and stainless steel? And my pink-orange coat, the contrasting texture between weave and the way the threads twist at places, is that called worsted, worsted wool? There must be a better word for pink-orange, especially when illuminated by recessed lighting against steel. I turn around and see green paint dripping onto the holder for toilet seat covers, also stainless steel, another name. Of course the paint is no longer dripping but left to drip still dripping in the texture and lines. Back at the mirror, oh no there’s this one angle where my face looks so square and harsh it’s everything that I’m fleeing, I guess there was a lot in the movie about aging, that place in the mid-30s where now I’m wondering in the mirror.

In the lobby, I’m studying more textures: the walls beyond stucco, a similar green, a sign on the water fountain, also stainless steel or brushed steel or brushed stainless steel, it says: recycle plastic cups in black receptacle beneath the water fountain. But the receptacle is grey. I look back at the sign, notice that black is actually crossed off. I think this new satiny steel goes with the renovation, but the carpet, a loud movie theater lobby pattern that you can’t forget or remember and it’s stained everywhere, I mean everywhere. I look up to see if the guy working is hot, full beard, worn out or maybe it’s just the lighting and I’m tired again. Maybe I was tired the whole time, depression I guess the way I feel like I’m underwater or underground no underground sounds too glamorous. How sex is rarely the answer but it always might be, that’s what I thought when I left the house.

Friday, January 09, 2009

That's all him because of me when he loses it that’s me

What I mean when I say that desire is so situational for me is that here I am at the Nob Hill Theatre, not because I’m horny but just because it’s somewhere to go late at night for a few minutes to get out of the house and then get home, there must be somewhere better to go but yes I’m drifting back to my old routine I haven’t figured anything else out yet, okay? Anyway, there’s one guy who comes in right after me and rushes to the bathroom, gaunt face under big hooded sweatshirt, maybe he’s shooting some speed is what I’m thinking, and then other than that there’s no one else except two guys in neighboring booths with the doors locked, the booths in the corner with a glory hole, and I’m trying to see through the crack. Eventually I can see this guy’s cock, striped sweater, stomach bulging a bit, up to his face, stubble, short hair, kind of cute I’m trying to study the details of his face maybe he’s Asian why am I noting race through a crack in a doorway maybe that’s how cracks in doorways work is he looking at me maybe he’s looking at me, soft eyes. But then when I look again he’s looking down towards the glory hole and I tap on the door softly he doesn’t respond and then there I am in the hallway on my knees so I can get a better look, when before I didn’t even know if I was horny, which I guess meant I wasn’t horny, but now I’m staring at his cock sticking practically straight out not large or small I guess he’s teasing the guy next door but when I look up at his eyes again I do think he’s teasing me, what do I have to lose, I tap harder on the door, still no response, and then I say let me in so I can watch, as if I’m not watching already, and then I stand when I hear the door unlock, pull it open and he reaches right for my head so he can kiss me, loose lips and liquor I mean usually when people say loose lips they mean talking but these are really loose I mean they feel rubbery.

I’m rubbing his belly right above cock and he pulls away with it, maybe his hand is on my neck or maybe that’s later but anyway I’m down to my knees that familiar place and he’s pumping fast, yes, and then the guy next door yells what the fuck? What the fuck? Like an angry straight guy the threat of violence but I kind of feel like I’m to blame, really it’s the space that’s to blame because he’s on the other side of a wall if he was just here with us what would matter we could take turns, although then he’s turning the doorknob and I’m kind of glad it’s locked except then I’m worried he’s going to take out a gun and shoot me through the glory hole or maybe a knife it’s true that this was what I wanted, not the gun or knife just this guy pumping my throat what I was craving, which meant not in this other guy’s throat, at least in this particular situation but now someone has joined the other guy and he’s calmer, sounds like they’re watching and I start to choke, not on the guy’s cock it’s ‘cause there’s too much saliva my own saliva so I pull away and look up, actually I’m already looking up it’s more fun that way and he starts jerking in my face, pushing my head smoky fingers to his balls, shaved and prickly, not exactly what I want but I go there anyway but then I say I want to eat your come I can’t help giving in to the pornography of that particular statement and the way it holds my desire not quite hostage but maybe. And then he’s fucking my face again I’m reaching up underneath his sweater for chest and armpits and neck and he’s moaning I’m going slow then fast, doing that thing where I’m just pulling on head and looking up, then all the way down even though I’m thinking I’m going to pay this time for what the fuck, pay for taking this guy’s cock away from what the fuck like this guy is just his cock this is what gay culture makes us. Even though this guy with the cock is the one who made the decision, his decision to make I’m thinking this will be the time when I’ll get an STD at least he didn’t shoot me. The way all this can exist in my head even while eye contact with desire hoping hoping for yes his come yes his come what is it about his come it’s not the liquid it’s that feeling that goes through his body into mine that desperate drive that moment from groan to grunt that shake and hold shiver quiver that connection that’s all him because of me when he loses it that’s me I’m there because of him and then it happens, I was hoping for down my throat but he pulls back just at the moment into my mouth, that’s usually where the sore throat starts but I swallow and then hold my mouth around his dick until he pulls back.

Up to give him a hug, kiss, and then I’m sitting down on the chair, pants down to show off my dick in my hand, the moment when it looks huge almost like something I’m holding, where did that come from? Next door what the fuck has pushed through a Giants jacket, bright orange I wouldn’t know that meant Giants except Randy says something about his jacket orange with black stripes at the collar and old women say is that? Just because of the collar, the rest is vintage fabric gray pink. Before I was thinking I would give our neighbors a show, my come right through the glory hole and this guy is kind of pointing to the jacket, he doesn’t say what the fuck he shrugs his shoulders, says they were watching the whole time. I wonder what they look like, but mostly I wonder if this guy is going to stay with me until I come he’s still here now, rubbing the back of my head so softly it’s the most beautiful gesture I can imagine in this moment although I can’t quite say why, my dick still in my hand I’m pulling in both directions and then spit, jerk a bit faster and there’s my come he says wow that’s a lot of come and I look down, it is a lot of come, it’s because I wait so long. I pull my pants back so it doesn’t get on my belt, this one’s fabric not plastic and then I stand up, kiss those liquor lips not as loose now maybe, he says why do they make these rooms so small? Only one person, I say—and they need a paper towel dispenser. He says want me to get you a paper towel – I’m dressed. That’s okay, I say – I’ll just wipe it on my thighs, and that’s what I start to do but don’t want to get it all over and then I remember there’s tissue in the front pockets of this jacket and I pull some out with a flourish, it’s actually a big soft rectangular tissue not toilet paper like I expected, where did I get this big soft tissue?

In the hall we hug goodbye, he says thanks, and then I check my hair in the bathroom mirror but head out quickly so I don’t run into what the fuck, distracted now anyway and maybe he’s even having a better time. Somehow I imagine he doesn’t know exactly what I look like, even though he was staring right at me and the lights were on and when I go outside I wonder why we can’t have spaces I’m just in my body again forgetting about the danger and anger and awkwardness just right now wanting more spaces like this with 40 people at once, 40 people crowded around each other in every combination of madness, spaces where everyone is ready to get off or get each other off or just hug I’m just wondering about the density, so lonely when it’s only two or three or four people of course 40 can be lonely too but I wonder if soon these places will disappear, even the sudden moments of excitement or connection within the larger lack, and then there will just be that lack.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Oscar Grant protests continue into the night

As of now, the police are still chasing people through the streets of downtown Oakland. Of course, the cops pulled one of their ridiculous "crowd control" strategies by closing the Fruitvale BART station during the protest, right before rush hour so that more people couldn't arrive. Then there was a breakaway march from the main rally that turned militant – cops fired tear gas, protesters smashed cars and laid face down in the middle of the street to show how Grant was shot – there’s a slideshow and video footage from corporate KTVU, a Fox affiliate. Unfortunately the footage may not bode well for people who may be charged with protest-related crimes, but it is still inspiring.

A note to Derek...

In case you can't read it, it says:

Hi darling --

How are you? The tour was amazing but now I’m a mess. Of course I wonder about you and whether I’ll run into you and how I feel and I hate that. Did you ever read my letter? I miss you.

(three hearts)

(oh -- and what's written on the yellow folder is unrelated)

Oscar Grant, murdered on New Year's

On New Year’s Day, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant, an unarmed 23-year-old black man, as Grant was restrained and lying face down on the ground at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, CA. Thanks to bystander Katrina Vargas and others, footage of the murder has emerged, but even establishment San Francisco Chronicle columnists Matier and Ross acknowledge that it’s unlikely that any charges will be filed.

It took me a while to watch this footage, fearing that it would be too traumatic, but I decided to try anyway and actually it’s quite shaky due to the scene, but it’s useful to watch the end of this footage to see the videographer, Katrina Vargas, explaining the scene. Tomorrow there is a protest at the Fruitvale BART station from 3 pm to 8 pm – unfortunately I’ll be unable to go, since I’m doing a reading at the SF Main Library at 6 pm — if anyone else manages to go to the protest, I’d be curious to hear about it (or maybe I’ll see you at the reading).

I remember the shooting of another unarmed black man, Jerrold Hall, in 1992, just after I first moved to San Francisco, and the resulting protests. The main slogan at the time was “Justice for Jerrold Hall,” a familiar tactic for police accountability but a dead-end as far as I’m concerned. Not only will the police never be accountable, but even if the officers held responsible were punished, how would that in any way enact justice? Oscar Grant, Jerrold Hall, and countless others would still be dead and in the ground. It’s amazing that transit cops are even allowed to carry guns, not that Oakland city cops don’t mishandle similar cases all the time. What would justice mean, exactly, other than the dismantling of this entire hideous criminal legal system that allows a cop to shoot an unarmed person at point blank range— pick a cop, any cop – pick a target, any person of color (except, maybe, those occasionally in power) – happy new year!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The audacity of false hope

I’m finding it harder and harder to understand progressive and radical-identified people who continually voice their hopes for the Obama administration, hopes that I can’t see as anything other than delusional. Like, for example, the hope that Obama will do something to halt genocidal Israeli policies, even though his policies on Israel are to the right of every recent administration. Or the hope that he’ll do something about health care, other than giving more money to the insurance companies destroying everyone’s lives. Or the hope that he’ll end the US occupation of Iraq in any substantive way, unless perhaps he runs out of troops because he sends them all to Afghanistan or other US incursions. With the Obama administration filled with Zionist crazies, it’s quite possible that US troops might be fighting alongside their Israeli counterparts.

I don’t have a problem if someone looks at Obama’s actual positions, and says maybe he won’t appoint a right-wing anti-choice homophobe to the Supreme Court, which quite possibly might distinguish him from his predecessor. Unless, of course, Rick Warren is looking for a job…

Speaking of Rick Warren, there’s the argument voiced by delusional progressives and radicals that Obama is “bridging the divide”—the divide between the right wing and the Democratic establishment, I guess, or between Obama’s funders and the “progressives” who voted for him. Bridging the divide means never doing anything on principle, which is certainly what we’ve seen from the Democratic Congress over the last few years. More of the same would be an understatement.

So it continues to stun me when I hear all of this hope about Obama, when will it end? I mean, it hasn’t ended yet, even after he’s appointed every Clinton administration lackey he can get his hands on to key places in his administration – oh, right, he’s looking for people with experience, yes experience… Just like the Wall Street bailout couldn’t help but involve the same people siphoning billions away from the US public, right – they’ve got experience! This false hope didn’t end when Obama decided to support offshore drilling, “clean coal” and potential use of the nuclear option (energy or otherwise). This false hope didn’t even end when Obama decided to keep CIA war criminal Robert Gates on as Secretary of Defense – oh, right, well you do need experience with war crimes to work as Secretary Of Defense!

And now, when Obama refuses to say anything about the Israeli annihilation of Gaza, because apparently “you can’t have two Presidents at once” (of course Dick Cheney knows that – oh, wait, where is Dick Cheney’s position in the new administration?), Obama supporters say wait until January 20, everything will change on January 20! Meanwhile, former Congresswoman and Green party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney headed out on a boat to try and deliver relief supplies to the Gaza Strip – sounds like experience to me. But wait – she may not have experience in embezzlement, war crimes, or Clintonian economics -- next!

When a new friend recently mentioned to me that going to DC for this inauguration would feel so different from previous years, I assumed this friend would be protesting – yes, I thought, the protests will be different because the protesters will be more rigorous in their analysis, more committed to their defiance! But then, of course, I realized this friend was talking about celebrating the inauguration. What fascinates me is the way that Obama continues to move to the right without pressure from the right – and people on the left keep clapping their hands with all the audacity they can muster.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hilary Goldberg is listening...

Here's what she says:

I will listen for sense and love and justice. Somewhere between the rockets and death and body counts and ground troops. Somewhere next to the supplies in this humanitarian blood bath. Here's your bullet wound have a band aid. There goes your house and your family, have a gallon of water.

Feministe is discussing So Many Ways...

If you're in the mood, feel free to add your thoughts to the discussion...

I'm reading this Wednesday...

Here are the details:

Radar Reading Series
Wednesday, January 7, 6 p.m.
San Francisco Main Library
Latino/Hispanic Reading Room
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Featuring Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Ryan Kamstra, Rhani Remedes and Marya Taylor & hosted by Michelle Tea

A hat of pain

Meanwhile, I’m in the shower trying to figure out whether I want to go to Blow Buddies, I guess my newest idea is that I shouldn’t go if I’m already exhausted, just to see if I might get energy, because that doesn’t work I just end up walking around in circles feeling worse. But then, once I decide that no, I shouldn’t go, then I get more energy, so that’s when I think wait, maybe I should go.

The truth is that I’m trying not to get back into my old patterns in San Francisco, trying to stay engaged with this sense that I can create the spaces and places I really want or at least find new opportunities for connection that lightness in the head but it’s hard when I’m so exhausted I can barely function, that’s the thing I forget when I actually have energy: that I’m not just overwhelmed by the lack of inspiration in my engagement with the outside world, I’m overwhelmed by just about anything. For example, I just thought wait, let me take off his hat, it’s kind of hurting my head, and then I realized oh, I’m not wearing a hat.

A hat of pain, the surface of my brain no not my brain but what’s on top of it: skin and skull. I guess I’ve gotten to the point when the plane is kicking in, kicking me in the head because I don’t think the effects of the smoke machine would last this long although really when I get so sensitive it’s hard to figure out whether I’m tired because I did too much or whether I’m tired because I didn’t do enough or whether I’m just tired, because I know I’m going to be tired, do you see what I’m saying? Yesterday, or maybe it was in bed earlier today, I thought wait, if the smoke machine is going to affect me this much, then I might as well just go out. Which doesn’t exactly make sense, except when everything affects me this much – last night I went on a walk and it was so hard to avoid everyone’s Saturday night smoking that the air didn’t even feel that feel that fresh, in spite of the chill we’re getting here in San Francisco now – I didn’t used to wear wool here at all, but now it makes sense. Although it doesn’t help my jaw, why does my jaw hurt so much today – I hope it isn’t because of the feldenkrais CD, another disaster in the making I hate when everything becomes a disaster -- that’s me, walking up the hill and I’m a disaster. Strange when it clears for a few moments of talking with Randy at the Thai restaurant where I’m only getting steamed vegetables, talking about Montréal and how it was the city on my tour that really intrigued me, especially the dynamics between Francophone and Anglophone cultures, like people kept telling me that there was no word in French for queer, and so, in the gay village, which is mostly Francophone, people generally didn’t understand the concept of queer, which sounded so strange to me – I mean, sure, if you were talking about a language/culture barrier in another country, but so extreme between queer/gay people in the same city?

Maybe it’s the air that gave me this energy, or music in the restaurant, or the people speaking French at the table near us and that’s what made me think of Montréal, or even the steamed vegetables or just Randy’s company, he says wait have we gone to a restaurant before? Probably not, because I can’t eat anywhere. But then we leave the restaurant and I’m exhausted again, just like that or actually just before we leave the restaurant I’m putting on my coat and that’s when I realize I’m exhausted again. Sometimes it’s confusing when those windows open and close so fast, I mean I guess it’s better to have the windows because at least then I know everything’s not sealed shut.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So hideous it's gorgeous, right? (My new teacup, that is)

A more subtle tactic

It’s official – I’ve reached the point where my head is filled with too much to function, too much cloudiness that makes the day something to overcome. All I want to do is read, but reading hurts my body. Even listening to the feldenkrais cd hurts my body, I have to do it a little bit at a time—the theme of this CD is mouth and jaw, it’s starting to get repetitive which is one of the things feldenkrais is supposed to avoid, repetitive motion, so I need another CD. It was the smoke machine that put me over the edge, not the plane the fucking smoke machine I have this fantasy of going to every bar that contains a smoke machine with an axe in my hand and smashing each one to pieces, of course this would hurt my hands and then there might be an electrical explosion that would cause way more smoke and so I need a more subtle tactic. Ideas?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A request from a someone in prison...

Sometimes I get letters from people in prison who read my Maximumrocknroll column -- who knew that Maximumrocknroll got circulated so widely in prison? In any case, I'm not the best penpal, and this person in particular asked if I could spread the word -- a delightful queeny prisoner in a Colorado men's prison, originally from Florida and tired of the "rednecks and homophobes." If you do end up writing, tell Richie I sent along the address (and let me know if you plan to -- the more letters the better, I would say...) Here's the address:

Richie McBee #05628-017
USP Florence
P.O. Box 7000
Florence, CO 81226

You know the cycle

But back to what helps and what hurts, there’s this funny habit I have of pissing into Aquafina bottles in the middle of the night yes that’s product placement it’s because of the wide mouths as they say so much easier to aim, right? But anyway, it’s a trick that Derek suggested, and after making fun of him for years for the jars of piss underneath his bed I thought why not try it, I mean anything is worth trying in order to avert my brain kicking in on that cold bright walk to the bathroom, now it’s been a few years and I guess it’s important to relentlessly explore the mundane with the hopes of eventually overcoming it. But now with the back pain I wonder if it would be better to get up, I mean I start wondering when the back pain hits and then that kicks in my brain, you know the cycle. Of course the shades don’t help, the shades that don’t even block out the light I mean they let so much in on the sides that it’s almost more annoying than before but of course I’m also thinking about Derek because it’s January now I’m back in San Francisco this small town with too much fashion and ridiculously overcrowded buses I keep worrying that I’ll run into Derek in January when we’re allowed to talk and I wonder whether that will help or hurt.

A wonderful review from Stereotypd...

Formerly known as Out in Asheville... thank you, Tye!


Sometimes they ask you, when you’re talking about insomnia, if the thoughts circling in your brain make sense and they do, they do make sense, and that’s part of the problem, like when I realize that when he said do you read people by feeling the textures he actually meant is that how I read body language, which was totally true in this case I was touching him on the chest, softly, here and there and yes studying the textures of his shirt in this case a lot of textures to study but also chest and breathing wondering if he would touch me too so that I would know, even though his original message to me said by the way, nipple-play I just looked it up, but knowing the original flirtation and combining this with the way he looked at me and then lips to lips, my lips to his at first but what I realize in bed is this thing about reading and how I immediately thought he meant read someone’s identity or presence in the world and no I don’t do that by studying fabrics or at least not with my hands, right? Funny that I said no I read people right away, when really I can’t read people’s attraction at all I mean I go back and forth so many times and it’s taken so long just to be able to maybe think it might happen outside those public sexual spaces that I know so well, always craving the connection and despising the limitations, repeat.

Friday, January 02, 2009

My head, at least it opens now

Sometimes it’s so hard to figure out what helps and what hurts, of course I’ve written about this before but not yet today, waking up to Danny Tenaglia too dark for first thing in the morning but it’s one of those days when 5 pm is first thing in the morning at least outside it’s not dark yet, in New York I wouldn’t even have seen dusk. Anyway Danny Tenaglia is too dark for 5 pm like I’m still at a club or maybe that’s the darkness in my head, saline spray but does that dry out my nostrils do you see what I mean? I know this is the day when even the normal people we hear so much about might get up at 5 pm and think everything is too dark, but really, do we need to hear about these normal people when we already hear so much?

Maybe today I won’t take amino acids, it’s a good thing not to take supplements every day but I’ve taken amino acids every day for several months they help with hypoglycemia and sleep but today I feel calm at least until I start to get sad, sad from this darkness in my head so I think not today without amino acids what if I don’t sleep waking up at 5 pm is way way better than not sleeping. And then when I take the amino acids, six capsules in my hand, I feel like I’m taking a drug, I guess because I was trying not to take them but why? I mean they help. But then I’m worried that my dick is shrinking into my balls because of the amino acids, really I’m probably just noticing the way this organ changes shape so many times in every day but something made me suddenly pay attention to this phenomenon about a month ago it could’ve been just waking up in colder weather maybe I’m feeling more energy there because of desire maybe or maybe it’s the amino acids.

Okay, so the amino acids help, or at least I think they help.The ceramic knife helps, helps because it’s easier to chop vegetables but I’ve only had the ceramic knife for a few days. Putting away the toilet paper helps, because then it’s not sitting out in the hallway—it’s not a good decoration for the hallway. Walking backwards helps, that’s a technique from feldenkrais because then when you walk forwards there’s more of a bounce. I’m focusing on these small things, because it’s easier to see when small things help there’s not as much potential for blowback or backlash or whatever the word is that I’m looking for.

The feldenkrais practitioner in New York said it’s important to stop before the pain because otherwise it’s too late. Okay, I’m going to stretch – I’ll be right back. But then I’m on the dance floor, this is downstairs after I’ve been upstairs and then downstairs and upstairs and then downstairs and you get the point, downstairs is where the music is better but the crowd is all straight, I don’t know how exactly this formation occurred but there are a few exceptions, the best place is the balcony where you can hear the music from downstairs but you don’t have to stare at this guy posing for you and think is he, no he’s not, is he, until he grabs the girl who maybe he’s with, just to make sure, but this is later, you’re on the edge which is the place you like unless the center is bursting but here you’re giving the edge and the place where the pain starts is exactly the place where you finally feel like your body is working with the beat you can fall or fly the same thing so you figure maybe just a few more minutes, maybe?

It would be okay except for the smoke machine, you know and don’t know that – smoke machines, actually, since there’s one upstairs too where the air is so thick with ‘70s nostalgia and gay sweat but you like the back room which unfortunately isn’t a back room but it’s in the back, you like it because of everyone modeling their fashion it’s kind of festive because of new years and also because of this particular ‘70s revivalist club night, you didn’t realize they actually call themselves revivalists until you read the last announcement, which brought you here anyway. Anyway, the fashion – there was a point where you hated fashion more, even while studying it – there’s no reason to miss clocking someone’s look, okay, and today there’s a lot to clock, that’s for sure.

In the bathroom there’s this one particular glamour girl with hair like rolled sculpture I’m not sure what you call that style exactly but it’s popular with a certain kind of ‘50s Chicana femininity not sure if she’s Chicana but in that clubby place between genders with a blouse that’s all straps and what you like is that you both appreciate her look and you wouldn’t mind making out with her. There was that time when masculinity became so dominant in my attractions that it became disconcerting maybe that time has passed and later you tell her she looks gorgeous, of course you always would have said that, lady to lady, but by this point you’ve already seen her asking several people if they need anything and you’re not looking for that particular type of rush to your head, especially while running from room to room to avoid the smoke machines or hints of pot, downstairs is better because the doors are open but no one’s smoking outside, a smoking room upstairs with a glass door that somehow seems to work, of course you don’t go inside to find out how.

But the looks, whether it’s a faerie type of jester creature or beekeeper, or the ‘70s Castro clone look on 20-something fashionistas you’re especially staring at that one guy and what is it about stubble that turns you on now it never did before, or the person with the metal glamour dots all over one side of his face, another with maybe a sailor’s no captain’s cap and a lot of hair to study, that’s for sure, what you don’t like are the snotty glances that sometimes accompany the cruisiest stares, right before or right after and you’re thinking there’s a certain kind of injustice in a place like this that doesn’t provide a back room, I mean it’s not like the music is good enough for transcendence so we need that other kind of connection, okay? I mean we’d need it anyway, so when I’m leaving after remembering leave when I’m feeling good, right, when I’m feeling good, before the crash, and so downstairs they throw on something that’s right out of my danciest past it hints at the ‘70s but more in that early-‘90s way when the funk got integrated into the house and you grooved, for a second you remember Love Garage and the style-dyke club kids you used to see around, here there are no dykes except maybe one couple upstairs, but the point is the song yes the song you will let it accompany you in the coat check line.

I’m thinking the one thing really missing is that I didn’t make out with anyone, even on the dance floor when I tried to dance with someone they kind of acted like I wasn’t there, didn’t try it for long upstairs with the fags anyway because it was harder to avoid the smoke machine but downstairs it briefly got faggier on the sidelines it was still hard to dance with people in the way you mimic each others moves for a minute it worked with this couple doing the bounce into each other’s last step yes the bounce gave a certain clubbiness not exactly present here I mean present but not in the dancing and oh the glory of that surge in motion emotion it’s when my body really works. But just then someone on his way out hugs me and says happy new year, a kiss on the lips do I know him I can’t tell if we’re supposed to make out I hold his hand briefly and then he’s on his way, kind of cute maybe he’s the ballet dancer that went out with Derek a while back and he’s just saying bye or maybe he was cruising me earlier or now and he said at least I should that girl before I head home, anyway it’s lovely and I’m still in line, in line because the coat check here is very slow in spite of the three dollars per item, that’s six dollars for me with the purse but I figured it was okay since I didn’t pay to get in, the guest list I wasn’t on worked for me anyway so then six dollars, why not?

Anyway I’m waiting in line and someone’s smoking right in the entryway why not go outside I want to go up and say something but you never know how people will react, it gets me so angry either way so instead I’m doing feldenkrais movements, still waiting in line it hasn’t moved oh wait finally and then someone comes up to me and says how was your book tour?

Oh my book tour went really well – he’s cute really cute but I’m not sure how I know him until I realize he’s the guy who sent me a cruisy message on MySpace quite direct in saying let’s make out or even more yes there was more suggested I said yes yes but then I never heard from him again. Until now, and I realize he was one of the guys on the dance floor who I was trying to dance with but he was dancing with his maybe-boyfriend but it turns out friend, his first real friend in San Francisco standing here now I say should we make out? To both of them, before I figure out it’s his friend, not boyfriend or date or whatever, but then we do make out – the two of us and now the night is perfect, talking in between tongues and biting necks, mostly me biting his neck he asks me if I like polyester, the texture of his pants he doesn’t want me to rub his head too much his hair gets frizzy he’ll be out for a few more hours I like these details and his lips and the texture of his shirt and I think he asks me if I read people by feeling the textures I say no I read people right when I see them, and I laugh so it doesn’t sound shady but also just because it makes me laugh. Later he says something about all this flannel, more textures, I’m actually not sure it’s flannel but certainly that look that ‘70s realness who was it on the East Coast who said something about flannel and I thought really flannel I had thought about the masculine plaids but then all these flannel fashionistas hit me right in a row.

But really if there’s texture it’s the texture of his shirt and grabbing his head lower right by neck so I don’t mess up his hair so short I didn’t think it would get messed up grabbing his ass to pull him closer yes closer he’s rubbing my legs I even put his hand on my crotch as I’m getting hard why not but he and I like the two fags in line who are watching us then he asks me if I want to dance even though I’m on my way out and then we dance together I like it when I can focus entirely on another person’s movements even when it becomes awkward I notice he likes when I lean back into his arms for the fucking on the dance floor thing a bit cheesy but so sensual especially when I glance into the mirror to see his textures behind mine, the contrast of his black clothes against my pink his arms around me and of course I like making out again I could do this all night but he goes upstairs and I go outside to try to get a cab it’s a hard night to get a cab and then back home to listen to a feldenkrais cd for jaw and mouth I think it really helps right feldenkrais helps and then there’s bed, waking up for those wired moments I always resist looking at the clock I think that helps but then some days, when it’s 5 pm, I wonder. Probably I needed the sleep, or whatever it was, something like sleep except my head doesn’t open when I wake up there's Danny Tenaglia and then that's too dark so Claude VonStroke and the amino acids but still everything's dark until I realize there's just a little bit of the stronger dose of the homeopathic remedy that says may be needed as booster maybe now maybe now is when it will help and it does it opens me up to the world and my body more like I could swim in the air, maybe.