Friday, December 12

Just thought I would share with the world a song that has meant a lot to me, "Shackles" by Mary Mary. These girls have stuck with me through many ups and downs and turn-arounds. So many shackles have been broken in my life, and I dance every day!
(apologies for the ad intro...)

Sunday, December 7

Sexual Programming and Laws

I wrote this on a whim and a rant, and it will appear in a journal about gender.

Sexual Programming and the Law: contemplating same-sex marriage and transgender rights  

or my unfortunately aborted career as a drag queen

There is an undercurrent of sexual energy that society structures to produce healthy, engaged individuals and sustain good institutions. What do you really desire when you are getting a law degree? A wife and kids? What do you really desire when you are competing in a sport? To be immediately muscular and attractive? The fulfillment of this desire is not necessarily immediate. If one has had their libido redirected into one pursuit which is sufficient outlet for them or has had a particularly bad experience with intimacy, there are roles to fill as well. What do you really desire when committing to celibacy for a religious purpose? Probably some sort of eschatological union which promises the kind of bliss you feel when you kneel before the priest to receive communion or worship. Society has built roles and avenues for sexual desire to be pursued in conjunction with things which build society and serve a greater purpose.

If you do not line up with these defined roles, you face greater challenges. Today I was contemplating whether or not I could make it as a drag queen. I would enjoy it for sure; it would be rigorous and I would have to give up my other pursuits, because as my friend said about professional drag, “Those bitches will eat you alive!” So I might be forced into a refined, highly artistic poverty. Not much cash to go around, but plenty of sequins. In a materialist sense, I would become pretty useless. But I could imagine my desire growing even in that poverty, even in that uselessness outside of the people in the audience to whom I would bring joy and entertainment and affirmation. I would sit in front of my dressing mirror, as if that mirror were an impenetrable wall, and throw myself at it with curses and crescendos in glory and get nowhere, but loving every useless second. And if I were in a place where that was the only outlet for my desire, I would take it and pursue it passionately.

I don’t blame straight people for being uncomfortable with gay people. I don’t think they immediately judge gays, I don’t think that they even immediately think that it is a sin. I think that straight people don’t understand the sexual program, and it is bothersome because their passions are set on a certain course in a different direction. In the same way a drag queen wouldn’t get along with the stiffs above ground, running around in their grey, straight, money filled worlds. She would build up her defenses, and try of course to lure them in with her charms, an effervescent evangelist. My inner drag queen pictures them being jealous of her freedom to pursue what she absolutely adores, and see their lives as just as futile as her own. The truth is that I have been raised to direct my desire toward providing for a family, and so the lifestyles of these stiffs appeals to me if it includes a partner I love and a family to provide for.

The question I ask my inner drag queen, and my inner above ground money-loving stiff is can we build a queer sexual program that fits in and contributes to society in concrete, meaningful ways? The answer is clearly yes, and the proof is in the queer people all around us who are contributing in wonderful ways to their communities, partners and families. But sometimes desires and experiences point us down different paths, and to different, less clear outlets for our lusting. An illustration that comes to mind is an anecdote my psychologist told me of the artist grants towns offer to attract gay men, and the single apartments they plan for in the midst of residential areas, because gay artists gentrify the area and raise property values. Creating art, which in a cold materialist view could be seen as pretty useless, becomes in a strange twist of modern capitalism an outlet for frustrated, single gay men who are brought to town to raise property values and ultimately taxes which will largely go to fund public schooling for children these men will never bear or raise.

Couldn’t we provide a legal framework that encourages gay people to build families and give in more concrete ways? Would not legalizing same sex marriage create a sexual program for gay people in this society which would direct them towards productive, stable lives that contribute to things above ground in concrete ways? Wouldn’t allowing same sex adoption, of course with all of the safeguards currently in place around heterosexual adoption, give gay kids growing up now something to look forward to, plan for, and build their lives around which will immediately contribute to society? Isn’t raising a healthy next generation inherently good? I think we need all the help we can get. Give orphans to gays to raise, and make sure that gays grow up stable and with outlets for their desire that leave the option of living entirely above ground available. And make sure that our transgender citizens have the same opportunities and privileges.

It is time that our laws help us all build a better society. Making same sex marriage illegal will lead to the same underground outlets that illegalizing marijuana created. Except this isn’t a mild drug that is being illegalized, this is love which has the potential to build enduring, supererogatory partnerships.

If this course seems like a “slippery slope”, it may well be a slippery slope for some. That is, it may well be a challenge to a straight person’s sexual programming. It may be uncomfortable and deeply disturbing even. But try to put my inner drag queen into a lifetime of wearing a suit and she would tell you it is just as disturbing. It may make a straight person feel some sexual programming dysmorphia, (body dysmorphia is the term used to describe how a transgender person feels when they are not comfortable in their body). It may make a straight person feel uncomfortable about his marriage or hopes for marriage, but for a queer person that discomfort is known territory.

So here is some advice from a drag queen who has some experience living in a straight world. Remember that it isn’t the law that helps you be straight, it isn’t even the years of tradition, it is your own libido honey, and nobody can take that away from you. The purpose of the law is not to erode family structures, but is rather trying to provide the same family structures for more people. Couples therapists will tell you that gay people have the same hopes when creating a family as straight people, and all of the same relationship issues and pitfalls. Think about what it would be like for a gay kid to grow up and not be able to raise a family. How would that have changed your life? If same-sex marriage still makes you uncomfortable, and you live in a state that hasn’t illegalized it yet, remember that you can always be as straight as you want underneath the legal framework. Sometimes it is enough for my inner drag queen to wear some sexy underwear underneath the suit. Would it be enough, for a straight person, to draw from the rich tradition of heterosexual art, literature, and ritual and look down at their wedding ring in the middle of the day to remind them that their sexual outlet is supported (is in fact, positively fabulous) when they are reminded that the legal code allows for more than what they might desire for themselves?

Friday, December 5

Mark 1:1-3

This is the first post in a project I am undertaking to revisit the gospel text. I am doing this in my current post-modern, queer-oriented, critical of colonialism and capitalism grounding, having been thoroughly disillusioned with the complicity of the church in past and present power structures, as well as the church's sexual and gender role agenda. 

I don't think I'm going to pull a C.S. Lewis here and flee what some may consider my contemporary paganism. However, I do think that the scripture is beautiful story and parable, and also an account of people embracing an ethical stance despite its self-damaging potential. I cannot shake that there is something good about a guy who gave himself up entirely for his friends, and loved his enemies, and raised an army of people willing to do what was right even when it wasn't easy. 

In that sense, the gospel has a hold of me, and like any good, giving, and game lover, I am compelled to take a hold of it and use my whole body, brain and emotions to give it what it is looking for, a good verbal fucking. And let me say that most of my lovers leave happy. >wink<   Read ahead here.

Mark 1
1The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
"I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way"—
3"a voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "

So "gospel" is supposed to mean good news, which might be a western-applied interpretation, but one that I am willing to go with for a bit, if only to queer it. It seems to make sense to read the gospel accounts in the genre of journalism. Archaic, strangely expressed journalism that is reporting on such un-empirical/objective subjects as your soul and universal moral conduct, but what I mean is that we can use our newspaper reading skills here for most of the account. Which is what I think they are saying when they call it "news". Often quotations and events in the gospel accounts are not followed by explanations, which means that the reader is left to interpret. The biblical reader uses the interpretations they are trained to and accustomed to. 

"Gospel" hear stings a bit if you read it as "a grand narrative/ethical system designed to make you feel guilty and bring you into a rigid community". So I'm not going to think of it that way, I will set that aside. (assuming lover's best intentions, not killing the mood here)  I'm going to start out by saying that this is a story which will bring me to a better place by reading it. I know, I know, the eternal optimist. But what do you say to yourself when you read a headline in the paper? That the headline signifies a metanarrative with consequences for your life that you have to defend yourself against? Maybe a meta-something is implied by every headline, but I'm not sure if the "gospel" could change the way that I feel about myself for the worse, or lead me down a bad path. Even if it does talk about my soul. 

I think there is something unchangeable about my soul, and the gospel may comment upon the truth of things I know already (and perhaps things I know deep down but have not found the words for yet). Heaven and hell don't exist on my spiritual geography. Expressed soul and un-expressed soul are places I have occupied, and I must say that I would want to end up in a place of more-expressed-soul, thank you very much. If this piece of journalistic literature can teach me something about the expression of human souls, bring it on.

Then there is this quote from the Hebrew Bible, from Isaiah, who from reading more of the account about him in 2 Kings, was a tripped out probably bipolar prophet who sulked, was angry at people, had extravagant visions of God and angels which rival any pagan myth, occasionally performed the freak miracle, and wrote in ways that confuse himself and God all the time. Actually, the first person shifts in the book of Isaiah are the best defense of post-modernism that I know, check it out. But here I think it is an interesting reference, from an interesting prophet. 

We think at first that this messenger is Jesus, we learn later that it is John. However, the impression sticks with me (poetically) especially when we learn how Jesus is part of God and is therefore part of the plot in some mystical way from the beginning, and especially because I believe that people are responsible for inspiring/eliciting others' response to them in ways they aren't always explicit about and John's ministry was partly caused by Jesus from the get-go. Gay men recognize each other from early early ages sometimes, and like the future-lovers/truthmakers we are, the account of fetal John flipping around in Elizabeth's belly reminds me deep down of the boys I flipped around for as a child recognizing a common spirit (see Luke 1:41, sorry that was a different-gospel-digression). 

Anyhow, I don't know where I would be without gay men having gone before to set social norms aright for me, so it makes sense that there is some sort of generation of inspiration-making here, that God would send a messenger out beforehand to carve a little nook for the seed to snuggle into and germinate within (yes, that is a reference to the mustard-seed parable, which I constantly think about as it seems so related to procreative properties of all of the things that we do and, well, semen is on my mind occasionally as well). 

There is a voice (text/text authority) in the desert. The desert seems to me to be a morally neutral geography. There is no city, no custom there that isn't blown over and assaulted by sun and sand. It is the eternal loneliness, the endless 360 degree horizon that is our current crisis of knowledge. There is no authority in the desert but what you force for yourself, no landmark even, simply what knowledge or instinct you carry within you. And here God is saying through a prophet that there will be a road, not an authority in the desert, but a way to get to where you are going-- and straight, not turning around yourself and wasting away. Suddenly, on this morally neutral ground, there is a purpose. A telos as the Greek is, a direction of a sort, often applied to ethical direction (in Russian t'elo is the word for body, a linguistic bridge that has certainly been inspirational for me, see b'ez avtora). 

And on this word, this last gendering of God, let me claim that whatever divinity is out there they is not gendered, but transcends gender as the being-that-was-before-gender, the being-whose-idea-was-gender, so let's read (shamelessly revisionist to help past-misled-male authors-more-misogynist-than-they-could-fathom) to "make the ways straight for her/him/it/both/allgendered."  I like that. God is allgendered.  My body and mind would be happy making ways in barren lands for that.  (Am I just catering to my own pleasure here?  Would I destroy something I do not like but may be ethical to protect in the process of this task?  I'm not sure, but if anything good news is about liberation, so let's start speculating what kind of liberation it is about.  God is coming to Earth to free us, right?)  

Monday, November 24

Not Alone

I would scale any mountain,
Ford any cold river,
Spend any night sleepless with you
In order just to tell you in ways words cannot express
That you are not alone, that we are in this together.

But I would also leave you,
To fight the battles you are strong enough to fight on your own
Whether you think you are strong enough or not.
I would even shove you away to make sure you still have the reflex to stand back up.

And this would be making love,
By making challenges,
Even small bouts of violence,
To train you and me for the hard moments that come
When no lover, no philosopher, no divine presence could convince us
That we are not alone.

After being forced to walk through wilderness
With no company to warm us,
We find that there are some truths which are only carried
On strong, cold winds
Which blow through the coverings we have swaddled ourselves with
And make us feel every bone, every joint we thought we had hidden deep down.

For we must know that we are hard as stone deep down inside,
As sweet as it is to nuzzle our soft parts,
Making love requires penetrating hardness,
And so complements other rigors thrust upon us.

So hold me at arm’s length
And make sure that I am still seeking
The answers I was lusting after before you came along.
For no person is a way of life,
But partnership has its merits.
For sometimes all we need to show our strength
Is someone walking beside us,
Independent but parallel,
Brushing shoulders just to tell us
You are not alone.

Hazel eyes

Hazel eyes smiling back at me
In the gray like haute couture
Hourglasses falling with the time
And dine and dine and dine on nothing
But sheer promises of smiles
Glimpses of images
Projected on the hollow
Follow me, you beg, but I can barely breathe
But we are weak

The light in your eyes would blind me
If it were not for your frailty
Men for ages labeled feminine
The qualities which did them in
So they could distance themselves
Like little children throw their food

Write me a code that guarantees
That I’ll be free under the weight
Of the inspiration you incarnate
Like leaves that gather fire
In the autumn, and quiver so
I am mourning, I am solemn
I am struck by your blow
And so fold me in my mother’s dresses
And love me weak as I am
And I will take your sweet caresses
To mean that I am more than a man
Falling all over the place
It’s just our age they say...

Time slips away,
But your smile stays,
Hazel eyes have faith.

Credo Credo

When I am standing in church and singing in harmony with an organ and a choir and all the congregation, ages zero to angels infinity, I hear a heavenly host booming beneath all the voices, minds, heads and everybody’s body with a dance beat. (drop a beat, can you hear it too?)

And I start swaying my hips as much as you can crowded into those pews and I watch the angels dance, flailing limbs from pliant supple centers, funky seraphim frolicking on ancient sound waves. Laudeum! Miserere Cordisss!

Worship is illogical joy, inexplicable salvation, unknowable creation in our incarnation, our incarnate chili con carne (snaps Gene), our hips and lips and everything below and in between. And of course the words flowing through our minds are crucial, but worship is the abstract making contact, worship is Logos with legs, worship is the breast a child rests her head upon when straining her tiny muscles to try and see the big beautiful created world is too much strain to bear.

And I think that those muscles for us “develop-ed” peoples are located in the carne in our cranium, a concentration of nervous neurons that gets too much scrutiny when the rest of you is allowed to rest, rest, and rest some more. And there is no mistake that football is played on Sunday, because we need a break, a Sabbath for our cranial cake, a communion for the body we might mistake as a cadaver if they didn’t make us stand up to sing.

Back in the day when bread was hard to come by, those little wafers sunk down in you and when Christ hit your belly you felt it in your bones. Allelujah! Amazing Grace- a free meal from a communal plate. But today we’re all eating too much already, so why don’t we burn a few in the pews? Get a little workout with our take out salvation. Maybe it will remind us how real worship is. If He could wake up Lazarus, I’m sure he could show the frozen chosen a two-step and a little thrust, to help us understand the blessings he has bestowed upon us, so don’t fuss, bust a move and soak up forgiveness.

Credo Credo
I believe God loves each one of us.
I believe She doesn’t care what side you fall on with this issue or that.
I believe She put a bitch and a saint in each of us,
And I can’t wait until the saints come marching in—
O how I long to be in that number
When all of our bitches wake up and turn, turn o man, from our bitchy ways…
I have a righteous complaint about the inequality and injustice reigning in our better intentions
And I have logs in more than just my eyes, mind you
Which means that you do too
So don’t bitch at me and I won’t bitch back
Until the spirit moves in and puts us forward on an attack against the bad forces at work in each of our lives.

It’s more like a rhythm that a singular direction
So keep remixing your inquiry
Move in and out, stay on your feet
And don’t stay still and expect the music to stop
Because if there is one thing that God’s angels love
It is the beat they drop…

So might as well roll with it
And grow with it
And feel it in your bones
Because when it comes your time,
That will be your only heartbeat
And until that time it shouldn’t have to be foreign territory
Step in to the land God has laid out for you
Step, step, left right left, right (hop) right (hop)
And turn to the left (jump)

Credo Credo
Make your belief physical

Wednesday, September 10

I've been struck by the importance of giving things up.  It makes me want to change the look of this blog even, and all my nifty gadgets etc.  But rather I need to give up my conception of the importance or ability of this blog.  I guess I began it to lift myself out of something.  I guess it is clear to me now, in the typical circular logic of spiritual revelation, that that "something" lifted me out of myself.  

It is amazing how much inspiration will flow through you when you give up forms which are limiting to you. 

That is the substance of the good things written about here, and the words that inspire us in blogs below and the religious history of the judeo-christian, muslim, and other spiritual texts.  

Some times just giving up the capital "G" for god will bring us to a new place of inspiration and revelation.  

Sometimes admitting that our truth is not the only truth will do that.  

Likewise, sacrificing everything you have to a particular rule of life or religious doctrine contains life-giving form-destruction.  Single-minded service/Orthodoxy is a form of zen as it continually requires the giving up of our other, naturally occurring desires.  


"They began to choose things over people and safety over life, and soon they spent all their time protecting what they had, without realizing that now, forgoing experience, they had nothing to give."


Tuesday, May 20

Standing Tall Lyrics

This song has meant a lot to me lately.
It is better heard and sung than read, but the words are powerful enough on their own.
Levi Kreis survived the ex-gay movement, came out and has toured with the show Rent, appeared on the show The Apprentice, and put out three albums of his work. This is from his album "The Gospel According to Levi"

The Gospel According to Levi: Standing Tall
Standing Tall
Written by Levi Kreis

Somebody somewhere
Has a long road to haul
Somebody somewhere
Has got a mind to give it all
Lord, won’t you make that someone hopeful
Lord, won’t you make them strong
Cause we all got to stumble
Before we’re standing tall

And I know that it ain’t easy
But there’s a thrill in the fight
If you know where you’re going
Keep your eye on the prize
Your ship is in the harbor
Don’t you doubt that you’re called
Cause we all got to stumble
Before we’re standing tall

And I got this feeling
Way down in my bones
That whatever my dealings
I am never alone
So watch me step over
Watch me walk on
Cause we all gotta stumble
Before we’re standing tall

And I got this feeling
Way down in my bones
That whatever my dealings
I am never alone
So watch me step over
Watch me walk on
Cause we all gotta stumble
Before we’re standing tall
Everyone of us gotta stumble
Before we’re standing tall.

Friday, May 9

Freedom Beckons

There's this rebellion in me against the ways of this world.
Freedom beckons,
and I find myself leaving the warm morning blanket for an adventure-
Peace to be found, at the end of a night in a strange land, I awake anew.
Here and there I see the world
talk in two voices and wonder whither is this soul of mine?
Whither to, and whether why should be lifted to that question, lest this moment fall apart.

(I just found this poem, with the title "Was on Facebook." I wrote it two years ago for my facebook profile and then forgot about it. What an adventure it has been!)

Sunday, May 4

Queer Calling

They used to call us the shamans, the two-spirited. Entire nations were built on our foresight, our unique non-binary experience, our prophesy.

Now we are shunned for our wisdom. We are told that we must fit into a system bent on more things, on killing nature, and fighting more wars. We are feared for our verdant phrases, our exotic movements, the strange strength of ours which comes from an uncommon source. We have become our own tribe, separated to the detriment of our former fellow-men. Have they forgot their prophets? Or can they only face our terrifying brilliance in short bursts? Are we relegated to the edges to keep the herd moving towards a greener pastureland with our shouts of truth, harsh and pointed?

Thursday, May 1

Pride Week Weep

So I’m terrified that I will not contribute to society through my poetry or academics, I’m scared that I am and will be totally useless. That nobody will notice me or work on things with me, that whatever latent talent I have will not be discovered or put to use. Because I’m a burnt-out student and I hate being a student but it’s all I’ve ever done. It is my claim to fame, the justification of my life as a leech on society, my excess which I feel every time I realize we are being kept comfortable here with blood-oil borne out of the conflicts of elsewheres. I hate this system that I am the creme-de-la-creme of. Fuck it. I want out. I don’t want to do well in it, but that seems to be the impetus everyone else is operating under. So, what do I do from here? I want to be a punk artist or something like that. I hate my life and everything I have worked for so hard so far. Fuck this shit.

I need a new lifestyle.

Christianity is wrong about some things. My faith is deeply, deeply shaken, most of it has slipped away and I am left here questioning most everything. I have no more comfort in a faith. I have a faith in people. But that is a whole lifestyle change. That is a whole lifestyle change. I am no longer who I thought I would be for eternity. I am no longer the golden boy, the one soaring above life’s problems. There is no longer any motivation in that imagery for me now. I have fallen and I like the feeling of the ground. I like rolling in the pine needles and loam, I am grateful to sprawl here unnoticed and unashamed. “I am your gay worst nightmare,” I want to say.

“I am so grateful that you’re still seeking God,” he said, one man who is praying for me now. That makes me angry now. I am seeking some semblance of my former self, I am trying to fit the pieces back together. You didn’t know me then and you don’t know me now.

God seems to be dead. But maybe it is just our naivety that is passing, burning away in its Icarusian passion.

I actually really want to be a man-whore and sleep around and drink and smoke and dance dirty. I want these things on deep and soaringly spiritual levels. I’m going to do these things I’m sure. And You and your parents aren’t going to save me from them. What does that mean about who I am? I am not your golden boy after all. I do not have that worth any more. What worth do I have, then? What other accomplishments can I point to here? There isn’t much I guess. I don’t have many events to plug at C&G meetings. I am only this transforming force. Where is my discipline and form? I am dancing with my boundaries all day, I am totally stretched out and I am not a master of it and won’t be for a very long time. Crazy. Time to sleep—

Morning. Collis café.
I am in mourning of my former self. Good mourning America. Roll in your ashes. Deal with your shit. Feel that sadness, stop running from it. Cruise your soon-to-be-lover and fuck him. Fuck him hard.

Here, in this eating area are the queers and my Christian brothers.

I feel shame. What do I share with these people now? I have to remember that I am in good company. Good company, people who question their faith. It helps to type and not look right at the crazy words I am writing.

I have moved on. I am looking at a time of new friendships, fast lovers, new relationships, new rhythms. Maturity, really. I am mourning my golden boy boyhood. My Christian fantasy. I am in mourning. I should paint my nails black, this part of me has died, my body mind and soul are new. And they are just coming into the light, just drying their wings really, so I’m just sitting here feeling the warmth, knowing that the inevitable will happen and one day I will fly and procreate. But not now. I’m just drying out.

Wednesday, April 30

Santogold, L.E.S. Artistes

here is my desire to become a renegade artist of some sort:
(don't know if I'll go through with it)

art. honesty. would we need violence if we had artistic outlets instead? we should embrace the determined (destructive?) artist in us, and build a more enjoyable world. men can create aesthetics, art pieces, music, doing away with what we do not need as well as they can hold guns and destroy things. we can construct inequitable class constructions and exploit others for resources as well as imitate their art, their spirit, incorporating their beauty into our lives by artistic co-option.

Santogold's lyrics for the song "Creator":
Got no need for the fancy things
All the attention that it brings
Tell me no, I say yes, I was chosen
And I will deliver the explosion

Can't say it's gonna get me far
Do no good to say what you are
I run the streets and I break up houses
River runs deep and the flame devours it

Me, I'm a Creator
Thrill is to make it up
The rules I break got me a place
Up on the radar
Me, I'm a Taker
Know what the stakes are
Can't roll it back, it's understood
Got to play our cards

Sit tight I know what you are
mad bright but you aint no star
polish up til you make it gleam
your M.O, I know what you mean
Tail ridin' and I know it's true
while they screamin' I love you
Down deep you know there aint no flow
a soul decay, was D.O.A

I know what you here for now
Words out you're an idea whore though,
now don't you crush on me
I'll see you in your pipe dreams
whether or not you know it's true
You're who they dictate to
That shit must hurt real bad
fakin' what you wish you had

Here all the folks come ask about me
Band wagon, know they used to doubt me
Blind side tend to hit real hard
you should heed the warning, get a body guard
Steady friction in this bitch
Creepin' in just like an itch
so far I got the last laugh
still the rich rise up, still I live fast
wouldn't know it face to face
Got no soul and got no taste
Moving in speed up the pace
I got it locked though, what a waste
All the talk is standard fare
Walk the walk if it gets you there
on the grind til the gig is up
Im 'a smash 'em down
put a muzzle on them like "what!"

Lyrics for Santogold's "Go Ahead"
Go Ahead, you know you want it
You'll have no other way
you just want to take us down
go ahead,
I'll be the one hit
If I can take you, boy, it just might throw this town
Oh, you want to get it
You make us bleed, it'll prove there's life somewhere
And oh, no, I want to yell it
but do we speak or are we just nodding our heads
No way, not me, what you got,
it's not for me, but you'll find a way
no way not me, what you got,
it's not for me

Don't reach too far
You will fall over
Don't be surprised what you discover
Don't fear your call
Can't pull us under
You better watch out, run for cover

We see right through it
You get what you give, you get what you give

Go ahead
I'll be your junkie
I'll be deplete you can heap all rubbish here
Go ahead, now dump it on me
if I go quiet will the itch go down with me
Oh, you got to get it
nevermind that it was never there nowhere
but oh, no, not for a minute
for now you'll make your bed
and it will wait, I swear

No way, not me, what you got,
it's not for me, but you'll find a way
no way not me, what you got,
it's not for me

Don't reach too far
You will fall over
Don't be surprised what you discover
Don't fear your call
Can't pull us under
You better watch out, run for cover

We see right through it
You get what you give, you get what you give

Tell them that they'll get what they wanted, tell them
Tell them that they'll get what they wanted.
'Til then....

Saturday, April 26


I am not what you expect,
But I am no alternative.
I do not live for the world's approval.

I am dignity.
There is no other.
I am your clearest thoughts.
I am decisive action. I am irrefutable sense.

I am like the gazelle, softly, strongly moving over rough terrain.
As we chase, in great bounds haunches flex and hurl me forward-
Yet in the calm, cool shade, this hide is supple, these steps are light-

I am protective mother, I am fiercer than any storm gale,
My freedom is no lack of duty--
For in me is both abounding action and tender creation.

Plant in me your inspiration, and watch it grow.
And I in turn, will share words that burn your heart,
And reflect your dignity, in turn,
A subtle dance of sophisticated sirens,
Our attraction, embracing all that is natural.

Reaching through every barrier,
Watch your inhibitions fall.
This is your time, your place, your stage.

Wear your dignity with all the ease that a lion carries his mane.
Bear it as part of you like a woman with child.
It will lend you strength and long life,
It will lead you to the prize.

It is Peace without resting,
Confidence without complacency,
Love without necessity,
Beauty expected, yet un-assumed.

Your greatest free ride,
A steed on a quest,
The inner rhythm during dry times of no outer inspiration,
Your thirst quenched on parched desert trails.

Come, drink, and remember this always.

Tuesday, April 22

When I was 13 years old, my parents sent me on a coming of age quest. So I left suburban Massachusetts and was sent into the New Hampshire wilderness. I encountered there the woodland spirit-force of Uncle Otter, who led his energetic charges through our individual valleys and up onto a new mountaintop. We chose spirit names. I was Owl. (The first sentence I ever uttered, I am told was, "Owl flies.") There were other spirit names for each of the boys, and we made masks which showed our spirit. We reflected as we swam, and celebrated flying through the air into the water. We made a sweat lodge, a hot-house which we made ourselves from fresh saplings bent over in a frame, and heated with stones laid on sections of a once towering tall-standing, deeply-rooted one over a fire lit by fear-fire-fire-fear. Our old selves sweat and discharged their accumulated poisonous contents and we were born anew, naked in the cool air. We learned about honor. We learned from elders ways of navigating through life's stages. We heard how our elders had overcome their fears and built their lives. Uncle Otter and his adopted-son Wren modeled for us the correct living of the archetypes king, soldier, fool, magician and lover. We spent a night in solitude, with only the flicker of light in the leaves above us reminding us that the circle of men was still strong. At the end, we received our Excaliburs, and as we ventured forward we knew that we had many battles to fight.
Sylvie Guillem, Modern and Ballet dancer


Here Sylvie Guillem shares her philosophy of dance. It is important to doubt what you are going to do, what you have just done, in this way you share something of yourself. One can hide behind choreography, form, ideology covers over the vitality of a person.
"If you doubt, you portray yourself," and what more could be said? This is a stance of vulnerability and power, faith in the skill of your body wavering on its edge, pushing its way forward, forming something new out of a rediscovered honesty.

This piece is called "Wet Woman" The music is a bit strange, I recommend muting it. Listen to her voice from "Evidentia" perhaps. I especially love the juxtaposition of her fine form and the embodied resistance, her weightless pointed tips versus her strength as the water pours into her mouth, shoots at odd angles on her body.

It seems to reference Pablo Picasso's Woman Ironing 1904:

And here are some bits from a piece called "Sacred Monsters" by Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Lim Hwai Min
Modern Dance Performances from China

This solo act is breathtaking. What is she telling us? Is she bringing us in or pushing us away? What has happened to inspire this?

I think that this captures the longing, camaraderie and story-telling of a good dance performance. The music is a bit odd, but the forms these women can make are amazing. You can trust and love these women, the weight and effort of their bodies carries their story forward.

there's a story behind bluejays which I have a hard time telling right now. But if you know it, and there are some who do, imagine sitting with me in a Gender Sexuality Xyz meeting, and watching as the Quaker campus minister stitches a finger puppet for her five year old child who she is raising with her female partner. As she adds the wings, the crest and the beak, it becomes clear that the light-blue felt is meant to be a 'jay.

Monday, April 21

_God is a Dj_ by P!nk

Verse 1:
I've been the girl with her skirt pulled high
Been the outcast never running with mascara eyes
Now I see the world as a candy store
With a cigarette smile, saying things you can't ignore
Like mummy I love you
Daddy I hate you
Brother I need you
Lover, hey, "Fuck you"
I can see everything here with my third eye
Like the blue in the sky

If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
Love is the rhythm
You are the music
If God is a DJ
Life is a dance floor
You get what you're given
It's all how you use it...

Verse 2:
I've been the girl - middle finger in the air
Unaffected by rumors, the truth: i don't care
So open your mouth and stick out your tongue
You might as well let go you can't take back what you've done
So find a new lifestyle
A reason to smile
Look for Nirvana
Under the strobe lights
Sequins and sex dreams
You whisper to me
There's no reason to cry...


You take what you get and you get what you give
I say don't run from yourself, man, that's no way to live
I've got a record in my bag you should give it a spin
Lift your hands in the air so that life can begin
I have healthy, unlustful masturbation when I meditate on my seed as Abraham's seed, and see it being planted in the ground to grow a garden, a new paradise for the next generation.  It is good, I find, to avoid masturbation when it is simply playing on loneliness and latent needs and attractions.  Relief can be found in other ways, like a glass of cold, watered down OJ.  
If you can't place yourself among the chosen people, don't beat it.  I'm not sure that's the most Godly attitude, but how will we ever really know?

A vision I had of Jesus Christ while in tantric yoga breathing meditation in which I felt energy like none before, like spring rapids of fire on my arms, through-chest, back... back to Jesus.  
He, as men recline, was cast upon a coming of age wilderness, deserted, alone.  As one arm propped his upper carriage he, in wide-eyed wonder (or was it horror?) witnessed an erection.
An ejaculation.
touched by angel? (witnessed, was not creating, that is the Father's job, is it not?)
Here am I, quaking as I am, asking myself, is this a calculated, liberalizing demonic possession? Or Divine Truth?
Jesus, being led to orgasm by a host of angels who are invisible beside his humanity.  Laudeum.
I think that the sensation one feels in church with a congregation surrounding you, swaying in their hearts, minds and feet to a Truth that you can no longer believe must be a little like what it feels like to get high.  I mean I've never smoked pot, but one of my friends told me it's like you get really huge and float out of your body, watching yourself and your surroundings.  They say it helps you think about things, those incessant noises in your head grow quiet and deeper truths work their way to the surface.
That's probably why I keep coming back.  It's free and totally legal, and if anything you leave smelling like floral perfume, quiche and coffee instead of that acrid-type of smoke that so signifies a punk.  I love that feeling, coming off cloud-9 from heavenly worship, stepping into the flow and satisfying your munchies on chunks of bread that your bro says is someone's dead body that gives you life, and washing it down with the contents of little plastic cups that inspire you to consider the laws of cohesion and how they might be affected by the solutes of grape juice as opposed to pure water or wine with alcohol.  That shit is fucked up.  I read the scripture, and hear it repeated again and again the stories of how Christ could get you high on wonderment, on logic-defying miracles, on healing power as you stand and wait your turn for the healing touch to come your way, sweating slightly in the hot desert air, and feeling your head spin because you're just a little dehydrated, waiting your turn for that sensation which quenches something deep down and washes you clean of anxiety and anticipation.  Yo, Hey-sus, hit me up with that shit!  Halle-lu-jah!

Tuesday, April 8

And there he sat
There he stood,
And in a gaze
I saw in him
And deep
Sensed in the spread of his iris
The fresh, chilling air
Embracing, forcing each leaf in a dance
Yes, the wind was in his eyes,
Blowing over the many-hued landscape
And whistling across the caverns ‘round the tree roots.

In his cheek was the consistency
Of bark that stops, catches,
And bark aspen smooth.
And in his brow an embracing canopy
That folds you in the larger landscape
At once for you and at once for the land,
For the order that beats in our hearts,
Each of us
With toes pressing in the pine needles
With wrists, busts in the breeze.
Here, standing in each other’s eyes.

Friday, February 29

We're all progressing backwards
Toward these simple truths;
The ones which we've forgotten
In the wounds of youth.

And to have you here, my dear, my dear
Shall break all that binds us-
And find us in a missile's sin,
One day's redemptive violence.

Lodged in deep,
A finger's touch can surgically mend.
A strengthened soul, a taughtened heart
Can with more vigor bend.

And to renew, the dew, the dew
On shivering leaf depends;
You have my waist,
Bicep embraced,
And in the breeze I'm cleansed.

Monday, February 25

Sunday Morn

In a booklet by the founder of the Salvation Army, paraphrasing
Always follow the light, it is your salvation on a path through the dark woods. But it must be your own light-- the one who carries it is close to you, only illuminating what is around your feet. You will know the light when it comes to you. The light is in the Bible, your community, your heart.
This has been my experience lately, coming out, not being afraid of the dark, following the light.

Writing is my service. I learn in anthropology about nations that words become eternal, poems make groups of people who speak the same language into entire nations, and in repeating the words like the seasons, nation-states become as natural in their manufacture as the sun and the rain.
I am afraid sometimes of fitting my writing into some style, some box, a box that is not mine so I do not know its boundaries really. Here I am still, in my light-- sitting, traveling, recording, truths of a sort.

What have you learned, O man-- sitting there on the wall in Hanover-town? Removed from our daily stresses, our confined struggles- What by silence have you discerned from our incessant chatter? What by removing yourself have you gained?

The poet's word is greater than the poet herself, and must be celebrated by its due worth, must be seen as poet creation with flesh, soul, mind implicated in its deliverance, its trajectory to hearts and minds.

The poet writes. The people listen. All are served, all should be heard.

How can we create a habit-in-community so that poet-creation would transcend our daily troubles, carry us the daily bread of a communion beyond ourself, with real flesh implicated. Of course, never too much, never ego-fear inflating, never losing sight, ignoring the unseen, the unheard or the human in this quest.

Tuesday, February 19

Мы зачем от чуждой боли
Устроить то учреждение,
И твердели наши воли-
Создавать вдохновение.

А в буре покрывало
Снегом всех наших вот исчез-
И явилось мы так мало,
Всё богатсво наше- без.

Что жь, забыть эти сни свыше?
И в сугробы подгрестись
Произведение да наше-
Старый труд скрывать вниз?

Эх, природа и не кончить,
Но наш выбор стал вечным;
Ей хотя всю силу схватить,
Мы ветра против простоим.

February 1st, 2008

pre-Carnival Winter 2008

O what a comment on humanity's condition- buckets forged elsewhere in some mechanized plasticity, shoveled to fill with snow, are sent up a rickety ramp with electric motor slightly whirring, they fill the form of a masterpiece to melt.
And with such joy this fills us, with such vigor do we work and are warm in the cold air. On a bleak winter day, buckets progress still.

A little unassuming mural of Dartmouth.

The sun is setting on one of the first spring days—it’s playing tricks in the clear air and our little college seems without blemish. The library tower, Old Dartmouth Hall, the red chapel steeple and the central buildings of administration blaze their image on the pure blue sky. Even the pools of mud on the lawn glisten with some foreign grace. Planted underneath lie the seeds of so many thoughts- meditations on semi-truths and anxieties produced by the wonder of things we have never fully known. It is finals time, a breath, the eye of the storm.

The clouds above this place greet us freshly and give the impression that they are tied to the setting, echoing elevated granite reliefs on brick buildings. Lift us all higher, we supplicate in silence, let us all throw back the rays of distant truths; facades glimmer with unassailable, crystalline veracity. Beauty and honor we wish we could claim for ourselves is only in a title associating us with this place, now adorned in dusky radiance.

Peradventure this setting sun will someday come to alight on us and we can reflect its grace on our own company. But even then we’ll just be a figure, a quiet afternoon in the midst of the storm. Recall, in striving, that they erected these edifices only to surface a semblance of society in this wild land. Our imitation is as fresh as the reflections on these puddles, as original as today's sunset.

O Dartmouth, tame the savages we know ourselves to be and give us the hope that this sun will rise again.

Spring, 2006

It Drives

American Capitalism

It drives so much, so much
work hard and clutch.
We try so hard, and
Die full of lard.
But there’s a beauty in this crime
Because the bugs that eat our fattened bodies
Deserve to be super-sized,
They are the circle of life.
We’re just living to the full,
And bringing that life home for our little circle
And then driving our kids everywhere
So they learn how to put their feet
Down on the gas pedal, too.
Why so blue, o my soul?
Don’t these begotten of you make you feel whole?
In this spinning world
Little cherubim with pie holes
They’re on the upward spiral.
Visions of their life show
They grow, and lo and behold,
They have perfected what we could never know.
Our inner parts unite to become this gold,
Which boldly shows what we are capable of
These wonderful vehicles for our talent, from above
Until to the ground they descend
And they better have their act together then,
And their own little gaggle they’ve all tended
And mended the crazy things we did to them
Not knowing what we said.
It’s those grandkids who’ll get it right,
Our kids will have enough money to pay the shrink.
Or maybe they’ll be rich enough to stop and think
Themselves about the tears they cry at night
Because they’re missing their kids little lives
That’s what that liberal arts degree is all about, right?
Better be, because we’re paying up the nose
And who knows
Whether all those wishy-washy ideas will one day show.
We became bankers, because it drove us
-Work hard and clutch
To dream only for ourselves
To escape this personal hell
Of not being able to give like we’ve been given to.
Or feeling like we always sort of miss the truth
Oracle of the future
Soothe us with images of chubby children
Who grow up to be strong men and women
To bear the problems of this world our ideals weren’t enough for.
Help us perpetuate this metaphor
Of the circle of Life
HA! Yeah right, we’re all driven by that little fright
Which meets us at night and shines light on what we didn’t know to do.
On our own we wonder,
What tore this little child inside asunder?
What sickness in parents, what blunder
Tripped our innocence
That we fell into this wheel of time.
Round, round and back again
To the image of a flightless mother hen
Little chicks who want to explore the skies,
But get couped up and all shy
And wonder why Mom gets that distant look in her eye
When she talks about her flying days.
We pray, deliver us
And we will prove
That we’re a bit better than that former brood,
That we’ve learned their lessons, and some of ours, too
And lived to want to stretch our wings,
Do we have the will?
Yes, break out and catch the wind up and swoop, whistle and chirp
And burp, and slough off hours on daydreams,
With other friends in the sky,
We may seem like we’re a swirling mass of life
To the predator, who would make us resign
To an individual struggle
But we huddle and muddle our way
Thousands of miles despite our fragile styles.
You can’t be blown by the wind
If you don’t give in because you could never win
And force you’re way to the little whistle you’re being called in with
That mate, over yonder, who beds our nest with all the plunder she could find.
And we would die someday
Small but sated with the meaning of a thousand lives, lived together.
It drives, it drives, this nameless beat in our hearts, too
We can’t believe it’s been confused
As youth, and dirtied down in reality.
It is our proof
Of an Almighty that was never aloof
But poof—created us to die
To shine, with all of that might
That was mustered to fold us into a fragile shell.
Burst forth and smell the sick-sweet manured air
All the excrement our generation could no longer bear
By life alone we live
And we won’t give in to our kids
When fear in them we see.
It’s time to burn with all our A.D.D.
And do away with our ungifted misery
We are given little chick-acockledeedoo wings.
So sing in the dawn, my little friend
There’s no-one left to judge your ends.
You’re being called to a different covenant
Free of the stony farmer’s pen
Free of generational sin
Run little legs, even if you fall
Because one day you’ll speak truth better than they all
Could ever dream of praying
Join the ravens,
And see with piercing eye,
What you need to survive and thrive
And dive down on what is dead and clean it up
For the next little pilot.
It drives,
It drives me up this wall and I can see
A brand new landscape of eternity,
And it’s for all of our humanity
So fly chickadee, fly!

B'ez Avtora

There is no author
No citation necessary
for this observation in obliquity
a crystalline cartography of a human thought

I could sign here

With place and year
but there is no fear
That I will be absorbed in ether sphere
for my thoughts have come Queer

Not of mine or other
but in Trinity
These are Father, Mother
A generalized truth
Ours expressed
Birthed by union
but possessed by none

and to none accountable-
Even the pen-holder is
Unanswerable for the life of
the words for we.

And in Nothing-Creation
And in Death-Resurrection
A quartet of timely timelessness
Creative tone enthrowned.

My flesh is yours
A meal meager munched,
Sweet signified as such.

These friends create my
Satellite world vision
Sputniks, reflect creation
They move and my pen slips

I wrote “Stop the Fall” once
Could Adam-original possess
The agency to deliver this
Fecund degradation
Without a feminist?
Eve was a dike, and
By lifting her veil
We now, forever? will
Know a bit of binary
To aid our quest forthward.

Penetrating the seed, even,
We now light a fire
To guard the way back
And place historical figures-
Kant, Marx, Malcolm X as
Angels-with-spears which burn
If but our neurons-in-skull
Our entire telo-s

And by timely timelessness
On appointment, scratch
thee, ashen soil.
Create thee a community-
By necessity.

Once tasked with naming creation
Now it is our procreation
which lyric labels instates