Friday, December 30, 2005

Treat time~

After 3 and I'm alone in the office. It's raining and dark outside. I have another couple hours of work before heading out. I was seriously hankering for an elf to show up with a latte in hand. It would get me through to the end. Lo, I ended up with something better.


While going to make a cup of tea (yeah, I know, not as decadent as a latte), I wandered into the conference room...just wishing. On our conference table we have two baskets. One is filled with small toys to keep our hands occupied during meetings. The other, with hard candies. Someone, sometime between yesterday and now placed chocolate coins in the candy basket.


On my way to work I was thinking about resolutions. In the past, I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions but for some reason, I wanted to be conscious of that.

As I've said earlier this month, I have no idea where I'm going, what I'm doing and what's in store. Generalities yes, but I don't dare cement anything because it seems critical for me to go with the flow. Yeah, I know. Kinda woowoo. Truth sometimes is.

In this, I came up with my resolution.


I resolve to keep on keepin' on. I resolve not only to continue to smell the roses but engage with them. I resolve to do my best to stay aware of possibilities. I resolve to get out of bed each morning and face whatever needs to be faced. I resolve to challenge myself to keep an open heart to love and sex and art in all its multifacetedness, and not limit myself by settling for what is reinforced or dictated by our society, the queer community and even our own subculture.

I resolve to be mindful.
I resolve to breathe in and in doing so I recommit myself to breathing out.

For this next year, I hereby resolve.


While thinking this through, I was checking email and noticed that Mark Morford is back from his holiday break. He too speaks of resolutions. And, I was pleased to see that he communicates a similar path.

From his column for today (and I very rarely post his closing thoughts, but will):

"So then, as the new year races to engulf us all, perhaps this is what you can choose, this is what you resolve to understand: that the Great Battle continues. The great surge toward enlightenment and evolution must go on, will go on, can't not go on, as those of us who choose to see it understand that we are already reeking gleaming teeming brimful with all the divine juicy godhead we will ever need. It is merely waiting to be, quite literally, turned on.

It is, after all, all about subtle energy, shifts in awareness, the decision to move forward no matter what. It is all about focusing on micro to affect macro. This much you probably already know. In which case, this year you can simply resolve to, well, continue. To keep on, even when it all seems bleak and fraught and impossibly constricted. Because, sometimes, merely refusing to stop cultivating an unquenchable lust for beauty and truth and orgasmic life is the most profound and important thing you can resolve to do."
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley.

Oops..wrong sound.

It's been honk, honk, honk for the last half hour.
Some poor schmuck's car horn just went off and won't stop. It's not a car alarm but a long, never-ending honk.
The cops finally showed up, and hopefully they'll have a truck out here. The windshield of the car is filling up with notes from neighbors.'s going to suck to be him.

And, I hope they get it to stop before bedtime.

Is it a weird night out there tonight...or is it just me?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Remember when I mentioned I found a new favorite artist?

I brought the book to work and had to show my coworkers. I had to show my friends. I had to show everyone I loved.

Each time, I'd say "see these paintings? This could have been me. That is, it could be me if I weren't so broken. Maybe someday."

What is happening is that I am finally glimpsing my potential. Right now, I still can't see potential in regards to the present or future. It's my moment to mourn the past.

With time...all in good time.

The one person I couldn't show the book to was my shrink. I wanted to, but couldn't bring myself to do it. The day I brought the book to work to show my coworkers was the same day I planned to show the shrink as well. The closer it came to my appointment, the greater the nervousness and anxiety.

Last Friday, a week after I picked up the book, I grabbed my guts and brought it into my session. It was in a bag. He saw the large bag and knew what it was. You see, I had told him earlier in the week that I didn't dare share it with him.

We spent part of the session with the book in the bag. Finally, I whispered, "I can't show you because if I do, you'll see my wishes."

He knows me in a way no one else in the world has ever known or seen me. If I showed him the paintings, he would see my deepest desires. The act of opening the book in front of him was more intimate AND sexual than anything else I'd ever done in my life. As we flipped through the pages together, it was as if he was looking up my cunt to peek into my belly. His fist in my ass, reaching deeper...touching my heart.

All he had to do was look at the cover.
"Wow" slipped from his lips. "I get it."

This artist, in my opinion, doesn't give a shit. She is painting from her bowels with no regard to marketability. In looking at the paintings, there is no hesitancy or question of "will they like me?" These are not paintings most people would feel comfortable hanging in their living or dining room. They are blatant and at the same time, compassionate.

This painter paints her intensity, her passion and her darkness. She is not afraid.

We flipped through the pages, going through the whole book.

I didn't expect to write about this today. But I have an appointment in 3 hours and it's the first one since we shared the book.

Look again.

This is living.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Recent words have reminded me of something.

I never wanted a career. Not in the traditional sense.
All I desired were jobs.

Career comes with major responsibility. Career is more than 40 hours a week. Career means...heavy shit.

I tried my hand at a few potential careers. None were intentional. I'd begin as an hourly paid regular bottom of the ladder employee and within a year end up in positions that I hadn't even conceived of holding.

For me, each career actually began with the idea that it would only be a job. I'd be able to forget about the job when I left work so I could focus on my real life. Each time, I immersed (cuz that's what I do) and became successful. Each time, I'd make a name for myself. Then I'd feel my blood being sucked out of me because no matter how much I enjoyed each, as diverse as they were, from photo lab manager to retail and warehouse management, to even what I do now...only fed a part of me. The responsibility of the positions meant that there wasn't any energy left for what I love to do.

The photo lab and warehouse management each lasted 8 years. I left the photofinishing industry to finally return to school and finish my BFA. The warehouse/retail gig, I quit because, in one month, I had an upcoming one person show that had been booked the year previous and yet I hadn't done any painting! When the show was first scheduled, I stepped down from management hoping to have the oomph to paint. It didn't happen.

The reason I lasted so long in each position is because they were very creative in their own right. But it's left brain creativity. I do need that. It juices me. And yet, I need my right brain fed as well.

I believe now the other reason I stayed is because of the ego-stroking and the lack of risk. I knew I could succeed. It was easy. I'd become a commodity. What I put my mind to, I could do. Well, as long as it's left-brained stuff. No chances. No dark side. It was a task. Each a puzzle. I like puzzles. They aren't messy. 1 plus 1 has to make two in all those positions.

The other side of me loves the greys, needs the greys. The lack of delving into the messy sludge would be part of my growing disatisfaction.

I never craved a career because down deep I always felt that painting was my career. My first priority.

The next few years will be interesting.
Because it's all about me, here's my Capricorn 'scope from Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology:

"Germany and the Soviet Union failed to sign a peace treaty after the global hostilities of the mid-20th century. Technically, then, World War II never officially ended. This lack of closure doesn't seem to have had any lingering repercussions, though, so I won't worry about it. On the other hand, there are unresolved situations from your past that are still causing you problems. In my astrological opinion, 2006 is an ideal time to finally wrap up all the unfinished business that has been subtly draining you. It's a perfect opportunity for the ultimate karmic cleansing, preferably carried out with grace, gratitude, and generosity."

In a way, it doesn't surprise me. With all the work I've been doing in's time.

Now to do it with grace, gratitude and generosity...hmmmm.
Can I buy that at my local grocer?

Check here for your horoscope.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Jimmy, my coworker, sent me an email over the weekend saying that his new CD, Last Chance, was completely finished, as in, back from the press. He was picking them up on Saturday. He then wrote that the first cd out of the box had my name on it. :-)

I walked into work this morning, and there it was. The inscription on the cover:

thanks for holding my heart through this.
xo Jimmy


As he wrote on the tail end of his bio:

My new songs are about love, for better and worse. I don't really believe in last chances where love is concerned. But in 2005 love took me for one hell of a ride. In the process I learned what it means to be 'in love'. These songs are expressions of my experience with the joy, pain, success, and deep regret that come with the beast. I know that when I open my heart again I will see love through the eyes of a changed man. With luck it will be the last first day of the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy my new cd. "Last Chance"."

Monday, December 26, 2005

So, did you have a good weekend?

Mine was very busy and fun. Good friends, good food, good laughs, and Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell. What more do you need?
Today I'm hitting the matinee show of Brokeback Mountain.

Oh....someone in another apartment is cooking something REALLY good. This thick amazing scent just wafted in. It smells like pot roast.


...I haven't been writing about my internal stuff the way I previously have. You see, I'm keeping everything really close to the chest right now. Normally, I'll take in and dump, take more in and dump. But in the last month or so, and especially the last few weeks, I'm being very protective. It's all good. It's all magic. It's all very, very difficult. It's a whole new fucking world. And right now, it's still all mine. So no sharing.

The relationship with my shrink has evolved into something different. It too is good, allows for greater intimacy, and no, I'm not sharing that either. In a way, I feel that I'd contaminate the process if I opened up right now. I'm sure in time I'll speak of one thing or another. And I hope that when the time is right I'll somehow be able to articulate the changes I'm involved in. The shrink has no doubt that I'll be able to put it into words but I see it as too large to describe. It's huge belly, heart stuff.

I haven't written about painting or art because that too is in transition. Honestly, it's too painful to write about. It takes everything I have to even speak of it in my sessions. So that's what I'm saving my courage and energy for.

Just know that, I would be very surprised if I don't get back into painting. If or when it happens...there will be a different person standing in front of the easel. Actually, I suppose it will be the same person with a greater sense of daring.

Guess I'm in an incubation period of sorts. And I think I'm nearing the end of that because I can even write this much.

So...have a good day everyone.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Why is it that everytime I hear Collective Soul's December, it makes me happy?

From the very first time I heard the first few guitar notes, about 10 years ago, I'd absolutely, incredibly fallen in love with that piece. To this very moment, as it played on the hits me, fills me and I don't know what else. Tough to explain. Even to myself.


I never really paid attention to the lyrics because I was always so captivated with the music.
That alone filled me.
As I was writing this, I decided to find the lyrics to actually see what the song is about.

Why drink the water from my hand?
Contagious as you think I am
Just tilt my sun towards your domain
Your cup runneth over again

Don't scream about, don't think aloud
Turn your head now, baby, just spit me out
Don't worry about, don't speak of doubt
Turn your head now, baby, just spit me out

Why follow me to higher ground?
Lost as you swear I am
Don't throw away your basic needs
Ambiance and vanity

December promise you gave unto me
December whispers of treachery
December clouds are now covering me
December songs no longer I sing
Close call with a happy ending.

What if you had almost completed your master's thesis, failed to make a back up, and discovered it stolen? Here's a true story of how it happened, and how the student actually recovered her thesis by thinking like a thief.

It's a great story.
There is one thing I look forward to in this season. It's all about the lights. Colored lights, candles in windows (although Seattle doesn't do the candle in the window thing the way New England does it - I miss those!), classy decor, tacky decorations, and very large inflatable snow globes, such as the one currently on the roof of the Elite, a gay bar at the end of Broadway. It even has the appearance of snow moving inside it. Pretty cool.

The lights. It is all about the lights for me.
It's all good.

Here is this year's ugly lights, although I wouldn't say ugly. That's what the website is called. I call it fun.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thanks to Isitandlookout for this link.

It's so bad it's good.

Introducing, Jesus, The Musical. It came from Yossie (of handcuff fame).

When Aubrey Sparks was doing his internet radio show, Aubrey's Playroom, he did an interview with Yossie Silverman. If interested, you can go to the first season archives, right here and scroll down to the 2/26/2000 show to play the interview. It played on Real Player from my computer.
For those of you who celebrate the holidays...and for those of you who don't, I wish you all open eyes, open hearts...and peace.

And sex. Lots and lots and lots of sex.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thanks Draignoeth for highlighting this.

It's a good piece.


An Open Letter from Gay Italian Priests*
Translated into English by William Hood

The recent Instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education concerning the
criteria of vocational discernment for persons with homosexual tendencies urges us to
present some reflections relevant to that document. We address ourselves to our brothers in the priesthood, to bishops and religious superiors, to men and women living under vows, to men and women in society.

We are Catholic priests, secular and religious, with homosexual tendencies, and that fact has not kept us from being good priests. Some of us have spent our lives as missionaries, others as parish priests and pastors loved and admired by their people, still others live out their priesthood teaching with dedication and professionalism.

Our homosexual tendency, as the document would have one believe, has not been an
impediment to leading a life in the sacred ministry that is animated by the gift of one's whole self to the Church and by authentic pastoral charity (1). Our homosexuality does not put us in a situation that gravely impairs appropriate relationships with men and women, as the document states in the second paragraph: as men and priests we feel wounded by this absolutely gratuitous assertion. We have no more serious problems than heterosexuals do in living a chaste life, because homosexuality is not synonymous with promiscuity nor with uncontrollable instincts: we are not sexually "sick" and our homosexual tendency has not damaged either our psychological health (2) or our moral and human gifts (3).

The document requires, as determining the candidate's suitability, that transitory
homosexual tendencies be brought to light and overcome three years before ordination to the diaconate. Now for the majority of us priests the years in seminary were a time of sexual serenity. In fact, meeting together on various occasions for retreats or spiritual conferences, we have noticed that the disturbances, for heterosexuals and well as for homosexuals, have come afterwards, caused not by sexual orientation but by loneliness, the lack of friendship, the sense of being little loved and, sometimes, even abandoned by our own superiors, colleagues, and communities. What is more, and speaking to our particular situation, some of us have recognized our homosexuality only after ordination.

One has the sense that this document was born as a reaction to the cases of recently
uncovered pedophilia, mostly in the American and Brazilian churches: but homosexual
orientation is not absolutely synonymous with pedophilia.

One also has another impression: that people believe homosexuals are necessarily part of a gay culture that is exhibitionistic, outrageous, lawless, promoting a philosophy of life that often appears to many eyes as contrary to any moral law, in which everything is permissible. Certain manifestations of the gay world are born as reactions to the years of seclusion and persecution in which the homosexual world has been imprisoned, but the whole gay world does not share such characteristics. In any case, not one of us behaves outrageously or embraces a permissive hedonism in which no moral law exists.

The document would make it seem that the greatest problem for being a good priest is
sexual orientation, and the necessity to overcome a certain lifestyle that, in addition to being unacceptable sexually, creates other scandals among the faithful: we refer to luxury, to the love of money, to hegemonies of power, to isolation from the problems of ordinary people. On the contrary, we consider our homosexualty as richness, because it helps us share the emargination and suffering of many people: to paraphrase Saint Paul, we can be everything to everyone, weak with the weak, emarginated with the emarginated.

Experience shows that our homosexual condition, lived in the light of the Gospel and
under the action of the Spirit, puts us in a condition to sustain and support our
homosexual brothers and sisters in their journey of faith, making real that pastoral care that the Church acknowledges as necessary and desirable.

The very Church that has received the ministry of reconciliation (4) needs to reconcile itself with homosexuality, which is a reality for many faithful people, sons and daughters of God: men and women of good will who have the right to find a haven for their souls in the Church.

Obviously, like all upright people, we cannot deny our fragility, which is a condition of human nature: we carry the gift of God in earthen vessels (5), but our situation is not an obstacle to being priests according to the heart of God.

Now, after the publication of this document, we experience great pain and discomfort, as though our vocation had not been authentic. We feel ourselves abandoned sons and
unloved by that Church to which we have promised and given our fidelity and love. We
feel ourselves to be "little brothers" in a priesthood that we seem to have entered almost by subterfuge.

(1) Cfr. Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 14
(2) Cfr. C.I.C., can 1051
(3) Cfr. Pastores dabo vobis, n. 35
(4) Cfr. 2 Corinthians 5,18
(5) Cfr. 2 Corinthians 4,7

* The original version of this letter was published on December 18, 2005 on the Italian Catholic website Adista (

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm moving slow today.

Half of our coworkers are out of the office this week, the others next week. And hopefully, I'll have the first week of January off. Because I process the gifts, I need to be here for the last few weeks of the calendar year.

Today, I managed to clean off my desk which included sorting through a nasty pile that had accumulated unfinished projects. The motivation for the cleaning was a card I received yesterday. I wanted a nice place to put it and the piles on my desk weren't going to cut it.

It is a holiday card...from the Museum of Modern Art. Gorgeous.
It's also probably the best holiday gift I've ever received in my life.

The card is from an intern we had over the summer.

Inside, he wrote:

Thank you for being honest with me & showing me your true self - fetishes, visits to the therapist, and all. You helped me be more comfortable with myself.


Even though I'm struggling something fierce and know I have to get to a place where outside validation does not matter...his words couldn’t have come at a better time.
Yesterday's news but getting to it now.
There is justice.

Federal Judge Rules, in Strongly Worded Opinion, That Teaching Intelligent Design Is Unconstitutional

From the Chronicle of Higher Education article:
"In a broad and withering opinion, a federal judge ruled today that intelligent design was nothing more than creationism in disguise and therefore that it was unconstitutional to teach it in a public-school science classroom."

Here is the link to the full text of the decision.
Shock and Awe.

Thanks to Si, here's a site to some banned and controversial album cover art.

Rob Brezsny meditates on the perfect holiday gift in this week's Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Brokeback bickering.
Give me a break.

Brokeback Mountain...
...and the bigger picture.

The controversy by queers surrounding this film has been interesting. I've yet nor have a desire to read (and I'm sure there's plenty) the clamor from anti-gay folks because well, we know why they hate us.

I haven't had a chance to see the movie. After standing in line at an advanced screening for quite while, we failed to make it in. I'll get there. I plan on it. The dollar speaks. I believe it's important to boycott and more important to support.

Most of the noise that I've read around this movie seems to be coming from those of us who live in areas where we don't have to struggle daily with being queer. We take a lot more for granted. In that case, it's easier to complain about another tragic gay love story, or not enough hot scenes, or why wasn't it written by a gay man or...or...or...

The way I see it is, I'm just thrilled when movies with even a small gay plot gets this mainstream. It may or may not be my ideal movie. I know we all have ideas on how we believe it could be improved. That's always the way, isn't it?

Anytime there is one step forward, be it small or large, there is a chorus of us ready to cry out that "this is wrong...not enough was done...too much went in the wrong direction." We really know how to do the in fighting, don't we? That is the one thing we have in common. No wonder the extreme right has become as entrenched as it has. They can stand together and rally around their one cause of "being better and holier than the rest of us", whereas we bicker over every single little motion.

I remember the uproar when gay marriage was pushed to the front. Whether or not I agree with the idea of marriage is irrelevant. It's more important, critical actually, for me to stand behind those who are fighting for even SOME aspect of our equality.

I don't understand why we just can't celebrate the fact that it's a step forward. There are many in this country who won't have access to the movie. It's not being released in all areas. There are many who are still getting kicked out of their homes, and beaten up in school, and abused and shamed and hated because their heart loves differently.

We need to remember that even though we all have individual ideas and beliefs, we are in a war and we need, we MUST join together. I believe it's the most important culture war our country has seen. It's not enough that we are fighting to have the same rights and protections as monogamous, vanilla, white, rich heterosexual men, but a greater war is now being fought over the Bill of Rights and our basic freedoms.

I can actually see we are so busy fighting over details that we wake up one day with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Distraction is a powerful tool.
Today's the day for showcasing the ugly. Sometimes, I need to keep away from the news and the papers. It's all too much. But I can't stay away permanently. It's important for me to be aware, at least on some level.

Americablog is hot and heavy right now, with Bush's wiretap scandal. They've published a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer is looking into the idea that Bush may have committed an impeachable offense.

A brilliant piece by John called The 2nd Amendment Has Been Repealed puts the shoe on the other foot.
Last night I read a chilling article written by Joe Keohane, Public enemy - "Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel 'It Can't Happen Here' envisioned an America in thrall to a homespun facist dictator. Newly reissued, it's as unsettling a read as ever."

It begins with:
PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned.

This politician, a ''Professional Common Man,'' executes his rise by relentlessly attacking the liberal media, fancy-talking intellectuals, shiftless progressives, pinkos, promiscuity, and welfare hangers-on, all the while clamoring for a return to traditional values, to love of country, to the pie-scented days of old when things made sense and Americans were indisputably American. He speaks almost entirely in ''noble but slippery abstractions''-Liberty, Freedom, Equality-and people love him, even if they can't fully articulate why without resorting to abstractions themselves.

Through a combination of factors-his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election...

...While more paranoid readers might be tempted to draw parallels between this scenario and sundry predicaments we may or may not be in right now, the story line is actually that of Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel ''It Can't Happen Here,'' a hastily written cautionary note about America's potential descent into fascism, recently reissued by New American Library in a handsome trade edition with a blood-spattered cover design.

The article ends with (but read the whole thing):

When Windrip is elected, all hell breaks loose. Dissent is crushed, the Bill of Rights is gutted, war is declared (on Mexico), and labor camps are established to help shore up Windrip's vaunted "New Freedom," which is more like a freedom from freedom. All that's really left of the old America are the flags and patriotic ditties, which for many is more than enough. But to Lewis it's not entirely the fault of those who will gladly abide America's principles being gutted. The blame also falls on the "it can't happen here" crowd, those yet to realize that being American doesn't change your human nature; whatever it is that attracts people to tyranny is in Americans like it's in anyone else.

When Lewis embarked on "It Can't Happen Here," his wife wondered if a dictatorship could happen in this country, whether complacent Babbitt, as she put it, could be taught to march "quickly enough." It was a question that Lewis had already answered. There's a scene in "Babbitt" where the title character blows up at his wife and admits for the first time in years that he's not as thrilled with his lot as he lets on. His wife soothes him and sends him off to bed, where, "For many minutes, for many hours, for a bleak eternity, he lay awake, shivering, reduced to primitive terror, comprehending that he had won freedom, and wondering what he could do with anything so unknown and so embarrassing as freedom."

In other words, the marching is just pageantry. Windrip's most formidable task, convincing Americans to renounce bedrock democratic principles, was already accomplished well before he took power. It was just waiting for its moment.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Britian hates Barbie?
In a twisted fashion, I truly enjoyed this article-

From today's Seattle PI

Researchers find Barbie is often mutilated

By Jill Lawless
Associated Press Writer

LONDON -- Barbie, beware. The iconic plastic doll is often mutilated at the hands of young girls, according to research published Monday by British academics.

"The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a 'cool' activity," said Agnes Nairn, one of the University of Bath researchers. "The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."

Researchers from the university's marketing and psychology departments questioned 100 children about their attitudes to a range of products as part of a study on branding. They found Barbie provoked the strongest reaction, with youngsters reporting "rejection, hatred and violence," Nairn said.

"The meaning of 'Barbie' went beyond an expressed antipathy; actual physical violence and torture towards the doll was repeatedly reported, quite gleefully, across age, school and gender," she said.

While boys often expressed nostalgia and affection toward Action Man - the British equivalent of GI Joe - renouncing Barbie appeared to be a rite of passage for many girls, Nairn said.

"The most readily expressed reason for rejecting Barbie was that she was babyish, and girls saw her as representing their younger childhood out of which they felt they had now grown," she said.

Nairn said many girls saw Barbie as an inanimate object rather than a treasured toy.

"Whilst for an adult the delight the child felt in breaking, mutilating and torturing their dolls is deeply disturbing, from the child's point of view they were simply being imaginative in disposing of an excessive commodity in the same way as one might crush cans for recycling," she said.

Manufacturer Mattel, which sells 94 million Barbies a year worldwide, said the doll remained the "No. 1 fashion doll brand."

Mattel U.K. said that despite the findings of "this very small group of children, we know that there are millions of girls in the U.K. and across the world that love and enjoy playing with Barbie and will continue to do so in the future."
Today -

Sunrise: 7:54 am
Sunset: 4:19 pm

I LOVE this time of year. For real.

It's a welcome change to all the long, sunny days of summer. More importantly, there is something magical about the dark.
Want to see my latest, greatest, favorite painter?

Just saying that is odd because I've detached from my painting and so even the idea of immersing myself and getting to know the work of another...thinking about it in relation to what I used to do leaves me feeling conflicted.

But this painter is too good for me to ignore.

About a month ago Hoss' boy and I were killing time before going to see "The Dying Gaul". We popped into the U of WA bookstore and cruised the stacks for an hour. I beelined for the art section. There was a book. This book. I picked it up and fell in love.

I couldn't get enough of looking. The book is filled with details of her work. Those tend to be my favorite parts of paintings. Little chunks. I can focus on the marks. It gives me a sense of the artist's hand, mind and heart.

I've done a bit of reading about the artist. There have been articles regarding feminist theory, blah, blah, blah. It doesn't interest me. It wasn't the subject matter that grabbed me. It was the passion. The passion that shows up in the strokes and colors.

I also hate to rip apart and intellectualize a piece of art. For me, it doesn't work.

Art, good art, is born of a sexual place. Just feel it. Shut off your goddammed head, and feel it with your cock, your cunt, your belly and your heart. After seeing, close your eyes and imagine what it may feel like if you could touch it.

Jenny Saville is juicy.
I wish you could see the images in this big white book I now own, thanks to our year end bonus of a bookstore gift certificate.
Instead, you'll have to make do with this.
Luscious, sexy painting.
Look at how she handles the brush.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It seems that at least once a year I write up something on art and sex. This morning I woke with many thoughts and expected a new entry on that topic. Alas it is not to be. I'm still feeling kinda mushy. It's just where I'm at.

So instead, I'll do the cheesy thing and link to two past entries. The first, from 13 December 2003, speaks to erotic art.

The second, written in March of 2004, is about art and sex.

One day, the fire in my belly will return.
You better watch out! ;-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Glass artist Chihuly's lawsuit tests limits of copyrighting art

by Maureen O'Hagan - Seattle Times staff reporter

When does inspiration cross the line into imitation?

That's the question at the heart of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle claiming two glass blowers have copied Dale Chihuly's designs and are selling knockoffs at several local galleries.

The copyright-infringement suit, filed Oct. 27 by Seattle-based Chihuly Inc. and the world-renowned glass artist's publishing company, is asking for at least $1 million in damages.

Neither side has fully laid out its case yet, but because copyright lawsuits involving fine art are relatively rare, especially in Washington state, it's raised some interesting questions.

How does an artist go about proving — or disproving — copyright infringement? How do you differentiate between Chihuly's influence on other glass artists and artistic plagiarism? Can he claim exclusive rights to designs that are modeled on things such as Navajo blankets and sea life? And what does it mean for the world of art glass?

Read the entire article.
The suckness that is sometimes life.

As I wrote to a good friend today, sometimes I get weary of juggling all sides of an experience, a dilemma or a whatever. I can see the different facets. But sometimes, when I'm tired, I just need to sink into the dreariness. I know the clock is ticking and it's not going to stay glum forever. I don't know when or how…but something inside tells me it will change. At some point. In the meantime, here I sit.

I know I'll find the strength to move but right now, I’m tired. Very tired.

On Wednesday, I asked the shrink if, out of the small number of clients who have done this particular type of intensive work, any had cracked and lost it. In his delightfully pragmatic presence that he has, his response was "Nope. Not yet."
Huh. Yet.

I wondered if I'd be the first.

Over the last month there have been many new developments. I've chosen to keep them to myself. It's all so connected and therefore feels almost impossible to isolate for the sake of explanation. Someday I'll share.

I did something dumb yesterday.

Without reading a full entry, I had to jump in on someone's comments. It was crazy. But it was what it was.
My big huge button right now, where I am over and hypersensitive, is the idea of good sex/bad sex. Too many use the concept of their determination of what is bad sex to shame us. I hate, detest, despise and loathe any sex positive person picking up the same weapon. Anything between consenting adults is not bad. Period. Now, I do know that certain acts may not be good for certain people...

...different strokes, right?

Thing is, I threw my big feet in where it didn't belong. Not reading the full entry, I missed the context.
You guys all know how I harp on context!
It's the awkwardness of my present moment.


I'm going to try to write what's been floating in my head. Recent developments.

On Monday the shrink asked me "so what part of you died at a year old?"
Nope, I didn't like that question at all. I knew the answer but couldn't say it. Not then.

It has to do with gender and race.

Yes, race. The idea that we encompass all is much stronger in me than I ever thought. I've been learning this in my sessions. The shrink, and I do have to admit that I’m glad he's Buddhist, in spite of what I feel about organized religions, has been giving me a safe place to delve into the bigness.
Living in a world that demands we compartmentalize not only daily, but sometimes minute by minute, is incredibly painful. For me, it includes gender and race.

One interesting development and I have to assume it's positive is my depression coincided with ceasing coffee drinking and cutting cigarettes way down to pretty much nothing. It just happened.

I picked up smoking as things intensified in therapy. I'd smoke somewhere between 3-6 cigs a day. I wasn’t too worried because I knew why I craved it and trusted that it would go away when it needed to. I can't guilt myself into stopping and I wasn’t going to let anyone else try either.

It appears to be that time. Just the idea of a cigarette makes me nauseous.

The other thing is my morning coffee. For 5 days I noticed I wasn't finishing my venti. It no longer tasted good. Now I drink tea in the morning. I may have a cup in the afternoon, but most of the time, no coffee at all.

No withdrawals for either. It is just another step in my life. These changes are the glimmer that I can keep following.

Is this a vague entry? Yeah.
What can I say?
How about Vonnegut as well as Morford today?

First, Kurt Vonnegut. A snippet from Your Guess Is As Good As Mine:

"Most of you, if not all of you, like me, feel inadequately educated. That is an ordinary feeling for a member of our species. One of the most brilliant human beings of all times, George Bernard Shaw, said on his 75th birthday or so that at last he knew enough to become a mediocre office boy. He died in 1950, by the way, when I was 28. He is the one who said, "Youth is wasted on the young." I turned 83 a couple weeks ago, and I must say I agree.

Shaw, if he were alive today, would envy us the solid information that we have or can get about the nature of the universe, about time and space and matter, about our own bodies and brains, about the resources and vulnerabilities of our planet, about how all sorts of human beings actually talk and feel and live.

This is the information revolution. We have taken it very badly so far. Information seems to be getting in the way all the time. Human beings have had to guess about almost everything for the past million years or so. Our most enthralling and sometimes terrifying guessers are the leading characters in our history books. I will name two of them: Aristotle and Hitler. One good guesser and one bad one."

Read the whole thing.

Today, Mark Morford writes about American Torture.

"This is something we must know, acknowledge, take to heart and not simply file away as some sort of murky, disquieting unknowable that's best left to scummy lords of the government underworld. We must not don the blinders and think America is always, without fail, the land of the perky and the free and the benevolent. Horrific torture is very much a part of who we are, right now. Deny it at your peril. Accept it at your deep discontent."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams hit me powerfully hard. My heart bled.

Once again, I felt immense shame that I lived in a country that idolizes violence, sees forgiveness as weakness, refuses to acknowledge that life is ever changing, and will not acknowledge the brutal truth that we are ALL equal and worthy, not only wealthy straight white men. In trying to find words, I instead found the following column.

This is probably one of the best articles I've read on the subject in a long time, if ever.

From The View From San Quentin Village by Stephen Zunes:

"I have always opposed the death penalty. Yet there was something about this particular execution that has moved me like no other. Part of it, or course, had to do with the strong possibility that Williams was in fact not guilty of the murders for which the jury -- which failed to include any African-Americans -- convicted him. For me, however, I was most struck as to how this case spoke of the immorality of the government’s – and, according to public opinion polls, the majority of the American people’s – refusal to recognize the possibility of personal redemption. Ironically, the United States boasts the highest number of people in the industrialized world, both overall and proportionately, who practice Christianity, a faith tradition rooted in that very principle.

Despite Americans’ longstanding distrust for “big government,” there remains strong support for the ultimate form of government power – the authority to take away human life. We have remained a free people in large part because we have maintained a healthy skepticism of governmental authority whether it is from the executive, legislative or judicial branches. To support the death penalty is to believe in the infallibility of governmental institutions, and that is the first step towards fascism."


"Today, 97% of all executions worldwide take place in just four countries: China, Vietnam, Iran and the United States. Indeed, much about capital punishment can be said simply by the company we keep."

It's a good read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Some run off from my fingers. It's no-editing writing while sitting at Septieme with my laptop for the first time in almost a month. (That's right. I haven't even been able to gain comfort in my normal haunts.) I thought these words would be notes for a future entry. Rereading this evening...screw it. This is how I crapped it out and this is what you get.

It's not pretty. It is what it is.
Honest. And me.


So how do I even begin to write about what's going on?
This is kind of how these posts tend to start, eh? Maybe I should just write and write. Maybe something will come through. Something that makes sense of the mush I'm in.

I'm having an asthma attack right now. it's driving me crazy.

Where do I begin? Since Creating Change, life has been very difficult. I'm not sure how to deal, how to explain, or anything. Not really.
Maybe it's a fantasy world I've been in. maybe it's a dream. Maybe I'm just hangin' out. Maybe I have no idea what I really want to say. Maybe I'm too broken to talk with all of you. Maybe I suck. Yeah. That's it.

Didn't I use that yesterday?

I suck.

Today I saw my potential. it was strictly a glimmer...a flash. That small snippet was grand. I couldn't even take all of the little in. Immense. The feeling of what could have been was powerful. It knocked me down.

I could have been great. A force to be reckoned with. I could have changed the world. I look in the back of my head and see an alternate reality. It's my other self. Not caring what others think. Living, loving and working. And...not caring what others think.

How do I even write all this?
Who can I share it with? It's all crazy, yanno?

Today I woke. Like yesterday. And the day before. And today I laid in bed for two hours. Willing myself to face the day. Like yesterday. And the day before. I've done every day for the last week. I have not wanted to get up, get moving or get living. I've been numbish. I didn't want to be with myself or with others. Couldn't watch tv, read, sketch, write and didn't want to be. No be. Just not be. Everything felt flat. Even laughing with friends, there was/is a sense of detachment. I saw myself as two people. It felt surface.

I couldn't feel my belly. I'd try wanking off, morning, noon and night. Yeah, I'd cum but the orgasms didn't have my belly fire they normally do. So it was flat. Again flat.

I sought joy in nature. I'd take a different road just to get a better view of the mountains with the sunrise or sunset. My excitement again would fall...flat.

Today, I tried using color for excitement. My wasabi colored shirt with my deep scarlet very soft boa-esque scarf, jeans, dark pea coat and brown boots would normally make me giddy. But not today.

The spark left. My fire. Extinguished.

I've decided that my shrink burnt out my feelers.
I've decided that 3 days a week of poking and prodding is unnatural. We busted my psyche.
I know it.

Guess what came with this depression?
Yes. I said the word. After all I've been through, which wasn't the D word, I could now say that I've hit depression.

I don't know how to write this. Once again, how does it go? How should I say it? What is it I should say? What am I not saying? Am I not saying that my parents broke me? I could have been great? But now I'm weak, ashamed, and a useless piece of shit. There's no way I can be anything when I'm like this. Yes, it's the old song and dance. Now I understand. I understand how some can kill themselves even when their life appears to be so together. Some hide it very well.

People don't want to see unpleasantness. If they did, they could smell the energy. They could see the sadness behind the eyes, behind the smiles. They could see the lost child behind the successful career person.

But we all choose not to see. What would we do with such pain once we picked up on it? Maybe just hold one another?
What would happen if we did all stop and had a huge global group hug?


For one quick second we would know each other's soul. All of us.

That's how we are born. We come from that collective consciousness, and enter the world bloody, screaming and shocked. The wisdom of the ages is still seeping through our skin.

Then we live. We touch or don't touch other humans. Each interaction causes us to lose the truth of what is. Little by little it dissipates as we get squeezed into what we are told to become. You boy. You girl. You white. You straight. You catholic.

All the possibility of the universe disappears. Fully.

We conform. In odd moments we come into contact with some of the truth as it spurts out, in spite of ourselves. Only to be cut away...once again.

I don't know what to do with the idea of this. The concept. There's an incredible amount of pain and loss. I can feel the fury, for the first time in my life..fierce fury for how I was raised.

Etta sings:

Don't cry baby.
Dry your eyes.
Let's be sweethearts again

...they treat you so mean...

...don't cry baby...

RIP James Hall

Northwest Leatherboy 2005, James Hall, passed away December 10, 2005.

I rec'd this news a while ago but due to life stuff, kept forgetting to post it. Thank you Malixe for the reminder.
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology by Rob Brezsny and Xmas Cards from famous people, courtesy of Mark Morford.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I suck today.

I've been suckin' for the last 5 days.
Big time.

So, instead of me, seeing I can't even write at this time, I'll give you someone who is not suckin'.

Let me introduce you to my coworker, Jimmy Worm. Last week I asked him if he'd like to be a periodic guest blogger and he said yes. Here is his first entry, The Birth.


The Birth

Does art mimic life? Or does life mimic art? I know, I know, what a dreadful clichĂ©. But there it is, falling out of me uncontrollably. You get what you get. Don’t worry; I won’t be answering this question, as if I could. But what I will tell you is that, for me, art is mimicking life, right here, right now.

As I write this I am waiting for the birth of my new cd, “Last Chance”. Not yet born, but already named. Is it fair to give a new life such a final name as “Last Chance”? I can’t really answer that question either. You’re thinking, “Well, THIS is going to be fun, lots of questions and no answers”. But I can’t be concerned with that at the moment. Remember, I’m giving birth. I’m in pain. I’ve got my legs spread as far as they can possibly spread. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, “Get the fuck out of me!” My child is being pressed and duplicated and will arrive at my doorstep within weeks.

I won’t pretend to understand the intricacies of childbirth. Have we all heard the analogy? “Imagine passing a football through the head of your penis.” I’m sorry, I can’t imagine that. But I am bright enough to know that the point of the analogy is pain. Lots of pain. Pain in waves of tacks and broken glass and cherry flavored cough syrup. God, I hate cherry flavored cough syrup. Pain I can understand. I’ve been carrying this child for four years. It’s been four long years of being kicked in the gut, the bladder, the heart. Most of all the heart. He grew so slowly at first that I didn’t even mind his existence. But this bastard child is WAY overdue and I’m ready to have my body back.

Honestly, I can’t decide which piece of this pregnancy has been the most painful, the creation of the songs themselves or the technical production of them. Conception, however, was easy. Isn’t that the way? I have to wonder how much birth would occur if it was only based on clear, conscious decision. I’m from a family of ten children. “Hmm, I think I’ll have my tenth child this year.” I find it hard to imagine that’s the way it went down. Anyway, I was a reluctant participant in this from the beginning. Sure, I got caught up in the heat of the moment, when there was only an urge, a throb, a tender kiss, a well placed finger in my gray matter that couldn’t be denied. And I gave in momentarily to the pleasure of something other than myself entering me, knowing that the single thing I didn’t want to say in that moment was, “No”. But thoughts of the future don’t occur at times like that. Only thoughts of right now. And yes or no becomes irrelevant. I don’t choose to write music. It forms inside me, or it doesn’t. Fertility is a fluke of nature.

I never realized the technical process of producing a child like this was so absolutely, painfully daunting. I know it takes an entire village to raise a child, but to produce the damn thing? Come on! There’s the recording engineer, the producer, the musicians, the graphic designer, the cd masterer, and the duplicator. Each of these doctors has his own schedule filled with expectant mothers. My uterus and its contents are no more special to them than the swollen mound of flesh that left their office ten minutes earlier. So I sit in each waiting room 30 minutes past my appointment, an hour, two. One day of recording was cancelled so the recording engineer could do his laundry. A week of recording scrapped because the drummer forgot he was supposed to be at the studio. The whole project cancelled for a year because the graphic designs were two months late. A weekend of production lost because the duplicator didn’t see my emails. I shouldn’t complain too much. The system works the way the system works. It’s bigger than me, and the pain of childbirth has existed since the dawn of time. What kind of pain did the cavemen artists of 30,000 B.C. in France and Spain endure? Maybe I have it made.

In the song itself, the single cell, splitting, growing into bone and skin and tiny limbs, there lays pain. It is an egg waiting for that strongest swimmer, the swimmer that has what it takes to pierce its shell, that event or man that changes the course of history simply by its existence. Pain. Don’t think me too dreary. Songs are born of love and sunshine and chocolate kisses. I know this. I even accept this. But love can disappoint, the sun can burn, and too much chocolate can make me queasy. The songs that make up the body of “Last Chance” contain all of this. I fell in love for the first time in my life at the age of 41. He was my strength and my weakness. And I surrendered to both. When he came, I was startled by the reality of a feeling that I had never felt, or even knew existed anywhere but Hollywood. “In love”, ah, this is what they’ve been going on about. My cherry never stood a chance. No protection would have prevented that little fucker from hitting his target. I should just have set up the crib then and there. When he pulled out, I was startled again by the reality of a feeling that I had never felt, or even knew existed anywhere but Hollywood. I’ve never experienced such emptiness. I’ve never experienced such need for another human. Pain. I would make the same choices if I had it to do over again. You see, before this pain I had no fucking idea that I was even alive, much less fertile.

So now the time is at hand. I wait. We’ve come so far, my little bundle and me that I believe I should feel the worst is over. But these final hours, these weeks of labor, are every bit as torturous as the preceding four years. Through the grunts and sweat and unattractiveness I can’t help but wonder what will become of him. Will he be liked? Will he be hated? Will he make someone’s life better? Worse? It’s out of my control. At this point nothing will prevent his arrival. I have loved, and loved fiercely. I am a better man for it. But for my memories, “Last Chance” is all that remains of us or what we might have become. New life is my reward. I have a last chance to cast my dna to the winds and see where those winds take him. I will leave these little bits of me behind after I’m gone, even if they go unnoticed.

-Jimmy Worm, December 2005


Thanks Jimmy. Love you.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Today's Koan -

A coworker emailed us his schedule for today. The last line which included a message from his 4 year old son, was:

the boy says, "potato chip on your head" to all of you. I am sure it is some sort of endearment.

Potato Chip On Your Head to all of you.
"In an astonishing but not completely unexpected announcement, Jesus H. Christ, vice president and CFO of All That Is Inc., appeared today on a large tortilla at a roadside taco stand in Zacatecas, Mexico, to announce that, effective immediately, the pseudo-Christian group Focus on the Family, led by Dr. James Dobson and best known for its blazing hatred of gays and its fear of glimpsing the human female nipple during nationally televised sporting events, is effectively banned from His Divine Beneficence.

"What happened was, the heavens and all spirits of goodness, along with Buddha and Shiva and Allah and Kali and a few others, well, we were having some margaritas and playing poker and tossing around recent headlines, when Allah chimed in that this Focus on the Family group -- a real scab on my big toe for years, I gotta tell you -- well, they just decided to yank all their accounts from a bank over the bank's support of gay rights," said Jesus, dressed in black Diesel jeans, Hugo Boss motorcycle boots and a snug tank top featuring a large OM symbol across the chest."

To read the rest of Mark Morford's recent column, go here.

Nice. :-)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I do fine. I do fine. I do fine.

I really do.

And then, wham.

It still takes so little to send me reeling - a subtle reminder of how I am party of one. Not in the way that I desire coupleship, because I don’t.

Instead, it's...I don't know. I can't even write it because it feels so dumb. Heh. Over the last year I've learned that when something feels stupid or dumb it's because I'm sinking in shame.

What I can finally now see is these setbacks come from my 'lack of foundation' as the shrink would call it. Having to fully create my own being is, on one hand hugely difficult. The plus side is, I have less limits to deal with. More possibilities and no hindrances to really go off the scale. A larger sense of permission to be myself. Blessing/curse, eh?

My coworker the musician, and I were talking one morning last week. He said, in what felt like an out of the blue moment, "Gaggie, you don't have a roadmap. You're not stuck in same way the rest of us are. We fit easier in groups and therefore take to them, to belong. But within that, then it's harder for us to explore who we really are. Peer pressure and many influences. We think this is how it's supposed to be and therefore do not even see the greater possibility that comes with bucking what we know. We've bound ourselves in a way that you haven't...just because you don't fit."

Yeah, blessing/curse.

In the last week I've felt both sides of that coin.
The strength and power that comes with knowing we are all so very unique that it doesn't matter what I say or do. When I relax into it, my thoughts run smoother and things click into place. I feel my energy swirling around me, in and out, one continuous flurry where there is no separation between my inner and outer world. Intense and gorgeous stuff.

And then...

...a whisper. A simple breath of air causes me to stumble.

Being knocked off guard sends me into retreat mode. I feel the implosion, the shame of freak instead of the glorious sexual/creative explosion that is truly freak.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

Mark Morford latest column speaks of obesity in our society.

He writes:

"But it is messy, and difficult to unpack all the sociocultural layers and the psychology -- and even the spirituality -- behind it. Say what you will about the typical causes of obesity and gluttony and lack of self-respect, but there is one question you have to keep returning to when it comes to bulking ourselves up to a degree that scares small animals and makes the floorboards shake: What, really, are we so hungry for?

What are we not getting in our lives that ridiculous amounts of excess food and lack of self-awareness are failing to mollify? Hell, just ask any spiritual healer or guru or naturopath and you hear the same thing: Obesity is, by and large, a reaction, a response to a spiritual crisis and a deep-seated energetic hole in the head/heart/soul.

It is the basic formula: We consume more crap, both comestible and technological, to try and make up for what we aren't getting, deeper down. We gorge to fill a void, to cover up the pain of abuse or neglect or even heartbreak; we neglect the self to avoid responsibility because responsibility is, well, hard -- and isn't that why we have war and Prozac and Jesus?"

It's big stuff. Huge.
No pun intended.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Language. Communication.

It's critical and yet we don't always do it very well, do we?
What we say, and more importantly, what we hear.

Over the last 10 years I've become acutely aware that we only hear what we can hear. And, we will also change words to fit what we can hear.

Last week I received a language lesson. It was an astounding and quite revealing experience in what I think of my painting and to a greater extent, me.

I will never forget the first time I noticed how critical and tricky language was.

10 years ago my partner and I had been fighting for a few days. It was strange because we normally did a good job of talking things through. After the 3rd day of arguments and what felt on some level like a massive misunderstanding, a lightbulb went off. I turned to her and asked "what do you mean by commitment? Please define it."

She explained that when she heard the word "commitment", it was all about the forever thing. I smiled and then explained that my definition of commitment has nothing to do with forever. I can't see the future and nothing lasts forever anyway. I went on and said that for me, commitment was simply making the choice in a moment to be there...working for that moment. Nothing more. Who knows what the next day brings?

I saw the relief wash over her. The wee one had been terrified and therefore pushing away because she didn't want to get cemented into anything. Thing is, I had no damned desire to get locked into a longterm relationship either. Whatever happens, happens.

That lesson has stuck with me in a powerful way.

When my former teacher had his stroke, these last 3 years have shown me how aphasia is an entirely different language. Trickier because the words used are ones we know but many times they can mean very different things. His aphasia also affects how his brain translates what he hears.

Again, another big lesson in communication.

There have been emails I've received over the years that, when I was in a defensive space would literally misread not only the context, but the actual words. When I'd wait a day or two and reread, I'd be floored at how the content shifted and words appear and/or change. I'd see how I'd have gotten angry or hurt for nothing because I had projected myself, my stuff, into the text.


That's the latest. Stuff.

Last week I wrote and included a snippet about a conversation with a good friend.

From my entry:

The second called me that evening.
"Hey. I just read your blog."
"You know, paintings are just stuff. Nothing more than stuff."
"Thank you."

Well he called me a few days later and again mentioned he read my blog. Then he said the most fascinating thing. He had never used the word "stuff" when he spoke of my work in that conversation. He said that he was very careful in choosing his words and intentionally used the word "work".

I never heard it. Or, I heard work and immediately translated it into stuff.

It was a huge whoa.

I see my paintings as stuff, only stuff, not work. It speaks volumes about my self perception as well.

This feels like a big step in awareness of myself.

Language. What we hear. What we see.

It was another huge reminder of how we each do create our own reality. Regardless of what another concocts, we dismantle with our own tools and reassemble with our own inventory. Sometimes I'm actually surprised that we can get on the same page.
How about this month's Planetwaves horoscope from Eric Francis?
And December's Inner Space can be found here.

These, for me anyway, tend to be frighteningly accurate.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A most brilliant campaign.

We All Have AIDS

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I've been...relaxing.

Yeah, that's right. No, really. Fully unstressed resting. It feels like a new experience and so I'm taking advantage of it. Alone and quiet.

For the last week or so, things have slowly balanced out. On top of it, I never realized how much tension I was carrying due to a loose crown until my dentist appointment on Friday. I had it checked out when I first noticed it, 18 months ago, but the dentist couldn't pull it out to recement it. Since then, I've been afraid to go back. Yes, I know it's unreasonable. But that's me.

Anyway, on Friday my tooth was restuck. And, it seems I've been carrying around a bacterial infection for the last month or so, which explains the added exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. I've known about it but didn't want to deal with that either.

What can I say?

Now, it feels as if I'm in an oasis. Physically and emotionally. Respite after the long internal work I've been engaged in. No, I still don't know who I am, what I'm doing or where I'm going but again, it really doesn't matter. It simply feels good to breathe and step lightly without extra anxiety.

I'll get back to blogging soon.
In the meantime, I'm jumping back into relaxing.
Season 5 of Buffy is waiting.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A couple years ago I wrote my feelings about Christmas. It hasn't changed.

Ummm...correct that. It has changed. I've become more sure in regards to my position. Condensed readers digest version (which I did inform my family of), is, I'm not christian and therefore do not see the need in celebrating this supposedly holy birth. And, I really don't believe in the whole retail thing. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Then again, I'm not a retail person anyway. I don't want to hear reasons about the joy of giving, sharing, blah, blah, blah because I think it should be focused on all year round, as you are moved to, not because you are guilted into it by advertisers, media, and everyone else who feels that there must be something wrong with you if you don't jump on the bandwagon.

I wasn't going to go into it this year. Did it once. It's enough.

Everyone needs to decide what is right for them, preferably without the little voices of "should/should not" elves, bedecked in red and green, whispering in each person's ears.

Today, Mark Morford is ranting away.

An excerpt:
"I shall not argue for the purity of the holidays, for some sort of utopian Christian notion that it used to be all simple and lovely and beatific and that it has now been horribly corrupted by ruthless commercial interests, because the whole damned holiday has been commercially controlled for the past hundred years and to suggest otherwise is to suck down one too many $5 Starbucks Eggnog Lattes and don the happy blinders.

And I shall certainly not argue for the sanctity of the idea that Christmas is meant to celebrate the holy and glorious birth of Christ (an iPod-free renegade mystic who was actually born somewhere around July), or the idea that we should all be taking some sort of solace in our national generosity of spirit (a generosity that only exists if you're not, you know, gay, or minority or Iraqi or Islamic or mentally ill), nor shall I even defend Christmas as a time of family togetherness, given how, for most people, getting together with family around the holidays is akin to having your fingernails yanked out by a chain saw in an ice storm, naked.

I shall not argue the benefits of buying less and using organic wrapping paper and purchasing gifts from local shops and shunning companies that support noxious right-wing agendas (that's another column). I shall not list funky alternative gift ideas to get you away from the commercial whoredom and more toward progressive sex-positive bliss and more toward helping infuriate the Christian right (ditto)."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Support World AIDS Day

I've been sick all day, and so this entry didn't go as planned, including the fact that it was supposed to be up this morning.

Maybe later.

So, in the meantime, remember. Remember those who have left us. Remember there is always something we can do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Attention students and potential students.

If you are a resident of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington, (regardless of where you want to attend school), don't forget to apply for Pride Foundation scholarships.

Check out the available scholarships. Only one application is needed. It plugs you into all the scholarships you'd be eligible for. And yes, you can be awarded more than one.

Deadline is January 13, 2006. More info as well as applications available for download can be found here.
I'm running late. Overslept and I think this weird on and off cold is hitting me again.

Here is Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology and Mark Morford's column, When The City Eats Your Soul - Where do you go when you've had enough of the urban grind but still crave it like heroin?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"I don't know what's going on, I don't know where I'm going, I don't know who I am and I don't know who I'm becoming. It's quite unsettling."

My words to the shrink yesterday.

This is now my life.

Last week I wrote about painting, or the idea of destroying paintings. Week before I wrote of invisibility. Yeah, it's been a month.

After last week's entry, I received support and suggestions from three amazing artists. I'm not going to out them in this context because well, I want to keep it private. But the first one reached out and we spent quite a bit of time on the phone last Wednesday. Thank you.

He helped in a few ways. First he unknowingly clarified what my shrink was trying to tell me. And then we spoke of painting. Painting to paint. Painting as play. Painting because it is what a painter does. It's not about painting for others, for society, for a finished product. Some of the thoughts that floated from his lips have embedded themselves in my being.

The second called me that evening.
"Hey. I just read your blog."
"You know, paintings are just stuff. Nothing more than stuff."
"Thank you."

The rest of the conversation twirled around an interesting proposition. The sadist is holding my newest paintings for safe keeping. We are going to get together again to play. He suggested I bring other paintings as well. We will be surrounded by the work...and allow the play, the energy to go where it will. If I feel the need to sacrifice, he will be there to support me.

What we spoke of is so obscene, perverse and sexy that it juiced us. Our kind of S/M.

The other conversation was over the weekend. It was with my former teacher. He asked how I was and I briefly mentioned what was going on, with me, my art.
He said 'so you're dealing with ghosts?"
I gave him a questioning look.
"Well one ghost in particular."
Again, I'm being dumb.
"Your mother."

He reminded me about my mom.
I know I wrote about mom a few years ago. The conflicted artist. She had 3 brothers. She, her brothers and her dad were artists. I remember mom painting away in her studio when I'd come home from school. That is, until I was about 10 years old. She was working on a large portrait of my two sisters and myself. It remained unfinished.

Aha, found it. In September 2003 I wrote:

I remember coming home from school at 5 and 6 years old. We’d find mom painting in her studio. She’d make herself stop and then tend to the 4 of us. (My littlest brother wasn’t born yet). About 7 years ago she told me that I had the opportunity to live the life she couldn’t. Many years before that she mentioned that when we came along, she really struggled between being wife and mother, or being a painter. She attempted to do both and couldn’t. She spoke of being so ripped in half by the two things she loved, her family and her art. By the time I was about 10, mom put down her paintbrushes, and hasn’t picked them up since, except for a couple times, specifically to make Christmas gifts. There needed to be a purpose for others in her act of creation. She’s now 74. Mom’s had arthritis in her hands for about 15 years. Some days it’s so painful she can’t use her hands. Other days, it’s much better. I deeply feel, in my gut, that her arthritis is the result of not allowing herself expression in the manner closest to her soul.

She did find ways to allow her brilliance and creativeness come through to prevent art constipation. Major house redecorations. New carpeting and paper or paint. Purchasing or moving furniture. Somehow she always knew the future trends in color 3 or 4 years before they’d even appear in New York. One of her gifts. Another was her cooking. She’d sew clothes. At times even design and make the patterns. In the 70’s she would create very large banners for her church, to hang on the sides of the alter…from the ceiling. She would create a logo or card for someone that needed it. She whip off little poems for a family occasion. She’d sit down with us and we’d make all our toys. Blocks, musical instruments. Homemade playdough. We’d then sculpt together.

She’d take me to the library each week so I could load up with books. And at night, when we were little, we’d all curl up on her bed and she’d tell us stories. Stories of when she was little and her escapades with ice skating. She wanted to be a figure skater. Then stories of her massive stage fright and how she chose to combat that by forcing herself to sing on stage. Mom had a beautiful voice. We’d sing lots and lots. She told us of the times in her early twenties when she was working in garages, doing the hand lettering on commercial trucks. She spoke of being the only woman in this male enviroment. This was back in the 50’s. Pretty much unheard of. She spoke of her brothers and their art. She gave us stories of her dad and his hopping from job to job. He even did a short stint as Bobo the clown.

Mom is beautiful. And she’s filled with love for others. But, in some ways that love is tainted because she wasn’t true to herself. She didn’t have the opportunity or the know how. She came from a very sheltered life. There was one role for a woman. Her heart was trapped. Being the person she is, she was somehow able to work through that and create a loving enviroment for all and herself. Yet…there’s a stiffness at times, regarding passion and emotions. I think she’s afraid of herself. She fears the passion that is so deep. I wonder if it’s still there or if it’s burnt itself out from not being stoked.

When my former teacher reminded me of my mother, it made sense.
He said "I know you have great ability and talent, but who are you painting for?"

Good question.

I've wondered if the angst I feel over my older work is because I was painting for my mother instead of myself. In doing so it would carry all the conflicted ideas around embracing myself wholly as painter.

This weekend, when not being sick, I spent time socializing. It took all I had to tuck my inner stuff to the side. I feel I'm dealing with so many insights, possibilities and an overabundance of questions that I don't know how to hold it all in my body.

Yesterday, while catching up with one of my coworkers, I relayed all this to him.
This conversation brought to light the idea that each of the three men spoke to a different part of my painting. The past, the future, and the present. (Hmmm...Scrooge just came to mind.)

So, what do I do with all this? I haven't a fucking clue, except to sit with all that is happening. In all this, I don't know what's going on, I don't know where I'm going, I don't know who I am and I don't know who I'm becoming. And yes, it is quite unsettling.

Although this morning I notice that the more I sit in the unknowing the less uncomfortable it is. Today is a little better. Life is still a question mark and maybe it is how it is to be.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Good morning.

It's been quite the few days. Between the holiday food , all the internal goings on, and then the physical way the emotional stress is manifesting itself...well...I'm quite full.

I spent Thanksgiving at Hoss's. Met new friends who I felt I clicked with right away. Love it when that happens. You can read the little holiday blurbs here and here. Want photos? Check this and that.

Thor, thank you so much for treating us to ice cream. Although we've yet to meet (and I look forward to it!) it felt as if you were with us. We toasted you with spoonfuls of chocately goodness.

Qnetter gave me his iPod shuffle on Tday! He had upgraded and generously spread the wealth.

I was invited to a post Tday dinner on Friday night at Imaenad's and unfortunately never made it! I spent Friday curled up with a blanket, sick and flirting with a crappy cold.

I think what happened, now that I look at it, was one day with people, one day without. Thursday wore me out. Friday I couldn't do much of anything. Hoss had us get together on Saturday which was a blast. But I could feel my energy not up to snuff. Sunday, I was to do dim sum with the crew. Looking forward to spending one more day with badfaggot, but I needed to cancel at the last minute. I was sick, shaky and didn't dare put anything in my mouth. In the evening, the bunny called and mentioned that the Bear was making turkey noodle soup. He reminded me it would go down easy. So I popped over for a few hours, ate and then received a bag of what looks like great leftovers from the Friday night dinner that I missed. Thanks everyone.

Now...I do have more to write about...but I'll save it for another entry.

What I will say is, I've been blown away by everyone's love and kindness over the last week, which includes a few connections I haven't shared yet. Some will stay anonymous for now because I don't know if they want to be outed. I've been given so much food for thought that it's doing nothing more than milling around in my belly at the moment.

Thank you. Everyone.

all my love...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

passing along a message...

....from my good friend Michael - for those in the Seattle area who want something fun to do Thanksgiving night...or for those who are into kinky Thanksgiving images...


(there were more creative things done with that turkey during the shoot...and I had the pleasure of said turkey for dinner the following night.)

While I'm at it, Michael, when not performing his duties as International LeatherSir 2005, is a chef at the Hopvine Pub in Seattle. Last year, his first cookbook, Seattle's Own Undeniably Perfect Soups, was published. If you're in town, hook up with him and maybe if you ask nicely, he'll sign one for you, as he did again last night at the Pub, on the eve of his 2nd printing.
A heartfelt thank you... to everyone who has reached out privately and publicly, in response to yesterday's entry and last Thursday's entry.

I hear you. All of you.
Right now, I can't respond to each of you individually but did want to acknowledge your kindness.

That's all.

Here is Rob Brezsny's FreeWill Astrology for this week.

Morford is deliciously brutal this week.

"So, so lonely, sitting over in the far corner, all by herself, nursing her one glass of white wine. No one really talks to her anymore except Dubya and a maybe few brusque words from Rummy, who she suspects is always imagining her cleaning his guns and polishing his boots and calling him "master." Suddenly, her heart jumps. She sees Dubya looking at her from across the room. She smiles that demonic, dominatrix-y smile that always creeps out the Asian press. He does that thing with his thin little lips, that little gesture only she understands. Her body is instantly warmed. Oh their special bond, a dark secret. It is her breath, her raison d'ĂȘtre. It keeps her alive."

That's an excerpt from his latest column, Scenes From A Bush Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

(Written last night - posted today)

I'm a little buzzed...otherwise you wouldn't be hearing from me tonight.

You see, I'm in a space.
A dark, black space.

Over the weekend I realized that for me, hurting myself isn't about taking my physical life. It is about destroying my paintings and all my writings. I think my glass of wine and two shots of sambuca is bringing out an anger tonight that booze doesn't normally bring out in me. So I'll talk. Talk in a way that I refused to talk to the shrink today. I kept my secrets from him this morning. Now the liquor's warmth has filled my belly and out it comes.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was going to destroy my paintings. Yesterday I was going to pack up the little mini microscopic studio space I made in the corner of a 8x12 living room. And yesterday Hoss called me. He doesn't know this yet, unless he reads this...that I've noticed he has become (unknowingly) the guardian of my painting. Anytime I came close to destruction of myself as a painter or my work, he'd happen to contact me and provide distraction in that way he has where I can't say no.

Yesterday he had D and I get together. A big distraction that made for a wonderful afternoon with good food and a great movie that I've wanted to see, The Dying Gaul. Excellent film. When I returned home, I was too spent to do anything else.

Today, an appointment with the shrink. For the first time in the 3 years I've been seeing him, I kept secrets from him. It felt off, very wrong, and I didn't give a flying fuck.

Once again, at one point I put on my boots and declared I was leaving. He calmly informed me that we had 2 minutes left and he was sure I could say a lot in those two minutes. I opted not to. And once again, my dramatic exit was thwarted.

I lasted at work all of a couple hours and needed...HAD to go home. I couldn't focus. Everything was dark.

After being home a while and regrouping, I knew what I needed to do. Yes, I packed up all my art stuff and put it away in the hall closet. And then, I had to call the bunny and asked him if he'd be willing to temporarily store a few paintings for me. For safe keeping.

I gave him 5 new ones and an old one.

You see, if I destroy the ones remaining, it will only be like cutting off a finger. Nothing big. And honestly, I'm curious.

I mean, why not go with the flow, right? Why second guess myself? I chose the first victim this afternoon. It's a 2x3 foot painting from my thesis show. My first sacrificial lamb. I've been fantasizing most of afternoon and evening as to what it will be like to take my butcher knife to the canvas. Yes, in one way it is obscene. In another, I sense relief.

I wonder if my belief that I was a painter is a part of my pretending to be someone other than I am. I wonder if it was only a fabrication.

Maybe I need to destroy and let go of all my old work. It's a life I don't know any more. I'm not sure of who I am anyway. Even with all the uncertainty, I needed the new paintings to go someplace else. If I begin carving into canvases, I fear I may not know when to stop. The new ones are too fresh and speak a different language...tell a tale of something other than the old. So they are protected and the others...well I can feel the tension of the knife against a paint-filled canvas, tearing and ripping.

Maybe it will only stay a fantasy. Only time will tell. And according to someone who has been through this experience himself...although I may cause myself some harm in the process...time will get me through it. Supposedly, I will heal and create a new way of being in the world. We'll see.

Right now, his words are the only thing I have to hang on to.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The best fire in your belly speech I've ever experienced.

From his bio

"A recording artist since 1988, Chicago native Juba Kalamka (aka Pointfivefag) is most recognized for his recent work as a founding member of "homohop" crew Deep Dickollective (D/DC) and his development of the label Sugartruck Recordings...

...Noted for his dialogues on the convergences and conflicts of race, identity, sexuality and class in pop culture, Kalamka has written and illustrated articles for Kitchen Sink, Colorlines, and the now-defunct bisexual issues magazine Anything That Moves."

Juba Kalamka was given an award and gave a speech the first night of the conference. Although I've heard powerful speeches throughout my life, this was the first one where I was so moved by the words that, once he got rollin', there was a continuous stream of tears falling down my face.

His speech began traditionally enough, and then like a good piece of music it picked up steam which filled your belly and blew through your being. Guess you had to be there to get the full impact.
Anyway, here's the speech. It's a long read, but oh so worth it.

Note I didn't only give you an excerpt but posted the whole damned speech.
Read it.

I dare you.


Delivered at the Welcome Plenary session of
The National Gay Lesbian Task Force's 18th Annual Creating Change Conference
November 10, 2005
Oakland Marriott Hotel, Oakland,California

By Juba Kalamka

About six years ago, I sat outside with my ex about 1000 feet from here. We had run out of money and gotten kicked out of the residential hotel where we were living. I remember sleeping with one eye open that February night and thinking to myself, "what in the fuck am I doing here?" Over the next year and a half, I lived in a Christian homeless shelter, couch surfed, lived in a San Francisco youth hostel, finally taking up residence in a storefront down the street from here.

Six years later, I've released five albums with Deep Dickollective and as a solo artist, curated an internationally known, Oakland-based LGBT hiphop festival five years running, seen that festival spawn sister events in New York, Atlanta, and London, England. I've written and illustrated articles for numerous sexuality and culture magazines. I've toured the United States twice with crazy punk dyke spoken word artists, appeared in three porno films you may or may not have seen J, curated or served as a panelist at a gaggle of workshops at numerous colleges and universities.

After having some gained some stability in my living situation and a few artistic accomplishments, I was still unsure of exactly where what I was doing would be going. That isn't to say that I always know now. The difference, I think, is that I don't have to know what's happening, exactly. It's enough to know that I must go where I am led by what feels good and right even when what feels good and right also feels scary as hell.

Back aways on the road when I was 19 years old, I had the good fortune of catching the late black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs' film "Tongues Untied" on public television. Shortly after moving to the Bay Area ten years later, I found myself on a street in San Francisco acting the total fanboy while speaking to one of the cast members who was in the middle of a safer sex outreach project. Not a week later, I visited the Castro for the first time and found myself outside near the Castro Theater where Riggs walks in several scenes. In that moment, I thought, "This is why I am here - I am home." In the next year, I continued to have opportunities to meet a number of people that would collaborate and incubate the numerous arts and activism projects I'm involved in today.

I traveled to that moment outside on Castro street, when preparing for this day's speaking to you. I realized that if I am to continue in this direction, moving toward change, then I must continue to visit that moment because they are a part of this road - good and right and scary as hell. I was finding this new "home", yes, but I was, like many transplants to the fabled queer mecca, taken aback by the nature of the intracommunal conflicts - the overt misogyny, the transphobia, the infighting, backbiting, and general haterism that existed here.

My idyllic notions of a queer community that was progressive around race had been shattered years before by Riggs' film, by the way he described his experience of the pervasive racism of the Castro and the Bay Area's extended gay community. Nevertheless, the infighting that existed among queer factions and how it began to overlap my presexisting issues made for some challenges around creating community out of these communities.

As part of those challenges, I learned that I and my fellow bisexuals weren't gay enough for a biphobic gayristocracy; that I dated too many women and too many white men for a Black gay community; that I was too nigga, too hiphop, and too feminist for a white gay male community comfortable in its overt and implicit misogyny and racism; too black and too funky and too black sissy for parts of my bisexual community too steeped in oblivious privilege and heteronormative pretense to recognize the overlaps of its classism, sexism, racism and transphobia. As a black bisexual man, I have been at once frustrated and exhilarated standing at the intersection of communities and {seeming} conflicts of identity. The experience presents an opportunity to engage multiple conversations around coming to and continuing the activism carried forward by the likes of yourselves and begun by those who have come before you.

See me engaging: I am an emcee, a poet, a father, a slut, a faggot-ass faggot cocksucker, a freestyler, a knucklehead, a smartass, a slow talker, and a faster learner who is unapologetically black and queer all at the same time. Fifteen minutes is an eternity in the performance world but an instant on a stage such as this one. I could take the cheap, chickenshit route that I've watched black people take in contexts like this on many occasions.

To a certain extent, it would be completely valid to stand here and play off the guilt and hit white people upside the head with similies and metaphors on racism in queer activist communities and how much it pisses me off. I mean, I am really, really, really angry, and I could get some points with the people of color and be done with it.

But, I'm not gonna go that route. There's so much work to do . . . all of which will not get done here, but some of which can start here, now.

So, I got ta use this time well . . . and that includes owning my privilege, owning my shit . . . I have the privilege of a post-grad education, of a middle class upbringing, of being a man in patriarchy, of having a family of activists who are supporting me being here, of access to technology and culture recognized as such, of my good health, of my unincarcerated state, of my much appreciated indoor toilet. I own my responsibility to be honest with and about myself, so, I can be honest with you.

Ready? Here goes.

To the white folks - I ain't interested in parceling ya'll into neat lil' good whitefolk/ bad whitefolk packets. That's an old, tired game and a waste of everyone's time, energy, talent, and resources. What I'd like to do is encourage you, implore you to ask those hard, uncomfortable questions - in the parking lot, in the bathroom, on the elevator, when you're ordering lunch, or by remembering to tip the housekeeping folk - pull your brothers' and sisters' coats - stop and say something when you get that twist in your gut that makes you question when you see wrong (because that's what got you here today); say something even though you know white folks won't let you in the club no more, and because it means that you might love yourself and this work and the rest of us more than all of those privileges.

To my gay brothers and lesbian sisters - my brothers especially because the policy decisions of gay-identified men have controlled the timbre of much of the conversation within queer institutions. When they come - and you know who I mean by they - they will come for all of us, like they always have . . . because all of us sit here tonight, at these tables and in organizations and at homes and in streets across the world being who we are, and that is enough; that is all it takes. We cannot warn or protect each other if we are too busy thinking that making ourselves acceptable and normal to straight people will make us safe. We cannot take care of each other if we are politicking for space at tables that will not accept us as we are . . . in khakis, in leather, in kente cloth, in Abercrombie, in Birkenstocks, in doo rags, in drag. When they come, they will not ask if you are queer in a same or different sex relationship, if you are monogamous or not, or how long you've been with a current partner. They will not care if you've sucked 2 dicks or 2,247 clits, if it was an hour ago or at Creating Change '98. They will not care if you are top, bottom, or switch, or how long you've been clean. They will not care if you're a Kinsey 6 and it was just that once that you snuck and had sex with a girl or a boy. What will matter is that they know - because you were here, today - that you are not one of them, and that is all that matters.

To my sister folk - and I mean all my sister folk, the ones who can't get into Michigan, too - I would like to address and thank you specifically for the template you've provided me, the path laid out that has allowed me the opportunities to communicate as an artist-activist. The message and reminder that although all men are sexist, many of my brothers - the ones who aren't too lazy to do the work - are sexists in recovery. Just so, the white men who are doing the work are racists in recovery. Recovery is a moment by moment task, and those of us in it have a responsibility to remind each other of it. We also must make those who have refused to do this work accountable. We should pull each others coats when necessary. We must be unafraid to question the self because it opens a space to challenge the thoughts notions and motivations of the collective.

To my queer people of color, I implore you even more to interrogate these same myths of purity, this fake ass construction of race that we cling to, refusing to break it down and understand. We fight a very real system of global white supremacy, yes, and in that fight, we have too long used too many of the master's tools - the one drop, the blood quantum, the rabbit proof fences, marginalization and erasure of mixed race folks, the lack of recognition that even though the racist science of race says Arabs and Jews are white, the lived realities of Arabs and Jews says otherwise. These sign posts and barometers that we allow to verify our existence in the name of making community have been used in much the same way to keep us separated from each other because we don't know who we are unless white folks tell us. We will never know until we face that truth.

With all that said, you may be asking, where am I suggesting that we as individuals and a community of activists go in these few days? It would probably be more accurate to say that I am asking what will we, what can we begin during this conference - as that is the opportunity that lies before us.

The easy thing to do would be to stick with the welcome, the plenary, the luncheon, the panels that fit the specific interests and leanings we came here with.
The more difficult, and ultimately, more productive approach is to go toward what frightens us. Though we are here from a variety of different spaces and places, we are again here, with each other, and I believe we are called to this space in the name of a common good.

James Baldwin said in 1963 that "to be a black person of any state of consciousness is to be in rage most of the time." I would have to amend that for myself and say that being an out bisexual black man, I am in a constant state of immolation.

I stand here on fire. I am enraged. I am perched on the thin line between that rage and fear. It is sexual. It is urgent, and it is frightening. I have been afraid to be angry because I didn't want to deal with what that big plume of fear would make me say to you . . . And as scared as it makes me in some moments {like now}, I will run toward that flame, that fire. I will smoke a cigarette in this darkroom of volatile photographic chemicals. I will run into this hell wearing my best gasoline drawers because I have to if I am serious about doing what I can to make justice happen. I am scared as hell of how angry I am, and I'm going to shout, to scream to you through it because I gotta make you hear me.

So, listen, please, even if you have to strain to hear me:

Gay boys!!!!
Go grab that program book and pick a panel to attend where you can listen to those scary, angry lesbians . . . they have brothers and need and want them in this work in the same way you need sisters.

White folks!!!!!
Do the same thing - attend people of color panels and listen to what they have to say. Just as the men will, you'll hear a lot of shit you might not want to about yourselves. You are here, and you have come again because you are best equipped and are needed to take that message back to your organization, your dinner club, your racist lovers and friends, your bar, your school, your bathhouse, your clinic, your hometown, your world.

I challenge you, my bisexual folks, to raise up again right now, this minute - the sometime-though-nobody-knows-I-have-sex-with-a-guy-slash-girl, the normal
kinda regular ones, the dj, the b-boy and b-girl, the vanilla fifteen-year monogamous relationship ones, the sexworkers, the curious and questioning ones, the mission hipsters, the bi trannies, the wicca priestesses, the agnostics, the atheists, the born-again Christians, the new age crystal wearin' dudes, the yerba mate drinkin' sistas,the leather bdsm switch freak flag flying ones, the fats, the femmes and their fellow genderqueers, the bi bears, the negatives and positives, the softball dykes, the wheelchair basketballers, the marrieds, the d&d geeks, the trekkies, the Goths, the furries, the IT guys, the bi soccer moms in suburbia, the middle management weekend dads, the PFLAG-ers and family members - all of us - to stand up and be visible now and in moments and years to come because it is important for queers as well as straight people to know that we are standing next to them and expecting to have the value of that space recognized and honored because we have to if we're going to be truly effective. We need people to see us in our kazillions of ways of being bi and have them understand the ramifications of that for all of the communities we traverse.

I challenge each of us, the ones who could afford to be here this weekend, to stand in more than token support for the marginalized within our marginalization - the transpeople, the intersex, the disabled, the po' folks - the ones who very literally could not afford to be here - my ex, the bi video artist who has been out of work for a year, my transman homeboy just back from visiting his folks in New Orleans and going through bankruptcy and a nasty custody fight, young folks and old folks, the Ibrahim Farajajes and the Lani Ka'ahumanus and the Venetia Porters, The Bill Beasleys, the Victor Lewises, the Alan Taziri's, the Loudas Perez's and the Ciana Stewarts, and the Angel Fabee-ahns and the Kuwaza Imaras' and the Penelope Williamses and the who've been a part of Creating Changes past and those whose names you might not recognize, the bold fierce angry bi colored folk shoulders I stand on - and to remember, in those spaces that you can...because some of ya'll are old enough...

. . . the days and the spaces before we even had a storefront with folding chairs and punch and cookies and parades in every city and bars in which we would not be arrested or asked for three pieces of ID by gay boys who forgot and clinics with free rapid HIV tests and lavender senior organizations and websites and listservs and high school gay straight alliances . . . .those who remember phone trees and mimeographs and rub-on letters, pasting up magazines, who remember the days when they could not imagine that a black queer hip hop artist would ever and could ever be standing here, in the midst of all these possibilities and imperfections and work that needs to be done within this organization and without . . . standing here suggesting what you MIGHT be able to do because I can't believe that a kid from the west side of Chicago is getting a chance to say this to you.

I say this because even when I think about how far I have come, I know there are those who have come through more and from farther than me to be here, and still more who made a way for me to be here whose stories we may never know in specific that are just as relevant to the creating of change - bi men with AIDS in Veterans Administration hospitals and sleeping outside on Telegraph Avenue right now . . . bi women staying in the shitty marriage for them babies that they have no other way to provide for . . . for the church sissies and choir directors that confide in our ministry folk, for the students who emailed me from Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan to say thank you for being Pointfivefag . . . for all of those making a way and making a way and making a way . . . for the making of a million ways because if for just a few moments and oft times for longer, somebody reached up out over and through that fear - that fear of being wrong, fear of not being the king of the hill, fear of not getting that grant because they talked too much shit about a racist development director or a sexist asshole of a foundation head or board members who are made nervous by loud angry homeless transwomen or those that continue to bow and scrape to keep their jobs because they got theirs and they fear of missing that extra lil' scrap of chicken and mouthful of biscuit and pat on the head from the status quo because they are afraid that men or white folks or rich folks straight folks won't let them move in if they don't.

We stand on the shoulders of those writing and working dancing pushing screaming fighting rhyming and stealing away and fucking and fucking and fucking and flying though that fear.

-to Audre Lorde journaling through radiation and cold and puke and pain

-to Essex Hemphill shaking but standing strong at Black Nations/Queer Nations on three T cells

-to Marlon Riggs dancing in bed with an IV and making notes back in 1994, so his assistants can finish his last movie because he knows he don't have much longer and has to make sure it gets finished

-to them young boys who sucked cock for coin and for love in the corner of a bar on Polk or in Folsom Gulch, on Christopher Street, in Oklahoma City and on Halsted in Chicago when you could still be arrested on sight for just looking like a faggot

to Gwen Araujo, to Rashawn Brazell, to J.P. Warren, to Emmet Till, to Simon Nkoli, to Ruwa Chire, to Barry Winchell, to Matt and Brandon and Sakia

to the butches and bulldaggers in pants, tie, and pocket chain back in the day when that meant the lockup, a beatdown, or worse

to cornfed country boys, to babydykes in North Cacakalack and Johannesburg

to them girls strolling for coin right now around the corner
on 20th and San Pablo, scared as hell but holding tight to the hammers in their purses

and to them black babies - the children out across from here RIGHT NOW on 14th and Broadway twisting and voguing and partying and holding each other and daring you to say something to them because they daddy already put them out and they don't have nothing else but each other

to the ones with a momma that wasn't afraid to love them in Jesus name when the church folk told them not to

All of these small victories lead us to and prepare us for big ones And bigger ones
And ones that seem tiny that we cannot take for granted
All of them the millions upon millions upon millions
They have told me/ their bodies are calling me
They are the reasons why I keep going
Because I am mad as hell and in love with you and them and we

I will open my arms, run headlong into these flames
I will own this heat in my chest
I'm on fire and for you and you and you and
you and you and you

I am ready to fucking fight
-Juba Kalamka