Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poem in your pocket day

So as I was walking to work today, a girl handed me a folded up piece of paper that said "Poem in Your Pocket" on one side. Inside was W.B. Yeats' Sailing to Byzantium.

Apparently it's Poem In Your Pocket Day New York City, I guess as a nice way to round out National Poetry Month. It made me very happy. It's like the universe keeps trying to send me small reminders of who I am and where I belong.  I started thinking about all the mini-poems I write all the time all over New York that I never publish because I think they're too insignificant. But it seems like Poem In Your Pocket Day is the perfect opportunity, plus I remember where I was when I wrote all of them, so they sort of awesomely map out my life in New York. Here they are.*

The city (and its wind) (written on the steps at the 34th street 6 stop, on a brilliant sunny day in April)
The city wind flirts with lewdness in the spring
Blowing up the sundresses of pretty girls everywhere
Their cute little hands dive down
Like Japanese fighter planes descending onto Pearl Harbor
Grasping desperately at their hems
Strange men get aroused at the sight of women all over New York
Trying to hide their panties
They call Chicago the windy city
But NYC is probably windier
And definitely

untitled (written drunk in a bathroom in the east village late one night)
I have a rockin' body
But you'll never see it
Under my flowy dresss
It ebbs

untitled (written standing on a corner in Tribeca waiting for a friend after work)
I wore my boots today but I didn't wear a coat
Weather's got me all twisted
Love is boring me to tears
Anonymously rejecting anonymous consumption
But now I'm chilled because I
Don't have a damn coat
I wanna know what I look like
When I have an orgasm

bed (written 75% asleep in my childhood bed in Birmingham - this image came to me and I had to write it down)
 He counted
the number
of female forms
in his bed,
just to make sure
he was still himself
and not someone else.

art (written while walking down the sidewalk in Harlem)
Puttin my iPod on shuffle
'Cuz there are just too many goddamn choices
And I lack the ability to choose
Or know what I want to consume

even babies wave (this one's longer - written in my bed in Alabama)
Just remembered last night I saw a shooting star from the plane window
I'm not sure I've ever seen a shooting star before
I was feeling, not depressed, but highly apathetic
Then as I looked up from my map to the horizon, I saw a flashing light
Not sure what I had seen
I thought it was like another plane coming toward us
I jumped forward in my seat a bit
Suddenly awake
Suddenly there
I smiled really big
The universe was just responding to my pleas
Just like a little wave
Hey Meghan
Don't give up
Never give up
Just live live live
And keep lovin if you can
There's an arc for you
This is just the beginning
At the end is a bright explosion
Full of stars
And happiness
And lust
And love
You will not go gently into that good night
(or whatever it is they say)
This is not your destiny
Oh, and above all
Follow your heart.
Never forget it. If something inside you beckons you to a time or a place
Remember you control your destiny
At least in part
And that is a beautiful thing
Don't be scared by it
Embrace it
Embrace life
I mean
It was just a fucking shooting star
But it was for me, in the moment
And it was a poem, for me
And now it's this poem
As I lay in my childhood bed in Alabama
It keeps shooting

*Feel free to cut these out and carry them around in your pocket. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

in which I compare the South in Spring to... other activities

So I went home last Thursday for an extended weekend trip. It was glorious. I got in late Thursday night, feeling exhausted and sort of down about stuff blah blah blah, went to bed and woke up Friday morning pretty early and felt completely rejuvenated already. I looked outside and saw blooming flowers and green everywhere. I could feel a sort of Southern energy humming in the air, and it pulsed through my body excitedly. I had not felt that happy and in love and content for months. So, naturally, I wrote something to express what I was feeling.

I was half-asleep when I wrote this, still in bed in the fairly early morning hours. I did not think about what I was writing. It remains mostly unedited. This is probably as close as I've come thus far to just letting words literally flow through me and onto the page. I was sort of surprised to find myself comparing being in the South for the first time in months to having sex with someone you're completely in lust with. But, here it is. This is sort of... explicit. Definitely the most explicit thing I've posted on this blog. So if that kind of thing makes you queasy, on to the next bullet in your blog feed!

the south is sex

the south is sex
the south is
right now.
I woke up this morning
(it's so hot
you have to look through
the thick air
to see to the other side)
I looked outside
Perfect sunlight
Perfect green
on the azalea bush
outside my childhood window.
I arched my back.
I wanted to masturbate
I wanted to fuck the South
bend over my bed
and let it fuck me from behind
hands gripping my ass
pulling my hair
pinching my nipples
teasing my pussy
and clit
and heart
then faster.
hearts beating
writhing in my bed
imagining everyone and no one
imagining long, open roads
just driving
foot on the dash
(because I do that sometimes when I drive)
Why do I feel like this?
seduced to tears
by my hometown
my childhood
who I am and
who I used to be
I taste it here
I taste him in my mouth
Fucking my mouth
Exploding in my throat
letting it drip down my neck
I smile for years
I see myself
In his arms
he kisses my breasts
starts goin down on me
I grab his long hair
two glowing handfuls
and think
Maybe we just always want to be where we're not
But I never want New York
When I'm down here
When he's down there
New York doesn't like to eat pussy
or at least
she's never eaten mine
so no
I don't think that's it
I'm just lusting for the South
I just am
stop asking questions, all will be revealed
he said through licks
so I just laid back
and enjoyed
all the while feeling this pull
heart to heartland

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

she know where her clothes supposed to be

Y'all. I know my blog has kind of been all over the place recently, what with poems about love, sex, heartbreak, art, joy, life, etc etc. Hopefully you've enjoyed some of what I've written and haven't found it too heavy or whatever. And if you have, then that's OK. In the words of Gaga, you can leave. And in the words of me, fuck you.

HOWEVER. I'm feeling rather light and happy today, mostly because I'm going home to the dirty dirty tomorrow for a few days to see my parents, eat some good food, hear the rain, absorb the humidity, et al. I'm quite excited. As if the universe wanted to nudge me along in my excitement - and, speaking of poetry, this seems relevant - I was listening to my David Banner Pandora station this morning (oh yes - it's the shit) when Petey Pablo's Freak-A-Leek came on. I became visibly aroused. I remember driving around Birmingham in, like, the 10th grade bumping this song at full bass and rapping along with every word. I still know them all.

ANYWAY. Here's the video. He's from Raleigh, North Carolina, proving (once again) that all the best rap music comes from the South. DON'T PLAY.  It's true.

I picked not-the-official video because the official one was edited and omitted some of the best words in Petey's poetry. The only thing I despise more than edited rap music is the smell of bleach. Both things make me audibly gag.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

a poem for marina

This weekend I saw the Marina Abramović exhibit at the MoMa. It was amazing and inspiring and I was really moved and changed by it. The performance I found most inspiring was with her longtime lover and collaborator Ulay. When they first fell in love, they talked about walking the length of the Great Wall of China, meeting in the middle and getting married. As they continued to work together for the better part of 10 years, their relationship dissolved and the project evolved: they decided they would walk the length of the wall, meet in the middle, and say goodbye. It took them 90 days, and the resulting film is nearly 17 hours long. When Zac and I went to the exhibit on Saturday, we just happened to be there when the segment of film showing their meeting was projected onto the wall. It made me cry. It was the last project they ever did together.

Part of the MoMA exhibit is Abramovic sitting at a table in a big open room with an empty chair across from her. Patrons of the museum are invited to sit across from her silently and just absorb the experience. I really wanted the chance to sit across from her, but there was a line to get in and a guy sat there for the entire time we were in the museum anyway. So instead we just sat on the floor and Zac sketched and I wrote a poem for her. Here it is.


the artist is present
but what does that mean?
when I walked in the museum today
I heard a group of people
laughing boisterously
at a media work on the wall
they said things like
Oh my God
It's a woman
Sucking Juices
That's gross
I hope that's Jell-o
the masses are so stupid
but at the MoMA
that's who you're speaking to
just a mass of dumb shits
checking things off a list
so I guess my point is
what's the point of art?
why do we make it?
who do we want to reach?
then I walked into the atreum
and saw this shit happening
I sat on the floor
and asked my friend
Do you think he's part of this
Or just a random person?
he said
Oh, he's part of it
I said
I'm not so sure
I got up to read the wall
I realized
what was happening
the world started to spin
my heart started to pump
I got so excited.
I have always lived for this stuff
like this
but I'm just now
realizing it
relearning who I am
the artist is present
and always has been

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

i have to put my sunglasses on 'cuz otherwise i can't see

Hannah and I read poetry the other night at Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village. It was a lovely experience. Here's a video, which I cringed through as I watched and am now forcing myself to upload so the entire Internet can see.

Zac awesomely recorded/edited this for Hannah and me. There was a part at the beginning, which he cut, where I put my sunglasses on and said, "I have to put my sunglasses on, 'cuz otherwise I can't see." I was trying to make a joke. No one laughed, which made me meta-nervous because I was all, if they're not gonna laugh then they're not gonna cry. But as far as first readings go, s'aight, I think. A couple older, more legit poets complimented me after I was finished, which I'm sure was completely unrelated to alcohol. You be the judge.

Words I don't want in my biography: regret, timid, and rusty needles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

something inside me won't let me stop

My body was not born to be an artist’s
Artists never sleep
They drink a lot
They do drugs
They buy supplies and other works to inspire them
Before they buy food
And somehow they’re fine
Because they were born to expend energy making work
When I was an infant
(Now, I don’t remember this)
But when I was an infant
I rolled out of bed or something and bumped my knee
It swelled up to the size of a baseball
My parents took me in
The doctors said I had arthritis
It went away, but when I was a little older
I started scratching myself in my sleep
I had to wear latex gloves to bed
To keep from bleeding all over my sheets
So when that sort of improved
I curled up in my bed one day
Felt a sharp pain
Ended up in the hospital for two weeks with peritonitis
From a pissy appendix that decided to explode
My body was not born to be an artist’s
Now when I don’t sleep
I feel weak
When I drink
I feel all dried up
When I do drugs
I freak out
When I don’t eat
I want to throw up
Everyone else is fine
But I feel like I’m barely makin’ it through
One day, will it be me?
Lying on the couch
One arm raised
“Did art get us, Patti?”
‘Cuz my body wasn't born to be an artist’s
But something inside me won’t let me stop
So it’s another late night
Or maybe it's something outside
Fuck it

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ghost train?

A weekend in photos.

if you've come to New York lookin' for love
you've come to the wrong place
or better yet
you've come for the wrong reason
if you've come to New York lookin' for sex
you've come to the right place
and maybe the right reason
if you've come to New York lookin' for destruction
you've hit the fucking jackpot
and we should share a whiskey on riv
with my tits hangin' out
a million former sweethearts
givin' the world the finger on the right
smokin' a cig on the left
alls i'm sayin is
so what?

Friday, April 9, 2010

a sickness with no cure

You make me sick
And I don’t mean it like one of those catty lines
Written for a daytime soap
Where the woman’s like
“You make me sick!”
To her man
(Because he cheated on her with her sister’s best friend’s cousin’s blind best friend
Or something
And she means to affront his character)
No, not like that
I mean it quite literally.
It’s like there’s this pocket in my brain reserved for pieces of information labeled “______”
Usually I keep it closed tight like a rope walker
But sometimes I flail and fail
And I gorge myself on memories and false hopes and crooked smiles that I
Long ago stashed in said pocket
When I was little I used to sneak into the kitchen after my mom made a cake
And I would just stand there eating it with a fork out of the cake-holder-thingy
Shamelessly, until I was like buhhhhhh that was a bad decision
That’s what I do, in my brain, with you
And sometimes it’s not my fault!
Sometimes I’m walking down Houston and a man walks by
Wearing your exact cologne, I know it, the fucker
And I get a big whiff  
And suddenly I’m back to you
And the gorging begins
And then the fog starts to creep
And that’s not some poetic Frost-like analogy shit
It’s an actual fog in my brain
My eyes get blurry
My throat closes up
My hands get weak
I start to feel like I can’t breathe
My chest hurts.
I sit at dinner and feel like I can barely get down food
I try to talk and laugh, and I do, but I’m not really there, you know?
God, it’s so hard to describe
It’s like I’m super aware of my body
Every vein
Every palpitation
Every tweak, every leak
But $1000 later doctors tell me I’m fine
Bloodwork’s all normal
Well, next to normal
You make me sick
Because there’s no antibody
For heartbreak

Thursday, April 8, 2010

the last three letters in poetry are "try"

I never finished the book/I found it boring
It's kind of like that book Flatland
You know
You probably read it in college
I'm the 3D sphere
Descending from above
And you're the 2D (1D?) line guy
Yeah, I just compared myself to God
So what?
But, really, listen
I am thick and my lines are soft
I am mysterious
I am filled with unknown things
And before you met me
You didn't even have a concept of "filled"
Because you're the 2D (1D?)
I can't fucking remember
You're the line guy
No curves, no mystery
You can't see things how I see them
You could barely see me
You thought I was a dot
I had to tell you what I was
But you could not understand
It's not your fault!
Don't feel bad
There were just no words in Flatland for
The dimensions that I brought
So when I told you I liked women,
You were all,
"What does 'like' mean?"
And I floated back into the sky
Now just a shrinking, shrinking dot
It's not your fault
Don't feel bad 
I don't

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kissing is important

Kissing is important

I would like to be kissed soon
Nothing more
Nothing less
Just kissed
On the mouth
Corners reaching for corners
Feeling a pair of eyes on me
Even though mine are closed
You can just feel that shit, you know?
Tongue tracing the lines of my book
Abdomen explosion
My heart is likely broken now
That’s what that was
Like in France they call orgasms tiny deaths,
But really I think the death starts with
This musician told me once
“you gotta have imagination to be a good kisser”
Then he called me darlin'
See what I mean?
Call me darlin' and
Christ, even the thought of it makes me curl up inside
Like a little baby girl
Hands on faces
Sweet little smiles come
Flirting with each other as they graze
Like cows in a field
Happy, worry-free
Just thinking about eating and chewing, you know?
Until the slaughter people arrive
I wonder if they know what’s coming
When they pile onto that truck
Clones and drones and bones and a sense of impending doom
Hm, not sure they’re that intelligent
What their brains are capable of
Brains behind foreheads as they touch
The metal of the fire escape presses into my ass
I’ll remember this shit I guess
Panties on the floor
Kissing is important
Nothing more
Nothing less

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm not a girl, not yet?

So while I've been not blogging, I've been working on a number of other artistic projects and/or enrichment activities. A couple of weekends ago Zac, Jenny and I spent basically the entire weekend filming things and taking/posing/directing a couple photo shoots. Jenny asked me (and a few other stupidly attractive people) to rub dark eye makeup and Vaseline on my face and act brooding and sexy and dark. Um, yes? Here are my results, and you can see all the rest on Jenny's blog.

When I first saw the shots, I thought, "Boo. I wanted to look edgier. Darker. Harder. Rougher." I thought I looked too soft for what Jenny was trying to accomplish; but the more I studied them and the more I thought about it, the more I loved them. They just look like me. I'm sort of going through a phase right now where I want to reject everything I used to be - soft, pretty, girly, sweet - in favor of some sort of badass rebel vibe that reflects all the hard shit I've been through in the past year. The photos show - and this is why Jenny is a brilliant photographer - that no matter how hard I try, no matter how much dark makeup I put on or how much grease I put in my hair, I will always be that sweet little Southern girl who just believes in the best in people and came to the city to do nothing but pursue her dream.

Looking at these photos, for the first time in my life I thought to myself that I looked like a woman. That I am a woman. Not a girl, a woman. I've officially accomplished some of my dreams and given birth to new ones. I've fallen in love and had my heart shattered. I've explored my own sexuality at new levels. I've made some stupid mistakes. I've learned a lot and forgotten a lot. I've loved my friends with all my heart. I've supported and been supported by my family. I'm still young and I'm by no means finished with any of these things, but I see the beginnings of them all when I look at Jen's photos. Oh, and I think I sort of look like a boy in that last shot, which I totally love.

And apparently, no matter how much punk rock I listen to, I will continue to quote Britney Spears songs and title my blog posts after them. Deal with it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

(everything but the)

Zac and I watched the PBS Andy Warhol documentary last night and I got up to get some water and when I looked down into my kitchen sink, it looked really pretty so I took a photo of it. Then I edited it with Photoshop and played around with it a little bit and here it is.

(spooning is more
when you're

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Can't read my, can't read my/she's got me like nobody

I am getting emotional. As in I am having an emotional moment. Today, Saturday, April 3, 2010, I got my first tattoo. It hurt like a MOTHERFUCKER and I yelped like a little pussy and I did not enjoy the process at all. However, now back at home, looking at my new arm art, listening to Gaga sing Pokerface at her piano - the acoustic version I first heard about a year ago - tears are welling up in my eyes when I remember why, back in September, I wrote about why I thought she would inspire my first tattoo. I wasn't sure then if I would go through with it or not - but the roughness the past year created in me has begun to flower into a celebration of who I am, and I feel more confident in that person than I ever have before. Gaga inspires me to be just who I am, unapologetically, and to explore parts of myself that I've always wanted to but have perhaps feared. Anyway. Before I get into all that, here's the tattoo experience.

I waffled for like 30 minutes before I went through with getting it. I have really sensitive skin, and I also have eczema, so I wasn't sure that it was the best decision. Once I made a decision - after saying something about it being an existential crisis and pulling out my favorite "no one can take a bath for you" spiel - she started inking me, and it only took like five minutes. An excruciating fucking five minutes. This is right after it was finished, all wrapped up, (with) a pretty little bow:

Finished art, unwrapped (with a cameo by my toothbrush):

I love it. It's cute, right? It's cute, but it means so much more to me than just that. Bullet lists are everyone's favorite, so here it is, unedited, what this tattoo means to me, who I am, right now.

- 2009 was the year of my first true heartbreak. Gaga was there with me, somehow, at every step along the way, and in my memories of that year, she always will be. It's not an exaggeration to say that by the end of last year, I was completely fucking destroyed. I've come a long way in the past few months, but I am not ashamed to say that I still miss Andrew and I still sometimes cry for his loss. I cut him out of my life because I had to, but it has not been easy.  A part of me still loves him. When I hear Brown Eyes, I think about him, and I probably always will. I'm OK with that. I learned the possibility of my emotional depth because of him, so ultimately I'm nothing but thankful.

- Gaga has always been pretty outspoken about her bisexual experiences. I have always had bisexual curiosity and tendencies, but I've just recently began to explore it. I don't really consider it fodder for this blog, but a world has opened up for me, and I have never felt more free or comfortable in my own sexuality.

- I am more free than I have ever been. I have stopped caring what others think of me, and I have taken to cutting and ripping my clothing however I see fit before I go out. I wear dark eyeliner and slick my short brown hair down with pomade. I wear glittery eyeshadow. I don't really consider something worth wearing unless I have somehow taken my hand to it or one of my friends has. Zachary sketched my tattoo for me. I never even knew what freedom was before this stage of my life, and now that I've tasted it I never want to go back. I can't even remember what I did before I made things or at least felt the drive and necessity to make them.

- I am more in love with New York than I ever have been, if that's even possible. This city continues to inspire me, envelop me, develop me and create new worlds for me. Literally everyday is an adventure, and I am surrounded by my dearest friends, who are actually my family, and I could not feel more blessed. Gaga represents New York for me, because that's where she got her start - she frequented St. Jerome's, which is my new favorite bar on the LES - and she just sort of embodies the grease, grit, dirt, harshness, and glamor of the city.

- Rivington Street

- I have recently discovered about myself that I truly feel like I'm meant to be an artist, and I think of myself as one, even though I am still really young and don't know quite what I want to do. I've been reading and learning about Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and, yes, Lady Gaga, and what they did as young artists in New York.  I'm learning about myself through them. I am dabbling in poetry and songwriting, as well as trying to learn more about the art world in New York.

To that end, I recently transcribed onto my bedroom wall a poem Patti Smith wrote when she was 24, which is obviously how old I am now, about New York.

Here's video of her saying it aloud, back in 1971. I have no idea if she wrote it before the interview and was reading from memory, or if she wrote it on the spot. She was really into improvisation, so the latter would not surprise me.

Patti was born on December 30, 1946. I moved to New York on December 30, exactly 62 years later. I find this appropriate, because it took moving to New York for me to truly be born, and the process, I hope, has only begun.

Love and art and New York always,