Rather than Emptying/a Continuance of Being Full

“As the Moon Sucks Their Genitals” -Max Wolf Valerio

 

Sometimes how it ends is just the beginning.

When you wait for your name to be mentioned, but miss it because they call you something else like Lightening or Midwestern Corn Goddess or Razorblade City Ranger or Beautiful.

Walk east toward the nearest post office and visit your employer, otherwise known as Mailbox. Fly words dripping of sandbox and confetti’d poems toward the ones you want to know you.

There is a place called Rabbit Mountain where the birds have the highest self-esteem and there are so many curls hiking up its lush that you are momentarily caught. And you remain. Longer than you usually do. Oh, how good that feels.

Here, you don’t even need money. Go visit the tiger lilies. Pick as many as your hunger desires and digest. See also: amaranth, pin cherry, purslane, bergamot, goat’s beard and yarrow.

You are so desperate to feel loved that you walk onto the internet and start swiping. You think you find the one. They call themselves The Moon. On your first date, they latch onto every part of you, one at a time. You drink satellite and 5 billion years old aged skin. It is an evening where you forget about all the times you tried to leave. The next morning, in its place, the sun.

 

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A Summoning

Apparently, there is a portal inside me. I am not sure what it looks like or even smells like. How big it is or if there are windows.

I used to think there were squatters, dirty needles, unidentifiable graffiti in there. I used to think there were bed bugs and restraining orders and malnourished rats in there.

But that was yesterday.

Today, I feel like maybe I have been referencing the wrong alphabet. Did you know that you can curl your fingers like caterpillars into palms and summon your life? Did you know that all you need to do is ask for something? With unwavering voice, just ask.

I am afraid of stairs with open spaces, bridges with shaky, wooden boards, leeches, red dye 40 (cochineal), getting locked out, getting locked in, airborne contagion, unemployment, writer’s block, our government.

I am afraid of myself.

I am serving myself a subpoena.

It says: Stop being so frightened of living.

It says: Don’t be so afraid of the wild beast hibernating inside you.

It says: Start falling in love again.

I am looking for what I lost

You travel across a country you have mixed feelings about to a land-locked state that taught you how to love, introduced quinoa, kale, and other healthy stuff you hadn’t consumed before, and you crack open your neck in order to see over mountains you’re too afraid to climb.

Whenever you leave, you contemplate what family really means. If you hadn’t given them scars, would they still want to address you. If you didn’t have a title like sister, would you still want to share a meal, a secret, a favor.

When you are alone, you eat slower. You read a book instead of picking conversations from teeth. You listen to the sound of your meal; you call it music; a sloshing around of calories and digestive regrets.

You consider having an affair because that is what people do when they travel. Until you realize that this is the first time in your life love feels like a tent: roomy, warm, with dark sky view.

What you lost: weight. enough skin to make others worry. your hair (it came back). You lost the ability to pretend yourself away.

Here, the architecture of earth is brown, flat, clean(er). Drugs are sold by name-tagged humans. Garbages come in many flavors: compost, paper, plastic, and the rest of it.

It feels easier here, but remember you are on vacation. Remember you can say no to everyone.

Is it so much easier to lose than to find. It is far simpler to travel than remain. We are kinder to strangers than the ones we grew up with. In other words, keep looking.

Tonight! Performance in Boulder, Colorado!!!

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EAST MEETS WEST MEETS SOMEWHERE IN-BETWEEN POETRY READING

FEATURING :

j/j hastain  &  max wolf valerio 

&  rebecca diaz  & aimee herman

THURSDAY, JUNE 21ST 7PM-9PM

Trident Book shop is located at 940 Pearl St. / Boulder, CO

 max wolf valerio.jpg  Max Wolf Valerio is an iconoclastic poet and writer, and a long-transitioned man of transsexual history. A chapbook Animal Magnetism (eg press) appeared in 1984.  Recent works include a collaboration with photographer Dana Smith, Mission Mile Trilogy +1;  poems in the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2013). His memoir, The Testosterone Files (Seal Press, 2006) was a Lambda Finalist for 2006, and a book of poems The Criminal: The Invisibility of Parallel Forces is forthcoming soon from EOAGH Books in NYC.

 j:j hastain.jpg   j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j simply hopes to make the God/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning cycles of the moon. j/j hastain is the inventor of The Mystical Sentence Projects and is author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press)Apophallation Sketches (MadHat Press), Luci: a Forbidden Soteriology (Black Radish Books), The Non-Novels (Spuyten Duyvil) The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance of Experimental Realisms, and Priest/ess. j/j’s writing has recently appeared in Caketrain, Trickhouse, The Collagist, Apasiology, Lunamopolis, Aufgabe, and Tarpaulin Sky.

 rebecca diaz.jpg   Rebecca Diaz graduated from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She grew up in rural Minnesota beside the Red Lake River (in the ugliest county in America) and it taught her almost everything she knows about life and writing. She is a poet and fiction writer whose work examines the tributaries of language, healing, and spiritual practice. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Loft Literary Literary Center in Minneapolis, Intermedia Arts Program for Emerging Writers, and has received support from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

 

 aimee herman.jpg   Aimee Herman is a queer performance artist, writer and teacher currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Aimee has two full-length books of poems, meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books), and has work featured in a range of journals and anthologies including Troubling the Line: Trans & Genderqueer Poetry & Poetics (Nightboat Books)  Aimee is also a singer/ukulele player in the poemusic band Hydrogen Junkbox.

 

(just) visiting?

You are in your body. The simplest sentence with the most complicated meaning. You are never in your body.

The room is packed full of spandex and sweat, prayer flags and meaningful art, tattoos and body hair. You kindly ask your muscles to wake, knowing they’ve been in a slumber for months (maybe years).

The teacher begins with Mary Oliver and you realize you are in the right place at the right time for the first time in over four years.

Oliver wrote, “When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder/if I have made of my life something/particular, and real./I don’t want to find myself sighing and/frightened,/or full of argument./I don’t want to end up simply having visited/this world.”

Whenever you do yoga, it’s like you are on a first date with your body. You are tentative, yet bold. You want to push, you want to run away with this body that is suddenly impressing you, you want to hide.

The teacher reminds you to breathe. You wonder how long it has been since you’ve let your lungs free.

You contemplate the particularities of your life. Are you just visiting? What is the shape of it? How involved are you, really? Are you just visiting?

So you empty your pockets. Words fall out and you decide to create a cut-up of your meandering thoughts. Your brain is like a puzzle and you’ve been wondering for years if one piece is missing.

You think about that young person you saw yesterday, her arms covered in travel stamps. You feel dizzy trying to conjure up where you are actually from, where home is, the antonym of visitor.

When the class is over, your eyes are blurry. Your entire being feels wrung out. You run into someone you used to know when you used to be someone else. She tells you she has absolutely nothing to complain about. You want to ask her what it feels like to feel this way.

Maybe you are just visiting. Maybe you have never left. Maybe you have never remained.

Later, you walk into the rain and feel the drench of mountain juice on your skin, as the sky turns fourteen shades of blue and green and it feels like a song you used to sing or one you’ve been thinking about writing.

The Sum of Calendars

I am trying to let go of something

–Tracy K. Smith

 

It feels like cold sore body gristle cracked molar memory of sixteen to nineteen

Misshapen elastic mourning its taut, its firm, its locked box casing

It feels like that time you learned Lucille Ball died while on the way to family Thanksgiving or Grandma’s grave or synagogue or some other place that triggered loneliness

You awake from a dream where all your teeth have been replaced with slurs. You try to sound out help or hungry or not now but all that comes out are four letter words bleeped out on the radio

Remember when your body was new. A gift-wrapped holiday. Upright and without all its springs popped. Yesterday, your veins started scratching their way out of each thigh. Morse code of aging. You want to call them beautiful; all that comes out is malnourished spider legs.

You are trying to let go of something. Of every organ which has grown slightly off-kilter. Of your misshapen brain, congealed due to improper adolescence. Of every time your welcome mat was set on fire.

One day, you will go on a bike ride. Your ears will be unplugged, just waiting to surf over wind and traffic. You will notice that your muscles can take you away but also bring you back home. You will lose your breath but something inside you will locate more. You will cry because every time your body moves, it remembers. It remembers. You may howl because sometimes you feel like a cone snail or a saltwater crocodile but you just can’t seem to commit to danger, so you keep pedaling. With every block, you let go. Back there, fingerprints from that time. Three pounds of hair, a partially lobotomized fingernail, some skin ready to flee, spit, all gone. You are something else; you are everything you were; you are nothing from before; you are all of it; the sum of calendars. You are still here. As you check your imaginary rearview window, you can see its blur miles behind you. You really wanted to let go. You were really hoping it wouldn’t follow. So you keep pedaling; you keep panting; you keep pushing your way out of __________ .

In celebration of MUSIC!

My band, Hydrogen Junkbox, also featuring David Lawton, Zita Zenda, and Starchilde, is now part of the 21st century!

What I mean is…….we have a BLOG!

Please visit. Please send us comments. Please ask us to play our music for you. I am learning that all the band-aids I ever put on my skin meant nothing.

What I mean is, music has become my salve. Also so have these humans who make beautiful music with me.

(click here): HYDROGEN JUNKBOX

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