There is discomfort in the length, breath, width, movement of silence.

What does silence look like?


On a different night than this one, a stage is covered with dancers. Smooth skinned spandex’d movers lifting and lunging and plunging their bodies into a room where orchestra pit has been gutted and abandoned.

I listen to their bandaged, ballet’d feet curve and cringe against the wooden planks of the stage. I hear the stretch of limbs, the lift of bodies, the rocking of bones, the tapping of heels.


A cough.

And then another.

And another.

And (gasp) a cell phone ring?

Setting: The ballet.
Audience: A room full of too many white people and I look down at my mismatched odd choice of outfit and wonder if my economic class is louder than the absence of percussion and strings.
Contemplation: I am suddenly too aware of what I don’t have. I don’t own high heels or dress with beaded casing. My shoes are Converse and my legs are covered in hair and bruises. I am high on the elegance of what bodies can pronounce. I want to feverishly write in my notebook, but instead clasp my hands together and engage in single-tasking, replacing my “normal” multi-tasking lifestyle.

These dancers do not need music. Their rhythm is in their ankle twists and twirled exclamations. And then I think about my love of bike-riding. How music plugged into ears was replaced by spontaneous outbursts of singing. I belt out improvisational songs when I pedal past commuters and Brooklyn walkers. The music is inside me; the music is inside them.

And when the stories/movements are incomplete, I fill in the gaps. I study humanism on subway trains and commemorate existence through deep intentional stares. I weep when someone else does and wish I could turn my body into an enormous tissue to wipe all the troubles away.

At a poetry reading on a night different than this one, a poet exclaimed:
“How do I make myself a body/ How do I make myself less crowded?”

In silence, we find these answers because we are offered enough time to take in what is seen without the distractions of sound.

I am cleaning out the cupboards in my skin folds.
I am dusting out the remains of someone else.
I am daring my mind to shout quiet and instead, answer you with my body.

heat gathers steam off body

Asleep, I dream of babies, bodies that birth books, equations written into sky that predict deaths and a chimney burning off layers of inhabitants’ skin.

When the summer arrives, the last layer of made-in-China-synthetic clothing is removed and sheets gather an abundance of sweat. My windows are wide open like my lungs or my thighs and I struggle to detect any sort of breeze coming in.

How does rise in temperature still remain a surprise? I have lived in this body for over three-decades and yet I feel unprepared for this.

Hair gather above my head like a screamed poem and my neck is free. Beneath my breasts, enough perspiration can be found to lubricate a cookie sheet. I am aware of my weight, my depth, the space above my upper lip that houses beads of heated moisture.

In one week, I temporarily move away from this city where buildings scrape sky and graffiti interrupts buildings toward a more mountainous one. The heat is different there. Not as sticky, but perhaps a bit brighter.

Seasons are perfect transitions as life moves forward. In search of signs reflected off leaves on tree outside my window, I think of summer as the foreword to my next chapter. Limbs are slightly more exposed now.

Days are far more open.
Wallet echoes.
Passport flirts with my indecision to stay here.

Heat gathers steam off my body
leaves an imprint
of fragmented,
impulsively patched together
and full of question-marked

arrival of place

Uptown, there is a church.

It is curvy like a woman should be, wrapping around a corner avenue.

This church is made of stone and wood carvings and stained glass and I spoke to God, even though we aren’t always on speaking terms.

You don’t have to answer me back, I whispered.

Elevated, with stage in front of me, and a jump contemplated and a staircase leading nowhere, I sat on a theatre seat. I tried to ignore the smell of mildew and judgement.

There was a ledge, which looked down on the pews and pulpit. It was protected by a criss-cross see-through fence, that I wanted to sew myself into. Or, peek into each diamond eye and notice the restricted images.

I am preparing for a performance. Of movement. Sexuality. A body. Some revelations. Singing, perhaps. Condoms, because I have always wanted to tear one with my teeth in the house of God and nudity because….well….ditto.

We will make sure to clean the stage, said one of the curators, earlier.

No, I said. I like that it’s dirty.

Prayer dust.
Flakes of skin of mourners, sinners, absolutionists.

I scribbled in my notebook:
body as stained glass
three-dimensional rainbow magnifications of angels and prophets
a shatter
a tutorial of how
sex as performance
the nudity of church or religion or belief

I think I want to believe in something strong enough to get me through all my death thoughts.

I think I want to ask God what s/he thinks about gender and push-up bras and botox and welfare and homelessness and anxiety attacks and fat free everything and student loan debt and the rise in gluten allergies and if it’s OK that I used to be a sex worker.

Forgive me [?]

Friday, June 1st, I press my sexual politics onto a stage in a church in NYC at the Movement Research Festival. And I’m thinking about what it means to talk about sex in a building where God lives or Bibles rest or hands clasp and tongues pray.

Will they let me in?

the language of rainfall

Awake. To the sounds of a storm, bursting from the sky, bruising the clouds, angering the leaves who dream.

A drum. Of fingertips tapping dripped rhythm against windowpane and domes of water nap like bats, clinging to branches.

Attack. A thunderous bolt shatters the grey into purple and chartreuse and then a blur of eyesight.

A body slurs toward the noise. The indigestion of wetness. A devouring of weathered atmosphere.

A memory is pulled out like naughty grey hair–
like extracted pit in olive
like admittance of love for another.

There was that time you reached down to find my smallness
the rain interrupted our lips
the rain acknowledged the thinness of fabrics
the rain tied my hair into yours

It falls because of gravity
I fall because of starvation and inconsideration to appetite

It aids the ecosystem, the growth for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.
I aid poems, the evolution of scattered thoughts and skin irritation.

There is a violence to this crime spree of sidewalk hammering
Puddles tease bodies, in search of a bathtub or a swimming pool or ocean to dive into.

What is our necessity for umbrellas,
rainfall weaponry?

There is a pause now between sky and triggered water leak.

I count the drips outside my window,
collecting on my thighs that I leave out just for mathematics.

I study the wind that replaces the rain that waits for the sun that is turned off by these umbrellas that hide faces and hair weaves.

A car horn.
A woman yells at her child.
Public radio stuck inside computer.
A slurp of coffee.
A growl of stomach.

I hear you too.

where does all the garbage go once it’s reached it’s rim

Today, I walked.

Today, I pressed sock-less feet firmly into black high top converse sneakers against new york city pavement for 10 kilometers, otherwise known as 6.2 miles.

Today, genders united, sexualities integrated, businesses advertised on the backs of their employees, as we held hands and walked toward a cure for HIV/AIDS. Or, I held hands and others held hands, but we didn’t exactly hold each other’s hands.

There were babies in strollers and adults in wheelchairs and a woman on a man’s back and octogenarians and those decades younger and baby dykes and homos and heteros. And it didn’t matter who we each voted for President. And it didn’t matter our favorite sexual positions. And it didn’t matter our educational backgrounds. And it didn’t matter how much money congested or haunted our bank accounts.

All that mattered was: We all decided to wake up this Sunday in May in New York City, travel the distance from Bronx or Brooklyn, Staten Island and beyond and make noise with our feet and hearts.

I was marching today for a poet.
A poet who’s book rested against my back, safely contained in red backpack. He marched alongside me in poems and memory. He is gone now, only in body and bones and lung expansion. But his poems…..all these poems and stories….march on.

I was marching for a man I met last year at this time in Amsterdam, who greeted me in wheelchair in gargantuan church called Dominicus on Spuistraat, who wrote a poem with me one afternoon on AIDS Memorial Day.

Together, we wrote:
poetry is religion
there are lots of angels here
a lean into bowl creates a hum
the sounds of bells

Countries and languages and humans unite to create a future that exists without HIV/AIDS

As we reached checkpoint two, we were greeted with bags of chips to fuel us toward the end. Gratefully, I accepted a bag and as the last chip left dust on my tongue, I noticed something happening.

Central Park gravel exchanged texture of black and smooth to multi-colored and mess.

The garbage cans were overflowing and plastic bottles of sucked-out water were creating a puddle of empty containers.

Then, as we reached the end of this momentous walk, we were greeted by cheers, music, balloons and ice-cream. Tiny, emptied cups littered the entire area. Garbages were engorged and later, ignored. We left our (carbon) footprint by polluting each spot, which just moments before, we had been celebrating.

Vitamin D coated my exposed skin (even through its carefully applied sunscreen). My belly was full from salted chips, ice-cream, memories of the men I was walking for, and my own emotional state of just being alive and grateful. However, it is hard to ignore the disappointment of how “we” leave our mark.

Volunteers with labeled shirts began the process of clean-up.
I began the process of making my way back to Brooklyn.

Where does all the garbage go once it’s reached it’s rim and what happens when the march ends and life is left to be lived?

How to continue honoring, raising awareness and funds and…still be aware of this earth we are breathing on.

Garbages are going to overflow because we are overflowing. We are running out of seats on subways and languages are getting lost and dying.

When one cure is found, there will still be a need to fight for another.

I am going to hold onto my empty ice-cream cup until there is a place I can throw it into. I will take the extra seconds to separate my garbage. Maybe I will even start composting again.

It’s just one more step. Amidst a lifetime of so many more.

if there was no gender no labels no words for this

I am shivers.

if there was no gender
if orientation was less about determination and more about an introductory course geared toward newcomers and curious dabblers

if /if /if /if /if /if if /if /if /if /if /if if /if /if /if /if /if if /if /if /if /if /if if /if /if /if /if /if /if /if /if Continue reading

Fresh Fruit Festival Trailer

This Summer
All Out Arts: Fresh Fruit Festival
New York City
July 20th

What happens when you put gender on a grid and transcribe the body’s stories through first love, masturbatory fantasies, delineations of beauty and the intricacies of trying to fit in to the queer world?

Ejaculating Beauty.

Ejaculating Beauty is a coming-of-age exploration of queer language and the search for where one is on the spectrum of media-inspired/socially-influenced beauty. This is Aimee Herman’s autobiographical dissection of love, gender, sexuality, hair-gentrification, and body translation. Through movement and storytelling, this piece gets to the heart of what happens when we finally put sound to the various dialects of gender within the brain.

an ode to student loans or: what does it mean to be a graduate?


twenty-four thousand
four hundred and
eighty-nine dollars
three cents

virginia woolf
“too many semi-colons”
financial aid
[too many] middle aged white men
“I don’t get it”
Gertrude Stein
“what does this mean”
“stop writing about the body so much”
a whole book?
grade point average
“I don’t get this”
“I don’t [want to] get this”
“what do you write”
“when do you write”
“why do you write”
and now
and now
what now
“what are you going to do now”
new manuscript
make money
find money
steal money
cover letter
sell yourself
sell self
sell poem
sell book
write [more] books
prove poor
prove unemployed
prove poet
loan repayment

if this is dying i am ready to live

When you posed/ with screams held open by upper and bottom lip/ did you know you’d be

How skinny was your grey and white mind, tilted
corner peeled
pressed into insignificant frame
gathered for Guggenheim possession

You were so desperate for moon, you dipped fingerprints in acid
burned one onto a building

francesca woodman

[where did the pain come from]

In Boulder, Colorado you broke into backyards
stole clothespin off laundry lines and dug them between
folds of your belly nipples ribcage

Francesca, you left all your body hair alone
[like me]
and your loneliness pushed you closer to art but
further from others
[me too]

You had a fondness for geometrics and mammaries

francesca woodman

And I have fallen in love with your right breast, perhaps
because it has been upstaged by your left.

And the trees
thin and long like you

In New Hampshire, you hide with stones and forest
align feminine to outdoor breathing


In Rome, you hung from door frames
haunted exits
reflected angels into puddles of gravel and dust

hid from calla lily too large
to approach
for inhale

can a reflection be walked in?

I see you with paper covering narrow face because too many people called you ugly and not enough humans called you invincible.

I see you crouched against bars like a jail called 14th street subway station with woman called mama and girl called sister and cardboard called megaphone for begging.

Here is an apple and I watch as you dig against the skin with your teeth, spit it out as though it is toxic. It’s OK to eat the flesh, I want to say, but instead I gather up your eating habits and wonder if you even eat enough to have habits.

I see you wearing enough raindrops to call yourself a puddle.

I see your arms covered in so many scars that your skin has become looseleaf, separate and removable.

I see your smile, curved downward and when you pass by accordionist wearing tattoos and blue hair, you want to notice her too. You want to thank her for playing Yann Tiersen as you cry into your palms. You want to ask her to follow you home and rub your back with each pressed note.