letters which have yet to be mailed.

Last week, someone mailed me a book of Proust. As I slowly read it, I think that he and I could have been lovers because if his limbs are anything like the length of his sentences, I might be curious to learn how many times he could wrap them around me. He utilizes semi-colons like breaths. They keep happening. And between each one is oxygenated imagery.

Dear Proust, I am reading you slowly. Between bites of Fanny Howe, Carole Maso and Vera Pavlova (always). Many nights ago, I turned my body into medicine. Offered up shots of my tongue and unzipped what I bind each day to another. And could this lover be called notebook. And could this lover be called photographer. And could this lover be called self. Proust, you searched for lost time and I am searching for lost body parts. And I am searching for therapeutic ways to (re)enter myself. 

I keep a folded piece of paper in my notebook full of addresses. And I keep track of every letter that I send, never waiting for one back. I just write. And mail. And write and send.

Humans are forgetting about paper. And pens. And stamps. And the beauty of envelopes like folded treasure chests. They are too often distracted by fancy phones and internet access. We text and skype and email and swipe faces to the left and right through online dating applications. But what about the mailboxes just outside our doors? What about scratched out words and the curvature of letters in inked handwriting. The lover who lays beside you…would you recognize their handwriting in an alphabetical line-up?

One of the most magical love affairs I found myself in began with letters. One summer of back-and-forth exchange of days, evenings, moon sightings. I wrote over forty letters that summer to one human, who reminded me that stories find their meaning when given to another. I wrote on scraps of tree bark found in Prospect Park, postcards, receipts, cardboard and leaves. I fell in love with this human through our matchmaker: the mailbox.

Tonight, I perform a piece full of letters. A letter to my cervix, to my breasts, my cellular structure, future lover, my body. In these letters, I find my way back into myself by unraveling stories, memory, sensations.

I’ll take the stage at Tammany Hall @ 152 Orchard St, NYC / Doors open at 7:30pm/ Show begins at 8pm/ 21+ / $15

This is an evening featuring magnetic performances by poets, singers, and comedians. I’m not sure which category I fit in anymore. But I’ll be there with my letters. And my uke. This is all to celebrate The Inspired Word’s four year anniversary. This series has grown into a movement of collaborations, community and artistry. I am honored to be a part of this celebration.

 

 

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