purple moon

You walk outside in search of the perfect song. Today is the day you are going to kiss the person you’ve been saving up all your spit for. You turn left because right only takes you past the apartment with the cracked door and you are way too superstitious for that. You almost trip over a spiderweb that has been spray-painted blue; how could you have missed that?! There is a song in your head from that time this person touched your kneecap…just the cap…just the shell over all the good stuff. And you wanted to sing out loud when you could feel the lineage of their skin pressed against you, but you didn’t want to ruin the moment. Instead you sneezed, and bless you killed the mood. You know almost none of the lyrics to Happy Birthday because, as a kid, you were never invited to any parties, except the one you threw for yourself on the tip of turning nine and even you didn’t show up. You have to pause before you cross the street because the moon is a shade of purple the newspaper warned you about. How can you not notice that partially lobotomized tree standing eerily. It’s not that it appears dumb or drained; it’s just that its prefrontal lobe looks tampered with. It’s impossible not to think of this person whose tongue will be in your mouth, when you hear the buzz of the wind skating over your collarbone. Have you ever heard the story of the porcupines? Or are they antelopes? You turn around because you realize the song was hiding beneath your elastic the entire time. It is what was itching you. So you scratch it until there are flakes of your skin pushing out your nail bed. This is when you open your door, tired from walking but hungry for that kiss. You lay down on your bed, which used to belong to someone else, but now belongs to you. And the person you are going to give all your spit to.

 

Tonight! BOOG CITY Poetry Festival

Tonight, I’m looking forward to performing alongside the magnificent Trae Durica in my poetic play, postulation.

What happens when two lovers reunite after being left? Come to SIDEWALK CAFE and find out!

SUNDAY AUGUST 7, 5:30 P.M.

Sidewalk Cafe
94 Avenue A
The East Village

Directions: A/B/C/D/E/F/V to W. 4th St.
Directions: F/V to 2nd Ave., L to 1st Ave.
Venue is at East 6th Street

7th Boog Poets’ Theater Night, featuring:

5:30 p.m. postulation by Aimee Herman

5:45 p.m. Skin of A Spell by Jenn McCreary

6:00 p.m. The Triumph of the Thirteenth Family of Passerines by Maggie Dubris

6:15 p.m. The Body in Equipoise by Joel Allegretti

6:30 p.m. Stage Wrong: Triology by John Trause

6:45 p.m. Unfinished Acts by Christine Choi

7:00 p.m. An Excerpt from Tacoma Method by Zhang Er

7:15 p.m. Shakespeare’s Itches by Susanna Rich

flaneur (a day in the life of)

first published by great weather for MEDIA

 

I imagine every door I approach to be a portal toward a different temperature, pace, language of thought. A land where there exists no outlets. Bodies free of chords and check-ins. Just veins and bruises and questions and lungs.

In the months leading up to this one, I’ve contemplated more things than could fit on a bookshelf. I almost ran away, like that time I was eight or twelve and filled up silver backpack shaped like a robot with all the necessities. When I couldn’t find any, I threw in a juice box, some grapes and an extra pair of underwear. I got to the end of the block and decided to turn back. I’m not sure what turned my bones into a STOP sign, but I forgot all about those grapes and months later, raisins hid inside my robot.

And so, amidst fears and anxieties about how to remain in a world full of so much hate and violence, how to possibly begin a legalized life with someone when being Queer still isn’t safe, just like being Black still isn’t safe and being Muslim isn’t safe and and &………I decided to venture into the east village in the sizzling heat to meditate.

I am not too keen on joining things: groups, clubs, conversations. But I decided to reply YES to an all-day outside collective meditation, which was to begin in Tompkins Square Park. Filled my black tote bag with bits of The New York Times, water and my notebook and ventured into Manhattan.

Twice around the park and no one seemed to have any affiliation with anything formally meditative, so I decided to let the day take me somewhere else. I figured I was meant to be in this part of New York in this moment. So I replaced sitting beneath the sun with my eyes closed with walking, eyes wide open, ready for life to approach me in its loudest forms.

I stood outside the park for a few moments, to contemplate my direction, when a tall gentleman approached me.

“You like poetry?” he asked.

“Yes, very much,” I answered.

He handed me a tiny spiral notebook, explaining that these were his poems. At the top of each paper, $5 was written.

After I read two of his poems, I said, “You are quite a minimalist.”

“What does that mean?”

“Oh, just that you are able to say so much in few words. It’s really impressive.”

He didn’t seem to take this as a compliment or even care about any sort of reaction. “They’re five dollars each.”

“I…I don’t have any cash,” I said.

He looked angry. Disappointed. So, I said, “Well, I have an apple! I just got it at the farmers market and it looks really good.”

He mumbled something and walked away. Perhaps not a fan of fruit. Or round objects. Or red things.

I continued to walk, breathing in and out, running through a short mantra my friend, Rebel, told me about as I walked on Avenue A being present minded and open. I wandered into a flea market and inhaled the aroma of dug-up lives for sale. I digested a large heaping portion of air-conditioning in a book shop, where the only words spoken to me were: excuse me’s and can you move a little?

Later on, I felt parts of my neck sweat off my body while waiting  underground for the 3 train (because the A/C train wasn’t running). I approached the subway map yawning its colors and routes at me, when a male-presenting human wearing perspiration and a smile said, “I don’t miss this about living in New York.”

I smiled. “Yeah, I know, which is why we need to find the beauty in it. Somehow.”

I learned that he’s from Los Angeles, but lived in the city for five years. Now, lives with his wife somewhere I’ve never heard of upstate.

I wanted to tell him that all the things we complain about New York make it into what it is. That without the monster-truck-sized rats and urine-drenched pavement and overpriced everything people wouldn’t flock here. To be amongst all of what New York was and is.

The train arrives and we both get on. I continue reading the newspaper and he sits down out of view. I decide to get off at Borough Hall in Brooklyn, because I’m not ready to go home. Because I am hoping to trip on some magic. Because I am always looking for more reasons not to run away.

I purchase chemicals to bring my hair into its slightly unnatural hue. I purchase a tie for later on in the month for when someone might need such a thing. I purchase a coconut ice from a lovely human who looks shrunken by the heat. I find a bench and sit down, scooping cool sweet artificially flavored coconut into my mouth. A young one pushing a bicycle abruptly says, “Miss, will you watch my bike? I need to buy some shoes.”

I say yes before I realize what I’ve agreed to. Not knowing if he’s a speedy shopper or likes to take his time. But I am without time. All of this is part of the walking meditation.

When he comes back out, maybe ten minutes later, he says thank you.

“I really want to give you money but you probably won’t accept it,” he says.

“Oh, it’s fine. No worries.”

“I just really had to get some shoes, you know? Hey, what’s your name?”

I tell him and he smiles. We wish each other a good day and I tell him to enjoy his new shoes. I think about how often we forget each other. Walk right past stories and lives. Rarely look up. Barely even smile.

When my mate and I walk our dog, we say hello to those who pass us by. Sometimes even wish them a good day. By doing this, we hope to create a bridge where we aren’t just people storming a neighborhood, but part of the community.

I was supposed to keep my eyes closed today. Be still. But instead, by opening my eyes and seeing the life around me, I was reminded why I should stay. Because there are still so many humans I’ve yet to meet and the ones who I know, who I love, who love me, throw magic on the ground each day just for me to trip on.

woman on a bench with her eyes closed

inspired by Nan Goldin

She fits twelve, unopened cans of Miller Light in her see-through pocketbook because in the summertime she is at her thirstiest, yet no one wakes her, asleep on the bench, in white dress with the flowers like blood stains embroidered to hide the real stains, with cigarette still in mouth and white ribbon in her hair like an angel. Because she was one once, because she always was.

TODAY! Governor’s Island Poetry Festival

Let the sky rain poems all over your perspiring flesh! All day, POEMS and IMAGINATIONS torn open and amplified. I’m excited to be featured alongside other great writers for Big Words, Etc. reading series. We go on at 4pm on the Algonquin stage.

Catch the 3pm ferry…..or come much earlier and take in all the magnificence of this magical land.

I’ll be reading some new poems, two inspired by the great Nan Goldin, whose exhibit I just caught at the Museum of Modern Art. She always always blows me away.

the other side of things

I’m trying to understand my inability to sign my name to things.

Recently, I was asked to list all of my scars, every side-effect from every human I’ve ever let inside me. I had to name two references who could locate my left ovary. I went back on medication because I missed having night sweats and hallucinations of solidarity.

I decided to cut all my hair off.

I removed all my clothes, including four of my moles and part of a vein that never seemed useful. I like that my scalp reminds me of a mountain.

Several days ago, I was yelled at by a man who hates white people. Or queer people. Or former Jews. Or drug addicts. Or teachers. I’m not really sure. My lung just couldn’t stay inside me anymore, so it jumped out, crossed the street and I’ve had difficulty breathing ever since.

I kissed a beautiful woman wearing lipstick on her toes, missing one-third of her wrist. I had forgotten how to take off bras, so we just did it wearing straps and confusion.

After the sun had clocked out, I watched a silent movie in the sky starring Anne Bancroft and Gene Wilder. I ran out of popcorn, so I started stealing nasturtiums from the garden I keep inside my pocket. Nothing is ever salty enough.

Maybe I will be approached with a piece of paper in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge or a fence and I will signature my name in black ink or blueberry preserves and I will not hesitate because when I look out the window every sunflower will be looking straight at the one who most resembles the sun. And we will kiss as though we have invented something no one has ever heard of and our tongues will cure buildings.

Or something like that.

SATURDAY: Cleaning out our closets (a performance about all the ways we come out)

JULY 23rd……Stories and Songs about Coming Out

Cleaning Out Our Closets is featured in the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, so come and celebrate all the ways we reveal ourselves to others (and ourselves). FEATURING: Aimee Herman and Trae Durica

WHERE? Dixon Place 161 Chrystie St./NYC

WHEN? Door @ 7pm Show 7:30 This is a short show, so please be on time, as it has a running time of 45 minutes.

*There will be poetry books and Keith Haring inspired patches for sale!!!****

 

 

Aimee Herman is a performance artist, poet and teacher, widely published in journals and anthologies. Aimee has two-full length books of poems and is currently writer-in-residence for Big Words, Etc. reading series.

Trae Durica is a poet and artist, whose work has been published by NYSAI and great weather for MEDIA. He will be featured in the BOOG poetry festival in August.