Tonight: Performance at Dixon Place

I’m deeply excited to perform at the International Women’s Art Salon at Dixon Place and celebrate the theme of body hair (something I know quite a bit about…..).

Come to this free show featuring other talented folks in the disciplines of literature, dance, theatre and music.

Dixon Place / 161 Chrystie St. NYC / 7-8pm

map out body hair through stares and winces

My arms were beginning to hurt. I was pressing them so closely to my side that I felt like a butch Barbie doll masquerading as a femme, walking stiffly.

A song came on and the raspy, computer-edited voice of a pop star chanted out: put your hands up/put your hands up. And everyone’s hands went up while mine hot-glued themselves to my sides.

This is not you, I kept telling myself all night. I am wearing high heels that are binding my toes together and I feel one step away from falling and why can’t black, high-top Converse sneakers be an acceptable choice of footwear at weddings?

My lumpy skin is pressed into place inside a black dress that I keep telling myself is masculine. However, that dark purple suit I tried on was far more hunky though challenged my economic class far too hard.

My rebellion…my ME‘ness remains hidden beneath my arms in the dark blond strands that run out from my skin like eager marathon runners.

At a wedding full of red-lipped beauties and breasts cascading out of low-low-low cut dresses, I am an anomaly. I almost pass. A stunningly tall woman compliments me on my shoes. She starts listing off multi-syllabic names of designers.

Are those Floreasdfasdfasfd Hserernasdfk shoes? His latest Italian line? Where did you get those? she asks.

Payless, I mutter.

As we all take the dance floor, I am feeling sexiest when I am dancing alone, jumping up and down, being messy with my dance moves and losing myself in the rhythm of the song. Suddenly, I feel my breasts stage a runaway as my bra lifts up, pressing against my breasts in an awkward and uncomfortable way.

All I can think of is: I can’t even wear an undergarment correctly.

While I give my suffocated feet a rest, I sit at my assigned table and watch everyone. I realize that these women in dresses are also humans housing their own insecurities and that as they take over the dance floor, it doesn’t really matter who’s eyebrows are threaded or skin airbrushed or legs cut up from shaving with dull razors. They are most beautiful because they are letting go.

In fact, it doesn’t take long before they remove their uncomfortable heels and exchange them for flip-flops.

After several hours of judging myself, I unpeel my arms away from my sides. I dance harder. I lift my arms a little higher. I take my shoes off and let my bare feet feel the cold, slippery floor.


The next morning, I was back in “butch gear” or just gender-less threads that make me feel as close to comfortable as clothes can make me feel.

Sometimes it is fun to dress in drag, or dress up as others might say.

Sometimes it is important to pay attention to these moments when we ask ourselves: who am I dressing this way for?

This hair beneath my arms and on my legs and covering other parts of my body is for me. When I press powder on my eyelids splashing on a color like sparkled grey or blue, that is for me too. When I pack a cock in my underwear on a night alone, just to walk several blocks in my neighborhood, that is for me too.

is envy a sin or stitch of fabric knotted out of sight

Breasts do not need to be symmetrical and now women are combining back to school shopping of folders, pencils and skinny jeans with breast jobs.

How long must we wait for a body to grow into itself before taking control of its growth spurt?

None of us will really know what 70 will look like if we keep sewing strands of botox into skin to see how dead we can really become.

All I notice is their skinny. Their flat bellies and I compare it to my folded one. I want to notice the strength of her laugh and the way she can lift my imagination into something far more colorful just by looking at me. All I notice is the starvation in her teeth and the way her hair looks ready to run away from her scalp due to lack of iron and oil. I want to notice her brain smeared against me from all her questions and contemplations and yes, I did know koalas weren’t bears but when you told me, it felt new. All I notice is that thick red scar by her shoulder and the way she shakes when her voice moves to past tense. I want to notice her strength found in each blink and breath. All I notice is her bones, jutting out like bamboo. All I notice is her shirt untucked and wrinkled. All I notice is her tattoo misspelled and infected. All I notice is her missing tooth, the roots revealing her real hair color, the way in which her eye contact droops downward. All I notice is the ways in which I notice her.

Everything is shaved. Razors practice manners when getting too close to the delicate parts. Aren’t you curious how long it could get? Why are some places permitted to grow tangled, while others must be silenced beneath smooth? I search for stubble; impatience never allows it to arrive. I used to use a battery-operated razor, moved to plastic when I preferred blood to be lifted out of legs too. Never waxed or plucked or lazer’d. A lover hisses at the stain of smell left on her sleeve. She questions the intent of my deodorant. I tell her I forget sometimes. My fear of cancer overrides the waft of fake flowers beneath my sweat.

You want to pull on this, I ask.
You want to suck out the juice of my day, I taunt.

Smooth is meant for sidewalks and orange juice and butter when it melts against charred bread. This body of mine is hairy and I am looking for a lover who has a fondness for itch and wool.

Bodies are being purchased in more ways than one. Envy is an instrument we use like a hammer to chisel ourselves into something better.

STOP……maybe we are all OK just like this…..