Some think values are meant to hold order. I think that is weakness of understanding to hinge values, especially collective values on order. What of the hateful values of white supremacists, what order is present in that value system, one that destabilizes with violence, the threat of violence? These are not values. They do not collect the whole rather dissolve the structure of society in all manners. There is disambiguation needed for values, as wealth is formed through value, and the aforementioned order of values are spread over swaths of culture and overlap into various systems. I’ve penned values as a set of actions that remind us of our better selves. With value being operative in forming systems, a dynamic form is required to place it. With our beings always in a state of flux, memory is the attainable piece that forms our reality, and values like record inform on that reality our higher beings in the connectivity to one another.
So, today is orientation, effectively the first day of school for me. In celebration and since I don’t have a cake to eat here are some tasty zines for your wonder. There are more to come and they aren’t the print versions but if you like what you read please feel free to email me and ask to reproduce any of the imagery. Enjoy, share and share alike, whatever they say.
Here are three zine covers I’ve put together for three of the zines I’ve put together. That sentence is really repetitive. I’m on track to have the works for my shop together. I got the key for my studio today making things all the more real. I’ll go into TA training in Wednesday. I’m trying to ride my excitement as much as possible. Saturday is my studio warming. Seeing some of the faces that have believed in me this far should go a long way.
Back at home and in bed, missing and all. On with it then. I’ve moved into my studio on campus. I haven’t taken the dimensions but its big. I’ve really been home since Wednesday which felt like Thursday after hours of airports and flight. All and all its Monday now and in some a little over a week I’ll be going into orientation. I keep talking about all my bright ideas and I’m looking forward to doing it some more.
This Saturday I’m having a party to welcome the space. The other night I formally did that with an hour plus poem and most ofnthe breath in my lungs. I’m not trying to waste anymore breath.
I’ve been working on cover art and inserts for the zines in my store. Today I’ll finish one more then I’ll start populating the pages. I think in the same way I’m going to redesign some of the smaller zines into A4 booklets. I did a test print yesterday with Jonathan and I really like that size probably just as much as I like the pocket sized books. There were some typos in that version after I pulled all the poems from instagram so this will give me another crack at finding the words. I’ve also got to do some media management. My goal is to have my goods easily browsable before classes start so I can print to order. I’ve also got to call the post office on a print that never made it to its owner, sorry HBC. My first order of business for the day is in the works, laundry.
Guests Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi, Sterling Kokroko Runtime: 36:13
Tracklist Ganesha Statue – Sterling Kokroko Mississippi Mambo – Noro Morales That’s How Rumors Start – Joey Pastrana & His Orchestra Peaches – The Kinks
How many times do you wear your favorite pair of socks? How many times do you take that same sweater out of the dryer and put it on and walk around the house without pants? These aren’t trick questions, I swear I’m getting somewhere. This episode I’m talking about poetry with a poet I’ve met for the first time, but first, some of my thoughts. I don’t want to advocate for poetry being a utilitarian thing in that neoliberal nonsensical way that we’re all poets, everything we breath is poetry, man. That’s a stereotype. While everyone can be profound at times, take a fool for instance, poetry isn’t on the tip of every tongue, or in every moment of suffering, or in every victory. Those moments may be timeless in that they repeat every day and that’s fine but that’s not poetry. However epic it may seem to you, those moments are reference points for poems already written. Think about it and most of the time your voice is overcome with someone else’s words. It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know, but hey, there are poets, there are accountants, there are librarians, there are doctors. I’m not trying to be reductive, there is a lot of really good poetry out there, things you will never experience, never hear, nothing, not a bit, and you will still recognize it as something other than poetry because the practitioner didn’t stumble into your field. It may seem like I’m diverging right now but I’ll get right back on topic. What I’m saying is poetry can’t be confined in a field of view, it is always incomplete, and always wandering. You don’t wear your favorite socks every day. You may do that thing with your sweater when time allows for it, not when your parents are home, or kids, or whatever. In those fleeting moments between realities is where poetry is most present and even if it is there it takes certain voice to recreate that poetry in words. That’s the artistry of the poet. Some people make nails, some people hit them, they all keep the house up.
I’m in the international airport in Taipei on an overnight layover. I’ve already finished half of the book I brought with me. My flight is I think around 9am. I have the time to look but I kind of don’t want to know, I just want the hour to come and I’m on a plane. I’ve walked from one end of the terminal to the other and it’s confirmed this is another airport. There’s a black model in the Gucci campaign featured here. I’m wearing blue sweat pants, black pumas, a red t shirt, and an invisible black painting sweater from the GAP, and a hat. I’m going to take a two week break from writing on here while I’m on vacation. I’ll probably write something on the return leg. There hasn’t really been that much happening anyway, I feel myself getting boring. It’s probably more of an internal thing though, I’ve been doing some fun stuff here and there. I’ve you’ve got something you want me to review or an event back in Dallas, drop me an email and I’ll get back to you.
Between recording and rolling out of bed to go get donuts. I’ll start over. After getting donuts and getting back into bed to edit the upcoming podcast, I clicked onto youtube to put on some tunes before going to close my bank account at boa and found The Polyseeds fresh release. Sounds of Crenshaw Vol.1 threw me into the deep end of funky soul tunes from an era blending the tastes of Kool and the Gang and G riders. There are a lot of acts that tip on the feeling that The Polyseeds hit on full throttle and that is where The Polyseeds shine. Supergroups can be hit or miss and this combination is a dead aim at great. Little bits of nostalgia like the I can’t swim of P Funk flow with the keys of Digital Underground in a new mash of brilliance, smooth and rich and grooving. Its not on the one track or on the two track, every song on this album takes you to a place of a saxophone singing to you at dusk, right before the freaks come out, right before the stars come out, right before the lights come on and wheels turn under palm trees on the way to somewhere, anywhere, with a cool breeze and the still heat of the golden state.
I wish I could start this off with a poem or something more fitting than an image of me swinging a bat two Easter’s ago. I wouldn’t have thought I would be in Dallas then. I would have probably been in a warehouse somewhere or over seas again, or in nature. I was still in my 20’s, the last year but still in my 20’s. My life is very touch and go at the moment. My leaving my job was as much about me as it was about poor management. In that I find no solace. I don’t know if my drive has taken over and I’ve lost the compass I held so close for so long. Events in my past make me go both ways. I’ve left good women and bad equally to end up married to a woman I love more than ever half way around the world. I’ve always been a sucker for love. What I have gained more of is that in the face of that foolish pursuit of this want for love I’ve found in myself a slickness that I despise. I would have never thought of Love as a want a few years ago, it was a necessity, like breathing and it could be perfect in its imperfection. I teeter on the belief that things like this are real constantly or am I just tricking myself and the people around me. From a distance and with time all things are written with a dull pencil. The words start to lose focus and whatever feeling they had are replaced with the memory of that feeling amplified by my own mythology. I’m not a good man, I can say that in honesty. I’ve done enough things to toss away that wish of being a good man forever, along with that I can throw away my sense of good people, barring a few. Most have the grace of me not knowing them. In that unknowing, I ask myself do I know myself. By now I say yes but I can also surprise myself. My suicidal depression has given way to normal depression and increased anxiety. A big portion of me not wanting to be along is part of grounding myself in reality. I’m no longer as concerned with drifting away and being unfound in some suicide but more worried about drifting away in schizophrenic fugue after days of not seeing anyone and reading the daily news. I’ve been searching for attachment my digital presence, I’ve been searching for meaning in my horoscope, I’ve been lost day dreaming about the pain and pleasure of destroying my morality and descending desire’s circles to see what waits for me at the bottom. If I ever thought I hit rock bottom I was so far away I could kiss myself. I’m looking for another moment of clarity, one that come in the form of a happy hour, not drinks, but blinding elation. I can’t read my new long poem performance piece without breaking into tears. I have to read it fast enough to avoid breaking down. I can think about performing it but I get anxious and stop resulting in me barely being able to edit the damn thing. In a little over a week I will be on a plane that I almost hope will never land. As much as I am excited to see my wife after all these months I am terrified that I will collapse under my own weight. I almost never want to return. The prospect of this next 10 years of my life seem insurmountable. The state of the world if psychically linked to me, or is it the other way around. I can write this down and find no solace. I can look at myself in the mirror long enough to clear my mind of all thoughts. What comes after never lasts and maybe that is a blessing. I could go on and on but I’m starting to ramble. I guess if I know that I haven’t gone too far. The question is that far enough. I’ve been doing this for going on 12 years and I am still asking myself that question. And even more so it is impossible to go back now.
I’ve got this perceived and realized tension from family members, people I hold dear over decisions I’ve made in my career, education, generally life choices. It hinges on the younger kids, people that grew up with me, younger and older. I don’t exactly think it’s funny but I’m going to describe it as such because I can’t think of a better word and all the other language around my feelings and thoughts about this topic escape me right now, maybe in an edit I’ll pen it better. The people that have inspired me in my adolescence to become what I’ve become within my circle have disappointed me. They are the potential that I saw as being this great wealth of the future, people big enough to conquer all obstacles with the strength of their hands, feet, voice, presence, being. Along the way circumstances have submitted them to the tyrants grip and closed off the light that in its shine spoke of the brightness of all things.
It was around my freshman year in college and more over my senior year in high school that I gave up thinking that money would save me. In that release I learned hard lesson after hard lesson that not much would save me and much of the past, things existing long before my being born in their structure were guiding me toward a type of business and a train of thought that travels parallel to the history of capitalism. Much of creativity has been hijacked by trade in monetary wealth and what hasn’t been taken has been oppressed, destroyed, or twisted into an antithesis of the underground. In these fates the damage of the creative body is a kind of psychosis and tangling of will and circumstance, internal and external voices, balance and options. The opportunity rarely arises out of the void to make your mind change from the structure placed around it and in that, creativity is seen as the spawn of circumstance or in communities of faith, the wellspring of love in the universal force.
I spoke briefly last year about how my artistic practice deals with capitalism. I mostly talked around what money and value were to me and how I’ve found my way to creating the body of my practice in advancing a schedule that alternates priorities of making artworks and keeping a roof over my head and food in my belly. It has been difficult at times and easier at others. My focus has been to not skew the relationship between what I see as being necessary for my survival in creating with the sacrifice I make to capitalism. Making money is a religion and it is one that I can only view as a cancerous and vacuous mastery of self deception. In the end the clergy of this church lay empty and diseased under a false system of wealth. My sacrifice is ash and I offer nothing but remnants to the fire but even this is more that I can stand at times. The reasoning that diamonds come from carbon and pressure hasn’t escaped me and I ask myself would I rather stick my hand in the furnace to find the artificial pieces of this impossibly hard life or would I rather exist as the elemental nature of both stone and energy with the clarity of my work made complete.
I’m switching banks from Bank of America to a local bank. Today is Saturday, it’s a good day, I started with donuts and mailed a bunch of art out to collectors and friends, one and the same, really. I’m transitioning into school life. and to ring it in I sent my boss a letter of resignation. He just scowled at me. Bad guys are bad guys, I’m not trying to work for people that don’t do good business. It’s going to be interesting going into non profit work, I’ve done some before and this is temporary, Dallas is its own beast economy. I’m torn between finding a part time job and living in poverty, neither one of which are very much of a choice, I need one, it’s just the hours that I want. I haven’t has a night job since Seoul, I’d really be into that. These are all musings. Where am I going to find the most inspiration and be able to balance a class schedule. Scratch all that, I would ultimately not work a part time job and just focus on my art, we shall see what it is, I’ve got some ideas. I’m going to my first open mic in Dallas, stand alone open mic type thing. I’m going to work on some newer stuff, rumor has it. I’m counting the days before vacation. I do need a vacation. New episode of Radio100Percent on the wayyyyyy. I also need some love.
I scrapped my GoFundMe page yesterday. I remembered how much I don’t like crowdfunding. Its not like I have medical expenses im trying to take care of, people open their pockets for tbings like that, I’m just trying to pay off some debt. On y va. I’ve got training for a week long teaching job with the Big Thought Project. I’m excited. I’m going to go for my PhD after i finish my MFA so i can pass on all this knowledge. Its one of those life long dreams of mine to start an art school, i think I’ve said that before but its always worth repeating the cause. Classes start, for me, on the 21st. I’m a little anxious. I’ve been checking my horoscope every day and everything seems on the up and up. I smudged my apartment last night to get whatever this feeling is off my back before then. Ive still got a lot of work before July 19th rolls around and I go on vacation. So manynof my friends are over in europe and I’m in Dallas getting rained on. It could be worse, thats not a consolation and not an wish either, just something we say without thinking. I was thinking about how I’m going to feel in a couple years being debt free and full of new ideas around what ive been thinking about for so many years. It’s all very stimulating.
My friend, who I’m not going to name drop, sent me the new Jay-Z album. I haven’t listened to Lemonade or A Seat At The Table. It’s a trilogy I hear. Last thing I listened to on Tidal was Not The Actual Events and December 99th. I don’t want to go through signing up for the service again. I’m not the biggest Jay-Z fan so there is some implicit biased in this review. Take it as you will, it’s going to be a short review.
Thirteen albums in and I’m still not any more of a fan that I was on The Black Album. Line for line, this was a much shorter album than any other Jay-Z album I’ve listened to. I enjoyed that part of 4:44. I think it is something of a point of pride that many Jay-Z fans that I know have. The old man still has the hands to go toe to toe with the rest of them. Jay-Z has the money and the power. He has the baddest chick in the game wearing his chain. He’s bought every V12 engine. He’s a Rap God, but he is also self effacing enough to admit to that being the equivalent to the tallest midget. Isn’t that transcendence? Isn’t it therapy waking up in the middle to the night to pen your true feelings. Feeling be damned of the opponents, there are no rivals outside of the family, those are the only ones that can touch the untouchable. He has said it all, been it all, and is now becoming post modern, post post modern, the future? Anyway, praise due, to continue, to reclaim the game after changing it as his voice has and return in an era of kings disposed takes the dispassionate, doggedness of a real rap assassin. It’s nearly impossible to write this without a Jay-Z quotable and in that I give my praise. Another job will done.