never a dull moment.

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today is my beautiful little sister’s 18th birthday. man! time is flying. why do we always say that? i’m grateful to be here in this moment.. so grateful.

this past summer has been one of, if not the, most important of my life. i have learned that you cannot fight or force your feelings. every bit of anxiety, restlessness, electricity, emotion- comes from somewhere. and it’s up to you to stop resisting and start listening to what your body and your emotions are trying to tell you. the resulting journey may dismantle you, make people worry a lot about you, question your every move, and fracture the very ground you stand on. but i promise you- it has a purpose.

someday you’ll know why you were never satisfied.

here i stand, in the knowing.

i’ve started a journey to becoming a wilderness guide/educator and also realized how much i love talking to the newer generations about positivity, potential, and the power of words and thoughts. there have also been many moments in the months since the summer that have been downright pitch black. dizzying. soul splitting. but you realize that- this is the point. to push ourselves to our edges and then find the strength to push right PAST.

speaking to a room full of kids, exploring with new souls, sharing my art, taking risks, putting my process on display, going into the woods, learning brand new tasks, trudging up a mountain.. it’s all destroying the parts of me that aren’t golden. aren’t infinite. stripping the useless husks of ego.. to the eternal bloom of light that lies within.

i feel so grateful to everyone i’ve met on this path, whether still with me or not. whether long-standing or brand new. i feel like the universe is placing my steps.. and as scared as i get. as much as that darkness beckons. as much as the questions and the uncertainty whisper to me from the edges.. i know i have to push. and keep pushing. for myself, for everyone. choosing energy. choosing passion. choosing self-expression. choosing wildness. CHOOSING LIFE.

i wrote the piece below for the WORDS WITH WINGS show at THE GRIND on 9/30 that was my first step back into curating and performing after the summer. i also performed it for 10 classes in a row at my high school recently, and its meaning was solidified..

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i am walking forward, INTO THE WILD. events are coming up including MASHUPS on 10/28 at queens council on the arts, a wild rumpus night of new work and free creation featuring visual art, music, poetry, dance, and a wildcard theme of tarot! i will be pushing my own edges this night and we will be responding to each other, to the themes, to the audience, in the moment.

my third book is breaking its own edges.. i’m looking at early 2016 to heal wounds and honor this stretch of the journey since the summer. the process is beginning..

words are going up around my neighborhood and beyond as i re-embrace my duty as messenger.

i will keep challenging myself. and i will stay free. as my family has said, time and time again.. NEVER A DULL MOMENT. but how could there be?

‘without enchantment, the rest is useless’ (borges) —

XO

a.

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***

this. is. for. you:
it doesn’t matter how old you are
what you’re deathly scared of
what is hurting your heart.
it doesn’t matter how many times
you wake up feeling anxious
how many times you reach for
the pen, the camera, the brush, the computer,
the door- and feel it’s pointless.
you. must. go. on.

I BOW ONLY TO THE FIRE INSIDE ME &
THE WINGS ON MY BACK.

even when your palms are bleeding- open your hands. you must go on. your search for meaning amounts to this- above all- it is whatever you create. whatever meaning you ascribe, you are the scribe, the wild messenger. plunge your restless fingers into the dark and with all your heart, pry yourself from what you cannot belong to. put your paws in the earth, hang your fears on tree branches, and go.

if you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror, smash it. if your key doesn’t work, put your fist through the door. if your heart can’t possibly shatter any further, put a lantern in your chest. light a match in the endless tunnels twisting inside your head. IMAGINE a way out, the way you did when you were only a child- you had it right. all those monsters run away if you can shine a brighter light. so SHINE ON, my friends. as bright as you can. conjure your own spell for resurrection, believe again in your alchemy, necromancy, turn the blood to gold and gold to armor, you will live again to fight another day.

wander the desert. pick through the bones. sing in the forest. keep anything that echoes. let the ocean beat against you, let the steepness of the cliff dismantle your ego. and start again. and again. and again. and again. this is the wilderness codex, the code of living forever. dying as many times as you have to. the moment you hit the ground is the first breath that you heave again. if you can’t get up, can’t go on, can’t walk another step, just WILL YOUR WINGS TO WORK.

I BOW ONLY TO THAT FIRE INSIDE ME &
THOSE WINGS ON MY BACK.

so many of us are walking around powerless. i am calling to you, my sisters & brothers, my wild souls, my rebel poets, my warriors of the light.

wear no shoes, climb up to a roof, speak to your city, ignite the mic and as long as it comes from your burning heart don’t regret anything you have to say.

stop disappearing into a faceless army. stop going back to your apartment, doing your job, going to sleep. that tingling in your throat, it’s starting something. it may come out hoarse but it’s a beautiful beginning. the messenger gave you a legend, a scripture, a tale to tell around a fire the way we did in ancient days. your words can turn ash to ember.

BELIEVE it. NOW BLAZE.

***

EVENTS COMING UP:

10/28/15 – Audrey Dimola presents MASHUPS! performance & workshop at Queens Council on the Arts in Astoria [Facebook]

11/12/15 – Nature of the Muse fireside reading/live writing series returns to LIC Bar [Facebook]

11/18/15#neonrebellion kickoff with Nick Neon arrives at Q.E.D. in Astoria [Facebook]

{{thank. you. one. &. all.}}

origin story

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But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us- to know
Whence our lives come and where they go. -m. arnold

the journey, my friends, the journey. walking these unfamiliar paths, meeting souls that feel familiar. on the land which always, always feels like home. working on the farm. learning wilderness survival and so much more about awareness, presence, movement. these days- i will never forget them.

You will erase everything you had written in the book of your life up until now: restlessness, uncertainty, lies. And in the place of all this you will write the word courage. By beginning the journey with that word and continuing with faith in God, you will arrive wherever you need to arrive. -p. coelho

in that spirit- here is my origin story.

this is my retelling of the story of LA LOBA, wolf woman, passed down to dr. clarissa pinkola estés in the incredible book, women who run with the wolves. inspired by recent experiences, my tribe, and the wild spirit that keeps me traveling forward. forward. forward.

* * *

Out under the milky moon after a day of scorching sunlight there is a woman moving slowly but purposefully through the desert. She has many names, but in this case we shall call her the wolf woman. La Loba.

She moves about almost undetected- you might catch a glimpse of her silvering hair amidst cactus flowers, her gnarled fingers stretching between jagged rocks or sifting sands. La Loba is silently searching through this landscape to uncover the bones.

These are the wild parts of ourselves- the indestructible, even by flame- the bones, and the wild life force within that gets buried, hidden, stolen away without us even knowing it.

Many of us find ourselves undertaking what seems like an impossible journey through the desert. Grains and grains of sand, rocks, spiked plants, cliffs, dunes. The landscape tricking our eyes, all seeming endless- the same. But we must do it. We must trust that each movement has a purpose, that this search is not in vain- like La Loba does.

As she finds these buried bones, each, one by one, she brings them back to her desert cave, piecing the wild skeleton back together in the dust beside the glowing firelight. And in the space between each placement, each adjustment, La Loba begins to sing.

Singing over the bones is what our soul is calling us to do when we feel displaced unrest. To go into that desert of the psyche, retrieve those lost parts of ourselves- and sing. Sing with our whole soul, our utmost and fully alive- for all the things we love and long for every morning at the break of day, in the quiet unfolding of night, and all the moments in between. Just SING. Without fear of what it sounds like, but only with heart.

And little by little as La Loba sings, the skeleton of bones in the dust winds itself back together- sinew and muscle, tissue and fur, little by little- this wild creature, almost lost to the dunes, begins to twitch, shake, stir- begins to BREATHE again, pump blood again, open its eyes and awake into full being again.

The wolf gets up as La Loba beams gently through the shadows and flickering light of the cave- and with a tail swish and its ears pricked up, it darts out into the distance, out of the cave and into the desert- eyes shining, howl swirling through its ribcage, paws beating in the moonlight, faster and faster until that wolf, that wild soul, searched for and sang back to life by the light of the fire- that creature becomes a girl running through the dunes and desert flowers.

And she is laughing. She is grateful. She is whole.

* * *

This girl will remember where she came from, and dedicate her life to the spirit of wild love that resurrected her. And in so doing, she will become an aspect of La Loba herself. It is this way the circle of discovery and rediscovery, losing and finding, wandering and wishing, leaving and returning- is never broken.

We sing our wild souls back to life- and then we help others do it too.

It is this way we keep the flow of gratitude moving.

It is this way we reassemble our tribe.

holy, holy grandmother we sing
wash us clean of our pain and suffering
give us strength for our new beginnings
from my deepest thanks i sing…

love to you warriors, wish-children, wild souls, spirits of light.

if you’re in the NYC area and enjoy arts/music/lit/mischief, come see me at LAST FRIDAYZ at local project on 7/31 or queens lit fest on the wkend of aug 1 & 2 at LIC bar in queens! more performance info on the events page.

also- my piece ‘whenever you fall i will be there to catch you’ will appear in great weather for MEDIA‘s latest collection, Before Passing, out august 1. nothing like a sweet hard-copy.. excite!

flickering,

XO

a.

sea shanty

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things have been tumultuous.

today, on a whim, i got in a cab and told the driver: “anywhere in coney island.”

in my entire life, i don’t think i’ve ever been to the beach completely alone.

after having so much trouble writing.. relating. feeling. loving. believing.

in the sea, by the sea, as the sea- i was accepted, broken.

and in the space- i wrote.

i.
it is always as if- i am
seeing it for the first time.
i must believe as the first man did
god is in the ocean.
god is in the earth.
i no longer believe in one god.
i do not know of omniscience.
i only remember what healing is
when my feet touch scorching sand
particles glittering in a force
as wild
as i am.
nature is my only echo.
i am part and parcel.
crash of wave in my roiling heart.
murky depths.
unexplainable.
home to everything.
home to nothing.
home- forever changing.
i must have been a sailor.
because i can’t remember
what it’s like to not be in motion.
dwarfed and frightened and
awed by
majesty beyond your
mortal life.
when i arrive here:
I Arrive.
seagull shadow on
pen and paper.
leopard crabshell
discarded on the beach.
i want to walk
straight out into the
water
and never look back.
as hard as i try-
i cannot understand
anything else.
my heart on fire
has cooled
to floods, to this-
giving and taking
away, giving and
taking
away.
my mind which
never lets me
rest now
dissolving to
foam, bubble,
fragments. seabirds.
i know now
even the barnacles,
the ocean moss, the
crusted shells in
cluster-
have a place here.
i, too, would
latch on
and never leave.

ii.
i love
everything about
the ocean.
even, suddenly, things i couldn’t
bear to behold.
here there are no
notifications.
no guilt, no
smashed
hands or
phones.
you cannot force me
to feel.
i, who in these moments
have felt nothing,
now feel
all.
or at least-
the smallest glimmer
from a match-flick
of something.
an ocean whisper-
don’t leave us.
not yet.
we still have
things
to say.

iii.
if i could lead you
into a poem that is
my life
right now it would be
sounds and
only
darkness.
the slightest shrill of
wayfaring birds, the
slightest swing of
contained flame
in the distance
on the end of
an
outstretched arm,
the prow of a ship,
a billowing sail
saying only- i can
do this.
you must try
to move with me
in the dark.
walking will
do you no good here.
nor any knowledge
of four walls.
only sandy stretches
glittering like nebulas
a sky made of
bluing mussel shells
and fading
footprints.
there is no way
to make me see
otherwise-
the worldly things
besides
ankles tangled
with seaweed,
the crash of wave,
the
infinite
motion.
please do not
ask me to
stand still.
please do not beg me
to feel something
when i am curled
inside
these shadows.
only remind me
of the cycles.
the dusk and dawn
of the sea.
remind me that
these waters
in my heart
my head
this poem
are home for all
who have no
other place
to simply be.

iv.
i feel so infinite and
at peace.
like nothing exists
but this.
if i have to, everyday
or every other day or
every friday
i will return to
this ocean.
i feel as out of place
in the world as
a girl with fins
on land.
i am singing my own
sea shanty
in my heart
always.
i told him this morning
my heart feels like
a piece of driftwood
with the ocean crashing
against it.
and now here i am-
standing in the
water.
calmed by the sea
crashing into
me.

v.
this glittering sand
feels like
the most beautiful thing
i have ever seen.
it reminds me what i am a
part of and
what is a part
of me.

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thank you, coney island.

XO

a.

forget me not.

sparkler

i wrote this for someone very dear to me, in remembrance of someone dear to him. their story, her story, hit me hard. the details. realizing yet again that all we have is this moment.. and everything we leave behind. the impressions we make on the people we love – and even people we’ve never met. sometimes a star is just that bright..

this is for sweet alex, with love to her.. and all those we are left staring at the sky, wishing for.

“life is beautiful, go tell everyone”

this is for you, dear beauty
i’ve never met-
because the wildness makes
us all sisters.
the universe doesn’t always
make it easy but
souls still burn
even in absence. sometimes
even brighter..
never contained. only memories.
only purity. only song. only
golden strands & flecks of
blue. you.
this is for you, beauty.
who had things to do
on the other side of silence,
your path redrawn abruptly-
all of us
lighting candles,
watching for your spark
inside the flame.
the last thing he
said to you was a sweet
promise to keep
“until next time” –
now saved
for the clouds..
a thousand candles,
a jazz band
bumpin’ so fine
you can dance
as long &
as joyfully
as you damn well
please.
& that is what we
will do,
beauty.
we will look at your
smile in photos
& post words you
can’t read & title
as-yet-unimagined artworks
after your mexican
standoff eyes in the
19th century drawing
room of your face.
& we will go on.
all the strange &
simple things-
the dusting of snow,
soggy cereal, the
sighs on the other
end of the phone..
we know you’re still
working, out there.
& we must too.
you are part of the
wild now.
the endless whirling in
our heads when we
try to sleep,
where we go
when we get lost
in brushstrokes,
the feeling that
makes us dance &
dance until we cry
from laughter,
from ache..
how lucky are we
to have seen a
shooting star?
some souls have
forever to make a
move & never do.
others streak across
our sky but once
& we can never
ever
forget.
travel well,
beauty.
we’re curling up inside
the space you left
this winter..
the glow of your
remembrance
will keep us warm.

XO

a.

forgetting.

“to every man his chimera.” -baudelaire

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art by ben cauchi

there is always that one person. the alchemy you created together cannot be undone and you still feel the effects in your bones. the way you did from the start, the way you knew.. you felt it there. in the marrow. and maybe suddenly it makes sense – why you had to meet and destroy each other the way you did.. so that you can draw upon it, the endless wellspring. draw upon it as if it all happened just a moment ago, because as far as this surreality is concerned – it did. you are eternally reignited. eternally present.. the wound scars over but somehow it still bleeds. new blood.

the art above caught my eyes immediately. all i can think of is breton’s nadja – so mystical and dismantling. how it will always be the story of us..

while this town is busy sleeping,
all the noise has died away.
i walk the streets to stop my weeping,
cuz she’ll never change her ways.

don’t fool yourself, she was heartache from the moment that you met her.
ah, my heart feels so still as i try to find the will to forget her, somehow.
ooh, i think i’ve forgotten her now.. -jeff buckley

just when i think i’m out from under you
just when i think i’ve stopped the ringing in my ears
i stopped turning around to try and find you
but in that moment –
you appear.
i was bringing flowers to my mother and i watched
the gait of the man before me
the soles of the feet hitting the earth
the dark shine of the hair turning ’round corner
slowly i followed, hanging back, watching
in the darkness and only the streetlights
it was just you and i, apart on the blacktop,
unbeknownst and you began
to sing.
when you were mine you never
sang for me and now you
give your gift
on stages again and sometimes
i wish i could just hole up in the back and watch
but i can’t be that girl anymore
i can’t keep
prying open the locks with bleeding fingers i
can’t keep
taking chances.
somehow in the blindness of that night
i wanted to still that moment
awash in the sentiment of
watching you from the
other side of the glass –
my god, the way you always
make me forget the hurt..
headphones on, your voice echoing
against blank warehouse walls and
bare trees
i don’t remember anything except
the rawness of your beauty which i think is why
you were always so dangerous.
you are a shadow to which i
cannot find the light source
and i keep adjusting my position but
you always find a way to
cast your darkness over me..
you turned slightly, i thought, to see me and i
stopped dead in my tracks like
the animal you made me
caught in the crosshairs
of your eyes again.
always struck in that moment and
arrested, all blood slowed to the pound of
this possibility, the overarching reality like
the belt of a comet cinched too tight on my
universe, i – couldn’t let you see me
i had to say something, i couldn’t
do this to you, i couldn’t do this –
to me.
then you disappeared.
i asked my father, standing outside the house,
the direction i swore you had moved in,
braced myself for the run-in, didn’t you hear
that singing? i said, wide-eyed and heart still
clattering in chest, i could’ve sworn it.
you are more of a ghost than i
could even realize – i still believe in the light
that casts your shadow..
why, when – i know at the core of me that you could
never say yes, you were always telling me
no, goddamn, and no – but somehow i still loved
orbiting you like circling the god made
of marble i could never graze my clumsy
mortal fingers against..
it’s still
poetic in the way i don’t think i will ever be able to
purge from these pages, rub from my hands,
rip and tear from the dirty patchwork of memory lining
the walls of my heart.
i gave these words to the world and i said
fly away, baby. this one’s for you.
and like clockwork, synchronicity strikes
to gut me –
i saw a photo of you yesterday and you had wings.
upturned to the sky,
that stray lock of hair against
your cheek, that
face i stared at night after night
wildness tamed to
bewilderment,
that face
i remember,
i know,
you can only love me
in ruin.
but i am still one for stubborn archaic dreams –
i saw a photo of you yesterday and you had wings..
my god, how
can i still believe in the light that casts your shadow?
why – is it so impossible
to
forget you?

XO

a.

 

strands.

there’s something strange that rides on the edge of disaster.

a kind of hope, in the distance, in the blinders.

in the windshield promise of the open road.

the fact that even in the heartache..

things change.

again – we were in the car, me shotgun, outside my house. impressionable in college, anyway. i let you cut my hair and you butchered it. but you said: “if nothing changes, nothing changes.” your mom, passed on, told you that. and you still wore a few strands of her greyed hair inside your necklace.

i wonder what i would do if i could pull apart what we are – what parts would i take? wear around my neck? crystallize? lift up to the shelf where all of our myriad objects from journeys get left.

i was moving my clothes and your terracotta incense burner shaped like a church fell. and broke.

i wonder.

the heart is not a metaphor, they say.

what about everything else?

there is a strange promise in the artery of heartbreak.

even in the severing, you take comfort in the fact..

you’ll bleed new blood.

it doesn’t mean –

never trust again.

it doesn’t mean –

never love again.

it just means..

there are more mirrors in this house than i expected.

but i realize now how easy it is for you to look past your own reflection.

isn’t it funny, how we all always say –

i thought i knew you?

maybe it’s not even possible – to know.

it’s just whatever strand of light hits the glass first.

XO

a.

strangers.

my girl, my girl, don’t lie to me. tell me where did you sleep last night? in the pines, in the pines, where the sun don’t ever shine. i would shiver the whole night through.

sometimes i think – i need to disappear into the woods.

hollow out a space for my bones, curled up into a tangle of fur and paws and tears.

even the beasts cry, sometimes.

especially when they don’t want to.

i am not foolish enough to believe that anyone can be what you need them to be.

i remember his mother telling me that, a few heartbreaks ago, from the driver’s seat of her car on the island.

she said it in passing but it predicted the end – of that. of – so many things.

this sad zodiac.. my stars shattered into a bowl, mortar and pestle, feed me my wishes again so i can stay.. alive.

it all comes out in the grinding.

in the working of the words, of the bones, of the promises.

where is the line from acceptance to acceptance? what makes it surrender? what makes it holding your breath?

i am not a guru sitting in the woods, eyes closed, hands folded. sweet smile.

i am the beast in the burrow.

i don’t believe you.

acceptance is not surrender in the usual sense. funny, these guises of words.

all guises. all words held on posts against faces. we promise. and promise. and close our eyes again.

but it’s not important enough, is it? is it.

you have lived this long enough and i am not understanding.

i think i know enough to say – i don’t want to..

maybe i should keep it. myself.

let you remember how the lone howl fits in your throat.

leave you with the cup. the lighter and matchsticks.

i don’t believe you.

..

even the beasts cry, sometimes.

waiting for another dream.

XO

a.

seeing.

i want you to try and remember what it was like to have been very young. and particularly the days when you were first in love; when you were like a person sleepwalking, and you didn’t quite see the street you were in, and didn’t quite hear everything that was said to you. you’re just a little bit crazy. will you remember that, please? – wilder, “our town”

there are those moments of the infinite tucked into the everyday – when suddenly he looks at me as if he was seeing me for the first time, really seeing me –

“look at you. you’re so beautiful.. he says. “you glow.

and i am touched by that thing that reached me, now long ago, at the beginning – not quite ever-present, fully, but there – just out of reach.. to stumble upon, an infinite number of times – always, somehow, beautifully new.

i remember, i remember being seen again, finally seen – the way we all long for, after so long. after so long of being looked right through.. and we are in the airport and i am trying not to cry, burying my face in your neck.. “you make me glow,” i whisper.. and you do.

the way the current connects without a second thought – just gives light to light to light. holding you in my arms, at moments i am suddenly in awe that i am on the side of the glass where this exists. where you are real. and your life breathes life into me, and on and onward.

sometimes, sudden, we look at each other as the way sunlight pools and fills the pure expanse of closed eyes. beating. radiating. red, orange hues, the heat on your face, the warmth, the curve of your lips sent up into the ether, that’s – how i see you.

and i know that’s how you see me.

i am no longer dealing in apparitions.. even when you are not physically beside me, i can lace my fingers with yours, feel the pulse of your energy, the colors pooling. the only sound – the slight squeal of the door to the cage swinging open, the puff of air on your face, the held breath – finally, sweetly – exhaled.

you are the beginning and beginning and beginning again – every time, the key in the lock, the look in your eyes – silently, wholeheartedly, understanding.

knowing me. seeing me.

setting me free.

..

thank you for giving me my life back.

thank you for reminding me –

what VISION really means.

XO

a.