audrey dimola[art for the wild]

Posts Tagged ‘wilderness

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 7.48.25 AM

when asked-
what would you save from
a house on fire?
i say-
a torch,
the fire.
me.

hello out there my beauties!

it’s INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY during WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH and i feel very lucky to have been asked to perform for three wonderful shows coming up very soon..

* i’ll be performing ‘reliquary: the body’ and giving a keynote speech as an artist in public service at the 2nd annual CELEBRATING QUEENS WOMEN ARTISTS event curated by the ever-enchanting joan becht willette at queens council on the arts in astoria THIS FRI 3/10! a multidisciplinary show featuring some of the brightest lady-lights in queens [more info]

* i’m a special featured performer at the 5th annual MDAD WOMEN EMPOWERMENT EVENT curated by the powerhouse melimel at la maison d’art in harlem SAT 3/18! featuring panelists, giveaways, networking, hors d’oeuvres/drinks/dessert! ALSO- check out the brand new #WE2017 promo video we just shot last night at socrates! [more info]

* and i’m so happy to have been invited to jump in to new friend samantha kuhl’s NEVERTHELESS: A NIGHT OF NASTY WOMEN at el barrio’s artspace PS 109, TUES 3/28! another multidisciplinary show rallying for the cause and showcasing fiery women performers and artists [more info]

before that-

i’ll also be hosting for QUEENS’ LONGEST RUNNING READING SERIES, BOUNDLESS TALES this THURSDAY 3/9 at the local NYC in long island city- i say over and over again that boundless is where i got my real start in the queens literary community and with hosting, and i am forever grateful. if you’re a writer you should submit your work for consideration to be featured by the founder aida zilelian, who is a fantastic writer and curator i have always admired. [more info]

* * *

‘well aren’t you a fascinating creature,’
he mouths through mists of drink and i don’t think
he recognizes the perceptivity of that word choice
and no, i don’t mean fascinating- i mean
the other word, the one reserved
for the feathered and furred and
women like me whose bones
sing songs like fires
in the landscape

in my belly there is a house in
flames and i lit it
those rarities of space in which
we can stand inside our nakedness
human incantation of the wild
woman, incarnation of the
burning
she was the one who
taught him
he never saw
the body as an altar
how to nourish a universe
with your own blood, selfless-
WOMAN-
you need no scripture
to remind you
what is inherently
yours.

* * *

also wanted to share with you-

my beloved SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK is running an OPEN CALL / CALL TO ACTION for our famous BROADWAY BILLBOARD above our main gate. do YOU have an idea/photograph/design/drawing/piece of art/etc that you’d like to see up there?! we’re looking for ideas that relate to democracy and american identity, and you can find more about it RIGHT HERE (DEADLINE APRIL 15!)

MORE EVENTS COMING UP like inspired word NYC’s much-anticipated COFFEED open mic reunion and their fantastic QUEENS LIT FEST can always be found HERE on the events page.

some sound + vision…

i’ve had amazing time performing lately for beautiful artists affiliated with LIC ARTS OPEN and the LIC-A LONG ISLAND CITY ARTISTS groups, two of which were captured on video:

* “LUMINOUS ANIMAL” & “SOMEWHERE ELSE” at the ‘what is human?’ exhibition opening

* and “A MEMORY IS ALTERED EVERYTIME YOU RECOLLECT IT” a dance and poetry piece with gorgeous alvin ailey dancer artemis stamouli at the ‘8 LOVES’ valentines day show

next…?

i’m working on finishing up the socrates calendar for you all this month (season announcement in april! let me know if you’re interested in volunteering and i’ll hook you up!) and we’re going to have a rad, rad summer at the park.

i would also love to do a reprise of the art & mental health/mental illness show HOW WE CREATE & HOW WE COPE which was one of the proudest moments of my curatorial, artistic and HUMAN life in general. THANK YOU to all who were there in the room that night, it was beyond me..

* * *

but i am self-willed.
the word wild is a contraction of
the word willed
and this is self-willed land
this is
bones cleaving so
shoulders can crack and
wings can breathe,
fanned full against the space-
inward, seeking wonder!
i said i saw myself
in the ground
he said, in the gesture is
the treasure, what
do i want my fellow
souls to remember?
see me as the movement
of standing up out of
your own grave
icarus returned as
the messenger
they plucked my
heart from
inside the ribs
of lazarus
i said
my
womanhood is
wilderness
and i will never
apologize
for that.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 7.52.02 AM
foto by the amazing george mcclintock

ever,

XO

a.

i will not die like this, the girl said.
and so, she didn’t.

the black wolf’s voice hung in the air, the char emanating from his fur melting the snow in a tiny pure circle around him.

she said she would not die and so she didn’t.

the girl was silent.
ragged from crying.
someone pressed their breath into a ram’s horn miles in the distance.

this is a choice i don’t have anymore.
she remembered his words.

how long had she been walking in multiple worlds?

two years had gone by, trying to bleed out the wound or tie it off, sometimes simultaneously.

she felt entirely mad, most days.
the other days, she wasn’t sure.

her stomach felt hollow, sick.
the all-familiar headache that comes with unrestrained tears.

the ghosts were carrying her weeping through the woods, wisping around trees.

she wished they would just bury it.

the horn sounded again- a pure tone against the crying.

all untruth is rooted, child.
just as the truth is.

a house made entirely of fogged mirrors appeared to the right.

the black wolf motioned.

following the root always goes..
somewhere. sometimes. here.

* * *

i walked the perimeter of the house. where was the warmth, what was the memory?

you haven’t wanted to look.
he paused.
find the way inside.

my anger nearly doubled me over.
collapsing, i grasped a stone and hurled it towards the structure.

suddenly i was a little girl.
or at least that’s who i saw in the bathroom mirror. sitting perched on the sink, a faraway moment, blue walls between the color of sky and sea.

i never really look at you, do i? i said, running my palm down my face. i never do. i never tell you anything- ever.

just look right past you.

i was supposed to protect you.
a voice i couldn’t tell came from inside or outside.

i watched the girl in the reflection’s mouth move and i was holding the stone again, this time on the inside.

i raised my finger and wrote in the humidity, words i couldn’t place, prayers i had never learned.

the little girl was beside me. i took her hand.

why are you so afraid of this place? i asked her, the letters slowly dripping in the heat.

because no one has told me i shouldn’t be.

my heart clenched.

no one has ever told me i would be okay.

i just have to keep moving, we said in unison- the words slipped to the ground and collected at our feet.

i didn’t want to cry anymore that night. i couldn’t tell whose voice, mine or hers.

we stood, looking at each other, infinite reflections in unfogged glass.

i lit a candle.

it pierced the endless like a burning star, streaking.

i placed her hands beneath mine on the wax.

you are okay. i am okay.
we are safe.
we are safe.
we are safe.

the horn blew again and i was outside mid-hurl with the rock. startled, i stopped, dropping it into the snow.

the house had dissolved and there were letters all over the ground. the little girl was picking them up.

i rushed to her.

we will make a new home, i said, kneeling. and the black wolf smiled softly in the shadows, stark against the landscape.

don’t be scared, i whispered, my hand on her head.

we will put these words up somewhere else.
we will make them say beautiful things.

the little girl nodded, a slight glow returned to her face. i turned and looked for the black wolf, seeing nothing.

the ghosts were burying the cries, returning them to earth.

i took her hand.

i will not die like this, i said into the air. laughter of young ones and animals curled in the distance.

and so she didn’t. the little girl squeezed my hand. we began to walk.

[see the previous parts of this story]

* * *

happy winter solstice.
happy return of the light.

in this night of seemingly endless darkness, i offer this.

15123081_10101489334463854_8676657808731862421_o

a beginning, a discovery.

see you, here.

XO

a.

i didn’t know when another piece of this story would come, but it did.

* * *

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the city loomed in the distance.
we were returning.
everything was amber. wildlight.

i thought you were in love, and you were gone.

here, whole cities are made from regrets, the black wolf said.

everything still smelled like ash.
my head burned. i was lost again.

i picked up four stones from the riverbed and arranged them in compass formation. i placed my hand over each, reciting the last prayer i could remember.

whenever you are most scared, go north.
when the darkness seems it will never end, go north.
when you are no longer afraid to die, go north.
when they tell you not to go. go north.

i lit sage in the center and inhaled until my eyes reddened.

i came upon a camp of young ones. my own child self was there, running and stomping around. laughing and barking orders. making all the plans.

plans, i thought. plans.
when was the last time you had one? the black wolf asked, eyes on the children flickering ’round their fire.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

maybe. him?

the warrior with the chipped shoulder, with the heart made of feathers. being already partly of that species, he didn’t have to turn into a bird- he just chose to burn.

some nights all i saw was his eyes. never heartbroken. just- gazing at me. infinite. in love.

i looked down at my hands. there was still a rusty colored mark around my ringfinger.

the children roared with laughter, howling and poking their sticks into the fire, scattering embers along the forest floor. tiny brushfires lit and unlit- the children weren’t afraid. i knew they would never know what it was like- the city made of regret. i wanted to smile at such roughness, purity- but i couldn’t bring myself to.

it’s happening again, i said, staring. i don’t want to keep walking, i just want to stay here. the roots, hearing this, tangled around my feet. i am better off hidden. i am better off dead.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

from the flickering lights and laughter he emerged. wings tucked behind his back, his face, gentle. he pulled me into the spine of his legend, my hands a dog-eared page. our lips parting- all warmth, all agonizing electric. his hands ran over me, filled to the fingerprints with everything. everything i had loved, let go, refused.

we were back against the ocean again after the snow, mana sending sparks into the ether, the most beautiful firelights i had ever seen.

a thousand timepieces smashed in my head and i shook. we made love for hours, explosion after explosion, one sun climbing higher than the next and bursting- harder. brighter.

i could feel the buildings cracking through the ground around us- i wondered where the throne room was and if he knew i was the king of this awful place, locked in the back of a speeding car, kissing furious through twisted neon streets. every glinting road sign cracked and fell to the pavement as we passed.

we were so close.

i want to spend the rest of my life with you, i heard myself say.

a tree lit up in front of me and my eyes snapped open.

i expected to see the black wolf and the children rushing but i only saw the warrior. standing next to the boughs on fire, the bark pulsing with words.

he outstretched his palms to me, burning red, his wings slowly unfurling as he took me in his arms. the ghosts charged through the forest, to the edges of the city, wailing.

a cast-iron crown rolled to the singed land, the dust at my feet.

i couldn’t remember the rest.

* * *

that night i dreamed of the white wolf, cloudy and hovering on a cliff-top. i called to him but he did not move. my mother was with him. my father, my siblings, my grandmother, and my child self.

i clung to the arms around me- some flesh and blood, some gnarled, some winged, some ghost. their arms, their fingers, their hands were all i could focus on.

with my eyes on the white wolf, i drowned.

* * *

i awoke curled against the smoking fire with the young ones all around me. my body throbbed. i could still taste the warrior, the visceral urge to hide inside his feathered chest. never come out alive.

i thrust my face into the smoke and breathed.

one of the little girls, moppy golden hair and crystal blue eyes, brought me a stack of bones.

this is what remained after the warrior left.
the black wolf sang you back.

i stared at her, wide eyed, accepting the bones into my palms- feeling their roughness, the archaic encryption, the fire, the salt.

the black wolf slept curled on a stone chair a few paces from the children and me. i blinked. one half of my brain walked through the city wearing the roughshod crown, forehead bloody. the other half wandered the burning woods, my own voice screaming against the promises.

how do i know if this is real? i asked the girl, eyes welling with anger and confusion.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the warrior’s wet breath on my neck, my chest.
his hands.

where is the safe place! i cried, slamming the bones to the ground. sparks shot up and the black wolf’s eyes opened- stoic, not startled.

why aren’t you saying anything? why aren’t you letting me leave?
my finger trembled as it pointed in his direction- the tip flickering, gathering ash.

it’s because of you i’m stuck here- my own dreams touching me in the night, traveling from realm to realm, life to life. i can’t say goodbye, i can’t do anything! soon it will all be cities of regret or burning forests- i can’t keep a promise, i can’t stop regretting, WHAT ELSE do you want me to realize?

the black wolf came down from the stones, standing over the bones. he ground them up into a paste and smeared it on my forehead and tongue. he did the same to the little girl. i did not recognize until that moment, it was me.

in my mind’s eye, i watched myself take the words from the flaming trunks. standing in the city, blood dripping down my face, i repeated them.

i thought i was never going to see you again.
this time, it was my own voice speaking to the little girl.
i ran my hand down her face, crying openly.

i don’t want to do this anymore. it hurts too much.

i curled up on the floor in the tightest ball i could and the children buried me with the dead bird they had found in the underbrush.

i inhaled the dark earth, becoming a tree that broke out on the other side of the mountain.
i emerged from the leaves, calm and crying, a candle lit inside my chest.

when i climbed from the boughs, the black wolf was there to receive me.

you have done well, my child.
now it is time to rest.

* * *

see you, here.

XO

a.

things have been so difficult lately that i remember why we humans need stories.

worlds, myths, legends we create and inhabit in order to make sense of our own world, our own hurt, our own infinite questions posed to the universe.

this idea of the two wolves- the light and dark wolf, the white and black wolf, sometimes the good and bad wolf- has brought me comfort today.

spilling into another startling period of darkness, i imagined being accompanied by this dark wolf. part of the life-death-life cycle (à la ‘women who run with the wolves’) – all things have to travel with both and not just one.

i had traveled with the white wolf for months. and now that it was time to trade- they did not growl or bare teeth- they just acknowledged.

the dark wolf showed up, and it was time for me to go.

writing this brought me comfort like nothing else has over the past days.

delving into this story, processing my grief and anxiety in this way rather than through direct, experiential words the way i usually do.

although-
who’s to say i haven’t experienced this..?

thanks for reading.

XO

a.

* * *

i am standing on the bridge.

the light is piercing. blue, pervading.

can i just be here? i whisper. can i just stay?

i stare across the bridge, the river roiling on the other side. it begins to rain and all i can hear- is that. the black wolf is standing before me. waiting. completely calm. thunder cracks but even in such a way that it does not startle him. the wind rustles his fur but he stands, inert.

you must come with me, he says.

i walk to the middle of the bridge, ghostly.

i do not want to go, i whisper.
tears welling. balled, quiet fists.

you must come with me, he repeats.
the rain falling harder.
get your lantern, we must go.

i turn back towards the white wolf.
there are blue feathers tied into his fur, the same ones tied tight under my shoulder. he nods, and i feel the weight of the lantern handle on my fingers. i open the glass window, press my fingers against the wick. it lights.

the black wolf’s eyes are not unkind.
just knowing.

there are rusty remnants of flame there, discolorations of his skin and paws.

it is the nature of this life, child, he says, looking past me to the white wolf. you must spend your time walking with us both.

i closed the window, holding the lantern up so close that i could feel its warmth against my skin.

you know that when i go with you- i am almost never able to return, i said, inhaling sharply to dissolve the emotion welling in my throat.

you know that every time feels longer than the last. the candle flickering wildly.
endless, even.

i looked at him through the rain and the silence. the licks of lightning in the distance, the wind trembling the bridge.

you do not trust me the way you trust the other.

the white wolf did not move at this acknowledgement, blue and turquoise feathers dancing wave-like around its face.

you do not trust what this is, the black wolf offered again, motioning to the storming landscape with his dark, strong head.

how can i trust, i offered explosively, nearly flinging the lamp, when it never seems i’ll make it out again? i forget everything about myself, i forget my hands are for anything but digging to disappear.

the thunder rumbled low.
i outstretched my hand.

my fingers are still dirty from the last time. still tired. still split.

the black wolf smiled, fangs startling white in his shock of ashen fur.

you are afraid this story has an ending, he whispered, moving closer, touching the end of his snout to my palm.
i pulled my hand away. it burned.

i thought you were the fire, my child. his amber eyes narrowed.

it doesn’t matter what i thought i was, i said quickly. all the stories burn away where you are. none of the stories end they just burn and burn and burn it’s why i–

i steadied myself against the mind-spin.

the black wolf bowed and began walking in the opposite direction. he paused, and in a moment, he turned.

it’s why- what?

i looked at the burn mark on my palm, glowing like an alchemical brand.

i took a breath, opened the lamp window, and blew on the fire. it surged with light, with anger. with hope.

i watched it flashing then closed the door.

i turned back to the white wolf, then once more to the black wolf. the rain slicked off of me like i had a second skin.

it is why i must go.

the creature of amber and wildlight curled his jaw slightly, blinked slow in that way only animals do to say things to each other without words.

i will see you again, the white wolf said from behind me. know that i will see you again. the you that is true beyond all this, beyond this story, beyond the light we throw, the shadow we cast, how high we climb, how deep we dig.

i raised my lantern to him, shining like a beacon in the downpour.

i turned away and took a step.

i was on my way.

* * *

the silence is the loudest thing, sometimes.
he said to the wind, not turning back to look at me as we walked.

i had already begun to feel uneasy.

just hold the lantern, i told myself.
one foot in front of the other.

i didn’t say anything.

do you want some fire tea? he asked, stopping short so i almost walked over his hind paws.

i looked down. the lamp was slung around my waist on a braided rope, a small, steaming wooden cup in my hands. i sipped.

you have to say goodbye to the one you’ve never said goodbye to.

i tried not to hear him, to focus on the heat pervading my mouth, my tongue.

i looked up.

there was a crystalline room grown out of a glittering, wet cave, half covered in vines.

the man i had loved for longer than any other was inside.

the black wolf watched the sharpness of my reaction, did not blink as the cup clattered to the ground.

i neared the room, felt the rawness of its edges under my fingers. i searched for his eyes but he paced, shouting and shouting at nothing. he was still so beautiful. beautiful always in madness, the wolf repeated, plucking a strand from my thoughts.

he is here on his own volition, he whispered, looking into the crystal.
not because of you.

i raised a hand and placed it against the clearest part in the wall.

it’s me, i breathed into the hollowness.

circling and shouting, i could see he was crying. i remembered that sound like an echo i thought would never stop reverberating.

i caught his eyes.

then realized i couldn’t hear anything.

i looked down at the wolf, startled. all the sound sucked from the air besides the motion of the creature’s breath, and mine.

he is going to stay here, the wolf said finally. he will go when it is time to, but not because of anything you can say, or do.

my eyes welled up with tears. salt from those i thought would never, could never, end.

i pressed my forehead to the crystal wall. his head was against it, leaning back, exasperated. i ran my hand down it, felt the smoothness of his hair again, in the ways only memory makes real.

i am letting you go, i whispered, wanting to leave a kiss on the wall between us, but stopping myself.

this now has nothing to do with me, my heart said, quietly.

slowly i ran my fingers off the wall. the black wolf stood standing a few paces away, smoldering.

onward, his face said without words.

and i went.

* * *

i like that sound.
of pages turning in the wind.

the sky was more blue than i had remembered it.

my perception was changing.
the deeper we went, fading.
it was hard to recall.
only the painful things surfaced.
even the sky hurt to look at.

i squinted.

didn’t think this side could be so blinding, did you? the black wolf said, half smiling, sitting beside me.

we could see the bridge from here. high up, further away than i thought we’d be so soon.
i wasn’t sure how much time had passed- if any, at all.

will you always find me if i get lost?
i asked out loud, not sure to whom. perhaps talking to all the ghosts that had gathered around the hill, touching my hair and fingers, their hearts glowing from inside the folds of their ragged garments.

i didn’t have to look at them to know who they were.
i knew them all better than i knew myself.

you are not lost, the black wolf said, his breath scattering the spirits over the ridge and out along the horizon.
small strings of smoke floated from his fur, softly filling the air around us.

you are applying the laws of the white wolf to this land.

he stared out into the distance, the tips of his ears lighting up like embers in the belly of a fire.

you are not in the same place, child, he said, turning to look at me.
we write our own laws here.

and that’s what scares people the most.

i listened again to the notebook pages flicking in the wind.
i couldn’t remember when it appeared or when the ink dipped shard of wood was pressed into my hand but i wrote down his words without breathing, got up, and exhaled.

come, he said, starkly earthen against the piercing blue.
there is more for us to do, i said nodding, reaching up to flake off a few shards of the sky to keep in my pocket.

birds called from the distance and i looked inside the darkened folds at them, blazing.

yes. i know.

* * *

the next thing i knew i was waking up, curled inside a ghost.

my palm was gripped around the beating heart, words in some other language scrawled all over my arms, my hands.

a flapping of wings came from above us and i shot up, dizzy.

the spirit felt warm and heavy, the languidness of sunshine on a silver roof, a memory from far away. a shadow on the page, a heart i couldn’t keep. i kept kissing and kissing his face in the sunlight. he didn’t know where i was the night before, the anniversary of his grandmother dying. he sang the song about sunshine to me, the way my own grandmother had. i pressed my face into the crook of his arm, not crying.

everything was dark all of a sudden. searchlights swinging in the night, blinking through tall trees.

i was alone in a clearing but before i had a chance to acclimate my eyes caught the smolder of the black wolf.

i hate being here, i said in his direction.

i felt his breath behind me, the quivering flame inside the lantern again in my palm.

i know.

i gripped the handle and let my bare feet slowly maneuver the gnarled roots burning with words and incantations, snaking across the ground.

they shot up through the bark and into the boughs, igniting the leaves in bursts of flame, one by one by one.

these are all the promises you’ve ever made, the voice of the black wolf said from somewhere i couldn’t place.

i watched the letters pulsing, heard my own voice- split, earnest, crying.

don’t you remember? he whispered, tender.

the whole world caught on fire and everyone turned into birds.

this wkend i got to hike up to hunter mountain in my beloved catskills and help with repairing the devils acre lean-to.. through rain, a little bit of hail, blue sky, a gorgeous clear night, and then waking up in 19 degrees & 6 inches of snow! thanks to destination backcountry adventures & the best guides/volunteer crew, i LOVED it.

hiking & working in the woods is a microcosm of life. you’re learning at every moment & you have to be ready for anything. carry logs? re-shingle a roof? break camp in the snow? let’s go. and the things that stop you cold in the city, that raise your anxiety.. you don’t have time for it here. i love the catskills because- everytime- they bring me back. no notifications, laughter with strangers who become friends, strength stretching, and the kind of silence that fills you instead of making you uneasy. thank you DBA & co for the chance to return to woods & work and remember why i started the journey this past summer. every lesson you need to learn is in the earth.

[here’s some more photos and dave’s post about the trip on the DBA website

1-group_grande

IMG_20160403_191240

IMG_20160403_183639

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 2.04.10 PM

IMG_20160403_184102

IMG_20160403_184253

IMG_20160403_184743

IMG_20160403_185952

it’s been a long-time wish of mine to experience camping & hiking in the snow, especially since i started training as a wilderness guide & educator last year.. i missed going adventuring this winter due to an extremely rough season in my head & heart.. but unexpectedly, on this trip at the beginning of spring, got this. /// these are the moments.

XO

a.

[psst- upcoming poetry & performance events are listed HERE!

edit//

after writing this, i cruised through some notebooks from summer of last year onward (all affectionately entitled “WILDERNESS”) and revisited the trips i’ve taken since getting involved with DBA and another amazing organization, discover outdoors. i dug out two poems and realized they both mentioned birch trees- bookends of each other, one born out of the first trip i took with DO as a client/observer, and the other from one of the last trips i went on before winter, the first i ‘really’ led as a guide. i remember scribbling in tiny notebooks while on trail, trusting my feet.. ‘i am a student of the forest. i feel so at home in the woods it’s unbelievable. this is my SOUL PLACE.’

black rock

birch trees like
candlelit
stalks
my heart
anointed,
fire of gold
leaves and
strewn rock
footprints
out of a dream
covered in
moss
sweet ache
in the limbs,
hearty like
the souls of old
here the trail
markers
are clear
northern-most
orientation
the pin in
my heart
settles not on
anything i
know,
stop its flicker
and spin,
only wonder-
only here
only this.
the forest
unfolds like
walking into
a flame
blue and turquoise
blazes
remind me of the sea
my other home
now here
shrouded in the
canopy
my other mother
just as powerful
as the flesh
and blood
who taught
me to be
the red blaze
among the
green
the fire flicker
of salamander
feet
the forest
she speaks to me
but now refuses to
whisper-
how can you waste
another day
of this
not being
your life?
let the wild
tendrils of your
heart sink
deeper
into me,
only i
will anchor you
not the flimsy
mortal fiber
that binds you–

high pt mtn

trail teaches you to focus, be present
flex the sinew of your awareness..

stark birch standing like
ghosts of a former
self
i remember you
you gave me these
shoes
you used to lead me
now i’m leading
myself
the leaf litter
glitters with
some kind of
mystic certainty
there is a trail
where there
is no trail
(just because you’re
walking it)
life is like that.
that woodpecker
is knocking on
the door of
my old life
it echoes through
the trees
like an affirmation
i will fill my
heart with
forest footsteps
and streaks of
sunlight
thank
god i let my
hollowness
be filled
by this-
i keep forgetting
to say grace
when i eat but
each inhale of
verdant atmosphere
is prayer
i remember jesus
in the garden
he is my
wilderness sound
she says
your senses are
heightened
we humanimals
know when to
twist before
a bone will
snap
does a heart
react the same way?
it’s all instinct-
leading them
as i’m leading myself
take us to the
promised land!
he says
without knowing
how right he is-
exodus from
false self to
true self
i fold my
wings like a
prophet in
cathedral
this is how
i give thanks.

mashups

tis the season for thanks and i’m grateful for new opportunities to STRETCHHH those creative muscles, especially as the fall & winter set in. don’t let your heart go cold! the photo above is from the first ever MASHUPS performance (an interdisciplinary experiment of artists collaborating on the spot!) at queens council on the arts which was a night i will NEVER forget- MASSIVE love to my collaborators & the audience we vibed with <3

nature of the muse

TONIGHT! 11/12 7:30-9:30pm
NATURE OF THE MUSE reading & live writing show
by the FIRE in the carriage house at LIC Bar @ 45-58 vernon blvd in LIC
[facebook invite] *flyer by gianna ligammari!
feat: writers yi wu, tippy rex, sydney hartlove nichols, timothy bell & steven licardi with special musical guests janna pelle & luca difabio!
called ‘one of the most exciting literary events in the city’ by BORO mag, 5 writers will share their previously written work and then write LIVE from random prompts written by YOU, the audience! plus fantastic musical guests. ignite your MUSE with us!

1446979225841

NEXT WEEK! 11/18 8:30-10:30pm
THE RISE OF NEON REBEL/ a gathering of creatives
Q.E.D. a place to show & tell @ 27-16 23rd ave in astoria
[facebook invite]
my BFF & fellow rebel artist nick neon is returning from korea after 7 years and we’re formally kicking off our NEON REBEL collective of wild hearts making their own luck, supporting each other, and changing the world with their work and art. BE A PART OF THIS!! we’ll be partying at Q.E.D., sharing, inspiring, discussing, presenting, plotting future projects, and enjoying special guest speakers: sam from good.clean.fun, kenny from road to greatness, valerie from naked in alaska & monica from museum of impact PLUS music from spells & curses and other shenanigans!

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.23.16 PM

if you are constantly dreaming of ‘somewhere else’ – FIND that somewhere else. i promise it’s out there. because when you take steps in the direction of those things or places that bring you joy, you realize it was never about locating that somewhere else on a map. it was about FINDING YOURSELF and thus unlocking one of the most precious gifts of all- being at home everywhere. with all people, all things. wandering, far and wide- it doesn’t matter. you realize you’re not running away from anything, like they said you were. you are endlessly seeking because you are seeking yourself endlessly and perfectly reflected in all things. yes, this is the journey that never stops. why should it? you find yourself- your true self- over and over again, in doing the things you really love. in daring yourself, shattering the ego, doing the work, taking the chances, pushing the edges. REALITY IS MALLEABLE, PEOPLE. and the more you purely push and investigate your mystery, the more you’ll see the rules bend until you forget what rules were in the first place…

‘ordinary life does not interest me’ ..

are you coming with? ;)

XO

a.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.26.34 PM

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..

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.20.54 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.19.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.20.28 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.21.12 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.26.07 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.22.27 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.23.20 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 5.25.46 PM

12185448_10101140180561074_6734282828321078929_o

12138589_10101133677089084_8857148895390551835_o (1)

***

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.}}


Into the wild wonderland…

Celebrated as "a wildfire in a world of fluorescent bulbs" and a "poetic force of nature," Queens, NYC native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, connector, and lifelong artist, as well as Director of Public Programs at Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park. // Thanks so much for stopping by! You'll find all my work on this website, past and present, as well as new blog posts. Poetry, prose, videos, events, photos, articles - it's all here. // As always.. STAY WILD, STAY GRATEFUL!

Navigation

ABOUT
Pleased to meet you..!

POETRY & PERFORMANCE
Poetry & prose, live performance videos

PROJECTS
Compass Project, Nature of the Muse, THE WILD PAPERS, #poetsinthewildnyc & more

EVENTS
Full list of upcoming & past events

ARTICLES & MEDIA
Features, reviews, interviews, essays in print & online; blog posts; video interviews

CURATING
Original events I've curated like Nature of the Muse & the Queens Literary Town Hall

PRESS
Coverage of my work - print, blogs, TV!

CONTACT ME!
Info, mailing list, testimonials, specialties

MY BOOKS
My collections of poetry & prose

My Books

I have two poetry & prose collections for sale, proudly self-published. Like what you read? Support an indie!

Decisions We Make While We Dream (2012)

TRAVERSALS (2014)

Compass Project Poetry Stickers

As of February 2012, I've been sticking my Compass Project poetry and prose stickers up around NYC & sending them around the world! Have you seen some? Want some? Find out more!