brothers & sisters, happy holidays & happy new year!
this year has been an insane one for me but i’m ending it on a high note. we made magic, pushed ourselves further, adventured to places we never thought we’d be. and 2016 will be about ANNUNCIATION. speaking my name into the world. healing. owning my identity and solidifying it.
this will be a winter of hibernation- focus, patience, dedication, and strengthening of bonds. TELL SOMEONE YOU LOVE THEM TODAY! & if you’re in queens tag along for these fine events below, my last of 2015. grateful for each & every one of you.
for all that we are & all that we will be-
Wed 12/9/15 7pm – Featured reader at The Inspired Word NYC’s first ever Women Poets of the Q4, at Q4 Hotel in LIC [Facebook] this is my 1st feature in awhile and fixin’ to be a visceral one.. come & also add your voice in the open mic after!
Thurs 12/10/15 7pm – Hosting Boundless Tales, longest running reading series in Queens! Astoria Bookshop [More info] if you’re a writer, also submit your work to be considered for our 2016 readings!
Sun 12/13/15 1-5pm – Warming Up Winter Holiday Market at Queens Museum [Facebook] my first market EVER! i’ll be selling alongside my beautiful sister & art partner in crime, omi plufs. come see us for paintings, prints, 3D poetry crafts, typewriter poems & more.. plus other great stuff going on at the museum!
Tue 12/15/15 7:30pm – Featured reader at Risk of Discovery show (workshop, open mic & featured readers) at Astoria Coffee [Facebook] i FINALLY get to RISK IT!
Wed 12/16/15 7pm – Hosting Inspired Word NYC’s Wednesday night open mic at the Q4 Hotel in LIC [More info] come see what all the inspired word hype is about!
PS! the global #UseYourAnd ad i did for gillette venus this year is up for a youtube ad of the year award! crazy! just want to give thanks again for that incredible experience. you never know what life has in store~*
we’re not our skin of grime, we’re not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we’re all beautiful golden sunflowers inside… -ginsberg
so! much! is! happening! all good things. i love the busy-ness but i also love just climbing a tree and staying up in it for a half hour.. ha! wanted to check in quickly with beautiful things all abound, thank GOD it seems like we’re finally slinking out of winter!
compass project is in full force again, with stickers in queens, NYC, montana, baltimore, korea! and more going out soon.. it excites me to no end to see how much people enjoy them.
trying new things! THE WILD PAPERS which has been a beautiful idea in my head for months is coming to life with the sparks of my closest collaborators and i couldn’t be more pumped – or nervous ;) THE WILD PAPERS is my latest project/initiative which is all about reclaiming wildness, the limitless of childhood, and culling memories and dreams. after initial conception and subsequent inspiration from many conversations and question exchanges with close friends, it had its more public start as the queens lit in action workshop at queens council on the arts i did last month (which was amazing! bouncy balls! compass rings! memories exchanged! laughter! writing! sense triggers! BUBBLES!) to pull memories out of my captive audience ;) in myriad fun and strange ways.. and it will debut as a site-specific performance at the lewis h. latimer house on MAY 9! this is a first for me.. hope to see you there!
in general –
feeling so grateful for my community of artists, firestarters & wordsmiths. it doesn’t matter how many times i get on that stage.. i’m always nervous, jittery, excited. because this is what i live for. and i thank god for every listener, spectator, hand shook, smile shared, spark acknowledged, boundary defied, every electric moment of feeling ALIVE.
i am learning, struggling, spreading wings, dreaming bigger and louder everyday. the ego ROAAAARRRRSSS at me but i keep finding ways to keep it quiet. who wants to hear it complaining of failure when there’s so much fun to be had? ;)
i just applied to be 2015-2018 queens poet laureate.. this is a dream i’ve had since i first discovered the existence of one and met paolo javier, who was so cool and kind to me, in 2011 or 2012. HERE. WE. GO. i am also finalizing the rundown of “art of poetry,” my very own empyre productions episode on QPTV/queens public television! which is another longtime dream i’ve had.. just goes to show – keep doin’ yo’ thang, keep being yourself – as weird, strange, whimsical as you are – because you never know who’s watching.
i am a rough draft inDEED. (thank you so much to handan from LPAC and 44rd for the sick tee! i love my queens/LIC family <3 #roughdraftfest!!)
i’ll leave you with this:
i realize now why there is death and life to all things. snow melting and the earth breathing again. i realize now why i had to keep running. why my last love burned my sense of self to the ground. why i had to learn to dance again in the ash. we never want to let go of anything. but the trust that everything has a purpose is what makes the flowers sleep, knowing they will bloom again. i am sharing myself now in a way i only dreamed was possible. i now know why this sufi saying brings tears to my eyes and a ringing to my insides.. “shatter my heart so a new room can be created for a Limitless Love.” blessed, blessed be.
Featured Reader at debut of LIC Reading Series at LIC Bar 4/14/15 [Facebook]
Hosting the No Bullsh%t Hip Hop Showcase at Hail Hail Bar 4/23/15 [Facebook]
Participating artist in Jeanne Van Heeswijk’s “Public Faculty no. 9” at Queens Museum – May 14-17, 2015 [Website]
THE WILD PAPERS site-specific performance debut at Lewis H. Latimer House (museum anarchy!) – 5/9/15 STAY TUNED!
**JUST ANNOUNCED!** Queens Lit Festival produced by Inspired Word NYC & co – Aug 1 & 2, 11am-5pm at LIC Bar. A grassroots celebration of literary arts plus music, open mic, vendors, ALL QUEENS BASED! I’ll be hosting some of the open mic & reppin’ my Nature of the Muse series (Aug 2nd). [More info]
when my best friend/writer/artist/revolutionary extraordinaire NICK NEON (who JUST launched his incredible website and is ALSO embarking on an exciting journey for his next feature, ultrableu) came back to the states for xmas, we shot this gorgeous dreamy video for the equally gorgeous and dreamy LISA KURNER. please take a look. this song is so special, for so many reasons. it’s my story too.
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
never contained. only memories.
only purity. only song. only
golden strands & flecks of
this is for you, beauty.
who had things to do
on the other side of silence,
your path redrawn abruptly-
all of us
watching for your spark
inside the flame.
the last thing he
said to you was a sweet
promise to keep
“until next time” –
for the clouds..
a thousand candles,
a jazz band
bumpin’ so fine
you can dance
as long &
as you damn well
& that is what we
we will look at your
smile in photos
& post words you
can’t read & title
after your mexican
standoff eyes in the
19th century drawing
room of your face.
& we will go on.
all the strange &
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
the endless whirling in
our heads when we
try to sleep,
where we go
when we get lost
the feeling that
makes us dance &
dance until we cry
how lucky are we
to have seen a
some souls have
forever to make a
move & never do.
others streak across
our sky but once
& we can never
we’re curling up inside
the space you left
the glow of your
will keep us warm.
QUEENS LIT! has been one of the strongest forces in my life.. i feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to come back to NY1 (after my first interview about the Queens Literary Town Hall in 2013) to not only touch on the Queens, NY literary community, but also to discuss my new book, “TRAVERSALS” !!!
if you’d like to learn more about the literary opportunities available in Queens, please check out the list i put together: TINYURL.COM/QUEENSLIT!
it features reading series, writing workshops, discussion groups, publishing opportunities, and so much more – these are the true movers & shakers in the borough and if you want to dive in, share your work, and meet other writers or lit lovers, this is the place to do it!
and of course, if you’d like to find out more about “TRAVERSALS,” all the info is right here.
thank you so much to NY1 and rocco for having me back!
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..
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.
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.