Posts Tagged ‘Sunshine Jones’

Bring Me The Money

November 11, 2015

Or at least the secret password and internal knowledge needed to figure out BMI.

My friend alerted me years ago that he had listed me as the lyricist and vocals for While You Were Sleeping, an album he put together using my poem as a framework and inspiration point for the album.

I never did anything with that knowledge.

Well.

I started a BMI account.

But I never registered anything with it.

I have no idea how to do it and I have sort of let it lapse.

However.

I keep getting e-mails from BMI and most of the time I just think, oh there’s that again, maybe I should do something about it.

Then.

I never do.

But as the days wind down and the nights get shorter and chillier, I am thinking, hmm, what if there’s a few dollars there, I could use that money to go to Paris.

I also recognized that I wasn’t investigating it because the likelihood is that there is no there there.

I mean.

It’s sometimes a nice little fantasy, that somewhere, unbeknownst to me, just when I really could use it, say in a few weeks when I fly to Paris, there’s a few grand just lying around.

Granted.

I got my grand.

And I used it.

Have you seen my scooter?

Damn she is cute.

Still parked in front of my house, haven’t gotten the permit paperwork forms from my boss yet, but they are in the works and I will get them and when I do.

Watch out!

Money comes in and money goes out.

I also paid my phone bill today.

And that’s nice.

Because that’s it.

The only thing I owed money on.

Well.

Aside from my student loans, but we won’t go there for a few years yet, ‘k?

I believe in happiness and abundance and prosperity and God will give me exactly the right amount of money to enjoy in Paris.

It would be nice to be properly registered on BMI, however, and to that end I did reach out to my friend who is the musician.

And.

Yeah.

I should get a hold of the gentleman because in a google search I just came across an Andreas Saag remix of the piece.

Nothing of my vocals, but those words.

Well.

Those are words are wrote and if there’s a remix being sold I should think that I should be getting a smidgen of the proceeds from the sales.

I was also thinking, in a less capitalistic, I better get mine sort of thing, that I would like to record again with Sunshine Jones, and perhaps record the sonnet sequence that I wrote.

Thoughts.

Random and parsed out while I type.

I am spending too much time trying to flip around websites and seeing what is out there.

I don’t know much about many things.

I am distracted with thoughts of Paris, thoughts of dating, hormones.

“You should go on a date,” my friend said to me tonight.

Um yeah.

In what time?

I will say, I am pleased with the amount of reading I succeeded in getting through this morning before work, though.

I have a big paper I have to write next weekend and all the reading is done.

Now to winnow and sort and figure out what is going to go where.

Plus.

Um, yeah.

The other three classes I’m in.

I have to do the reading for those classes too.

So up a little early, again tomorrow, and reading some more.

I just have to keep up the momentum.

And perhaps I can squeeze in a movie date on Saturday.

That would be nice.

Although the movie I wanted to see, Rock the Kasbah, doesn’t seem to be playing anywhere.

Which is a shame.

I do quite adore Bill Murray.

There’s nothing out there that seems appealing either, other than the double feature at the Castro, but it’s big time commitment: Apocalypse Now and The Thin Red Line.

I mean.

Brilliant.

But will I be completely burnt out after sitting in the Castro Theater for four hours?

Too bad it’s not the movie that was on the marquee tonight as I pushed my bicycle up Castro Street towards Market.

Dazed and Confused.

Dude.

That’s like the perfect date movie.

Seriously.

But.

Not to happen.

It’s only running tonight.

I love the Castro Theater.

I’m not going to worry about Saturday.

It will take care of itself.

And if I’m to see a movie, then it will happen.

There’s other things for me to do.

Like read and write papers.

Bwahahaha.

Ugh.

There’s work to keep me busy and doing the deal and meeting folks and just life.

Which when I woke this morning, letting myself get an extra half hour, but still getting up earlier than I needed to so that I could read, I rolled up out of bed to greet the beautiful clear blue skies, high and blustery with wind.

The sun was out.

The day was bright.

My scooter parked in front of the house.

My bicycle, my steady and faithful steed, taking me to work.

The gratitude filing me up as I pedaled up Lincoln Avenue.

The hawks circling over head, lifted my eyes to the sky and I smiled.

Deep in my body, happy in my soul.

“Happy is my principle today,” I said out loud to no one in particular.

Perhaps just to hear myself say “happy.”

And I rode.

Knowing that I had a good job to go to.

That I still can afford to live in San Francisco.

That I am sober.

That I am healthy.

That I have amazing friends.

I have community.

I have a beautiful home.

I have a scooter.

I have a Macbook Air and an Iphone.

I have so much.

I have a trip to Paris.

I have love and abundance beyond my wildest dreams.

So if I don’t get some royalties from BMI.

Whatever.

I’m still going to investigate though.

Seems the adult, next right thing to do.

And whatever happens.

I’m ok with it.

Because there is nothing at all wrong in my world.

Not one damn thing.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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One Take

October 28, 2015

Damn it.

I had the whole thing, ten whole sonnets, in one smooth, seamless, gorgeous take.

Except.

Fuck me.

I thought I had my voice recording rolling on my phone.

As it turns out.

I did not.

Damn it.

Ugh.

I recited ten freaking sonnets, all my vigor, all heart, my voice nicely warmed up and lush, ready to go.

I had already read them once through, catching the places that didn’t roll off the tongue, practicing the words that are a little tricky to pronounce, getting it down.

Then.

I read them.

God damn, I was pleased.

Until I looked at the time on the recording and it said seven seconds.

Fuck.

I don’t have the energy to do that again.

The gentleman that asked me to do the collaboration with him wants me to read them to him, but his schedule and my schedule have not synced up yet.

And he’s leaving for Japan on November 1st.

So, not like there’s a lot of time.

Maybe a snippet tomorrow, a slice of minutes where we might be able to connect.

I had never used the voice recorder app on my phone, had no clue it was there, frankly, I’m not into recording myself, although I do like the sound of my voice, but we had to record for our role play on Sunday in Therapeutic Communications class, so I learned how to use the app.

It is super easy.

I should have been able to record the reading, but I did not.

I will try again.

I would love to perform the poems for the gentleman, I like the idea of that, the poems do take on a different feeling when I am reading them, I know that well.

There is still time.

And I could probably also just read them to him over the phone.

Perhaps I will try one more time tonight to record them.

I suppose I could also ask for help.

Ahhahaha.

God.

I amuse myself.

My first thought, literally, the one that just leapt into my brain, “who the hell is going to want to listen to me recite poetry?”

Ugh.

Martines.

Stop being your own worst critic.

I have been told many times that I have a nice voice, I am sure that there are people who would like to hear me recite them and if not, at least have the patience to sit and record them for me while I recite them.

Maybe I will ask the dj I collaborated with, Sunshine Jones, to do a recording of them with me.

I would like that.

It was fun to record “While You Were Sleeping” with him.

That reminds me too.

I need to figure out BMI.

I have a song writing credit on the track as well as vocal attribution for that album.

I could have money sitting there and I don’t even know it.

Time to reach out to a friend who said they could assist with that.

I put a little pinch of money in savings today and I am close to having what I need for the scooter, what if there was some money lying about that I could put claim to, I could get the scooter sooner!

I need to address that.

I need to address many things.

Reading for class.

Writing papers for class.

Time management.

Transcribing my therapy session for Therapeutic Communications.

All the stuff.

All the things.

There’s a full moon tonight and what I would rather do than read or write or work on papers or record myself again, damn it, is go down to the beach and watch the moon set, but it’s cloudy and overcast and a drop of rain fell on my face as I turned onto 46th Avenue from Lincoln on my bicycle.

There is not moon to be seen in the sky.

Anything to distract me from the work.

Although, I found, wonderfully, that I was able to reel myself in a little bit today when I was having anxiety about getting enough reading done this weekend, that I recognized I was living in the future, afraid that I wasn’t going to have enough time and it was distracting, and unnecessary.

I called a girl friend.

I got some perspective.

I called my person and got more.

I can catastrophize to make myself feel like I am being pro-active.

I am used to responding to emergency and feeling hectic about getting things done creates an unreal drama in my head, an urgency when there is no urgency.

That if somehow I manage it all better, control it all better, I will feel better.

Instead of knowing that what I am doing, steady, slow, sure, progress, reading a little everyday before work and as much as I can on weekends, is getting me by.

Not quite as on par as the syllabus, but I haven’t yet turned in a paper late and I know quite a few of my cohort are struggling with getting all the work in and done.

I am ok.

And my voice is warm.

I can feel it in my chest.

The hot tea I am drinking is not hurting.

I may try to give the recording another go here in a minute and see if I can actually do it.

It also doesn’t have to be perfect.

I am performing for a one man audience.

A person I don’t even really know.

Although I feel a connection to.

And a deep appreciation for.

I feel like I have a patron.

Jesus.

That just gave me goosebumps.

It is something special to be asked to collaborate and to be sought after for my words, it is a huge compliment and although I know I will write for myself no matter what, I am not unaffected by having an audience.

It is an honor to be seen.

And.

Heard.

So with that thought in my heart, I go forth again to record the sonnets.

Fingers crossed!

It’s Just Wind In My Eye

April 24, 2015

I swear.

Those aren’t tears.

It was a close call, however, to know if the prickles of tears streaming down my face was actually caused by the wind, it was a brisk ride home, or by the fullness and sense of joy I had at riding home through the park at twilight.

The striations of color were like Easter eggs gone mad and I found myself almost stopping more than once to capture the sunset on my phone camera a few times as I rolled briskly along.

I did not, however, dinner was calling.

Loudly.

Normally I eat at work, but there were adventures and play dates and bicycle rides and stuff and things and I actually left the family, mom, dad, and both the boys at the slides in Dolores Park to scoot to my next commitment at 6:30p.m.

Dinner was not an option for me at the work site tonight.

I was alright with that, I pushed my lunch as late as I could and had a late coffee, which really isn’t always the best thing for me, but then again, I did have a play date rumpus with three little monkeys, so it felt like I was actually in need of the caffeine not for appetite suppressing, but to just get through the play date.

I made it though, and tomorrow, oh lovely of lovelies, is Friday.

I’m ready.

It has been a full week.

Then again, when aren’t they full?

I’m also excited to squeak in a tea with a good friend that despite being in the neighborhood of where I work, I don’t get to see all that much.

I’ve got a date with her tomorrow after work to catch up and have a spot of tea and I’m super excited.

There’s news.

There’s always news.

But sometimes you just got to tell a girl friend the stuff and I’m excited to get to do so without the boys I take care of in tow.

I love them I do.

“We are never letting her go!” The mom said today from the sandbox to her friend who is looking for help having just had a second baby a month ago.

I smiled.

That’s always something so nice to hear.

Job security.

I like having it.

I like that I have a place to park my bicycle indoor and hang it up on a rack.

I like that I got to work fifteen minutes early today too and did my stretching before starting the day.

I am sore.

I mean.

SORE.

The stretching I do before work is about a third of the exercises and stretches that the physical therapist wants me to be doing, but I’m not getting down on the ground in front of the house to do the clam shell stretch.

It’s a semi private street in the Mission that the house is located on, but it is still the Mission.

God only knows what is on the sidewalks.

Gentrification still smells like homeless guy pee.

It just looks a little tidier in the neighborhood.

Sidebar.

The Elbow Room lost its lease.

It’s closing in November, hopefully the establishment will find another place, but I shall be sad to see it leave.

I don’t drink there any longer–although I certainly did for a period of time and there are more than one set of smashed photos from the instant photo booth in the bar, but it was one of the first establishments that I hung out in, even before I moved to San Francisco.

I will never forget how hard I danced the first visit I made there and also how I found the neighborhood a little on the sketchy side and I was very happy to be with a tall guy friend on the way to the bar for the show.

It was upstairs and it was Vivendo de Pao–this amazing Afro-Brasillian fusion band.

I danced so hard.

That show alone could be why my knees hurt, and that was over twelve years ago.

They were amazing and I thought I was in love and who cares if he has a girl friend.

He’s the one.

He’s  so not the one.

He’s married somewhere in the South Bay with a couple of kids.

I haven’t seen him in over 10 years.

I fell in love with the venue though.

And have even gotten, in sobriety, to perform there with Sunshine Jones from Dubtribe, who did a song with me from a poem I wrote when I was in my first year of living in San Francisco, called While You Were Sleeping.

I performed that and another and it was a kind of full circle.

That was the last time I was at the Elbow Room.

It’s a great place to dance, though, and I will make a point of getting to the venue at least a few times before it leaves to be replaced by another condo.

Yeah.

That’s basically what is going in its place.

The owners of the building are not going to renew the lease for The Elbow Room and they just announced to the bar owners today that they would not be signing anew.

Ah, good old gentrification, you just keep happening.

“Don’t tell anyone you like living in the Mission,” my friend told me when I had settled into my first sublet on York and 20th.

“It’s already getting a little too gentrified.”

And that was in 2002.

It’s not over yet.

End aside.

I don’t know that I should end that aside, it got pretty long, and in its own way winds into my blog about San Francisco and beauty and how I am grateful, so very grateful, deeply, truly, madly, wildly grateful, to get to live here still.

I don’t intend on moving anywhere else.

I want all the things and I want them here, in SF.

It’s my home and it can slay me with its beauty without warning.

I wound through the park as the light shifted and the colors in the sunset became more glorious and deep, smote my heart, the velvet and dusk and soft light, filtered through the pines and the tops of the trees, the silhouette of a tall Eucalyptus winnowed with orange and umber and red and then violet and indigo, the crescent moon drifting over it all.

My heart swelled and the scene at Spreckels Lake was astounding, the mirror of the sunset on the flat surface was too glorious for words.

I smiled.

I rode around the corner and past the buffalo in the paddock and the green of the hills and the soft scent of the sea the wood fire burning in a fireplace, I swear, it was just the wind in my eyes.

I do cry for joy sometimes.

I might have tonight.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

In my life.

In my body.

In my home.

In my San Francisco.

Hurry Up, Quick Now

December 22, 2013

Get this post posted.

Get writing, go, go, go.

The internet where I am house sitting seems quite unreliable.

It has just taken nearly twenty minutes to get online.

It could possibly be my computer, as the sounds of it dying are happening.

Yeah, I have Barnaby’s money, but man, oh man, did I just have a thought or three about spending it on a new laptop.

“I’m not dead yet!”

I hear you, little computer that could.

I don’t want you to go down yet girl, I need at least to get this blog done, pay back my friend and start a new savings goal on my online saving account.

New laptop.

Really, how did I ever live without one?

So, this post may be a little rambling and odd ball as who knows how long I will be able to keep the connection.  I am hoping long enough to spit out the 1,000 plus words that I need to do to feel like I have been presentable in bloglandia, then, oh fingers crossed, yes, then, hoping to have downloaded Elf for some holiday viewing enjoyment.

Yes.

I said Elf.

Hush yo mouth.

I also have queued up Bad Santa, which I have never seen, Scrooged, and The Bishops Wife.  I may, depending, also download Holiday Inn, my top favorite, I mean the costumes are awesome, the dancing fantastic, always reminds me of sitting wrapped up in the afghan my grandmother crochet for me (in the best colors–pink, white, rich burgundy red–a gift for the girl who lived in “Siberia” the coldest room in the house) on the couch in the house in Windsor watching Holiday Inn on PBS, and of course, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

I have also never, yeah, I know, how is it possible, seen It’s a Wonderful Life.

I mean I have seen outtakes of it, I have the gist of the storyline, but I have not seen it.

I must rebel somehow.

People look at me so askance when I say that.

I haven’t seen Survivor either folks, but that’s not Christmas themed.

Nor have I been to New York.

“You have never been to New York!” He reared back in his seat, “really, you strike me as so East Coast, but you’ve lived in Paris?”

Yes.

There’s that and the tickets somewhere being super cheap that have made me wonder, maybe it’s time to hunt up the odd friend or three who have offered me room and asylum should I decide to visit.

I would like to have it off my list of places I need to go see.

This next year could happen.

But first, the computer, the laptop, well, she is having a hard time, then again, she was having a hard time last year in Paris, but it seems worse, and the sound of the fan in my computer no longer sounds like a helicopter crashing and burning, but it sounds really faint and tired and wheezy.

Like its got pneumonia or bronchitis.

I should bring it in to the Genius bar and see what they can do.

Of course that makes me nervous as I assume, me the non-technical person, that they are going to take it and ship it off somewhere and fix it and I will be without a computer for two weeks, which happened once before, but I was not posting a daily blog at that point.

I was blogging, just not daily.

I could blog from my phone.

Man would that suck.

I suppose I am getting ahead of myself.

The internet still has me in its little paws and my computer is gamely chugging along trying its best to host me just another few minutes until I get this up and running.

I want to do some research as I had a little insight and want to do it before I head off to bed or to watch a snippet or two of a Christmas movie.

I was thinking about finding out about voice work.

I got  a really sweet message from a woman today, who I could not recall why I knew her or why we were friends on Facebook.

Sometimes you know, oh, look, we have these certain friends in common.

I met you at Burning Man.

But I couldn’t place her and then she sent a message saying she had met me about this time last year, probably a little earlier since I was in Paris this time last year, and that she was really impressed by my voice and my energy.

She had seen me perform with Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe.

And the message seemed to reinforce some little voice inside that has been peeping up at me about something I have always wanted to do–vocal work.

Now, truth be told I don’t know how it works and I am not sure how I would go about finding out, but I want to explore it.

I love the idea of reading out loud for a living.

Now maybe that’s facetious and I just like to hear myself talk, but really, I like telling stories and I believe I have a good voice, and I have good pronunciation, so that’s like a bonus, you wouldn’t really make it very far in vocal work if you didn’t.

I really enjoyed the time I worked as an intern at KQED, maybe I could do that at another radio station or maybe I can see if there are classes at City College or I don’t know.

But as I was reading out loud earlier, I do that a couple of times a week, it struck me again how nice it felt to do so, just reading out loud, sounding out the words, I used to read poetry to myself out loud in bed when I was wide awake a night and having some existential crisis about who I wasn’t dating when I lived in Madison.

I was not sober.

But I was dramatic.

I think I still have a bit of that flair, and what with the right guidance, maybe this could turn into something fun to explore.

Direct my attention to what you would have me be.

This could be a big pile of ego or it could be something else.

I am going to find out.

Quickly, tonight, if the interconnectivity thingamabob stays.

I like the idea a lot.

So with that I will bid you adieu.

I have surpassed my word count and wish to retire from the blogosphere for a few hours, besides, I don’t want to push my luck with not being able to connect to the internet and get this posted.

See you tomorrow!

Night friends.

 

 

Is This Thing On?

June 16, 2012

I fucked it up.

Well, nobody noticed but me, so perhaps that’s saying too much.

I am a harsh judge.

That being said, I did miss the intro into the piece I did tonight as the microphone was not on.

Oops.

Heh.

It’s funny now, but I wanted to sink below the decks and hide.  Too late for that, I was trapped behind the mixers and speakers and keyboards and turntables and MAC Books and the various other ephemera of the dj booth.

It was horrifying and awesome and fun all at the same damn time.

At one point I actually reached up and rubbed my cheeks, my face, my smile muscles, hurt from grinning, every time I realized where I was or looked down at the dj equipment in front of me.

I was behind the dj booth, with Sunshine Jones, in a wee small club in the heart of San Francisco.

The Booth

The Booth

Surrounded by one of the best sound systems in the city, probably in the country, at least in the top fifty, I would say.  Small, yes, but damn, they have a great system.

It was brought to my attention this evening that Miles Davis did a set in that basement.  He actually recorded a live album there.  The club used to be called the Black Hawk Club.

Not only did Davis play and record there, but so did Thelonious Monk and a number of other artists, musicians, and performers.

I do not believe that I channelled any of them tonight.

However, the fact that I, some little Mid-western maven, actually stood in the same space as those legends, or the legend I was sharing the mic with tonight, and spoke my piece, whose life is this?

Who scripted this?

I surely did not.

Yeah, so I fucked up, a little, not too bad, a smidge.

Oops, there it is that human thing.  I am human.  I was self-conscious and then I realized that none of it matters, the performance, the crowd, the people who were there, or who weren’t there.

I stopped being concerned about my lip gloss, hair, or my vocal cords and just got lost in the music.

Letting myself just be there, enjoying the enormity of it.  I really am more of a musical fan than a performer.  I am rather a one trick pony when it comes to what I can do vocally.

I adore music though, love it to pieces, bits, and back.

I listen to music every night when I write my blog, right now, Chet Baker.  I listen to music every day when I finish doing my meditation.

This morning it was Louis De La Roche, a French House dj.  It set the stage for my day.  Which started out  rough.

Rough.

I slept 45 minutes past my alarm.  Woke up with a stiff shoulder from sleeping on it funny and I could not get it together to get going.  So, I got into that.

It was going to be a slow start on the day.  I was just going to take it in slow little micro-moments.

I knew, however, that I would have to re-adjust myself when I hollered, out loud, mind you, at myself to “MOVE”.

Then I let out a rather loud bellow of disgust at my impossible hair and the outfit that did not feel right and the time was ticking and fuck my mother, I just need to make the coffee.

Ah, Stumptown to the rescue.

I shook it off.  I got into my routine.   I made the bed.  I said my morning salutations to  Sky Daddy.

I heard that recently and that just tickled me to no end.

Sky Daddy.

Ah.

I did not write.  But I took my notebook with me and after work, over a cup of tea at the Church Street Cafe, I wrote my “morning pages”.

Suddenly, my day was back to itself.  I was focused and present and excited.  Nervous, ah yeah.  But not exactly nervous about what I was going to be doing behind the microphone.

The best I knew, that I know, is to suit up and show up and let go the results.

I found myself right back in that cafe a few scant hours later, but this time with a lovely iced coffee, ah, iced coffee, my dear, you always do just so hit the spot, and some very good conversation.

Sitting with some one and finding out about them and having things to say.  Not asinine things, not small talk things, but real life, real experiences, it is a pleasure for which I have not had for a while.

And I like the way he smiles.

I will leave it at that.

Back to the turn tables, the club, the discotech, I could have been in Paris, I could have been in New York, I was in San Francisco, which when you give that just a moment to sink in, is extraordinary.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I just had a sudden flashback to eight grade, DeForest Middle School, the “graduating” class was taking an exam to help us figure out what we would do for a career.

I whiz banged through that test, I always have been good at taking tests, applying the knowledge learned therein, ah, yeah, maybe not so much, but test taking.

Aces.

I eagerly awaited the results.

Two weeks later, figuring, ah, I will most likely be a politician, why in the world I wanted to be a politician is beyond me, (ok, that’s not true, little idealistic child here with very left-wing, liberal bent growing up in a white bread, insular rural community, perhaps I saw that as my way out), but I really did.

President.

Senator.

Dog Groomer.

Ah what?

Excuse me, I am going to grow up to wash dogs?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, and dogs, the love me, ah, well, I’m pretty good with most animals, but dogs smote me when they get their love on you, or their lean.  I adore a dog that leans its weight into you, there’s a kind of security there that is nice.  I like being leaned into.  Settles me somehow.

Ok, so maybe not President or Senator.

What about Judge?

District Attorney?

Dj.

Dj?

What the fuck is that?  I don’t want to play crappy top forty songs on Z104.  That sounds like ass.

Little did I know, I was a dj before I even knew what it meant.

Disco Jockey.

Dork in Jeans.

That’s me.

For a moment, behind the decks, the bass pulsing up through my feet, my eyes pulled toward heaven, my smile so taut on my face, joy threading along my heart blooming forward, blessed, blissed, and beyond in the moment.

In the music, truly my authentic silly self.

Deliriously Joyous.

God does truly give you what is in your heart.

Ah,

I mean Sky Daddy.

Nonce’Sense’

June 9, 2012

A nonce form is generally created by a poet for a specific poem but which may, over time, and with repeated usage by subsequent poets, become a “received form.” 

Thanks Google.

I give you the loose definition as an opening into the blog tonight.

Why?

Because I will be performing this nonce that I wrote, many, many years ago, this next Friday at Club 222 in the Tenderloin with Sunshine Jones.

The poem is called “Cry Baby”  and no it was not inspired by John Waters.

I wrote it during the fall semester of my senior year at UW Madison.  I was taking a creative writing course with Professor Ron Wallace.

The first time  I ever heard Professor Wallace he was doing a lecture on Frankenstein. I was not in the class, I was in the class after his lecture.  I was sitting out in the hallway at Bascom on one of the wood benches and I could hear these delectable snatches of lecture.

Yes, I am an English Literature nerd, I warmly embrace my literary nerdom.

I closed what ever I was trying to read for my next class and crept to the door way.

I peered in and there was Wallace at the front of the lecture hall, up on stage, behind the podium, behind a mask.

He was wearing a mask and he was the monster in Frankenstein.  I was utterly mesmerized.  One of the best lectures I had ever heard and it was not even for a class I was enrolled in.

When he finished with the lecture the entire hall erupted in applause, I as well.  I vowed I would take his class.

Then I promptly forgot.

Fast forward a few years later and I stumbled into his creative writing course.  It was a small group of people, maybe twelve of us, maybe fourteen.  The course was on formal verse.  I found my voice.

My literary voice, my poetic voice.

I who had eschewed all forms of poetry, except free verse, was enscorcelled, enraptured, in love with formal poetry.  Partially, I can realize now, because I was so good at it.

Give me a word, any word, well except the ones that don’t rhyme, like orange or purple, I know that there are more, but I conveniently forget them, and I will find a word to go with it.

It may not be a perfect rhyme, it may be a slant rhyme, but I can do it.  Well.  Sonically.  Poetically.  I mean anyone can write a poem about cats and rats and bats that last and last, but tend to go fast when lashed to the mast, despite it being a blast.

But I found I was capable of really finding unique poems and words and creating new imagery that I had not found myself able to do before delving into formal verse.

I believe that partially was that I rose to the challenge.  I did not want to write a poem that had an easy rhyme.  I wanted something unique, something astounding to work with.  I got to write sonnets, both Petruchan and Shakespearean, I prefer the Shakespearean.  I learned more about sestinas, I learned how to write a crown of sonnets–now that was challenging and I still can’t quite believe I pulled that one-off.

A crown of sonnets is a sonnet sequence of seven poems.  The first sonnets last line has to be the second sonnets first line and so on down to the seventh sonnet which must end with the last line of the first sonnet, thereby creating a perfect circle of ryhmes, ie a crown.  The sonnets were also in the Shakespearean form–fourteen lines with four stanzas and a two line couplet in this rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg–which have the couplet twist at the end so that the entirety of the poem is actually vastly different than the intent of the first twelve lines.

Uh yeah.

I did one. It was challenging.  I have no idea where that crown went off to.  I vaguely remember that it was about a lost girl child in some fantasy realm of broken down hallways and torn wallpaper.  It was like the girl child version of Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are.

I will have to dig around and see if I can locate it.

Or maybe, it’s time to pick up the self-thrown gauntlet and write another.

I also learned that I am horrid at writing limericks.  Nothing I hate more than writing a limerick, for whatever reason, they just allude me.

And then there is the nonce.

It was toward the end of the semester, right before we got to the limerick, which was to be fun and light and was definitely, by far the worst poem I wrote that semester, Professor Wallace gave us the nonce assignment.

I remember it very well, the entire class freaked the hell out-create our own style of poetry?!

I don’t remember what my reaction was, but I found myself writing Cry Baby a couple of nights later.  I don’t know where the imagery came from, I know I was inspired by a line from a Soul Coughing song, “spoon to the lighter, to the lighter to the sun, devil lapsed out in a pool of fun”.

I suspected that the song was about heroin and I went from there.

I ended up writing what I was afraid, irrationally so, was the best piece of work that I was ever going to write.  I had this idea that the word well was going to be dry after this one.  I was probably sowing the seeds of fear of success even then.

How funny.

I ended up falling in love with my little poem and performed it along with a few other pieces at Jenna’s Open Mic and I got into the final round of a slam at Cafe Montmartre and I performed it at my going away party at the Angelic, after a few beers and some shots of Patron.

And then I stumbled upon it when I was doing the While You Were Sleeping poem preparation for the Elbow Room show with Sunshine at the Dub Mission Night.

I did it there with Souxsie and Sunshine loved it.  He actually wants me to perform it again with While You Were Sleeping and he said, “let’s record it.”

Oh holy shit.

REALLY?

I’m going to grab a coffee with him Monday afternoon, Cafe Du Soleil, mmmmhhmmmm, a little slice of Paris cafe culture in the lower Haight, and discuss.

Here’s the poem:

Cry Baby

She’s a love junkie, whimpering after his cheekbones.

Craving sugar spun sonnets and nonce quatrains,

Stockpiling sestinas and internal rhyme schemes.

She falls on the floor, nodded out little hypoglycemic.

She’s a love junkie, wallowing in canker sore bliss,

Poking her tongue in and out the pitted mouth of desire.

Needling along, chain smoking a noodling song, she hovers,

Above her sprawled out form, out of body will-o-wisp.

She’s a love junkie, seared in margarita salt and half-rotted limes.

Taunting the boy fresh from re-hab with alcoholic musings

On the metaphysical.  Scattershot, spoon-fed, lined in blood,

Nursing on cantilvered moons frosted purple blue.

She’s a love junkie, roller-skating around the rink of abandon,

Wearing knee-high argyle socks and pink glitter lip bomb.

Wicked wracked she cackles back, hush baby, cry baby,

Suck it up baby.  Red vinyl skirt fucked, shrink wrapped in oh.

My professor loved it.  Danny Kalahatchi (god, I think that’s how his name was spelled) thought it was brilliant.

The girl who wrote about kittens and snowflakes and dew drops (I kid not) pointed out that I mis-spelled lip balm.

I will never forget Danny piping up, “BOMB”  it’s a slant rhyme and it means her mouth was the bomb, like dope, like oh my god, blown away by her kiss.  DUH, you dumb twat”.

The last part of the sentence was under his breath, I loved him for it and whenever he came into the bar I would toss him free pints.  I actually even booked his band, now that I’m thinking of it–Nefesh?  Which drew hordes of under age girls to mope about  after the pretty front man, he was Emo before any one knew what the fuck Emo was.

So, I’ll get to perform one from the vault.

I am looking forward to it.

I get to perform again, I am blown away by this.  I never suspect that I would be in some San Francisco night club over a decade later with a musical legend performing something I wrote.

Again.

I am constantly astounded by my life and the things I get to do.

Pretty fucking balm.

Good Lord That Was Fun

May 14, 2012

Retarded good fun.

Good clean fun, the way it was meant to be.

I am still a little giddy and I don’t know how I am going to sleep.  It’s 1:31a.m. and this ‘young’ miss is up way past her bedtime.  But my gosh, it was worth is.

I had just a wonky, weird, out of whack day.  I was over in Oakland–saw a dead possum eviscerated in the middle of the road in the hood–not all the way deep in the hood, but I was in the hood, in the early afternoon.

Then I BARTed back across the Bay.  I got a late, very late lunch on, then rode my bike like a banshee back through the Mission and then I was in the Fillmore kicking it with Thomas.

Then I made a mad, mad, mad crazy dash back to the Mission, picked up a package at the shop–oh I learned my lesson about having anything sent to my address–and was in and out of work before they could capture me and wrangle me into work.  Then off to down town to return some shoes that did not fit.

Damn it, why’d you have to give me such big feet, God?

It’s tough on a fashionista when she can’t get the sandals she wants.  I surely frustrated the kind gay Asian man at Nordestrom’s with my desires for a cute sandal in a wedge.

Just a note to the shoe world–feet are not like ears and noses.  Meaning that they don’t grow as you get old like your nose does or your ears do.

Cartilage, people, cartilage.  Bones grow, then they stop.  I have had big old feet all my life, I did not grow into them and thank God for the internet, at least there is a little bit of hope out there, but the majority of large women’s shoes fall into two categories–hookers hooves or grandma’s orthopedic insert land.

I am not a tranny and although I am in my 40th year of existence, I am no granny.

So, how come I can’t find me no shoes?

I actually chose a pair, went to the counter, then realized as the clerk was ringing me up that I was just shopping to make myself feel better.  I did not actually like the sandals, too grandma, and I was not going to wear them and so what if they were on sale if all they were going to do was languish in my wardrobe.

I stopped the clerk, apologized, said I can’t afford to purchase them, and thanked him for his help, rapidly walked out, abject and abashed, and left WestField Mall to hijack myself back to the Mission to do a sound check at The Elbow Room with Sunshine Jones, Siouxie Black, and Patrick.

Sound Check @ The Elbow Room

Patrick and Sunshine check their levels

I clambered up on stage and did a little run down.   Sunshine told us what he was looking for and I realized I did not have enough material with me.  I bashed home on my bike, dashed up the stairs, pulled out a couple of additional pieces and rode like crazy back to the club.

I whipped up to the corner as they were finishing and locked up the bike–which I was happy to say made it through the evening without getting anything stolen off it.  Man, there have been some bicycle seat stealing mofo’s out there recently.

We walked down the street and hit SunFlower for a late dinner and confab about what we were going to do at the show.  I got some delicious curry tofu and vegetables with brown rice and hot tea.

Then, yes, like the good crazy woman I am, I got a big, JUMBO, cup of coffee at Muddy Waters on Valencia and 16th, at 10:15 p.m.

And I wonder why I am not tired.

I am also just jacked up on exhilaration.  The show really went off.  I was nervous.  But as we were headed back to the club, Sunshine stopped me and Siouxie and Patrick and we all got centered and committed to just having a fun time.

Lady Beth was waiting by the door, looking smokin’ I have to say, and we all ascended to the second floor.

Dub Mission was getting its reggae soul on.  Not exactly my style, but we got into it and had a little dancing before getting on stage.

I have to reiterate I was a teeming ball of nerves, but I was glad to be there and I guzzled a big glass of grapefruit juice over ice and got my ass up on stage.

And we got it on.

It felt so good to be there with my friends and just hang out.  It was just a little party on stage.  And off, some dude down in front was way into it, so into it that a couple of people asked  if we had brought him with.

Ah, no.

He came on his own volition and yes, he was feeling the music.  I could not tell if he had some assistance from a little, ALOT, of Special K, but he was getting it the fuck on.

In fact, after the show he came up to me and let me know how much he was feeling it–how he felt that he had to express that feeling in his soul.  I smiled and said I could appreciate his appreciation.  Then he tilted his head and asked how he knew me.

Odd thing, I knew him too.

I said, well, you know, I get around a lot in the Mission and I work on Valencia, you might have seen me riding around on my bike, and oh snap.

There it was.

Tweaker boy from about three weeks ago who came in and sat his happy ass down in a corner of the shop in the middle of a crazy ass day I had with Kristin.  It was so busy, I had thought he was with some group or other designing bikes.  It was the Saturday Kristin and I had that was busy beyond belief and Mister Tweaker Pants sat his self down by the recycling and nodded along to some music on his Ipod and counted the frames on the wall until he was asked to take the party elsewhere.

Hello again, you are quite the dancer.

And let’s gently leave it at that.

The show felt really good, I think the poems went off alright, I got into the groove and it was really an amazing experience to be on stage with a, well, with a musical legend, when it gets right down to it.  It was an honor to be included.

I have some pretty awesome friends.  Siouxie slayed it and Patrick was composed and sweet and got into the violin.  Sunshine did what Sunshine does and I just grooved up on stage. I had a lot of fun.

A lot.

And now I get it.  The rush was pretty amazing.  It was scary to feel my hands go ice-cold and yet have my face be all hot and I got rather lost in the lights, which, honestly, was a kind of comfort.  It was hard to see the people in front of the stage.

It went off well.  I think anyhow.

And I was asked to perform again.

Repeat.

I got asked to perform in another show.  Holy crap.

June 15th at Club 222.

See you there.

Nerves

May 8, 2012

Well, I don’t have them yet, but I am sure they are coming.

Sunshine Jones asked me to perform with him this Sunday at The Elbow Room in the Mission.

17th and Valencia Street should you be in the hood for Mission Dubstep, swing on by.

I have not performed live in a long time.  I think the last time I did it was in Madison and I forget the club, it was on Regent Street.  It was not the Regent Street Retreat, but some where in that neck of the woods.  My God, it was the Retreat, it was in the back! It happened right after their huge re-model into a sports bar.

I had been asked to perform some of my poems with a fellow local open mic host and guy about town–whose poem about his ex-girlfriend always stuck in my head–Baby, your vibrator can’t kiss you with whiskey breath.

We were part of a show that was called Hydrate and we were the “closing” act. We performed with an electric cello and a dj.  I had no clue what I was doing.

Not much has changed.

Now I better get in a practise or two before I go out Sunday night.  Not that I have a clue when that is going to be.  I feel like this will just be me winging it by the seat of my pants.

Thing is I have “performed” this piece, any number of times, actually, just never at a real venue.

I have held a person hostage on the top of the balcony overlooking the back patio at The End Up, smashed out of my gourd on cocaine and Ecstasy.

I have said it maudlin and drunk at an after hours party at Hawthorne Lane.  I have done it again at the Open Mic at Jenna’s in Madison, the first time I went back for  a visit when I had moved out to San Francisco.

But the best time I did it was for Action Girl at Burning Man.  It was at her birthday party.  It was after the Burning of the Man, boy does it suck when your birthday is the night they burn the man, or if you happen to work for the Org. and you have your birthday in the middle of the busiest most hectic time of the year.

Fun times.

It was my second burn and my first burn as a nanny.  I had not brought enough books, paper, or entertainment with me to deal with the fact that the baby I was taking care of was just that, a baby.  She was 10 months, 10 1/2 months, maybe, and could not be out in the environment unless it was perfect weather.

That year it was dusty.  I spent a lot of time inside.  I spent a lot of time napping.  I spent a lot of time writing.  I found an old cold war mystery in the trailer and devoured that, but I was at my wits ends–I was on playa for close to three weeks.  I got a little nutty.

Thumper, Action Girls soon to be hubby, had brought with him a huge pile of National Geographic’s and I started reading through them.  Then I started cutting out pictures that resonated with me.  Then I got my hands on some paste and the next thing you know I am doing this enormous collage on a table at camp.

There was something missing and it was my poem, ‘While You Were Sleeping’.  Why I thought it worked with that collage I will probably never know.  But doing the work and getting the poem out in an entirely different way brought me a very different experience with it.

Out of nowhere and as a gift I performed it for Andie at her birthday party.  It had morphed, it had become something else.  It had become a song of celebration and life and love and it was about motherhood–which though I had not had the experience of being the actual mother, I was having the mother experience of being a child’s care taker.

It was the most amazing experience for just a wee little audience.

Then I recorded it years later with Sunshine.  I never thought it would go anywhere or be anything and the damn poem keeps on coming back.

So, I am going to go to Dub Mission, which had you told me it was going to be performed at a DubStep show I would have peed my pants in laughing disbelief.

BassNectar my ass.

Oh, shit, another never has come back to bite me.

Anyway, so yeah, on top of the already busy week I normally have, I’ll be doing a little vocal performance.  It will just be three minutes, four maybe, so I am not going to get in a twist about it, but I am going to have to dust off the poem, I haven’t recited it in some time.

Maybe I should dust off a few more.  I used to really enjoy doing open mics.

I think I just really enjoyed the attention and I enjoyed the drama of performing.  I wonder if I actually liked it.

Nah, I liked it.

It polarized something in me.

And despite my hiding in the performance of it, there is also an intimacy that I invite into it.  I don’t have to be whacked out of my mind to get to that place is the best thing that I can see now and to be able to be intimate with out mind altering substances is amazing.

I may fall flat on my face, but I get to go bravely forth into the experience.

I think that’s what they call life.


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