Posts Tagged ‘vinyl’

Are You Just Coming

May 31, 2016

From the Warriors game?

He asked me, his head cocked and curious, “you look amazing, really, beautiful.”

And he gave me a big hug.

So surprised, sweetly so, to run into my yoga instructor as I was mailing off a letter at the corner mailbox on Judah and 44th.

“The what?” I asked, “no, um, ha, I was working on a poetry submission.”

“That’s even better!”  He smiled and lit up, I mean, really lit up, it was nice to see.

“It’s the blue,” he said, “that’s what got my attention.”

And.

Wouldn’t you know?

It is the exact shade of blue as the Warriors blue and gold, and though I was not technically wearing gold pants, um, ha, I am wearing leopard print leggings which in certain light do come across as gold.

Nice God.

Subconsciously supporting the sports ball.

I mean.

Seriously.

Same blue, some gold, blue eyeshadow and blue glitter, blue flower in my hair and yes, I’m not kidding, blue nail polish, blue star necklace, blue star earring, and I don’t often wear this color, nor in the amount that I did today.

It must have worked.

I hear they won.

Heh.

“Carmen you are the only person I would take a phone call from at this time and only because I know you have no idea what is happening right now,” my friend on East Coast time said to me years ago when I called to chatter excitedly to him how I was taking dj lessons and the guy that I was working with really thought I had some skills.

Note to self, cocaine addiction not great for keeping up with things like.

Although super grateful that I did not know how much I could get for my sweet Technic turn tables until after I had gotten sober, sold my entire (oh the tears on my face) vinyl collection to Amoeba on Haight Street and all my cds too.

I might have been out there running awhile longer.

As it stands the money I got from the sales of those things kept me in food and rent for a month of San Francisco living.

Well spent, frankly, well spent.

My friend who I was talking to on the phone was in the middle of a nail biter, seventh game of the World Series, his team, tied or some such thing, and only took the phone call from me because he realized I had no clue.

Still little to this day.

Cue parking on 15th and Valencia the time the Giants swept the series in 2013.

Oops.

Ha.

I left the car there.

I was literally on 16th and Valencia when the entire world erupted and people poured out into the streets with brooms and starting lighting shit on fire and drinking open containers and screaming and jumping up and down.

And fuck people.

Cue the same team winning the series two years ago and I’m coming from The Gratitude Center on 7th and Irving at the exact time the series is won and I’m on my fucking bicycle trying to get around police in riot gear and the entire block erupts.

So.

Yeah.

Um.

I knew the Warriors were playing and it was a big deal.

But.

What was really a big deal to me today.

This.

Thank you for your entering the Rattle Poetry Prize competition—your entry has been received. If there are any problems with it, we will let you know, but otherwise it is safe to assume everything is set. Winners will be announced on September 15th.

It’s a huge prize.

The odds of me winning it are slim.

But the odds of me winning if I had not submitted, well, that would be nil.

I took the effort.

I pulled together three sonnets and a longer free verse poem and I submitted to the journal.

I am not making any promises, but what with the time I have off over the summer, I thought it wise to submit some work again.

Plus.

I read a blog that someone wrote about me a few years ago and it inspired me to submit again, it’s been a hot second since I have sent any work anywhere.

I had forgotten about the blog–She Inspired Me To Write–by my friend.

I was googling searching something and it popped up.

I re-read the blog and got a little misty eyed, recalling how excited he was to talk with me, about my travels to Paris, about taking risks and not knowing it and doing it anyway.

I have had it in my head to unearth a short story I wrote years and years ago as well and perhaps submit that out as well.

And.

I would like to put together a small manuscript of my poems.

I have never published a chap book or a manuscript, well, I did a limited, and I do mean very limited, press of a zine called 7 Months, but that was super small and super rough.

I think that it’s time to do something with all the words.

I have felt this before and gotten out there and submitted and nothing happens.

And.

That is ok.

I have to remember that, it’s just how it works.

Loads of folks get loads of rejection.

It’s not to take it personally.

This is my art.

“What kind of art do you do?” He asked me, assuming what I’m not sure, but that from my attire, my tattoos, my star tights, the flower in my hair, that I was an artist.

There was a time that I would have said.

“I’m not an artist.”

There was a time when I was more comfortable with the lie than the truth.

That I have been an artist since I was young and picked up my pen and started scrawling poems in a notebook sometime in middle school.

Or when I started doing forensics and reciting Edna St. Vincent Millay poems at competitions.

Imagine if you will.

I took first place at state.

Not too shabby.

Although I won’t soon forget what it felt like to have the entire school wait on me, as no one else on the team had made it to the final round–the guilt I felt as I progressed was almost subsumed by the pride I felt when my name was announced during the awards ceremony and I got up and walked to get my first place trophy.

And then I thought about being at The Strand book store in New York recently and how I touched and caressed titles of books that I had read, and then, to see a class mate from Wisconsin and his series of books doing so well, displayed prominently at the front of the store.

And.

Then there.

Another woman I know in San Francisco.

Her memoir there.

I had a moment.

I’ll be here too.

When?

Who knows.

But I will.

I have been given a gift and for me it is enough that I get to write.

Not that I am acknowledged for my efforts.

But.

To hear once in a while that I have inspired someone else.

That means the world.

Or.

To have someone tell me they loved a blog I wrote or a poem they heard me recite.

Well.

Love.

That means so much to me.

It’s almost unbearable to express.

But.

Thank you.

I am so graced with these gifts.

I have to share them.

Whether or not they are received.

That’s not my business.

I just get to have the experience of giving the gift.

And.

That.

Well.

That is everything.

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We’ll Record When I Get Back

June 28, 2014

Holy shit.

I ran into a friend of mine.

A dear, sweet, darling man who has known me from the days of yore when I went to an event that he was playing at, his birthday party, and I danced my ass off while walking around with a cane.

I was in the last stages of healing from a really bad back sprain.

The music, his music, was so infectious though, I could not help it but to dance.

“You know, I’m playing one show here for Pride (tomorrow is Pink Saturday and the high holy holidays of queer are here in San Francisco), it’s going to be good.” He leaned in a subtle, conspiratorial manner and whispered in my ear as he gave me a hug good night, “I’d invite you but I don’t think you should be dancing quite yet, heal well, I’ll see you in seven weeks when I get back from Europe.”

Oh awesomeness.

He’s right too.

I would probably try to shake my groove thing.

I have been listening to a lot of jazz of late.

Smooth.

Mellow.

Sit still and heal, soothing.

I do not know what possessed me, but I put on the dance music when I took the train downtown today to run an errand.

I should know better than to run downtown during Pride Weekend when I am hobbling about on my walking boot.

But it was too late and I was there and as I slowly maneuvered through the crowds, I kept myself occupied by listening to a Green Velvet mix live in Dublin, Ireland, that was just smoking.

Best genre I can come up with to classify it is Retro-Electro/Ghetto Techno.

So good.

So dirty good.

I just wanted to shake my ass.

At least the half that wasn’t affixed to the boot.

So, “running” (I suppose wobbling is the much better adjective) into my friend the day before he’s off on seven week tour of Europe was great timing.

I told him about the epiphany I had at Lighting in a Bottle and how I love my writing practice, can’t get enough of it, doing it all the time, but that I wanted to expand a bit more and I wanted to record a full album with him instead of just one song.

I gave him some ideas.

I would love it to be called “Music of the Spheres” or “Jesus Was a DJ”.

Something spiritual, sexual, definitely a little retro and ghetto sexy, but with some sugar lip sass, I have to be able to dance to it, it can’t be too slow.

He suggested we do an EP then play out some clubs and press some vinyl.

Ah.

Ok.

OHMYGODREALLY?!

Fyi.

I don’t even know what an EP is.

I suppose I shall have to Wikipedia that right quick.

I know enough to know it’s not a full length album.

But it’s a set of songs.

Ah.

Thanks Mister Google.

Extended Play.

Not a full album, but an extended set of songs, usually three to four.

Perfect.

That sounds exactly what I want to do.

And play out?

Hells to the yes.

I miss that kind of performing.

I mean, yeah, it freaks me out, but I also loved doing the couple of shows with him the summer before I left for Paris.

It was pretty amazing, even just that little bit.

We played together with another vocalist and a violinist at the Elbow Room and then a few weeks later I joined him with another vocalist at Club 222.

It was pretty epic.

At least for me.

And the opportunity to do it again, but with more music and lyrics and a longer story, I am down with that.

I would not mind calling it “Baise Moi” either or “Sugar Kiss”.

I have a few ideas.

Some old material and some new material.

I also don’t have to have as much per piece written as I did for While You Were Sleeping.

It’s a long poem.

It’s not epic length, but it’s too long for a song.

Knowing that I have an idea of how many words each song can hold.

This means cutting and gutting a few poems.

I can do that.

It’s just editing.

And I have an editing eye.

I want to include “Cry Baby” on it.

OH.

That’s it.

Love Junkie.

That’s the refrain for the poem, the repeating thematic of the piece, a nonce I wrote years ago, “she’s a love junkie.”

We talked about mixing it with Paul Simon’s Graceland.

At least that’s the inspiration for me.

There’s a certain time in my life I would like to allude to, where Cry Baby came from.

And then the channeling another kind of music in there, underneath it, maybe some Hues Corporation.

A little mixing of “Don’t Rock the Boat” underpinned by something French retro or new wave.

Oh, the ideas.

EEK.

Yann Tiersen.

The guy behind the Amelie soundtrack.

Oh goodness.

Snowflakes on the steps of Sacre Couer, straight to my heart, the glow lamps in front of the cafes in Paris, the Eiffel Tower glittering in the snow fall and mist.

Baise moi indeed.

I have some writing to do.

I have a creative project.

Yay.

This will make the continued editing of Baby Girl that much easier to withstand.

Not that it’s all that difficult, although I am still cringing at the errors that rife through the work.

Sophomoric errors.

But hey.

I am learning and I get to have this experience and how many folks are in the middle of editing a book, their own memoir, and also writing lyrics for a pending album with a world-famous, globe-trotting dj?

Not so many I am going to suppose.

My friend who sold me the scooter also suggested I get back into dj’ing.

I did it very briefly, very much as an amateur, never played out, when I first moved to San Francisco in 2002.

I might have to do some investigationship.

I would not be getting turntables again, I’ll be honest, I’m too busy and a bit too lazy for that, but a good mixing system, a premium membership to Spotify, and my own ear, I think I could mix a good party.

Not really for money.

Just for the fun of it.

“We’ll press some vinyl and makes some money, and play around some clubs and get you before some crowds, and,” my friend’s eyes lit up.

I interrupted, “oh, I don’t care about making money, I just want to have fun and create and…”

“Oh, you get to make money too, don’t you worry, you make something and you’re going to make money too.”

He hugged me.

“Go, we’ll talk when I get back.”

He ducked into a tacqueria to meet some friends and I walked off to the N-Judah stop to take the train home.

Music rumbling through my head.

Right foot tapping a rhythm.

Happy to have a distraction from the ankle.

I’ll dance again soon.

I know I will.

And I will get to make new music too.

Life is pretty damn grand.

I just have to get out the way.

And ask.

The Universe really wants to say yes.

Just ask.

The answer is yes.

It always is.


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