Saturday, September 20, 2014

Something from across the ocean

Something that when it arrives is no longer itself, which is privilege.

To no longer be yourself.

I am perhaps no longer myself!

Anti-immigrant models of philosophy or fiction propose an alternation, a substitution: radical form.

Garden notes.  Who said that?  Oh yeah, my father.

My father and I used to talk about writing.  I forgot about those conversations, all these years since -- removing myself from that other cherry blossom space -- a tree that our neighbors in Ruislip (Middlesex) felt we did not deserve.  How unruly the flowers were.  Didn't we know who to call?  We overheard them in the garden next door, talking to their late summer or late spring guests.  Didn't they know we could hear?  But when my father was dying and -- out of the blue -- wanted to listen to -- Haydn, Beethoven -- music he hadn't listened to or understood in life, but which he associated -- with Englishness -- it was Diana, next door, who gave us the tapes.

I read the phrase: "something from across the ocean."

And tracked it.  To that garden phase, the last part of the time that preceded this one -- that is, in turn, coming to an end.

I want to analyze my -- strong feeling of shame -- regarding my forthcoming book -- Ban en Banlieue.  From which I will be reading in New York City on Wednesday.  Part of waking up this morning was reading this: (below)*: which I read and -- felt something for [near] that corresponded: to a sentence written -- on my heart -- that resembles a face.  Beneath shame, in other words -- the feeling that I have not written a book that could be read -- in the garden of time -- is longing.

A gap like the gap between the bookstore and its current incarnation, the butcher's shop.  The two butchers are very kind and when we were there yesterday to buy a sandwich for Thelonious, they were very kind and starey.  Intense, thoughtful Colorado gazes pouring out of their eyes toward their attentive, conscious, ethical customers.  During our conversation I thought about one thing: how to build up to asking them if I could make an installation of BAN on their butcher's block -- gleaming behind them as they spoke.  Of course, what I really want is to be on it myself, which I am not sure they would ever permit.  Bleach, dettol, an appropriate soap?  Or perhaps Laura Ann Samuelson -- who tonight performs in Boulder -- you should go, Boulder-reader, Denver-reader, Laramie-reader, Fort Collins-reader (not sure if I have any readers in Loveland), Longmont-reader, Arvada-reader, Nederland-reader -- in advance of her curation of the FAILURE festival this November -- should get on the butcher's block in lieu.  And I could:

choreograph?  I could give directions for Ban.

This is the sequence that opens Ban as it is -- in the Naropa dance studio.  As Laura Ann replicates the pre-Cha.  And gets it.  And within five minutes, as I keep saying reveals more to me about the novel -- through micro-movement practices -- than the preceding five years did.  Novel as climate denial.  Novel as, wierdly, an anti-immigrant form -- a form of "self-hatred" -- as Jason Mugabo Perez, a Filipino-American writer: said.

But what I wanted, and what I wanted: which I did not do, was to write a book that held vibration for the place I was from -- then -- at that time -- in that riot --  when instead it -- the novel of the riot -- came across the ocean as a story and all the vibration -- was left there, on the Cornwall-New Jersey coastline, like pieces of faint pink gauze or net.  Where the riot had no memory.  Instead, it made a new pattern.  Like the ikebana trash in outer space.

This is the image I got when I googled Ikebana Trash.  I wanted the outer space flowers.  But here is this.  I thought it was a volcano image, but I think it is resins and compounds.  The artist is YUKIO, a proponent of ecological ikebana.

And I feel ashamed too, that all of this --  is just the effect of an economic or romantic migration.  An unnecessary migration.   A migration like a gap between words: syntax, abyss -- as Gail Scott writes, decontextualized.

And I think of my book which feels like a wet notebook left on the shore to dry.

And I feel ashamed.

And I feel a different kind of writing coming on.

And I want to state the obvious - - that all books gesture to what can never be written down.

That this is how it has been for me, a quality that could culminate in not writing another book -- or its obverse, the dark spongy mirror propped up against a ball or rise of kelp: a book that could be written only now.

*Heriberto Yepez, I read your amazing Chainlinks book.  Goodbye forever.  A red spider has begun to crawl across this screen, positioning itself beneath the word COMPOSE on the blogger interface as I write these words -- to you, a never-you, not you: you.  Oh wow, now there is another red spider!!!!!

Blog page -- red spider visible at top of laptop edge in middle.  I feel like it just bit me as I wrote that!


I want to make public a decision I took a while ago but that I now want to communicate to my three or four readers, and that I’ve been communicating to my friends in recent days. 2014 marks 20 years since the beginning of the writing project I’ve created under the signature “Heriberto Yépez.” During these two decades I have published over twenty books and written a few more that remain unpublished, for one or another reason. I have decided to conclude this writing project. It can be said that Heriberto Yépez’s oeuvre has concluded. The signature, provisional and only for the following instances, will continue to appear in two places: the weekly column that I write under this name for the cultural supplement Laberinto of the newspaper Milenio and the co-editing of books by Ulises Carrión, in which I share duties. Once these two responsibilities end, this signature also ends. I want to move on to other things in my life and I need to leave behind my phase as an author. I have enjoyed the work I’ve accomplished, but the moment has come to bring it to a close, because life is short and I don’t want to invest time in all that anymore. For professional reasons I can’t stop producing certain writings, but those will appear under a different name and as part of another professional sphere. The only thing left for me to say is that I’m very grateful to all those who collaborated with my work and career, the young man whom you helped accomplish his dream thanks you very much for your help, he’ll always be indebted to you. But that young man is gone. And I must respect his departure, by not taking his name as if it were mine and I, for one, need to take advantage of this event so I can embark on other avenues and, above all, reiterate my gratitude and farewell. A big hug for everyone.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Do not collaborate with your murderers." -- Elizabeth Lozano

We went over that the other day but some things lodge in the side of your body like the beaks of snakes and it does you no good to worry them free.  Instead, I advise being bitten.  I advise going to bed by 9 p.m.; my neighbor in real life is an acupuncturist.  She says you should be lying down or intending to go to sleep by 10.30 p.m.  It is 10.33 p.m. as I write this, just home from an Equinox meditation in Fort Collins, a small rural-urban city on the verge of the Medicine Bow wilderness.  It has bike shops and beer made from local berries, fibers and cut-throat bits of hempish straw.  Is beer a kind of medicine?

Right.  Where were we?

Don't collaborate with the very thing that's going to do you in.  If I was going to write a book on writing, for writers and writers to be, this would be Chapter 1 or 2 or 3.  One of the very first things I would want to say to someone else.

I felt like I should say it again.

Right now.

On a pre-equinox night.

In the vision, I saw Aesclepian snakes.

They were gold and would enter the body, through the right upper arm, then leave -- through the left side, above the kidney.  No mark on the skin.

Dreaming, healing.  I always think of Eleni's deepest work on incubation and narrative.

There is something so intense and unknown about the land between Red Feathers and Laramie.  What is there?  Why am I so drawn to this Colorado-Wyoming mixture with its pale pink, gold and light blue landscape; it's almost scarlet stone of the Owl Canyon pass -- or Red Medicine Mountain, to the right, glimpsed.

These are some notes written as rules before sleep.

The second rule is to commit to a new direction -- a line -- or journey -- that will carry you far from the place that you are in right now.  This is what Jack Kerouac knew.  This is what roads are for.

287 is the most incredible road in the world, or one of them.

It is the only major road in the U.S. to bisect a graveyard (in Loveland.)

It ends in Venus, Texas, said another neighbor, a homeopath -- Amber.

Okay, that's enough for now.

Notes for the north.

Notes for the next part of life.

ascelpius, dream healing, ancient greece -- though I recall, in ELLORA, the caves in india, the stone cubicles where monks could dream-sleep in the presence of the IMMENSE BUDDHA in the central alcove that each of the "cubbies" opened into.  we lay on the stone tablets or beds, and closed our eyes against the heat of the Indian July.  Soon I will go to India where "your ancestors have left something for you."  Okay.  Kapil Muni and the waterfall: await.  Maybe if I write to Sandhya in Hyderbad to start planning our pilgrimage --  the insane daily calls to an outsourcing company in Mumbai via Houston to ascertain the processing of a tourist visa will come to an end.  There were so many ways that I wanted to end a time in which I collaborated with what did not serve my life or others' lives -- and there were so many ways that I wanted to deepen a healing that I could not control.   As Eleni says, healing requires witnesses.  But it also requires mystery, which only happens when a person is entirely alone.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lozano/Woolf, slogans, TRASH, and body psychotherapy: toward: A Developmental Theory of Creativity.

I beganto read or re-read Woolf -- one day -- and in the same -- place as that reading -- was happening -- I was reading a Journal of Body Psychotherapy -- and in the journal I read about perinatal trauma -- and development -- and I began to wonder -- if not being able to read -- properly -- or write -- replicated certain parts of what -- we call -- attachment disorder.  And I thought of how reading Woolf activated something.  And how it was about reading Woolf on the kindle, swiftly -- a bodily act -- that allowed me -- a person with poor eyesight and cheaply or swiftly purchased reading glasses (thus: unable to read the 1966 paperback belonging to my father, KKK: Kewal Krishan Kapil) -- to break through -- into the space of reading -- much like -- in the ocean -- you have to move past the breakers to get to the sea -- though -- as we all know -- I recently swam in the -- sea -- with what -- was possibly -- a Great White Shark -- with Hazel White -- guarding my cardigan and rucksack on the SF sand.

And then in the Journal of Body Pyschotherapy I read about how trauma, stress, novelty, body movement and creativity activate molecular-genetic expression.  And I thought about -- what it has been like -- not to be able to write -- or read -- in this sabbatical time -- and what it feels -- felt -- like -- when the writing began to come -- as it did come -- or came.

And this was my theory of reading.

That reading -- swiftly at first -- almost with a scanning action -- allows us -- to express -- the code for writing -- or switch it on, which we already know.

But I felt it.

As I once felt this and wrote it in INCUBATION, a book written in two weeks:


And in other news I lived.

And in other news I returned to life.

With the help of Virginia Woolf and a companion text for writing, thinking - - and being*:

*WRITING THINKING BEING  is a slogan I invented for The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics -- which is a school.

Today I was at the school, just briefly. I was shocked, when I entered my office, to see that its contents had been inverted -- a picture of my beautiful son, Thelonious, on the floor -- his blue elephant inverted -- Indian artifacts and treasures mixed in with a tangle of dumped electrical equipment…books thrown on the floor.  Trash mixed in with office supplies mixed in with Sylvia Plath. I was startled -- and instinctively began to clear the space without asking how such a situation had come to be.

I cleared the space and removed Thelonious's pictures and the blue elephant from India, a precious gift.

For some reason, the trash pit that my office had been turned into, in my absence, made me alert.  I dealt swiftly with the trash!  Sometimes you can't write or think.  You just have to BE!!!!!  Maybe I will come up with a new slogan.  Maybe there should be a different one every year.  Every season.

Like Gaultier.

Like knee socks.

Like a haircut.

Like 1984.

Like a failing restaurant.

Like certain forms of love.

Like -- I wanted to use a word here but I erased it.  The sound was just right -- but the word was wrong.  It was a harsh word and it did not belong here for any other reason than its -- inner, choral space.

Like Stonehenge.

Whose teleported stones I lay upon at 2 weeks old.

A British yet somehow incomplete and residual -- child.



Those are two slogans.  One of them is a cliche.  One of them was brought into the Naropa community by a visiting Lenz scholar, Elizabeth Lozano, reporting on her Peace Studies work in Colombia.

She was an amazing woman.

I met her, precisely, once.

Elizabeth Lozano, Ph.D.

Title/s: Associate Professor
Office #: Lewis Towers 905
Phone: 312.915.7768


Elizabeth Lozano joined Loyola’s communication faculty in 1993. Her area of expertise is media studies and cultural studies. She is program director for the Latin American Studies Program, a member of the steering committees of the International Studies and the Women's Studies. She previously served as the advisor for Beta Rho, the Loyola chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, National Communication Association.
In Fall 2010 Lozano opened the SoC's Notes from the Field: Faculty Speakers Series with a discussion of the nonviolent resistance practiced in the Colombian Peace Community. She discussed the practices of nonviolent resistance in San Jose de Apartado, which declared itself a “peace community” in 1997.
The community committed itself to radical neutrality in the 50-year-old Colombian civil war, vowing not to bear arms or to collaborate with Colombian armed actors (guerrillas, army and paramilitaries). Twelve years later, the community continues to uphold its principles, searching for ways to create and maintain economic and political autonomy but continuously faced with threats ranging from arson and rape to illegal arrests and murder. These threats, as well as the ways in which the community has responded using nonviolent tactics and strategies, will be discussed.
Her personal interests include yoga, meditation and peace studies and most days she rides her bike to campus.


Ph.D.      Philosophy of Communication and Rhetorical Criticism; School of Interpersonal Communication; Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 
M. A.       Rhetorical Criticism - Interpersonal Communication; Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
B. A.       Social Communication; Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

Program Areas

Latin American Studies

Research Interests

She has presented dozens of papers at national and international conferences, and published in Spanish and English journals in the areas of communication and culture. Her current research includes women, violence, and the construction of gender identity.

Courses Taught

Intercultural Communication, Communication Language and Gender, Critical Ethnography and Naturalistic Methods in Communication Research. She also teaches Media Theory and Criticism, Global Feminism for the Women's Studies program and special topics for the Latin American Studies minor

Friday, September 12, 2014

Between the e and the a

writes Derrida -- is a pyramid.  I said I wanted to drink black coffee in Egypt before I die.  In fact, I could barely tolerate the aftermath of speaking up for a person in my institutional community; decaf green tea it was.  My report is minimal but I must report.  Today's readers by country:

United States 2420
France 23
Ukraine 20
Germany 19
India 19
United Kingdom18
Canada 11
China 11
Russia 10
Netherlands 7

Okay, I get it.  Am most widely read in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Salem, Boise, etc.  But who are you, my ten Russian readers?  Who are you, my seven Dutch?

I wrote a break up letter to Derrida, set in Amsterdam, courtesy of an invitation from Ella Longpre, a student at Naropa University.  This is it:
Dear Derrida: I waited for you behind the pillar at the Rijksmuseum in 1988.  Do you recall? We drank cocoa in the cafe. You showed me how to breathe.  I was wearing a lambs wool jumper. You were wearing a mauve silk shirt unbuttoned to your mid chest. Though it was cold. It was winter. I break up with how much I longed for you at that time of my life. I break up with the desire to be seen. Hey. Are you reading this?  Death: a letterbox. You are so beautiful. I sank to my knees. I am sorry I did not understand your poetry at the time and judged it so harshly. Goodbye for now. Goodbye forever. Love: you know who I am.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fake Xmas

Currently involved in Kafka style calls hours long every day to an outsourcing company in Mumbai with regards to a visa for India that requires proof that...well, to explain it would drive you into a triplicate tiswas.  Here is Brenda being a triplicate tiswas with Moofli the stuffed toy cat and Buttroo the unicorn that I received as a gift yesterday.  Weirdly. At the vet I said you need a baby unicorn. Looking at the other stuffed toys in the other cat cages. Then Buttroo. Came into our lives. Replicant. Apparition. Like butter incarnate. Or an Indian child. 

Then we found the Christmas crackers. My son covered my face with the festive stickers and placed the crown on my head.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I can't say

that this ten day attempt to write a novel is going particularly well.

It is Day 4 and I have just come back from a mountain lake rimmed by reddish stone.  It was bright blue and warped, like Greece.

So, that's it.  I am a thoughtless blob of splendor.  Emergency!

Virginia Woolf:  “There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'.”

Here is a link to my friend Andrew Wille's blog for those disappointed in my lack of leadership skills in this area (writing novels in contracted episodes between tea and socializing with acquaintances in the Fort Collins metropolitan area.)  Andrew lives in London -- is a TRUE British gentleman -- and a brilliant teacher:

This is a link to his DIY MA in Creative Writing.

Meanwhile, I shall return to my albino squirrel on the back roads co-incidences.

Et al.

Ivy, reverie, notes for what it is: is never: ever ever ever: [a] -- no, I can't say it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

How To Become A Novelist in Ten Days or Less: Day 2

It is actually Day 3 now.  I realize this did not upload yesterday.  I am uploading this in reverse; tomorrow, which is yesterday.  Which is today.

On a side note, September 5th is the ANNIVERSARY of my initial EMIGRATION to the U.S.  Well, I was coming for one year -- but found a way, thanks to Tristram Perry's dad, who renewed my J1 visa every year…he was a Dean…sometimes I'd go in for a chat…to prolong, extend….be here with the poets.

The poets of the woods and gullies of New York.  (Upstate.)

To begin.

And today, September 6th, 1990 (2014) -- I walked to the Empire State Building and ordered a bagel with cream cheese and lox in the cafe in the basement.  I said: "They order this in Woody Allen movies.  I would like to order one.  What is lox?"  The waitress sat in my booth to watch me take my first bite, and the other customers cheered.

New York!  My first husband had an uncle who lived in Greenwich Village and we'd stay with him, waking up early to buy croissants at Bruno's bakery…

Well, I had to go back to England in the 90s -- back and forth -- but made it back for real in 1998.

Nevertheless, I count September 5th as my true anniversary -- and, well, that's half a life.

More than.

I came here to write a novel on yellow paper.

And I did.  This is the yellow paper.  This is perhaps the novel-shaped space.

Friday, August 29, 2014


I took my mother to the doctor to get typhoid tablets.  A former husband appeared unexpectedly on his motorbike for tea; we served him coffee -- the Hayes Valley coffee Mg Roberts gave me as a gift -- from a grocery store on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.  Hayes!!!!!!  This is destiny.  I belong in San Francisco.  Out with twitter.  IN with -- with what?  The Kapil khan-dhan?  Yes, but first -- I must become Bharati Mukherjee; this is obviously going to be a huge challenge, but I believe I have it in me.  Our names begin with Bh, for example.  Also, it is going to be easier than becoming Martin Amis.

Sharon Carlisle is painting the alcove.

In the reverie of waiting rooms and Austen-like visiting hours, complete with Digestives and lemon rice (when the guests get hungry), I think about writing and how to approach the -- page.  "I am so over paper." -- R.Wilson.

The sun was rising on the wall.  A lit surface with some depth.  I said it was paper and began to write inside my body.  My heart receives one letter at a time.  Is the heart an alphabet?  The heart beats faster than my ability to write it.

After school, my son and I had ice water and snacks at a table by the window.  There was a tiny pot of wildflowers.  A rose.

I tidied up my home and found a manuscript of Humanimal that is entirely different than -- the Humanimal that is!  There are different epigraphs, including one by Donna Haraway about the difference between dogs and wolves.  Wolf play.  Also, I found a drawing Robert Kocic gave me, of a Tara outline -- with seed syllables streaming from alert chakras.  In green ink.  Okay.

Part of writing is having a body-mind that could write.

It is strange not to be teaching a class on performance art and the novel -- and instead -- to be painting my house or having tea parties next to a herb garden so ruined and blossoming as to also be a precursor to hand-made paper of another time.

Sharon Carlisle painting the Portuguese alcove
Light on the wall.  We are going to re-paint the door.  That is vision therapy card arrangement on the door.  I forgot to take them down.  That is my sister's art table.  That is my butcher's block of notebooks taken out of alcove during painting.  That is the Raoul Dufy screen.  That is an orange sari. 
Thelonious and wildflowers.  What is he doing?
Double rainbow driving on Route 287.
Deranged syllabus on divination and "visible movement" from 2004 when my last name was still Rider.  Also Kocic syllables/phonemes.  Part of a letter from Brandon Shimoda.  Another syllabus on Navigation and Narrative.  Thelonious's second grade drawings of pirate ships etc.
Herb garden
Blurry.  Is this the pre--paper or is it the paper itself?  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Orange sweater with pale grey stripes plus Porky at the back door: WOOF IT OUT

Woof it up.  The morning.
This is my unicorn mug and in big news, we are painting the alcove -- the backdrop to my Dog Blog: all these years and months.  [I am now relocated to the alcove to CHAT.]  [I am thinking of starting an advice column.  Please write in if you have a writing question, or question of any kind that is not rude or disgusting [but it could be the good disgusting as always: not to inhibit you] to:

I will convert this orange sweater-themed blog into an advice column.  Unasked for advice.  Possibly bad advice.  Advice I did not listen to myself.  Who will write in?  Puerto Rico, you have been quite active lately.  I see the countries where people read about Porky and how to become a novelist.  And there you are.  Do not worry.  I can't get into the IP address stuff; I don't know who you are.  Let me guess.  You like skateboarding and Derrida?  You sometimes eat toast on the sofa, on your lap?

What began as a marketing tool for an MFA in Disembodied Poetics from a Buddhist university in Boulder, Colorado -- has become -- me drinking chai from a unicorn mug by myself, an hour north, and making the best of things.  Green and silver day poured from a jug held over the -- head -- every morning -- by the hand -- of the day.  Is the sky aligned with the day-time more than it is the night?  I still can't get over the light blue to black that happens every 24 hours.  You would think we would be used to it by now.  You would think we had moved on to coffee.

So.  Here we go.  In this space: you saw the pre-Ban, the Belladonna Ban, the Treinte Ban, the corollary Ban, the notes for Ban, and the slightly shit [stabilized] Ban of the real Ban -- which was [is] not the real Ban.  The Nighboat Ban is still a fake wet petal Ban, an Ezra Pound haiku of a Ban, a Paris Metro on an overcast Thursday morning Ban.  The next three weeks before -- L'Inde -- [progress] -- [subcontinent] -- Spivak's "literature one gives over to another" -- via -- the reddish or muddy floor: are -- glamorous, crucial animals.  Weeks are animals.

Week 1 is Leopard.
Week 2 is Shark.
Week 3 is Hedgehog.

This is week 1.  A 56 year old Indian woman fought off a leopard with her sickle three days ago.   Last week, I swam with a great white shark.  Hazel White was on the shore.  Hedgehogs are English, and I suddenly saw one nudging the ivy and Ban -- late stage cuteness.

On the sidewalk.

So, I am going to write a vector-Ban -- a real-time Ban -- linear Ban -- linear like going -- for a British audience -- in the next three weeks, with a different animal for each week, like Frontier airlines.

Two years ago, on a failed visit to Brown University, I drew three lines [arcs] on a scrap of paper -- indicating the three -- parts of the novel -- as yet -- unwritten -- and now I want to live those arcs out, not through the aeroplane culture or migration, but through the creature.

Writing a novel is always monstrous.

Think of the monster's nervous system.  I keep thinking of Margaret Rhee's cabbage leaf with the electrodes last weekend.  Put your hand in the jar.  Retrieve a piece of paper that will then -- speak.

"I am so over paper." -- Ronaldo Wilson, superstar of the Asian avant-garde.

I keep thinking of the chopping motions Ching-In Chen made with their hands.  Listing.

A list is a kind of fist.

Are we destined to be fisted by linearity?

Do we need to buy some new sheets?

Ardhanarishvara: Shiva as half man and half woman sits on a leopard skin under a tree. First quarter 19 century A.D. India, Punjab Hills.  
56 year old woman who fought off a leopard with a SICKLE three days ago.  On a side note, does David Mitchell have to psych himself up to become a novelist?  Does he think of it as performance art?  I think of Jason Perez saying: TO DELAY AND CELEBRATE.  Speaking to the "failed novel."  Of the Asian avant garde.  And how "self-hatred" is part of this.  Always.  Why not?  I think of Shiva on the leopard skin, and I think of the leopard excluded from rural territories, and I think of the very brave woman -- a widow -- who said: "I will not die today."  And I think of the ecology of my statements, and I understand that it is about corrupt industry wrecking the rural vector of the animal.  And I do not want to kill a leopard.  And at the same time it is time to activate my ancestry: derived from the red patch on the map but also, as above: THE PUNJAB HILLS.  Shiva sits on the skin -- which is ego.  Well, let's not get into that.  Woof it out.  Woof it out in the Punjab Hills.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


to preface BAN research with TREINTE-esque statements about inter-generational trauma, transmitted -- a rope.  A rotation.   But I already made those statements and cannot repeat them.  I am not a milkmaid.  I am not a cow.  This is not about the milk.

Home, my sister returns from London and I decide to cook chicken soup; at times, the chicken -- in the disastrous crock-pot incident part of the experimental soup -- looked human.  No recipe.  It just came over me.  That is what you do when someone has an ear infection contracted in a Spanish resort.  You make them a complex -- meal -- that has decongestant properties.   At some point, when the chicken had been forcibly removed from the crockpot, due to the lid not fitting and an ill-advised decision to use scissors on it -- the phone rang.  It was Mary Johnson, of the AROHO foundation -- calling to discuss Virginia Woolf.  Mary is a former nun in Mother Teresa's order; she wrote a memoir of her time in this -- order -- and of her body's order too.  Every two years, a retreat of women writers and artists converge in an O'Keefe -- gulch -- red, gold, red, gold, red, gold, red, gold, red, gold, red.  For Aroho.  "Mary," I said, "I am unfortunately quite involved with a chicken at this moment.  It is upside down in the sink.  I am not a good cook."

I rarely cook meat at home or eat it.

Ban is the weakest thing.

Where are the scissors?  I wish there was a sink and I could put my book in it and cut it up a little bit then put it back in the pot to be re-cooked or stewed.

Do books have wings?

My son sat down for his supper.  He said: "This is utterly delicious."

A dark-skinned boy in his mostly white school (a new school) committed suicide on the -- first day.  He was 13.  He was in my son's history class; he was a good, polite, for real boy who introduced himself to my son, the new boy.  "Hi, I'm Tashawn." "I'm Theo." "See you on Monday, Theo."

There it is.


A triple rainbow in the ground of the prairie like a spoke.

The pleasure of the symposium becomes integrated into the roses in the front garden, and the darkness of Fall's start -- lightning, rainbows, heavy rains.

To summarize, I made a chicken soup, took my mother to Starbucks while my sister was at the doctor's next door, discussed suicide, made a list of everything we did not get to in the symposium, fell asleep while my son, sister and mother were talking in the front room -- I fell asleep right there on the sofa.

My heart is slowly relaxing in its basket of tendons.

What about your heart?

What about your basket?  I made a basket, actually.  Eleni Stecopolous said: "Entrails."  From the wool Carolyn Cooke gave me.  I forgot to tie the ankles of the workshop participants to the wrists of the workshops participants.  Instead, I made a red, gold and violet/brown basket.  The sentences are in it now and I have a plan to type up the sentences.









"Bush."  I am watching The Top of the Lake on Netflix.  In the background.  They are sending a search party into the bush.

In Starbucks, I realized I had some of Margaret Rhee's red crepe in my handbag.  I handed it to my mother.  She constructed an Indian border as I read the lackluster New York Times.  These are my mother's hands.  This is the kimchi "cloth":

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bay Area: Decompressions

Sean Labrador y Manzano being waterboarded by Keeley Hyssop
Margaret Rhee and her amazing cyborgy Kimchi Poetry Machine!
Geneva Chao on nuisance and the technology of the torus, not to mention the avant grade.  Where's the bucket?

D'Lo about to shatter everyone's heart down a non-linear seam that began to split the more the incredible performance went on.  Who knew the heart was something sewn together with red thread and a very sharp needle?

Truong Tran: PURE LOVE and genius.  I just look at this photograph and want to burst into tears of gratitude for the dinner he made for us all.  On the last evening of the symposium.  In his home.  

Opening panel  I am sitting next to the leader of the Unicorn Flash Mob, Mg Roberts -- radiant, shattered mother of three baby unicorns…
Monica Mody, pre-grid.  Rythmicity.  Wonder.   Encounter.   
More from the parking lot.
Ching-In, me (looking like a crumpled anti-swan for some reason), Celeste, Ronaldo, Monica, Mg, Jai and -- is that -- who is that?  Is that Jason Perez?  Paul Ocampo took this photograph -- and opened his home to us as well.  

Jai Arun Ravine hugging Rnoaldo Wilson after his incredible performance, with Soham Patel holding the detritus [remains]  -- shed fur and glitter -- of the performance: a gold lame [ay] -- high-heeled shoe.

Mg Roberts right arm, Jason Perez's left arm, Ronaldo and Pireeni in intense conversation.
No.  I can't decompress tonight.  Though here is Monica Mody -- thinking or sensing toward "enchantment" -- water play.  Via Masuro Emoto.  And then here is Sean Labrador y Manzano -- engaged in water play of another kind: "waterboarding the other."  A performance in the parking lot of CIIS -- a Buddhist university in San Francisco's Mission district.  At one point, I was in an elevator with six members of the -- Asian avant grade -- and I felt -- happy -- in a very deep way, even though there had been a 6.1 earthquake the night before, at 3 a.m., and maybe it wasn't such a good idea to be in an elevator.  But it was.  It was proximity.

Also, I lay on the floor on the carpet with the Asian avant grade, and the milky non-light of San Francisco broke over us as we oriented to each other like sea creatures in our childhood dresses and trouser suits.  By the last night, Truong Tran's generous -- and complete -- meal -- cooked for all of us, I -- well.  It's hard to describe what it's like to walk into a house full of brown people with the smell of coconut curry and spices -- wafting out.  Haven't had that for a long time.  For years.  Possibly I am living on a plateau or in the high desert with earth artists, dogs, 13 year old boys and Asian family members for company.  Which is not shabby.  But -- in fact, just to think of it this morning -- the generosity and joy of that evening at Truong's home -- and the symposium itself -- makes me want to weep with joy.  My nose is prickling!!!!!  Who knew?  I am a member of the Asian avant grade!!!!!  This is working out.

So into being a member of the Asian avant garde.  Beautiful CIIS culture, opened [given] by Carolyn Cooke -- who is about to take MFA students for a one credit CLASS that takes place in [at] BURNING MAN!!!!!!  What kind of genius thinks -- yes, that is an excellent idea: "New MFA students can participate in a symposium on trauma and catharsis as the first thing that happens to them in their degree."
Beautiful and receptive [sensing] [unfolding] Carolyn Cooke in Buddhist University at Mission and Tenth.
I thought about my own Buddhist university.  I thought how much the students and alumni of the two Buddhist universities would enjoy meeting each other.  I loved meeting the students very much -- Marie, Alaura, Sampat, Coke, Hope, Meg, Seema and all!!!  I am forgetting or cannot recollect some of the names of the students.  Dear students, if for some unlikely chance you have stumbled upon a blog for Punjabi expatriates who are also dog-owners and failed British novelists, hi.

You retrieved my notebook.
You gave me a new notebook.

Came home today.  Having swum with great white shark following tea with Hazel White -- and one of the most fulfilling conversations about writing [navigation] I have had in a very long time.  Fin.  Shore.  In.  Earthquake, Omni.  Geneva Chao's torus; Soham Patel's serious and deflected/wild gaze during the panel that -- was so real.  Her list.  Jai's film -- with what it must have been to make that film -- a kind of loneliness -- there -- I felt it -- and recognized that.  Cheena Marie Lo's: bodily [feverish] tract. Mg Robert's severed sound panes from the home space, looped and also not looped.  Ronaldo's toy gun.  Ronaldo's silk heart of a performance, radical and real.  A detritus, which I studied -- like the ringsel of the charnel ground.  Then: D'Lo's quick switch and stunning gaze.  And power.  But also: Pireeni's love and trust -- for what unfolds.  We walked to Hayes and felt alive.  This is what coffee and friendship -- can do.

Pireeni at the corner of Octavia and Hayes.  Hayes!  Where Ban is partly set!
Dreaming with Jason Perez -- failed novels to the max -- on the sofas in the cafe.  Ching-In's gestural syntax of murder.  Roses.  Truong.  Carolyn Cooke -- sparkled and focused and met -- witht eh mid eel of her body -- each person in that other kind of space.  The space she had made.  I myself was dazzled to meet -- some of the students, whose work opened my heart.

And before that the Omni -- the most beautiful space I have ever had the honor to read in.  Shattered ballroom with chandeliers and spray painted Pegasus.  Rob Halpern!  Everyone.  The poets of the East Bay.  Denise Leto tells me about the shark who bumped her.  Stephanie Young reads something brilliant -- like reading yourself into the next part of life and out of the "shit summer."  Was it a shit summer?  Stephanie: "Yes."  Later, there were trumpet flowers, Juliana Spahr's beautiful and glowing face/aspect, figs, etc.  And a 6.1 earthquake.  "Bhanu, get up.  There's an earthquake."  But I did not hear her.  I thought it was beautiful, like a dream, the house swaying on its feet, and being already high on the Asian avant grade, not to mention driving back and forth over the new bridge with Mg and Soham every day, with the ghost bridge next to it, I just smiled -- and relaxed/snuggled deeper into my Californian duvet.  I swam in the sea!  I got to meet Iris, Laloo, and Nescha -- my unicorn fan club.  Three little girls.  One of them was a real baby.  The earthquake seemed normal, and I did not know until the next day that it was not normal.

The more the whole thing went on, the more love I felt.  By the time I realized that Truong had spent the day cooking and I was sitting in his home, which is art and life, I had no idea how this had happened and -- in this way -- I relaxed.  And thus was able.  To receive.  And give.  And receive -- even more.  THANK YOU Bay Area -- for once again being the real PARIS after all.  My Paris, as Gail Scott would say.  I felt bad that I could not pour ox blood over my coccyx in a public space, but even that was okay.   To not perform -- and instead, to work through vibration, cadence, retraction -- and to let the rose do its own public work.  I ate a rose then regurgitated it.

The pink notebook with the flowers and gold writing far below, on the asphalt of Minna Street.  I am forgetting something magical.  Seema Duhan kneeling before the grid, sensing -- responding.  Margaret Rhee inviting us to activate the Kimchi Poetry Machine.  What else?  Kapil Muni came, to slip - - turquoise nodes into the pineal -- gland - - through or with: his palm.  Is this palmistry?  Is it a bridge?  Is it flowers?  Thinking of Anne's gesture-posture workshop and the roses -- that arrived -- unwound from their rigorous position in the vase.  These are less decompressions or a philosophy, re-set -- than an attempt -- to say -- something about the space, and the feeling in that space.

[Now it is morning.  Drinking tea from unicorn mug.  Thinking of Keeley/Octopus who water boarded Sean -- she looked like Lindsey Norman precisely -- who gave me the nickname BAN when I was 12 -- and then -- there she was again: re-looped.  Re-figured.  I was mesmerized!  I also loved seeing Dennis, Sean's -- cousin.  Who taped him up very gently then removed the tape, murmuring -- assimilate.  He looked like Mr. Khumra to the max -- Mr. Khumra, who was from Singapore and made us a wooden putteri [low stool] to put in the bath-tub -- for as D'Lo -- said -- the BUCKET BATH -- which I also had in my own way -- crouching in Hazel's bathtub after the sea -- or Juliana's bathtub -- for a quick whore's bath -- pre-symposium -- one morning.]

This is the bridge with its turquoise dot.  These are the hallucinogenic trumpet flowers of friendship.  This is the sea with its complex light and nodes and great white shark fin.  I got out of the sea and felt high, as I said.  And this is the Omni -- where the East Bay anarchist poets -- are and -- constitute -- the culture -- of the place I am from [never from] -- dreaming always -- of a contents page that will do the business -- of the novel [as yet unwritten] [that can never be]:

Bay Bridge
Death and life: Trumpet flowers of Juliana Spahr's Berkeley garden, where I feel so happy and alive -- even when drawn into conversations about videos of English foxes by neighbors from Bonn who suddenly appear in a parking lot as I drink tea and think of kissing a flower, which -- it turns out -- would not have been good.   Instead, I just relaxed and at one point had coffee with Chris Chen, whose way of seeing the world and thinking about it makes me feel normal -- which is saying a lot.  Some people help things along.  
Sea with turquoise Kapil Muni dot carried [balanced] on the fin of a great white shark.  Hazel White, who is a poet's poet, my poet, was standing next to me as I took this photograph.  Then I went in, to swim.  Pre-Omni.
The Omni balcony.  Who needs Paris?