Wednesday, December 19, 2012

mənipyəlātəd melədēz (an Aurally Inclined Anagram Offshoot)

mənipyəlātəd melədēz is something I started back in March that involved breaking a song lyric down into the phonetic sounds of the words, and then making new, phonetic phrases.  I wrote out the phrases with the phonetic/ grammatical symbols and also recorded myself speaking the phonetic sounds out loud.  I was really into the resulting weird, mechanical vocals, which carry the anagram theme of reducing the phrase down to its most elemental level and re-constructing from that point.

So, I recorded this video, wherein I rearrange scrabble-looking tiles upon which I've written the phonetic symbols used in the lyric "Why is everything a chore?/ I'm too young to be defeated" from Surfer Blood's "Twin Peaks" into new, corresponding phrases, vocalizing the sounds as I go.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kissing the Boundary Between You and Me

This is a very exciting update because this is the first video I've made using my new camera in the attic space!

So, the idea for this video started with an impulse to try to do something with my pseudo-poems.  I found an old window pane and hung it from one of the rafters in the attic, intending to sit behind it and write specific phrases on the glass in red lipstick while the camera recorded the action, and then also record myself speaking the phrases, separately.  I tried that, but it wasn't quite right.

I left the window pane hanging up there, still really wanting to use it, but feeling like maybe writing on it wasn't the way.  The window got me thinking about boundaries--the boundary between me and the camera, myself and the imagined viewer/ audience.  I thought how cool it would be to kiss the transparent surface of the mirror and have the camera record the accumulation of the marks left behind, especially if I was going to continue in the poem-y direction.  I've been reading Eros the Bittersweet by Anne Carson, and it's full of really excellent passages about the evolution of love poems and the dynamics of desire as lack.  Her words are far more deliberate than mine are at the moment, so I selected passages that I felt resonated best with the kissing gesture, and used the sound of my voice speaking Carson's words as a kind of narration. 

Friday, December 7, 2012


So...I've been writing what I'm calling poems? with a question mark and I've got a whole bunch of them and I'm not entirely sure what to do with them.  I'm planning a video thing that will incorporate some of them, but I'm still figuring out the logistics of that, so in the meantime, I feel compelled to post a bunch of them just to get them out of the obscenely long word document I've been keeping.  Here goes! 

I don’t want you
To ever
These poems.
Or maybe I do. 
I heard from Sascha
That you broke your collarbone again.
It made me think of how fragile you are. 
Sometimes I’m surprised
When things happen to you
And I don’t feel them. 
I fall for people easily:
Premature infatuation. 
The ease with which
I could touch you
Terrifies me.
The almost imaginary quality
Of the air
That separates
Our bodies—
So easily collapsed,
So easily broken.
I can look at the stubble on your cheek
And imagine how it would feel against my skin
So vividly
That it shocks me. 
I flirt because I’m ambivalent.
I’m not convinced yet
That I can trust you,
And I’m not sure
I ever will be.

I was flirting with you then
Because I wanted to make you squirm.
I wanted you to feel
As exposed
As I felt. 
After we’d finished talking,
You lingered.
You gave me this look.
And there was nothing left to say,
Because we’d already said goodbye,
But still
You looked at me
In that heavy silence.
Fuck Peter,
That look still haunts me. 
You think you’re a feminist because you make an 
Extra special effort to integrate
Female Artists
Into your lectures,
Because you recognize that the works of
Male Artists
Have historically been prioritized above those of
Female Artists,
Because you studied under…who was it?  Linda Nochlin?
Whatever dude,
You are hardcore perpetuating patriarchal power dynamics with your Gaze
Regardless of your supposed
Enlightened status.

I do get a twisted satisfaction though
From the knowledge that you Gaze at me.
It has a certain appeal.
I guess probably because it feels,
At first,
Like I have some power over you.
It feels fun
For that stretch of time
When it seems like that could be how it is.
But then something changes
And I remember that it’s not. 
Why can’t I stop wondering about you
And the nature of your sleaziness?  
You don’t fool me.
I see right through you. 
I’m over it.
I’m a terrible liar
Unless I’m lying
To myself
I’m not very good at
Being vulnerable
I convince myself that it’s
Maybe I’m exaggerating
My own potential
It feels arrogant to call myself an artist,
But what the fuck else could I be? 
I am just a person
Who has to externalize
The complicated mess
Inside me. 
I read somewhere
That when we cry,
Our body
Releases toxins
Through our tears,
Resulting in a feeling of relief and calm.
I suppose
These words
That pour out of me
Serve a similar purpose. 
Maybe these words have
Maybe these words have
Maybe, because they come from me,
I have power, and
I have meaning. 
Maybe these are just thoughts
But thoughts
Don’t seem like
They all seem so weak.
I seem so weak.
The things I create are weak
Because I am weak. 
Or maybe
The things I create
Are strong,
Stronger than me
Because they are my weaknesses 
Into something that might endure. 
Maybe you’re weak too,
Only you lack
The transformative impulse 
That could redeem you 
I take
The fact that
Your scanned PDFs
Include the black space around each page
As indicative of
Your inconsiderate
And careless
You lack a sense of
Aesthetic care
And practical decency.
You are a colossal disappointment. 
This is about more than you.
It’s about my agency,
My power
To transform 
You keep telling me
It’s not all about me,
But this has nothing to do with you.
Maybe you’re the selfish one
Because you wish it did. 
You say I’m “so intense,”
And you say it like intensity
Is a bad thing,
Like I should be striving
To be dull
Like you 
A friend once told me,
“I can never tell if you’re having a good time.
You always look like you wish you were somewhere else,”
And I felt bad
Because I knew it was true.
Someone else once wrote about me,
“Her enthusiasm is matched only by her skepticism,”
And I felt good
Because I knew it was true. 
I’m so sick of waiting
For you to understand me,
For you to realize
That I’m worth
Being proud of.
Why should I need you
Of all people
To tell me that I’m worthy? 
Maybe I’m nothing. 
But being nothing
Gives me the freedom
To do anything.

Maybe I don’t need you 
To understand me.
Or maybe I do. 

Maybe this is too
“Self-indulgent” to have 
“Universal” appeal.

Maybe I don’t give a shit.

But I do give a shit.
I’d like not to,
Because not giving a shit
Would also give me 

In an ideal world,
I would be nothing
And I wouldn’t give a shit,
And I would be absolutely

But I do care
And I don't want to be nothing
And I do need you
To understand me. 
If I stop caring what other people think
I’m left with my own thoughts and feelings to guide me
And those don’t seem right either. 
I am
What you made me

I am 
What I make myself

On both counts 
Fuck these thoughts!
Fuck these feelings!
I’m so fucking sick
Of thinking
And feeling! 
Can you hear
Your brain
And off?
Scanning through thoughts,
Like records in a juke box?
‘Here’s one I’ll entertain.
Slowly set into place with a click.
I want everything
And nothing.

It’s hard to distinguish
Between want
And need. 
I don’t know what
Want from

I don’t know what
Want from
I don’t just want you to take care of me.
I don’t want to be handled gingerly
Like a fragile thing.
Maybe I will break,
And maybe it will be your fault.
But I can be strong for you too. 
Maybe you’ll break
And maybe it will be my fault. 
When shards of me litter the floor,
Will you know what to do? 
I’ve forgotten how to find the good in me,
But something in your eyes
And your smile
Makes it seem as though
That’s all you see.
I want so badly to believe in
The me
You think you see.
I want to be who
You think
I am. 
Who was it
Who said that
When two people meet
There are actually six people in the room:
The you you think you are;
The you you actually are;
The you you want me to think you are;
The me I think I am;
The me I actually am;
The me I want you to think I am.
I like how this idea illustrates the complexities involved i
Human interaction.
I’d argue however,
That there are 
Infinitely more divisible incarnations concerned in 
This dynamic.
The me I want you to think I think I am, for instance.
Or what about the you I think you are?
Or the you I want to believe you really are,
Or the you I think you think you are,
Or the me I think you think I am,
Or the me I think you think I think I am…
Endless complexity, I say!  
Liking you
Is complicated business 

Who I am
When I’m
With You
Is not
Who I am
When I’m
Not even I
Will ever know
I wasn’t pretending,
I was trying to inhabit a better truth. 
I want you to notice me.
I want you to find me intriguing.
Maybe I’m trying to
A reallity
In which I am

Stop looking at me!

Look at me!  Look at me!

Stop looking at me!!

Look at me!!  Look at me!!

(In perpetuity) 
There’s a fine line
I oscillate
With ease.
Equal parts
I like how you listen to
When I say things,
And you remember the things
I’ve said or shown you.
It makes me feel like maybe
These things I say and do
Could be important. 
I like how you talk to me
Like I’m not crazy 
I think it's cute 
How you say things
Like you mean them 
I hope you find my weirdness to be
Compatible with yours
I just wanna fall in
Mutual weirdness
With you 
I cannot even fathom
How you must experience the world 
I want to be reincarnated as a lightning bolt.
An instant of electricity,
Lighting up the sky. A
This is important,
But I don’t know what it means. 
I no longer belong
Where I used to,
And I have yet to find
A new place
To belong. 
“Pain is not a lifestyle,”
Says the sign
In the window
Of the chiropractor’s office
In South Philly.
I disagree.

“Not enough value,”
The turnstile tells me.
Seems awfully judgmental
For a machine. 
Are you my future?
Are you my future? 
Some false notions
Are irresistible.
The notion of  “You”
The notion of “Me”
The notion of “Us”
The notion of “We”
The notions of “They”
The notion of “Money”
The notion of “Power”
Why do we do believe in this crap? 
When you’re feeling worthless,
Make something up! 
Fuck everything;
Take a nap 
Nobody cares
Like you do.

You can’t rely
On anyone else.

Is going to
Your problems
For you.

Start believing in