Category Archives: Cosmology

Highlights From Grand Central District Lit Crawl

Now this was a cool event. This unique pub crawl, arranged by Wordier Than Thou, a local literary organization, and hosted by businesses in downtown St Pete’s Grand Central District, featured published writers reading from diverse works as the audience enjoyed drink specials and grub! As the night grew later, our presence on the mics were a bit confusing to the normal barflies. I personally found our district occupation revolutionary!

My contribution was a challenge because the cafe did not have a working sound system, so I stage projected my voice for a full 15 minutes! Going from rarely speaking to performance delivery hurt like a muthafucka, but love is pain, and I love to share from my novel, I Blew Up Juarez. :)

Some photos and videos; more can be found on Facebook and at Wordier Than Thou’s YouTube page.

Do not drink kratom right before a performance:

Keeping St Pete Literary:

 Wanna play the I Blew Up Juarez Drinking Game? The 12 minute interactive video is posted on the Facebook Page. Go Like and enjoy (alcohol not necessary but highly recommended)

Rave of Thrones

Go ahead and pop your Molly, baby. No need for me. I’ve got wings.

Going in like a pro, like a club bunny, like a skater bum, like a B-girl, like a hype man. 

It’s inherent, innate. Insert my ear plugs, shut my eyes, deep breath, and soon, Terpsichore arrives.

Muse of Dance clasps my hands and leads me towards the 808s.

Suzy Solar sends me sailing, speeding over curious lands, spinning, dipping, playing.

My toes tip the highest spire of Angkor Wat. Bāt waves from the courtyard.

I salute the boddhisattva before descending back to the bar for a non-alcoholic drink.

What a lovely trip.


Look up and lo, there’s HODOR!!!

Kristian Nairn, who plays the giant protector of the Stark boys on Game of Thrones, is a super hot DJ and producer on his off time. He graced Florida with a multi-city tour, stopping in nearby Tampa, which meant a grand EDM fix, Hodor-style! After this experience, I can’t watch Game of Thrones without his beats etched in my brain.

Photos from Alliance Events & Nightlife Facebook Page

Happy Year of the Goat! Love Always, Von

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Love Always, Von

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Time To Take Your Ambien(ce) Medicine

Quality speakers or headphones very much recommended! (Crank the bass and flat the treble slightly)

Don’t blink!

Behind The Poetry: ArcAngel

[Starting something new this year; let’s see if you dig it.]

November 2014, I received a Facebook message from the founder of Keep St. Pete Lit, soliciting submissions for their event, Fantastic Ekphrastic! Ekphrastic poetry is my favorite format, so I felt it was a good fit. I immediately thanked Maureen McDole for including me, then selected Mark Aeling’s piece for my reaction. I remember feeling very proud, having solidified what I intended to do three years ago: participate in and contribute to the local literary arts scene.

With a few weeks to play in, I set out to visit the piece in person. I met with Mark at his studio, then we both walked over to Soft Water Studios where his sculpture, Arc Angel, was displayed.

Practiced at information gathering, I asked him open-ended questions and limited my reactions so as to register the artistic frequency Mark was rocking out on. We chatted a bit more, then he dismissed himself while I remained with Arc Angel. I switched from data collection to reflection, and in that reflection, The Muse played with ideas and themes; me, noting them in my Darth Vader notebook. Once done, I took the notes home and let them sit. Marinate, I call it. Let the phenomenon of the interaction-reaction-reflection solidify in itself. Later, when in a creative space, infuse it with emotion, then shape it with technique.


Close to the submission due date, an unexpected event cast doubt on my budding romantic relationship. The situation was unfamiliar, dredging up foreign feelings, and I wasn’t emotionally prepared to manage it. I rapidly slid from overly ecstatic to completely overwhelmed to abject hatred to true despair. I imagine I was difficult to experience, but he remained with me, which I found rather brave of him.

The next morning, as he slept in, I went back to my Darth Vader pseudocodes and began to develop. “Use the pain,” I’ll always remember the creative advice from my childhood, and I did, quite a few versions. My body trembling, feeling rejected and fatalistic, I surrendered to my headphones and the musical selections chosen to exorcise the tempo of the piece.

The next thing I remember, he’s standing over me, looking deeply concerned. I realize I’ve been crying hard in my sleep. We both were startled by my outburst, “I FEEL SO UNLOVED!”

What a retarded thing to say, I remember thinking as he comforted me.

We talked and apologized and the roller coaster we were on came to an abrupt halt. He let me be while I finished my piece. About the thirteenth edit, I felt it was right. Treats of honesty, jubilation, and hope dipped in the vinegar of melancholy.

I submitted the completed piece to Maureen, and she passed it on to The Studio@620 for their performing artists to interpret.

While I got an opportunity to visit with Mark, I did not have an opportunity to visit with Bob Devin Jones or the talent at his studio. Therefore, my experience of the performance was phenomenological. I allowed myself to be thrown into the uncertain place, accepting the studio’s intentionality as my own, letting the wonderful ensemble take me away…


All visual and literary pieces from Fantastic Ekphrastic, including ArcAngel, will be available for viewing at Soft Water Studios, located at 515 22nd St South, during the Warehouse District’s ArtWalk on February 14th.

“Bipolar Is The New Gay”

Today we’ll move the pin down one.

The hammies were complaining during the stationary bike warm-up, and now on the leg curls, they don’t wanna move.

“rrrrr…”

I can do this.

“rrr…rrrrrr…”

Look left. Look right. All alone in the gym.

“RAAAAAAA!!!”

There it goes!

Fluid, don’t smack against the arse. Smooth, smooth, smooth…

Ironically, the song I have set for this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday comes on. Fitting, as we’re moving now to the quads.

I growl through upper body presses, then sigh towards the padded stand.

Lower ab leg curls.

As I stabilize my position to bang out crunches, a heavily obese woman enters the gym. She’s got proper gym clothes on, her water bottle is filled, and she’s motioning towards the cardio machines.

I’m so proud of her, showing the lazy skinny punks how to self-care. Her arrival encourages me to push through side crunches, to the point of making my injured right hip sing.

We did it.

I take my time giving Bobby his weekly bath, and suddenly I remember, I HAVE THERAPY TODAY.

I rush him so I can shower. He’s visibly relieved.

As I happen to swipe my smartphone screen, I notice the misread: two thirty not twelve thirty.

Oh.

Ah!

We’ve got time for pancakes!

2:36PM I arrive at the therapist’s office.

“I left the house an hour ago, I swear! Time always works against me…”

We shuffle into the room.

I remove a copy of Night Walkers from my purse. “You might recognize someone in there.”

She chuckles, then proceeds to read my short story, Tokyo Rose.

She looks up. “Metaphorically, what am I examining with this first page?”

“Consider it…the event horizon of a suicide.”

She laughs at the right parts, marvels at the word play, notes my editorializing. I’m pleased that she gets it.

After she’s done, I review with the therapist how this work stems from the memory of my last suicide attempt, now four years ago.

“What does this mean for you now?” Alluding to fame, fortune, popularity.

“It’s me confessing my truths. I put the work out there, because, mainly, I’m not long for this world.”

She mentions Stevie Smith and Nick Drake. I mention Michael Angelakos.

“So it seems that…knowing you’re not long for this world, helps you be part of it?”

“Right.”

I tell the therapist I’m visiting with a spiritualist to understand further the metaphysical dynamic of my existence. As we speak, I’m thumbing through a copy of the DSM-V. She encourages my interest in the science behind psychosis, but reminds me, the DSM is a tome put together by psychiatrists under the influence of pharmaceutical companies.

I mention the show happening tomorrow. She’s visibly proud, but sees I’m not.

I then recall the last time I had a grand event occur involving my art, I ended up in the HPU.

Knowing this, we design a skeletal plan of approach: “How are you going to keep safe?” I offer my initial strategy. The therapist approves of my suggestions. “Give yourself permission to refuse anything that you know will upset you. Allow yourself to be emotional, if you have a reaction.”

“Just remember…you can express yourself, just don’t touch anybody.”

“Right.”

I flip to Bipolar Disorder. “I wish We weren’t the new bogeymen.”

“Boo Radley.”

“Yeah.”

I smirk. “Bipolar is the new gay.”

“We should start making T-shirts. ‘Bipolar Is The New Gay’!”

“Yes.” I clasp my hands, “We just want to belong.”

She laughs. “You’re going to be alright.”

Sigh. “I know.”

Time’s up.

I can do this.

Closed For Decompression

go-fuckoff-namaste

Borrowed with love from WordPress blogger ordinary life of an ordinary wife :) Follow her!

All Sold Out! See You At The Show #iloveyou

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I Got Daddy Issues

It's Hard

Original Poem, Property of VS Enterprises. Be polite and cite!

Continuing this week’s exploration of the artistic struggle, I thought it’d be fun to dig through the crates, find a composition about “struggling,” and explore the emotions and events which evoked the piece. I shall take the phenomenological approach and react first, then reflect.

How old was I when I composed this? 2006…it’s 2015 now…that puts me at 29 years of age. Ooh! What a particularly conflicting year. End of February-beginning of March-ish, I had received an acceptance letter from The Graduate School at Penn State University. I was absolutely stoked, so stoked that I jumped onto my motorcycle, burned it to the job site, found my co-worker/secret lover, pulled him aside, and whispered, “I’ve got some big news!” expecting him to be proud of what I was about to relay.

Oh gosh, I remember being filled with excitement, wide eyed and eager to announce this achievement. Emotionally, I was still in that phase of thinking guys I’m fucking care about me as a person, so of course, when he interpreted my excitement as something regarding him and his mediocre achievements in the workplace, I was stunned! Clearly it had to do with me, how is he making it about him??

Dumb silly cunt I was.

The acceptance letter meant two things: one, despite being away from academia for seven years, my past academic achievements coupled with my professional achievements validated a Masters candidacy at one of the top three research facilities in the country, possible PhD if I was so emboldened. Second, my professional achievements since high school had risen me to executive leadership qualification, and all I needed was a Master in something to FINALLY break through The Glass Ceiling.

But again… dumb silly cunt I was.

Instead of taking his lack of care as a cue to tell him to fuck off, I collapsed into a depression. I recall taking a day off to make a three day weekend (I would fake physical illnesses because I was too embarrassed to admit my mental disorder then) and I sat there, a pajama pity party in full swing, writing sad, woe-is-me, nobody-loves-me poetry.

Thank the Universe for Penn State! And thanks to Spirit for trumping Ego, because I’m certain if Ego wrote back to Penn State, Ego would’ve said, “Thanks but I need to work on my career/desperate need for male affection right now.”

Spirit wrote an enthusiastic confirmation letter back, and in August 2006, I moved to State College, PA and became a Nittany Lion.


Reflecting on this poem now, I’m glad I kept it. It demonstrates the inner turmoil of the futility of trying to please Society. I did everything right, I followed all the rules, I followed all definitions of “success,” and despite all my sacrifices, I was not worthy of unconditional love.

It’s what comics fondly call “IGDI Girl.” I had Daddy Issues, but not with my father; it was the macro issue of having excelled in traditionally masculine roles as a woman. At the time, I was the only female salaried employee in the entire division. I ran a crew of twelve, all men. They took orders from me, orders I relayed straight from the executive director, whose weekly meetings I attended and contributed to. The acceptance letter was another stroke on the masculine tally board: I was going for a Master of Science in an economics concentration, not the stuff for girls.

I was 29, single, well-paid, no babies, I owned a sedan and a motorcycle, and I lived in an exclusive condominium. I was living the life!

A man’s life.

Critiquing this poem, I realize in bright technicolor the why of the matter…what man would want a woman who’s better at being a man than he is?

No wonder I was lonely…

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