Category Archives: Cosmology

Have Tea With Me On Saturday!

Join us Saturday March 28th from 2 to 4pm for Sawgrass Bar’s Afternoon Tea! As you nosh nibbles provided by Ray’s Vegan Soul, me and my Wordier Than Thou pals shall ear-tain you with diverse readings!

Reader lineup:

C Abraham Bellamy
Shae Krispinsky
Von Simeon
Austin Scott Collins
Anda Peterson
Tiffany Razzano

Located at 2315 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33713 Donate what you can at the door! See you soon.

Read the Creative Loafing article

Remember the Literary Pub Crawl

all photos stolen from the Internet – Google ‘Victorian afternoon tea’ (why lie)…

The Show Must Go…On?

[read time: 5 mins, 35 sec]

A late night steady rain crept across the lake, sending me into a deep slumber, and when I woke in the bright morning, I was fine.

It’s over.

If one is adherant to Western horoscope, he would blame my ordeal on Taurean stubbornness. An adherant to scientific methodology would deem it a qualitative and quantitative result of an ongoing hypothesis. The thing is this: I know what I am experiencing, and I know what causes it, but to explain it to the “normals” is as fun as banging one’s head against the wall.

But, for documentation’s sake, and the fact I’ll be meeting with a state “vocational rehabilitation counselor” next Tuesday, I’ll do my best to explain the series of events leading up to incapacitation. (And yes, ‘vocational rehabilitation counselor’ sounds just as convincing as an ultra-conservative Christian anti-gay group’s ‘relationship counselor’. Like how their contingency swears there’s a way to un-gay you, seems the state has a plan to un-disable me. Hmm. Enough digressing.)

Let’s use a simple metaphor: I am a sponge. The moment I exit the Treehouse, I start to absorb my environment; children yelling as they play, chatter between neighbors, what qualifies as music from a passing car. Slightly sogged, I enter my truck and head to whatever venue or errand, and, once there, I absorb more. By the time I get back to the Treehouse, I’m so saturated I have to do things like meditate, turn off all electronics, sit in silent darkness, just to wring out. Sometimes an hour helps, sometimes, I need days. I don’t know what specifically in the environment or of society saturates me, I just know, this is a constant.

On occasion, I’ll cooperate in a local event to get my art out there, put face to written word, pal around with fellow artists. I have to be careful, because the saturation can enter hyper mode: too much face time, too much surrounding dialogue, too many new energies, then I start to feel boggy. Knowing the trend I compensate, one event a month should be enough. Of the calendar month, I need only spend four hours in extreme environmental disarray, a small torture for a fine opportunity.

But, thinking I could handle it, I booked back to back events, causing the inevitable no-one’s-fault-but-my-own consequences. By SunLit Festival’s Lucha Libro, it started: disorientation, inflammation, clammy skin, symptoms very similar to the flu. By the time my poet friend and I met at Galerie 909 the next day, I was feeling hot, dizzy, my joints, burning. That was the last day I was on my feet and lucid.

It got scary there for a bit, so I called my general practitioner, which I knew was a crap shoot. When you don’t have health insurance, doctors don’t necessary come running to assist. I waited two days for his callback, only to hear him say, “Not my area of expertise,” then advised me to call another center. There was a queue for appointments, so I followed the automated instructions, leaving the proper information in voice message form. As of this composition, no one has called to confirm.

“Von, you’re an idiot,” you’re thinking. “Take some pain medication, you’ll be right as rain!” Here’s the problem with that: You know all those side effect warnings they list during an AstraZeneca commercial? I’m the person who experiences each one, in full, vibrant, discombobulating color. Prescription pain medications cannot be an option. Alcohol has to be avoided. Anti-depressants, as I’ve chronicled in earlier posts, interfere with my well-being. 

The answer is simply, balance. Do-Be-Do-Be, as Professor Amit Goswami says. The moment I get going I start doing that, “I gotta…I gotta…I gotta…” mantra which slides me way too far from serenity. Only in a serene state can I poet, can I compose, can I enjoy music. I gotta Be just as much as I gotta Do, and, as my crone advises me constantly, “You ain’t gotta Do a damn thing.”

But the normals, they don’t comprehend that. If you’re not out there, if you’re not center stage, if you’re not on the mic, if you’re not coordinating projects, then you’re not working. You’re not contributing. You’re more burden than boon.

What I’ve been trying to advocate with this website and through wordcraft is that the disabled aren’t a burden. We can produce in the capitalistic sense if we are given leeway to create constructively, and that is, in the manner we know is positive for us, as long as what we engage in does not harm others or ourselves.

Despite knowing my limitations, I pushed myself too far, resulting in a very excruciating physical ordeal. A concerned friend sent a text, “Is it depression?” to which I responded, “Depression can’t find a seat at the table right now.” So if anything, let’s post that as a win! I didn’t let my incapacitation drive me into melancholy. I fought, silently, by resting. When my eyes worked, I read. When I could move, I sat in the sunlight. The irony of this beastly affliction: occurring during the first full sunny warm week of Spring in Florida.

I missed listening to the talented David Warner reading, “A Tale of Two Brians” at SunLit Festival’s Fiction Live! I’m so sad about that still, that story, so important and personal to me. But the reactions have been positive, and maybe, crossing fingers, someone liked it so much it’ll be commissioned for further production.

Absurd, isn’t it? I want my art to get out there, but in order for that to happen, I gotta get out there, but my sponginess makes it hard to stay out there, makes it difficult to share my craft.

Let’s see what these rehab folks gotta say about it.

Hooray! 400 WordPress followers..THANK YOU

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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.

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