21 December 2009

Natural Health.

This is what I do all day when I'm free at my new job. It's pretty nice:

To be in a place of belonging
with stories in head of
alternate universes and
scattered stars and
snowdrift valleys and
cocoa fields of eccentricity

To feel stuck in a rut
when the stories around are
lifegiving forces and
shattered dreams and
starry eyes and
taxi cab crashes of memory

To feel lost in an open air void
out of the stories heard of
breathless adventures and
primal screams and
velveteen scars and
overworked schedules of fantasy

To feel trapped in a realm of liberty
with nothing but stories to write of
swashbuckling lives and
distancing wormholes and
lamenting planets and
omnipotent goddesses of yesteryear

Is like running in place with a dog at your heels
calling for help when there's no dial tone
praying for sun in a windowless room
telling a secret to a deaf and dumb priest
buying a gun to protect against fear
loving a man who loves only himself
no escaping acceptance today.

The wordsmith carves languages
from faraway forges
delving into categories of -ations and -isms
so long forgotten had all others let them

of course there's no meaning
in letters we're stringing
acrimonious poses of grand eloquations
magnanimous spoutings for mind segregation

the way of the future
is telepathy dreaming
pass away to a -verse with no communication

bending waves in personal space
the lone intervention
no "man", no "woman",
only feeling; emotion

can't hide if it's quiet
or in the death knell of the streets
can't keep hidden if there's nothing
no separation of mind
between waking, dreaming, and speech

Identity seeking
when there's no such thing
in a world keeps on turning without you
out of touch
out of class
out of sight
out of mind
out of style
for a while?

Stop, look, and listen
to what has been missing
from the world that was built up around you
running free
running blind
running scared
running circles
running home
but home's alone
don't you see?

14 December 2009

Finding your Center Street:

This is the space where magic happens
people supporting our spouting on napkins
the have-nothings & want-lesses
the pouring hearts & spit up messes.

We're all built to make, create, & change
to go through it all & rearrange
There are lessons in every web we weave
all the forget-me-nots & tricks up sleeves.

The holes in our cores don't mend themselves
when we write our thoughts & keep them on shelves
of nights when sleeping men won't die
& families won't steal every tear in our eyes.

No horseshoe or rabbit foot will beat out time
you'll find your own rhythm, I'll make my own rhyme
we'll fill up the holes with moonlight & quicksand
remembering always: our life, our hands.

And someday, somebody will come this way
look at these scars & this smile & say,
"I've been running & running to find this place,
the curves of your body, & the look on your face."


To dragging down
pacing aside
the sake of love
the cards we hide

Here's keeping on
it's time to learn
when mind's made up
moon's tides have turned

Will find the place
work out this smile
turn off one heart
mend this awhile

Tears stain & blood spoils
life drains & minds recoil
backs bend & ashes blind
love ends & time unwinds

Hope freedom is a test
that keeps you warm at night.
Dear, wishing all the best
in doing what feels right.

15 November 2009

The name game.

I've been periodically wracking my brain to think up the right name for this kitten since I brought her home last Sunday. The woman who gave her to me called her Pepper--the opposite of creative. I called her Bean when we were in Rittenhouse Square. I thought I'd call her Spectra because she's white and black--the opposite ends of all visible color and none. Then I considered Yin, and Yang, and Yin-Yang. I moved on to Pinto because she's painted like a pinto bean or horse, and she flies around like a Mexican jumping bean (when she's awake). Someone else told me she looks like a Sprout, which was my favorite yet. Then I started spouting things in word vomit to see if anything fit: Daffodil, Maisy, Cupcake, Jaundice, Slapstick. Hopeless. I think so much that I can't even settle on a name for a cat.

Tonight, as I was writing and absorbing more of the Internet, she wouldn't leave my space. She climbed on the keyboard while I typed, attacked my camera when I turned it on, licked at my water bottle when I tried to drink, and then promptly fell asleep on my journal when she noticed I was writing in it. I looked in her eyes, and the name Isis popped into my head. I didn't even really know who Isis is, so I looked it up. Isis is the Egyptian goddess of earth, motherhood, and magic. Perfect fit for me, right? Turns out, Catwoman's cat was Isis, too. And Google showed me pictures proving that tons of other people have already named their cats Isis.

Once again, I'm left realizing that nothing I think is ever original. So I thought some more, and I've finally reached a conclusion:

What is a name, anyway? This cat is entirely awesome. I was worried at first that I made the wrong decision, what with her jumping all over the place and waking me up at 6am and being a cause now for me to have to come home every day to check on her wellbeing, but it seems to me that she has a pretty incredible little kitty personality. She loves my attention and everyone else's. She'd much rather sleep directly on or near me than anywhere else in the apartment. She's self-disciplining. When I pour a ton of food in her bowl, it lasts up to 2 or 3 days, and I don't have to worry about malnourishing her for proper growth. She purrs like a jet engine, licks my nose, and presses her paws to my cheeks to get my attention.

Regardless of whether she lives in my apartment and I feed her, she's still an independent creature. I don't want her to be just another domesticated pet. Why nott have a non-traditional cat for a non-traditional life. Who am I to name her, to pin her down to a label and steal away her ambiguity? This cat will not have a name, and she could be addressed by any name that fits her on any particular day. Mostly, I don't think I'll call her anything. If you come over and a name strikes you, I say go for it.

Did you ever notice that the people you care about most are the people you address by name the least? You may call them nicknames, or pet names, but rarely their given name. When you meet a new person and they have the same name as another person you know, memories, emotions, and judgments often flow forth assuming the two must share the same qualities.

A lot of people don't like their names, and a lot of people legally change them. To many, a name is everything. To others, it's nothing--just another way for humans to capture something they sense and provide it a meaning that everyone else is supposed to understand. No one human's understanding of another's meaning is ever the same, so why bring animals into it, too?

That leads me to another thought: How can anyone think it's a good idea to name a baby before giving birth to it? Doesn't that seem a bit overzealous? Presumptive? Ominous? Let the baby breathe and exist by itself before bestowing such linguistic weight upon it.

Another reason to have a midwife: I'll name and "certify" my baby when I damn well feel like it. And I won't name animals that live in my home.

11 November 2009

Another thought-provoking poem by me.

I quit my job
and got a free kitty.
Life's not bad
when you keep it unshitty.

05 November 2009

Anarchism: Self, I toldja so.

A book talk with the editors at Wooden Shoe Books tonight left me both unsurprised and infuriated. If you aren't feeling the same by the end of this, you're not thinking hard enough.

The book: Contemporary Anarchist Studies: An Introductory Anthology of Anarchy in The Academy.
The price: $44.95
The talk, in a nutshell:
- We're anarchists, but we really like the comfort provided by The Ivory Tower. Working at McDonald's is really, really horrible, you know?

- We don't want to change the educational system from within. It's a job. We have no illusions. We might change some kids, but people we work with are all Narcissistic and don't want to be part of a community. They just don't hear us, you know?

- The big academic publishers are corporate and we're anti-corporate, but we published with Routledge because they're a big academic publisher and if we published with AK or PM Press we might not get tenure. We've got to work together, but we have to make names for ourselves, you know?

- When I was 18, I was naive. I protested and camped out in front of ministries for what I believed in. Now I would never participate in a "Rights" movement. What are rights, you know?

- We're really more critical of ourselves than any of our reviewers. I mean, the book was edited by five people, all of them men. No one in their right mind would do that in sociology these days, you know?

- You don't want to go to grad school because clearly you're a daddy's girl who was born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Dropping out is so upper-middle class. I'm a working class immigrant who worked at McDonald's. I know how bad it is out there, you know?
    No. I don't know. And you don't get it. So I will ask you the only questions of the night that make everyone feel uncomfortable:

    - Why does education have to be in established universities? If you're thinkers and teachers, why not create your own schools? Last time I checked, thinking outside the box is, like, what anarchism's all about.

    - How can you possibly call yourselves anarchist activists if you spend your days exchanging intellectual handjobs to the very people and institution indoctrinating youth to be a part of the machine we're all caught in?
      HYP-O-CRITES. Hypocrites!

      In case you're confused by what "Anarchism" and "Anarchy" are (because I was when I walked out), Wikipedia has a slew of information, as always. You'll probably still be confused when you finish reading the articles because anarchists can't seem to agree on who they are, either. And they love labels and making up ridiculous jargon, just like all sociopoliticalites. See? I made one up, too, just for good measure.

      Wake up, guys. You're not doing anyone any good where you are except yourselves. You want a revolution, talk to my boys, Ivan or Friedrich, or my girl, Alexandra. Or talk to me.

      We don't need any more "critical" professors--revolutionary cowards that can't cut it. We don't need them to document it, package it, push it, and wave it around until someone on fire picks it up and runs with it. We need more runners on fire instead.

      And we need more NESTS:

      03 November 2009

      So that's what that is.

      Conversation with the moon tonight,
      thinking unclouded, visions were bright.
      She said, "It's quite nice to be a child--
      just keep looking up once in a while."

      Then petals white by the thousands heaved
      to show me all whose colors I breathe,
      and thousands of ears turned toward my voice
      as my eyes asked questions without choice.

      These mothers passed to me a strange lot:
      though they remain silent, I am taught.

      28 October 2009

      Eat your heart out.

      Listen to Her fruits:

      so delicious
      holistically nutritious
      deliver me from evil
      boxed cancer waves
      icicles vicious

      read the colors
      flexible dexterous
      lie if you want to hide
      spicy if the work is hard
      sweet if for breakfast

      ripped from the ground
      protective sheeting
      under cover only fleeting
      soft womb for your mouth

      Red cautious reaction
      poison weaving vine
      worship the winding
      devour inside out

      Orange sweet preparation
      ooey gooey decadent
      keys open transcendent
      unlock Pandora's Box

      Yellow open pollination
      sunshine reflex radiant
      blinding pastel gradient
      petals stiffly soft

      Green fearless syndication
      narrow sneaks shifty snakes
      riding straight and strait
      sliding steady - snap!

      Blue mystery vacation
      slippery chilled cottage stone
      home away from home
      drive on down the road

      Purple temporal divination
      bejeweled unspoken volume
      other fruits noms de plume
      devices unexplained

      Be blessed burning
      tongue, lips, nerves alight
      revealing secrets
      life's love garden
      receive gift of second sight

      Open up...

      26 October 2009

      An Open Letter.

      Dear Selfless Masses,

      You are growing in number,
      from a cataract
      of good intent,
      an addiction
      to Veiled Schadenfreude,
      an affliction
      called Indiscrimination.

      Symptoms include
      becoming "Yes-men"
      with a constant need
      to help Others.

      Withdrawal includes
      recognition of
      the screaming need
      to focus on yourself.

      a harrowing surreality,
      we know.

      Don't fear.
      We're here.
      After assessing,
      detecting your worth,
      we may choose
      to assist you.

      Should you come up short,
      there's nothing we can do
      for you.

      If you've learned a thing
      from this note,
      you should not take offense
      to such addressed honesty.

       1. know you don't need us,
       2. address what's at stake,
       3. put the TV on the sidewalk,
       4. with the news, build a hat,
       5. bar the door;
       6. unplug,
       7. turn off,
       8. take time,
       9. read this,
      10. and don't-forget-to-breathe.

      Thoughts will come
      if you let them.

      If thinking for Self
      is too much
      coming from us,
      remember the words
      of your foremartyr:

      nothing will change in this world
      if you can't first change it
      in you.

      Hope we see you
      on the other side.

      With Love,
      The Recovery Team

      23 October 2009

      On finding your coffeeshop.

      Life is beautiful,
                regardless of the hell we swim in
                & the love we choke on.
      A day, sunny & blue
                to explore my South Street--
                not as tourist, but at home.
      So many places, just tryna' make it
                Aladeen out of business?
                Failed Disney's magic carpet.
      Keep on, Big Green Earth Store--
                I want this: free--
                take all 3. Sold!
      No more cancer in my space.
                No more Dollar Store scares.
                Still an hour? I need dinner.

      Time to try The Bean.
                Almost empty--like I want it.
                Soft music, soft typing,
                     chairs which don't corrupt.
      Gimme the standard-wich,
                with bagel, egg, & cheese.
                     Hot coffee--gimme plenty
                     & Tabasco, don't get lazy.
      Window seat, best light,
                best spot to escape,
                see faces & street.

      There's that old man I passed
                stopped right outside--opposite:
                grey beard, red pants, Cosby sweater, rusty bike,
                lingering stare: Just.For.Me.
      He's Beat. He knows.
                Had to find me again
                     to gift me with that wink & grin.
                    Thanks, man.

      Must learn of she whom he becries,
                with the benzedrine & the suicide eyes.
                Don't hear the freedwomen--only guys:
                     what if where & who I'm with
                     are my place & guides?

      The chick with the words, me--
                amidst the tongue-tied, stuck inside.
                     checks & balances,
                     callbacks, freakouts.
      Come here for a minute...
                No! Take me with you.
                     Calm down, listen,
                     & provide me protection.
      We can do this alone, or try,
                but why?
                     We won't make it out alive:
                     Alive the way we need to die
                          to step out on the right side.

      A space is only as clean as its bathroom.
      Fuck yes.

      22 October 2009

      Where Penn Landed.

      This scene would be great
      if there was no steel, cement, or ships;
      this scene would be great
      if it didn't smell like oils, shit, or piss;
      this scene would be great
      if he didn't look at me, take that sip, or lick his lips;
      this scene would be great
      if I arrived on this shore before 1776.


      Hotels labeled luxury
      are the worst facade:

      Explain $400 to sit here
      Justify $40,000 deficit
      Manifest your words to gold. 
      Everything here's from Seattle.

      You gonna eat those apples?
      Didn't think so.
      I'll take those.
      Do you need another servant--
      I mean, serving?
      All your ice is gone?
      I'm sure your breath will freeze it.
      You hope I have a good life?
      You won't remember me--

      Except as "Out-of-Placer"
      reading Ginsberg
      who briefly made you crave
      your youth
      your hair
      good sex
      City Lights

      Hospitality--like hospital, not housepitality...
      Nostalgia--the nose knows this ain't no home...
      Auntie Em--there's no place like the Hyatt.
      Get me out of here.

      21 October 2009

      20th Street Screams.

      The only green
           on the 17
                is weed
                and weeds
                and eyes.
      Pick out them seeds
           let's plant some grass
                we make that money
                and build us
                a castle
      Got hardwood floors up in that bitch--
                locked him up for life,
                but I be hood rich.
      Call me.

      Gotta make that paper...
      gotta chase that man.
      Never gonna catch him.
      Damned if I don't--
      damned if I can.

      What you hold in your hand
      in any other world
      would carry your notes
      envelop your snot
      and wipe your ass;

      it's bathed in shit
      rolled in coke
      stuffed in tits
      and you lick your lips
      at the thought of it.

      There's no room for belief
      in a universe
      where greed is pure
      and cash is king
      only room for more

      Mores, we made them
      morals, we lost them
      money, we eat it
      No wonder we're all sick.

      The man on the sidewalk
      with the broken body
      has a spaceship.

      He looks like he knew
      and was punished for it.

      Looks at me like he knows
      I would do anything
      to fly away.

      Forgot his exterior long ago
      to focus energy
      on The Next Days.

      Too bad the spaceship's grounded.

      As a human, I know nothing;
         as a woman, I'm ignored;
            as a pusher, I will die young;
               as the rest of you, I'm bored;
                  as an animal, I am.

      Let me Be.

      19 October 2009

      Find Your Real 'Do With Homemade Shampoo!

      Since June 5, I have been making homemade shampoo from olive oil soap, water, and herbs.

      My hair took to its natural state with great success after only about a week of experimentation with my foolproof potion. Now I'm convinced that the world as we know it would explode if all women started making their own shampoo. Think about it:
      • Making shampoo means not buying shampoo. Shampoo corporations go out of business and huge conglomerates end up foundering.
      • Realizing how beautiful and healthy hair is in its natural state without any synthetic additives means buying fewer, or no, other hair products. More foundering.
      • Healthy, natural, beautiful hair makes made-up faces look silly and using other synthetic beauty products feel silly. Commence the trashing of all synthetic beauty products in your living space and refusal to endorse such products again. Founder, founder, founder.
      • Discovering what hair, faces, skin, and lips look like, naturally, will be a shock. A good one. Leading to natural women everywhere getting really pissed that these foundering corporations have been controlling our appearances and emotions since puberty. Damnit!
      • Natural women will tell all their friends, and the ripple effect will make waves of change throughout the product-obsessed world. I started making my own because two of my best friends dropped some "Natty Knowledge" on me and took the anti-beauty routine plunge first. I watched their natty endeavors and decided I believed in them, too.
      So here I am, to start a revolution... Read on!

      1.Think about your hair and its personality. Ask if it's curly or straight, dry or oily, long or short, brittle or strong, frizzy or smooth? Just like synthetic, store-bought shampoos, your homemade brew can be crafted to suit the needs of your hair. Below is a list of herbs that will maintain the beauty of your hair. Don't be shy. You can mix and match. My hair is long, fine, wavy, and a bit on the oily side. Since my first batch, I've been sailing along with chamomile, nettle, sage, and rosemary.
      • Normal Hair: red clover, chamomile, horsetail, marigold, rosemary, and crushed lavender flowers.
      • Oily Hair: dried leaves of peppermint, rosemary, burdock, nettle, tea tree, orris roots, and lemongrass.
      • Dry Hair: red clover, elder flower, comfrey leaf or root, crushed lavender flower, crushed orange flower, chamomile flower, jojoba oil, and marigold.
      • Black Curly Hair: ,sage, nettle leaves, crushed lavender flowers, comfrey leaves, jojoba oil, indigo root and rosemary leaves.
      2. Check your house for the items below, or go to your local health store (Essene Market on 4th and Monroe is closest to my new place, but Newark Natural Foods started it all). If you don't have one of these close by, Whole Foods Market, or in some cases, Target, will have the ingredients you need. You can probably also buy most of these things online. Thank you, Internet:
      • 1 bottle Dr Bronner's castile soap, available in Peppermint, Lavender, Almond (my choice so far), Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Unscented Baby-Mild, Rose and Citrus Orange. It's Fair Trade, certified organic, 100% biodegradable, and comes in 100% post-consumer recycled bottles with ridiculous writing scrawled all over them. In addition, you'll find that you can use this soap for myriad things--hair, body, dishes, mopping, house cleaning, cars, etc. And, since it's meant to be heavily diluted, it ends up being super cheap in the long-run. Basically, it's the shit. 
      • Herbs that you're going to test out. If you can get these loose, it will probably be much cheaper, and you decide how much you need.
      • White vinegar or inexpensive coffee, ground.
      • Tea kettle or small saucepan with lid.
      • Tea strainer or colander.
      • 2 storage bottles, preferably with squeezy-tops. Suggestions: old, washed out shampoo/conditioner bottles; small, empty liquor bottles, or picnic-style ketchup and mustard containers from the dollar store or party section of many stores.
      3.  Once at home, this recipe is easy. You're going to tweak it to your liking the more you make, but I've found that my routine of making 8oz at a time is great, so I'll use it as an example:
      • Measure out 1tbs each of chamomile, rosemary, nettle, and sage.
      • Boil 6oz. water. Turn off heat, add herbs (in strainer, if you choose... I just throw them in), cover, and let steep/cool for 20-25 minutes.
      • Strain the herbal mixture using a colander if you didn't use a tea strainer. Squeeze out the liquid from the herbs the best you can, and--if necessary--strain 2 or 3 times to get the major floaters out. You'll notice that your 6oz. of water is now more like 5oz. This is good.
      • Pour the herbal mixture in your squeeze bottle, and fill the bottle the rest of the way with Dr Bronner's soap. I started out using a 4-to-1 liquid to soap ratio, but I've found that I really like having a lather, so it's now become a 5-to-3 ratio. If you dilute too much, you won't get a lather, and my hair didn't seem to be clean. You'll find your ratio--and determine how frugal you are with your soap--as you go.
      4. Make your rinse. The mild, natural ingredients in your concoction won't completely cut all the oils in your dirty 'do, so you'll need something acidic to cut through. Prior to rinsing, your hair may feel a bit matted. When you use an adequate amount of rinse, you should be able to run your fingers through your hair pretty easily under the water.
      • Combine water and white vinegar in a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 ratio.
      • If you have dark hair or want it darker, it's possible to rinse with double- or triple-brewed coffee. I tried this, and, although I liked the slight color change, I don't think it's acidic enough to actually have the cleaning effect.
      5. If you don't like the smell of your hair after the vinegar rinse, try adding a drop or two of good-smelling essential oil (mint, lavendar, tea tree, etc.) to your shampoo, rinse, or directly to your hair post-shower. I've never felt the need to do this, but I don't find that my hair smells much at all, and I've learned to like my natural odors. Hopefully you will, too, but there's nothing wrong with liking a little added scent!

      6. Shower to your heart's content! Lather up, rinse, and get squeaky clean. But remember, don't use too much water.

      Things to keep in mind:

      1. A little goes a long way. This routine is meant to be environmentally friendly, physically healthy, and absolutely economically savvy. After about 5 months, I still have about 2/3 of my first bottle of Dr Bronner's ($12.99), and my first 3 months' herbs only cost $0.87! Similarly, a large bottle of white vinegar will run you between $1 and $2, and I find they last about 2 months each.

      2. You may not need to use the rinse every time you shower. Similarly, you may find that you need the rinse but not the shampoo. Or, like me, you may just realize that your hair looks pretty great for a while and showers every day (or even every other day) aren't as necessary as Americans make them out to be.

      3. Don't be surprised if success in the shampoo/rinse realm causes a ton of other changes in your behavior. Since my entrance into the natural beauty arena, I:
      4. Obviously, I really believe in this lifestyle, and so do tons of other people in Philly and throughout the blogosphere (see, for example, The Green Beauty Guide). I'm trying not to be overly idealistic, as I do realize this isn't for everyone (right now...), but imagine what a green beauty revolution would look like! If you're timid, test these things out when you have vacation time so you can ease into your comfort zone, or challenge yourself with a friend or family member. I promise you won't be disappointed.
        And most importantly:

        Learn to love who you Are. This isn't just about saving money or being nice to the earth, and it's definitely not just about shampoo--this is about YOU, and taking back who you are. You are not a cosmetic company's mannequin. You are not a slave to corporations. You are a beautiful, natural, human being. Take your transformation to confidence one step at a time, no matter what it is. Keep it natural, keep it about you, and the rest will fall into place. It's working for me!

        17 October 2009

        Fuel The Imagination.

        I love you, Dear,
        but I'm my own best friend.

        This space plus Me,
        We'll beat the world outside.

        Mouse? No. Dragon.
        Cockroaches? No. Witches.

        Bike? No. Lightning.
        Keyboard? No. Baby grand.

        Perfect? Fuck no.
        But damnit, 'least I try.

        View not so sweet?
        Paint over the window.

        Trash on the street?
        Build sculptures on the curb.

        Crackhead vampire?
        Cast a spell of garlic.

        Filthy neighbors?
        Cloak airways with freshness.

        The heat won't work?
        Set all the rooms on fire.

        I've got the sparks
        Red flares straight from the sun.

        Don't waste your breath,
        You can't extinguish me.

        15 October 2009

        A Billie Holiday.

        Woke up late
        wrong side of bed
        been here before
        unfinished dreams scream in my head;

        Grey in the sky
        blues in my mind
        can't stop this flood
        falling harder than rains outside;

        Know what this is
        I'm skipping class
        the best excuse
        shooting head pain like shards of glass;

        Someone broke in
        he stole my heart
        can't go there now
        too much to change, time to restart;

        As seasons chill
        processes slow
        cold presses in
        comfort slips in blankets of snow;

        I'll nap right now
        no, tomorrow
        can't ever sleep
        don't you get it? This time's borrowed--

        Just like our thoughts
        just like our bones
        just like our breath
        we rent this space, it's not to own.

        To make the most
        of what is Real
        explore all things
        don't be afraid to fail and feel.

        Dr. Seuss Space
        Billie's Blues Show
        Multitask Class
        With some guidance--where'd the pain go?

        Chinatown Bus Philosophy Class.

        This is a belated post written on my way to DC on 3 October 2009. I just remembered it:

        Five o'clock, we can't be late
        Move this bus, need this escape
        to the capitol for 14 bucks
        pissed, foreign, lookin' for luck
        shelter from 3 hours' sun
        recycled air stifles all: one
        six-foot five and red black man
        thinks comfort should trump profit. Damn!

        What if the yellow sun'd-Asian
        listened to this California raisin
        if he unwrinkled his nose
        kept eyes less off me, more on his toes

        What if we talked to our Selves
        developed muscles for mind elves
        if cell phones were cigarettes
        save souls from second-hand smoke Tourette's

        So long to think, so much to sow
        can't move too much, can't throw my 'bows

        ideas are flowing, sprung a leak
        wish telepathy could spark the weak

        clouds catch the sun, great mystery
        ethereal, metaphysical, reality

        what's real? what's right? what's fate? What's sleep?
        Sought ultimate truths are molten, deep.

        Public transport philosophy,
        Eastern neighbor serendipity.

        From Whence It Came or To Whence It Goes?

        Originality, a Western distortion:
        My thoughts are all History.
        I'm not at all Special,
        but it's a nice comradery
        to know I'm not alone--
        just amongst Special.

        14 October 2009

        I Gross, Therefore I Am.

        Demon slayed!

        No hospital visit is normal, I suppose. This one was replete with questions:

        1. Are you still Methodist? "What in the world?" I thought. Don't catch me off guard like that. "Why? Do you think I'm going to die?" I said at 6:30am to the groggy receptionist. "I can put 'none'," she said. I said okay.

        2. Why are you considering putting me under anesthesia when there's an active Code Red fire search going on? Shrill alarms, white lights, security guards, police officers, and firemen swarming the surgical prep room, while I sit on the bed naked in an oversized backless hospital gown with an IV in my wrist. Good thing I'm not prone to panic attacks.

        3. What do you mean I might have to come in for a 2nd surgery if the 'walls' of the hematoma don't collapse in on themselves? It took me 7 months to come around the1st time. Can't you just fix it now? Luckily, he did. A more extensive procedure, yes, but guess what? I'm all scraped out!

        4. Have you ever thought about why they call it "prone position" when you're lying on your stomach? "Prone to what?" I asked the surgical nurses. "To wandering eyes? To death? To anal assault?" Funny enough, that's the last thing I remember, in combination with one woman dodging my question by telling me how pretty the tattoo on my shoulder blade is. Then I passed out.

        5. Who are the little elves I saw while I was unconscious? The gnome-like elves I saw are also referred to as "self-transforming machine elves," "fractal elves," or simply "machine elves" in the world of dream study. During near-death experiences, these elves come out to tell you to watch and follow them. Sometimes this results in the dreamer speaking in tongues (glossolalia) and singing. At the end of the experience (i.e. death, or coming back to life), the elves are known to move away from your realm of vision, wave, and say, "Deja vu! Deja vu!" Whoa.

        6. Why does anyone think it's a good idea to abuse Percocet? Upon my arrival home, the pain was so bad (Thanks, South Jersey potholes!) that I immediately popped two. At first, I felt silly and happy, with almost no pain and a feeling that I was like a Gumby character. An hour later, I hit the height of it's power: I didn't know whether I was going to sweat to death, pee my pants, or throw up. My eyes started closing involuntarily, I started losing consciousness as I crawled up the stairs to my bed, and I flopped down in prone position as I passed out--half expecting to see those elves again. Instead, I heard a loud, high-pitched ringing all around me and saw dull-colored plaid stripes behind my eyes, followed by everything slipping into white noise and snowflakes. I passed out cold for almost 6 hours. Never again, Percocet. Never again.

        Luckily, I seem to be healing really well. I'm confined to taking the bus for the next week because I have a row of stitches and a stupid fluid drain attached to the incision (I thought you'd like more butt pics--for the furthering of science and senses of humor everywhere, of course.).

        All in all, I'm really glad I had this experience. Different states of consciousness, a reinforcement that I never want to be an unhealthy person, and a profound respect for people who have to walk around with colostomy bags and other such external receptacles to hold their insides on their outsides (like my mother, or my best friend's dad, or a little Sierra Leonean boy, Musa, who graced my life in 2008).

        I dreamed that I was on a bicycle last night, and I didn't fall off. I love my bicycle. We've made peace since the infamous accident. I just hope it doesn't forget me while I heal.

        13 October 2009

        Available in All Shapes, Sizes, and Forms.

        Sorry for not posting in the last week. Been battling this butt demon and a virus on my laptop. In case you're interested, my post for the FMF Women, Money, & Power Summit did make it onto their blog. Found here.

        06 October 2009

        On Gravity.

        What you are about to see may surprise you. The formation of a black hole is not something to be taken lightly.

        It takes millions, billions, trillions of years from the birth of the star...

        ...to the point in its lifespan where it dies and creates a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, nothing escapes its crushing chasm.

        Fortunately, this is just an ultrasound of my butt!

        A nasty cycling accident on March 13 led to this...

        ...and a misdiagnosis at Student Health Services at The University of Delaware (surprised?) led to living with a calcified hematoma for 7 months.

        I have to get the blood clot surgically removed from my muscle tissue on October 12. Seems this annoying manifestation of bad juju in my derriere gave me a fever last week and could cause blood poisoning.

        So, please, after you're done giggling, please pray, meditate on, and otherwise push healthy thoughts and positive energy toward my butt over the next week, that we might slay the demon with minimal scarring. If it was my head, you would, and I consider my butt pre-tty important.

        Thanks! We appreciate it!

        04 October 2009

        Today's Episode...

        ... is brought to you by the letter "W"
        for "Womanhood"
        and "Wondrous"
        because We are both.

        Today's episode is not
        brought to you by the letter "E"
        because Wondrous is that Way
        and not WondErous.

        Fun fact. Lesson learned.

        03 October 2009

        sesame's treet smart e's.

        Went to First Friday last night and had a real world Stumbleupon in a brand new dusty poster warehouse. Bought an insane poster because of its colors and because it says "sesame's treet smart e's" (i.e. sesamestreetsmarts): totally perfect for an "I-like-being-grown-up-but-don't-want-to-Grow-Up" apartment!

        But, to buy a poster and known nothing about the music it's representing is B.A.D. So I Googled it, and the result has made me even happier. Perfect purchase!



        Discorporating Damaged Girl,
        You've gained your freedom in my world.
        Of course you flew into 3rd Street--
        What are you? Not a piece of meat.
        Fly within this space I've found
        And come back when your feet need ground.

        Four-Square Friday.

        Add:      Random Shouts
        +           Random Answers
        +           Cheap Beer
        +           3D Sidewalk Chalk
        +           Road Bikes
        +           Flowing Conversation
        +           Public Urination
        +           Indifferent Cops
        +           Four Rooms
        =           New Friends!

        02 October 2009

        South St-ripper Shop Savvy.

        Finally--a businessowner who bought mannequins that really resemble the clientele!
        Is it legal to be topless in public?
        I know this place is all about nudity, but no skin? Come on!
        Happy Halloweenie!

        Macro loves fiber, too!

        Couldn't eat this chocolate poo chip before I photoed it!

        L-Town Rock

        Depart: My apartment, South Philly; 11:16am

        Bananas on top of fire alarms;
        Backwoods banshees do no harm:
        Screaming karma gets you nowhere.
        Look out the window, there’s so much there!

        PATCO screeches, djembe drums,
        Cyclo-commuter, he ain’t dumb.
        Golf umbrella and rain guard attached;
        Man’s got what I don’t on my back.

        Pocket-sized and streamlined lives
        Protect from tumbling nosedives.
        Blackberry or iPhone, can’t live without?
        In your Escalade, no doubt.

        My Life could fit inside that prison
        American dream, Jesus is Risen.
        Freedom? Try a week on a bike.
        Find addictions your whole Self will like!

        Time on a train is time worth takin’,
        Just open those eyes to thoughts worth makin’.

        Arrive: Lindenwold, NJ; 11:55am

        Stay Imaginary!

        A child without play is no child, I say.

        01 October 2009

        Once You Go Black…

        Red light? Looks green to me--
        zipping straight down South Street.
        Won’t stop, I’ve got a date
        three close friends, can’t make me late.
        Their Tritone deep;
        their flavor strong;
        their colors dark;
        their journeys long.
        Don’t fail me now, such a Wyrd day;
        got no more WORC, no bills to pay!
        Don't need no car, got my jetpack:
        a hundred pockets right on my back.
        Purple-yellow steed, my ride;
        Lightning, fast, slides past your side.
        Please, Officer, resist brutality
        's only black tea, dark coffee, and cheap whiskey!

        Curried Butternut Autumn Stew

        As per Rachel's request, this is how I cooked the photo from "Griots Guide":

        Step 1, Meat:
        1/2 lb Chicken, FRESH from a butcher (none of that freezer shit)
        Extra Virgin Olive Oil
        Cut in soup-size bites and sautee with hot curry powder in bottom of your stewpot.

        Step 2, Produce:
        (Find a farmer's market! Then, this whole meal will run you about $3.)
        1 onion
        1 lb butternut squash
        1 granny smith apple
        any other veggies that might be going bad (in my case, asparagus and broccoli)
        CHOP all of these in soup-size pieces. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and put the hard squash in.

        Step 3, Boil:
        While waiting for the squash to get mushy in the oven (not too long!), pour 5-6 or so cups of water with 1 large chicken bouillon cube added (yay MSG!) and 3 tbs butter to the chicken in the pot. Add the rest of the veggies to your chicken and start the boil. Take out the squash, pull (or cut) the flesh away from its tough skin, and MASH with your hands! Add squash to stew and keep at a low bubble.

        Step 4, Spices: 
        As you're cooking, add as much of the following as you'd like (I like a lot): hot curry, chili powder, salt pepper, cumin, rosemary

        Step 5, Wait:
        I waited about 2-2.5 hours before I ate this, and it was great. However, if I make it in the future, I'm definitely letting it sit in a crockpot all day.

        Step 6, Mouthgasm:

        30 September 2009

        Griots Guide

        Light my path down Home,
        Orange Autumn day;

        crispy wispy Winds,
        lead my Cares astray;

        Summer, don't get in
        Mother Nature's way;

        October stews and witches brews,
        it's time to come and Play.

        16 September 2009


        Be a frog
        don't get bogged
        down in sludge

        Without green
        life's obscene
        stay awake

        When you hop
        keep on top

        Take the time
        step out of line
        and listen up

        Scrape off slime
        there's still time
        don't get caught

        15 September 2009

        A Po'm

        Pomegranate lovestains
        slave trains unchained
        scarlet rains remain
        sticky sweet survival

        open field, tired, kneel
        spirits yield, package sealed
        skin peeled, jewel revealed
        senses new with reason

        sparkling kernels few
        precious droplet dew
        maybe just for two
        egoism mastered