pay attention to how skin lays over bones
laugh at jokes
let the desert sand tension
into rhino's tough hide
to feathery gossamer
what animal am I now?
look people in the eye
when we talk
listen with whole body
there is time for planning
and there is time for presence
do all literary images
taste like paper?
chuck out those bones
those compost roots
make garbage sandwiches
out of banana peels
this epic spring
to the bottom
how bout I
nap for a
black haired man
no teeth grin
in the driver's seat
mop up blood
on the highway track
where we lose the threads
side by side
block the wind
while one lights a smoke
four years kid
aches for mom
screams deep incision
muscles crawl, running
catch my breath
That still apply today...
March 23, 2016
Panic does not accelerate productivity.
Slowing down helps me see with more attention and sustained focus.
There is great creative power in waiting and in doing nothing.
Wandering opens up as many ideas as spaciousness.
Taking a long time on a project can help me go big with it.
I can still pump out material, generate new work and experiment
with several improvised pieces a day.
The process is becoming about the long haul.
How I sustain, how I balance out the creative, the professional, the personal.
We handle grief in innumerable ways.
The ways I handle grief over time changes.
Opening up, taking down walls and allowing for vulnerability
makes way for connection.
It's uncomfortable to be vulnerable.
The discomfort zone is where learning happens, where magic happens.
I can only sit for so long without upsetting my body and brain
for the rest of the day.
I need to move and find new positions for myself
in order to engage holistic learning, teaching and making.
I am a total maniac.
I know how to make massive quantity, how to write a lot and create a ton,
and that is an exquisite practice to have under my belt,
but now my challenge is learning to do less
and in that way do better.
I have a mountain of experience under me
and when I don't recognize that,
I stand tiptoe on top of that peak,
unbalanced, about to fall to bottom.
I am privileged in many ways. Marginalized in a few.
I can walk into a room recognizing the areas
in which I am privileged
and use those to help lift up
the marginalized in the room.
Instead of listening for contention or to interrupt,
listen for understanding.
Pay attention to a room --
Does someone need to step forward?
Does someone need to step back?
Reflection is as important as planning and acting.
When questions drive the work,
the work creates more questions.
We can explore deeper to make those questions better all the time.
At the roots of everyone's work are a few core questions.
Finding out what drives us means asking
what enrages, inspires, makes us curious, brings us joy, makes us laugh
and then tapping into those answers.
Generating material is only the first part --
then comes reworking, redrafting, feedback, queering, showing, rewiring...
All the parts that play with the work take the longest.
That final 5 percent it takes to finish a work really does take 95 percent of the time.
A play that taps into shared perversity is more compelling
than one that investigates psychological motivations.
Asking where am I? each moment
can bring deeper awareness and presence
and is an easy way to slip back into a conscious mind frame
when the spinning option steals my breath.
Finding ONE thing, one focus at every given moment
leads to greater groundedness in the work.
I know what I'm doing.
I'm on the path to creating a lifelong process that works well for me.
Great art has roots and reach.
she watches bedroom window
half her life
staring white clouds
mimic fogged glass
one day sickness won't
hold her here
turn to the view
lilacs on fire
kidnap writhing wasp
turn back to door
blue washes her face
mist up conversations
let's eat oranges and daffodils forever
sleeping on trains, leaning on elbows
a teasing poke
a blinking eye
at his bedside
maybe he could sense me
those last words
swallowing this frail thing there
heavy cells eating his brain
i read from paper hospice left
"Love you for...
Thank you for...
went down the list
wanted to share sage thoughts
grey mustache, quiet breath
tears starting up felt false
wanted to go big
to make my voice clear
whether he heard me or not
A Micro-Play (responding to COVID-19) #1MPF
Saw an opportunity to write and submit a 150 word micro-play responding to current events on Facebook. It's due today at 5pm (EST, I imagine) so coming right up, but you can learn more about that HERE if you want to write/send something fast. Here's the original version, a little longer than what I cut down to send them.
I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and managing okay during this wild time.
Much love and goodness to you all.
Inside an apartment. ZOE and CAM, any age/race/gender, together in front of their laptops. They’re sort of talking to each other but sort of to themselves.
CAM: It’s the uncertainty more than anything, all the unknowns.
ZOE: I know.
CAM: How long this will go on, when we can go back to normal…
ZOE: I think I’m such an introvert but then this happens and I realize how everything we do depends on being in a room with people. And you, we’ve both lost shows, but all your gigs, your income…
CAM: Maybe I’ll play music again but maybe not live?
ZOE: I still have a job, but the stress of moving all my classes online is…
CAM: Maybe we'll live on Zoom all our lives...
ZOE: And what if the internet breaks?
CAM: And you’re adjunct so there’s no security.
ZOE: There’s no security for anybody.
CAM: You’re right…there’s no…anything...
Cam gets lost, falls into skin and starts to float away, out of the chair/floor.
ZOE: Cam! Don’t float away!
CAM: Can’t help it...
Zoe reaches up and pulls Cam down with big might, keeping Cam grounded.
CAM: Whoa. Thanks Zoe.
Cam struggles to stay on the floor and grips onto Zoe.
CAM: What do we do?
ZOE: Let’s. Look outside.
They do. Cam opens a window as Zoe holds them down.
ZOE: Look at that squirrel, what’s he burying?
CAM: A walnut?
ZOE: A chestnut?
CAM (like a dirty teenage): Chest-nut.
They both laugh.
ZOE: Smells fresh.
CAM: Like spring.
They hold hands, watching outside. They float away, in a different way, a present way, staying here in this moment but up in the clouds too.
END OF PLAY
with notes inside
the moment panic started
a quake in my ribs
the salad bar closed
the drive ranting
up nightly hyperventilating
assignments, the project, too much caffeine
heavy emotions absorbed from love
nobody ever proved that cold hands mean warm heart
the chill of rain
tiny violets on the grass
in Philadelphia it's 80 degrees
bricks in the green room
eons caught in the space between cracks
permanent marker on my favorite pants
I notice that what I want to post here change cyclically, seasonally, as my interests do. Normally I'd post what we did in my last Drop-In Writing Workshop today, but now I'm feeling more satisfaction letting what takes place during those events happen ephemerally in that room at The Cabin. As I read through my old notebooks more quickly these days, fragments and raw rough writings are how I'd like to spend these pages at this time. I know that could and will likely change again in the future/ I'm getting better at listening to my curiosities as they shift, instead of forcing myself to stay with one format or another because it's what I've been doing previously.
tall, wide, broad like desert
heavy, rough, dusty salmon
same as Arizona foothills
surrounding that strange acreage
overwhelmed with lush grass
eat those boorish, massive walls
mouthfuls at a time
chew them up, grinding, smacking
inside i'm glass shards, rigid up/down
giant pane, expansive sliver
coated in spray paint
my chest a brittle wall
my shoulders, torso
on one side the loud mistakes
within that secret shames
hiding hurt hushed
on the other my face
sliding glass doors
a place to escape
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make, as well as prompts and ideas I bring to certain workshops. There will also be some raw, rough content found in notebooks written years ago, previously posted on: