spotted this metrotextual (almost) week

-7.5 corgis

-a lady with a giant cart filled with churros on the a train

little lindsay for brunch at bareburger in astoria (is this what hanging out with TO people has come to?!)

-a community play that felt like someone answered the question, “what does nelson george think of feminism?”

the rockets making history (sorry cp3), and officially becoming my pick for nba champions-let’s hope it’s not like the oj year

-half of a questionable whitney biopic-where are we supposed to suppose these storylines came from? bobby brown?

-parks and trader joe’s and the first led-certified ny public library (battery park), oh my.

-proof that the nyc transit token used to be little like toronto’s-key words to take away-used to be

-church flea market, street art, the laundromat and a new coconut water espresso

-sunshine, humidity, and two dang spider bites in close proximity that became blisters-ouch.

reg is playing: mariah’s first album, the weeknd, alicia keys

duolingo status: portuguese level 17, translating an article about indonesia that taught me two english words (endemic and syncretic), 2952 lingots

today’s bag check

rakim told me by brian coleman (signed)

check the technique vol. 2 by brian coleman

-steel wool (dang mice)

exposing myself by geraldo rivera (and i just said i wasn’t reading as much)

-pepperidge farm mint chocolate monaco cookies

-receipt for student massage (yea, sutherland chan and benefits!)

-mac ab4 charcoal brown eyeshadow (gotta keep my eyebrow game tight)

-organizer full of questions for artists/writers i’ve been inspired to interview for the first time in a million and eight years

-h&m store credit for the shorts that i discovered that i can no longer wear

yup-i know how to live.

watching-shameless season three

reg is playing-mos def, k-os, j. cole

translating on duolingo-an article on friday night lights in spanish

three/mix: cesare pavese-“and then we cowards” vs. idra novey-translators confession, 3a.m. vs robert frost-stopping by woods on a snowy evening

it’s the last one, so i decided to use the remaining three pieces and work them into these three poems:

won (b-side):

we cowards whose woods dropped your sentence in hot water

the whispering of the village tho-talked to the boil

houses stop here to burn you

the soft-hearted river fills up with snowy words

dirty red and queer arms, napes, sweet places, soundless sorrow

frozen farmhouse, hands of vapour, done burning

living in the darkest evening

the invisible person in our heart won’t blisten

harnesses shake, fill of blood and mistakes

no more sweetness in pockets

only losing sweeps and easy flakes

paths we knew in deep

woods emerge

promises of sleep

a murky leak

another mind scrapes

alone and never alive

too (b-side): 

never scrape against

the lone and live sleep

know deep promises

of another mind

murky leaks emerge

from deep, wooded paths

lose easy flakes in sweeps

of sweetness startled with

mistakes of our hearts

that harness shakes and

pockets full of water

living hands of invisible persons

in the darkest frozen hour

done burning vapours in soundless sorrow

the sweet nape of dirty red arms

burn soft like hearts of snowy rivers

stopping here to house whispers talked to

boil cowards in hot water

three (b-side):

queer napes

invisible shakes

harness hearts

living mistake

burning done

vapor flake

cowards scrape

frozen blisters

never sleep

promise to weep

deep as snowy woods

startled hearts

burn invisible

dirty red whispers

will not listen

(soundless sorrow)

for a thousand flaky tomorrows…..

take this man-brando skyhorse

“i’m not the one that you should be making your enemy”

“A parent who disappears, if he’s spoken of at all, is at the mercy of the one who stays behind and of a child’s wishy-washy memory.” (25)

“What a story! Delusion requires charity, which I, like many people who loved her, was more than happy to offer. There was something about my mother that made you not only want to follow her off a cliff but also to cushion her blow when you both hit the ground. She didn’t perform chores or cook any meals; when my mother made dinner-and I loved her dishes-it was a tub of cottage cheese sprinkled with Lawry’s seasoned salt, or a pound of ground beef mashed into tiny pebbles and either fried to crispy burnt scabs or snacked on raw. My mother nourished me with words.” (16)

“I took this love of role playing to school, where I had to be cautioned by my teacher for reenacting the Kennedy assassination during charades.” (70)

“Routine is uninteresting to recall and often unmemorable to record.” (189)

“I’ve retired all air quotes around my family members, reserving them for things they’ve said or written.” (255)

and that is a summary in quotes of this amazing book by a talented writer who i unintentionally read all at once after putting his titles on hold after hearing him talk at the philly free library, and somehow freeing all of them up at the same time. coincidence? i think not. he also very graciously and enthusiastically responded to my tweetering, so you gotta love that.

i related to so much in this book-from the absence of one parent (albeit the opposite one), the complicated relationship with the remaining parent, that parent’s delusion as a coping mechanism, partners that come out of these flawed models, and the things-tangible or otherwise-that we inherit and negotiate on our own journeys through life. i relate to the tragedy, the ecstasy and the relief when a corner is turned. i can only aspire to use the gift to convey so beauty-fully the triumph that comes from sometimes being a pretty piece of broken. thank you, mr. skyhorse for blessing us with all of these stunning sentences.

bachelor number too:

“Their marriage was a Napoleon complex, short and furious.” (23)

“My father was like God: an unseen life-giving entity whose existence I had to accept on faith.” (26)

“When Frank left, I learned that in each broken heart lies what we know we should do to heal and move on. Then there is what our hearts are capable of doing instead. This is what both my mother and I called love.” (46)

“I was learning, though, that imagination could always give me the father I wanted when my own imaginary father couldn’t.” (65)

“The title was Paul’s idea. Amid a row of books written by twelve and thirteen- year-olds, with festive cover illustrations of mice wearing superhero capes and happy spacemen, was The Shame of America, the title spelled out in vinyl mailbox lettering.” (118)

i’m still laughing about this, as well as the kennedy assassination, and the scene in butter when she carves that same convertible ride.

“Sometimes the gap between Candido and me feels too great, like an aside to the family I want with my sisters. It’s as if my mother ripped out the pages of my story with Candido as she read them, let them fall to her feet like plucked feathers, and then left Candido and me to reassemble our book without the benefit of page numbers.” (256)

“I’d brought the bullets to destroy him, but the gun dissolved right in my hands.” (228)

“On the drive to Candido’s house, we struggled for small talk like picking up pennies wearing oven mitts.” (232)

“The feeling of another man claiming me as a member of his own people and his own homeland is irresistible to someone who feels he truly has neither.” (240-41)

dear mama:

“The more I told my mother’s lies, the less I felt like I was just an extension of her. The truth about Candido seemed like another way for my mother to control me and define who I was. In the shade of absolute falsehoods, I realized I could grow up.” (105)

“When her unexpected turns of heart worked to my advantage, I loved her capriciousness and embraced my unique situation as her child.” (185)

“She never lost her temper in public; she’d just misplace it and find it at home later.” (53)

the sum of their parts:

“It’s presumptuous to assume I’ll be a father at all. I’m forty years old and childless. Part of me waited this long because I knew I was an unstable man who’d make an unstable father. I didn’t want to pass on my depression to my children genetically or by example. And how could I take care of a child when I had no model for what a good father was? Remembering my fathers, individually, they lied, drank, cheated, stole, and abandoned their loved ones. I know I can claim no moral high ground with them: these are the people who taught me. I’ve cheated on lovers, stolen people’s time, and abandoned friends. I lied for years about who I was and made up stories in college about a thuggish life in an inner-city jungle that was never really that rough.” (238-9)

“Of course, insisting that that I’d never be with anyone like my mother led me to a woman just like her. Dramatic emotional swings-Sofie’s and mine-that too closely resembled my mother’s made me feel Sofie and I were incompatible. Or too compatible. We both had to win arguments, both needed the last word, both heard anger at decibel levels louder than expressed. Our moods were like flights of stairs we shoved each other down.” (181)

“I didn’t cry over my mother’s death. I couldn’t cry because I was incapable of crying. When my tears came at last, I cried because I’d been deprived of a chance to lash out at her for my pain.” (213)

“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she said. “I want for us to get married one day. And for your parents not to be there.” (167)

and, wow. this idea of marrying someone without their family, their baggage, their cat-it may just be more revolutionary and/or more impossible than imagining a world without racism, classism, or iggy azalea. many of us think it, and more of us need to stand up and be counted.

ruby’s playing: little dragon, tlc

redd’s playing: pete rock & c.l. smooth, tribe, royce da 5’9’s demar derozan shoutout

reg is playing: kanye every day, and mariah’s debut album

cmw shows attending this week: kimmortal on tuesday (with musical director eirene cloma) and nomadic massive on wednesday

round 2 playoff series checking for: clippers vs. rockets

re/mix-leonard cohen-take this waltz vs. emily dickenson-i never hear the word “escape”

death comes to shoulder ten pretty women i never hear

in torn pieces of nine hundred windows

where doves die without blod

sudden clamps of their jaws on hanging waltzes

cave prisons hear of dead chairs and attitude in magazines

down some hallway where love’s never been

childish tugs by soldiers

the moon’s been sweating again

and cries fill with sand.

pearl river mart

i read this touching article on the pearl river mart and immediately put it on my bi-weekly things to do this past weekend in nyc. for the record-i will state that in most places, a street and its directional counterpart usually connect at some point, but that is not true at all of broadway and west broadway. arg. i must have known this at some point, but it’s a steep learning curve of getting around the city again. and i’m old now. i don’t adapt to change well.

but it turns out that i had been to the store not too long ago, on my original return at the bottom of last year. it’s located just a few doors down from one of my favourite shops-yellow rat bastard. i actually purchased the year of the goat notebook that i thought would hold some insight on my sign (in my year), but it turned out to be blank-so how’s that for destiny. i am currently filling it on sundays with my forthcoming show.

i felt better this trip about taking public transit, though i did get turned around and had to do some guesswork below and above ground, but i got to where i needed to go. perhaps it was the plethora of other states that we had jammed into the first part of the trip-jersey, delaware, maryland and dc.

tuesday morning was perfect for reclaiming the bryant park library from the sex in the city movie wedding. after i dropped my love off at work, i headed back to my original nyc jumpoff to have a coffee and do a crossword on the lawn amongst the tulips. i explored the perimeter, exchanged pleasantries with the shoe shine men, and discovered a blue bottle cafe just on the outskirts, so next time, i will sample the coffee that makes up half my favourite chocolate bar. san francisco, i’m still coming for you, but this will be first. i love the games station, the carousel, and i made some pretty great bangles out of fancy paper at the art station before i left. i didn’t have scissors so i just built the templates, but i still wore them because they’re really fly. the public eye photo exhibit made me smile, and the gift shop is one of my favourites of its ilk.

i caught an earlier flight home to cuddle my angry little dander-lion and catch up with vivi before she disappears into the vortex of her last semester at school.

i may be getting the hang of this back and forth bizness, though i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t looking forward to sinking the anchor for about six weeks after the next trip in two weeks to stay for a full week. i can’t believe it will be july then. time flies, fuck whether you’re having fun or not.

oh! i have a new addition to the iPod family thanks to the captain-it’s not looking good for my podcasts.

reg is playing: lots and lots of kanye

redd is playing: jay-z unplugged, zhane, masta ace, patrice rushen

rubby is playing: solange and beyonce

reading (very slowly): all the broken things by kathryn kuitenbrouwer and shooting stars by lebron james and buzz bissinger

duolingo status: chipping away at level 16 in portuguese by translating an article on meryl streep, 2914 lingots

right on q

“we get the rap we deserve-if people don’t like the rap of today, chances are-they just don’t like today”

“growing up, i wanted to be a wrestler”

“i’m a musical humanist”

“nothing says ‘i miss you’ like profiting off of your death….. just kidding.”

“you’re gonna have to get in here”

there’s something about losing track of how many times you’re moved by live music before 10am-it’s a magical thing. i’ve worked a few more in a row than i usually do, but when i got the text at 9:30 on sunday night offering me tickets to the first taping of the new q, i just couldn’t say no. when i made it in on a picture of the barcode on my phone and ran right into the homie that i never have to call, because invariably we’ll turn up at the same stuff, i knew it was the right decision. the show that unveiled further proved everything that i love about canadian arts and culture, and having ready access to the cbc.

tanya tagaq, chilly gonzales with a freaking string quartet, bahamas and shane koyzan-what a spectrum of canadian talent, across genre, at least. i guess there are certain things that we’ll (still) have to settle for, or accept and make the best of. i bristled at the end when shad so charitably obliged the middle-aged white lady’s request to “rap”, and couldn’t help but think about mos def‘s comment on that at the 92nd street y talk he did a few years ago when people run into him on the street and are all, “rap-you good!” i mean, are we really not past the point where folks can see that demanding that people perform and entertain at the drop of a dime is disrespect-full and demeaning? even with the best intentions? (sigh). it’s not like anyone would ever ask taylor swift to ‘sing a little ditty’ if they run into her at target. just sayin’.

dear people-i can only hope that you’ll stop being wack. i got babies on the come-up and i want them to have a different life.

but hey, now i can say that i was interviewed for the national with jael richardson, whom i just met a few moments before and i got to reconnect for the first time with another cbc enthusiast and bask in its glory (i covet your sweater, sarah).

big thanks to cj and sarah for the tix.

reg is playing: robert glasper and brandy

rubby is playing: the eq at segafredo, jonathan emile, biggie, badu, jarvis church, teodros, prince

duolingo status: 2914 lingots, 100 day streak, french translation level 14, portuguese level 15, translating articles about shonda rhimes, the knicks, and ho chi minh

awkward double-book of the evening: hooked at tpm and game 2 in jurassic park (oops)

feeding myself:honeyed ginger jasmine tea and smoked trout breakfast sandwich