a question and answer for kendrick

dear kung fu kenny,

a) why do you want biyombo to sit down? we could really use him on our team still

b) the answer to your question “how many ni**a$ get mistaken for clitoris in a day?” is none, nada, zip, zero, goose egg, just nope.

the clitoris exists merely for our pleasure.
nobody in their right mind would ever mistake a man for that.

thank you and you’re welcome,
flossy.

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“new ideas need old buildings”-tile at dufferin station

i’ve already been reprimanded this week for spoiling the nba playoffs, so let me not do this to a woman’s show.

but belladonna the blest or dm st. bernard‘s sound of the beast is everything, and then eleven more everythings. do yourself a favour and go see it. please. if one of the city’s finest (the finest imo) poets can roll through (and i think he even bought a ticket because he’s not a personal friend of the inspiration’s), you can too.

ok-psa over, do what you want.

i’ve been feeling the feels since i was in montreal for a week and a half, doing everything and nothing, and with the birth of babies all around and work never ending (and still not beginning), i know it’s not an accident that i ended up in the same room as these two that i run into so randomly it’s become specific. the fact that there was a stage and words and so many ideas layered and folded into ideas that if a mille-feuille crepe cake could be a thing that could be witnessed and absorbed and spoken and felt, this would be that thing.

i’m largely not a fan of the tiles at dufferin station, especially of the two that are close together near the main entrance, one reading “blah blah blah new immigrants” and the other “occasion to turn around”, like wtf?! but i never noticed this one before, or perhaps due to its proximity to the aforementioned as well as the “lemonade living” (and i paraphrase all these tiles, except for the one that i board the train at every day on my way to work which reads “something happens here”, because, well, who has time to footnote tiles, or remember them properly and such?) i’m too busy getting to the punchline of 3/5s when it’s so meta and brilliant, when accountability happens and its calling for is further justified when the perpetrator responds by throwing her kids under the bus. when a discussion about whose lives matter is brought about without the use of those slogans so familiar that have lost their lustre, but is named nonetheless, and stories are woven so beautifully that you forget for a moment that they’re tragic but flower petals are still gentle, whether or not they’re unbreakable, and you decide, we decide-but things are complicated, and we do what we can….

(i’m writing a new piece called “poets talk in circles”….but then again, that’s been the ongoing story of life itself)

place is a thing. theatre passe-muraille is a place. it’s been one of the most reliable places that i have crossed paths with dmsb over the years, and toronto is a place-also one of the most reliable locales. it’s an old building that’s housed almost 50 seasons of new ideas, and even though it’s been fixed, i still just can’t push that door…and i’m glad that i didn’t stay away when the latest ad joined-even when she was the first person to fire me from a job at a little theatre that we both worked at in mtl-what are the chances, right?

but there are no accidents, and (the) space (between our ears) is the real place.

we gotta work on that time-bending piece, but then again-we’ve been working on that project our whole lives.

this is why i scheduled a volunteer shift on my first day back to work after a long vacation of doing everything and nothing, horny as hell but great-full for the life choices i’ve made not to have kids and a dog (though i really, really love dogs and kids). it’s nice to be able to walk in and out of that for a week, because if it was real life, i woulda had to work all day and then go home to single-mother kids and a dog.

this is why.

i live for this and i am ever great-full to this woman for reminding me to do it by doing it.

shoutout to maddie bautista-we may have only met tonight (in this life) but it’s far from over.

pour garder un homme pour toujours

peindre les yeux
avec un oeil ouvert
allonger tes cils
avec une ancienne brosse noire
pour avoir l’air d’une minette
toute coquette

il est simple
et il juge rapidement
d’un seul et premier coup
qui declenche tous ceux qui suivront
si tu le vois
trop honnetement
il aura peur
si tu le vois
tel qu’il est
il se mettra en colere
mais si tu veux vraiment le voir
juste le regarder simplement
attirer visuellement son attention
et puis le laisser passer
le defigurer est le faux-pas le plus grave
parce qu’il a besoin de se sentir libre
et pour proteger sa liberte
il va mentir

il ment avec ses yeux
il ment avec ses complices en geste et en mots
et s’il ment en corps,
il ment encore
il ment en coeur
il ment en courant
actuellement
et quand tu ne le veux plus,
il est a toi.

going through my filing cabinet today, i found the snoopy book that i mourned because i kept it here along, and this piece that i wrote in 2007 in french class.

um, i’m fucking niiice en francais aussi.

shit.

30/30

during one of my recent home inventories, i came across the following list of my 30 goals/promises for my 30th year of life. that was the year that i moved to toronto, and seven years later, let’s check it out:

1) NO LONG DISTANCE anything
2) at least 30 performances
3) 30 poems
4) all work writing related
5) learn to drive
6) only nice sleepwear
7) be in contact with (six strong women “mother” figures) on a regular basis
8) don’t gossip or complain
9) deal with student loan
10) pay at least $100 on debt/month
11) cook 75% of my meals
12) make a weekly reading day (at a different library)
13) keep my DREAM FUND
14) look into US visas
15) have a poetry anthology/tour
16) meditate twice daily
17) skip rope/skate/play squash
20) donate $30/month to organizations
21) learn how to use my computer more efficiently
22) dedicate and mail “30 things I love about you” every day of my year
24) learn haka
25) see raptors play
26) live on my own by 31
27) write the freakin’ smut (starting with Bust’s one-handed read)
28) animal crackers-perspective pieces
29) confessions of a hair bitch
30) hip hop sex column

observations:

-i missed entire numbers-18, 19, and 23 are completely not there so this is really 27 goals for 30, and that’s interesting (and i’m sure non-coincidental)
-the ones that are done/integrated into my life are: 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 (both in the sense that i did that and i’m done with that), 22 (even though i limited that to just 30 people overall), 25, 26 and 30 (and that’s 9 so once again…no coincidence there)
-the ones that i’ve moved on from: 29, 28 (i’m not really even sure what this means anymore), 6, 4, and 7-all of those women, i think, are exactly like my mother and thus are hard to keep relationships with

and so that leaves the rest, which i’m in some degree of intention with-either i’m doing it, but not regularly, i’ve started some kind of related project but i haven’t followed through, or i’ve momentarily forgotten that i want to do it (maybe not in the exact way).

here’s to reminders, especially since the beginning of the new year is just around the corner, and a new organizer is nigh.

since we’re here, here is this year’s dream list:

-make a workout calendar a la danette’s flossing one
-figure out a savings plan
-go to pacific mall
– read through holds lists and home books
– finish/start interviews
– contact every woman in the anthology
– cunty carols mixtape
– smut
– get fitted for sunglasses
– buy no more pens! or journals!
– apply for al purdy retreat or banff 2017
– plan mexico trip
– play the piano (hart house, carlton cinema, oakwood library, parkdale library, daniel’s spectrum)
– maybe switch out all jeans for yoga jeans
– high waisted underwear
– tap dancing/ASL

i don’t know why tap dancing and ASL is the same thought, because it would be very hard to do at the same time, but this shows that there is something behind writing things down and mind controlling ourselves….and it’s just reminders to intentions that we’ve already had.

“that mean i forgot better shit than you ever thought of” (forever ever)

i can’t find an uncensored version of the song, so i post no video here, but the sentiment is the same.

diamonds are forever.
xo.

the sympathizer-viet thanh nguyen (finale)

“We genuflected, but in actuality we were atheists who had chosen communism over God.” (25)

“My mother called me her love child, but I do not like to dwell on that. In the end, my father had it right. He called me nothing at all.” (20)

“Despair may be thick, but friendship’s thicker. After that, nothing more needed to be said, our camaraderie enough as we heeded the call of the Katyusha rockets, hissing in the distance like librarians demanding silence.” (34)

“He was the only many I had ever met who seemed moved, deeply, not only by love but also the prospect of killing. While he was an expert by necessity, i was a novice by choice, despite having my opportunities.” (95)

“It was, instead, the best kind of truth, the one that meant at least two things.” (116)

“And that’s precisely how she spoke, trimming pronouns and periods, as if punctuation and grammar were wasted on me.” (122)

“…the thickish manila envelope arriving with my name misspelled in a beautifully cursive hand.” (122)

“One could choose between innocence and experience, but one could not have both.” (143)

“The communists hate love songs, said the admiral. They don’t believe in love or romance or entertainment. They believe the people should only love the revolution and the country. But the people love love songs, and we serve the people.” (285)

“What makes us human is that we’re the only creatures on this planet that can fuck ourselves.” (237)

“That’s a good word. Always resent, never relent. Perhaps that should be our motto.” (133)

it wasn’t until i copy/pasted that second passage that i remembered that the protagonist in this story is nameless. unlike the haters, i love that. i love it because often, when we are telling war stories, we forget those who are in certain boats, probably because it would break our hearts to say their names. i love it because this is a story for all of the nameless. that this is an example of how sometimes, the story isn’t written by the victors. or maybe, that the victors didn’t actually win. judging by american cinema, this is point of contention over a war that on the other side, is known as the american war.

once again, i love this book and i’m proud.

prompt: “I can become easily bored, and require constant variety. This is especially true when it comes to sandwiches…”

(sigh). a prompt after my own heart. here goes:

I mean, the bread alone is confounding. This is the base, the foundation, it envelops the rest, it makes for a compelling case to judge by its cover, despite what we’ve always been told. Sturdy, hearty ryes and pumpernickel? Or frivolous, empty-calorie Wonderbread? Middle of the road multigrains with hard crusts and seedy, soft interiors-this is the bread of Goldilocks if she ever moves on from porridge. Sourdough, that curious, delicious option also fitting as a bowl for soup or spinach dip-I’m an equal-opportunity employer. Then there are the non-traditionals-bagels, waffles, pita bread, mini rolls? All of those are charming, none very efficient when it comes to adding a middle layer-odd bread out, the most awkward clubhouse. To toast or not to toast, that is the question. Some get too soggy if you don’t, too hard if you do. Nobody likes bread crumbling within the fingertips-what good is a sandwich too fragile to hold? And neither does anybody need a mouth full of cuts. Scraping the roof dry-the cure? The ultimate sweet sandwich in the sea of savoury-the twisty peanut butter and jelly. Even then, another mere jumpoff of questions-chunky or smooth? Organic or Skippy? Natural is great, but not very practical. No preservatives means it must be stored in the fridge, which brings the natural oils to the the top and endless butter knives are bent hopelessly out of shape before you can even decide whether or not to include a banana. If so, how thinly should you slice? How do you keep those wayward little bastards contained within the bread? Pin ’em down with honey that seeps through the bread to coat your fingers and hold you to the promise not to eat whilst writing, to truly concentrate, but wait-all of this time left to idly reflect illuminates the fact that you really wanted a tuna melt-with havarti…or gouda….or swiss…or cheddar….

maybe all i need in this life is to be commissioned for little writings that allow me to run my fucking brain.

if you want this, get at me.

sick in the head-judd apatow

Jerry (Seinfeld): If you always want less, in words as well as things, you’ll do well as a writer. (186)

(aah). i knew there was a reason for my endless quest to cull and do inventory…

so, i’m going to do this one differently-because the whole book is different conversations with a bunch of comedians, i am going to go through each pull quote and write why i pulled it (or guestimate, since i initially read and pulled in february). here goes:

Amy (Schumer): I don’t know why that became the thing. I don’t know why the idea of doing an older joke is supposed to make you feel embarrassed. It’s not about impressing the five comics in the back of the room. As Jerry said, if he sees someone, he wants to see their best jokes. Jokes are like works of art and they take years to figure out. He said you only get six closers in your whole life. Like six big jokes- (47)

i agree. but i’m also the person who can listen to a song 50,000 times and be excited for listen number 50,001 where i will hear something that i never heard before. i also love learning every detail of a thing, and find comfort in knowing what i’ve always known. i’m also a proponent of the fact that if something is good, it will always be good. go go gadget staying power.

Chris (Rock): I don’t know. In some ways, they are better. There’s more comedy to choose from, I would say. Hannibal Buress is kind of weird and Demetri Martin is kind of weird and, you know, Sarah Silverman has a totally different act than Kathy Griffin. So in that aspect, yes, I think there’s more variety in comedy today. People are talking about different things. On the other hand, I don’t know if comedians know how to work an audience anymore. (66)

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. this is another instance where it becomes evident that we don’t have that many moves as humans. it’s always the fracturing and diversity in a movement that causes people to call the death of a thing, and that’s not right, but at the same time, if we can’t see a link, then i don’t blame folks. and we’ve always been scared of growth. i guess my comfort comes rooted in the shards of my inheritance, so i can always find something in a thing, and the fact that i will always find a thing. chris also goes on to make a great point about paying too much attention to the crowd-if you kill, the audience doesn’t get credit, so if you don’t, they don’t neither (just like God) (or the goalie).

Eddie (Vedder): ….It was interesting to see the empathy that she had for her dad. I don’t know if I ever had that, or an opening to have that. I was raised differently. (79)

me too, i’ve had this thought about my father and his distance from the art and artists that speak to him-i don’t have this, i’ve had the great pleasure of connecting on some level with a lot of my favourite artists, and i wonder if there’s something (else) that he’s not telling me about, or if he doesn’t even see the possibility, and if that’s the case, i feel for him.

Garry (Shandling): You allow the actor to be, as opposed to do. People are fascinating. They don’t really need to do much. (114)

Garry (Shandling): Translating experience to paper. That’s so hard to teach, isn’t it? (116)

wow. this is a huge compliment coming from garry shandling! hashtag, squad goals. for all the bluster that apatow kicks up over directing movies so that he can do stand-up, this is either a modest or secretly egotistical (and it’s really a fine line between them both, isn’t it?) move to highlight that he has actually accomplished quite a lot. i think that’s my takeaway from this project, that he’s able to get in places and build trust-that’s huge. i also like that there’s a connection here between comedy and teaching-and i am also living in a place where i feel that both avenues deserve the respect of having to live some life and learning how to relate to people before one deems oneself worthy of having something to teach or be comedic about.

Harold (Ramis): Having Second City as my first professional experience was great. Second City is so different from stand-up. In the world of stand-up you really talk about killing, not just killing the audience but killing the other comedian. It’s a competition every night. You want to be better than anyone else. But the whole thrust of Second City is to focus on making everyone else look good because in that process we all look good. It’s more than collaborative. Your life onstage depends on other people and on developing techniques for creating cooperative work. (120)

and, can’t we all just get along? my girl nadia told me about her women’s only crossfit gym yesterday, about how there are rules in place that you must say hello to someone you don’t know, and that if you see someone lagging, you will encourage her. that’s kind of revolutionary, no?

Harold (Ramis): Grandiosity is the curse of what we do. There’s a great rabbinical motto that says you start each day with a note in each pocket. One note says, ‘The world was created for you today’, and the other note says, ‘I’m a speck of dust in a meaningless universe,’ and you have to balance both things. (123)

and, there it is. ever finding the balance between mattering and knowing that we don’t really matter at all. that’s the definition of life’s work. right thurrrr.

“He was so generous and encouraging, I didn’t even realize that I was being rejected. That’s not easy to do, to call a kid and tell him that his jokes aren’t good, and the way he did it just made me want to work harder. It also made me want to treat people kindly, the way Jay treated me.” ( 153)

well, doesn’t that sound exactly like a scene from funny people?