MY “OMG MOMENT”: CA CONRAD + ARIANA REINES + ME @ MoMA

Wednesday, March 20th, CA Conrad read as part of MoMA’s Guerilla Readings, put together by Kenny Goldsmith. The idea is for the series to have poets, writers and performers take over the gallery space and shift the consciousness of everyone there and the energies, you know, bring the museum to life! CA Conrad began by explaining they’ve been overseeing all Paranormal Activity within the galleries, he’s been researching into strange ghostly encounters, UFO activity in and around the museum and so on, she went on to explain that one of the more fascinating discoveries he recently uncovered: the poet Ariana Reines is the reincarnation of Giacomo Balla. In the above photo, you will notice Ariana is blurry, this isn’t an accident, as the photo was being taken Ariana was explaining to everyone gathered that SPEED is the key. Not speed as in meth, but speed as in VELOCITY. It was then that I realized her power (which I’ve always been aware of, but suddenly, it seemed so infinite), she’s a LIGHTNING FLASH!!!!!!!! striking over & over through different bodies in every generation forever. A true ray of light that somehow quenches the thirst it induces.

CA Conrad and Ariana bantered for a bit about painting versus poetry and then they both read a poems. Then CA suggested Ariana engage in a healing and I was picked. Ariana told me to whisper into her ear where my pain is and I told her and then she laid me down and performed.

My eyes were shut, all I could feel were her hands and the feet of a fellow audience member who had been instructed to place the soles of her feet against mine. I felt the energies of Ariana and the audience member shoot through me, just as I felt my own expel and as everyone clapped and parted ways, for a moment I suddenly saw the world as being just a little bit brighter and then so much static….

A few of us then headed downstairs for Rick Moody‘s reading on the 4th floor in front of a Mark Rothko painting that he explained had haunted him for the past ten years. He read a few poems and then pulled out his guitar to sing to the painting. As he read and sang I surveyed the room of people all fully engaged in the moment and was so happily surprised, for a moment everyone tuned in and our collective experience shifted what most consider often an otherwise dull place. Isn’t it a shame museums have garnered such an atrocious reputation. Call me anything but a bore! I figure a painting is only as great as all the experiences that happen before it.

Oh, and I also met one of the head librarians of MoMA’s library and they asked for a copy of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology for their archives and I’m super excited to say, they now have one. So if you’re ever at the MoMA library be sure to ask to check it out.

thank you Dia Felix for the cool photos 🙂

Sophie Naess “Hands on a Hard Body”

My friend Sophie Naess showed work as part of her MFA program at Rutgers College. She showed a giant mural of the little, beautiful, fragmented moments of her life, a collage of stills, of poets and friends dancing and creating magic and painting and in the center of it all is Sophie as she looks back and smiles. A couple months ago Sophie came by and took photos of me and I ended up on her canvass wearing only my pink boots, which is a total delight because Sophie explained that she painted her friends so that they could be with her as she engaged in her artistic process. Unfortunately, Sophie fell and broke her leg about a month ago, so the mural isn’t finished, but I have a feeling being strapped to a wheelchair will do something really interesting to her process and the already great piece will become even more extraordinary. Or maybe I’m just incredibly vain to think glitter is going to end up everywhere? Above my head are boys dancing shirtless in a nightclub! What more could I want?! A bunch of people read, including me, and there was an amazing dance performance at the end, plus a few other rooms full of interesting works of art, but I wasn’t feeling very well and only managed to get a few photos of Sophie’s mural:::

The spectacle.

This is what I look like naked.

My favorite witches, CA Conrad + Ariana Reines pulling the contents of a book out for her forever enlightened Ancient Evenings audience.

And me, being a drunk wannabe goddess 🙂

GRRRLS ON FILM!

GRRRLS ON FILM! celebrates the work of women, trans people, and genderqueer filmmakers, writers, performers, and other creators, especially but not exclusively those whose work has been influential to or stems from riot grrrl and queercore movements. the series is held by page 22’s page poetry salon (curated by lee ann brown) in the former home of geraldine page at 435 W. 22nd St. in Manhattan. for ten consecutive weeks, GRRRLS ON FILM! meets Thursday nights, doors at 8pm. the night will begin with the salon and end with the screening. audience space is limited and dependent on rsvp. to do so, please send an email to grrrlsonfilm@gmail.com, and feel free to let us know now which nights you’d like to attend as we have rsvp lists going for the whole series. all events are free and open to those that rsvp first, but for those that are able to do so, a suggested donation of $10 would really help cover all the costs incurred in putting this event together. we will supply some food and/or drinks every week but suggest everyone BYOB and/or bring something to share!

OCCUPY WALL STREET: POETRY ASSEMBLY

Travis Holloway and I each held cardboard signs reading, “POETRY ASSEMBLY“. Jennifer Blowdryer collected names in a box. Everyone and anyone could add their name to the box to read. Name cards were pulled at random to avoid favoritism and nepotism. We wanted a democratization of the poet’s platform, to create a space where headliners were equal to unknown poet’s. Major poet’s like Eileen Myles and Ariana Reines joined poet’s who had never made their voices heard. Filip Marinovich began the reading with a poem entitled “Funny Numbers (dedicated to the great gay poet Tim Dlugos)”. Maybe two or three poet’s read before the rain came pouring down. Everyone huddled in closer together, I pulled an opened cardboard box that had been made into a sign reading “POETRY ASSEMBLY” over Adam Fitzgerald and my own head. The rain came harder and harder but a core group of people remained undeterred by the rain and continually shared poem’s. People were supposed to read no longer than 3 minutes but some went over the suggested time limit while others were quite brief. The poem’s read ranged in style, emotion, content but all shared a desire for solidarity. The poem itself may not have expressed solidarity but the poet’s actions did. We continued to read our poems as the torrential downpour came down for close to an hour. People from all over the world shared. Some poet’s used the peoples mic since we were not allowed to use technological amplifiers. Other’s didn’t feel their poems could be portrayed using the peoples mic as their poems flow would be tarnished, so they did their best to speak louder so that the people occupying Wall Street would hear their cry.

The Poetry Assembly will continually be held every Friday night until the giants we are fighting adhere to our demands. Anyone can organize a reading or event as long as it is done through consensus with those present. We would like to be the community we seek. Please respect everyone through the use of a vote. Ask for permission from others to speak. Listen to one another. Let everyone’s voice be heard. In doing so, we’ll perform not only poetry but true, participatory democracy.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect …our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known…

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POETRY POETRY POETRY

The city is covered in snow and two of my favorite living poets are taking the stage: CA CONRAD and Ariana Reines. Tighten up your boots, wrap yourself in your thickest scarf, call someone you can snuggle up with and venture out into the mystic..

FIRST GO HERE:

Segue Reading Series Presents:
CA CONRAD and NORMA COLE at the Bowery Poetry Club.
Event starts at 4pm.

CA Conrad is the recipient of the 2009 Gil Ott Book Award for The Book of Frank (Wave Books, Jan 22 2010). His collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock, The City Real & Imagined, was also published in 2010 (Factory School). Visit him online at CAConrad.blogspot.com.

Norma Cole‘s most recent books of poetry are Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 and Natural Light. A book of essays and talks, To Be At Music, appeared in August 2010 from Omnidawn. Cole teaches at the University of San Francisco.

THEN GO HERE:

YARDMETER in Brooklyn at 7pm: music by Todd Almond, a film by Lee and Micah Chabowski, readings by Ben Mirov and Ariana Reines, artwork by Robert Melzmuf. The event is at:::
267 Douglass Street, Brooklyn, NY

SEE ALL YOU GEMS THERE AND/OR THERE

ARIANA REINES INTERVIEW

Dodie Bellamy first turned me on to Ariana Reines two and a half years ago after she took me to see Rape of the Sabine Woman. I don’t remember exactly why Ariana was brought up while we drove through the rain and excitedly discussed the show we had just watched and became part of, but I am very thankful the name was dropped. When I got home I did some googling and found excerpts of “The Cow” posted online. I read the excerpts and immediately a fascination developed. Flash forward a few years and after much online stalking and book buying, I finally got to meet her after the staging of the second act of her play TELEPHONE which took place at the Guggenheim museum last fall.

This past year Ariana Reines has been segueing into music and more performative acts. Recently this manifested with her opening for one of my all time favorite bands and biggest crushes Psychic TV. When I found out Ariana was opening up for Psychic TV, I approached her and asked her to do an interview on the subject. Two days before the show, she read poems at The Red Horse Cafe as part of the P.O.D. reading series. As she opened up her reading, she gushed, “it’s really weird that I’m opening for Psychic TV and I’ve had the shits for the past 3 days so if I have to suddenly run off stage at any moment that’s what’s happening.” Later that night my life went up in flames, my long term girlfriend suffered a minor injury during her fire performance and we broke up. I too was suddenly in the shits… two days later Psychic TV cleansed my soul. By the time we got to a diner with Ariana, about four days later, my life had completely come undone. Dodie Bellamy posted the story I wrote about it all here.

When we first met up with Ariana for the interview, I was extremely nauseaus and unsure how I could function fully enough to work out a descent interview. But Ariana and JT were great. She annointed me with sandalwood oil and JT fed me lamb. Originally we set out to focus the interview on what it’s like to share the bill with Psychic TV but Ariana is such a major person, working on so many varied projects and giving so much of her energy to the world that it proved impossible to keep the interview tied to just one inspired subject. It brings J.T. and I immense pleasure to bring to you all an interview with the fabulous Ariana Reines.

MP: We finally get to interview you! How did you get in contact with Psychic Tv? What is your relationship with them like?

AR: It’s such an honor because I love you both. I first met Eddy their drummer two and a half years ago by chance. I had gone to see them before Lady Jaye died at the Bowery Ballroom. It was one of a few concerts I went to in my life alone. Because no one I was friends with was interested at the time, I don’t really know why. It’s funny I was talking to Eddy about this the other night. I’m in between a lot of things in my life and there are a lot of little worlds that don’t seem to spill over into each other even though I think they should and Psychic TV for me and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is one, I don’t know, four or five years ago when I realized that Genesis Breyer P-Orridge existed, I happened to have the money and found out about the show and was able to go to the show all in time which usually doesn’t happen for me since I usually find out about things after they happen. Two years later I made friends with Eddy, we have the same birthday.

MP: Cool.

AR: A year ago Genesis and Eddy and Bryin were going to do a performance at the Issue Project Room but Genesis had to go into the hospital that day, and it was sort of a strange semi-cursed day in many ways. I hadn’t met Genesis and then she had this sudden lung inflammation, so Mal-O-Mar nite turned out to be the writers and Holy Shit but no Thee Majesty and Holy Shit was amazing, though of course we missed Thee Majesty. It was just sorta this tacit thing, I guess Eddy gave her some of my books.

MP: And Genesis must have loved them.

AR: I don’t know. We never discussed it. And then I was on the bill. I don’t really know what went on on their end of things. Is that an answer?

MP: Yes! Earlier we were talking about how people pay to go and see things, people spend time and plan to get tickets ahead of time, schedule the night off to give themselves to something, to take part in an experience but you get there and it seems so many people are just there to act like they’re hanging out at their local bar…

AR: Can I interject?

MP: Yeah, of course…

AR: Well a friend and I were talking the other night, she was the person I went to see Marina Abramovic’s “Seven Easy Pieces” with. I don’t know if you two know about this, but in 2005 Marina did I think seven nights of performances at the Guggenheim. Many of the performances were extremely violent and very difficult. But for me the most violent and difficult thing to bear about the performances was that people were talking throughout the performances. People talked like they were at any other sort of gathering where sophisticated people talk, like they were at the races, or if you have ever read Edith Wahrton she describes how high society people talked through the Opera. It’s like this is how a sophisticated acculturated place functions.

For me what was interesting and devastating about the Five Easy Pieces performances was that I felt she was providing an example of a kind of concentration that is lost to the world. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen her perform but she has an extraordinary amount of energy which she can communicate to those people who are really there, really there. Of course many people have a very powerful experience of her performances, and the internet has helped to document this; perhaps it has become more popular to offer oneself to her as her fame has grown? I don’t know. But I remember in 2005, it was a very peculiar situation. The Guggenheim was totally crowded, and it was this combination of a chic meet-and-greet and a space of radical emotional and psychical upheaval. It is not just that what she did or simply how she was made people cry.

My first time being in the New York Times happened then, by the way, not that this matters and they didn’t know who I was, but I yelled, “You don’t have to do this again” in a very wrung moment that bizarrely made it into the review of the show. She was cutting her stomach open and from one of the high coils of the Guggenheim a man yelled back “yes you do” and I started sobbing uncontrollably and ran out of the building, having definitively experienced the most overpowering trauma and elecrification ever inflicted on me by art. It was the most powerful experience I had ever had from a live art experience.

I turned my life upside down for a year forcing myself into what had made that experience so enormous for me. And not just for me. It seemed to me that her concentration and her generosity were a colossal triumph, because in many ways she in these performances was also merely a kind of centerpiece for high culture to rotate around like a carousel of painted ponies bobbing up and down. Like at a fine dinner there may be a centerpiece with plums and candles or whatever. Or a giant Thanksgiving turkey. And that was her. Or a maypole that people circulate around. And that is often what art is for people. And that’s also what ritual is. So it functions on both a low social level and on a very high level. And most of the people, or lets say half, are there to participate in it socially. But there are other people there that want to participate on another level or who cannot help it, who are hungry, whose souls are hungry.

I mean, opening for Psychic TV was weird…. Continue reading

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Ariana Reines, M. Lamar, Our Lady J

Shalom Motha Fucka’s!! The Holiday’s are upon us! I’ve been eating latkes and dropping off little gifts to loved ones as I await to celebrate Christmas… Secretly, I love the holidays and wish mistletoe was a year round hobby we all engaged in (after we found a cure for herpes, of course). So in the name of the Holiday Spirit I thought I’d point your attention to three people that I am proud to call friends (Ariana Reines, M. Lamar, and Our Lady J) so you may see the inspirational work they are making + a festival of lights to you

 

Read on… Continue reading