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 🙂

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SPECIAL ALERT SPECIAL ALERT: THE MAGIC THE MAGIC THE MAGIC THE MAGICAL AFTERNOON

A Guerilla Reading by Rick Moody and CA Conrad at MoMA

wednesday, march 20th
12:30pm
6th floor (several galleries in)
at the BALLA paintings

From CA Conrad’s website:

(SPECIAL ALERT SPECIAL ALERT, THE REINCARNATED SOUL OF GIACOMO BALLA HAS BEEN LOCATED, CURRENTLY LIVING IN NYC, AND SHE IS A WOMAN AND SHE IS A GENIUS, AND SHE IS WISER THAN HER FORMER SELF (when she was a man named Giacomo Balla) AND SHE WILL BE JOINING US FOR THE MAGIC THE MAGIC THE MAGIC THE MAGICAL AFTERNOON)

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 🙂

The OWS Poetry Anthology on WBAI!!!

Today, February 20th, 2012, WBAI had me on their Occupy Broadcast to talk about the OWS Poetry Anthology.

Here’s the show in its entirety (I come on at 8:40 and continue for about 20 minutes):

For more progressive talk, go to WBAI.org! Or for the anthology, go to the People’s Library wordpress page! I wanted to read more poems on the show, but ran out of time. Alas, I was able to read work by CA Conrad, Lara Weibgen, Sparrow and Ras Osagyefo. Just a handful of poets but hopefully representative of the vast diversity the anthology has compiled.

Dan Deacon and So Percussion Join Forces at the Ecstatic Music Festival

Seeing Dan Deacon and So Percussion play at the Ecstatic Music Festival reminded me of all the times I was young and joined drum circles down by the piers of Southern California. It’s the only real place where business guys on their lunch break can hang out with homeless dudes floating through the afternoon on acid. The drum circle offers equality because there is no real head or tail. It’s an inclusive space for all walks of life to join together to rattle and bang out sounds. The main objective is to share rhythm by tuning into each other and ones self. Drum circles offer space for group consciousness to grow so that a collective voice can emerge from communally shared rhythm. Most of the drum circles that have snared me into a prolonged afternoon lull, coupled with a joint or five, have been full of amateur drummers banging out simple beats that could be easily followed. Usually there’s some cool-experienced-guru type with a few extra drums or rattles willing to share with the estranged passerbyers so that they may partake in “becoming one with the universe” through the experience of banging on shit with a buncha strangers. Unlike drumming groups and troupes, the drum circle is an end in itself rather than the preparation for a performance. The Dan Deacon and So Percussion segment of the Ecstatic Music Festival brought everyone in attendance together similarly to a drum circle in different kind of communal, rhythmic experience.

So Percussion started the night with five songs improvised in conjunction with absurd short videos friends of the band created. For those not familiar with So Percussion, they experiment with drums, percussion instruments and found objects that make interesting noises, using them to explore the realms of improvisational performance. They invited a couple friends to join them for the evening, having them stand in for a missing bandmate at the hospital with his wife and newborn baby. Their set opened with a pretty straightforward drum circle and then then welcomed the audience into more experimental work. Their second song began with the audience helping band members sing “Happy Birthday Elsie” into a cellphone to newborn Elsie. Congrats! And lucky Elsie got the song and video “Toothpaste Bit” dedicated to her. The song “Toothpaste Bit” incorporated such varied instruments as an electric toothbrush, drums, a computer, a metronome, and an electric guitar. In keeping with babies and the starry eyed quality of being young, they next played a video of an infant playing with an orange balloon, about twenty or thirty orange balloons were tossed to the audience and I watched as young and old audience members alike swatted the balloons back into the air. Much of their work is exploratory, and band members explained that they try to use the places they go – airplanes, hotel rooms, cars – as guideposts to make music from. They closed their opening set playing along to a video of one of their inspirations, Martin Schmidt (of Matmos fame), wearing a white shirt and black blow tie, playing with shakers, blowing buzzers, and shaking rattles in unsuspecting intervals.

When Dan Deacon took the stage he returned the audiences attention back to cellphones by holding two cellphones together so they could create feedback, showing us how we were to do this when we reached a certain point of the evenings next activity. He then had score sheets passed out to the audience so everyone in attendance could form an ensemble, encouraging everyone that it was going to be a big show with a large audience and even though we hadn’t practiced we’d do great. Once everyone got their score sheet we began to conduct “Take A Deep Breath.” Dan had everyone present synchronize their cell phone times and then set their alarms to 8:21. At 8:21 as everyone’s phone alarms sounded we all began enacting the 24 step instruction sheet for the new experimental noise band we all formed.

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