And not that you asked . . . but yes : In my continued assault against the expected, this piece was composed in a form not open but rather fixed, or — despite how deliciously perverse I consider usage of the term, a myriad of connotations attached to it as stead-fast as a spiked cilice to the inner thigh of an Opus Dei — strict.
By no means is it my intention to imply that free verse is inferior, but rather familiar. Hence, exploring the paradoxical freedoms of composing within a limited; i.e., formal poetic structure . . . namely, one of my own creation? Oftentimes the experience is nothing short of numinous.
All the rumors are true! Stolen and Forbidden — the event a particular Steven Reigns curated, and I mentioned in the not-so-distant past — is available for viewing, now : at no expense! In the comfort and privacy of your own home . . .
Crack open a fresh can of Crisco; slam-dunk those dentures in a fizz of Polident. It’s about to get real up in here — and by real, I mean really entertaining!
It’s Saturday. Whatever plans you think you had? Cancel.
In my eternal quest to keep the “litter” in literature, it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of this event :
And yes, there’s a Facebook Page, for those of you who care about that type of thing.
[ MORE ] :
“Before the Internet, pilferage and privacy breaking were common for young gay men looking for answers and others like themselves in the words of books and magazines they were denied access to by price, age, or shame. The stories that accompany these texts are just as amusing as the text themselves. Five gay men talk about and read the text that was forbidden or they stole in their youth. The act of sneak reading is a common experience. The length one goes to do it is often comical. This will be a FREE, fun literary event that offers humor, connectedness, and an informal primer for seminal gay literary works. FREE validated parking is available in the 5 story parking structure.”
i was content to spend my afternoons wondering what co-dependent meant not realizing that those lazy humid daylight hours was better spent figuring out the physics of dependency and codeine dreams
back when i knew who i was i was much better than i ever thought i was i could conjugate fuck like nobody’s business fuck me, fuck you, fuck it, fuck him, fuck her fuck them, fuck yourself, holy fuck, goddamnfuckit i could shovel dead pets off the driveway that my aunt ran over on her way to choir practice and not shed a single tear i could choke down every family fight about money, every caning that would come for no reason after those fights, every time we were forced to go to my rich relatives for dinner and we’d find ourselves in the kitchen cooking and doing the dishes.
i believed i knew the meaning of alcohol i believed i knew how to get out of every scrap i believed i wasn’t gonna make 25 i believed in 18 molecules of carbon 21 molecules of hydrogen 3 oxygen and one fab nitrogen all in a sweet mixture enough to make me feel like jennifer beals in flashdance twirling my ass in front of the snotty audition, praying for a stinking place in the dance-a-thon of actuality
back when my balls were the size of brazil and my ego was the size of the antarctica and my courage was the size of phlegm i learned to trust few people learned to want little and to need even less i learned to say “FUCK IT”
with such ease and venom the most cynical rattlesnake would have its underbelly turn emerald in two seconds flat.
you could wake to find yourself in some sweet danger, in some piss-flavored version of addiction designed to make up for lost time, lost ideals, lost lovers, lost causes, lost saviours but -shit- these days, all i find is myself back when i was back in the conga line of perpetual desire the territory of an incessant need i crave my one habit of a good man and i want to secede from the grip of addiction philosophy, from the colony of “i should’ve known better”
fuck that 12-step thing, i say, i like to keep my options open and i like having the option to get absolutely fucked up when i feel like it, and not feel like i fucked up, dammit.
do things change that much? can some stupid sign from the almighty whip you right around? maybe i should be looking for visions of jesus in billboards of spaghetti sauce, visions of buddha in men’s semen, maybe i’ll be a much better person if i knew who i was when i knew who i was but who the fuck do i think i am? i can’t even piss straight into the bowl, can’t even tell my lover that i want to cook him breakfast for the rest of my life, can’t even cross against the light, (ooh, walk to the light, walk to the light….) can’t pay my bills on time nor balance my checkbook can’t dance, can’t mosh, can’t get fucked up like i used to, not that i want to anyway can’t take it like a man, whatever that means.
all i can is kiss who i was back when i knew who i was goodbye, one great big tongue smooch and wish him a good journey as he walks to the light and falls off the edge of the earth and into a peaceful hell.
Though much to my chagrin, no : I don’t have some butt-humping Brontosaurus to send your direct. I do, however, have an invaluable relic uncovered during the most recent excavation of my abode. And like, I’m sharing. I’m sharing, Mary!
So, anyway. Yes, it’s been a minute, but I’ve mentioned Ali Liebegott‘s wicked excellent anthology Faggot Dinosaur in the past — a detail whether or not you recall, all the same : You need this journal in your life.
About the project [ Shoddy scanner notwithstanding ] :
In short, the anthology is “a visual and literary collaboration of dinosaurs knitting, fucking, and listening to Barbara Streisand! Queerness of the Paleolithic Age abounds at Faggot Dinosaur.”
It’s a charming little beast, this book. Indeed, indeed! I mean, as with Liebegott’s otherworks, you should already own one. Seriously. Regardless, for one lucky reader out there, I have a copy with fifteen contributor signatures to donate. That’s right, kids : the only journal in the world with autographs from Justin Chin, Janice Lee, Michelle Tea, Ricky Lee, Na’amen, Mario Ashkar, Kirk Read, Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Jen Benka & Carol Mirakove, Lucy Corin, Hilary Goldberg, Carmella Suzanne Fleming, your host of this humble Dot Com, and of course, The Liebegott herself. So much crazy mad queer ink smeared all up in one place, yet I plan on sending it somewhere, to someone else. What’s the T?
Well. For your chance to receive this collector’s item, all you have to do is leave a comment — email address included; my telepathic skills don’t pay the bills, ifyouknowwhatImean — by 9:39 PM Pacific Standard Time, the Third of March, Two Thousand Thirteen.
So, let’s talk about Hilary Goldberg‘s recLAmation, a feature-length genre-hopping experimental documentary-slash-fictive narrative shot on Super 8, in which capitalism in contemporary Los Angeles is overthrown, and queer superheroes — one of which there’s a more-than-decent chance I inhabit via Gaylord Wilshire, spandex tights and flame-retardant cape notwithstanding — navigate a possible future.
Yes. Yes, let’s talk about it. I spoke of its unique tripartite structure in a previous post, though in brief : In the first two sections, Consumption and Colonization, personal narratives interact with moving images of contemporary Los Angeles, stop motion animation, and sound design. Writer/director Goldberg’s memoir unfolds, offering reflections on time spent with her mother’s violent fiancé and in a mental hospital.
The filmmaker’s recollection of forced institutionalization is as poetic as it is poignant.
[ An excerpt ] :
“There were no ‘Please Do Not Disturb’ signs on the doorknobs because it was too late. Ghosts haunted the halls, moaning and groaning with each unbearable second. People cried and screamed and urinated on the floor. A man continuously kicked himself in the head with his bare foot. Others paced quietly, then dropped to the ground in fits of madness with intervals like a John Cage composition.”
As with the stark black and white film stock utilized in Goldberg’s neo-noir project In The Spotlight, the employment of Super 8 — an anamorphic film format known for producing a unique dream-like quality, as if everything is coated in an amniotic haze; it’s also believed to invoke feelings of nostalgia for the viewer, mimicking a sense of connection to the material presented — renders these passages particularly powerful.
Then? Then comes the third section : a fictional narrative envisions a dream of Los Angeles after it has been liberated from capitalism.
At any rate, after a successful international tour and critically-acclaimed jaunt around the festival circuit, it’s available to view via streaming, here and now. . .
Director Hilary Goldberg between takes, with Michelle Tea [ as Olive Clutch ] and Clint Catalyst
Well, after great critical acclaim and a tour of film festivals around the world — including Inside Out Toronto, Frameline, Outfest, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Fresno Reel Pride, Women Make Waves Taiwan, Seattle Queer, American Cinematheque Third Annual Focus on Female Directors, Reel Women International, Frederick Film Festival, Reel Pride Michigan, and The Dark Arts Festival in Salt Lake City — this meta-fictive neo-noir is finally available to watch in the comfort of your own home…for a scant 99 cents.
Still on the proverbial fence? I know; I know — it’s almost an entire dollar, maing! As you mull the idea over, feel free to peek “beneath the cut” and view the film’s official trailer, stills, and…oh yeah! Details about that give-away I mentioned!
“For the past decade, Porchlight has been San Francisco’s premier storytelling series. Each month, co-founders Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte invite six people from different backgrounds to tell ten-minute true stories without using notes or memorization. Past storytellers include some of the area’s most entertaining school bus drivers, mushroom hunters, politicians, socialites, sex workers, musicians, authors, systems analysts, and social workers.”
Monday, June 18 I Do: The Wedding Show
A special day to be remembered forever. What could possibly go wrong?
” Thee dark alt god himself, Clint Catalyst descended onto TXTBK’S CHVяCH XV BяXK3N 7ANGvAG3 and pummeled thee sound tonight. Gliding gracefully through cavernous depths ov dance and depravity I absolutely loved his whole persona. And all guns instantly went off in Blambodia when he complimented me on my music taste in thee chat. Thee natives chests all swelled with pride. INFINITE BLAM.
I’m co-editing an anthology with the phenomenal Lucie Barât —founder the publishing house, social network & international non-profit Little Episodes, an organization that “promotes the arts…”
[ get it? got it. good! ]
— & —
we’re eager to check out your visual art & writing.
Entitled Queer Episodes, Lucie describes the anthology as “a celebration of queer literature: loves gained, loves lost, loves shared, coming out, staying out, & how the world looks from a queer eye.”
In Catalyzed vernacular? This one’s for the rest of us. As in: the eccentric, unconventional, out-of-the-ordinary, marginalized, unique…
Wondering about the phrase ‘queer’? While I’ve no interest in regurgitating opinions I’ve been vocal about in the past, a veritable [AHEM!] Clint’s Notes version goes something like THIS:
Do you identify as trans?
Are you in a heterosexual relationship but aren’t, you know, ‘straight’?
Do you feel that your sexual orientation isn’t a viable option among the standard choices available on the drop-down menu of this Scantron test we know as our day-to-day?
For example: When creating one’s profile on a social networking site? [ A source of great consternation, personally. I’ve either opted to not answer—which made me feel like a closet case—or I’ve acquiesced & selected “gay,” cringing from all the connotations I know accompany it: I’m not “Happy!”; I don’t spend a minimum of 30 hours/week at the gym; I hate musicals; tl;dr / et cetera]
Sparing [further] snooze-fest from excessive elaboration:
Ultimately, I believe queer is a far more inclusive term than ‘gay.’
EDIT : Upon receiving numerous questions regarding the [not so] great Queer versus Gay Debate, I’ve changed my mind about “sparing the snooze fest,” Or rather : you’ve changed my mind, most inquisitive little chilins. . .
If the Q word is still a query, Mary, please scroll to the bottom of this post, where the hodgepodge of quotations, references, and links I’ve gathered will communicate more effectively. [ I hope! ]
Before you get your bowels in an uproar, or commence the requisite whiny “But I Don’t Want To Have To Sign Up For Another Social Network” response I’ve been known to espouse, short of the long is this:
Moreover, there’s really no reason for trepidation. I mean, what are you thinking: someone’s gonna show up at your front door if you haven’t logged in in three days? Umm, yeah—sure thing.
Moving right along…
N O P R E V I O U S L Y P U B L I S H E D W O R K
As in: not only other anthologies, but also magazines, ‘zines, journals, any sort of on-line anything.
You will retain the rights to your work upon the release of Queer Episodes;
we simply don’t want a book that’s full of repeat performances.
[ This ain’t no “K-Tel Presents”; know what I’m sayin’? ]
S I M U L T A N E O U S S U B M I S S I O N S
A C C E P T E D
However, you must designate them as such.
R E G A R D I N G
M O N E T A R Y C O M P E N S A T I O N
At this time, there isn’t any.
Before you ask…
Your work will appear in a perfect-bound, professionally-printed book—as in: the kind that’s all certified & bona-fide, complete with an ISBN-listing & a downloadable electronic companion [read: Kindle Edition] available.
In addition to bragging rights, there will be promotional events, at which you’ll have the opportunity to perform your work— or perhaps have your work performed by others.
Plus, the following might also be of interest . . .
“Little Episodes donates all profit to its outreach side: promoting awareness, & destigmatising depression & addiction through the arts. There is also a ‘Mental Health’ group on our social network that is for people affected by depression or addiction to chat & find helpful support information. We provide visits to residential units or day centres. Little Episodes is keen to reach out to people who can’t get to other Little Episodes events. These visits can include art, drama, music & writing therapy workshops, readings from the books, performances &/or a general Q & A.”
W H E R E , W H E N , & H O W ?
Prose, poetry and narrative non-fiction should be submitted in Word (*.doc/rtf) format
Curious in terms of word count? Aim for a max of 3K.
☆ ★ ☆ The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2012. ☆ ★ ☆
W H A T A B O U T A R T W O R K ?
To celebrate the launch of Queer Episodes, we are inviting artists, photographers & illustrators to submit a piece of visual work to be used as the cover illustration on the theme of ‘Celebrating the Different.’
All visual submissions should ideally be submitted in pdf, jpg, gif,png or tiff format, resolution should be set to at least 300dpi, & suitably sized for a 7 x 9″ (17.8 x 22.9cm) printing page.
UNLIKE THAT ENGORGED NIP BLINKING A MESSAGE OF
“TOUCH ME/TWEAK ME/C’MON FREAK ME, BABY” IN [ WH ]ORSE CODE
The Following Info? Bitch, Don’t Get It Twisted. . .
Said another way?
No, I’m not providing marked time codes as any sort of encouragement to
“just fast-forward to [my] section.” If I were that much of an egomaniac,
I’d have—oh, I don’t know—assaulted you countless times via Facebook
messages [ HATE. THOSE! ] & event invites for The Adonis Factor‘s
4 pm time slot among the airwaves, this Sunday past. . .
On the contrary, the [ forthcoming ] digits have been designated
for those who might be skimming this text &—at the moment—have but a few minutes to spare.
IN SUCH AN INSTANCE, HOWEVER, THE IDEA
IS THAT YOU’LL RETURN WHEN CHANCE PRESENTS.
Not only am I grateful to have been chosen as an interviewee for this film with such timely subject
matter, but I also want to formally express my thanks to the scribes who’ve included me in reviews :
those in which I’m mentioned by name or [ somewhat ]reasonable facsimilie ,
as well as references to me by archetype, regardless of phrasing.
All the clichés about “the ugly side of being beautiful,” a director’s “unflinching gaze” [ homophone
much? ] : they’re all applicable—as are the strong reactions Hines’ investigation provokes.
[ one example ] :
“‘If you’re gonna be gay, you’re just gonna have to experience the wrath of the A crowd,’
one perfect 10 in search of an 11 attests.
Some of us are just too allergic to house music to hazard that . . .”
“Whoever said opposites attract clearly never went to the Folsom Street Fair, where every body type runs in packs of two (or several). Sure, mom said looks aren’t everything. But was she a gay man? It’s brutal out there. Combine a sophisticated, compartmentalized urban gay scene like San Francisco’s own with the Internet’s heightened judging-book-by-cover — no actual book reading implied — and you’ve got a recipe for looks obsessiveness that can snare even the safely off-market.”
To which filmmaker Christopher Hines counters, via
interview with Edge New York :
“The point of the film is that we’re men. We’re not going to hold hands and sing ’Kumbaya’
and just all be nice to each other.”
Touché, Mssr. Hines. . . Touché!
That being stated, my Q & A [ conducted on a sweltering summer afternoon, sans the luxury
of air conditioning—hence the Yes-I-Know-I-Could-Moonlight-at-KFC, Honey /
Ain’t-No-Need-To-Mention-My-Mug-Being-Beyond-“Dewy” look ]
is nestled within the
25:17 — 28:37
If you can survive the commercials
[ we’re all impatient, so don’t even consider visiting that territory—
same as the unedited, 30 minute longer version with extras: convenience is a privilege, not a ‘right’ ]
…or wherever it is the telly’s located. [ Assuming, that is, that you own one! ]
jumping right in on that tip
[ the one by which I’m putting the ass in “assumption,” yes ]
I dare say:
perhaps you recognize the following image, credited to a certain ‘Dirk Mai‘
[ Make-Up by Stacey Hummell ]
Yeah, you know, the one in which I’m all gussied-up in the grand regalia of Mildred von Hildegard’s
highly-coveted [ & oft-imitated ] line of conceptual bespoke brilliance
known as ‘Mother of London‘
[ …? ]
the photo shoot was captured on film—
namely, the latest documentary by Christopher Hines entitled
“Chiseled bodies, flawless skin, sculpted jawlines. At a time when popular culture objectifies men more than ever, it’s hard for them to avoid the pressure to possess such physical traits. In his follow-up to The Butch Factor, director Christopher Hines exposes how far some will go to attain the ‘Adonis Factor’ — the kind of god-like masculine beauty only seen in ancient Greek sculptures.
Hines takes viewers on an eye-opening journey through circuit parties, gay porn, and [ AHEM! ] avant-garde fashion photo shoots, all of which promote their own kinds of idealized physiques. By capturing a diverse range of voices — from those who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of mainstream male beauty, to those who openly spurn it — The Adonis Factor ultimately
poses the question: does a man’s fixation on body image make him any happier?”
“More than ever, we live in a body conscious world, one where images of the male body are targeted at you 24/7. No wonder then that many men, both gay and straight, find themselves unhappy with their body image, opting to go to various lengths, some extreme, in the pursuit of their ideal of physical perfection.
Yet in an increasingly superficial society, one where your look may well shape, if not define you, is this any surprise? Indeed as one participant in this thought-provoking documentary from writer, producer and director Christopher Hines put it, “how I look has made my experience of being a gay man, the
better” and here cue more parties, more sex, more friends. Yet life is a lot more complicated, as Hines sets out to show, along the way taking into account the thoughts of dermatologists, doctors, psychologists and sexologists, to plastic surgeons kept busy with never-ending requests for face lifts to pec implants.
Yet whilst surgically enhanced male beauty comes with a price tag attached to it, others things in life arrive with alarming side effects. For here Hines charts not just the use of illegal growth hormones and steroid abuse, but shocking slimming disorders that see twink styled teens resorting to aerobic bulimia, literally working off everything they eat, as opposed to throwing the calories up, just to stay thin beyond thin. All of which brings to mind the question of what has society become, when the pressure to fit in results with many playing Russian Roulette with their health?”
[ In Conclusion ]
“Filled with more buffed-to-perfection muscular studs than what you can shake a waxing strip at…” [ L O V E ! ] Hines “deliver[s] an eye-opening insight into the yin and yang of the gay world.”
“…Willowy model Clint Catalyst [ with a marvelous makeup sequence that magically employs loose chains and spray paint to conjure up a compelling cover visage ] has moved miles away from the persecution of small-town bigotry to moulding his admiration for the likes of David Bowie into a personal statement that can be truly savoured.
By journey’s end, there is much hope that the queer amongst us will be accepted first by themselves, then by their peers and finally by the world at large. As commentator-comedian Bruce Vilanch points out, the ultimate male physique has been deified and envied since the original Olympics, where competitors never had to struggle into skimpy spandex.”