9th MAD Open Mic: Captured Words

2 05 2012

MAD Open Mic swings ’round once more; again I toss together something last minute and perform it in high style, fingertips a-curl. Inspired by Anne Carson’s Short Talks, which I’ve loved for going on seven years now, plus signifi-quests and murky underwater imagery, whose slip and slime I can’t seem to shake, and so choose to embrace.

My introduction this round:
Janel Torkington is here for her third reading. She is currently studying the science of Being In The Right Place At The Right Time, with a creative minor in Living In The Here And Now.

[[October’s performance: modern romance.]]

short talk from the bottom of the sea.
currents ancient, softblack and slow smoky in their curls.
scant handfuls of things luminescent,
holloweyed hauntbeasts aglow with pale turquoise flame.
slithering multitudes of things undesirous of attention,
all Lurk and Loom and Lust,
biding (time)(secondshoursyears–
–expending no energy. they move not. they d r i f t,
currentbeings, currently seething,
stillquiet in the silent burning arias of the vents:
(the vents thevents)
fissures in the depth spewing steady hot song from molten rock

perched, crouched, ready,
it’s here you’ll find Author,
tangled in rotten black weed,
creeping at you with oversize eyes.

only here will you find Voice,
long exiled from polished oysterpearl origins,
simmering salty now and scattered,
all in hide-n-seek bits, snatches,
grasping at eelstraw mists.

Meaning, the kraken.
doesn’t matter if you believe in sucker and slime,
in salient cutting shears jawbone beak.
Meaning slurps to and fro, slick and strong,
effortless ballet through swaths of impermeable ink.

Nighttime in Northen Lavapiés – fotopost

5 03 2012

Mercado de Antón Martín.

Butcher outside of Mercado.

La Filmoteca.

Abandoned doorframe grunge.


Hay pan.

Street of the Three Fishes.


Triangle Room.

From my housemate’s exterior window.
This is where I live.

8th MAD Open Mic: Captured Words

20 10 2011

English verbal creations of all variety swirl round the mirrored pillars of Café Concierto La Fídula at the 8th iteration of Marjorie Kanter’s MAD Open Mic. Multiple-voiced ghost stories and spontaneous maternal monologues, couplets dedicated to the micturating elderly and comic verse lamenting loss of love to 92 flavors of cheese. I’m not the only one who finds writing vital in this city.

This marks the second time I’ve signed myself up for the event without having written a damn thing, in the not unreasonable expectation that the best kind of inspiration is last minute panic. I read-perform a piece I’m provisionally and pretentiously calling modern romance. It’s designed with the intention of performance, but perhaps the stance in the photo will offer some glimpse of how it plays out on stage.

modern romance
so he video calls me from italy, a party.

me in my terra firma he in his,
connected by pixels and garbled partynoise.
fuzz, and then — focus.
colors flashing,
whirling the lens,
image blends:
long table full of mad revelry.
young people old people knickknacks wine,
international gewgaws:
african ambassador, chinese figurines,
ceramic german beer steins and costa rican beach tapestries,
jade and wood and molded plastic,
the atypical made typical:
mama nostra’s own ravioli steaming, screaming,
it’s a small world after all.

extended arm and reflecting his face,
spine shudders,
dirty little jolt that
it’s me by whom he aims to be seen.

unseen prior inhalation results in slow smoke emerging from cracked songwriter’s lips,
pursed out,
kissing filthy smoky airstreams,
softly forming smokeships drifting up and curling round extended finger,
and i know it’s me,
i know i am the uncoiled finger and
i know that this sootsnake has me encircled entwined entranced enraptured encaptured, and
his eyes on the lens
his eyes on the screen
his pixellated digital representation coolly seeking connection,
narrowed eyeslits sultry through smokescreen,
and finding me
in my buring racing retinas and
in my aching frantic heartbeat,
my insistantly pulsating bloodstream.

it is image and
it is a simularum and
it is constructed and
it is a construction and
it is a creation
unto me,
just for me,
only for me.

Berlin: die Nacht

22 09 2011

First you need Club-Mate, sugared caffeinated half-liter tea-bomb. You will be on your game.

Then you hit up a kiosk again for beers and balls. On second thought, scratch the balls. On second second thought…

Tote said beers plus barbeque fixings to awaiting park party. Marvel at decency of Hefeweissen/banana juice combo. Proceed to play with fire, then enjoy the meaty fruits of your labor. Wish you had perfected the art of portable hot sauce by now.

Allow evening to slide into night.

Strut into exclusive art party held in what appears to your night vision to be a warehouse in the forest. When confronted as to whether you are on the list, gesticulate exasperatedly and grandly declare yourself to be with the person in front of you (as though that weren’t obvious). Take subsequent advantage of open bar.

Escape into nearby park to indulge in ghostly moonlit highjinks.

Wind down in Some Bar Somewhere. Let night’s apparitions seep their way into the smoke.

Fiestas del Norte: Azpeitia

29 08 2011

’round these parts, each city designates at minimum one day a year as its local day of fiesta – more frequently four days to a full week, from what I can tell. Being up north this summer has had me privy to three distinct city-wide celebrations:


The trusty Renault traipses across windy winding Basque coastline from our walking tour of Bosque de Oma all the way to Azpeitia, home-pueblo of friend Maider. It’s the final day of fiesta here, and the streets are spotty with refuse and revelers alike. We’re famished from the jaunt and gorge overflowing bocatas de albondigas – similar to cheese-less meatball subs.

The goal here is a concert that begins at 1.30 AM – and no, I didn’t forget a digit – so we spend the interim lollygagging, enjoying bottles of bitter-tart sidra and grooving to imported mariachi beats. About a quarter past, we mosey towards the stage, squeezed in-between apartments and streetside shops, currently surrounded by alternative-style stalls of beer hucksters. I spy everything from anarchist Basque nationalists to Palestinian solidarity, but we end up acquiring cañas from a feminist bunch just to the side of the stage. The group is Canteca de Macao, and they emerge with a roar. The act is flamenco inspired, but with elements of rock and circus thrown in; a dude with remarkably lengthy dreads swirls checkered fabric and natty hair in the background of each set. Our feet move to the point of pain and then some. The Basque sky characteristically opens up, drenching the dancers – and there’s no sign of stopping. Canteca de Macao continue for a good two hours into the night, ensuring well-earned calluses for the morning after.

Saturday Night: Full Throttle

12 02 2011

What it’s like, early: Hector locates the previously missing house wine – Rioja Antaño – at Ahorra Más. I bake cookies, employing a hammer to bust apart a pair of 72% dark chocolate bars with cocoa nibs.

What it’s like, later: I touch up my Wicked Witch of the West nails.

What it’s like, later still: As Marta paparazzis, Hector and I meet our groomed new selves in the mirror. Totally coincidentally, we have both decided on today as the Day of Reckoning for our long-neglected mops of hair.

What it’s like, just a smidge later: a little Morrissey, a little Elvis, a lot of curlybang, and a touch of Pac-Man.

What it’s like, latest known record: Hector, house mixologist, concocts a trio of the latest in G&Ts, each featuring elements of cucumber, lime, and grapefruit.

[{.”—SPACE PARTY—“.}]

8 02 2011

think glittery deely-boppers
think slinky golden leggings
think extraterrestrial
think neon supernova
think aluminum foil
think mad false eyelashes
think [[[out-of-this-world]]]

Me, Sam, Emily, Leah at David Bowie-inspired SPACE PARTY in my piso last weekend.