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17th of June 2015 23:49

The man who was punching asian women in the face randomly turns out to be a man who goes by the name Mr. Talented. The Times is reporting that he posted a suicide note on his blog, but it's more of a suicide note, it's almsot a suicide blog: "THANK EVERYONE FOR SUPPORTING MY IDEAS! I LOVE YOU AND I WILL MISS YOU FOREVER. ALSO I’VE SCHEDULED POSTS TO MY BLOG- SO FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS I’LL BE POSTING FROM THE OTHER SIDE." But almost more bizare is how the "punching women in the face" thing came out of what almost seems like an art project. At least, as he describes it in today's post "Why I decided to leave this earth." He chatted up 1,500 asian women over 350 days, and got no responses, so after a time the discouragement is too much and he decides to start playing "the Nose Game." This involves hitting the women in the nose if they don't respond.

I want to say something about the art game, or maybe the culture of creativity that leads people to think they can make a living gluing dice together into bow ties --- and almost succeeding. But that's not enough, is it. Or am I worried that every Brookylnite out there who has hobbies and eccentricities is potentially a Tyrelle D. Shaw. Because I am worried about that, I am very distrustful of creatives and individualists. They seem to feel entitled to something. Answers, attention.

A suicide blog. This is straight out of Clickbait.

Update: they found him, four days later, dead in an elevator shaft

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2nd of May 2015 13:00

I don't remember the last time I heard something as moving as To Pimp a Butterfly

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1st of April 2015 17:46


My Massacre of the Suitors in Charlie's Odyssey Project (one week only!) has Odysseus as a homeless man sleeping in the audience for the whole show. Odysseus watching plays about Odysseus! This wasn't what we set out to do at the beginning, but hey, we got away with it.

As you should know one of my favorite things is to berate an audience. That's the only thing that works against self-satisfying irony, no? To get in its face and scream and spit from an undeniable place of pure, irrational anger.

We couldn't find an oar in time though!


9th of December 2014 13:04

In other news, science is turning into poetry.

From that low-complexity state, the system of particles then expands outward in both temporal directions, creating two distinct, symmetric and opposite arrows of time. Along each of the two temporal paths, gravity then pulls the particles into larger, more ordered and complex structures—the model’s equivalent of galaxy clusters, stars and planetary systems. From there, the standard thermodynamic passage of time can manifest and unfold on each of the two divergent paths. In other words, the model has one past but two futures. As hinted by the time-indifferent laws of physics, time’s arrow may in a sense move in two directions, although any observer can only see and experience one.


9th of December 2014 00:18

I'll probably come back to this but I just want to say that if you can protest, go protest. It's day 6 here and I've only nearly been arrested once.



4th of November 2014 00:57

I saw Anne Carson read yesterday. This is an excuse to segue to another topic which I tend not to bring up here because of reasons, but which is frequently on my mind as I inhabit this city. Which is how much I hate white people.

I do not hate Anne Carson. She was reading with Nick Flynn at Bowery poetry, which I hadn't been to since way back when, back when it was still the bowery and not the New Bowery, a post-CBGBs, post-poverty world of martini bars and public speakeasies, where poverty only shows up as upworthy posts on your iphone. The New Bowery's poetry club is similarly decked in all sorts of faux riche trappings: fake marble, a mirrored bar, inappropriate chandeliers, and the line to get in was equal parts pretentious and smelly, probably from riding all the way in from williamsburg on a collapsable bike (what are those called again?).

Inside was a sea of white people. The only hispanic I could make out happened to work there. I ended up sitting way in the back, next to the bar where the world's slowest bartender seemed determined to deprive me of even the smallest bit of joy. We took a seat next to two Asians in a de facto minority enclave and waited and watched. Near us was a group of two white people who kept talking while Anne Carson read, a group of three white people who kept talking while Anne Carson read, and this bafflingly awful white girl in a tiny black hat, black stockings and a cape(!?) who drifted between the two groups of white people and kept talking while Anne Carson read. I'm not a violent man but yes I am a violent man when it comes to my thoughts regarding the white people who talk while I'm trying to listen to Anne Carson.

An unannounced opening act played a lovely bit of cello but was, sadly, also white.

I am really starting to see them, that is white people, as an invading force. Which isn't entirely fair. Not that they're not invaders, but if they are invaders then so am I. But David, you say, surely you knew what you were getting into. You went to go see a Canadian poet, on a Sunday, in the New Bowery. Reading with Nick Flynn, whose memoirs I am not familiar with but whose poetry was full of so many random quotes and allusions --- casabianca, Memento, Neil Diamond --- that it felt like his brain was randomly flipping through radio stations, all of which were NPR. Surely you knew. If you went to a hip hop club in the Bronx, or a bachata night in Jamaica, you wouldn't be surprized at the ethnic makeup. Yes, I wouldn't be surprised, because hip hop and bachata are all celebrations of culture. Which means that a poetry reading today, in New York, has become a celebration of white culture.

I do not consider poetry to be a celebration of white culture. I can say that and still want to hear Anne Carson read.

And it's not that I'm against gentrification in and of itself. Bringing money into a city does lots of good, and sometimes it's a good that passes to everyone, even as the not-moneyed are pushed further and further away from the centers of power, money, and culture. Bringing money into a city attracts culture-makers, making it possible for someone like me, barely employed, who doesn't drive, to do things like see Anne Carson read for the third time, and to see things like plays on the cheap whenever I feel like it. But when the readings and plays I go see are full of white people, on stage and off, I have to wonder who this culture is for, and if I am really invited to it.

I'm of course not one to advocate promoting minority culture-makers merely because they are minorities. Neither am I for the tokenism of black and hispanic writers invited on stage (have you seen Yusef Komunyakaa these days? Those sad eyes. A few years back a companion asked him outright at a Q&A what he thought about race and poetry these days, and his answer was calm and noncomittal, but his eyes said "Don't you see all the white people here? Who you think pays my rent?"). It is that I do not feel welcome in a place which is supposed to be open for all.

This has nothing to do with Anne Carson, who read a new(?!) lovely long poem called Essay on the Soul.

During the Q&A afterwards no one was asking any interesting questions so she told a Canadian  joke. "Where do otters come from? Otter space."

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4th of June 2014 14:58

grashupfer posted a meme, a real meme, and I'm going along with it because it's a good excuse to write something and a reminder that there is a community here, one so confident in itself it can disappear for months or years and not really mind.

grashupfer offered all comers three individualized questions. So I am answering the ones he gave me, and offering three more questions to anyone who wants 'em. If you want questions, comment!

grashupfer's Questions:

1. Do you agree with the folks who say this is the golden age of television? Should probably ask first if you watch television?

I watch television. I mean, I watch television on the internet. Too much of it. With my sleep patterns it's usually the only thing that can keep me occupied at night. ("Why don't you just lie in the dark and close your eyes and try to sleep?" she says. "But, the despair!" I answer. "The despaaaaair!") But "Golden Age" implies that this boon in TV writing has to end sometime, and I'm not sure I agree. Sure, we're all waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I'm not sure it must drop. Television is a very new medium. Movies too, if you look at them. Movies are becoming more like television: Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Pixar. And television writers seem to just now be discovering, en masse, the things one can do with a the format, and these are not a discoveries that can be un-discovered. Sure it's going to get co-opted eventually, already is, but it does seem to only be getting better. Sure, The Wire is still the bar by which everything else is judged, but I'm confident that won't always be true.

Of course, we are living in a golden age, a golden age of information, which has a lot to do with how good television is. And this golden age certainly can't last.

2. Do you have any tattoos? If yes what's the story? If not would you ever?

I don't have any tattoos. Maybe in the distant past I flirted with the idea but came to the conclusion that in fifty years when we're all old and wrinkly seeing all these blotchy, stretchy tattoos on everyone is going to be way too hilarious. So I'll abstain. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future. Who knows.

I do love tattoos on other people. When done right, of course. I am guilty at staring intently at someone whose body is a work of art. Other people don't quite get it, have not enough ink to commit to it or too much ink to overcompensate. But a well-proportioned adornment of skin can be a thing of beauty.

3. If I asked you to say the first things that come to mind with the phrase "failed artist" what are they?
Well, failure is one of my favorite things, so I'm of the mind that every artist is a failed artist. Of course there are those that give up before they can fail best, those are more like former artists. And there are those who didn't fail enough, or didn't fail up to their potential for failure. So what I mean is all artists are failures; some artists fail so great we call them successes; not successes so much as black holes that grew so big they started to shine. What turns me off about meeting writers is how desperately they want to succeed. Sure, we all want to succeed. But that's not the point. More of an arbitrary byproduct sometimes gained from setting oneself on fire.

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30th of April 2014 14:27

The trouble with everything is that there's not anything else. Which of course isn't true. One of the perks of being human is that you can dwell in anything not just everything. Though everything eventually wins.

Some fellowships for my academic writing to pursue graduate study. Which feels nice, if confusing. I was convinced, a few years ago, that further study was the only option. Then I considered creative writing, but the last workshop experience cemented that I cannot function in workshops. (She said I was too intellectual to be in an mfa.) And for the last year and a half I've been doing nothing but theatre. Too much so to spend any time applying to schools, so I took the year off. So now I finally have the BA which has taken me ten extra years to complete, and nothing else, which qualifies me for jobs in manual labor. So I work as a busboy and a tech on the weekends, and have been trying to use my free time to finish this script (we just made our first funding goal!) and consider my options.

Staying in NY means I can keep putting on shows. But why would I limit myself geographically if I was going to go into literature? And if I went into literature would I even have time to write or put on shows? And are shows even worth it? Theatre and poetry are dying arts only of interest to other dying practitioners. No, not dying. Just dormant. Of no concern to the present.

But theatre presents such strange and wonderful opportunities. For example, I just got invited to a group project where different playwrights retell episodes from the Odyssey in fifteen-minute scenes. This probably wont see the stage for another year.

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6th of October 2013 01:36

How does theatre differ. Words in action, maybe? Poetry on its feet. And the whole range of the nonverbal. I'm in rehearsal for two shows at the moment, which is keeping me busy. With the full load of classes. Time not spent out is spent at night on netflix, wondering why if I'm so tired I can't sleep.

Last weekend I saw a set of guerrilla-style plays set in various public gardens in the lower east side. The act of involving the watchers in the spectacle: it's so simple but can be so affecting. Heartbreaking, even. The bare fact of communing with strangers in a space. The ritual of it. It gave me tingles.

Of the two plays, one is a found-text piece about Anthony Weiner with a nod to Greek tragedy. A kinetic variety show about the very public reaction to the scandal and the transformation of private lives into a punchline, where all the words spoken are verbatim from news sources, blogs, Mr. Weiner's chat logs, etc. And they're setting up wifi in the theatre, with an app accompanying the performance, so you can follow along with the scandal on your phone and get sexted. I get to tap dance (I can't tap dance), play with a lightsaber, scream my head off. It's exhaustingly fun.

A couple weeks ago I was visiting my 12-year old brother, around the same time I was memorizing Whitman. He said "What's wrong with you? Sometimes you like video games, sometimes you like sports, sometimes you like poetry." With a look of genuine concern. Like I was doing him a disservice appearing to him as three different people.

There are those, out there, that I've always admired, adored even, who struggle with the world but seem to pass through it uncaught. Like ghosts or leaping, golden fish. I've always felt myself firmly within the world. Pragmatic if not practical.

Meanwhile I've got access to a small black box theatre in school in January and carte blanche to can put up whatever I want. So many things I could do! Too many things!


8th of September 2013 15:29

Masini makes her workshop class memorize poems, something so basic and important I'm baffled that not everyone does this. Easy way enough to weed out those who don't care enough to read. You can fake comprehension easily enough, but you cant fake the inhabitation of memorizing. Of entering the poem from within, as a house. I've got a few poems memorized of course but never enough, never enough. So I've been trying these last few days, in between all the theatre stuff I've been doing, to inhabit some Whitman. I've been reading him off and on but it wasn't until I tried to memorize that it really blossomed. And how he really does peer out of almost everything that comes after.

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12th of May 2013 21:11

How does one look for grad schools.

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