Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I wanna be....

Eartha Kitt passed the day after Christmas, 2008.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Only in America

Don't loan your socks. You may end up in 23 hour solitary confinement.

Sayed Fahad Hashmi is being imprisoned and awaiting a 2009 trial under presumptions that he's a "terrorist" for loaning socks to his London house guest, Junaid Babar. Allegedy, Babar, then passed on the socks to members of Al Qaeda.

Read Part 2, here.

Please pass on any opinions, updates, and info.

Obama is Nazi

I saw that sentence etched onto the R train as I traveled hungover to work Friday morning.

A fave writer of mine, Mr. James Hannaham, wrote "Our Biracial President" the day after the election and I'd saved it until this morning to read. I was truly basking in the glow of victory--still am--that I was determined to not have it ruined. His words have ruined nothing, just clicked "refresh" on reality.


"Perhaps if Obama were as inept as the man whose broken pretzels and hanging chads he will need to sweep up from the Oval Office carpet, yet still a contender for commander in chief, we could finally lay racial prejudice into its chilly crypt and be done with it. Because among other things, white supremacy has meant that unqualified but well-connected and rich white people's dreams have fallen into their laps, while overqualified people of color have striven their whole lives to get nowhere. Obama has cleared a path for fairness."

Insert Affirmative Action convo.

"But both radical leftists and radical right-wingers need to understand the same thing: Obama is not Malcolm X. He's not even Kanye West. His motorcade will not consist of souped-up cars with wheels that spin and bump up and down outside the White House; he will not sport a diamond grill that reads "PREZ." He's a moderate. The right has changed the definition of the liberalism over the last 40 years by hectoring Democratic candidates, saying that they will over-tax and -spend, even as the current administration chucks billions of dollars into the furnaces of Iraq and Afghanistan. It's hard to now imagine a president getting elected without claiming to be a fiscal conservative, certainly not as we climb out of the current financial disaster. As someone elected largely because of our failing economy, Obama will have to toe the line of fiscal policy pretty carefully and make a lot of practical and shrewd decisions fast."

"...one of Obama's great strengths can also melt into his most frustrating quality -- he tries to hear all voices without prejudice....There is a point at which a leader should be able to make a judgment about whether he's listening to a real viewpoint or just plain crazy-talk..."

An aspect that I can relate to and am working on creatively/professionally. I have vested interest in the truth that everyone's contribution is valid. However, tact, necessity, and urgency certainly need to be considered.

"By voting for him, whites have shown their acceptance on a major level, but if everyone continues to interpret his presidency primarily in terms of race, we're simply perpetuating the same old values."

I have a secret belief that this issue will take a backseat once the ball gets rolling in January. Specifically depending on his dude Plouffe's involvement in the presidency.

"The Obama presidency gives us the opportunity to see more clearly into a future when the pain and injustice of the past, though it will not be forgotten, can be transformed into a shared purpose, and we can help the grand family squabble of American race relations to settle down. Like most American families, we'll have our differences, but we will be able to sit down at the same table and show each other some respect."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Let's pretend my hand is the moon. It goes like this." - Carlo Alban from Sonnets

I would love to be a minimalist. I'm not. My room is essentially an overflowing bookshelf, baskets of scarfs, collaged walls, photos and CD cases stacked on a secretary desk. I blame it on my six year lifespan in the same apartment (after many spring cleanings) and really growing into my space as if it were an appendage. However, I can stare into the abyss and find sense and clarity. To most, it can be a bit overwhelming to behold. History usually is. There are aspects of my life that are simple amidst my seven half-read books stacked next to my bed. My goals are pretty specific and succinct. And my shoe collection has scaled down quite a bit recently. Ha!

My living space necessitates separation--an office and adjacent sleeping quarters. Right now, I have the file cabinet, but now I just need a place to put it.

Photos from the two week run of Sonnets at the Bank Street Theater, are courtesy of Rich Pfeil.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Humourist House


goofy hairstyles

I was prepared to write a pretty scathing response to Thomas Golianopolous' write up on Ludacris' latest, Theater of the Mind, in the Voice. It would have said something to the effect of "farcical tones and downright condescension ain't nothing new to your average music critic's approach to hip hop". All true, but then I listened to the album.

I have been a Ludacris fan since his beginning and have proudly defended his "ho"-laden lyrics. For me, his music was never about being anti-woman or anti-anything for that matter--just blind aggression and raucous behavior. I enjoy offense and that coupled with his demeanor and voice, made his music all the more fun. His acting turn (Crash, Hustle and Flow, and Max Payne) seemed natural and it's a pleasure to watch him. In my experience, when a hip hop artist plays an "out of character" role, they usually rock that shit and leave an imprint on the film.

Holla Gridlock'd!

Therefore, why so insecure, my brother? We know you're talented. Remember this?

U Got A Problem? - Ludacris

It appears that the man has experienced himself rise to a new level of talent that he didn't know he was capable of and somehow, by writing over 10 songs about "how great he is", will prevent that feeling from going away.
Just keep believing, my dude, just keep believing.
And, also, please get back in the studio while you're at it and make something crazy like I'm used to.

baby mangoes

My Ludite quality of the last three months has caused me to only recently discover that M.I.A. is pregnant. Congrats fair maiden.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I dress you wolves like a lover I dress you wolves like a saint
I get you wool for your cover I get you room to walk the range
I bet you eels like to suffer I bet you eels like it strange
I let you bleed ‘til you’re covered then I tell you it’s alright
I tell you it’s alright

I’m gonna make you love me
I make you make you monkey
I’m gonna make you love me
I make you make you monkey

I let your horse like a struggle I let your horse fight the reins
I let your horse like the trouble I went to Troy and unlocked the gate
I let you in like a Roman I let you in like a stray
I wet your ears like a shaman yeah I tell you it’s alright
I tell you it’s alright

I’m gonna make you love me
I make you make you monkey
I’m gonna make you love me
I make you make you monkey

Monkey - Earl Greyhound

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sonnet Rockin'

Video courtesy of Carlos Perez

We're going to the Nuyorican in March!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

SONNETS opens a week from TODAY!

My summer came and went as I spent my caffeinated time rehearsing, running laps around PQ, and picking up randon heart shards that I didn't know were missing.

Last week I completed my first grant application and I'm super excited. I'd had some of it pre-written which helped a TON, but at the time I was exhausted, but determined. The Omnivorous Project was submitted --complete with bibliography and sample questions. It could be likened to someone quitting smoking whilst trying to pass the Bar exam.

Yet and still, my "growth project" shall be revealed next Friday.

Get your tickets here.

*Featuring: Heather Acs, Jay Buol, Virma Caramia, Giselle D'Souza, Candice Fortin, Sibon Gile, Elisa Gonzales, Meredith Hackett, Ei Hashimoto, Gustavo Heredia, Leif Huckman, Alec Knox, Eliza Mack, Robert Maisonett, Sierra Marks, Jeronimo Medina, Sharla Meese, Elia Monte-Brown, Katie Naka, Michelle Navarrete, Franco Pistritto, Omri Rosenzweig, Giack Selloni, Susie Thiel, Mercedes Vasquez and Miriam Wasmund

And while you're at it, check this out.

You never thought that hip hop would take it this far.

My homegirl, Allison has a new blog and she recently added a HILARIOUS post with the trailer for the Biggie biopic. I had no idea that it was in production. It looks fine, I guess. The director, George Tillman Jr. could have roughed things up a bit. And the actor playing B.I.G.--Jamal "Gravy" Woolard-- needs some more age or experience....something. I'm sure he's done a bang up job as a performer, but physically I'm not buying it. Biggie possessed a certain demeanor beyond his shrouded eyes and heavy build. He was the real deal. Take a look and draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Only 3 weeks to go!

Sonnets for An Old Century
Bank Street Theater
October 3rd-12th

You can purchase tickets here -


Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've often lost myself in my search for that burn that keeps everything awake. - LORCA

Beck is back. Back within my scope, I should say. For the rest of his followers he'd never left exactly, just fading in periodically on a fresh sound wave.

We'd been on about a four year hiatus. I pulled away around the release of Mutations...feeling dissuaded by his acoustic turn. And, at the time, two of my favorite songs on Midnite Vultures--"Nicotine and Gravy" and "Peaches and Cream"-- were tracks that I'd shared with my late mother, therefore listening to them or HIM for that matter provoked memory and undercover grief. During these four years, snippets from Sea Change floated in and out of my landscape, but I completely missed Guero; the mixer upper album, Guerolito; The Information; and Timebomb. Modern Guilt is his latest, and after listening to some layered parts of the Danger Mouse produced album, I immediately decided to RETURN. I began to track his journey through his previous work.

Beck Hanson was an early influence on my identity and expression--existing as almost a muse during my formative years. I remember my sister relishing in my interest/infatuation for the little gyrating maestro, turning the volume up during award show performances and purchasing a copy of Odelay for me.

I began to rummage through my CD collection and found a copy of Sea Change.

Lonesome Tears - Beck

He seemed to be following me around. At a bar the other night, "Missing" off of Guero managed to distract me from an entire conversation. Stuck in my ancient ways, I purchased the album from Virgin Megastore and am a confirmed believer that he is one of my generation's pop COMPOSERs. The arrangement of each track is nuanced and layered with several thoughts and directions, resulting in provocative fluidity. It is clear, based on his ease with multiple instruments and his eclectic production teams - Dust Brothers, Danger Mouse along with Beastie Boys and Jack White contributions-- that he's versatile and ever evolving. Beck manages to be a true chameleon-- without having a bought and sold sound. Genuine pop is manufactured and mass produced, however definitive pop is malleable, possessing many faces. Madonna represents this aesthetically, and Beck, musically.

Broken Drum - Beck

I had difficulty finding a rip of "Missing" with its omniscient and repetitive strings, but the ballad "Broken Drum" is a worthy example, with its forlorn and quiet piano background.

And here we are in 2008 with Modern Guilt, and Beck nearing 40. It is a heavy title for an album from Beck. Not that I hadn't seen a darker side, hence "Lonesome Tears" above, but homey isn't usually this direct. Social responsibility should be heightened now that even the ultimate in my generation's abstract emblem musician will declare it in his album's title.

I will continue to revel in Guero for some days and venture onward to Modern Guilt soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

OMNI-JAVA Benefit!


When: Wednesday August 27th, 8pm

The Women’s Interart Annex
500 West 52nd St. @10th Ave. buzzer 2W, 2nd floor
New York

In an effort to raise money for The Impulse Initiative’s upcoming production of "Sonnets for an Old Century," The Impulse Initiative and Omni Java have joined forces to host an impromptu night of theatre, dance, music and spoken word. Every penny counts, so bring your piggy banks!

Join us on Wednesday, August 27th at 8pm for pre-performance cocktails and snacks. Stick around after the show and help us celebrate our final evening in our beloved Womens’ Interart Annex rehearsal space.

The Impulse Initiative and Omni Java Present a Special Benefit Open Mic Night!!!

*Please bear with us as theomnivorous.net is under slight construction ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

...but by all means, DON'T publicize me!

I am not naive enough to believe that I'm the only one concerned about this, but Peter Fuss' latest dig doesn't do much to comfort me either. And, I'm usually down with rebel art.

For more Peter Fuss, go here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


On Thursday, I had enough available time to meander around my neighborhood. I went to the bank, had a cheeseburger, and visited a small optical joint to price eye exams. The staff of women were sterile and off-putting, but I still scheduled an appointment for an exam for the following Friday. I continued my curious stroll, did some window shopping, and found myself in another optical spot with a cheaper deal and friendlier people. My vulnerable stasis that afternoon allowed me to be coaxed right into the eccentric optometrist's chair. He was a delight. Erratic conversations about poetry, colleges, and my eyes. A writer himself, when I told him that I'd only begun writing mature poetry last year, it provoked a discussion of the journey of writers and the art form of prose and how's it's a bit of battle to allow oneself to truly create a rhythmic voice. Being a writer all of my life, I'd always found poetry to be slightly insurmountable. Concerning expression, he said, "The configuration of our psychosis needs this outlet, otherwise you would produce angst. A-N-G-S-T." He spelled it.

At the start of our conversation, he informed me that I don't blink fully. He said that based on their size and shape, rarely do my eyes completely close during the blink reflex. Thus, explaining my regularly dry eyes and why I absently tend to sleep with them partially open. Based on these facts, my eyes never really close.

My eyes are always open.

That is, I could see the end of my entanglement, but I chose to ignore the knot.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Impulsation Celebration!

The play that I am in love with, all consumed with, and motivated BY...is having a fundraiser. The proud founders of the Impulse Initiative--Michelle, Miriam and Elisa-- are throwing a raucous, fistpounding, financial wonder next Wednesday.


Come out and support ART. A BIT more explicitely....come out and support this production of Jose Rivera's, Sonnets for An Old Century.

807 NINTH AVE. (between 53rd and 54th)

*drink specials!!!!
*a FANTASTIC and eclectic lineup of music
*raffles, raffles, raffles

So bring twenties (not dollars) to this enormous events.


E :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Open, close. Open, close-doors, eyes, legs.
Blinking, I look and my six year old surroundings are suddenly familiar.
Dusty half-read books, stacks of mail, and mismatched blankets.
The mirror never lied--my smile did fade.
It hurts to crease its corners today.
Firey salt fights to exit.
Shameful and red; vulnerable and broken--necessities within my gray.
My attempts at prevention backfired and love's chemical magnet attracted, reacted, and dulled.
Truth did not disappear, only emerged from the clearing.
I finally welcomed it back into my home.
Blinking, I look and my six year old surroundings are suddenly familiar.

Friday, July 11, 2008


You may need a mirror for this one.

Lately, my astrological connection has been intense. Being an annoyingly intuitive Pisces, I never really thought the planetary alignment was entirely a hoax, but I certainly never thought my relationship with discovering my daily horoscope would be so pertinent. The Mars/Virgo battle has been spot on and my week has been pretty mapped out by the semi-ludicrous Sally Brompton from the Post (!) and Mr. Genius Rob Brezsny from Free Will Astrology, listed in the Voice.

Lately, I've been clocked faster than that biological ticking time bomb located in my uterus and my unfortunate social psyche making "womanhood" curious, yet FUN.


LOVE. The latest take.

Holla at your girl.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

All I want to do, is grow old with you.

tiny birds

the boys!

the girls!

death to R2D2

Proof that my mother was in attendance.

*Welcome to Part Two of your outlook for the second half of 2008, Pisces. I'm hoping that six months from now, you'll look back and make the following declaration: "This year I was a real artist in the way I lived my life. Everything I did was like working on a beautiful masterpiece. I had a sixth sense about when to shut up and when to speak out, when to pull back and when to push on, when to recharge and when to ripen. Whenever my efforts were ready to climax, I brought them to a climax and moved on to the next adventure. So here's the big question: What can I do to keep cultivating this adroit and graceful approach to being alive?"

*courtesy of Mr. Rob Brezsney's Free Will Astrology for the week of June 27 to July 4, 2008.

If you'd like to view your horoscope, click here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

one of these things first

Certainly, Nick Drake, certainly.

theOMNIVOROUS.net has been left to twiddle its thumbs for nearly three months. Rather than attempt to put up several separate posts as updates on time passed, I've decided to post a photo album of sorts--with some random pics to keep things colorful and emotional. Heather's graduation from Gallatin program at NYU; the Off the Hook performance of Eddy Fortune's original work, Chasing Chris; Danielle's Bachelorette Party spectacular; the end of the nannying gig; my roommate Richard pre-departure to Uruguay and Argentina....

A bientot pretty Ricky!

We've been blessed with a fantastic subleter named Kristine. She's a photographer and you can see her work here. She's been a really supportive listener and friend over the past few months and I'm glad to know her.

Professor Acs. The pic below is a blurry action shot with no flash, but I dig it. The semiotics are profound. Diploma under one arm, the other arm almost in low fifth, a downward gaze. I think we're going places!

Pink headphones from Glenn!

As a part of her thesis, Heather performed her piece, "what the brain forgets and the heart denies the body remembers" at the TANK at Collective Unconscious. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the video still yet-- but soon. Her work was extraordinary and complete, a real privilege and inspiration for me as an artist and her sister.

To open her show, I read a working piece about my father loosely titled, "Cowboy". It was helpful to get some feedback and positive response. As my schedule opens up a bit more, I look forward to pounding out more "cowboy" text.

My argyle darling, Glenn, will be performing in the return of LUSTRE at Abrons Arts this week, beginning on June 25th. If you missed it the first time around at P.S. 122, PLEASE don't miss it this time. It is truly a religious experience --moving and fabulous...LUSTRE will rock you.

Glenn Marla and Justin Bond will take you to church.

Tonya, Eddy, and exhausted me post opening night of the OTH show.

Eddy's play was a tangled gangster piece with an all female cast. Tonya played the mob leader and instead of actual gunshots, I used the sound of a snare drum. That's me--always keeping it soft and funky. OTH has definitely served as directing school for me.

*just a little transitional Henriette Jones to keep things inspired

AND...onward to May. Hen Night.

She looks beautiful in that hat, doesn't she? Josh and I made it whilst watching Coming to America. Look closely and you'll notice that her candy necklace is made of tiny penises.
I don't think I've ever felt that much pressure to pull something off RIGHT before in my life. The stress was obviously because I love my D-dawg so much. But by the start of the party, my anxiety attacks could be clocked.

Sequinette schooling Danielle, "Dolly-style".
My camera broke that night so I am slowly collecting photos from people's online albums.

Here's a sweet pic of Clarke (a kid I used to nanny) in his tennis uniform with a mouthful of chicken. He's a doll and we used to laugh a lot together. I'm just a big kid.

And there's some Ben thrown into the mix. He somehow looks like an adult to me in this picture--so coy, yet underwater in thought all at once. My little brother/best friend.

I told you! She's taking off!

My niece, Heaven Leigh doing what the women in my family do best--laugh our asses off.

I am directing Jose Rivera's Sonnets for an Old Century this summer, to be performed in early October. It's exciting to cut my teeth on a large project. It way past time and definitely signals the beginning of a new aspect of my journey.

My "time spent pastiche" will close with a poem I have been working on. It's continuing my meter-less, disjointed style and finally chronicles something I've been hesitant to approach and see through.
It needs some work...nonetheless, here are my naked words.


My psyche dives into my belly, swimming within my nerves.
I don’t know what I have never felt; making this new.
I detect a barrier.
The key in my mouth and the combination in my heart do not match.
One was made earlier than the other.
Since love is war, then peace and conquest are mere accessories.
My armor needs earrings.
A bracelet made of your lacey fingers, perhaps.
I succumb to your tingly tangle of tumult tasting terrific touch.
My knuckles pinch your eyelids.
Pushing for immersion within my members embers.
I begin to contend with the guard.
“Paris is burning”, murmured he, as he lay breathing next to me.
The key in my mouth and the combination in my heart do not match.
Give me your hand.
Safety is a slave, requiring ambition.
Remove the shackles, slicing the skin to watch the blue/black blood drip drop red.
Let me free you.
Love you.
Strong you.
It appears that you don’t want any company.
The key in my mouth and the combination in my heart do not match.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I haven't posted in awhile. My schedule's been insane to induce tears and malnourishment. Here's a pic taken by my friend Lori at the big Thanksgiving celebration at my crib. It's a little b/w father daughter action. I love it. Lots are in the works for me and lots have passed as well. Lots--parking, happenings, and theater...ha!
Get it.
Get me.
Get there.

I'm dealing with issues of time, of late.
More to come.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The original version of this essay appears in Issue 17 of the London Progressive Journal.

“We call each other brothers and sisters because we feel like we’ve been here together before.” - Archie Cardwell

Over the phone several weeks ago, my father said this into my ear during our most recent fist pounding discussion on race, art, and current events. He is the original cowboy in my life. On Friday, April 25th, the officers that murdered young, black male, Sean Bell on November 24th 2006 at the Kalua nightclub in Jamaica, Queens, were acquitted of all charges. Flashback to 1999, another innocent black man – Amadou Dialo - falls victim of a cop firing squad, complete with bullet holes in the bottoms of his feet. The officers were also acquitted in that case. It is easy to label these men as “cowboy cops” for so mercilessly taking this man’s young life presumably emblazoned with the power that firearms and heightened circumstances can spark in the wrong hands. And fear, always a factor, remains a tired component that cannot be overlooked. The repeated issue amongst cop killings and unlawful treatment by law enforcement is justice. The cops were reportedly in pursuit of a prostitution and narcotic ring at the nightclub and Bell and his friends were simply out in celebration, the night before his wedding. Bell was gunned down in front of the strip club, after his car checked the back bumper of a patrol van filled with undercover cops. Allegedly, they were under the assumption that Bell and/or his friends had a gun. Three officers fired fifty shots--two black, one white, the white cop reloading-- killing Bell and injuring both friends.

This verdict has served as a time machine-- zipping us back to the Civil Rights movement and the uphill battle that was the 1960s for blacks. However, it is 2008 and unfortunately this decision reinforces the private, yet unspoken consciousness that blacks still have minimal value in America. As a 26-year-old black woman, my position within “the good fight” becomes more visible. This should also remove any deliberation over the rising suicide rate amongst black youth. The strain of a weak social scope will take its toll on even the strongest inhabitant, specifically vulnerable youth. James Baldwin said,
“…that the popular culture certainly does not reflect the truth concerning the lives led by white people either; but white Americans appear to be under the compulsion to dream, whereas black Americans are under the compulsion to awaken. And this fact is also sinister.”
-Of Mice and Movie Stars, “Authors on Film”

Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted, and Black” continues to be on heavy rotation in my house.

After the announcement, blacks swallowed hard and with furrowed brows and frustrated gazes continued about their days. The next morning, the front page picture on the AM New York was of a small brown child on his father’s shoulders, carrying a sign that read “ I am Sean Bell.” The headlines on the NYPost and the Daily News were still relishing in the smut of the Spitzer spiral and any Giuliani drama surrounding the recent papal visit, thus perpetuating the stagnancy of justice that validates the criminal profiling of black America.

This certainly makes it difficult to “spread our wings” and “believe we can fly”, when the very people that are appointed “to protect and serve” can get away with murder? What’s even more alarming is that a presumably ethical judge felt it feasible to proclaim this as justice. If justice is, in part, for the betterment of society, then after such a decision, justice needs to be redefined. Following the announced verdict, the NYPD tripled patrol officers in anticipation of a raucous reaction—the black taxpayer’s cherry on top, basically. My father’s quote rings true. Blacks need to reach out and grasp hands of our nearest brother and sister. We need to unite as a family and decide not to retaliate in the way we’re expected to.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I see your hand reaching for my thunder.
Exhausted thieves spend lifetimes dodging guilty rain clouds.
Your smile does nothing to mask your crime.
I cracked your eggshell façade and spoke all the words you hate.
Honesty love and faithfulness
Your eyelids wrinkle as you continue to reach.
Still present--yet in the dark--seeing only the red beneath your lids.
I don’t stop you, and cowardly claim, “Reasons”.
This glory will not comfort my thankless hard work.
You’ve taught me to find new ways to brew a storm.
Clutch my knuckles without touching my fingertips,
While making me feel good about myself by doing what I say.
Threaten my thunder to thoroughly defeat you.
Force me to rumble to discover my enemy.

"Pisces, you don't want to hurt people, unless you are feeling righteous and need to punish the guilty."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Black Summer's Night

This is a tantalizing snippet from Maxwell's overwhelmingly anticipated new album trilogy, Black Summer's Night. The song is called, "PrettyWings", and I can't get enough of all 1 minute and 36 seconds of it. Enjoy.

New Amerykah-n Philosophies for 2008

I'm working on the hair, girl.

Thanks Sasha
You never cease to amaze us...even from the staircase.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chalk Shoes to the High Line

Last Wednesday--one of the first clear days of the spring season-- 8th graders from New York City's LAB school created a lime green chalk path to the the location of the High Line Park. The students collaborated with artist Julia Mandle to fashion her "chalk shoes", creating an arrowed guide to the High Line park's entrance on 10th Avenue and 18th street.

"chalk shoe" artist, Julia Mandle

super Wilson!

Various arrows. They'd count 12 steps, fan out on the left and right, then rejoin at the end of the line thus giving each student a turn and pointing travelers towards the destination.

Their teacher and my friend, Miss Rinna, flanked by the High Line in the sky.

The final arrow at the park's future entrance

Post the chalk adventure, Miss Rinna had the students reflect on the importance of bringing art to communities. The student's responses were enthusiastic, grasping the essential truth that art and community go hand in hand.

For more information and photos on "Chalk Shoes to the High Line", please visit the High Line's blog at -


"Daddy's Little Boy-- Letters in Fragments"

A short by my friend, filmmaker Billy Frank.
Comment on the genius.

Coffee Talk

I used to say in high school that "boredom brings beautiful things". On a slow day at work, some of the staff at the Belgian coffee joint that I slave to make cash at passed a receipt scrap around and created a group story. We'd each write a few lines, and then pass it on to the next only revealing the last few words of our addition.

Here's the first, courtesy of Billy et moi:

It was an ordinary boring day. She entered the train.

The morning wind has disguised my lack of sleep. Bright yet sleepy eyes.

A man entered the train too. He noticed her from the corner of his eyes.

I saw approval there. He gave me secret stories silently and delicately.

They began a seduction. His name is Mr. Khan, the notorious killer, hunted.

I can change my occupation--in exchange for your fear--killer quality. Help me hunt today.

She smiled! She didn't understand yet what he meant. "Help you hunt today?", she answered back. "Why not? I'll be delighted!"

I've already conquered your delight. You are quick! Enjoy me.

He penetrated her savagely, forgetting that he was a man on the loose.

Chase please; I won't let you catch me--today.

They left the train together. A malicious wind blowing.

Eyes blinking; feet pushing and the chase is complete.

Here's another, written by at least 5 of the staff:

You demon whore! My passion, my weakness keep me up at night. Lost in a delirium of madness,

She couldn't sleep. Her dreams were endless thoughts of him,

Sinking into an oblivion on this bed of shame and longing.

Her decision to involve herself in such lost has cost her. But she cannot stop.

Slowly she descended with him into a bottomless pit.

A pit that only he could fill. This was her fault and she knew it.

She saw the glitter--a speck of deception in his eyes.

She has a secret as well.

The nights of incestuous love like father, her mother smile.

Her desire for more, plus waiting for more with such desire, wishing it won't stop.

He never stopped even though I firmly told him so. Ten minutes away. He delicately,

Penetrated her. She closed her eyes, her father entered her mind. Don't stop!

And he didn't. They remained one for eternity.

Friday, March 28, 2008


*Published in the London Progressive Journal, Issue 12.

As another thunderous U.S. election year rotates on its axis towards us, it appears that innovation and inspiration are key ingredients this time around. This is certainly required for convincing the traditional and wounded American people. Weathered from a war of our own creation and a fizzling economy, we are ready for our Hero. The saga of chewing up assets to spit out zero jobs must come to a close and our salvation must descend from the staircase. With contenders from the left fashioning and grasping tightly to their pulpits, America projects the crowning of our country’s representative as a black man in, Barack Obama from Illinois. If we are speaking of reparations, then his election is a little less than probable, but if we are discussing leadership and a spring-cleaning of damage done by the current administration, then the outlook is alarmingly positive. Or will a Senator Hilary Clinton emerge with clenched teeth, stalwart maternal courage and abound from a controversy laden past to victory?

Traditionalists are not only voting within stereotypical aesthetics, but also from discriminatory ideals based upon background and learned social distinctions. Fearfully I examine the threatening competitor marching in from the right—Senator John McCain--presenting just enough charm and gumption coupled with cowboy arrogance reminiscent of our founding fathers to win the powerful shaken not stirred red states. Disheartened, we maintain our stance and scamper away to our high school marching band sidelines within the left Obama’s crowd-pleasing early campaign trail. However, tradition will not be able to mend out layered issues. Obama is drill captain and his latest strategy has been timely and simplistic—honesty. He is asking what great leaders of the past have been asking us to do for years—to think differently. In his recent speech, “A More Perfect Union”, he addressed this as “the contradictions of community” specifically referencing his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., who’d “God damned” America a few days prior. Wright’s comment forced Obama to defend himself to the American people, yet again. A triumphant leader, he used this as an opportunity to empower. His words delved into America’s unspoken dark truth—the foundations of race and accepting that it is still an issue. Knowing this, Obama is asking us to utilize the same ambition that he is putting forth as he campaigns for presidency. A black man pursuing the highest position in a land that is still dealing with issues involving youngsters hanging ropes from trees in an attempt to threaten their black counterparts.

Therefore, how prepared are we to combat such intrinsic and possessive identities?

We must throw out our old, tired plans and step forward with a fresh new vision requesting less practicality and more ambition and magic. To begin to work together as a country is to determine a collective worth. First, we must understand that we all have a history coupled with persecution and tribulation thus giving us our unique coloring amidst equal footing. And, for the traditionalist, this will coincide with the “we the people” and “land of the free, home of the brave” ideals our country was founded on. Delivering us from our eight years maintaining a fractured everyman stasis to more hopeful citizens of the world.

“We may have different stories, but we hold common hopes.”

With a recent death count of 4000 American soldiers in Iraq, hope is declining and information such as this unfortunately becomes lumped in with the status quo. Recently, I spoke to an injured soldier preparing to return to Iraq on his third term. The soldier’s remarks were sardonic and biting, “I hate Bush-- but the money is good.” We’ve exchanged paltry paychecks for our self-worth, ushering in less than the best for our families, our communities, and ourselves. I refuse to accept this. Neither our country nor its citizens are helpless, but somehow our disappearing morale has made this so. Our problems can be fixed and everyone should have the opportunity to dream. It is passed time for a leader.

"We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

As a black woman, bouts of fear have distracted me from history in the making—the possibility of a black man in office. America has a reputation for welcoming nuance with violence and a conspiratorial stab in the back. The most recent example of this would be this month’s recent resignation of Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York. The ferocious, yet effective governor was bugged, ousted, and booted on charges of prostitution all within the same week, ending his career. It is clear that if someone wants you out-- you’re gone.

Nonetheless, we are rotating heavily on a brittle axis. The wheel has been invented, broken, and re-invented and has now become irrelevant as we examine America’s political and socially incredulous desired future. Let’s get reacquainted and realize that this is a time to look around and assess the damage-- a time to turn off the television and decide to believe.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A More Perfect Union

"We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Monday, March 24, 2008

what I'm listening to

Lately, my fave new song on repeat is "Sure Thing" by new artist, Miguel.

It's an R&B pop diddy, but I don't want to get in trouble with labeling music. The song has fun loving lyrics and a smooth, secretive beat. I'm down, minus lines like "Between you and I, simple as pie, baby." I first got wind of little Miguel when I was perusing the Myspace page of a fave artist, Esthero. She'd posted a song, featuring him called "The Many Times I Feel Lonely" that was gorgeous, provoking dirty lonesome thoughts. I did a little searching to find his page to delve deeper into his sound and discovered "Sure Thing", and another entitled, "Dig".

His is a fresh sound that will hopefully transfer live, and his style is sleek and sassy with old and new funk. I will admit that there is some original attempts (bitch!) with the rhyming but the vibe is what gets me. You will catch me snapping my fingers to it. It's the kind of song that will make you want to ride through town with the windows down and the bass up high. As a city dweller, I do crave a slice of suburban excitement. Play it loud to get the full effect.

You can hear it on his myspace page,


And, of course on my page,


But, I think you have to be my friend to view my profile.

Friend me.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The palpable quality of living angels is difficult to miss.

The eyes of encaustic painter Bridget Busutil are more translucent than one’s reflection in a pool of water. Her tool’s fire has impressed its memory onto their surface leaving your gaze lost, yet engaged within introductory conversation. Naturally, she is the living embodiment of her work.

Encaustic painting, a 3,000-year-old Egyptian form, consists of heated beeswax and damar crystals coupled with pigments. This formula is melted layer upon layer onto canvas and completed with a polishing. The combination allows for a unique aesthetic, providing a reminder of cultural expressive origins utilizing natural resources, exhausted patience, and boundless detail. Therefore encaustic painting requires nothing less than the basics--discipline, vision, and faith. The medium is extensive and possibly tedious (considering one’s finite mind), yet the results are true magic--exemplary of the artist’s journey.

“We are constantly going back and forth between the past and the future diminishing the value of the unique reality to live, the present.”

This organic and cultural alchemy is metaphorical to a pregnancy or a lifetime mirroring the excessive routine of discomfort and temporal behaviors. For artists, encaustic painting epitomizes “the work” having a weightier impact than the finished masterpiece; the vision propelling the art into that forceful connection-- the artistic psychosis. Or comparable to the film photographer developing negatives in a dark room, only to have an initial ideal shattered, released, or propelled simply by a blinking subject or unforeseen background “debris”. This is the ultimate spark within abstraction-- an unconventional medium demanding an enlightened scope-- allowing for a completed work to become a new and separate creation living within an unimagined vision. Inevitably, the observer is a part of this process.

“Through my work I am offering the discovery of several worlds packed up in layers as in my encaustic, a sort of journey of self-discovery, as well as discovery of 'the other' with the respect for cultural differences. The necessity is to succeed in viewing these differences as contributions to our own cultures and understand the wealth they have to offer.”

The alchemist was born in Vietnam to French and English parents and raised in Madagascar, where she received her early education. She traveled onward to the US to receive her BA in Studio Art, MA in French, and PhD in Comparative Literature and Art at the University of Rochester, in New York. Her first major exhibition was in Paris beginning her encaustic career’s over ten-year journey, exhibiting in Spain, the UK, and returning to the US, to display her work in Charleston, South Carolina and New York through the New York Foundation for the Arts and various other organizations and galleries. Her culturally eclectic background has directly influenced her chosen method. She has returned to Europe with her encaustics for recent exhibitions at Gallery Gaudi (2006) in Madrid, Spain; Trevisian Art (2006) in Florence Italy; and Gallery GORA (2003) in Montreal, Canada. Along with her exhibitions, she is currently a professor of art at Bilkent University in Turkey. Her life has been a legacy and an example to those preparing to embark on any journey.

“My place is as distant as the moon, and a long time ago I walked out of my heart.”

I met Bridget while in residence as a writer at Cat’Art in Ste. Colombe sur L’Hers in the summer of 2007. Her energy was curious to me; I was left somewhat speechless despite my usually excitable façade, emblazoned by her presence. She engages you effortlessly and you feel it is your responsibility as a projected creator of things to know her. Bridget welcomed me into her studio and allowed me to salivate over her creations. Her workspace was spacious with pans filled with caked-in wax on cold burners and her original colors spilling over onto two or three tables formed into a “U” shape, beholden to three windows that welcomed the light and dark of the Pyrenees. Fingertips felt like magnets against her paintings despite their fragile surface, presenting a soul. Several of her encaustics and acrylics lined the far wall, and others were hung on the make shift walls that protected her encaustic kitchen.

Upon viewing, it became clear that her paintings allow nature to speak from its own voice-- urgent and mystical-- along with statements against the depletion of solitude. A Buddhist, Bridget is a believer in peace and the nurturing of art and the artist. Shrouds and secrets are also a distinct pattern—multiple lean and engaged stems and silhouettes.

“Technically I wish to bridge the past to the present and show that there is a continuity in life experience that only artists are capable of showing.”

Her work reflects a mourning heart for purer and less regurgitated circumstances. She is the story within her work—nomadic, impish, and pure, simply. And, the vitality of her encaustics has founded an intuitive quality within her, guiding her to absorb one’s story prior to its owner. A new and lifelong friend, influence, and supporter-- the angel with burnt wings.

“…it was as if she were hovering in the air and might vanish, like a glimmering light that comes we know not whence, and goes we know not whither.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
The Scarlet Letter

I encourage you to step into her light.

*For more of her encaustics, please visit Bridget's website at www.busutil.com