I'm honestly not sure whether or not I put in 9 hours of work this week. It went so fast. We saw president Obama on Monday and cried on Wednesday morning and started thinking. Life came before school. I am making concrete decisions about job commitments and future plans in the middle of our country's change in climate. It is productive, but difficult to acknowledge my own relationship to the polarization, misunderstanding, ignorance, and hatred that we're all faced with right now. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do next, but I think that's what this blog is for.
Showcase happened. The meaning of each piece changed significantly after the election ended with the Trump presidency. It was a scramble to the Thursday showing of powerplay at Showcase. We decided to change the entire audio element on Wednesday morning. We did it with heavy hearts. I hope this experience transfers itself into the rest of our making process and we are conscious about the content we make with regard to the current sociopolitical situation. I feel certain that now more than ever is a time to make art.
What else? (That's what my mom says when we run out of things to talk about on the phone). I wrote a little piece of a song this week. I'll try to upload it soon, but it's not finished. I tried to write a poem about Trump that turned into a mess, but an interesting one at that. I accepted a job offer with Teach for America in New Orleans. The reality of that commitment makes me eager and anxious at the same time. I'm eager to take part in the reformation of our country at this crucial time, starting with education, the root of the problem and the solution. I'm eager to move to the strongest, most resilience, most interesting city in this country at this time. I'm anxious about my qualifications, the limitations and inadequacies of the program's impacts, the extent of my willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause, and the actual potential that sacrifice may or may not have to make a difference. I still might defer a year, depending on other opportunities that come up later on this year. If it ends up being my most solid future plan, it will stand as a pretty damn good one. As you (one) can (might be able to) see, there is very little space to think about a collaborative Call Your Mom thesis this week. Also Emma is out of town. That said, I'm ready for the challenge of including the current political climate in our piece. I think the political records the Kelly family has in the house might have some impact on that. Hmm...
Like, how do politics come into the home? What does it mean that my grandpa might have voted for Trump? Should I read into his vote as an act against my body? My mom's body? My sister's, my grandma's, my cousin's? My future students'? The bodies of my POC and LGBTQ loved ones? You can't be there with your people in the voting booth. Can you trust them to tell you the truth about their values and political leanings? How will my suspicion toward him factor into the way we give thanks for each other this Thanksgiving? And what will it mean to give comfortable thanks for each other in the midst of such explicit oppression? Will our traditions need reworking? Or will common ground come about through story telling/historic repetition? Do families maintain the same vocabularies throughout our lives even though we exist in different generations? We create and are created by each other. Were are the blind spots in that? Can we communicate our common experiences if the same words mean different things to each of us? How heavily are our opinions moderated by people more powerful than us? Are we permanently pitted against other people through charged language? How can we recreate language to aid this issue? The videos of people protesting in New York, LA, Chicago, etc. are so zoomed out that the humans just look like animals stampeding. That image makes me hopeless about the capabilities of empathy, emotion, agreement, and coexistence. More on this later. yeah, definitely more later.
Here is my TRUMP thing:
the first female
but the last douchebag
precedent the future the past the
help me feel ok
in this country
in my body
under what god ? did sweet land of
split in half
walls, closed off
to opportunity, closed
change in climate
goodbye sanctuaries cities
blissful ignorance education affordable care political poetry reassurance sedative insincerity insurance
comforting corruption and national
by the people, for the people, of the people,
to the people, on the people, in the people,
what we so proudly hailed two days ago
already broke beyond liberty and justice
and by the dawn’s
early light, I saw everyone cry,
giving proof through the light
that the free and the brave
and the other side
was invisible, indivisible
to us all.
we pick the losers.
I never met one person who supported you, but somehow you won.
I must live in a bubble. I do. What is this bubble that breaks us made of?
side notes about back then:
it was easier to sing two days ago.
all of this was still a thing two days ago.
how could we not see ourselves until two days ago?
“purify America. kill them all” two days ago.
KKK came back to town two days ago.
a stranger told me what to do with my uterus over the internet
“copper IUD. It should outlast the presidency, up to 10 years.”
the war on our bodies began two days ago.
there is a difference between safety and comfort
often, I get both, when I don’t need both.
sometimes I can’t find either.
mostly I have safety, convince
myself I need more comfort, lose
safety in doing so. In appropriative,
capitalism yoga today we talked about excess
I dream suspicion under one roof,
one glass ceiling, one nation, under god.
everybody wake up!
get the fuck off facebook
get out the
you cannot execute
the guy sitting next to me
on the bus wants to
assassinate you already
and we can’t grow
better, together, ever,
not even eventually
“put your left foot on the floor
put your right foot on the floor” –Dad
“feel the earth move under your feet
feel the sky tumbling down” –Carol King
“organize your information
as we rise to the occasion
of our new nation” –Lin Manuel Miranda
“it is okay to feel uncomfortable” –Zach
“The faults of incompetent
abilities will be
consigned to oblivion” –George Washingto
and on a kind of lighter note, here is a poem I wrote about eating pizza in Traverse City with my lover:
We sit across a
booth from each other
at the pizzeria with
the sticky gingham table cloth
vinyl red and white gingham,
sticky with humidity and pop scum
we order a Mediterranean Pizza Bianco—
the only white pizza you’ve ever loved.
with extra virgin olive oil,
garlic, Provincial herbs,
topped with a creamy
blend of Mozzarella,
Asiago and Fontinell
cheeses, Kalamata olives,
and artichoke hearts.”
2 12” pizzas for 18-ish dollars each,
the other one was pepperoni,
pepperon—we say pepperon
when we’re trying to
make each other chuckle.
marinara-red, neon signs,
and italian flags hang over
patrons tile the walls
in glossy 4 x 6 photos—
the date of their visits glow orange
in the bottom right corner of each
point-and-shoot print—a history.
we find our friend Jake in one photo.
he has a dirty blonde bowl cut and
a strawful of Mountain Dew suspended
between his mouth and a red,
pebbled tumbler cup.
I revisit my mobile banking app
to avoid buying an XL white
paesano’s t-shirt. its font,
along with everything else
ambience at Paesano’s, nears perfection.
An older couple fidgets, inaudible
in a booth a few feet away.
They look at us like we are having
fun and they aren’t.
We eat about half of both pizzas
and divvy out the rest
for the next day.
Full, we finish sipping our waters, pay, tip,
and stand up
to put quarters into the bouncy ball and bracelet
dispensers. I say “I only want it if it’s pink,”
but it is lime green, so you put it on your wrist.
I make you take a selfie in the mirror behind
the stuffed animal claw arcade game.
You are reluctant to do so. We
don't pay much attention to Ms. Pacman.
We empty our bladders of their beverages
in the bathroom, one at a time, cause there's only one bathroom.
I spend my time during your turn
in the bathroom drinking in the older couple.
On the ride home, I ask if you agree
the way they looked at us.