Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wrote this a few days ago.

Back from Boston.  Amazingness.  I just ate some pie the other night.  And it was really fucking good.  And that city was pie good.  I mean, awesomeness.

Here's a post I wrote on the Amtrack on the way there.  I'll write more soon.


ps- I mention also mention pie in the following post.  I usually do not mention pie so much.

Listening to Frankie Stubbs as I’m leaving New York to head to Boston and do my first of the Rage the Page workshops. It’s so funny, I’ve done this book on how to use negative energy and transform it into positive creative energy, and I think I’m going to start taking my own advice soon. Ever since the book’s release on Friday, Ive been more overwhelmed than I ever thought I would be. It’s really strange to have gone from copying zines, one by one, selling them for a dollar or a Euro and now having this ‘actual book’ with incredible artists involved. I think I’ve gotten pretty used to working really hard with absolutely no recognition, and for free, for so long that having people I’ve never met before come up to me and hug me and say’ Thank you, Thank you.’ A few people have told me that once they got hold of the book, they started to cry. I sure don’t want to make anyone cry- I just made the book I wished I had ten years ago.

I have to comment on something here, something that was brought up on Tuesday night at the incredible Icarus Project sponsored event in coordination with NYU- where Kate Bornstein performed a new work based on her piece in the book and Bonfire Madigan both presented and played a short set. That’s right, it was in-fucking-credible. It was in Professor Bradley Lewis’s huge ass living room that looked over the rooftops of Soho, and we all crammed in there, sitting on pillows and couches and eating the pizza and the FRESHLY BAKED PIES – I repeat- FRESHLY BAKED PIES – that they made for the event. Sheesh. It was hot.

Anyhoo- during the Q & A, a guy raised his hand and asked me why I decided to concentrate on just women who’ve dealt with self-destruction. I thanked him for his question, knowing that it was going to be the first of many times I would have to answer that question. I asked myself that question while writing the intro, but hardly ever during the making of the book, because- I don’t know. When you make something- you usually don’t ask why. You just do it, and then after it’s done you go- Oh, that’s what I did. I think I was trying to do . . .that. After you’re away from it is when you can get some better perspective on that.

In the year and half/two years I was working on this project, I think the main dealio was to just display a group of creative, intelligent and kick ass women who’ve dealt with these issues. . .because that’s the book I needed when I was in college- a book that said, ‘You are not alone’. ‘There’s a reason for what you’re feeling’ ‘It blows now, but it can get better.’ I went to a small po-dunk private college in the middle of Illinois- absolutely HATED it. I’m talking caps lock button HATED IT. The only solace I found was Howard Gardner’s book, “Creating Minds” which is about different types of intelligences and has bios of seven geniuses in each separate intelligence in the 20th Century. That book carried me through college. That and Martha Graham’s autobiography ‘Blood Memory’. And Ani DiFranco.

After college, I somehow came across a copy of ‘Angry Women’ the first of the two Juno books that profiled amazing women that were pushing the boundaries in their respective art forms. For years, I couldn’t even read the book- I could just hold it. I felt something there, something fairly powerful- and I didn’t even need to read every word- I somehow felt- intuited through that book that collected the stories of different women and housed them under one title, that I did, indeed- have a tribe. I still didn’t know any of those women, but they existed. And for awhile, that was enough.

In answering the man’s question at the Q & A- I described that I simply didn’t think about including men, because it wasn’t what I needed when I was younger. I was surrounded, in college, by groups of men working and creating together. I wanted the women’s stories. I needed my own.

Another reason is because the way men self-destruct is often much different from the way women do. There is a more outwards sort of release often, instead of inwards. I’m talking stereotypically here. (Read Nicole Blackman’s piece). And it’s not that I don’t want to help men, and it’s not that I don’t believe that men could take away just as much from the book as a woman could, but I just edited the book I felt capable of editing.

Finally- the way self-destruction is perceived in both men and women is totally different. Check out the Wilson guy- Luke or Owen, I always forget. And that’s the thing- this guy actually tried to kill himself, and didn’t succeed- and I’m not even sure of his first name. If a woman celebrity actually tried to kill herself, it would sell newspapers for a year. What’s with this fascination, and almost encouragment, of the self-destructive woman? Are we tragically sexy? I guess so, but that’s only if our mouths are closed on the issues. Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Mary-Kate Olson. . .all of them seem to have their mouths muted when their stories are told in a visual display on every goddamn magazine cover. The bold print declares, ‘They’re getting better! They’re getting worse! They’re getting even!” It’s like the media is a child and can’t stop playing with it’s Barbie dolls- tearing off their heads, putting them back on, and having them act out some insane drama with clichéd dialogue. ‘I’m getting much better. I’m going to rehab.’ The lines are the same, and the acting, as ever- is terrible.

What a beautiful façade we’ve made of this pain.

While there is a sense of ‘honor’ and ‘respect’ around male self-destruction. Luke or Owen Wilson’s family is there to support him. that’s about all I know about that suicide attempt. Not that I want to know anything more- that air of privacy should be equal for anyone when dealing with such a severe and personal topic. However, who do I know more about now? Michelle Williams. And here we go- let’s shift ocus to the tragic woman in the screen. Let’s pull our focus in tighter. Let’s see what the fuck happens.

Okay- by now you’ve gathered two things. I ramble senselessly- apparently, in blogs, and I’m tired as fuck. I’m still not in Boston, but I’m closer. I’m glad that I’m blogging all this out though now, because that man’s questions, along with all the positive encouragment I’ve been getting, has spun my head around. I need some basis in these days, and perhaps writing it all down will give me that stability. I think I’m going to need it.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Holy Shite!!

So, last night was the book opening at Bluestockings, and it was also the first time I actually saw the book.  Holy Shiyatollah!!  I don't even know what that means, I'm so bombarded with amazement.  To hold the book in my hands after truly poring over every sentence and every layout of every picture. . .I mean- I've never worked harder on anything in my life- and worked on it for about a year and a half or two years!!  Geez!!

We started the reading with the ever charming and gracious Silas Howard, who read from 'Friends as Heroes'.  It was so nice to hear all the laughter from all the nuance Silas has in this piece. . .it's all about the relationship Silas formed with Harry Dodge and Lynne Breedlove in San Francisco when the three of them met- how they went from getting high together to doing art together.  I'm a big fan of Silas, Harry and Lynne, and so to have an understanding of how they all helped each other both through art in life is so inpsiring.  Btw- you have to check out Silas's movie 'By Hook or By Crook'.  It's all about the relationship of unsung heroes, and the heroic acts of love that allow us to survive in this mad world.

Nicole Blackman went next.  What?  What is that sentence?  "Nicole Blackman went next."Fuck that.  Nicole Blackman fucking eviscerated the mic while putting a spell over the audience with her incredible spell-binding performance and delicately painful essay.  It's all about the response she got from her poem 'Holy' which is so damn good I can't even attempt a description.  Like most of her poems, (such as Daughter- check it out) Nicole's poems touched the hearts of so many girls and women that her inbox was inundated with their response.  However, the response to 'Holy' was mostly by women who took it to be a champion for anorexia.  In this essay, Nicole details the intense response she received from her fan's, and what she learned about female self-destruction through the process.

I always make mention of the fact that when I was in college- I e-mailed Nicole, telling her how great her poems were.  I used one of her poems as an audition piece.  It kills me that now I am writing sentences that go 'Nicole Blackman went next."

So, despite the technical difficulties- the gang at Bluestockings put their collective brilliant heads together and finally got the projector to work so Cristy Road's piece could rock the house, as I knew it would.  Cristy Road is a veritable cherry-bomb of talent.  Just boom.  She's so good and so casual about being so good that it's amazing.   I'm not going to detail what her piece is about because my hands are tired - but check out her shit.

Oh- then Fly.  FLY.  Fly is brilliant!!  She let me go through all of her journals and take pictures of anything I thought would work for the book.  I came home with over 100 photos.  She is so fucking punk, so fucking balls to the wall fierce, and so giving that I'm just honored to even have her in the book, let alone rock the mic yesterday talking about her artwork.  Boom.

Then Bonfire Madigan Shive.  Just to make sure that we didn't leave a speck of that space untouched, Madigan read from the book and talked a bit about the journey that lead her to the book.   (She told me that when she saw it in Bluestockings, she went to the bathroom and cried, she was so happy.  That made my heart swell up.)  But yeah- then she took her cello out and basically burned the place down with her fierce heart.

Okay- my sister just called so i'm a bit thrown off bass in terms of writing this now.  I'm going to go see a short musical she wrote about scientists studying the theory of a kiss.  so I have to go soon.

Still, a word about the crowd yesterday.  Hotties.  Damn it, what a crowd of hotties.  Show up to an event if you can just to look around and bask in the hotness.   And the goodness.  Now I sound like I'm selling biscuits- which in one way, I am.

No really- hot, smart people striving for change in their communities.  There were some top notch authors in the haus, some rocker chicks, and then teachers and artists and friends.  Also, there was a certain anonymous author there, who I introduced to the rest of the authors so she wouldn't feel alone in her anonymity.  

Okay, I'm going to go take a shower now, so I can put on the same clothes I wore last night and go see my sister's musical rock the stage.


Monday, April 14, 2008

First book reading tomorrow

Hello everyone,

This is my first blog posting.  Eva.  I'm not going to write much now. . .but I will later.  Come to KGB tomorrow!!

Woo-hoo.  so much to do before book is out!!

Is this going to post?