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Dirt roads at the base of desert mountains…the silence was pure..the air sweet-smelling and hot…the two of us had kissed and driven and seen horned sheep..and I entertained the desire to be an amateur aviator, even of experimental crafts that do nothing but skim the surface of space…
Jul 30, 2014 / 1 note

Dirt roads at the base of desert mountains…the silence was pure..the air sweet-smelling and hot…the two of us had kissed and driven and seen horned sheep..and I entertained the desire to be an amateur aviator, even of experimental crafts that do nothing but skim the surface of space…

Jul 30, 2014

A love letter to decay

from Leaves from Soma Beach, notes written on a 15 minute work break in South of Market, SF. 

The Break

Roofs ascend and sprout in varietals of office, apartment, billboard, tower, factory, antennae. Spent ammunition seasons the walls. Turreted metal flesh, unnumbered wreckage, concentrations of fat and magnesium and grain: one business washes ashore in the hindquarters of another while nothing, in the echo, happens.

This is the beachside of the city, woven of salt and rubber, leather and rhinestone, moss and bullion. Boys in garters, building furniture behind roll down garage doors peer thru pin pricks. Girls in the German sausage shops rub tallow on their wrists. You can taste the flakes of all things, a sister city sloughing off chains and mortar, to be born anew on your tongue.

Beachcombers bask on cardboard lawn chairs under trash-barnacled pier posts, bear their torsos to the wavelets of a million hubcaps, heat snagged in every one, wash their toes in the acrid tides of flyers, pamphlets, used rubbers, bottle shards and factory soot.

I know I have bones that anneal with a foreign skeleton. For all my measly shrub-ness, I am a city in miniature. My thirst is vehicular. Cold water enters a hole in my face, like cars on an off ramp.  When you focus on the function of an orifice, the body ceases to seem yours, or human, but simply a cunning division of space.

Yet we are cursed with brains that can’t begin to grasp each minute’s structural depths. Death would wizen this water hole till not even pennies fit. But snagged in the cosmic lattices, my death would be as alloyed bones for a larger, more astonishing figure.

15 minute break to think of death’s metropolitan mutations, how flesh upends definitions, like a beach hidden under the dripping scaffolding of an expressway.

Still we must return to life unsheathed

All breaks must come to a whimpering halt

So for you, dear bones, I approach ever nakeder

but clothed too in distance

Jul 24, 2014

Poem-Letter from Soma Beach

A love letter from Leaves from Soma Beach. 

Disaster Memo: July 16, 2004

Briefcases smuggled into kindergartens

re-enacted by radio in Victorian accents

we swap bone broth recipes over the news;

what stays news is that this world burns,

& the mind burns in it; as the heart hides a stair

into a deeper well buried in fire

last night desire deterred became an outside fight   

leather elbows raised on tallow moon  

searchlights spattered the tenements

we flexed for truth thru    garbled Tenderloin broadcasts

I bit my arm to prove a point     

that nothing expands but another

this nothing is but our shared lair

to be found out

no unbroken chairs for events dissected

no kitchens bright with intact windows

armor wilts on the vine    sores feed on echoes of older

flames

that fire in India I’ll remember seven years from here

combing over letters, emails, texts,

holding the phone to the mirror

begging for a reply   I finger the drying suds 

scour the trash     wondering

which riptides    took us from one another      

what I retain is the taste

of incomprehension:     

you knew it well      we both

cherished & primed it in breath and

code and ritual

our lavish mess, on bright

days and dim —this hot milk

that makes us wince,

alleged cures for sleeplessness,

of binder clips and

notecards left    in shut down complexes

and fields of offices    never more entered     

for this: a uniform blankness

that passes as beauty

darkroma:

Æ (George William Russell) - Is not this Great Babylon that I Have Built, circa 1909

Abraxas Journal

Everything about this painting is how I want to feel when I lay down. 
Jul 24, 2014 / 2 notes

darkroma:

Æ (George William Russell) - Is not this Great Babylon that I Have Built, circa 1909

Abraxas Journal

Everything about this painting is how I want to feel when I lay down. 

Jul 22, 2014 / 110 notes

REVOLUTIONARY HYSTERIA

loneberry:

image

"I think that what’s important now is to mobilize hysteria as a quasi-revolutionary force. Hélène Cixous insists it is an inherently revolutionary power: it intervenes, breaks up continuities, produces gaps and creates horror—refusing conformity with what is. Feminism could benefit from an affirmation of hysteria; hysteria as a response to what is unacceptable and intolerable in life… as a response to emergency.”
-Avital Ronell

One of the Pythonesses of The Iron Garters, a cryptic gang of radical disrupters and explorers. 
Fragments from their manifesto in progress Part One: 
The Iron Garters is a gang that accepts anybody provided they show mettle and leg. This process, however can be rigorous and require several hair-raising yet ecstatic initiations. The prospective member should also be excited about the following alliances the Garters have made: Spiritually, Garters are aligned with the Divine Feminine and the Cosmic Hermaphrodite and their plethora of metamorphoses. Socially, they are taking up the weapons that Dada and Punk and all those 60’s gangs perfected. Stylistically, they play with and mutate the iconography of traditional biker gangs, corsairs, street hustlers, sailors, fetishists and witches. Politically, they adore Mutual Aid and the potentials of reinvigorating Sacred Play among loving, care-giving individuals. Whatever dreams we suppress for decorum’s sake are worn loudly on our vests, dresses, capes, negligees and corsages. We all want to be part of a secret tribe, especially if it encourages us to get primordial with Others.
 The Garters will make you wilder and thus, more joyous, more capable, more generous. They are instinctual gift-givers, stemming from the fact that their very existence is a gift to an often fearful and uninspired society.
The Garter is snake and leash; fang and lash; a double-edged tongue of attack and recoil; submission and domination; the play of oppositions in all their tangled contradictions. We are celebrators and instigators of every erotic and artistic outburst but we pull it all off with mesmerizing style, conspiratorial complicity and inclusive nonchalance. Iron is a recognizable term for resilience that can often be eroticized. Even though the world is over-determined by forces we have no control over, Garters create territory for delight and play wherever they throng, from the most boring office space to the most unencumbered prairie. They don’t need “special” spaces to pull off special deeds, although a clubhouse, especially if its flimsy, somewhat scary-looking and hard to access is a good place to centralize.
 When you think of the gentle sting of a garter belt you don’t think of iron chains or serpent’s fangs. For the Garters, what isn’t necessarily thought at first is what we bring out at first. Since all living is relating, and all relating is performing, we will perform the most ingenious relations.
What does it mean to show mettle and leg? Potentials for endless synecdoche. “Leg” can mean anything you choose to reveal and “mettle” can mean anything you choose to flex. For Garters, revelation requires well-timed subtlety and rigorously-plotted seductions. As much as sex sells, insinuation and intrigue last longer and are more durable, more mobile. Garters engage in a complicated and showy mating dance with life, involving displays of erotic heraldry, artistic tributes and hermetic and cryptic readymades. All Garters are erotic, even if they are asexual, for desire is a mobile homeland animated by Primal Love and Visceral Devotion. The Garters embrace a polymorhphous, pansexual, ever-shifting, ever-queering conception of eros, sexuality and desire. In militantly organizing like a Masonic club and moving provocatively like an outlaw biker gang, we will mobilize our group desires in ways that are different than the played-out routine of restaurant, bar, car, private residence, bedroom, snoozing.
 Becoming socialized means we’ve been coerced to reveal things we didn’t want to and flex other things that hurt us. Becoming socialized to the entrenched hierarchies means we must now engage in healing acts that come from orchestrated mayhem and wild imaginings. The Iron Garters never forget that “man” is the “rationalizing animal”; the Garters, true to form, are also animals, rationalizing alienated forms of reason and forgotten acts of healing.
The Garter doesn’t want to be buried with the phrase, “S/he played it safe” indelibly written on their tomb. Nor do Garters deliberately and destructively seek danger. Self-destruction IS the status quo. What Garters court are the oblique byways of Uncertainty and the Unknown; and the ingenuity of their courtship rites creates a durable craft upon which to navigate. Ritual and devotion, play and collaboration are the planks and nails that keep the craft afloat. Garters never forget that what is at stake is what is Ventured.
 Our bodies and minds have ossified into positions and attitudes we never intended them to be in. The most dominant and thus most ossified Social Organizations that rely on profit, repetition, subservience and masculine warmongering conveniently forget what causes harm or discord in the human psyche.
 The Iron Garters will rectify this forgetfulness by insisting on other ways of organizing space and the organisms that play in it. Gangs can do this with ease because wherever they move they bring a mixture of transformative ravishment, lively confusion and contagious mystery. In truth, the Iron Garters are smugglers of a rare and magical ecosystem that can manifest anywhere, given the correct correspondences. 

Rites of theater, ritual, picnic, pilgrimage, rides, raids, expeditions, dog-piles, mud fights, mystical declarations: these are ways of creating new physical, geographical, erotic, spiritual and emotional territories. By masquerading as archetypal “criminals” we are living reminders of the porousness of categories and the desperate need for society to reinvent itself thru the radical imagination.
Jul 20, 2014

One of the Pythonesses of The Iron Garters, a cryptic gang of radical disrupters and explorers. 

Fragments from their manifesto in progress Part One: 

The Iron Garters is a gang that accepts anybody provided they show mettle and leg. This process, however can be rigorous and require several hair-raising yet ecstatic initiations. The prospective member should also be excited about the following alliances the Garters have made: Spiritually, Garters are aligned with the Divine Feminine and the Cosmic Hermaphrodite and their plethora of metamorphoses. Socially, they are taking up the weapons that Dada and Punk and all those 60’s gangs perfected. Stylistically, they play with and mutate the iconography of traditional biker gangs, corsairs, street hustlers, sailors, fetishists and witches. Politically, they adore Mutual Aid and the potentials of reinvigorating Sacred Play among loving, care-giving individuals. Whatever dreams we suppress for decorum’s sake are worn loudly on our vests, dresses, capes, negligees and corsages. We all want to be part of a secret tribe, especially if it encourages us to get primordial with Others.

 The Garters will make you wilder and thus, more joyous, more capable, more generous. They are instinctual gift-givers, stemming from the fact that their very existence is a gift to an often fearful and uninspired society.

The Garter is snake and leash; fang and lash; a double-edged tongue of attack and recoil; submission and domination; the play of oppositions in all their tangled contradictions. We are celebrators and instigators of every erotic and artistic outburst but we pull it all off with mesmerizing style, conspiratorial complicity and inclusive nonchalance. Iron is a recognizable term for resilience that can often be eroticized. Even though the world is over-determined by forces we have no control over, Garters create territory for delight and play wherever they throng, from the most boring office space to the most unencumbered prairie. They don’t need “special” spaces to pull off special deeds, although a clubhouse, especially if its flimsy, somewhat scary-looking and hard to access is a good place to centralize.

 When you think of the gentle sting of a garter belt you don’t think of iron chains or serpent’s fangs. For the Garters, what isn’t necessarily thought at first is what we bring out at first. Since all living is relating, and all relating is performing, we will perform the most ingenious relations.

What does it mean to show mettle and leg? Potentials for endless synecdoche. “Leg” can mean anything you choose to reveal and “mettle” can mean anything you choose to flex. For Garters, revelation requires well-timed subtlety and rigorously-plotted seductions. As much as sex sells, insinuation and intrigue last longer and are more durable, more mobile. Garters engage in a complicated and showy mating dance with life, involving displays of erotic heraldry, artistic tributes and hermetic and cryptic readymades. All Garters are erotic, even if they are asexual, for desire is a mobile homeland animated by Primal Love and Visceral Devotion. The Garters embrace a polymorhphous, pansexual, ever-shifting, ever-queering conception of eros, sexuality and desire. In militantly organizing like a Masonic club and moving provocatively like an outlaw biker gang, we will mobilize our group desires in ways that are different than the played-out routine of restaurant, bar, car, private residence, bedroom, snoozing.

 Becoming socialized means we’ve been coerced to reveal things we didn’t want to and flex other things that hurt us. Becoming socialized to the entrenched hierarchies means we must now engage in healing acts that come from orchestrated mayhem and wild imaginings. The Iron Garters never forget that “man” is the “rationalizing animal”; the Garters, true to form, are also animals, rationalizing alienated forms of reason and forgotten acts of healing.

The Garter doesn’t want to be buried with the phrase, “S/he played it safe” indelibly written on their tomb. Nor do Garters deliberately and destructively seek danger. Self-destruction IS the status quo. What Garters court are the oblique byways of Uncertainty and the Unknown; and the ingenuity of their courtship rites creates a durable craft upon which to navigate. Ritual and devotion, play and collaboration are the planks and nails that keep the craft afloat. Garters never forget that what is at stake is what is Ventured.

 Our bodies and minds have ossified into positions and attitudes we never intended them to be in. The most dominant and thus most ossified Social Organizations that rely on profit, repetition, subservience and masculine warmongering conveniently forget what causes harm or discord in the human psyche.

 The Iron Garters will rectify this forgetfulness by insisting on other ways of organizing space and the organisms that play in it. Gangs can do this with ease because wherever they move they bring a mixture of transformative ravishment, lively confusion and contagious mystery. In truth, the Iron Garters are smugglers of a rare and magical ecosystem that can manifest anywhere, given the correct correspondences. 

Rites of theater, ritual, picnic, pilgrimage, rides, raids, expeditions, dog-piles, mud fights, mystical declarations: these are ways of creating new physical, geographical, erotic, spiritual and emotional territories. By masquerading as archetypal “criminals” we are living reminders of the porousness of categories and the desperate need for society to reinvent itself thru the radical imagination.

Jul 20, 2014 / 33,243 notes

(via pankmagazine)

Jul 19, 2014 / 5 notes

A few excerpts from Leaves from Soma Beach,  an ongoing project, begun ten years ago in a secretarial job I had in South of Market, San Francisco, consisting of love letters, mail art, collages, poems, and what I like to think of as talismans.

They began as love letters I mailed from work to my then girlfriend but they’ve since evolved into a more generalized love letter to distant figures, or hidden forces. 

Back then, in 2004, the two of us came up with an idea we called DecoVerity, or, half-kiddingly, “the truth adorned” which was supposed to become a sort of faux-comical art movement; and subsequently I invented this idea of Soma Beach, a coastal bohemia that can exist even in the industrial non-waterways of the big city. 

Living in the desert, with lots of solitude on my hands (especially in the sweltering summer), I’ve revisited and expanded these projects with much enthusiasm. 

(Some of these images are in The Salted Lash Issues 1 and 2 as well, and referenced in some way all over this site.)

In the coming months, I’m trying to finalize a manuscript worth of material, of both words and images, to explore this ongoing idea of correspondences, as both messages we send to varied Beloveds and Kindreds, Places and Power Zones, imaginary, real and some mixture of both, and also correspondences in the more hermetic sense of seeding/diagramming relations and harmonies between two or more things, entities or forces. 

But really, much more simply, it’s my attempt to mix and blend things that seem like they work together; and hopefully some of them do. 

Most of the visuals are collaged and cobbled together from postcards I’ve received or photos I’ve taken or designs, arabesques, sigils, doodles, etc. I’ve salvaged from forgotten books, including some of my old and upsetting journals. 

I am pretty low-tech, DIY, etc. mostly out of laziness and cheapness than anything else, so I’m experimenting with the best way to reproduce the hard copy images. I’m staging them here just to see how they look and maybe how they might be improved. 

Jul 17, 2014 / 7 notes
Jul 16, 2014 / 1 note

A Mini-Manifesto I was Asked to Write

The Iron Garters Ars Poetica;

Calling In The Strange Attractors

            1. My ethical capacity is directly related to my my capacity for wonder. If I’m not awed, how can I care? Why should I? In place of orthodox religion: vocal enchantment with the world, engendering versatile ethics, perpetuating labyrinthine engagements, promoting a tough romanticism that is neither naïve, simplistic, selfish or vulgar.

            2. In place of the language of advertisement, connivance, argument, fatigue, salesmanship, abridgement, meme-ing and oneupmanship: a subtle, nuanced, lyrical foray in many voices that insists on defamiliarizing what is always-already taken for granted, of taking the strange for the ground that we work with and then working with the intimacies hidden in our own estrangements.

            3. “You have to be enamored of the world,” Jane Bennet explains in order to contribute your “scares mortal services” to others (Jane Bennett, The Enchantment of Modern Life). We are not afraid of affection, romance, devotion, cathexis, entanglement, charity and obsession, for we know they are but processes among processes, fleeting yet vivifying passages we explore with the strongest possible torches; in turn they bring us into newer, more nuanced states of becoming. 

            4. The inherent ordeal is how to preserve enchantment in spite of the pricks and snares and shit-falls of what’s Real. It’s what you do with Disappointment and Derailment, through language, through telling, through sound, that demarcates the bounds of your integrity. Were there a war of the Soul it would consist in inflicting transformation on states of being that seem insupportable and intransigent; of making, through cultivated artistry and visionary ritual, being predicated on becoming.

            5. Realism, when it is enriched and edified by meticulous poetic language, becomes ennobling and visionary, and not just caustic and hard-boiled. We must hone an uncanny ear for things that “speak for themselves,” which is matter mattering, and not relinquishing singularity to ideas and ideals. Ideas work insofar as they tend to become.

            6. Realism is perceptual vertigo, the arch poetic struggle, in which our limited sensual apparatuses must allow passage for extra-sensual, extra-human vectors. We must become radios, terminals, nexuses, way-stations, transmitters and portals for forces and agents we hardly have words for.

            7. To not let “things speak for themselves” is the betrayal endemic to bad poetics, bad ethics, bad writing, and bad speech and becomes more generally the foreclosure of anything political or ethical.

            8. We are never giving our voices to things, but letting things overlay our own voices with theirs. In the process – which is all we are anyway – a choral mosaic is woven and maintained: something kosmic is kept at a high pitch. 

            9. No despair but clarity, even when shipwrecked in a ditch. This clarity is a political commitment to things thinging. We will hear what is said, even from the mutest, the dingiest and the most marginalized. We will be attentive to the paltriest stammerings, for they are integral to the structure which, itself, is structureless.

            10. We think warmly of Michael McClure’s “structureless structure”; we know that chaos is not disorder but a complexity that requires finely-tuned, subtle, empathetic and voracious perception; we hearken to the roots of the word subtlety: “finely-woven.” We aspire for an intimacy with things that straddles both chaos and order and the subtle in-xmixings of both.

            11. We only speak through intricate relationality: William James beautifully asserts: “Every definite image in the mind is steeped and dyed in the free water that flows round it. With it goes the sense of its relations, near and remote.” 

            12. Words mean things and should be honored, not cheapened, not monumentalized; but also their honor is dependent on the river they are in. We are cultivators of the river, which is to say, of what the river is, which is many and one, swift yet sluggish, veering yet dead-on. 

            13. When Lyn Hejinian writes about Gertrude Stein, she makes a critical distinction between “entity” and “identity” in the compositional work that Stein pursues (Hejinian, “Three Lives”). Entity is the astonishment of being anything at all it hardly matters what and identity is the shock of composing oneself in time and seeing revisions accumulate on you as you.

            14. Both entity and identity are modes of attention that overlap and feed into and with each other in creativity. They allow for survival as well as adventure; keeping these in balance is perpetuated by the fineness and subtlety of our visionary ear.

            15. We grow accustomed to the non-human and welcome its incursions. We know that the human as hub of creation is, at best, a false alarm. But as humans, and more specifically as artists, we must attempt to render these non-human invasions that beset us with the language available, no matter how paltry and insufficient it seems. If this means changing the language to better hear the salvos from the Unknown, we must be prepared. 

            16. Thus we depart from Mina Loy’s own gorgeous ars poetica: “I must live in my lantern/Trimming subliminal flicker/Virginal       to the bellows/Of Experience” (Loy, 53).

            17. From Derrida, we learn that writing’s detours, deflections and displacements are but alternate messengers crying out to us in clashing voices. Having no choice but to hear, we have no choice but to be changed – and to embrace these rigorous transmutations.

            18. We believe in being that cries out to be altered, identity that begs to be divested of its jewels, and life that is hungry for other lives to overtake it. 

            19. Serial metamorphosis = ontological versatility.

            20. Seers of otherances naturally have more intriguing things to say.

            20. Surprise, the secret.

            21. “To think is not to get out of the cave; it is not to replace the uncertainty of shadows by the clear-cut outlines of things themselves, the flame’s flickering glow by the light of the true sun. To think is to enter the Labyrinth; more exactly, it is to make be and appear a Labyrinth when we might have stayed “lying among the flowers, facing the sky.” It is to lose oneself amidst galleries which exist only because we never tire of digging them; to turn round and round at the end of a cul-de-sac whose entrance has been shut off behind us—until, inexplicably, this spinning round opens up in the surrounding walls cracks which offer passage” – Cornelius Castoriadis.

            22. The cultivation of the labyrinth, however is not haphazardry, tricks, chaos, hedonistic self-indulgence; but a deliberation in which improvisation and venture, derailment and determination all work together as long as we are sincerely absorbed in the work.

            23. The work is the secret. It is open for us to live through.