The Tyrany of Fragility

I feel the pain of people who have been physically, emotionally , psychologically and sexually violated. Who have been demeaned and made to feel like they are less, less than others, less than human. I have been one of those people for most of my life. To be honest, my entire life has been an exercise in vanquishing the inner self loathing that is the legacy of those painful experiences. .I have borne those scars and still carry some open wounds from those violations. Some were from strangers but some were from my own family and in some cases from people I considered to be friends. I have always refused to identify myself as a victim. I always saw myself as a target. I could never afford self pity because self pity is a hindrance when you are trying to survive. For a long time I believed that I became who I am in spite of the horrible things that happened to me and that were done to me but when I was about 47 years old I began to understand that I became who I am because of my response to those horrible experiences. First and foremost those experiences introduced me to my own grace, to my own dignity. Cruelty taught me what it means to be kind, the lack of compassion I received taught me empathy, the hurling vitriol, lewd innuendo and brutal remarks led to my unswerving need to define myself by my own standards and to develop my own values and to bear no ones judgment. The threat and fear I lived under grew my courage. The near constant rejection created my unshakeable faith in my strength of spirit, which has always blissfully soared above every sordid experience I was subjected to, I have always found…

Read More...

Letter To A Young Artist # 1

I cannot help notice that every time I have a conversation with a young artist is that when my age comes up, there is an odd sense of competion present in them mixed in with a kind of misplaced relief. I find it sad too that when I ask someone young their age they often stutter uncomfortably in order to whisper “around 25” or “around 30” as if youth is the only thing that can guarantee them a leg up.Competition may not be the best word to use to describe what I am talking about but there is a sense of “Oh! I am on the way up and you are on the way out.” Or maybe it only is “I STILL have TIME to make it”.Perhaps it is a only sense of relief that they feel in the face of me and my age, in this very ageist time,that they have another 30 years before they reach my age. At 26 or 30 I know that those 30 years feel like more than one life time. But I thought it might be useful to mention a couple of things. 30 to 60 happens almost overnight. Time moves twice as fast from 30 to 60 as it does from ten to 40. Another is that despite the fact that I started performing in the downtown experimental performance scene at 18, with people far older and much more accomplished than myself, between the ages of 21 and 31 I lived several different lives, lives that included performing but were grounded by really living in the world, all very far from the all encompassing ambition of NY.From the 60’s to the early 80’s there was still standards for excellence that were upheld by a very selective and demanding audience of connoisseurs. Since…

Read More...

Relationship and Destiny

The driving force of my life has always been my relationship to relationship. Perhaps this is the arena , more than any other in my life, including my work,in which I have invested the most energy, shown the most commitment to and which has taught me the most about myself and human nature. People often say I am wise and if indeed I am wise, I have become so thru my interaction with people, thru my willingness to jump into the deep end of other personalities. When I was 22 living on the island of Formentera in Spain, before it became the party island it is now, although to be honest it was always a party island in the summers. It was on Formentera that the now ubiquitous Full Moon Parties first occurred. 30,40 people playing drums,improvisationally singing and dancing and another 40 sitting around smoking hash and/or tripping or both, but those parties were for a very specific kind of person then,seekers not just kids on spring break. Formentera in the 1970’s attracted people who were able to be in an unmapped territory,say opposed to Ibiza, which was then as now , very much a scene. The first morning I arrived in Ibiza on the overnight ferry from Barcelona, the first person I saw was a scenester from NY and I hid behind a palm tree so he wouldn’t see me and I took the first ferry to Formentera without even entering Ibiza. The first person who mentioned Formentera to me was Sandy Sawyer, then the girlfriend of my friend Richard Hannemann. Sandy showed up at Max’s Kansas City one night and said she was there to give me a message from Richard. Then she said just three words to me “Come to Formentera”. Sandy didn’t tell me where…

Read More...

I Loved LA

Hearing of  the LA earthquake, I  was suddenly overcome with sadness about leaving LA. I barely got to live there. I guess the sudden end of my marriage in 2008 eclipsed my feelings about leaving, an exodus I never mourned. I loved the near absolute anonymity of LA, an anonymity NY has lost since becoming suburbanized. Oh, I know everyone thinks LA is suburban but I never felt that way about it. If LA is so suburban, how come you can never find a gas station? I loved the stony winter sunlight, the stillness of the desert that lies beneath it. I loved the hollow emptiness of LA  in the daytime and the howling emptiness of LA  at night. I loved walking down Fairfax , a journey that never bored me. I loved coffee at The Farmers Market early in the morning with homeless people propped up on chairs, before it bustled with tourists and regular people. I loved sitting at empty bus stops with a book during my long aimless walks and going to Las Feliz’s for breakfast at Figaro , feeling like I was in the Marais in Paris in 1960 because the painter George Stoll  always has his breakfast there. You can  sit at a sidewalk table and watch people walk by. Yeah, I know it is only one block but that’s all you need for a bit of people watching. Anyway you are watching people enter the cafe. That’s the point. They are walking, from their car. I loved the quirky old spots of Hollywood and the ghosts that accompanied me everywhere. Ever since I was a child, I was intrigued by the history of Old Hollywood that I ferreted out of the 1950’s movie star magazines I found. I was obsessed with then.  Those magazines…

Read More...

Queerer Than The Queer

One of the most frightening aspects of organized hatred is how the Christian Right has taken  it’s fight against Homosexuality and exported it to third world countries where the issues are not  same sex  marriage or adoption but the right to life: Theirs. Yes, the right to life for homosexuals. In Africa, The Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean coming out amounts to a death sentence. In many  countries I have traveled in, I have seen see up close the choice between  violence or silence regarding homosexuality. How the Christian Right can balance Christ’s message of Love with hate mongering that incites people to murder is beyond me but that Death Ministries are occuring  NOW with American dollars is irrefutable. Read this excellent article from Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/07/evangelicals-gay-rights-ihop-god-loves-uganda-sundance I post this 2009 article because it is gives alot background http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v24n4/us-christian-right-attack-on-gays-in-africa.html As American Gays and Queers relax into their sense of entitlement thinking that the war is over , few are aware of the evil underfoot. The Christian Right built it’s ProLife Mandate over a 40 year period,  beginning with Roe Vs Wade in 1973.  The fruits of their work are becoming the rule across America and becoming a greater, more terrifying reality for American women, particularly for the ultra poor. When we talk about Russia and the Olympics we don’t seem to understand that our worlds are  connected. It is not only to support homosexuals and and trans people that we demonstrate against Russia’s hate laws but to protect our own future. Sadly it is human nature that someone will always be queer, someone will always be unacceptable to ‘straight middleclass society’. In the 1960’s straight meant narrow minded, not necessarily heterosexual . Jack Smith divided people into two groups Flaming Creatures and Pasty Normals. It is not 1962 and…

Read More...

In Sinai Three

Naseer has brought me my Nescafe and tahina and lebne (the soft flat pita type bread of the region.) Yesterday in Ein Hudra, the lovely palm filled oasis where we spent the night , I watched Zainub make this same bread by hand and two days before Ayesha, the sister in law of Achmed, who was our mountain and desert guide, let me try my hand at it. This is bread without yeast, just flour , salt and water. For many years the Beduins lived on this and milk which they call leben, the same word in Bedu, as the word for life. I learned this word as a child at our next door neighbor Vickie George’s house.Vickie was a vivacious, gentle, laughing presence in my childhood. Lebonese, she made Lebi each day, a lovely yoghurt that I discovered before Dannon became a hosehold word, in her house. “Lebi “ , Vickie would tell me each time I visited her hoping for this treat, “In our language means life.” That is how important Lebi is to Lebonese people and here it is the same. I was just thinking a moment ago about how the word ‘multicultural” has been so corrupted. As a immigrant Italian child, I grew up truly multicultural and not only because I was child born in America to Southern Italians. My childhood was filled and surrounded by Lithuaians, Armeinians, Polish, Black, Ukrainians, Greeks, Irish, French Canadians etc. We ran in and out of each others houses. We ate each others food. We heard each others original languages spoken in the homes, because nearly everyone I grew up with spokeEnglishoutside and their own language at home.Now the word multicultural has nothing to do with people but with politics and it is used in a divisive way. In my…

Read More...

Sinai Two

The full moon that was as big a a flying saucer has passed.It is my fourth full day here at Green Beach. The sea is calm now the wind has died away. Yesterday with Kadri, an Estonian filmmaker and novelist, 28 years old, scouting locations for her next film and Sabah, a young handsome Beduin who was scouting Kadri, I went snorkeling for the first time in the Red Sea. The reef is only a few meters away. It is quite shallow for a ways out and then you can swim to the reef. Kadri is terrified of sharks and although she is told repeatedly that there have been no shark attacks she is near hysterical at the thought, so she wants to be accompanied. As I am watching the gentle, underwater life around me, various corals, grey, brown lavender and the multi colored fish that swim among them, I hear a shriek. It is Kadri. Apparently she has seen a grey fish that looks as if it may be a shark.” Perhaps it is a small dolphin” says Sabah although he doesn’t know the English word for it. I enjoy myself immensely, the water is warm and there is no current. I see yellow fish, blue and black striped and some larger interesting fish. All very peaceful and there are small canyons between the reefs and you are always able to rest on some reef rocks, so it is easy to navigate. Later that night Naseer cooks a big fish dinner. It is the last night for Omari and Erik and Kadri who return early morning to Sharm El Sheikh and then to snowy Estonia. Tom, who I have yet to write about, who I met on Couch Surfer’s and was my entre to Sinai and Nueweiba, an Estonian…

Read More...

Posting comments

I just posted some comments i found on the blogI can’t wait to read themDon’t you love when people accuse you of things then won’t sign their name like in The more you talk, teh guiltier you sound….Wonder who wrote that? Hee Hee Hee

Read More...

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

Well despite my intention to Blog regularly as we can all see I haven’t done it. It has been a crazy year which in my life is really saying something! But I am reinspired to write on my site so I will post my recent journal from my trip to the Sinai Desert.By teh way it looks like things are moving along with Semiotexts publication of teh first book of my work next fall although a psychic Tarot reader in Sinai told me the book would be delayed..lets see..it has already been delayed once..maybe that was what she was picking up on! I had one of those revisiting bad feelings last night when out of the blue an old friend Claudia Steinberg emailed me to interview me for a German Arts magazine about the sale of the Jack Smith Archive to Barbara Gladstone.I was giving her some of the back story and decided to look some stuff up and send it to her and I re-encountered some of the malicious slander that I had mostly avoided reading on Hi-Beam and Frameworks posted by the deluded and vicious Mary Jordan (The great thing about the sale was getting rid of Jordan and her partner Peralta out of our lives. They had been frivoulously taking us to court for the past 5 years , trust fund creeps tend to sue I have found, it is their only true creative outlet and the last basis for their sueing was the failure of their film..yes Veronica, there is a Santa Claus and people can sue you for whatever they wish to..it is part of our capitalist system..this is how it works..they have the money too sue and then they try to bankrupt people who don’t have trust funds and the system thrives on this…

Read More...

From Penny at OUTFEST in LA..check out www.mobiopera.mobi.

I just spent another amazing two weeks at OUTFEST in LA..Los Angeles’s Gay,Lesbian ,Bi , Trans Film Festival and the largest in the world apparently.I participated in MobiOpera, a soap opera shot entirely on cell phone video !!! One of my favorite partners in art and crime, Anna Margerhita Albelo , the filmmaker partnered up with me to create our almost daily film. I had decided on an hommage to Cocteau’s Le Voix Humane, which he originally wrote for Edith Piaf (What about that Piaf movie???????? If you haven’t seen it GO!!!!) Then it was filmed as a vehicle for Anna Magnani who was tremendous in it. It is the story of a phone call or series of calls to from a lover who had left her.I decied to change that from a lover relationship to a fag-faghag relationship.Check it out at www.mobiopera.mobi you move the timeline to see the story progress.Meanwhile if you check under news…you will see I ambringing back Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore! for one show only September 11th at the Speigeltent in South Street Seaport.

Read More...