July 22, 2012

Last Night

Going down to Stapletown.

I always identify with the male protagonists in the books I read. This began when I was very young. I felt as sensitively as Charlie did in The Perks of Being a Wallflower; my heart broke for the male character (whose name I forget) in The Devil in the Flesh. I even related to the gravity of Richard Dawkin's poetic prose in The God Delusion. And I virtually am Jack Dulouz in Maggie Cassidy. And Stephen Dedalus.

Of course, there are female protagonists I identify with (though not nearly as often-- not sure if there is a reason for this. I have meditated on the possibilities but I will save them for another time). I certainly connected with Jane Eyre, and the writings of Sylvia Plath, and others that I cannot think of at the moment. This doesn't necessarily only apply to books. I have felt as though I was Charlotte from Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette in her biopic. Basically, I am the protagonist of whatever story this is that is currently unfolding.

I am sure you can relate, right?

Well, after I returned home from the dance jam at the Forest Haven Center for Dance and Music, I was feeling kind of down. I am in a very strange transformative place in my life. Feeling as though I do not have a centered group of friends, this is something I am always trying to change or facilitate although it is a challenge.

I am a transient. As you read in the last post, I do not like many people. I mean, I love people just seldom do I connect with many. I am trying, folks-- really, I am.

So, I was inclined to watch netflix all night and eat left over pizza but it was Saturday night. I felt old. My skin was crawling. It is hard to go out when you feel alone. But I decided to go out anyway, figuring I would force myself to be social and that maybe my mood would change as a result. I had several friends who were at Van Duzer Days in Stapleton and knowing there would be bands playing all night at the Full Cup I decided to go.

I put on my plum lipstick and wire-necklace. The black boots with the golden socks. I tried to feel prettier than I have been. Whatever, I just wanted to go out. Ever have those nights? When the warm breeze brushes through the window and you're just itching to get out? So, I put on my shades and drove  on down to Stapletown.

The Full Cup, for those who have never been, is this eclectic and eccentric coffee shop meets alleyway venue with christmas lights meets back room bar and stage. This place is just awesome. It's sort of the only place for the disgruntled yet magically optimistic 20-30 something creative crowd of Staten Island to really feel at home. I have taught hula hooping and dance classes there. I have written poetry (both by myself and with groups) there. Many a cup of tea and soup has been sipped there.

Last night was about the most fun I have had in a long time. I ran into so many special faces that I see in passing throughout the art scene on Staten Island. I hula hooped on a friend's roof while they played music and took pictures. I saw the Manhattan skyline. The night air was warm and smelled like flowers and poetic shit like that. Phoebe Blue and the Make Baleaves played a quietly cool set in the alleyway underneath the x-mas lights. I looked up at the pale blue sky and the brick buildings and everything seemed so real. This punk rock Jap chick band, Mars&Me, played an amazing set in the back room. Another local band, Hunny, played great tunes that sounded like punk meets screamo in a more sophisticated manner.

Best part of the evening. After Hunny played, there was a dance party!! 

The disco balls on the ceiling twirled as we all just danced to Come on, Eileen and other vintage awesomeness. I just have never before connected with a group of people in dark room dancing for the sheer love of it; the joy of moving and connecting with others the way I did last night. I loved those people. I don't even know half of them. But I loved them.

Last night reminded me of how wonderful it is to be twenty-five. How exciting it is to get dressed up and meet new faces. To be merry. And also of the summer evenings that live on forever. I hope to have more evenings like this and one of the more important notes is that I made it happen. In all of my existential anti-socialness, I decided to just go out and be positive and I met so many awesome people and am so glad I pushed myself out the door. We ultimately have control over our attitudes and constantly have the ability to change them. If you're feeling down, try to activate the positivity from within. Eventually it will radiate outward and be as warm as christmas lights on a July evening.


July 21, 2012

several poems from the archives

For those of you who know me, you may know that I once wrote poetry. I would like to again but the words have not materialized. But these are from days when words flowed. I hope to post more.

baby bird
mwest, 2007-8

i sat at a tree
and watched a bird 
teach her chick to fly

at first she stumbled,
but eventually she flew.

Curiosity Killed the Bitch
mwest, 2007-8

G-d must be a man
and this the ultimate joke--

for seven days in every month
you'll bleed and bleed.

That is what you get
when you bite the apple.

the better language
mwest, 2007-8

who decides which is the better language?
I will take English,
you can keep Russian

we didn't communicate, anyway.

New York in the six o'clock shadows
mwest, 2008

All the New York orchids
white, dust shaped
in rows,
the mist covers the city dark
but spring is growing 

City Hall park,
the white pink Japanese flowers
and plants beneath the gray sky.

I could die right now,
if this was the last thing I saw.

thinking of the sweetest kind

I split my time between thinking and doing. I fell asleep reading philosophy. I'm quite content to stare out of the bus window while listening to Meatloaf. All of this is good.

I just want to feel

Things on the horizon 
linger without having happened yet.

A lot of thoughts swim through this mind. The body of a girl, on the cusp of twenty-five. Lipstick makes more sense. There's a sensuous blossoming that occurs at twenty-five; one that grows through the bangs cutting and wedged boots and mini skirts.

I really liked you.

I think about the relationship that Yeats had with Maud Gonne and wonder if this is all a cycle. If we are set to repeat the same thing over and over again.

On a friday night  I sit at home and eat pizza. I watch several films on Netflix. I am gonna use that shit up. $7.99 a month. I will watch a movie every single night. 

I feel stuck. There are a lot of eyes "I's" in this post. In most of my posts. Write about the subject you know best. Self. 

Sometimes I feel so mean, like a person filled with spite and hatred at things that are not worth such spite and hatred. For example, I find myself being increasingly critical over my roommate and her lack of attentiveness to cleanliness.

I hate most men.

I hate most women.

I don't like many people. I would like to like them. 

Friday nights are weird.

So is this post. I don't care.

I'll write the PC stuff: I want so badly to rewrite pretty little things into a movie. I wish I could be working only on that. I see it in my mind so vividly. And yet, I cannot bring myself to write it. 

Tomorrow I will dance. And ride my bike along the beach. And maybe set my goals on several things I have wanted to do and will likely only do one or two of those things. The weekends move so fast.

Soon I will visit the Vineyard. This may be the final voyage for some time. I will dance there. Cranberry bogs there. I will revisit you. And what happened. And why things ended the way things ended.

Or maybe I do not have to think about it so heavily.

I'd like to cut some strings off. Linger in my own free stringing place. 

This post has little to say about art or dance.
Do I have anything to say about art or dance?
What is the privilege of the written word?
Or the articulation of a thought?
Who gets to say authoritative, declarative theories about art and dance and life?

Does it matter, anyway?

I think this is all I will say.
But I will end with a poem:

dizzy tripping
i want to sing all night with you
and when our feet grow cold
or the night grows old
we'll run until the sun grows

(by mwest. 2008)

July 10, 2012

Spanish Dance

and why i love trisha brown

Someone mentioned in passing that the Trisha Brown Company was performing at the Park Avenue Armory. I haven't seen the company in quite some time so I immediately went online to check out the prices and details and decided, what the heck, you only live once--- why not splurge $45 on a ticket to see an extraordinary dance company.

Tomorrow evening I will see Astral Converted and, after tonight's lecture by art historian, Susan Rosenberg, I am super excited.

Rosenberg, who is a professor of Art History, is currently writing a book on Trisha's body of work. This is also exciting news. There has been a lot of writing on Judson and the advent of post-modern dance but not nearly as much, thus far, on Brown's work specifically. During the lecture, Rosenberg spoke about the artistic relationship between Trisha Brown and John Cage. Cage was a mentor to Trisha and she commissioned him to compose the score to Astral Converted, which premiered in 1991.

So, why I love Spanish Dance?

During the lecture, Rosenberg played the brief dance that features the waify yet sensuous female company members, hip swaying to the music of Bob Dylan. It is so simple yet reveals a subtle sense of wit and sensuality. I have always quite loved this dance. Trisha's movement is so supple and fluid and is comparable, in my mind, to water.

I looked forward to seeing the performance tomorrow night. Tickets are on sale and going fast. The show plays through the weekend. 

For more information: http://www.armoryonpark.org/index.php/programs_events/detail/trisha_brown_dance_company/



In other news, I have been recovering old poetry and writings and journal entries. It is strange that memories resurface at unusual moments in one's life. I feel very close to things that happened many years ago and not as close to things that have happened recently. The malleability of time is that there is no linear marking of it. It is something that is circular and seeps within.

In several weeks I will depart New York for a few days and hope to swim in the Nantucket sound once more. I hope to see beauty in all I see. In the cranberry bogs and pinkish sunsets. I hope to walk the trails-- alone-- to become used to being alone since that is all we are.

I watched this documentary on Netflix: The Woodmans. The Woodmans explores the artistic family and the suicide-loss of the photographer, Francesca Woodman. It was a beautiful and haunting documentary. Toward the end, Betty Woodman, Francesca's mother, states this about her art (she is a potterer and has made a lot of functional and aesthetic work over the past few decades):

I talk about this sense of memory in my work and the sense of memory in making art and that all art is, for me, about remembering and about memory.

I think this quote aptly sums up the documentary and also my current sentiments about art and even life as art. This summer passes quickly and I am feeling a bit disconnected from the world around me. I assume that, too, will pass.