Sunday

something tragic/something magic

it's wintering where i am already, a sort of ice mist descending into the valley and seeping in through my bedroom window. in truth, i left the house today bundled all to hell, but for vanity's sake i braved the chill for a few to snap these out in the yard. because! (well, primarily) i needed to to document the supreme sexiness of my new (used) perfect leather jacket. it's a lovely, lovely shade of grey and butter-soft, from doma leather, which is just a haven of droolworthy leather goods. the great blessing of working at a consignment store is sometimes the exact thing you've been searching for comes to you, and it used to be $600, but then somebody got a weird stain under the collar, so you get it for mad cheap. every time i put it on i feel 3000x more ready to face the world. almost all my armor feels soft and looks tough. i like it that way. 
i'm feeling like a lady knight today. a certain lioness, perhaps? this particular outfit is self-referential as motherfuck, but in a faery tale way. most of what i wear is about a feeling i had when i was very small, or a mythology i wanted to inhabit, just translated a little. 
the earring i'm wearing is a special one. the pair was my co-worker's -- i complimented her on them maybe a week or two ago, they were some of her favorites. but yesterday she came up to me holding this one, orphaned from its mate, and gave it to me. she noted that wearing mismatched earrings is pretty much my m.o. and told me she was happy it could still get some love and use. maybe it seems like a small thing to you, but i'm real honored to receive something that somebody loves but can't wear anymore, and quite touched she noticed and remembered an odd little thing about me like that. 

it reminds me of pomegranates and their adjacent tales. it's a talisman. it's a gift. 

i've been rereading margaret atwood's alias grace and it's doing some things to me. the first time i read it, two years ago or so, i did it in one afternoon. i was voracious like once upon a time. coming back to it, though i have the urge to swallow it python-style, i'm doing it in bursts. reading it feels sorta like getting gut-punched while somebody continuously and gently breathes into my mouth, filling my lungs more full than i can on my own. it's not just the story, nor is it the superb writing alone (though obviously those things are heavily in play). it's the way it's nudging me. to write and write more. by now i'm solidly in the habit of writing some crumbs of poems on scraps and notebook corners every day, but it's been a long time since i've wanted to write something big. it's edging its way back in. i'm not saying i'm hard at work on the great american novel or anything. it's just... i'm feeling pulled to try to weave something. something intricate, like bigass unicorn tapestry on a castle wall intricate. it's just a lil flicker of a flame right now, but a warming one. who knows. maybe i'll find myself some kindling.


Tuesday

erstwhilesque

i am all but internettily nonexistent by now -- my semi-defunct laptop mostly hibernates beneath my bed in my new-made faery nest in the wifiless apartment i now call home. life is a lot, post college, though in many ways i feel my world contracting and i don't know how to feel about it yet. there's something to be said about stopping obsessing over being and becoming, something to be said about letting your scope of experience shrink to the practicalities of survival/chilling if it means you can breathe for a moment long enough to learn to extend the breath beyond that moment. so i float on my back next to my little boat, learning the mechanism of my own lungs and gazing up at the sidereal motions, doing little to alter them. i already know how to paddle like mad, and know i will again, but first this: in, out; in

without the constant flux of peers and professors or the weight of institution to react against, i am much becalmed. i've spent seventeen-some-odd years in the mad scuffle of schoolchildhood, and found so much comfort these past few years inside the petulant defiance of self-creation. finding ways to become the spit in the eye of every single thing that ever hurt me, the spit i'd never hazard to launch from my actual mouth into the actual air in pursuit of its actual target. and now? i don't need it as much. there's just less to fling myself against.

which is all just a really fluffed-up way of saying that i'm letting myself be boring and i'm not even mad about it i don't think. i consider myself an ambitious person, one who dreams, but i also know myself to be one who writhes about in this, like, howling chasm of want. i don't want to not want, but i do want to not writhe. or writhe less. so for now my oar is down and here i float.

i am trying to learn to be okay.

that being said, i haven't been doin' diddly! even with my technological impairments, i'm a member of the doll hospital staff, which is maybe one of the loveliest, most important things i've ever had the fortune to be a part of. bethany, our founder, is legitimately one of the smartest and raddest people alive, and has been infinitely patient with my limited time and access to all things Internet. please do check it out and support us if you can!
lovely art by Alyssa Nassner
also, this halloween i got to perform a few aerial pieces with my troupe at a local shindig, which was incredibly fun, and so lucky, as i was able to crawl/dayquil my way out of a week of hell-flu just in time to do the damn thing!

photo by West Turn Picture Co.
lyra duet with my fabulously strong and bendy aerial partner caroline. i'm the swinging one!

photo by West Turn Picture Co.

the final moment of my spoooooooky aerial chains piece to florence and the machine's "girl with one eye"

so anyway, anyway i'm trying to learn to be potent without the rage, to make things without fear, to push myself without shove. and it's taking, as things do, time.

Sunday

stories that never grow old

It's been a long time and everything is different. 

We've paraded, we've boxed, we've left, we've stained the armpits of our shirts with summer sweat.

There's a peculiar force to solitude, it's where I'm mostly living. 

I don't have the time or even the words to tell you all the ways my life has changed, but regardless I've missed this, and I'ma try to be back substantially and often. 





I'm wearing a shirt as pants. A lil hard to walk in (range of motion only a bit more than a pencil skirt). I'm wearing a skirt as a jacket. I'm growing out my hair. The heat makes me feel like my body is melting, but the rest of me is solider than it's been in years. I have nothing grand to tell you today, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

All my love,

what's in front and what's behind

Home is, unequivocally, where the heart is. 
Home is also where the wifi's spotty and the clothing's scarce.


Not having the luxury of a closet forces me to either wear the same jeans every day or get creative, so I cobble together my looks and cross my fingers that they won't fall apart. The conditions invite me to push past the necessary and into the fancifulWhat manner of creature am I today?which is what I want to do all the time anyway. 


Here, I end up indulging much more in the improbable body, the wadded tulle and safety pins body. On vacation, away from school (where looking relatively innocuous is directly linked to what kind of acting opportunities I'll get) I can seek my aesthetic ideals and try to enact them, rather than just thinking about them a lot. Will the ~REAL WORLD~ force me to abandon fashion(ing) altogether? I can't let it! My heart couldn't take it! Making magic in one field shouldn't keep me from making magic in another. 


Yesterday, all swathed in this nonsense, I scoured my favorite local consignment store for treasuresit's the place I'm most likely to procure pieces by the designers whose work I covet most without having to sell any organsand found too many! At least five by Ann Demeulemeester and a lovely Yohji Yamamoto that looked like an eccentric cassock, all far too pricey for my blood (though marked down all to hell). I tried on the Yohji and it was too big for me and tamer than I would have liked (If I'm going to invest in a label, I gotta go ridiculous, y'know? My first Comme purchase, for example, was a great find, and I cherish it, but if I could go back in time I would have been more thoughtful about it)... but I yearned to buy it anyway. Petted it, stared at it lovingly, and pouted aggressively at the price tag. How ridiculous! 


And then I put my own clothes back on and was so, so mad at myself for thirsting that hard for something I wasn't head over heels for, when here I was in a very fucking rad outfit created from bits and bobs around the house. I don't have any tailoring skills and I know less than I want to about the fashion industry, but I'm overflowing with love for the adventure of dressing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the desire to be a part of the sphere, or whatever, a thing that I absolutely do not have the means to achieve or sustain, that I forget that my imagination and enthusiasm are my greatest tools.

So here's to playing dress-up from within your closet, within your means! Here's to constantly reinventing the forms that surround you! Here's to being frugal while never once being "practical"!

I hope your holidays have been happy and wish you all the loveliest things for the new year. <3


Thursday

decaydence—a tadpole of a manifesto

Y'all already know I like my shit crumbling. I believe, perhaps above all, in being an opulent wreck.

I want
Is that an ancient crone disguised as a girl? 

I want
Is that a girl disguised as a crone?

I want
What is that even?
an ugly thing about beauty no. 1
My aesthetic ideals ultimately boil down to harnessing fey glamour.

Gold pieces that are moldy leaves by a certain slant of light. They feel weighty, as gold pieces should, but turn to dust at day's end.

Fine wine tasting faintly of pondscum just as you start to swallow. It gets you drunk all the same, but maybe only because you believe it should.

A cloak of soft, deep velvet that itches where it touches skin. In the mirror it's sumptuous but you catch a flash of burlap as you turn from the glass.

The Pale Man's banquet - Pan's Labyrinth
I am very interested in the tension between "to be" and "to seem".

How does one be a thing?

In my experience, pretending turns to seeming to becoming to being in a really really intricate and incredible way.

This is an especially interesting and odd experience when you happen to fashion yourself after sirens and witches, dead queens and old gods.

Far Far From Land - Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker for W Magazine
I seek a shaky verisimilitude of the impossible, a coy sheering of the veil between worlds.
To show the potential of the preposterous on my own terms and to never, never cease interrogating the supremacy of the real and the natural.

Beauty, to me, is the split second when you see the actual and the so-called artificial all at once. In the beginning, one is superimposed on the other. But the more you look the more they melt into each other, until each is inextricable from its mate.

This is one of the reasons I'm so head-over-heels for non-CGI movie magic. Illusions, the creation of which is highly physical and ultimately results in something that does not resemble how real works in the real world. The off-kilter animatronics and puppeteering of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. The man in George Méliès' moon. Cocteau's candelabra. 
skekZok, The Ritual Master from The Dark Crystal
A Trip to the Moon, George Méliès
La belle et la bête, Jean Cocteau 
Why do we want our dragons and far-off lands to look photoreal? They are not of this realm... why should they adhere to its rules of corporeality? I'm down for a more confrontational magic. One that forces them to look and forbids them to touch. One that can be fashioned with safety pins, dumpster dive treasures, and dollar-store glitter.

I'm tired of being a human girlchild. I am ready to be a mermaid, a monster, a breath, a being of pure light.

an ugly thing about beauty no. 2
I want to be the rotting peach from the Goblin Kingshow you (me) what you (I) dream, make you (myself) find its edges.

It's a tall order, I suppose. But then, even the people I know best and love most can sense me vibrating in and out of proper human constraints of form and function. I'm gonna fly for a living. I'm gonna unhinge my python jaw and swallow the earth.

Seem grandiose? Sure it is. But it's also just about intentional multiplicity and creating and/or facilitating belief (in yourself, in each other, in life, in WHATEVER). Consciously harnessing glamour in whatever way it's useful to you. That can be as small of a thing as it needs to be. And I fully believe that we can exist as terrifying little godlings and twentysomethings with physical and emotional needs (coffee, sex, Netflix, favorite stuffed animals, etc. etc.) and that we can be all those things together.

C'mon, babes. Let's rule the fuckin' world.

Tuesday

gonna pop your bubblegum heart

I have nothing to tell you about my life. I am a boring slime who goes to bed too late and and wakes up too late. It is winter break and I dunno what to do with myself except spend all my waking hours in cafés (or, full disclosure, my bed) listening to Beyoncé on repeat like every other sensible human on the planet. I need to get out of this town and run around in the sun (while listening to Beyoncé on repeat, of course). 

But, so, clothing! I actually changed out of my sweatpants today! I got this sweater in the maila hand-me-down from my Nanaand was initially unsure that I would ever wear it. Baby-pink angora has never been my quote/unquote thing. Being stubborn, I took my doubt as a challenge. I was given a very good quality thing, and I was gonna find a way to wear it, dammit! I doubt my Nana envisioned her sweater all done up with a leather harness and a miniskirt, but that's the inherent danger of ever giving me clothing. 


Are you doing anything exciting during your vacation or are you all cabin-feverish like me?

Sunday

wintertide

Being a Calfornia baby makes winter's coming confusing for a body. My one pair of boots high enough in the calf to keep my feet from getting soaked in the snow happen to be heeled platforms. Ice is treacherous in flats, so platforms make it all significantly harder to navigate. So at the moment, until I get the hang of it, I'm alternating between playing dress-up and couch-snuggling with Netflix and our little pirate cat. I hate being so physically inert, but being out in the cold is hard on my feet and my lungs and my general disposition. I love it if I've got something specific to do. Like ice skating! I plan to go as frequently as I can before season's end. Just you wait! Michelle Kwan'll have nothin' on me. 

Anyhow, I ventured briefly out into the wonderland that is my back yard to document today's winter witch princess situation. 


Hope you are warm and safe and happy and full of dreams,