Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ay Papi

(Natasha Visits Toronto, 2011)

A tall tower used to reign just ahead. You see where those smaller glass towers rise, yeah, right there, that's where it used to be. All brick, with some salty looking writing circa 1940's. It never meant much to me then, when I was growing up, looking at it, wondering who worked in there. It wasn't until I moved back to this city and lived here for a few years when I realized something was missing. I couldn't place it, and for years there was a vague feeling of a phantom upon us.
One day looking through my father's old watercolor paintings I found a painting of that tower, in perfect detail, in the light I remember it in, and amongst the rendition were my own; the scribbling of a child art-destroyer. Somewhere in that reminiscing I pondered the thought perhaps I had never seen this tower as a child, nor did it exist. It just could have been made up from my father's imagination, made to look ordinary so as not to been seen as a fake. Perhaps he put some real studies within the folder I found all the paintings in to throw me off. I wondered if I had misplaced that memory of that painting with reality, both happened in my childhood. But why would I mistaken this painting over the many films, t.v. shows, and photographs I had also seen for reality? I sat at the toilet for a long time, I was dry by then, and the sky was getting dark. I suddenly thought of the memory of my father, how I always thought it was odd he was my father, I spent a whole life time knowing he was, and he treated me like a son, he was a good father, but for some reason there was this odd feeling lingering in the air. Perhaps it is that I know very little about him, that he is often quiet about his life, he talks, but about what's going on in the news (Mr. CNN we called him, he now watches FOX, we don't call him Mr. FOX). I see him every other year, he looks older and older, and that fact always depresses me. I remember my father walking on his hands, doing loops around us as we crawled. Funny how I remember that, nowadays he has knee problems, he's getting up there, and the once strong man my father was is now dwindling. There's a picture of us together, both with our shirts off, hanging out at the beach, it was the first time I was more muscular than him, the legend that my father is coming to terms with reality.
I've never told my father I love him, I think its those words that I feel, and I want to say, and every time I'm leaving to go back to the city I live in, at the airport I look at him, I hug him, and the air in my lungs that I use to form words is gone. It is the same feeling of telling a woman you love her for the first time, that is probably the hardest three word combo in the english dictionary. A man I once met in Moloka'i told me love is life, that you should be able to tell someone you love them without any hesitation, it should be natural. He told me says I Love You in his goodbyes to his friends, he said that you never know when that will be the last time you see each other and that you want them, you need them, to know that you love them. It is very important. And perhaps one day I'll get my head outta my ass and be more vocal about my love, but I'm stubborn and I save that word for the most important moments, when it really hits hard. I didn't grow up in a beautiful place like Moloka'i, and parts of my childhood were pretty rough, without bragging, and who I am is who I am, from all the bits and pieces that been embedded into this rolling stone gathering twigs, small animals, and no moss. I am my failures, I am regrets, but most of all I am my success and evolution. All I want to hear is, oh what's that sound, holler, a pearl, the ocean swelling, the sky is falling, the kids going crazy, the city is burning, what, are, we, going, to, do, do-do-do, AY PAPI.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


(The Hood, 2011)

Moments disappearing into other moments slowly creep down the hill, gathering dirt, grass, and twigs until it is no longer in our control, it is unstoppable. Rolling high, this clustered figure is looking at us all. If you look close enough you can see a face, and upon even closer examination you can see your childhood (just before the giant katamari swallows you whole). You learn as a child never to look at the sun for too long, you'll go blind. Perhaps that's the same about your past. And once blind how can you began to see again?

When I met (name) we were both much more crazier then, not crazy in the way that was bad crazy, but crazy as in wild. We were wild, full of piss and vinegar, hot-damn and hot-dogs, wildness. So much so I felt at home in the crystal castle we made out of our time together. Every moment creeped into a new one, leaving the last one behind in a bittersweet. Now, in the present, I look to each place we spent time listening to the landscape change, discussing the past, present, and future, I look and see a flicker.

Oh there it is, or rather, there you are (and then it is gone).

Those places will never make sense again, not a photograph can bring a meaning or memory to them, they have become dead. Or rather, the living dead (spooooky).

Hey (name), I called. Do you remember a blanket so holy?

Both looking up to the sky we stared endlessly into the black abyss. The silence started to hurt my ears and just when the static of motionless air became too much you cried out in a coyote-like howl.


Still looking up, my mind felt lifted from my skull as it started to hover above my vacant body. I started to cry out a howl myself.


I was beginning to understand you, how you look the way you do, why you speak the way you do. We stood there in this transcendental state for what could be hours, occasionally howling, with our thoughts growing deeper and deeper. Our mouths moved in murmurs without disernable meaning, and yet we understood this language we had created. The word, "never" kept entering my thought, how I had never done this, felt this, lived this, and yet it felt strangely so familiar. For most of the night, and months after that moment, I had questioned if moments like that, with connections and harmony as strong as they were, would ever happen again. I was far removed from the world I lived in, I called myself a drifter in those days, as I was neither here in this plane of existence nor in the one we had created. Our next meeting wouldn't happen for years, and yet you had never left my side, or rather we had never left each other. Wolf-pack as I shoot my index and pinky skyward and made my remaining fingers collide with my thumb to form a wolf made of fingers. We are thicker than blood now, we are deeper than my grave G (ain't nobody can save us).

Perhaps, yes, perhaps. I close my eyes with premonition, I have been here before. The walls around us fall apart, the vast and endless room that surounds us disappears, and now our bodies float in space. You tell me this is the first time we met.

No, I doubt that, I tell (name).

But it is, search your heart, does it not tremble?

I feel my heart tremble so, the lack of earth beneath my feet begins to vibrate like a phantom-floor.

But your face. It looks so familiar.

I reach over to (name)'s face and touch it. Flesh met my hand, it is soft, forgiving, and yet it doesn't give to the pressure of my touch, nor does it resist, it is neither creamy nor harsh, it is flesh of a person of dreams.

-Are my eyes closed, I ask (name)?

-No, not at all, you are seeing with your eyes, your real ones, and you can see through me.

-Can you see?

I did see through (name), I looked into (name)'s heart, I could see (name)'s energy flowing throughout (name)'s body, pulsating, yes, breathing, and even blooming like such flowers that have no names, just shades and aromas.

-You have never met me before, you have never lived before this life, so no, to your conspiring thought, you haven't met me in another life, (name) spoke.

For the first time in my life I had no doubt that this life was all but one, singular, and that I was in fact, a fresh soul.

-Upon your death, you should take it as uncertain as to be given another life, you never know about those things, some are born again, some are ready to die and that's that. After all, one should always feel uncertainty with death.

The words, you never know what you're gunna get comes into mind. I wondered about those who live to see another life, or perhaps lives, if they knew they had lived previous lives, especially since folks like me haven't lived another life and yet feel like they had. I dismissed my notion of past lives as product of poor memory, I forgot my memory, and then when they return to me I mistaken them for someone else's, the so-called "past self". And perhaps that is true, that life is long enough to live multiple lives, such as living in multiple places, seeing the world, meeting the world, and living in the world, and eventually, calling this and that place home. Before I knew it I was asleep. My shoes had been taken off, along with the rest of my clothes, and I saw (name)'s hands resting on my chest, as if (name) had been reading me a story till I fell asleep.

You saved my life, I said half-awake. I trailed off into infinity and beyond. My body turned to stone, and I saw with eyes not of my own but with (name)'s. At first I saw her undress herself, (name) dipping into a warm bath, and the vision goes all steamy. During all of this time, I wasn't necessarily blown away at seeing (name) naked, especially in the context of seeing it through her eyes, but the overall sensation of an outer-body-experience. I was inside (name)'s body, seeing and hearing what (name) was hearing. After the vision ended, I sat at the edge of my bed, I could no longer think of anything other than (name). Over and over, I repeated my memory of (name) in absolutely wonder and fascination. I wanted more, but I was left with a cold silence, as if my distance from (name) was a cold thick wall oozing with filmy layer of ice-cold water. I was no longer allowed. Perhaps I had attempted the impossible and hovered in impossibility for a long enough in a moment to feel glory of flight. For a split second I felt that, for the briefest of moments I felt that way. And it was because I felt this way I felt alone at the edge of my bed. (Name) was gone. Far beyond my reach, what echoes in time is memory, memory as I wrote down each and every detail of the sensation I knew was slowly losing it's value. It no longer mattered, my words would become vague and meaningless (if they weren't already), and perhaps even the overall thought of (name) would vanish, into a vault as deep and as dark as a black-hole. The vision of an hourglass filling with sand floated before me, it was a mystery, all that roamed the hallways of my thought was the arrival of (name).

Perhaps, I say, perhaps again.

What's that?

The ground beneath us started to come alive, waking from a million years of slumber. The ground turned to cracks and gapping portals of pure darkness. I wondered if this was a dream, if we could fly away from this mess. Mess as in the whole thing, this place, this planet, these lives, and just disappear. To disappear, to fade out, to beam-me-up-scotty from it all. I wondered what we were running from, why were we in such a hurry to skidaddle and jump tottle-lew into the next.

In the end, with failure just hovering above me, telling me that the grip I have on the things in my life is an illusion at most. That perhaps it all is chaos, chaos to us, for it is a system that is so integet that the level of possibilities of cause and thus effect is too brilliant for our mental eyes. Or perhaps not brilliant, but invisible. The order is invisible. And so, the thread that connects me to this person to that person, and how strung the thread is is invisible, and yet it is right before me. I just can't see it. All I have, all I am, is reduced to feeling the world, for I am blind to its order.

I look over and (name) is asleep. (Name) must've fell asleep somewhere half-way, when I was making more sense and just before I trailed away into ramble. I felt that she was always listening, perhaps responding in her dreams, arguing with me. I have it all backwards. I really did have it all backwards.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wonderful Folks

Certainly I was asked to be part of a wonderful publication, with really great artists, and I wonder how I managed to get my toes in. These folks put together an absolutely beautiful collection of images, and curate a whatshappening/wicked visual journey. Here's the pdf; click here!

Thursday, June 9, 2011