09 January 2013


My contribution begins with pointing (just a little) at the achievements of my partner in love and poetry, Brittany Billmeyer-Finn. Consider yourself advised to seek out the meshes, Brittany Billmeyer-Finn's manuscript as it becomes available. She finds new ways to take on identity, voyeurism, reading, film, experimentalism, Haiti... I've been fortunate enough to watch this book grow and participate in a polyvocal performance of part of it with Jose Vadi, Jess Heaney, and Cheena Marie Lo. An artist's book edition is forthcoming from Manifest Press. I'm excited for the artist's book and downright impatient for the paperback edition which I can carry around in my bag.

For a little over half the year, I've had the pleasure to live at an apartment called The Tender Oracle, home to Manifest Reading Series, in which I've taken a supporting role, the better to enjoy the curatorial successes of Brittany Billmeyer-Finn, Cheena Marie Lo, and Kate Robinson. This year has seen readings and performances by: Madison Davis, Alana Siegel, Erika Staiti, Sara Wintz, Steve Orth, Marcus Lund, Lauren Levin, Elaine Kahn, Erin Morrill, Ted Rees, Lauren Ireland, Stella Peach, Francesca Lisette, Lara Durback, Claudia Castro-Luna, Erin Heath, Laura Woltag, Ryan Funk, and Annah Anti-Palindrome. Alongside these great performers, one of Manifest's successes is affectual, rather than literary. Tenderness versus cliquishness! No year-long waiting period for admission into the sanctum sanctorum! I don't want to give Manifest all the love, because SPT's focus on genders/bodies/hybrids has been exceptional, Re@ds, The Long Haul, Woolsey, Featherboard, and Live at 851 (to name a few) are rocking it.

I'll try to list a few favorite readings in reverse chronological order:

• iduna: an opera in one act. Have we talked yet about what it meant to come together like this?

• Weeks/Billmeyer-Finn/Young reading mentioned above

• Craig Dworkin and Myung Mi Kim

• David Brazil's brazen sermon at The Long Haul

• Samantha Giles' post-darwinian poems at Featherboard

• Alice Notley at the Unitarian Church

• Nico Peck & Trace Peterson at ATA

• Live at 851: Michelle Tea, Jarett Kobek, Nate Waggoner, Emji Spero

• Hoa Nguyen and Murat Nemet-Nejat at the Green Arcade

• Cheena Marie Lo, Paolo Javier, and Cathy Park Hong at ATA

• Jane Gregory, Brandon Brown, and Lauren Levin at Featherboard

• Steve Orth, Tom Comitta, Amy Berkowitz, and others at Live at 851

• Margaret Christakos & Joey Casio at the Speakeasy

• CAConrad and Eileen Myles at the laundromat + the “Capacity Salon”

• Radar Book Club with Justin Vivian Bond & Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

• Re@ds with Jackqueline Frost and special guest Pine.

This has also been an amazing year for the Public School. Ever since I dropped out of high school, I've dreamed of a free school which recognizes intellectual/literary/aesthetic concerns as inextricable from the sort of political ideals which motivate the creation of free schools to begin with. I was fortunate enough to participate in the kick off week. Each night was organized around a theme. Do yourself a favor and look it up. Do us all a favor and teach a class/attend one/host.

Other things I loved:

• starting to use a new name

• Girl Talk: a trans & cis woman dialogue

• Invisible Dance Show at Lake Merritt

• Sarah Jessee's curated radio listening party

• Jenn Hoff's Spatial Awareness: Dance & Movement Class which I made it to about one of but will nonetheless vouch for.

• I defy anyone to deny that Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe (and its many covers) was the jam of the year.

The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry; a pre-9/11 investigation into embodiment and the phenomenology of pain, specifically as a result of war and torture, its effect on language and expression.

• It was the 10th anniversary of the prison at Guantanamo

• East Bay Public Crying Coalition, Lukascza Branfman-Verissimo, Zoe Ozma. Have you ever cried in public? Local artists Branfman-Verissimo and Ozma stand in solidarity.

• The incipient field of Quarry Studies, which mostly consists of Zoe Ozma and I looking at Oakland's Bilger Quarry through the lenses of psychogeography, situationism, trans*ing, temporary autonomous zones, etc.

• Ariel Goldberg's The Estrangement Principle

Aufgabe Issue #11

• prettyqueer.com

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity by Jose Esteban Munoz which led to

• Ernst Bloch's The Principle of Hope

• being obsessed with René Descartes

The Body Ghost by Joseph Lease

• Rebekah Edward's Trans Poetics class

• the concepts YOLO (you only live once) and FOMO (fear of missing out)

As Long As Trees Last, Hoa Nguyen

I'll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing By Women, edited by Caroline Bergvall, Laynie Browne, Teresa Carmody, and Vanessa Place

Where Eagles Dare, the new lo fi journal with hi fi sound, edited by Steve Orth

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, the documentary from Adopt Films, Marie Losier, director

Beasts of the Southern Wild, I cried hard at this post-Katrina magical realism

• Witch Father, unknown artist, graffito on 22nd Street between Telegraph and MLK, an example of the crystal butch gender

• WHITE RAINBOW, aka Adam Forkner. They were playing this in a coffee shop in Austin which I've confirmed no longer exists. This is often what I write to.

• Upside Drown. They're magical. Miss the free shows at the Speakeasy.

• Jai Arun Ravine's reviews. You hopefully know ze's แล้ว and then entwine is good, but did you know about hir book reviews?

• 2012's Mondo Bummer line up, which brings me to

• Amy Berkowitz's Listen to Her Heart

The Dream of Doctor Bantam, Jeanne Thornton. I see a little Michelle Tea in this, and a little Eileen Myles, and a lot of Thornton. Yes.

This Can't Be Life, Dana Ward, every bit as good as everyone said it was.

• the masks and other art of Emily Goldface

• Justin Carder's show at Zach Houston's gallery

• visiting NY and Philadelphia

Decreation, Anne Carson. Maybe I skimmed this in 2006, but this year I read it. Beautiful and useful for writing about

• Samuel Beckett's oeuvre. Took a class on it and hope to share any knowledge gained at the Public School in 2013

Most of all the poetry/activist/queer/magic/scholarly communities of the Bay Area are so great, I STOPPED LIKING MONEY. It “can't buy me love,” which I've had in such abundance.

No comments:

Post a Comment