Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Even though my life is a constant, swirling vortex of male sexual attention and proximity thereof, I can't handle it when I sense another woman in the immediate sphere of a man I like. My woman's intuition always tingles when someone with whom I'm even a little bit involved is seeing another girl or is around one who likes him a lot. I can feel the bitter tension in the air like a thunderstorm about to cause an unhappy downpour, for me, at least. I've been getting to know someone and have been feeling joyful lately, but I can tell all that is about to change, somehow.

I can dish it out but I can take it... however, the difference is, I'm not going to have sex with anyone, let alone be intimate with more than one person at a time. Unless you consider getting nude for hundreds of strangers a week intimate, sigh. But that's just a professional thing.

Maybe I should give up dating forever.

I think about it often.

My romantic relationships never seem to last.

I never do consider marrying for security to be a real option, and since I have never been in love, maybe marriage will remain permanently out of the question for me. It's just that I don't know what else to want for my adult life.

Sometimes it's as though I can feel life as I know it winding down altogether. I feel like a clock made gradually aware that I have been keeping time for a purpose no longer relevant, surrendering the momentum of my useless machinations until, at last, I am silent and still.

What can it all mean? Death? A life-altering revelation that dramatically makes defeat of my personality and lifestyle?

A Charnel Chanticleer

"Alas!" said he, "O Chanticleer, alas!
I have to you," said he, "done offense,
In as much as I made you afraid."
-- Chaucer, "The Nun's Priest's Tale"

I had another day off from Tryst today, my only one for the week, and I spent my precious time alone thinking about my astrological prospects for the year.

According to my annual Chinese forecast the next 10 months will be an excellently successful and prosperous period of growth for me.

I'm a rooster, full of ego and vanity as well as ambition and trustworthiness, so, keeping these things in mind, I tried to draw a properly proud and crowing barnyard prince today, as a sort of self-portrait.

However, I soon thought of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, and her disgust for the prospective "one cock of the walk" in her world as well as the many customers I encounter, in turn, who make me feel the same way.

I also thought of Chaucer's Chanticleer, the rooster who dreamed of his own impending death, in the end happily, albeit narrowly averted. I imagined what it would be like to be nearly killed by a flattering, predatory creature, such as the Fox who ensnared Chanticleer, feeling deja vu as the razor-sharp jaws snapped me up and carried me away with devilish swiftness, to a secret lair where I would surely be devoured...

This put me in a disturbed and mordant frame of mind again, so as I drew it seemed as though the rooster's body was sprouting, rotting and going to seed even as I created it.

Today the hollow fruit of my material creativity-- an inevitably stillborn brain-child, which just so happened to be a drawing in this case-- was destined to be a vessel of decay because its genesis was confusion instead of Virtue.

I'll redo it tomorrow when I'm sure I'll be able to draw a bright, happy animal that doesn't look so much like a charnel Chia Pet, to me at least. It has other flaws anyway, as a drawing, and needs another go.

Yes, it's all settled-- tomorrow morning I'll imagine myself as a happy, enthusiastic rooster, overcoming all obstacles and predators, ruling myself primarily and try to envision the customers tomorrow as hens instead. I'll make a beautiful new drawing and go off to dance with a light heart.

PS Went over to my old building to feed Megan's hamsters while she is out of town with her parents in DC. I'm so happy I don't live in that dirty, crackish, wackish apartment building anymore.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recession Strippers Are a Myth... Or Maybe It just Seems That Way to Me

I wanted to be a stripper long before I was laid off my bread and butter writing job, the one that turned my three week holiday in New York into a permanent thing almost two years ago and ended in November, but I am not sure I ever would have actually taken the plunge if the job market didn't seem so impenetrable at the moment in NYC.

I keep hearing reports about the recession stripper phenomenon, yet I haven't seen any evidence of it. I've worked at three clubs here in NYC, and I have to say, although I only started in late February, I haven't met another American-born woman who could legitimately say she started stripping for the first time recently because she was laid off of her white collar job. In fact, with only a couple of exceptions at each club, no matter how large or posh, I have found that American-born women are nearly as rare as yetis in this industry altogether. Most white girls who dance seem to be Russian, with a smaller percentage of Eastern Europeans thrown into the mix.

I've been asking everyone where the girls born in the US dance here in NYC, and nobody seems to know. They can't all be escorts, can they?

It's a mystery to me...

Though MSNBC says it' a fact:

PS Note how uncomfortable the anchor and correspondent appear to be while presenting this segment.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Unflattering in my opinion mind yet possibly sensuous to a certain sort of sensibility...

Almost universally, compliments now ring hollow in my ears. The pretty face or body one boy or man says I possess is ugly in comparison to that of another, more classically beautiful woman.

Yet how can I honestly say I refuse to derive my identity from my physical characteristics on one hand while vowing to "improve" certain "flaws" through surgery?

I am so confused.

For the first time in a couple of months I wandered into the Pentecostal church near my home Friday night after work, immeasurably worn out after a day of dancing, and heard, for the first time, the songs sung by the congregants as if through a layer of cotton.

Was it simple exhaustion, the demands of my job or the sin that allegedly attends it that made me feel so cut off from the lightning bolt of spiritual intensity and connection I usually feel in that humble, yet vibrant sanctuary?

Time will tell...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sensuality and Death, Francis Bacon

Things divine are not attainable by mortals who understand sensual things, but only the light-armed arrive at the summit.
-- Zoroaster

I know I've said this before, but the way the material world constantly deconstructs/decays makes me question the wisdom of constantly investing my time and energy into making my surroundings and physical being more beautiful (to my sensibilities). Basically everything reduces itself to a pile of rubble or compost eventually. This life is so temporary, and my sense of beauty is becoming so inexorably associated with sensual things--especially ones which are made and meant to be commodified-- that I am struggling to find sure footing based on any Virtuous precepts while navigating this slippery slope that is sex industry work. Getting naked for fun and money in order to get plastic surgery may, perhaps, be the equivalent of placing marigolds on a Dia De Los Muertos ofrenda-- a conciliatory gesture made by the quick to bring beauty and enliven to a fear-inducing shrine of death (aka beautifying my imperfect mortal shell as it dies all around me). I fear ugliness and aging in equal measures. Perhaps I am, yet again, constructing my reality on a sure-to-crumble foundation of sand, whose shifting base is creating all this unrest in my soul. After all, it takes just one powerful tide to sweep away a castle made of sand.

This is the essence of separation from spiritual integrity. This is the essence of sin.

I've been jogging endlessly, trying to make up for the week and a half of regular exercise my recent illness caused me to miss, and yesterday I came upon a remarkable documentary of the painter Francis Bacon. Like Egon Schiele, his work possesses a mesmerizing, inky depth of morbidity that appeals to me when I'm in depressed and confused in the midst of the flesh-press of an objective world whose vagaries I can't seem to transcend. I know life is about to get sour when I begin correlating flesh with carrion and domestic spaces with cages.

Anyway I was transfixed by the endless parade of iconic, deformed figures that transcended the merely grotesque in the Bacon documentary:

One day soon I too will be a rotting pile of flesh.

Maybe the most noble thing I can do is be a vessel of light while my dying form can still telegraph some of the amorphous, yet unmistakable Divinity that still manages to shine through my increasingly manhandled body.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Provisional Intimacy

My time off at home is so sweet, quiet and satisfying that I always try to make every second of it count. I have today and tomorrow to accomplish my own private creative endeavors. After that I'll be immersing myself in the neon bombast of Tryst for my typical Thursday-Friday shifts.

Today I painted the picture frames in my living room white, thinking now and then of a certain customer from yesterday evening... he was so handsome, he looked like an Iranian Eric Bana, and he was remarkably intelligent, too. He lives in the same neighborhood as the club, and says he has a look-alike brother who frequents Tryst also, bonus...

I have to admit part of me hopes he stays away. It's too difficult to deal with mutual attraction on a regular basis when it goes nowhere, even when the name of the game is ostensibly teasing and making some money while one is at it, rather than establishing a connection that's earmarked for eventual intimacy.

Provisional intimacy is actually the big thing at strip clubs. Yesterday evening I approached a customer who was polite but explained:

"I'm waiting for Sharita. We have a relationship (wink)."

From this I could infer he was waiting for her to get off the stage and be his fake girlfriend for 30 minute or an hour. It makes sense to me. I'd ideally like a marriage that functions with similar time constraints. Once a week is all I would need to feel good and related to my spouse. I like my private time, you see.

To the gentleman at hand, I responded:

"Can't hate on that!" I said, smiling. "You have fun, she's an awesome lady."

It must be delicious to have a harmless secret fantasy one indulges weekly. I'm starting to forget the desire for such lustful daydreams or experiences. It's a funny thing-- the longer I make being someone else's fantasy my profession, the fewer fantasies of my own I seem to have.

PS After work last night I stopped to get sushi (no good eating after 7 when one is trying to lose weight :( and sat near a pretty woman in her early 40's. She struck up a conversation with me-- she's an attorney-- big surprise, I meet almost no one in any other field of occupation-- and had quite a lot of insight about dating. Single herself, she exuded a slightly nutty vibe (she mentioned her mother twice in our 20-minute conversation, always red-flag behavior) yet had many bits of friendly advice:

"If you want a boyfriend, God will give you one, just make sure you are personally evolved enough to keep the man you attract, or you'll miss out."

So true!!!!!

Afterward I headed to the nearest big screen tv I could find in Tribeca and watched the Chicago Bull's heart-breaking playoff loss with a bunch of Celtics fans (booo). I'm thinking of making a Ray Allen voodoo doll-- a Chicago girl such as myself can only take so many unexpected 3-point shots before resorting to the occult begins to seem appealing. That'll stop you, jerk!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Baby Wants To Ride

My all-time favorite dance artist is Jamie Principle, the king of early Chicago house music. I would strip to his music almost exclusively, if it wasn't too underground and alienatingly religious (lyrically) for a middle of the road place such as Tryst.

No musical artist with whom I'm familiar explored religion and sex with the depth and explicit honesty of Jamie Principle. In my mind, he's the middle deity in the Sam Cooke/R. Kelly Trinity of Chicago soul artists who made music for dancing.

Obviously coming to terms with his own homosexuality (or, possibly, bisexuality) and drawing parallels between his sexual experiences and religious ecstasy (ie "Your Love"), Principle also infuses his music with a social conscience that is all his own (see "Rebels (Get Righteous").

I met him once, a few years ago, after Frankie Knuckles was honored at Summerdance in Chicago's Grant Park. A few thousand smiling, joyful party people from two generations united in their love of house music danced in the rain that evening.

Afterward I ran into Jamie Principle himself, whose early collaboration with Knuckles had occasioned his participation. He looked remarkably young for his age, gave me a big hug and talked with me about life and music till they kicked us out of the park. I've never been so happy to meet an artist whom I admire.

God bless!

One of the dirtiest, sexiest, most religious songs ever made, "Baby Wants To Ride":

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tigerbeat Dr. King/Malcolm X/Mandela/Obama

Recently I found this piece of amazing folk art on a card table set up on the sidewalk on Fulton St. in Tribeca, while on my usual late-morning walk to Tryst:

The thing was so weird but appealing to me I stopped dead in my tracks and openly laughed at it when first it caught my eye amidst the spread of strictly Obama-themed goods. I became aware I was having a singularly New York experience, looking up at the construction cranes rebuilding the WTC, enjoying the springtime sunshine and feeling lucky to have come across such a little find. I think the heart shape of the wooden tchotchke makes the famous men on it look like heartthrobs from "Tigerbeat" magazine, which is definitely not a bad thing.

I paid 5 dollars for it, haggled down from the original 6...

I haven't bartered in so long, it felt amazing, even though only a dollar was at stake.

I hung it up in the romance sector of my bedroom, as per my usual adherence to the the laws of Feng Shui-- that's where heart-shaped pieces belong:

Next time I walk down Malcolm X Blvd. here in Bushwick I'll have something new to think about...

PS My old roommate recently moved her things out of my house, where she'd been storing them in a spare room for a month while setting up things at her boyfriend's... her dad was on hand to help, and she worried for a minute when he disappeared (although he's a hale fireman, he also has diabetes, and has been having more trouble with it than usual lately).

After a few minutes he showed up beaming, procuring some "Master of Puppets" pajama bottoms that looked as though they were woven from some itchy-looking combination of felt and asbestos as well as a package of official Topps Obama trading cards, which I couldn't believe actually exist.

"You never know what you'll find at dollar stores in the hood!" he said happily.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Lexi the hustler and I had another little chat today. She came in late to the strip club because she had to testify against her ex-boyfriend in court, in an effort to keep him locked up for reasons unknown (I didn't need to hear the specifics to recognize it as an awful situation).

We sat together in the early afternoon (not that time exists in the neon-lit bunker that is Tryst)

"Are you dating anyone now?" I asked.

"Nooooo," she said, shaking her head and looking at me with those blank eyes.

After finding out she lives by herself in Astoria, and is often lonesome, I moved onto the most interesting question (to me, since I'm struggling with lying by omission to my own family) I ask fellow dancers:

"Do your parents know what you do?" I asked her.

"Just my dad. The last time I talked to him on the phone, a few months ago, I told him I'm stripping cause fuck him, and he never talked to me again. He never took care of me."

"That sucks," I said, sighing. My father was very absent also.

Later on we sold double dances to an Indian man celebrating his 40th birthday. We writhed on top of one another, and she spanked me a little bit while I played the part of the giggling teenager, even though my schoolgirl outfit, donned for "Lingerie Fridays", the Tryst version of "casual Fridays" in which sexy costumes are also encouraged (as opposed to the slut gowns we usually wear) had been stripped off 15 minutes before. My pigtails were still in effect, though...

When we brought him to the register to charge his credit card and collect funny money for ourselves (funny money is the counterfeit paper "cash" a dancer gets when a man pays for lap dances with an credit card in a strip club, and is cashed out separately), she showed her true brilliance as a hustler:

"How many dances was it?" he asked affably, in the way of a truly friendly person or, perhaps, sucker.

(The correct answer here was 5 for me and 4 for her)

"Make it five and five" she said casually.

"Ok" he agreed.

I grinned, a little shocked but impressed.

"But make it 250 for the funny money" she said, trying to offset the fact that we only get 16 dollars per dance in funny money, as opposed to the 20 per dance we get in cash)

"225," he said, still smiling.

"Ok," she laughed.

We got dressed and left right afterward.

That girl is a trip.

PS I saw Lexi walking down the street outside work the other night, and I was shocked by how much of a busted hooker she appears to be compared with the typical female denizens of Tribeca out and about at 8 pm. The dim lighting in Tryst does wonders to offset these things. She's 21, but could pass for 31 anywhere else but the club.

These were just some observations, rather than criticisms.

Who am I to judge?

PS2 She sometimes says, "Papi." I could never do that with a straight face. It must be a cultural difference, or perhaps one in native temperament, but I would just laugh if I tried to ascribe paternity to a man in a sexual situation without laughing.

PS The manager gave me a plastic ruler to use as a prop with my schoolgirl outfit. I was into it, and so was a skinny, pretty girl named Jenny, who was also dressed in a plaid skirt for the day.

"Will you spank me with that?" she asked with genuine enthusiasm.

I obliged her happily, instantly *feeling* the eyes of about 50 men widen collectively.

She could really take it, so much so that the ruler broke.

Booo, but it was a cheap thing, anyway....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Visual Paranoia

For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.
--Jose Ortega y Gasset

I had the day off from the strip club today, and spent my time recovering from my illness, meditating, sleeping, writing and making my home as beautiful as possible.

Thoughts for the day:

1.) Giving away sacred things too easily is the mark of either a fool or a prostitute.

In practice, I am a little of both today.

2.) As previously feared, I AM going aesthetically insane in the style of Mondrian-- I re-arranged all my furniture today, and this weekend am planning on painting almost everything I own-- including my entire drafting table/easel-- white. My descent into this state of constant visual paranoia/painful sensitivity promises to be formal, romantic and, ultimately, as destructive to my peace of mind as an atom bomb. So it begins:

3.) The beauty (or lack thereof) of my domestic sphere impacts my general state of well-being more than any other factor (or set of factors) in my life. If I leave a mess in my home when I run out the door in the morning, I am plagued by a niggling sensation something is--slightly-- rotten in the state of Denmark all day long at work. Making the most of every inch of space I have seems to create an overflow of happiness and resources into the rest of my life. A tidy, happy home allows me to channel my thoughts elsewhere. I can't wait to feel fully settled in here so I can basically stop thinking about it.

4.) Tomorrow I'm going to call my dentist and get a price quote on veneers and make an appointment to get another plastic surgery consultation. I need to know precise dollar amounts in order to start saving with enthusiasm. This time (unlike when I got my nose done last year) if a new doctor does agree to do my chin and possibly eyelids, I am not going to tell anyone until after it's over. It creates unnecessary static.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sick Leave/Breakfast "Broadway Boogie Woogie"

Suffer them once to begin the enumeration of their infirmities, and the sun will go down on the unfinished tale.

Since last Tuesday, I have been in a perpetual swoon of illness, which my most cheerful efforts at *being* well did not seem to negate (actually I think it's probably impossible to negate the negative-- one must concentrate on the positive to cause a fruitful shift in perception). However, I have been very productive here at home. I meditated with Megan three days in a row, with astounding results. Creative ideas began to saturate me explosively-- like bombs on Dresden. I had a wonderful idea for a novel (it's a secret), which I have started, and made drawings in my studio to my heart's content, focusing on flowers and creating my own personal/domestic iconography, since I am tired of buying/co-opting everyone else's:

Creative endeavors notwithstanding, I must go to the strip club today and see what fun, money and adventures I can manifest. I really am strapped for cash, yet I do wish I could skip work for just one more day to recover. The strip club is not the best place to take it easy.

PS I was so ill I couldn't even go to church on Easter :(

PS 2 The more visual art I make, the more I seem to unconsciously strive to assemble my environment in a more aesthetically pleasing way as a matter of course. Example, breakfast:

I decided I must paint all the picture frames in my living room white. I wonder if I will, eventually, end up like Mondrian, sick and crying in a white-walled ivory tower, watching reality reduce itself to abstract forms until I can no longer relate to anything objectively (which inevitably drives one insane...). All I know is when one's breakfast starts looking like "Broadway Boogie Woogie" and nothing seems sure in the material world, life is getting fucking strange,

I wouldn't be surprised if I do go insane. It's a tradition upheld by women in my family throughout many generations.

Why must I always take things to extremes?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nite Jewel

So I chose to review multidisciplinary Los Angeles artist Nite Jewel's debut LP "Good Evening" for the upcoming issue of BUST Magazine (June/July). I've been listening to it steadily for a couple of weeks now, and have found it to be the perfect soundtrack for candlelight seduction, baking cookies and drawing in my studio, respectively.

I highly recommend checking out her hypnotic single, "What Did He Say" as an intro.

The video for "Artificial Intelligence" is all sunglasses, palm trees and tongue-in-cheek celebrity ennui-- definitely worth a look-see if you want to see Nite Jewel at her adorable best:

Most of the tracks on "Good Evening" are like sonic frostbite; they evince a deep, slow burn which only becomes obvious later. Much later. Like 3:30 am in a downtown LA loft with 50 cool kids who venerate Giorgio Moroder's "E-MC2" as much as you do, or maybe poolside on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel.

I can't lie, this album makes me want to move back to LA.

PS I wish I could strip to this music, but it's not mainstream enough for Tribeca traders, sigh.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


As the result of going to work Tuesday and on a dinner date afterward (quite heedless considering my ongoing illness), I have laryngitis. I had been telling myself to eat an orange and to stop acting like a pansy all week re: my cold or whatever I have, but now I must-- at least nominally-- take stock of all the reasons I have been wearing myself so thin lately-- into exhausted, now-silent tatters, really.

I've had these periods of voicelessness at least once a year as far back as I can remember-- typically, they last 2 days, although once it was nearly 9. Luckily such prolonged bouts of silence always inspire introspection in me. Well, at worst I'll be keeping a forced vow of silence during the home stretch of Lent, in lieu of the voluntary one I wanted to implement. To be honest, I would be enjoying myself entirely if I didn't have a day job which required me to speak. When I was an art model this was less of a factor. Well, at least for today, I'll absolutely WALLOW in silence.

Since I started living as though the world is my playground instead of a material prison nothing seems half as terrible or serious as it did before.

PS Tuesday night my date and I showed up to the restaurant dressed remarkably alike. We were wearing such painfully similar jackets he took his off to negate the gross couples-who-dress-alike effect:

"Did you get your jacket at Marc Jacobs, too?" I asked, feeling my skin crawl.

As it turns out we'd both had other wardrobe issues at work that day, as well. His boss had asked him to stop wearing shirts with lavender stripes (he's a lawyer in finance) as a concession to the conservative tastes of certain prospective clients he was scheduled to meet with this week. My had manager requested I get a short black gown he insisted would flatter my "bangin' body" more than the green on I was wearing. When I mentioned this to my date he suggested I buy a schoolgirl outfit, since all the Wall St. brokers he deals with (which also make up the lion's share of Tryst's clientele) like teenage girls better than anything else.

"You know you could pass for 18 with those pigtails and a pleated skirt," he said, pointing playfully at my hair-do.

I replied with a smile:

"So buy me a schoolgirl outfit. I'll wear it."

Since we were in the West 4th area we comparison-shopped at a couple of nearby sex shops and found one, which he bought with barely-concealed enthusiasm. I'll take pics of it soon. It kind of sucks, but it was the best one to be had on the block.

Beards Are None of My Business/Heart-Tagged Fish

"The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it."
-- Dickens, "Nicholas Nickleby"

Recently I spent some quality time with my intense, brilliant friend Jackie, whom I've known since we both lived in Chicago. She took me out to a Mexican restaurant on Bedford as a belated birthday present, and we were both bursting with good cheer and gratitude, a positive development for two such formerly depressed human beings as ourselves. I offloaded the rest of my birthday cake on her, happy to hear some fascinating/horrible/REAL stories of her former life in two major-label bands. Afterward, as we walked to Iona, a note of we negativity crept into our conversation as we noticed afresh the profusion of beards in Williamsburg, and wondered why every handsome boy of our acquaintance seems to be adhering to the trend.

"They can't all be trying to emulate Walt Whitman, can they, really?" I asked.

"I don't get it either!" Jackie scoffed, shaking her ponytail back and forth in confusion.

"It's like wearing a burqa that never comes off. That's no fun! Anyway, I don't believe in the masculine mystique, on principle." I sighed, looking wistfully at the parade of attractive lantern jaws willfully obscured by scruff.

But maybe beards are none of my business.

About two weeks ago I had occasion to lament the fact that one intelligent and very desirable young man in particular was sadly masking his soft cheeks. Lying in my bed together, I thought perhaps we'd be getting to know one another better in the future, and I began to envision all sorts of wanton things I could do in exchange for being allowed the privilege to shave off his beard at some later date, which now seems to be a moot point, after all. However, because I feel absolutely sure both of us want/focus on the very same things (love, connection, to write and be happy) I can't imagine viewing the situation negatively, even if he now seems to be lukewarm about exploring those things with me.

Anyway, how could I dislike someone who's writing a novel using Red Lobster as a major theme? It would be flatly impossible.

If he were here I'd hug him and wish him well. He's wonderful, not less so for apparently electing not to see me again. I enjoyed his wit and the silken feel of his flesh against mine enough to think of him-- not over-much, but very fondly, tempered with a sense of having been slightly thwarted. Ah well! I'd better hole up in the studio space I've set up in one of my spare bedrooms and channel that energy into something else, how grateful I am to be able to do so.

Sometimes it's nice to finally be an adult...

I'm probably spinning my wheels, anyway. I suppose I'd better wait until after I get plastic surgery in a month or two to think about dating again. Dating anyone new, that is.

Monday I bought two little fish from the pet store down the block. Usually I only like orange fish, but I couldn't resist taking home a white Tattoo Molly whose body is emblazoned with a perfect pink heart:

It looks like it stopped swimming for a little bit too long here in Bushwick and got tagged. I wouldn't be surprised. I bet even the aquariums are hard in this part of the hood.

I bought it a stripey friend for comfort and companionship, which my mercenary heart has already dubbed, "comparatively inconsequential".

I also briefly cuddled a Pomeranian puppy there (900 dollars, but I affirm now-- WITH TOTAL CONFIDENCE!-- that the material world is totally receptive to my heart's purest desires :) and willed that one just like it (except with red instead of gray fur /hair) should fall into my lap in the very near future.

Yesterday I told one of my customers at the strip club about my new pets.

"Oh! I've heard of that before." he said, referring to the phenomenon of the heart.

I pouted, having harbored the secret hope that my little fish is exceedingly rare, and special (because it is mine), then mentally swatted away such thoughts as if they were mosquitoes-- "Ego." I told myself, shaking off such a pestilent notion as specialness.

"Oh really?" I replied neutrally.

"Do you have any pets?" I asked, drawing nearer to him.

PS Drawings I made with amorphous affectionate energy:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Counterfeit of Heaven

And one more for good measure, as I pack my g-strings into my Muji bag...

The Counterfeit of Heaven

The counterfeit of Heaven
Promises an "invincible" veil
Angels unravel
Like crepe
Draped on a mausoleum door
That's locked

Daily Panic Over the Williamburg Bridge

I wrote this poem a few minutes ago, ill and not looking forward to taking the train this morning. Not only do I long to snuggle in my bed instead of going to work, but I wish--just now, for once, today-- I could avoid seeing, yet again, the panoramic view of the waterfront that reminds me so much of someone I bless and curse (for silly reasons I know well that ultimately have nothing much to do with him) but never can-- quite-- forget. Maybe I'll close my eyes between Marcy and Essex just to be safe. But I'll allay my discomfort today by assuring myself (and showing others) the world is friendly to my perpetual cause, which is Universal: to live happily in the embrace of love, and peace, and unconditional joy.

Daily Panic Over the Williamburg Bridge

A bridge, one bridge, divides our hearts
But narrowly I missed my mark
For wont of better beggary
I must devise a separate scheme
Of hammered love dramatic
Of drowned love, sad, sincere
(Those panicked aspects never worn
By true love any year )

And a watchtower of panic now is every mantis crane
Even steel from afar seems fragile here
And I fall with the rain
You close-by are dreaming fondly
Of the same gray scene
That cuts me dead materially
And leaves me languishing

Monday, April 6, 2009

Old Age/Narcolepsy/Owl

That the life of man is but a dream, many a man has surmised heretofore; and I, too, am everywhere pursued by this feeling.
--Goethe, "The Sorrows of Young Werther"

Whether it's because I have a fever (again), or because I am just lately conducting my life as a sort of waking lucid dream, I find formerly harsh and immutable things soft, filmy and agreeable this evening.


I looked at my favorite birthday cards from the other day and came to terms with being a year older in a fairly peaceful manner. I tried to be grateful for the love the cards represent at the total exclusion of fretting over the old age they herald and very nearly succeeded. This is a big milestone. I have often thrown my birthday cards away as soon as they were opened. Hopefully that phase of childish (not to be confused with childlike) behavior is over.

Today is one of those days I could not fully wake up, no matter how hard I tried, until after 2pm. I had been up since 8, doing little chores and then periodically tumbling back to bed face-down, trying not to resort to drinking caffeine, and ultimatelly decided to be very happy about having a day off no matter how I spent it.

I remember initially hearing the word "narcolepsy" from a doctor's lips with a lot less trepidation than I had initially heard"clinical depression". That's the difference between 25 and 17, I suppose. These things all seem to work out in the end, and both have become livable conditions for me, even if medicine hasn't done me much lasting good. I wonder what it would be like to intimately know someone else who has a sleeping disorder. I have depressed friends, but their sleep patterns are normal. Maybe some day...

Megan and I meditated at her apartment this evening. Afterward my fever came back.

I drew this owl today. Lately I find drawing enjoyable again for the first time in years. I can't wait to get the rust off my all my latent creative faculties and really get in gear.

PS I hope I'm well enough to go to work tomorrow. Strippers don't get sick pay.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Revelation/Yes, Yes Oh Yes

Today was so heavenly, which makes sense since Holy Week is here and my thoughts naturally gravitate toward the Divine.

The metaphysical aspects of Christ's sacred doctrine sometimes emerge in a new light for me around the holidays, and the excitement attending the countdown to Easter, which makes me literally beam with joy, seemed to function as a catalyst for profound spiritual discovery today.

Now that I have discovered the total freedom of subjective reality, "Treat Thy Neighbor AS Thyself" seems to make so much more sense to me, metaphysically as well as on a brass-tacks, practical level (two modalities which are not mutually exclusive, of course, since levels of any sort do not ultimately exist, and are merely transitory perceptions).

I decided to entirely surrender to the concept of subjective reality, to the belief I belong to the singular, Absolute field of consciousness and that no person is truly separate from me.

It was an entirely revelatory experience.

I simply BELIEVED everyone was friendly to my cause, and that no conflicts would arise, that peace would surround us all. And it happened.

At the grocery store, everyone seemed beautiful.

I smiled and everyone smiled back, constantly.

I cleaned up the back yard and everything was perfect.

I am totally happy.

I wonder if things will be any different at the strip club next week? I just bet...

PS I've finally realized why saying, "No" always feels so wrong to me. If every sentient being and material thing/circumstance/occurrence is aligned with my purest dominant belief, the only reason a negative objection could possibly be raised is if I am operating on the level of ego, thereby manifesting separation from the harmonious whole. I get it now...

PS 2 Ten minutes later, and my bliss is already gone! I'm all flushed from working really hard outside today... my cold has disappeared and I feel absolutely rampant with vitality. Spring fever, in combination with my new-found dedication to all that is positive has inspired all sorts of heart-pounding, "Yes, yes oh yes!" scenarios to flash through my brain. My body feels so alive, I'm experiencing one of the rare moments in which my abstinence seems slightly oppressive. Indeed, just now I feel like a citizen of Pompeii--flash-fried in a dynamic, desperate pose and buried under massive heaps of volcanic ash:

Abstinence sows sand all over
The ruddy limbs & flaming hair,
But desire gratified
Plants fruits of life & beauty there.
-- William Blake

I shall calm myself by looking meditatively at a reminder of the beauty of my beliefs, "An Allegory of Chastity" by Giorgione:

Sigh, it's not working.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Poetry/Careless Whispers/Surfer Boy

Today I'm so burned out from dancing, hustling and the weight of the oppressive cloud of sexual energy that seems to have descended upon me lately that all I can do is soak my sore feet and painfully tense muscles in a hot bath.

Sweet words could not signify
From silent lips so dear
The church-bell of your sweat
I strain-- so ardently! to hear

-- I've also been writing a lot of poetry lately.

I've decided human speech is almost entirely useless as a form of communication, at least in the ineffective way I have been implementing it lately.

Megan and I were meditating again today. She gave me a cute birthday card and some fizzy Airborne tablets to help cure my cold. We chatted for quite awhile, but the only things I really needed to say were:

"Thank you. I love you also."

(I'm going to do her astrology chart next week.)

Why can't human beings cull the gems of honest sentiment from our swirling maelstroms of thoughts and say precisely what we mean and nothing more? Why must we collectively hide from raw expressions of sincere emotion? I often wonder. I generally surround myself with such intensely emotional people it would make sense if a certain amount of brevity of expression-- a natural shorthand among sympathetic souls-- developed over time. But it never does. We just let our tongues spin tangled webs of emotional filigree instead.

Anyway, the next time I'm on a date I'm going to think silently and fixedly of the real matter at hand, even if convention dictates that I must not say it:

"Do I want to wake up in your arms every morning for the next 50 years, drenched in your sweat, come and spit? Am I excited about this prospect? And, just as importantly, do you feel the same way about me?"

Nothing else seems to matter between men and women, romantically-speaking, unless children are involved.

On second thought, that doesn't seem very fun or a bit romantic, at that. Sigh.

PS Yesterday afternoon a young professional surfer I recognized from a big-wave documentary I saw last year came into the club alone. He sat next to the stage and looked up at me with warm brown yes.

"You're beautiful," he said simply and with the boyish ring of sincerity of a non-intellectual native Californian.

My heart began to beat fiercely.

I wobbled over to him afterward, nervously trying not to trip over my 5-inch heels. He was so handsome.

I gave him a couple of dances, resting my forehead against his (which I would normally avoid doing) and some Eskimo kisses (which would signify the remarkable advent of flying pigs regarding any other customer I've had thus far).*

Despite his most adorable efforts to get me to go out with him ("Do you like ARTIST X-- he's a friend of mine and I'm in town to see his show tonight. It's 6-8 in Chelsea, wanna go? " and "Are there any decent coffee shops near the SoHo Grand? Would you like to meet me there?" respectively) I couldn't really imagine that spending time outside of work with him would be a very good idea. He lives in Santa Cruz and is 24, end of story....

* Although I won't say it will never happen again because one never knows.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Birthday/Snailkiller/Kick the Dust

I know perfectly well my own egotism,
Know my omnivorous lines and must not write any less,
And would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself.
--Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

Is it possible to acknowledge the ego's existence without unwittingly celebrating it? I wonder. I also wonder what it's like to denigrate people from a standpoint of constant superiority instead of viewing the world through a lens of perpetual inferiority, although both modes of being are equally stupid...

Now that I've been dancing for a month (mas o menos), I'm starting to notice the development of some appreciable muscle tone in my heretofore jiggly body. The process of toning up would probably be considerably expedited if I could manage to eat during my shift instead of afterward, but I can't seem to sit still long enough to nibble more than a few almonds in the strip club just yet. In order to gain some upper arm strength I've been practicing dangling from the bottom of the pole on the bar stage when nobody's around; hopefully I'll be hanging upside-down like a pro within the next few weeks; no sense in doing a job if one can't do it well...

My downstairs neighbors moved in the other day. Though the layout of the house is such that randomly bumping into one another will rarely, if ever, happen, I'm unbelievably glad to finally be sharing this big house with two other warm bodies-- it was starting to feel like the drafty, haunted house I lived in as a child, a converted hotel which was built in the 1800's and so creepy there were locks ON THE INSIDES of the closets. Shudder...

Anyway, in the interest of coming to terms with the horrible fact that I am now a year older, I decided the only way to stay sane yesterday was to do something useful and physically exhausting, thereby (theoretically) achieving some peace through physical catharsis.

My spacious-for-Brooklyn backyard has functioned as a trashheap of almost fantastic proportions (kind of like the mile-high leaf pile/dumping ground in the garden of the Gorgs from “Fraggle Rock”) for far too long for my pathologically resourceful Midwestern sensibilities, so I decided I'd do my new neighbors and myself a favor and clean it up so we can make the most of the patio and barbecue pit.

It looked horrible at first.

I was delighted to resuce a snail from the underside of a log I moved. It was cute.

A child talked to me from the window of the apartment building next door for awhile. She was cute, too.

After awhile I noticed a strange crunching sensation under my feet, as if I were walking on eggshells. With horror, I noticed-- too late-- the bodies of about a jillion yellow snails, smashed to fragments unwittingly under my feet, tragic victims killed in the process of clearing away the wood and cinderblocks under which they had been living. I tried valiantly to avoid them afterward, but to no avail. I cringed every time I stepped on one inadvertently, feeling like an SS soldier under Hitler “just doing my duty”. I rationalized that killing the snails was unavoidable and, really, sometimes one has to crack a few eggs to make an omelette in the name of a higher cause-- in this case, the facilitation of the twin virtues of utility and beauty.

Still, I really felt like a murderess.

It was fucking horrible to my delicate vegan sensibilities... you know, the ones that easily weathered 6 months spent stabbing men with large-gauge needles and beating them bloody in a Dungeon without a peep because of that magic-wand called CONSENT.

Poor snails. I hate myself!

It took a few hours, but I got some major work done; listening to soulful music made the time fly even more rapidly. I tried to limit my itunes playlist to Bushwick-friendly jams such as “PYT” (“Off the Wall” is played religiously at every block party in the summer round these parts) and old-school Keith Sweat to avoid alienating my neighbors/ getting the “Damn that's some honky shit, Pippy Longstocking” headshake listening to, say, New Kids on the Block would probably inspire. This is the hood, after all.

“Looks like you're doing some hard work!” my little neighbor from next door called from her window.

“Guess so, honey!” I said back to her, realizing this is, by the conservative American ethos, the only honorable way I've used my body for “work” in quite awhile. Achieving a goal using my physical being without factoring sexuality into the equation is pretty rare for me these days. It was a nice change.

Afterward, like the hookers after a catfight on the North Avenue Bridge I used to observe in Chicago and the disciples following Christ's sage advice after preaching to a rough crowd, I kicked the dust (or mud, in this case) from my shoes, gave myself a good, hard shake and met the rest of the evening's events as a fucking adult instead of a whining brat*.

Later on, I got a fabulous dinner, a beautiful cake from Babycakes, a bunch of (non-sexual) toys, books, treats, DVD's, cards, and other nice presents chosen thoughtfully and with impeccable taste.

I even heard the magic words:

“We should go look at puppies for you.”

Awww, maybe I'll get that Pomeranian puppy after all. Regardless, I can always buy one myself in a few weeks, though-- it's mostly a simple matter of decision, I suppose. Just like everything else in this life...

I still have high hopes that a POMERANIAN will be like CONSENT in that it will confer absolution and/or comfort in the aftermath of certain sticky situations.

PS I'm so emotionally retarded/dead sometimes I can't believe it. Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake that's a present from one man while thinking more fondly of another has gotta be the karmic equivalent of shooting a speedball-- spiritually, I'm sure I'll be kissing the floor pretty soon, but what else could I have done? I've been patient for so long, but I can't wait around forever... although I would, I suppose, if the circumstances were just right and the reason was love...

But that wasn't what happened last night.

I'm going to pray for an answer to this one ASAP. No way I want to do intentionally anything mean to anyone. I'm too grateful for the affection I receive than to treat the giver callously, even if the relationship is, by my estimate, a temporary one. I guess I can't coast anymore, wastes too much time and ultimately feels like a sin.

* I'd say bitch here, but I wisely avoid using that term pejoratively anymore