Not minding

Joanne Banarer might be dead. Her eyeglasses had brownish-tinted lenses and I wish I remembered what the frames were made out of (I’ll imagine something purple and plasticky). We thought she might have been a chain smoker in her youth. She was often tired or at least it sounded that way, like the way you struggle to speak near a billowing campfire. She’d suffer through at least one bout of coughs each week and it would discomfit her and worry us. Some of our seniors have memories of her using a small loudspeaker and microphone during class—the kind that tour guides use on group tours, say, at the Louvre or at Gyeongbokgung Palace—but we never got to see this and they sat atop a cabinet unused, diverting us a couple days out of the year. We loved her, I feel. We called her up and enjoyed brunch together at Brent’s in 2012. I ordered lox, I think. She mentioned she was having brake trouble and got into a minor accident some days before. Other than that, she was enjoying her retirement. She said with such assurance that we would all be friends for life.

Ms. Banarer told me to write. I know I have enough to write about now, but I suppose there’s still fear—unhelpful, really, but potent: a fear that I would be taking up space and wasting people’s time with poor writing and irrelevant thoughts. I find myself minding less these days. So, I’d like to write now.

Grateful in this moment for Joanne Banarer.


A new site, finally. Same old things.

Save the date: April 15, 2017. Young Eun, Doug, Christian, and I will make some music at Coaxial Arts. We are indebted to the wulf. for making this happen.

This upcoming show is partly the reason I had come out of hiding with this site. That and it’s been a year of fighting to stay afloat. I’m always shocked at how quiet and inactive my creative self becomes in this struggle, despite the meaningfulness of past projects and collaborations.

In a way, living day to day has become an art in and of itself. This isn’t necessarily a better way to be and I certainly sense the dangers of falling into habits somewhat delusional and complacent. At least the labor of housekeeping and paying off debts leaves good room for a useful perspective to develop organically away from the clubs of collegiate intellectualism. After several years of attempting to find things to blame: masculinity, the Object, obligatory loudness, bandwagon binaries, heritages, cultures, empires, whiteness, and parents and myself, my spirits are more at peace with this free fall state we live in. And I’m reminded each morning and evening of the contours of emotional burdens we endure, the environments we are subject to, in the process of learning how to be and how to love. How not to be so prescriptive, so antagonistic, feeling upset in moments when the object that makes you, deems you meek, knocks you down to the point of wanting to forget just how mundane a day of building ego is within the lay of a week. How to be wrong and right, and be hungry at dawn. I’m less tired and it’s no longer a fight and a half to forgive. Time dissolves the mind and body, what we want them and us to be, and the Man in me throws tantrums, but I say it’s OK now.

(There had been a day with some friends near Katwijk (or was it Kijkduin?), where we stood atop an old military structure—those small ones made of cement that held heavy machine guns to shoot at the Dutch shoreline. It was such a windy day that for the first time I felt my ears to be like very poorly made reeds; and so it was a deafening wind. This structure was pretty high up on the sand dunes and in the midst of this wall of sound and wind by the ears, my gut had no way of knowing what sort of injuries one could sustain by falling from such a height. There was no death drive, just that wind, the noise, and there, the sand.)

There was much rain in LA this past winter and now there are too many gnats in the house, but now I’m beginning to think that our indoor succulents live in “poor soil” (which attracts all sorts of insects).