Getting in touch with my masculine side.
Masculinity is a weird concept to me. I grew up in a household full of women, so the men that appeared and, ultimately, disappeared, became fodder for study. Maybe that’s why the whole “alpha male” thing is so gross in my mind. It’s a shame that men aren’t supposed to emote or bring their feelings to the table. I can’t relate to a man that can’t connect with who he is inside. Society tells us a lot of shit and sells us on lots of bullshit. Gender norms is a big one. Here I present my playlist for masculine. Men who sing about love, boredom, longing, loss, triumph, tragedy, rage, depression, surrender. How could Jeff Buckley’s voice not pierce your soul? Those anguished wails of lost love take me to church! John Frusciante shines as a solo artist, taking the soul he gave to Red Hot Chili Peppers and channeling it into telling tales of his own personal demons. Johnny Cash takes Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt and gives it a new layer of pain and regret. I love Coconut Skins by Damien Rice because it’s a rare upbeat moment in his catalog, a song he claims is about wanting a better life but letting opportunities pass you by but also has a bit of a dirty edge to it. Nothing is more masculine to me than Johnny Flynn, a folk singer who also happens to be a Shakespearean actor, continuing the tradition of men playing women’s roles. The more genderfuck in my Shakespeare, the better. Iron and Wine does flamenco in a whisper. The Avett Brothers and Patrick Wolf pay homage to my two favorite places in the world, Brooklyn and London, respectively. Elliott Smith, the king of lo-fi, evokes so many emotions with quiet grace, while Devendra Banhart lulls me to a dreamlike state. Mumford and Sons get angry, and Beck sings the slow, devastating aftermath. Nirvana brings it home with the perfect mix of sadness, anger and surrender.
I just want to run and dive in.
This picture is from the last time I was at the ocean. It was at a wedding; the air was crisp and perfect. The waves gently lapped against the shore, and I wanted to dive in so badly. I was wearing a navy cotton eyelet dress and shiny patent flats, which I took off to dig my toes into the moist sand. I wonder when I’ll ever be able to go to the ocean again.
I wasn’t going to write about this or bitch about it any more than I have, but to hell with it. I miss the ocean. I feel the swell in my belly and my breast, but I cannot go to the ocean right now. I have solar dermatitis, which is a skin rash that flares up in the sun, and boy, the sun has been one hell of a showy bitch this summer. I have to be outdoors for work, and that is bad enough. The itch is immediate and strong. My skin is deeply tanned but blotchy and bumpy, little white spots peeking through the caramel in a mocking sort of way. Mind you, I am religious about sunscreen, so it’s not for my lack of sun safety. No, the heat and brightness of that big star has overpowered me.
One week, we had continuous clouds and rain every day, and I was actually joyous at times. My skin had stopped crawling for a few days. But now….
I have, of course, made a playlist of all the songs that bring me some sense of cool and calm, that speak to my longing for water. I wish the beach was close enough that I could at least visit after sundown, just go and inhale the clean saline scent, feel it on my skin. I feel so lost without it. Perhaps my love for autumn has manifested itself as a burning hatred for these hot and humid times.
Enjoy while soaking up the sun or, if you’re like me, looking outside your window and wishing your body wasn’t rejecting summer.
Listen and be transported. Ancient
dig up the calcified relics
dust them off and
don’t tell anyone the truth
build them up
sort and stack
rearrange until they appear attractive
the Jurassic era, ferocious
magnificent, wild beasts
consumed by fire
the verdict is still out
the jaws hold only echoes
they live in museums now
some shockingly nude
skeletons in a great hall
overlooking Central Park
guarding three dimensional history lessons
others covered in skins of
next to intricately carved replicas of
who still exist
as if extinction is imminent
I want to press you into
carve your memory in earth
the faeries will stand watch they have been around longer than any of us
planting the first seedlings
I think a faery was the first
plant syrup was far too sweet
bitter, bitter fruit
and made humans
in their image, then
blurred us all, softened
edges, now we are not so
we are all just short of perfection
injected faery dust into our veins
waited for the magic to bewitch
these organs crafted from
slippery fish skins
trout pout hearts
Shakespeare was a mouthpiece
for the fae
the tragedies in particular
those absinthe loving little fuckers crave
(ovulation was just their sick sense of humor at work)
there is a show at the planetarium
simulation of becoming
white hot stars sizzle
ancient fae trapped in rocks
this is what i think
there is magic in us now
you keep them in the wooden bowl
by your bed
next to your keys
I retrieved most of them last time I saw you
but I left a blob about the size of a quarter
it’s probably a hard little smear
you tried to scrape off with your thumbnail
but stubbornly it
i’m preserving bittersweet memories
like insects trapped in
they will outlive all of us
we will be dust
and they will still have the capacity to sting.