How are you?

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You might not know this (because you don’t know me) but I used to attend a clinic in Venice. I did years of art therapy and juicing. Treatment for my anxieties and fears, that were a roller coaster, that started back in high school. Stomach aches about going to school. Anyway I was coping and my mornings had a rhythm. To line up with the rest of the rats from Gold’s Gym taking a break at the Rose Cafe. I would plop down my school books and enjoy the parade. There was the regular Arnold Schwarzenegger flotilla, an insulated corps ushered to the back for a proper 10 course breakfast. After some months when I looked up I found myself part of a crew of argumentative types. One of my favorites, Bob, a surveyor, who was always reading something miserable. Goethe or Kafka and trying to school me was particularly invasive. If someone asked me how I was, he would interject as if we were actors. Freezing the action. You don’t really want to know how she is! And the entire subject would now be open for debate. That I had just begun to spill my guts, left over material from therapy, incidental. His point was that animals ask these open ended questions, as an expedient way of finding out if you are dangerous. The question really is how am I speaking to you?

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The internet is for death.

t4u9y16uto321I used to have an obsession with skins. My desktop MP3 player (Audion) had 100’s of variations. Spines of mythological animals turned into space ship components for take off. I was an expert at icon collection especially appreciating Japanese gore. I was a connoisseur of every variation of fly upchucking blood. I wrote about all the best bit artists on a popular early Mac website dedicated to hacking your mac with resedit software. It was a timeless darkroom of pleasure, fixing a filing system, at first just by color. Then starting all over and refiling by subject. Then going in to each icon collection and only plucking out the best. AND starting over again, going back and re-downloading and keeping each collection by artist. Space was becoming less of an issue as well as speed. I collected wallpaper and tiles, and souzai banners and web materials. When I wrote about it, it felt less ridiculous and spend thrift. Although I did design the first BEYOND BAROQUE website and get it up and running. I was mostly announcing new icon releases and providing links to the all the most underground computer visuals I could find. My boss wanted me to concentrate on the icons submitted. I wanted to write art reviews and not community commercials. He had a crumby paranoid system for uploading our posts which was really stupid because he was supposed to be a software savant. One meeting, the staff was chatting in an AOL chatroom and someone said, where did Jessica go? And my boss answered, she’s playing with her pussy. My last post was not about Halloween icons but the search for them, deep dive fishing in unknown spooky waters. It was about the future and navigation of the internet. A boneless yard for our memories. Mausoleums and getting along with our neighbors and websites not in English. Like HAPPY BLESS, a repository of shared misery and memories for those of us who write about our dearly departed and who live vintage lives. I think. It was in Japanese character except for the title. I didn’t check because I prefer to imagine the entire internet that way. Unfortunately the keep up of this graveyard is based on coin and you only get to keep your headstone until they sell it out from under you.

I’m cross-bow shopping now.

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Centipedes and geckos crawl into our electronics and fry themselves. Usually the charring makes a quick hash of the scent and it passes quickly. But I’ve lost flat screens to this phenomenon. I’ve slept in a tent in my bedroom to take evasive action because some of them are the size of small garden snakes and they have way too many feet and although I know I’m bigger I don’t want to fight. I have nothing to say to them and I am and not going to squash them. At least with roaches I have a specific low suction, wide mouth vacuum for relocation purposes.

SEA FOOD LOVERS

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The first movie I never-made was called SEA FOOD LOVERS. A love story/horror film. Based loosely and in directly on the machinations of Richard Chase, the necrophiliac cannibal, aka vampire killer. He was hot sort of depending on which disheveled picture you happened upon. The screenplay ended up in the trash at AFI as well as my envisioned love thirsty young woman who falls for the bloody boy next door. A mediation on love and Chinese take out and getting what you think you want delivered. 

Stardate 96659.746659.74

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KYPHI wet stage is fettling high and drunken on the kitchen shelf sopping up the Costco vineyards. If you could smell my hands, the grapes have twisted themselves into the most precious olive absolute. Not Egypt but the wood of the Italian country side summoned. The campagna with its smokey waves, the horizon, always a bush fire. We drove those hills outside of Rome, my father and I, we stopped for the stillness, his hands on my hair. We listened to the smallest insects and pulsed in accord. Now I wait for the Mastic Gum from Greece. It looks like frankincense tears but it’s chewing gum, good for digestion.

For FRANCEYE & Why It Is I Don’t Sign

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.32.59 AMWhenever I’ve named a dog or a cat. I don’t. Not immediately. And it’s not a poverty of ideas of what name I might like besides Jessica for example which used to be such an unusual name and where did you get it? I wait. Let the spirit reveal itself. I was almost a Gabriella. But mother did not want people to call me Gabby. If only she could have consulted me. Or added it later. I advocate for long names. With time awarded almost as girl scout badges but more to get their attention. If you want to summon a dog or cat you must invoke it by as many of it’s names as possible. That way. They won’t ever get lost.

the tunnel

the tunnel of love

I gardened yesterday. Not that I was in the mood. It was the howling and yelping. The law calls for a 25 dollar fine, but requires first an entire protocol of letter writing and documentation. The issue isn’t free range or incarceration it’s NOISE polluiton. 10 minutes or longer. I passed on the idea of using my iPhone recorder, out of memory anyway. It had already been 3 hours so I got my gloves and my hand shovel. Rather impulsively I rushed out not equipped for ranching. Wearing my Natori full length zip robe, more of a rayon lounger that you might nip out to go marketing in. So I was tripping not stomping as I approached the chicken wire fence seperating our properties. Between the ironwoods and the ti trees I thought I spotted a skin tone. I was spying obviously, in turquoise muddy perforated faux crocs. The offender was caught with his wife beater’s arm picking zits in a convex mirror outside of his big black truck, while the dogs pleaded for their lives; he pretended to be placid in his cultivation, but then zoomed off. With Meeschoo in tow, I kept the whining dogs company. I wanted them to know I’m digging for them and that someday I will dig a tunnel like they did for El Chapo. Not the best example but they understood I was crying back at them, to Meeschoo, telling them what good dogs are, and that I’m coming.  

Listening to incense.

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I’m a stranger to myself. Even writing this now I wonder if I’m not a deplorable narcissist? My shrink Sherry years ago praised my powers of discernment, even if she did fall asleep during our sessions. She said I could trust myself.

My recent query involves an incident of perception. It started with a sample of Agarwood. About a month ago, I was involved in a blind oud test with samples labeled A-H. I was certain “E” was sexiest most an unusual oud I had ever beheld. Yet when it arrived I recognized nothing about it. It wasn’t reminiscent of any of the samples from the blind.

It brought back memories of my mother suddenly not knowing me. Holidays, gifts, and destinations called off because of her bad girl. Disneyland revoked. Mother didn’t reward bad behavior. After mother married again we had Thanksgiving. But there had to be witnesses for us to celebrate and documentation that it really happened. I wanted a Christmas tree. BUT we were Jewish she said. When I got older I learned to negotiate and I asked for a Hanukkah bush. My mother wouldn’t subscribe, not even to hiding the cash of Hanukkah gelt. Our tradition was that my mother would demonize me and then rebound and I was her beloved Cicci-pie and best friend once again.

BUT now I wonder did any of that really happen? Maybe it was the other way around and suddenly I didn’t recognize her?

If you don’t know Agarwood it’s one of the most quixotic mysterious substances. The ancients used it to fumigate on special occasions. They added it to their drunken temple Kyphi incense made with wine and raisins. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in perfumery, but tricky because it over powers and alters everything in it’s wake.

So ridiculously rare it engenders a gambit of malfeasance including hold ups, poaching, murder, and forgeries. Unscrupulous scammers have become proficient at painting fine wood grains, then staining, even stapling smaller chunks together or gluing  and then adding drops of oud oil. SOLD to the most deserving neophyte that travels to Singapore or Vietnam, or hazards a purchase on the internet. 

I try to not to judge. To have a healthy respect for the fallibility of memory in general, false confessions, facial recognition. But my nose how could it be so off? I was taught by one patient sensei that the nose is the most trustworthy in the morning. That diet, hormones, placement, locale, weather, even sanity play a role in what the nose knows. I thought I understood, but this experience of bliss, and then to have it utterly altered the next time?

Anyone might grow an Aquilaria Sinensis in the right region, but that won’t produce oud. I considered myself lucky and bought seeds. I have so many requisite sick trees. But that’s not enough, because not only does the tree have to be sick and infected, but a particular antibody has to begin healing the tree before it renders it’s oud.

Sometimes it smells like gasoline, other times like incense, leather, and musk, it takes you on a ride. Changeling oud, and the variables are infinite beyond region and distiller. My first trip was tangerine and it went on from for hours. I didn’t believe my friend Rhonda when she said it was just oud, let it speak to you.

I accused POWDERNOSE not directly of course, the man in charge of running the blind trial. He must have swapped the bottles on purpose. I had made myself such a nuisance on the OUDADDICT forum, now now the other esteemed oud forum wouldn’t even allow the privlege of participation. Not even a thumbs up. The correlation had to be there, to drum me out, because I had written a less than positive review on a particular oud and evidently you just aren’t supposed to do that. It had to be a conspiracy. Right? He was the enforcer what else could it be? Isis?

I’ve always tried to bless my dalliances with paranoia. Appreciate it’s companionship to my loneliness. We in solitary find consolation in being hated. But of course nobody has that much time or cares. Should I apologize to Powdernose for what he doesn’t know? I can’t tell him it won’t happen again. I’ve read about it and there doesn’t seem to be a cure for paranoid disorders. 

I lose my face more often now it seems and it’s getting worse. In roughly five years a triplicate of curtain jowls is preordained. The bottom of half of my face dropping, pulling over my cowl neck. My father the last time I saw him had developed into a handsome turtle, but he hid from me. I was no longer his daughter. He disowned me.

The Japanese listen to incense. Agarwood unfolds, unveiling itself over time. I will try again, maybe alter the amount of application. Try the other wrist. Wait a month. I forget it’s not a perfume, starting with tops notes that dissipates and dry down almost as quickly as you become aware. Top notes must be cradled with the heart-notes. To give them more than just short term memory. 

Je-ssica

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My earliest memory, when I was 2, is of being in a sanatorium. An endless hall with iron cots resolving finally into a small garden. Everyday for an entire year I was consigned to a small bed with nothing to do. There were of course clown visitations and cheery decorations, but not really any movement unless you count lifting your tush for a bedpan. 3 times a day I was given handfuls of big white pills and I became quite adept at swallowing. Finally one one sunny day I was allowed to go outside into the garden where two other little girls were playing. Very quickly there was a tussle, maybe a doll wasn’t shared, I don’t recall the particulars, but I bit one of the girls. I made her cry. For punishment I was put in a straight jacket and strapped back into my bed. That was until my grandmother arrived furious. The one who rented an apartment to be close to me, moving from Wisconsin to California just to sit with me afternoons. My grandmother, who bought 100’s of Macdonald’s milkshakes for the other children in the ward, screamed at the barbarians to untether me immediately. It wasn’t long after that that I was released