Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last Night

It was more than I'd expected,
far more than I could have hoped.

In the dark, 45 minutes east to Detroit.
As the radio stations change we change
yodeling with the Cranberries one minute
articulating every sound from Sisqo the next.
After several wrong turns we make the right ones
arriving at a jazz club called Cliff Bells.

Inside, candle-lit tables and curling smoke.
On the way to the bathroom I pass Yukimi
and again on the way to the heart of the bar.
She smiles and I smile and I
hold my breath.

Friends sit down calmly but I sit like a child,
Restless. I pulse to the work of the DJ
to contain my soul before the band plays
and I can let go. Friends get drinks
I opt for water, my dry lips with so many words
and wishes behind them.

It starts as a familiar hum, the opening
to "A New." We move closer, close enough to touch
and in between stares I try to close my eyes a little
but they flutter with electricity
Soon it takes over my shoulders and hips and I
sway in my seat.

I neatly fold my inhibitions and set them aside
beside my blue pumps which I have decided to abandon.
I dance until my hair falls down, untamed curls
extending from my neon yellow soul. I dance
the way I dance in the bathroom when no one sees.

Little Dragon must not leave. The drums are a beating
heart and the keyboard is a time machine running in
both directions. Bass guitar, a full moon mixed with
the warm honey voice of an oracle.
We scream until they turn around again, for
"Swimming" and "Constant Surprises" and "Twice."

After the show I waste no time, jumping on the stage
short-cutting my way to where Yukimi and Erik stand
selling T-shirts and albums. I walk up to Kimi
who looks at me with eyes fixed in thought.
"Are you...?" and "Yeah!" are the only necessary words
and soon she enthusiastically embraces me.

Erik does the same, and I meet Fredrik and Hakan.
All have seen my homemade video for "Blinking Pigs"
and love it, insisting that I take a shirt and CD.
They won't let me pay for merchandise that pays bills
The video is enough, they say. Will you make another?

I have autographs and photos and moments and words
and music between my ears and in my veins.
I am alive with art, a sweet taste on my tongue.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

I'm VERY pumped for this movie. That's all.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

11 days until the much anticipated release of Little Dragon's second album, entitled "Machine Dreams."

Three weeks ago, I was probably floating around inches away from the band. I went to New York City for a weekend to see Little Dragon perform at the Central Park Summer Stage. Not only was this performance free, but it was one of few LD concerts in the country that wasn't held in a 21+ venue. (As some of my readers may know, I will be 20 until mid-October.) While in New York City, I stayed with a good friend of mine who scored a summer marketing internship through NYU. I hadn't seen the City since childhood, and both my friend and I were wayyy excited to see Little Dragon perform live. Unfortunately, that moment never came.

We arrived in Central Park on Saturday at about half past 3. Despite my desires to get there earlier in the day, my friend decided that we would leave the house and take the subway at about 3. The Summer Stage would be blasting live music all day - Chester French, Benji B, and Qtip were performing in addition to Little Dragon. According to LD's tour info on their website, though, they wouldn't be on until 8:30pm.

Anyway, when we reached the heart of Central Park, my jaw dropped. A mile long line stretched from the Summer Stage entrance to the horizon. My friend and I exchanged a glance; we both knew that going to the back of the line would be as promising as going back home. We sat on the fence near the front of the line, until I spotted a guy with promo material in one hand. He said his name was Live and he was involved with hip-hop music and film. We exchanged contact info, and I offered to help him pass out his flyers if he would let my friend and me in the line with him and his crew. He agreed, and I ended up cutting hundreds of people in line.

There were no more than 15 people in front of us when the security guards said, "That's it, go home. Nobody else is getting in today." Qtip was about to perform and it was around 5pm. I refused defeat once again, saying that I'd come too far for all of this. My friend convinced me to sit down under the trees until we could devise a way to sneak in. Then, halfway through Qtip's show, Live texted us:

Live: R u in?
Me: No, u?
Live: Yeah. Go back to security and let him kno u were in front b4. He'll let u in, that's how I got in.

My friend and I rushed to the front, where it all had begun. We asked the security guard if we could get in, explaining that we were at the front of the line before. Still, he said, "Sorry, nobody else is getting in today." I shot back, "Well, after Qtip is done performing, I'm sure some people will be leaving... Will you be letting more people in then?"

"Qtip is the last performer of the day," he replied. My jaw dropped again. How was this possible? "Well, did someone cancel? Because I came to see Little Dragon--"

"Little Dragon was the first performance."

I exhaled. I gave it all up. Not 20 minutes beforehand, I had at least had the hope of hearing "After the Rain" or "Constant Surprises" floating over the stands and into the park, even if I couldn't see Little Dragon with my own eyes. And now, I realized that we had arrived 30 minutes too late, and there was nothing I could do.

300 dollars, 1200 miles, 4 days. Still, I wouldn't give up the experience if I could. It was running with my eyes closed, and the rush of adrenaline was worth hitting a wall or two.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I am always enthralled with Yukimi's voice; here's a laid back track that you can just vibe to.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's one of those days...

when pillow clouds crawl across the baby blue
steady breeze shakes leaves layers rhythm on city sounds

and i can hear my heart in my head and feel it in
my fingertips dancing across my skin
something sweet sweating outwards from within

i like you and you know this
when my tongue rolls too fast and my words collapse
into blushing cheeks and hiding eyes

blink and break your blinding gaze
i daydream of hypothetical mornings
touching lips that are mine but not mine

day somersaults into black silk and stars
hanging like the anticipation of a smile
shared between two souls who never expected this

we'll wait until the sun returns
turning whim and wish into will
shhhhhhhhh - i am here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love Bomb

Much love to She'lon for introducing me to this song.

I can't stress enough how we as a people need to get ourselves together, and I mean it in the most literal sense possible. We've become so fragmented, we're forgetting how to truly connect and to love. It seems we find solace in superficial relationships, digital devices, drugs, alcohol... war, perhaps... I think even our command-and-conquer nature is a symptom of our longing to connect.

That's why it's always nice to find those people on another plane,
those who turn off their iPods once in a while just to hear the world,
those unafraid to dive into strangers' eyes and hearts,
those who have opened their own,
those independent from pixels,
those going slow, against the status quo,
those who smile when they mean it,
those heading full-force into the unknown...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Today, I realize that grief comes like hiccups do, erupting in sudden, violent seizures of my soul, dying down, returning unexpectedly, dying down again, dying down...


After class today, I received a call from my mom, and within 30 seconds of answering the phone I could taste the excessive sweetness in her voice, masking a foreign flavor of earth and tears and patience and bile and concrete truth. She asked if I had friends around and then she told me that my aunt Jen passed away.

When introduced to Death by someone else, when you don't have to meet face to face, there exists an elastic moment, a suspended breath of uncertainty. And then, ten thousand pounds of grief fall up from your stomach, where they originate, coagulate, traveling to your heart. Tell me, what happens next? Where do you go from here?

Last Thursday morning, Jill called me up; Jen was in the background. They both missed me and wanted to say hello. I was entering dance class, but I said that I would love to talk soon. Before we hung up, Jill forwarded Jen's request that I make her another mix CD; she loved the first one. I've been in the process of gathering songs for Jen's CD, and the suspension of this project has become another lingering ghost. My roommate asked if I would still complete the CD. . . I just might.

I know that death is a part of life, that every end is also a beginning, but from time to time, waves of selfish sorrow crash beneath me and I lose my ground. I lose trust in my memory and long for a carbon copy of times my aunt and I spent together. I feel the world rotating and I run in the opposite direction, angered by the shocking normality of everything around me. After a while, though, I regain my footing and lift my heart. Jen chose a beautiful day to die.

I like to retrace my footsteps back to the summer past, when she and I grew even closer in Seattle. I worked early hours at the coffee shop, returning home exhausted, and I was always greeted with pure love. Jen would often ask me what I wanted for breakfast or lunch, a question to which the best answer was "surprise me," for she would cook up the most beautiful, delicious dishes. One day, the two of us took the bus to the main market and picked up some fruit before claiming a patch of grass next to the shore of the Puget Sound. We sat there in the sunshine for a while, reading, listening, watching, being.

I don't think many people understood Jen like I did, or if they really sensed how generous her heart was. She opened her arms to the world, she took in all the burdens, and it made her sad. I think that she must be relieved now. Whether in heaven or on another planet or in another body or simply suspended in a particle, surrounded by an amber nothing - I feel she's in a better place. Jen, I love you, and thank you for gifting the world with everything that is you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'd love to know where to begin. What words to release, and in which order. Like Tetris.
But some words fall faster than others, wedging themselves between idea and ideal.

So perhaps I'll write like I paint. I'll splash my thoughts onto page - no, into pixels - and see what happens.