Archive for storytelling

“If You Have Ghosts…” repost (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Mythos, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, SPOOKY KABUKI, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Well, lovers, the week started out nice enough what with spoiling the RobotBoy for his August 3 birthday and then a new little niece was born which was all kinds of exciting but then I made a fateful decision and let a 2 year old — my niecy, Thing 2 — handfeed me spaghetti. My friend Vince said, “Ah, you’ll do anything for a baby” and he’s too right. Pieces of parmesan cheese or stray bits of noodles fell from her mouth, onto her sauce-stained shirt, and when she gathered up this germy detritus with her chubby grubby fingers and aeroplaned it towards my mouth, I opened up. Yikes! I must be crazy! It’s a biological evolutionary power these babies have over us grown-ups. We’ll set aside our own good sense just to see ’em grin. Anyhoo. No sense crying over spilled spag. Now I am laid up and only barely human with a wicked case of strep throat. I’m missing Cyndi Lauper in a New Orleans club tonight and still unable to wrap my feeble mind around my half-done draft for this week’s punk-rock gospel. The Robot was gonna fill in for me but then he got sick too so I have decided to repost an oldie but goodie from way back when. (originally posted on the 28th of October, 2008.) Newcomers, enjoy! I’ll make it up to those of you who have read this one already. I’d give you big old smooches but I love y’all too much for that, cause I’m “naasty” as my niece would say and who wants my naaaaasty kisses anyway? Be well and beware of germs!

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“If you have ghosts, then you have everything…. You can say anything that you want and you can do everything that you want… one never does that… In the night, I am real. …I don’t want my fangs too long…. The moon to the left is a part of my thoughts and a part of me is me.”

These strange words, a mad shaman’s chant out of the speakers — volume LOUD — and into my atomic self… “eye” at the essence/energy level.

This was a hymn from the church I’d been waiting for. This was reckoning & rock n’ roll at once.

This was the theme to the soundtrack of my life. NOT one of those songs that I came to love. I loved it on first listen — in my bones, in my molecules, in the depths of my mind. If you have ghosts, you have everything. I had been waiting all of my days and nights to hear that song. I still shudder at every listen. It is my anthem. It is the mantra which saves me, its odd sequence of words spirit me off to my truest place. Where it is all okay. Not just okay but gorgeously fortunate.

Roky, my coyote in the dark piney woods. He howls. Pine cones float in the moonlight as organic odes to Tanuki and Kitsune. The coyote says “This was the life you wanted. How lucky you are to be haunted.”

If you have ghosts, then you have everything.

These spirits that clamour, who are they? Why are they here? What do they expect? They leave omens everywhere, valentines in the path of days. Instructional pamphlets? They are here because they adore you. You are who? The “universe’s darling”???  Who told you that? You have won their gaurded hearts. The telephone rings (Dad called it the “cosmic phone”) and the voice on the line is the voice you were longing for. The scarab in Jung’s window will knock with more frequency should he see that you too have twitching antennae.

Ah, to talk about what this song means to me is almost impossible! When the effect it had was to scatter me like seed while condensing. How can it feel this way?

It reminds me of Alice with the Drink Me bottles and the Eat Me cakes. I am ENORMOUS! Crowding, pressing, filling up. I am tiny. A nanotech hologram of all that I am, a portrait of Dolly Parton etched on a grain of basmati. Practically invisible, wholly infinite.

I am simply being forthright when I say that this song means the WORLD to me. Is there anything more in the world than this?

If you have ghosts, you have everything.

 

I have ghosts. More and more everyday. I feel their presense at the tips of my shoulders. I dream of complex impossible machinery and blame them. They are always watching, wondering. What now brown cow?

Some people point to their scars and say, “See! I have lived! I took the leap!”

Others point to frown furrows. “I have suffered. My heart has broken in a million places.”

Or to smile lines. “I have grinned. I have beamed. I have known joy, I have brought joy.”

I point to ghosts. They are the proof of a life lived on the curled up smoky edges of existence like burnt paper. They are testament to …. willingness? …. courage? … awe? … curiosity? … wonder?

 

If you have ghosts, then you have….

  • an open mind like a a wind-whipped hallway. Where is the wind coming from? It just comes.
  • a hungry heart. Skulking in the dark, turning over every rock, nibbling velvet moss, barky twigs, souls unlike your own, souls akin, a lover’s skin, a friend’s soft spot.
  • made allys amongst the gods, the totems, the sky, the dirt. Unlikely connections bind you to the hearts of others forever. Your allys fight for you with fervor and loyalty. They defend you against haters. When you are injured, they gather you up in cloudy limbs and carry you to a bed of soft thistle.
  • loved, you have loved to love, and that they are loved is no secret to those you love. You have grabbed their cheeks or pounced on their goodness. You have pointed out their attributes and celebrated their quirks and their quarks. Even their molecules feel handsome. You don’t withhold kindness. You take liberties with love. You lay it on thick.
  • been loved, always, and with such enthusiasm! They love you fully and fiercely. Even death cannot change the love they feel for you. It is more than emotion, it is a morphic field. It all gathers there, all the love that you’ve ever been given. All the compliments filed away, all the talismans built from origami & feathers, all the tokens of affection. And so many keys to so many hearts on a ring that clangs in your pocket. Lucky lucky lucky to be so loved.
  • you have found members of your tribe, recognized them, summoned them, exalted them, comforted them. SHOOK THEM.
  • not just people loved and lost but selves, moments, ideas. Pets. So many layers of being like tissue paper glued over glass. Illness, experience, dreams, injury, heartbreak, love, longing, learning. All the things that contribute to the complexity of your being.
  • had an unexplainable unduplicated drug like any other … wine, hallucinogens, tobacco, soda pop, sex… none of it compares to the ephemeral solace of the spirits that carry you, ferry you on a raft of peach skins, banana peels, orange rinds. You float on the current of time, space, electricity, wonderment. You crack the pod and lick the shell. The doorway swells with feathery light. You swallow the bulb and become a bulb. Incandescent.
  • no need for long fangs. No need to take, rape, steal, beg. If it’s not willing, you don’t need it. Hate is not welcome in your heart.
  • a glow-white lightning bolt of SPOOKY KABUKI, theatre of synchronicity, dance of the Mindellian demon. When the audience laughs, just bow. Whether they are laughing at you or with you, it doesn’t really matter. When you stutter or miss your cue,  you are Pee Wee Herman who meant to crash his bike into a rose bush. They will appreciate how you stop to smell the roses. Should you mangle a line just tie your mustache into a bow like your mouth is a gift to the world.
  • your toe in the water while the wave has its toe in you.
  • EVERYTHING.
 
IF YOU HAVE GHOSTS
 
If you have ghosts you have everything
If you have ghosts you have everything
if you can say anything you want
then you can do anything you want
If you have ghosts then you have everything

one never does that
one never does that
if you call it suprise there it is
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part me is me
one never does that  In the night I am real
in the night I am real
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a pert of me is me
forever is the wind is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
in the night I am realI don’t want my fangs too long
I don’t want my fangs too long
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
forever is the wind to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
I don’t want my fangs too long
if you have ghosts, then you have everything.

*************************************** 

The three paintings (above) are by the mind-boggling Miss Van who has captured my soul as well as my skin. Hopefully her brilliant renderings can help to translate my urgent over-wrought gobbledygook. When you love something the way I love this fucking phantom-tastic Roky Erickson song, your brain turns into a dollop of whipped cream. In the struggle to grab the meaning from its swirling vortex of importance, the writer looks like a hack and a zealot.

So please, please, forgive my words, excuse my raving mythos.

Just look at these masterpieces by Miss Van. 

Just LISTEN to Roky, my coyote guide, our city-shaman, our genius mad man who was spirited home to us at last. 

What God is to Goof, amen is to Aha!

God=Goof.

Amen=Aha!

Goof+Aha= if you have ghosts, you have everything.

Fur reals, y’all, not funny math. 

Thank you for tuning in/turning on to this special SPOOKY KABUKI edition of the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel. 

AHA!
  
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Sexy Mermaid Vay-Cay Get-a-Way (for Alice)

Posted in Art & Culture, Art Lover, Buxom Goo Goo, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Mermaids, Mythos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Alice has been fantasizing about “a luxurious, decadent, and totally out of reach beach rental in Florida, especially for Mermaids, I kid you not.”

“Mermaid Castle” is the oldest beach house in Crescent Beach, Florida. The house, once a small grove of cypress, sleeps 12 and is available for holiday rentals.

“Mermaid Castle” features a tiki hut, a jacuzzi and a swimming pool perfect for re-infusing our scaly tails with much needed moisture. Also — so we don’t get too homesick for Atlantis, which is such a sorrowful “itis,” just ask Alice — there are “breathtaking ocean views.”

It’s no wonder Alice is inspired to play hostess (with the mostess.) 

“What a tea party I would throw. Of course, I would invite the Mad Hatter, Foxy Trickster, and the illusive brown rabbit with the black spots.”

Did you catch that, sailors?

I’ve been given a sought-after invite to Alice’s tea party. That’s me, Foxy Trickster!

I just can’t wait to meet the Hatter. I hear he’s very, how do they say? Eccentric. Those are my people, y’know. The Eccentrics. Jonathan Zap calls us mutants, I call us mermaids. Some people say weirdos to which I say “Woo-hoo!”

Oh what a tea-party that would be!

There on Crescent Beach, sipping maitais outta porcelain teacups, stuck haphazardly with technicolor paper umbrellas. We’d munch on a rainbow array of Parisian macaroons shaped like swirly seashells. We’d play poker with oceanic ante: tiny starfish & coin-sized turtles with orange sherbet bellies. We’d nap in poolside hammocks as the pages (and our fins) flapped in the salty breeze.

Around midnight, we’d don sequin mini-dresses & fishnet stockings. We’d order dark rum ON THE ROCKS  and lure shy seaman, who would crash into us with the velocity of a tsunami.

Of course they’d be long gone come morning (er, some might call it “afternoon.”) We’d awake satisfied, dreamy-eyed and mop-headed. We’d gossip about the evening’s exploits as we lolled beneath paper parasols (like in our teacups, only big.)We’d flop our tails in the sunshine, trading sexy tips & naughty details.

“Like what?” you wonder, with your drawers a-stir.

Well….a mermaid never kisses & tells (outside of a tea party) but let’s just say that we use what our mer-mama’s gave us.

MMMmmm. Mermmmermermermermmm. Mmm.

Get it, knucklehead?

Mermaids are experts at fellatio!

(Or cunnilingus, for those of us who prefer femmes.)

>Wink wink < 

*************************************

The painting “Fishnets” is by the whimsical & wonderful Nancy Farmer. Prints are available. If you have some time, lotsa time, swim on over to the artist’s site. Nancy Farmer must be a mermaid herself because you WILL get hopelessly ensnared. I once spent several hours in her “net” and when I finally came out of her sea-song trance my shirt was soaked with drool and I’d grown a fine set of demon horns. Be forewarned!

Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What?! (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, Music & Life & Sundays, politics, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey? Where’s my God and where’s my money?

This was one “Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel” that almost didn’t happen.  After the busiest of weeks and hours of off-line frustration in the Mississippi country-side, I said screw it all to hell and collapsed into bed with weary bones. Maybe it’ll be a Monday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel, I thought as I drifted into a deep air-conditioned slumber. Two hours later, at 4am, I awoke with a jolt to the spectres of Eddie Harris and Les McCaan. This is our Sunday, they insisted, so I reached with drowsy digits for my discarded laptop and whaddaya know?!  We suddenly (miraculously?) made contact. Now, fueled by caffeine & cigarettes, and a crazy lovely love for this song, I’m gonna knock this sucker out.

This week will be less wordy that usual, partly due to my fried-egg sunny-side up brain, but mostly because this song sings for itself.

How to introduce “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What” ???

What can possibly be said about one of the greatest songs of all time?

All I can do is tell you what it means to me and urge you to form your own fibrous connection. And you will. You will. It’s that damn good.

When I was 15, my Dad and I took a long dusk-to-dark ride through the New Mexico mountains. Our headlights guided us around treacherous curves which my father — an expert driver and Motor City son — took smoothly, sweetly, safely. The moon was fat and the stars glittered like sugared candies. It was the kind of memory that sticks to your ribs; the kind of living that gives life texture, taste and deliciousness. It was the kind of  time that carves into your soul and (RE)MAKES you into a new configuration (concoction?) of your self. It was there, in that cushy comfy night, that I first heard “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What.” It was also the second, third, fourth and fiftieth time. We played it over and over and over while reveling in the troubled beauty of the world.

Ten years later, my Dad was dead.

There would be no more moonlight rock-out rides; no more trading barbs over breakfast until he broke into a grin over my writerly wit; no more mounting our motorcycles at dawn and VVROOM-VVROOMing into the rising sun. 

There was no one to call when I needed to remember who it was that did that amazing fucking song. 

After all, that crazy beautiful fucker had turned me onto so many songs over the years and I figgered he’d always be around to help me keep ’em straight.

What was the song we used to play on the pontoon as we floated lazily down the Maumee River? Right. Take 5. Dave Brubeck. I remember now.

Who was it we were listening to that 3am by the fire? Ah! Buddy Holly. Duh.  

Who was it that did that kick-ass cool song that we couldn’t get enough of that night in your Lincoln, with the fat moon and her spilled candy?

Huh? Who? Hello? Dad? Where the hell you’d go? Hello?…hello…hey…hello? Daddy?

Damn that silence sucks.

Fortunately, there’s now such a thing as google. I typed in “tryin to make it real compared to what,” and was led to youtube, where Eddie Harris & Les McCaan broke my heart all over again. Then fixed it. Then broke it. It was awesome. I hit replay at least a dozen times. Oh. Such goodness. Such beauty. Such power.

My body flooded with rock & roll relief.

The song returned to me, like a gift, an act of cyber kindness, and now in the spirit of punk rock gospel, I am passing it on to you. I hope it breaks your heart and blows your mind. I hope it carves into you and sticks to your ribs. I hope it stays with you forever.

Is that too much to ask? No, I really don’t think so. Listen to it, see for yourself. Then go buy the record, download it onto your ipod, add the song to a playlist — spend some quality time with it. Let it add taste and texture to your memories… all the while striving to make it real while asking “Real?… Compared to what?”

Like a Buddhist koan, there’s really no answer but the question props your mind open.

TRYING TO MAKE IT REAL COMPARED TO WHAT

I love the lie and lie the love
A-Hangin’ on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin’ up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby!

Slaughterhouse is killin’ hogs
Twisted children killin’ frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin’ logs
Tired old lady kissin’ dogs
I hate the human love of that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
Try to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby now!

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
Tryin’ to duck the wrath of God
Preacher’s fillin’ us with fright
They all tryin’ to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
Where’s my God and where’s my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

(Music break)

Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

Swimming Pool Mermaid

Posted in Art Lover, I Heart Mermaids, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Sideshow Siren & Bearded Lady with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by alphabetfiend
 
According to NPR the first official day of summer was yesterday. Tonight’s 6 o’clock news sez today’s the day.      

My body feels it — the summerness — and so I crave chlorine. That wavy blue scent crosses my mind in soaked zig-zags, activating that sparkly spot at the base of my spine… right above my ass crack, where my sequin-esque scales used to be.                

“It isn’t true what they say about mermaids not existing. I know they do for I’ve held one’s hand.” (Robert Fulghum)               

I’m a mermaid.               

Like how transsexual men claim to have a woman inside? Or how fat chicks claim to have a skinny chick whose trying to claw her way out? I have a mermaidy-ness that can’t be fought. She flaps her fins and I dive in.               

It’s always been that way. I’ve always mourned those missing scales, the mythic inside the human.               

I heard the siren song.               

I’d spend hours in the pool, ducking under and holding my breath, ticking away the mississippis until I could go for minutes without air. My cousin Autumn and I would play princess — spoiled mermaid princesses — with a doting Sea-King father and run of the ocean. We’d spin in the deep end, round and round and down like shimmering tornados. As the sun set, we were tired and smiley with skin like plump golden raisins.                

Unlike most kids — picky eaters who subsist on hot dogs and kraft mac n’ cheese — I gobbled raw oysters with abandon, slurping their salty-sweet meat & brine straight from the half-shell. I plucked the pink from the lobster’s red claw. I devoured scallops, mussels, mahi mahi, peachy fleshy salmon steaks. I sucked up the seaweed in my miso.                

My dad was amused by mermaid-me, cracking into my lobster and feeding me the buttery bits like he was tossing sardines to a circus seal.               

My mom, not so much. She grew weary of cleaning up my watery messes — sloshing over the tub with my tail, waves crashing onto the aqua marine tiles. She refused to make tuna fish when sloppy joes were on the stove. She struggled to twist my mop of tangled curls into elaborate french braids (more befitting of my mermaid fantasies.)               

Mom concedes that my inner mermaid came in handy the day I miraculously made it outta the deserted motel swimming pool, even though I was three and didn’t know how to swim. Over time I became a strong swimmer, self-taught and funny-lookin’ yet oddly capable. I could tread water for hours and I even swam across Stony Lake, and then around the perimeter, at Camp Storer. I was also the lone swimmer at the camp’s ass-crack of dawn “Polar Bear Swim”  — they even honored me for it with song & dance. Though I’m sure the lifeguard who met me daily, in the dark, would’ve liked that extra hour in her sleeping bag.                  

I’ve suspected the swish of a tail that wasn’t there and I sway with an unexplainable slosh in my hips.               

In Junior High, I was late for class and splashing down a long empty hallway, except it wasn’t so empty. Behind me, at least 20 feet back, was a loping skulking metal head named Lee. Looking a lot like Tommy of the same name, of Motley Crue fame, Lee was a campus legend. Rumor was, Lee drove a blue Camaro to his 8th grade classes. I was new to 7th grade when Lee called out from the distant shadows:               

If you shake that thing any harder, it’s gonna fall off!               

I was mortified — how dare this horny metal-head burn-out bum think for even one second that my mermaid moves were meant for him. It wasn’t about that for me — sex, seduction, show-offery — and so I tried to re-train myself. I tried to curtail my tail, as it were. Still, the scaly slither stayed with me. I’d pull it out in the safety of black streets or back alleyways. It was my secret mermaid strut. Not so secret after a few drinks, when I’m walking hand-in-hand to the ladies room with Lina or rushing the stage in all my rock & roll fineries. Platform boots, beat-up Stones tee and tiara. What can I say? Sometimes a Mer-Queen’s gotta get out & play.              

Now I’m all grown-up, with no desire to be 10 again, but I still slip into a bath and feel a fairy-tale release as the water rises over my slippery breasts. I’ve slept with 4 men but only 3 of them have seen me naked. Though I’m sure Mr. Three would object to my funny math; he may even have Polaroids to offer up as proof. Except it was a pretend camera the time I posed for all those imaginary click click clicks. (The Minolta in his mind took some really racy piks! Good thing there’s no negatives.) OK, I was nude around him, I confess… but he never held my buoyant body or tasted the salty sea on my collarbone or felt the powerful snap of my tail. So in a strange way, he never really saw me. Did you, fucker, did you ever really sea me? Sea, I told you so.               

Is my mermaid fixation a fetish? An obsession with otherness? A window into my soulful longing for all that lies below the surface?               

Sure, I’ll go for it, whatever rocks your boat. Maybe you think I’m just like those gals who played My Little Pony and grew up wanting to marry Mr. Ed. If so, then you’re wrong wrong wrong so don’t even think it.               

After my sister nearly drowned in Mexico, I taught my little sisters to swim — to overcome their fears and find their fins. Sometimes you just gotta yield to the mermaid. There’s truth in pretend and freedom in fantasy. Connecting with your own mythos is a tune in turn on thing.              

Still don’t believe in real-life mermaids?              

I gotta get me a tail like that! I’ve gotta get rich quick, maybe publish sleazy pulp under a pen name. I’ll crank out a best-selling bodice-ripper under the name Sirena Wave. I want my very own mold-to-my-curves mermaid tail. It’s not just for looks! You can swim in these suckers!  The Mer-Tailor or Merfolktails are just two of the companies making custom tails for freaks like me. They’re pricey, of course, but I’m gonna get one some day. I swear on my scales.               

               

Until that day, I’ll make do with my own jerry-rigged tails which I’ve proudly sported at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. It’s always this week in June and New York is calling to me like a sea nymph. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be this year. It’s on the 26th, all you squids & sea monsters! Sea-monkeys and mermaids! Even if you’re just a gullible sailor out to gawk at the finned femmes, go go go thee to Coney.               

               

A word about the incredible mermaid art:              

The mermaid with the white hair is a new piece by Carolina Hardigree, whom we adore here at Cream Scene Carnival. Rightly so! She’s been experimenting with a looser brush stroke lately. I wasn’t sure about it at first (Hardigree has a bounty of technical skill and I love her stark mythic style) but it really works in this piece. It expresses the mermaid’s fluid nature. To see more of Hardigree’s magical artwork, hit the Carolina Hardigree tag or check out her studio site .              

The submerged swimming pool siren is a stunning Jaroslaw Kukowski painting. Kukowski, a polish surrealist, often paints mermaids. The Bettie Page mermaid is by the famed Olivia. The geisha is by J. Michael Walker. The folk art “X” mermaid is by Junker Jane. The mer with the tangle of curls is by Rustic Goth The sketchy scales are by Gretchen Kelly Studio. Doesn’t Kelly’s sleepy siren look like a mermaid trying to slither from her sleeping bag in time for the Polar Bear Swim? It was only after I began to fit the already chosen artworks into the text that I realized how well Kelly’s drawing illustrated the Camp Storer story. Hooray for happy accidents! 

Many of these pieces are available for purchase or as prints, so contact the artists if you’ve fallen in love. 

But not the Hardigree! That’s mine! OK, you can have the Hardigree cause I’m po’ but treat her right. Carolina Hardigree (my “Lina”) is more of a forest nymph than a sea siren. She prefers 100 year old pines to the crashing chaos of the ocean. I could see a mermaid coming to her though, after an obsession with snake skin, after she painted herself with bright green reptilian scales, and then there were the mermaid heels. “I tried to get a pair for you too, ” she said, as I fondled the faux fish-scale texture. “But you’re feet are too small! No 5.” I cursed my geisha toes cause there’s something oddly perfect about mermaid highheels — say she wanted to go out and see Soundtrack since they’re her favorite band but damn the no-legs thing and then she meets a briny hag who gives her legs for one night as long as she wears her scales via these magical highheels. When Carolina Hardigree fell for a pair of mermaid highheels, I knew it wasn’t long before a mermaid arrived on her canvas.               

Tails can be had too: http://www.merfolktails.com/ or http://www.themertailor.com/ Also if you balk at the price then renting is an option.               

To learn more about The Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade, check out the official Coney site. Coney Island needs our love these days, Y’all!

Interior Design for Satanists: Aliester Crowley Wallpaper!

Posted in I Heart Steampunk, In Celebration of the Absurd, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, SPOOKY KABUKI, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Spooky Kabuki practically squealed when she saw these insanely lovely “Aliester Crowley” wallpapers.  Spooky Kabuki does not squeal. That’s for the other more easy, more breezy alter egos. 

Spooky Kabuki held in that squeal, swallowing it like a sip of Creme de Menthe where it tingled in her tummy and quivered in her hips. 

"leaf"

 

Aliester Crowley wallpaper? What craziness is this? 

Katie Deedy — clever dame, Brooklyn-based illustrator & designer — created the Crowley design for her company Grow House Grow. Grow House Grow “specializes in narrative-inspired wallpaper design.”  Gulp, gulp. Must swallow squeals. Gulp, gulp. How lit-cool pulp-past whip smart is that shit? 

 

“Our lifelong love of storytelling and affinity for pattern shapes every hand printed roll we produce.” 

Here at Cream Scene Carnival, we celebrate the storyteller. We’re elbows on the table and rapt. 

The whole storied idea behind Grow House Grow is filling us with lust and rapture, but these crazy cool Aliester Crowley papers are perfect for Spooky Kabuki’s dream house: 

 A haunted mansion, crows roosting in the rafters. Spider webs festoon the porch, hanging like festive garlands. Guests duck under the lacy embrace to reach the brass door-knocker — a steampunkish jumble of gew-gaws & gears. Clouds gather there like water-worn pebbles. Inky blue roses grow in tumbling thickets. 

 

A house with as many shadowy hallways as there are rooms. And there’s many a room. Bedrooms with crackling fireplaces and lush beds (for voluptuous bodies and voluptuaries alike.) Down pillows, violet linens, tiger-skins and fox-fur. (Faux.) The library over-flows with old books and clattery vintage typewriters. In the parlour, chow-pups wrestle on the tatty oriental rug as Roky Erickson plays on the Victrola. 

 

Spooky Kabuki’s dream house is that house from my dreams…. where I’m constantly stumbling onto some new wing or discovering some dusty basement full of forgotten treasures. The house of the secret subconscience. With its Jungian beatles and ghosty hues, the Aliester Crowley wallpaper in “Veil” was made for that ever-evolving house… that place that plumbs the psyche.  

"veil"

 

Even The Kubuki must confess that the pink delicacy of the “primrose” version makes for cheeky irony. It would also be lovely in a glamourous powder room — after all, Kabuki’s do a lot of powdering.  

"primrose"

 

The papers aren’t exactly cheap at $180 a roll or $48 a sheet, but it wouldn’t take much to make an impact and delight your senses. They’d be gorgeous in an entry way or other small spaces (like Kabuki’s powder room!) They’d even be great behind a bookshelf or inside a china cabinet.  

They’re a nice subtle way to salute your dark side. 

You’d also be supporting a unique talent like Katie Deedy who does more then design beautiful patterns. Deedy looks into the meaning beyond form. She tells the story behind the flourish. Deedy seeks to decorate The House Of Memory… one room, one wall, at a time. 

The bizarre stories surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley are anything but few and far between. Dubbed “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley kept heads turning as an avid occultist, insatiable drug user and devoted hedonist. 

This wallpaper pattern stems from the summer of 1938, which Crowley spent in Cornwall. Some unsubstantiated sources site cultish melees involving dancing beauties, hard narcotics and evenings spent in black magic debauchery. My interest, however, lay with a woman also residing in Cornwall that summer: Katherine Arnold-Forster, nee Ka Cox. 

Ka, an intelligent and practical woman, was the ex-lover of writer Rupert Brooke, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf. She eventually married into the influential Arnold-Forster family, and had been quietly living in Cornwall with her artist husband for some years prior to Mr. Crowley’s arrival. 

The last night of Ka’s life is shrouded in mystery and rumor. As the story goes, a couple from town found themselves entangled in Crowley’s dark escapades and, fearing for their lives, approached Ka for help. Ever sensible, she took on their cause and made a visit to their cottage the following night. Her intention was to prove the dark arts they practiced were bogus, and it’s possible that a seance was held. Some even believe Crowley himself was present, and a heated supernatural confrontation ensued. What is known for certain is that Ka Cox inexplicably dropped dead that night, making headlines across England and reinforcing Crowley’s scandal-ridden infamy. (from Grow House Grow

There’s something very dastardly and delightful about the Crowley design which befits the source but there’s also a sort of steampunk romanticism to the pattern… antenna become rotors, bug wings become whirring zeppelins. The pattern is organic and mechanic at once. 

 

Hey, Ms. Deedy, be sure to call me when you design a rose-strewn paper inspired by Gilman’s classic  The Yellow Wallpaper. I’m thinking shades of buttercup and mustard, with wispy bits of cream & nudie peach. Mesmerizing, menacing, & liable to lead to mental-imbalance.  Yep. I bet you’re picturing it now, Katie Deedy. I bet it’s beautiful. I’ve been dreaming of that paper for years. Now that I know you exist, I’m waiting on the edge of my seat.  

 

Expect to see more of Grow House Grow’s amazing designs here on Cream Scene Carnival … especially an entomological ode to Mary Ward: a wonderfully creepy contrast of lady and bugs.

I Want Candy!

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Books & Writing, I Heart Friends, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Mythos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Oh yay hooray!  I opened my door today to find a package on my stoop. A gift from my beloved G*Word!!! I ripped it open like Little Chrissy trying to get at a chocolate bar.  (Remember Little Chrissy, from the John Waters film Pecker? Little Chrissy was cukoo for cocoa puffs!)

Unlike little Chrissy, I can’t stomach a sugar overload without a pancreatic surge of insulin that leaves me jangly and ready for a nappy-nap. Still, I’m nuts for nougat. I like to get to the gooey — not just in bon bons but always, in everything. I tore at those packages like I was gnawing my way to the nougat. Damn if I didn’t feel like a spoiled rotten sweetheart (xoxo, g*w!) Inside the ripped-up wrappings, I found not one but TWO books with the word “CANDY” in the title.

Which is fitting considering that I met G*Word after we took bites of one another’s gingerbread houses. Which is different than “brick house” as in “She’s got a brick house.” (Settle down, my kinksters.)

A gingerbread house is a dark-side construct built to tempt fate. It lures that which can’t resist. The telling architecture speaks to yearning, greed, giddy giving-in. It’s not about sex — or it wasn’t in our case — but it’s definitely about desire, voyeurism, exposure, and vulnerability. It’s about showing yourself to someone and they… grin like teens on tigermilk? Light up like lightbulbs? Lull like late-night radio? Ah. Ah-ha. A click and then a hum. They like what they see and they say so. They say, “I like what I see,” and then they commence to eating a hunk of your graham cracker door. They peer at you through a broken-off pane of butterscotch glass and then wink at you when you curtsy. 

MMMMmmm. Little Chrissy likes. Rumrumrumrumrum. (My baby wookie makes that rumrumrum sound when he’s eatin’ something really good.)

There’s nothing in the world like new books!!! And my new books are both candy-dubbed contemporary art books so they are absolutely drenched in the syrup of yum. I can’t wait to gorge myself.

Rock Candy is a treat in the hands, oh boy. Lovely to the touch. Rock Candy celebrates the evocative work of dutch artist Femke Hiemstra. A valentine of a volume, it’s described by reviewer Julia Rothman – Book By Its Cover – asGorgeous.”

The cloth hardbound book has a nice die-cut cover and the inside is jam-packed with Femke’s works including tons of paintings and drawings alongside loose sketches…. The way the sketches are juxtaposed with the finished work in the book makes me feel like I’m getting an insider’s view. If you’re a fan of ‘pop surrealism,’ this is a book for you.

 Just the cover alone with that window cut-out — love it! Very gingerbread house.

In the Garden of Eye Candy is a delicious look at dolls and the fantasy world they hail from… as seen by artists such as Koralee and Lisa Petrucci. A reviewer from Juxtapoz Magazine asked a duh(!) question

Like dolls? Cartoon characters? I do. As a little girl I loved playing with dolls. As an adult I like Adult Swim. And painted dolls. But not art toys. (One’s taste does refine with age, of course). I digress. If you like dolls and alter egos and Id-driven characters and cartoons, buy this book. Cause it’s all about that. And it comes in a pretty box. The End.

I do love dolls, alter-egos & id-driven characters. It’s true. But a preliminary peek has me a bit perplexed — how can you have a book about dolls in art and ignore Miss Van? Miss Van even refers to her own creations as dolls, characters, her little “poupettes.”

 “Between the boundaries of fine and popular art and high and low culture, reside id-driven impulses and alter egos as toys, cartoon characters, and iconic images. From the whimsical to adorable, erotic to innocent, to the dark and gothic, they lure us into their lush worlds of fairy tales, dreams and inspiration.” (The Garden of Eye Candy.)

 

Lush worlds? Fairy tales? Hell yea! I’m in. See you there or wish you were here or whatever.

Thank you, G*Word! You’re the best. Now quit blowing bubbles with what used to be my brickwork.

Blondie & Kermit Duet: Rainbow Connection (Sunday Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Lina and I were just talking last night about connections that happen in art without the artist’s awareness. The subconscious strings beads, the conscious wears a perty necklace. The knowing inside the oblivious. We both agreed that it’s our favorite part of making art. She with paint, me with words. I had one of these moments recently. The RobotBoy and I had a nice hazy smoke and broke into a mile-a-minute conversation about racism and homophobia. Big issues for both of us; life themes. I confessed to three brief moments of ingrained racism as a child, flashes where an adult’s fucked up toxic mindset had made its way into me and I had to then kick it out. But, I told RB, I’d never experienced a moment of prejudice about homosexuality and had this innate calm understanding of it for as long as I can remember. My mom always says it doesn’t surprise her that while not gay my life is a gay cabaret. She tells this story of me casually referring to a friend of mine as gay and she asked “Do you even know what that is?” and I told her in great detail without a hint of judgement. That kid, by the way, came out 15 years later. I do however have an attitude about gay people who are prejudice against themselves. That riles. On that thought I was led to tell a story about my aunt/cousin showing up in our living room and begging my Dad to save her from her terrible situation — she’d come home to find her husband wearing a mask with lipstick & eyeshadow, in a dress, being ass-farked by a man. Of course I was sitting there rapt, being the nosy and non-sheltered kid that I was. And of course my Dad helped her and of course she farked him over. He ended up having to evict her after she completely trashed the place he’d let her live. It took him weeks to clean it up and one day he parked a pick-up truck in the driveway that was over-flowing with ephemera from the lives of these kinky relatives. Being, again, the nosy and unsheltered kid that I was, I began to sift through it all with an archaeologist’s precision and he let me (even left it for days until I’d had my fill.) Was it the choice that most fathers would make? No. Was it the right choice for that kid who would eventually grow up to be writer-me? Hell yea! I poured over piles of love letters, deflated mylar balloons, teddy bears that were far too tainted for me to introduce to my stuffed animals and — Jackpot! — the creepy as hell translucent rubber mask with red lips and blue-shadow eyes. The fact that it had been taken with her to the new place and then abandoned with bears makes me think she was down with the kink and had played up her boo-hoo to win my father’s sympathies. Not that it didn’t suck to then be left for a man and cheated on and betrayed. I’m sure it hurt terribly, enough to abandon love letters in a house filled with cat turds. But that mask was not the trauma she claimed, that mask meant something to her though I’m not sure what. The mask was my trauma! No such thing will ever find its way into my boudoir and I’m the experimental dress up sort. OK, here’s where it gets kinda funny and little kid absurd. When I’d had my fill of voyeurism, the one thing I took away from the bed of that pick up was a 45 of Kermit the Frog singing “Rainbow Connection” (“It’s Not Easy Being Green” was the B side.)

kermit

As a kid, I had to take my music where ever I could get it. My entire music collection was comprised of a few records pilfered from alley ways on trash day and Columbia House rejects from when my dad neglected to check “no thanks” on the little card that announced it would be sending him cassette tapes by Huey Lewis, Kenny Rogers or A-HA. Thus my eclectic musical sensibilities. I must’ve listened to that Kermit record 100’s of times over the years and still have it somewhere. I sang a few remembered lines for RB and he says “Never heard it.” Never heard it? The computer was on my lap because I’d been working on my book before getting carried away with smoke and talk, so we make our way to youtube and hit play. And then it hits me — my own personal RAINBOW CONNECTION. Here I am, taking a break from the book, chatting about totally unrelated things, and ending up right back at the damn book. In  Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense, one of the characters is a cop with “blue sense” who experiences psychic visions of a girl’s body trapped in a mine and the girl is wearing a jeweled rainbow around her neck. All of the characters are dealing with “knowing” and with the feeling that there is something more to be had, to be known. My characters and their maker/writer. The lovers, the dreamers and me! I did not recall the actual lyrics or think of “The Rainbow Connection” in relation to my book but connections were happening beneath the surface and I remembered every word some where. Kermit was poking at me no doubt.

RAINBOW CONNECTION
Kermit the Frog

Why are there so many
songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbow’s are visions
They’re only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they’re wrong wait and see

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far
What’s so amazing
That keeps us star gazing
What so we think we might see

Someday we’ll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers the dreamers and me

Have you been half asleep
And have you heard voices
I’ve heard them calling my name
Are these the sweet sounds that called
The young sailors
I think they’re one and the same
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
There’s something that I’m supposed to be

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me!

It’s the perfect Punk Rock Gospel for today because it has to do with the book and thus serves the gods of nanowrimo but is still a wonderful discussion of spirit and the search for something more. Plus Debbie Harry gives Kermie some punk rock props. Enjoy!

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