today in your theater a spider interrupted my pushup tan silver tall slow just beneath my nose something stopped me squishing it a summer ago before you died we asked entranced “how can you stand to stay so brave and kind while your own insides eat you alive? don’t you get tired?” you nibbled your bland cancer snack and said “besides kin, my mission fuels my life” your mission a web of collision and love the word and access a lobby “you all really oughta write personal mission statements” you said, haloed in purpose spoon full of mashed potatoes so once he died i did it stated my personal mission it gave me height but did not stick we have this teacher her name’s René i don't know if she means it to every tape she shows gets me thinking “what would i die for?” (she means it to) Harvey Milk shot Nelson Mandela jailed we watch Joan of Arc melt wild-eyed bold and stone true even the eyes of hatechurch Shirley glisten with the peace of a martyr’s certainty and now looking at you, i see a mission isn’t the statement it’s the question not the means but the end now how i will live but what would i burn for? those people in new hampshire have it figured out if you mark the license plates live free or die but under the Concord dome, Mary the docent said the rest of the quote was for death is not the greatest of evils and it's not it’s promised what's bone but a moment of atoms what’s skin but a vessel for a life’s thesis whether that’s bisexual pride couch potato or freed feet on bare earth if i stitch my soul to an idea i’d die for i’ll live forever what stopped me squishing that spider was knowing that you could die for a lobby and for every creature in it the short way's the wrong frame may my game be the long game my home, noplace but the earth noplace vague and opaque as the shapes states take so that when they take me to the stake i’ll be elsewhere (that’s their mistake) i’ll grin serene and sure and burn, burn
Photo: big, old trees grow in a row on a fallen nurse log in Lake Quinault, Washington
My first article for The Citizen-Penguin, the online student newspaper I started at Juilliard, was posted yesterday. It’s about a recent WSJ. Magazine piece featuring “the people at Juilliard who make it what it is,” a tricky claim since there are no students of Asian descent in the piece even though they make up 32% of the student body. In my spare time before and after tech for Henry V and Cymbeline, I’ve spoken to several administrators and classmates about press opportunities, race at Juilliard, and Asian erasure. Here’s an excerpt and a link to read more.
It is possible to sit in Juilliard’s Student Multipurpose Room and not see any students. To the southwest, a wall of glass looks out onto the Illumination Lawn, the Pool through the windows of Lincoln Ristorante, and the tops of the trees in the Grove. To the northwest, windows overlook a rarely used walkway and the wide chasm between the SMR and the Student Lounge. Far from the barefoot dancers, rowdy opera singers and discordant practice rooms, this room is where ‘contained’ events at Juilliard take place; opening night receptions, closed faculty meetings, Juilliard ‘Spotlight’ video shoots, and visiting therapy dogs all find safe haven here.
One Monday in December, the day after the first snow flurries of the season, The Wall Street Journal set up shop in the SMR. Two representatives from WSJ. Magazine (tagline: “The Luxury of Choice”), accompanied by an assistant from the Juilliard Development & Public Affairs office, individually met with students during an “open call” for a forthcoming feature on “the people at Juilliard who make it what it is.”
Some students and observers have cried foul on just that: who makes Juilliard what it is, and who decides?… Read the article.
croquet on the muskeg we boardwalk up mountainside beeline past dark treeline to eldritch earth watch yourself among bog-blueberries that teal and tart dart bog-orchids marshmarigolds violets fragile and nearly nothing the moonlight above below Taku winds scrape the town and churn the Channel when you play croquet on the muskeg slip the wickets in slow springy ground peat and moss and twig blandest crowberries fronds of the western bracken stab green-black sponge our mallets rest on cedar silhouettes ancient gnarled whorls stunted in the pitch mountain air muskeg it's tundra's insult it's helldeep pothole ponds that sunk our balls it's where you knew i wouldn't be back for years it's where moose trip drown trapped in the permafrost it's a verse from Mark or Matthew a prophet beloved everywhere except his skunk-cabbage hometown