“The State of Nature”

“The State of Nature”

 

Don’t trust the truster.

Yet distrust disappoints
in not
disappointing.

And we’re all
humans, all men
normal, all women wanting
freedom.

You can’t hoard freedom
and be
free.

A philosopher’s slave once
took this dictation:
My freedom ends where
your freedom begins.

All are enemies,
our only hopes.

When we take
shelter, we
take.

Fear freeing.
But fear more, in the
dark and wild places,
climbing into the
shelter of
freedom.

-D. M. Collins

“The Question”

I was at a great workshop regarding “the feminine” and femininity this weekend, and got several workable poems out of it. Here’s one.

 

“The Question”

I was young. I loved.

And so I didn’t ask.
I was afraid you’d fear me,
Or I’d fear your response.

Now I am not young.
And I do not love.

But I would ask.

 

-D. M. Collins

Domenic Priore at a very special A Rrose in a Prose this Sunday!

This Sunday, December 20, at 2 p.m., a very special anti-Christmas (or is it pro-Christmas?) A Rrose in a Prose will be taking place at HM157, L.A.’s most beautiful Victorian mansion turned amazing, anything-can-happen venue.

And our guest of honor is a man sure to make us SMiLE: Domenic Priore!

photo courtesy of dublab

photo courtesy of dublab

Domenic is a gorgeous writer whose love of culture from the 60s and beyond has been an inspiration to many, especially record fans and not-so-long-ago history buffs. Dubbed by MOJO Magazine “the world’s foremost Smile-ologist,” Domenic Priore has written the definitive book on the entire experience of Brian Wilson’s once-lost masterpiece – from the original recording to the revival tour and beyond. He even wrote the liner notes of the 2011 Smile Sessions compilation, as well as those of the Nuggets L.A. box set! And his 2007 book, Riot on Sunset Strip, is to Los Angeles garage rock and psychedelia what The Odyssey is to sequels.

Come join Domenic and the many other amazing writers, poets, performers, comedians, and ne’er-do-wells as we celebrate Christmas by ignoring it completely (or not!) at A Rrose in a Prose this Sunday.

YOU WANT THE LINEUP?

Here’s the lineup:

Domenic Priore (Riot on Sunset Strip, Dumb Angel)
Corey Saucier (Lambda Literary)
Nina Tarr (FROWNTOWN, Tenants of the Trees Comedy Show)
Ashaki Jackson, PhD (The Rusty Toque Prize Winner!)
Wyatt Underwood (365.365)
Alexander Weinberg (Love Blind)
… and surprise guests!

With music by Ruthann Friedman.

(Yes, she is the famous folk singer who wrote “Chinatown” and “Windy.” And yes, she’s also playing a show at this VERY same venue, the NIGHT BEFORE our own event. But the matinee show is completely different from her evening show—she’s just that good!)

As always, things are hosted by DM Collins (LA RECORD, BRGR TV) and Art Currim.

And as always, this event is FREE and ALL AGES!

Full Bar featuring Mimosas & Irish Coffee.

(But if you do want to bring a little Christmas cheer, bring some donations for HM157 —this fantastic venue was damaged out back by a fire several months ago, and we want to let them know it’s Christmas after all! There is a wish list of what-nots on the Facebook link below … Things like outdoor folding chairs & durable glassware.)

We’ll also be taking donations of canned goods and unwrapped, kid-friendly gifts for families in need this holiday season. But really, your presence is PRESENT enough for us! See you there.

DON’T BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS: A VERY SPECIAL A RROSE IN A PROSE
DECEMBER 20, 2 P.M.
@ HM157
3110 N. BROADWAY
LOS ANGELES, CA

https://www.facebook.com/events/491525884358256/

 

Christopher Zeischegg tomorrow at A Rrose in a Prose

We’re excited, at long last, to feature Christopher Zeischegg at A Rrose in a Prose tomorrow!

ChristopherZeischegg

photo by Sheree Rose (with Luka Fisher on stapler duties)

Christopher Zeischegg spent eight years working in the adult film industry as performer Danny Wylde. He’s been a contributor to The Feminist Porn BookBest Sex Writing of the Year, Coming Out Like a Porn Star, and a variety of online publications such as Somesuch and Nerve. He recently published his second novel, The Wolves that Live in Skin and Space, through Rare Bird Books.

Come see Christopher read, along with a slew of other authors, poets, and performers such as Rick Lupert, lucifer sam, Jason Lynn, Carolina Hoyos, Sean Carnage, and Nikol Hasler!

And bring your leftovers (whatever that might mean to you), because we’ll be eating them at our potluck… followed by a pun contest, judged by celebs such as Anna Ureña (DRYLAND) and Rich Yap (PLANET QUEER).

As always, the cats will be herded, and hosted, by D. M. Collins. Things start at 2 p.m. at Stories Books (in the back).

Nikol Hasler returns to A Rrose in a Prose tomorrow!

We’re very pleased to have a (long overdue!) return visit tomorrow from author, YouTube sensation, and expert pickler Nikol Hasler!
NikolHaslerDec2015

Nikol Hasler used to get up to a lot of nonsense, but has aged and mellowed into a no-nonsense type of bird. Author of “Sex: An Uncensored Introduction” and mother of three, she pays her rent on her valley apartment as the Project Manager of the web team at KCET. She’s an avid pickler and cook, and spends far too much time watching television. Also, if you want to know anything about wombats, she’s a decent source for that.

You can see her and all these other people at Stories Books on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. at our A Rrose in a Prose: Luscious Leftovers event:

Carolina Hoyos (A Girl I Know)
Rick Lupert (Poetry Super Highway)
lucifer sam (Dee-Are Records)
Jason Lynn (Act of Love, with Hans-Joachim Roedelius)
Christopher Zeischegg (The Wolves That Live in Skin and Space)
Sean Carnage (the host with the most!)

Plus bring food for our potluck, and puns for our pun contest!

Don’t be a turkey. You should relish this opportunity. PEAS, for your own sake, attend this event.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1504957616467588/

A RROSE IN A PROSE: LUSCIOUS LEFTOVERS
w/ PUN CONTEST AND LEFTOVERS POTLUCK
@ STORIES BOOKS AND CAFE
1716 SUNSET BLVD
ECHO PARK, CA 90026
STARTS AT 2 p.m.
(ALL AGES! FREE!)
To sign up in advance for the pun contest, email us at arroseinaprose@gmail.com

Bring your leftovers (and puns) to A Rrose in a Prose this Sunday!

A Rrose in a Prose Leftovers Revised

Are you still in a food coma? Or maybe you’re sick of your extended family’s disapproval, mild racism, and vicious heartburn? Come join OUR literary family, and bring (and/or enjoy) some delicious eats!

This Sunday’s A Rrose in a Prose is going to be a real “meat and greet,” a a chance to take “stock” of things, and no “bones” about it–a chance to really “buckle” down with our “mash” up of poets, writers, performers, and musicians! We’ll be having a potluck of leftovers, and yes, there will be a pun contest that YOU can compete in! So show up on time and sign up (or get ahead of the game and email us now at arroseinaprose@gmail.com that you want to compete!)

Compared to the food and the puns, the rest is “gravy!” But we think you’ll really “relish” a chance to hear works new and old by our amazing lineup of talents:

Carolina Hoyos (The Mayflower Welcoming Committee)
Rick Lupert (Poetry Super Highway)
Nikol Hasler (Sex: An Uncensored Introduction)
lucifer sam (Dee-Are Records)
Jason Lynn (Act of Love, with Hans-Joachim Roedelius)
Christopher Zeischegg (The Wolves That Live in Skin and Space)
Sean Carnage (Whaaaat? Who doesn’t know about Sean Carnage?!?)

 

So, come for the food, the poetry, the music, and the puns (and did we mention the pun contest is judged by folks as amazing as Anna Ureña (DRYLAND) and Rich Yap (PLANET QUEER)?

And there will be even more surprises we haven’t even told you about, because we’re secretive and tricky and evil and stuff. Just like the Puritans.

As always, the event is hosted by D. M. Collins.

See you there.

also at A Rrose in a Prose today: Corey Saucier!

We are so excited to bring a brand new face to today’s A Rrose in a Prose (among many new faces): Corey Saucier!

Corey Saucier

Corey Saucier is a Lyrical Philosopher and a Black Queer Christian Poet, Author, and Playwright.  He is a Los Angeles Native and was a Lambda Literary Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in Non-Fiction (2011) and Fiction Genre (2014);  and was awarded the UCLA’s Writers Program Scholarship in 2012-2013.

In addition to being an active member of the performing arts community, he is currently a featured columnist in A&U Magazine. Corey is penning his first novel tentatively titled:“Clover” – A dark speculative fiction piece about Fairies, Homosexuals, and God…

He also has a Tumblr (@www.Justwords.tumblr.com), but it’s mostly just filled with naked pictures.

Come see Corey, and all the below stars, at 2 p.m. SHARP at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park!

Mary Animaux
Corey Saucier
Don Kingfisher Campbell
Trista Hurley-Waxali
The Urban Street Poet
J.W. Gardner
Luis Antonio Pichardo
Sarah Gail
Kenzo Martinez
Rich Yap

… plus surprise guests that will AMAZE and TERRIFY you!

We meet in the back, and you can enjoy delicious syrupy POPSICCKLLLES absolutely free, as well as all the Halloween candy that you’re not already sick of! It’s gonna be a humdinger of epic proportions, and to miss it is akin to missing your own mother’s birth! (See? Already we’re throwing out mind-bending metaphor and stick-it-in-your-eye analogies! Come see more!)

JEKYLL AND HYDE: A RROSE IN A PROSE LITERARY SALON
OCT. 18, 2 P.M.
HOSTED BY ART CURRIM AND D. M. COLLINS
@ STORIES BOOKS
1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

https://www.facebook.com/events/184114861921550/

 

Trista Hurley-Waxali today at A Rrose in a Prose!

Another great author who will knock us OUT with her skill today is none other than the famous, the fabulous, the forthcoming-bookish Trista Hurley-Waxali!

headshot_confused_lookTrista Hurley-Waxali is the author of the poetry chapbook Dried Up. Her work has appeared in the journals FORTH, Enclave, and Street Line Critics, well as in the Procyon Short Story Anthology 2014 (Tayen Lane Publishing, 2015). She has performed at the O’bheal Poetry Series in Cork, Ireland and in a Helsinki Poetry Connection Poetry Jam TransLate Night Show.

Seriously, kids, you do NOT want to miss this. This is a poet/author who can both write ’em AND read ’em! And don’t you DARE think that the rainy day today will stop her powers! Just look at how amazing she was in the realm of perennial rain, Ireland (courtesy of the O’Bheal Poetry Series):

Trista lives in West Hollywood, where she is working on her first novel, At This Juncture. Come see Trista, and all the below stars, at 2 p.m. SHARP at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park!

Mary Animaux
Corey Saucier
Don Kingfisher Campbell
Trista Hurley-Waxali
The Urban Street Poet
J.W. Gardner
Luis Antonio Pichardo
Sarah Gail
Kenzo Martinez
Rich Yap

… plus surprise guests that will AMAZE and TERRIFY you!

We meet in the back, and to encourage those in Los Angeles who dislike what the describe as “weather,” we’ll give free popsicles to the first 40 attendees! (See? Who said serious fiction and ridiculous amounts of corn syrup couldn’t go literally hand in hand?)

JEKYLL AND HYDE: A RROSE IN A PROSE LITERARY SALON
OCT. 18, 2 P.M.
HOSTED BY ART CURRIM AND D. M. COLLINS
@ STORIES BOOKS
1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

https://www.facebook.com/events/184114861921550/

 

A Rrose in a Prose tomorrow… featuring Kenzo Martinez!

Hey Gang,

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. SHARP at Stories Books is our next A Rrose in a Prose. The theme is “Jekyll and Hyde” and one of our many literary heroes is performing, Kenzo Martinez!

Kenzo1

Kenzo Martinez is a multi-disciplined, Los Angeles based artist and community organizer active in various underground art circles. Currently, Kenzo is creative director of the B-boy, DeeJay, and graffiti programs for the youth arts non-profit “J.U.i.C.E.” (Justice United in Creative Energy) which provides the undeserved ares of Los Angeles with free arts programming as well as Co-Organizer for the Independent publishing festival  “L.A Zine Fest”. A  His most recent zine, Midnight Language is a collection of works focused on the culturally suppressed histories of underground peoples’ movements.

You can see him tomorrow, along with sooooo many more amazing authors, at A Rrose in a Prose!

Jekyll and Hyde: an A Rrose in a Prose Literary Salon

with all these other great authors, too!
Mary Animaux
Corey Saucier
Don Kingfisher Campbell
Trista Hurley-Waxali
The Urban Street Poet
J.W. Gardner
Luis Antonio Pichardo
Sarah Gail
Kenzo Martinez
Rich Yap

at Stories Books and Cafe
1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

“We got a notion you’re gonna dig this potion.”

Happy Bisexual Pride Day! Are you one of us?

Hi Guys/Gals/Groovy Ghouls,

It’s funny how you can care so much about the world yet not even know what’s up with your own soul.

It wasn’t that long ago at all that I confessed my unease with being considered “queer.” That wasn’t because I would be ashamed of being part of the LGBT world, but because I didn’t think my behavior and emotions, which run juuuust straight-of-center on the Kinsey Scale, qualified me to put myself in the same grouping as gay, lesbian, and trans people. Historically they have been marginalized in ways far harsher than anything I would ever experience, and I knew I could always “hide out” in heterodom if the Nazis or Christian Fundamentalists ever retake power.

I also knew that, while I loved to perform sexual acts with people of more than one gender (and yes, I’m good enough to use the word “performance”), I didn’t want to be defined primarily by that part of me. And I hated the binarism of “bisexual,” and the muddiness of “pansexual” or “polysexual,” and didn’t feel like certain behaviors or inclinations meant I had a right to join a movement.

You know those guys who say they can wear Native American headbands because they are 3% Cherokee? I didn’t want to be them. I felt alone and bereft in many ways, but I didn’t want to steal an identity that wasn’t mine.

I’m glad I started that conversation, though, because it led me to finally meeting others who have similar backgrounds and inclinations. And that led to my learning a lot about myself. I found, first of all, that I do belong to an identity, and I’m not the only one. I am part of a group that, perhaps more than other groups, has such a wide variety of feelings and emotions incorporated within it.

Perhaps that’s why so few bi people are out? We don’t feel a kinship with each other, much less with gays and lesbians or straights. And so there’s no sense of unity to help us feel strong, or brave? Compared to gays and lesbians in “America,” we’re the only group that still has its majority in the closet. And the schism is vast:

howmanypeopleknow

I’ve heard gay guys talk about coming out as “coming home,” but my experience felt like the opposite, like going out onto an empty stage. Even when you do come out as bi, recognizing that about yourself can feel a bit lonely compared to what, from the outside, it looks like to be fully straight, gay, or lesbian. “Bi” contain such a spectrum of people, e.g. men who mostly like other men and pass for gay but also like some vagina now and then, e.g. women who love other women but whose “straight” look traps them in a straight world most of the time, e.g. men like me, who like to feel androgynous and find receiving vigorous, tooth-rattling anal sex from other men is somehow much easier than forming relationships with them like the kinds we form with women.

And it is gendered. Aside from trans people, who face a prejudice still sharper than almost anything out there, bisexual men tend to have it the worst:

bisexual men

There are so many distinct ways to be bi that really, by comparison, “gay” looks like a large nation state, and “straight” looks like a whole continent, but “bi” is sort of like a sexual Micronesia.

And yes, I do now identify as bisexual because I want this to end! I want us to be seen as real, and I want not to tiptoe around my relationships and loves. And the only way to do that is through showing off our numbers.

With that in mind, I now see “bi” as a blanket term that includes the more specific terms and inclinations, basically anyone who does not fit info the gay or straight slots (in fact, Vee Ritchie has a great video explaining why “bisexual” actually means both “same” and “not the same” which actually does NOT imply a binary of merely two genders, and even though that may sound like loophole logic, it helped me feel at ease with the term a great deal).

At first even saying “I’m a bisexual activist” felt so antiquated, like saying the phrase “American Indian Movement,” or “United Negro College Fund.” But like those organizations’ names, the phrase “bisexual” contains all the history of the “B” in LGBT, our forefathers and foremothers, people such as Brenda Howard who was not only a pioneer in 20th Century bisexual awareness, but was at Stonewall and was a radical activist for queer folk in general. And who cares if the straight world thinks “bisexual” means we have to love women the exact same as we love men, or if they just think it means we’re gay. They were never going to understand anyway … but then again, if they want to understand, I want to make sure we’re represented, that we’re seen as real, that our true numbers are reflected–far from being rare, by some measures our numbers rival or exceed those of gays and lesbians:

lgbt population

So yes, I’m bisexual, and if you feel you are not a 1 or a 0 in the digital game of gay/straight, you could be, too!

I want to talk about this more, but I have to get in the bimobile and go do some bi things tonight… I feel like I’m rambling, so maybe re-watch this video I did for #StillBisexual a few months ago, open up your hearts and minds, and … I dunno, call me for a hot threesome.

 

-D. M. Collins

 

P.S. Did I say threesome? I meant “orgy.”