Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another photo from the "Gods" shoot. Click to enlarge. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Because He's Fabulous

The second shoot, done with the lovely Aleksandr Petrov. "Because I'm Fabulous"

Note: I have a ton more to post from both these shoots, I just haven't had time to edit yet.

More after the jump!

New Camera!

Hello, hello! I have a lovely new Fujifilm Finepix s400 14MP Digital camera, courtesy of my amazing boyfriend (Early Christmas gift!). So I wasted no time in doing up myself and two of my model friends and shooting the crap out of them. This first shoot is titled "The Gods Aren't Angry, They're Bored." All photos Copyright Cara Brennan 2011. Ask for permission to post! But feel free to shamelessly promote me. The second model is the amazing and ethereal Amanda Elizabeth Sawyer.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inspired by football? Why, yes!

Wow, been a while! I return with a little piece inspired by my youngest brother's kickass football win against their big rival. They are now UNDEFEATED district champs, and just won their first play-off game.  I wasn't in the mood to write, but I had not written in weeks and was very frustrated with myself. So I literally sat down, wrote "write something write anything," and I guess some little brain gremlin was all like "OKAY FINE," and then wrote this. So maybe I should do that exercise more often.

The Sun Never Sets On Fridays

"Stadium lights shine in his eyes like the most sincere promise he's ever heard. His sweat glimmers as it trickles down his face, soaking him and giving him the appearance of some brave, salt-covered sailor, caught in a typhoon but emerging alive. He smells, but he doesn't care. His body has begun to remind him that it needs rest, but he does not listen. He will have time for cleaning and resting later. He will never have a moment like this again. He will never have another moment so pure and clear and beautiful.  The roar of his peers as they rush the field breeds one overwhelming howl of triumph as they sweep from the stands, onto the green and throw themselves onto their players; all hands clapping backs and arms hugging, oblivious to the sweat and grime of the turf.  And the noise. Oh, the noise.  It fills up every part of him; a glass of cold water.  It is approval and love and worship. It is holy, and he doesn't even believe in anything. He just believes in this, this cacophony; the riot of victory. He is swept away by the tide, and his own voice has joined in the cry.  He will never forget this.  He will never forget what it feels like to win."


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bus Boredom

[Edit: Still working out some kinks in the color scheme with the text...ugh.]

New color scheme! Halloweeny, no? I love Halloween. It is the best. I don't know what to be this year. Better start brainstorming.
They will see me and know fear.

 Speaking of storms, here is a poem I typed on my phone while waiting for the bus in the rain yesterday.

The rains came
And I saw myself
The wind brought memories
Of what was and
What will be
Known to me
Soon when I find the strength
To look up

Done a little writing, mostly in transit. Here's another rain inspired one, composed while I was on the bus to DC to visit my family; Hurricane Irene was on its way there.

Quick dark clouds
Today my friend
See them running
Far above us?
Racing to destiny
Damp shiny hooves
Their winnies shattering
the afternoon sky
Sounds like God
Trying to tear
Open the Heavens
It almost makes
Me believe again

As I was typing it out just now I realized I had a 3 word structure in the first few lines, so I tweaked the rest of the poem to fit. Yay for experimentation!

First post since June, trying to discipline myself and write more frequently. 


Friday, June 17, 2011

Girl w/t Dragon Tattoo Poster (NSFW)

Okay. Okay. From my understanding, having neither read the books nor seen the Swedish films, Mara's character Lisbeth Salander is like this totally badass, punk-goth, technowizard, tough as nails broad, and also gets raped at one point. And that the books deal with issues of violence against women and specifically, rape. So, part of me is really NOT okay with this poster. Because it shows her all vulnerable, but in a "sexy" way, with the oh-so yummy Daniel Craig behind her (protecting? Comforting?), in short Hollywooding a character who is supposed to be sexy because of her essential "je ne sais quoi"/not-giving a fuck attitude, not because she's HOT. Plus, sexualizing a rape victim. So there's that. But then, it's also not good to define someone by their victimhood. With the I Spit On Your Grave poster debacle, this was an issue, probably more so because the protagonist's rape is the impetus for the entire film. So actively highlighting her fuckability on the poster is pretty, well, fucked up.

But then. But then.
This poster is so hot. I mean. Daniel Craig, for one. And then, Rooney Mara. 

Rawr. But then I feel like a bad feminist for thinking it's hot.  And then I'm like, "No, it's fine, they're sexy! I can't help it!" (which, yeah, I can't change what I respond to visually). Which is the absolute, horrifying brilliance of it all.  
This poster is problematic not just because it shows the female protagonist half-naked while the man remains clothed, not just because she's in a position vulnerable to his; it's problematic because of all of those things and the fact that it IS sexy. Something about this image is effective.  If it wasn't such an attractive poster, I might not give a hoot. But that's the brilliance of advertising; it uses images people respond to sell a product, regardless of the message that image might be sending and/or reinforcing.  So for me to say I'm not going to think critically about it because I like it is not smart and it's not going to solve anything.

We can't just ignore the unsavory aspects of pop culture when it has to do with a product we like.  If we turn a blind eye to our favorite artists, then we're hypocrites and we're not accomplishing anything.  Now, I'll probably see the movie.  I guess my point is, go ahead and like what you like, as long as you acknowledge the problems inherent in liking said thing and don't give something a pass because it happens to suit your personal tastes.  


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Canucks Fan WTF

This blog has photos of Canucks fans RIOTING after Game 7 last night. RIOTING. People.

What. The. FUCK.

Rioting? Really? Okay, I know I've told many of my sports fans friends that just because sports are not my thing doesn't mean I can't appreciate sports culture, but then something like this happens and I just....I just can't. I don't get the hero worship of accused rapists, I don't get why you would be a fan of the Yankees versus the Sox. Do you know any of them personally? Did you all grow up in the city you're supposedly representing? What makes one team better than another on that level? Yeah, they're all good at what they do, mostly. Which is cool. For example, I get really into the Olympics, because holy shit, the human body's ability is amazing. And I get that playing sports is fun. But. You didn't fucking see me starting a riot when Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring didn't get Best Picture at the Oscars. Why? BECAUSE IT'S NOT ACTUALLY IMPORTANT. It's not.

If you're so fucking angry, how about you riot about something that ACTUALLY MATTERS. Like the unemployment rate. Or the attack on reproductive rights. Or that fact that gay people still can't get married. Or the fact that our military is fucking intervening left and right and our families are DYING abroad for NO REASON. How about you put that anger to use?

But no. Your sports team lost. They lost a game that they could potentially win next year.

I hope several hundred arrests were made and those thoughtless dude-bro idiots are fucking ashamed of themselves.

Apologies to my sports loving friends and family. I know you're not all crazy. But sometimes I wonder.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heaven Is Silly

So I'm rusty writing wise, but I've been itching to get this idea out of my brain. Debate amongst yourselves! Or with me. Or with yourself. It's all good.


"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," -Stephen Hawking

“Over the course of human evolution, as each group of people became gradually aware of the enormity of its isolation in the cosmos and of the precariousness of its hold on survival, it developed myths and beliefs to transform the random, crushing forces of the universe into manageable, or at least understandable, patterns. One of the major functions of every culture has been to shield its members from chaos, to reassure them of their importance and ultimate success.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow

It is in our nature to question, and that makes us different from every other organism on the planet (that we know of). That may be a good case for divine intervention having a hand in our creation, but disproving the existence of god and/or an afterlife is a fruitless task and not what I’m concerned with. Despite our inquisitive natures it seems we are often reluctant to question our cultural traditions and beliefs and instead rationalize them to a comical level. When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. On my way to adulthood I stopped believing in them because, well, they're NOT REAL (though I was thoroughly disappointed. I mean, a fairy that pays you for a naturally occurring process you have no control over? How about a period fairy? Hell to the yes.) I think we would do well to question our beliefs a little more often, specifically the belief in an afterlife. But then, Santa Claus isn’t the last bastion between the tiny speck of dust in the cosmos that is humanity and nothingness. Belief in an afterlife can be that cozy warm blanket keeping the never-ending night at bay. What people may not realize is that such a belief, while heartening, can also reinforce negative patterns.

We are taught that many shitty things are simply “a part of life.” And that’s that. Of course, there’s not a whole lot you can do about your taxes and that sort of outside circumstance, but it seems like people just sort of accept the status quo of life without ANY challenge. Perhaps our complacency is in part due to the ingrained belief that one day, somehow, everything will be alright. One day, when we die, God/whoever will welcome us into heaven and all the parking tickets and traffic and bad sex and unfulfilling jobs and hunger and disease and war and all the shit we put up with in our corporeal lives will have been worth it. If it were true, it would be AWESOME. Seventy odd years of on-off suffering with occasional sparkly moments of joy in exchange for a never-ending Ecstasy trip when I kick the bucket? Sign. Me. Up.

(More after the JUMP. JUMP! JUMP, YOU FOOLS!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Too since I last blogged. NOT GOOD. Hence, update. With new poem? I think yes.

"It's Not Me, It's You"


I am not responsible
for your reactions
No matter how grotesque you
might find my revelations
nor how nauseous
you get when
I spit and retch my truth
into your ears
by accident
I am not responsible for the color of your eyes
Similarly, I am as responsible for your outbursts
as I am for the color
of an orange.
Let there be no more blaming
me for your inability
to reign in your beast
-- it’s your Inner Animal,
not mine
I don’t expect you to clean
my cat’s shit box
So why expect me to apologize
when you shit yourself?

Peace and bunnies


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RIP Tully, Poem, Planned Parenthood

Hey ho there! Sad news: One of my family dogs, Tully, is really sick and we have to have her put down. I'm taking the bus down to DC tomorrow morning to spend some QT with the fam. I found out during work, too, which sucked. 

In other news, I went to Planned Parenthood this morning for a routine exam. Lemme just say: thank the magic sky people for those folks. I didn't have to pay anything (whoo low income! No, wait....) and I got 2 months of birth control. Hooray! I did have to wait a long time, but I was at the busiest one in the city, apparently the Bronx PP is much quicker. But an overheard exchange inspired this new poem.
Having this experience validates my rage against those who want it de-funded. They provide crucial health services. If there are other place that do this with the efficacy and conscientiousness of the PP staff, point them out, please. While my Catholic-conservative shaped mind recoils a little at the thought of suckling at the government teat  (I qualified for Medicaid, which covers OB/GYN), I was able to procure services (crucial ones) that I would not otherwise be able to. I may write about this more in depth later.

"Cecily" 4.13.11

Hello, how are you today?
Can you tell how many times I've rehearsed this?
"Hello, my name is,"
Reversed this
custom anyway I can
Turn it upside down,
invert it above the altar
to try and make it less demeaning?
Modern ritual
No one means it any more
Than they mean
"Have a nice day"
It is sacred and crass
in its ubiquity 
One day I'll stop
And tear their institution down
One day I'll stop 
And spit on their stone idols of false faces
One day I'll stop
And burn their propaganda till it's more fine than dust
One day I'll stop.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Family", or "I Need To Work On My Title Creation Skills"

My seven year-old cousin is in town from the West Coast with my mother's brother; the man I partially credit for my obsession/love of Hollywood and sci-fi horror (I remember him showing my and my siblings the films Them!, The Blob, and the Black Scorpion, among others; he is also responsible for my fear of the Blob...see, giant bugs can be killed with weapons, but the Blob...the Blob just keeps coming...*shiver*).

I took them to the Jekyll & Hyde Club on 58th & 6th ave; a source of great entertainment at the time and fond memories now of when I was a kid visiting the Big Apple. My cousin is adorable and hilarious (though not always intentionally so). She told me I look like Cher, then 10 minutes later told me I looked like Katy Perry. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But hey, Cher still looks amazing and Katy Perry's pretty cute, so win-win. Though I suspect it's merely a 7 year-old's comparisons of people with dark hair and bangs more than anything else, not magical-child's intuition prophesying my future diva-dom. But a girl can dream, right?

Seeing my cousin and uncle for the first time in years (haven't seen Shelby since she was about 2) was gratifying. I've very close with my family in some ways, less so in others. I've always had a very hard time actually picking up the phone and calling folks, even family. I have a friend who talks to his mom every day. I'm the opposite. Love my ma, but I've talked to her maybe two or three times since Christmas. Sometimes the distance from my family is refreshing, sometimes it's not. Like all things regarding family, it's complicated. Seeing family, particularly family I haven't seen in years, reminded me of what that connection means to me and has given me pause to reflect on the distance I've established and why.

So here's a poem about communication. I posted the unfinished version last post; this is the update. I may continue to work it.

03.30.11 (updated 3.4.11)
“Permission to Unhinge”

Alpha One this is Charlie Company
Permission to engage the enemy
on all fronts
Not just the front in my skull
The open front of rat-tat-tat-tat
Tattoo on my lips of the words
I keep trying to say
Do you copy? I said
Do you copy?
Do you copy the edge in my voice
as I tremble further out onto the edge
of my limits to endure
I am requesting permission
to engage the incoming hostiles
of my making

Requesting permission to express
sensory overload
Requesting permission to engage in a dialogue
(it might even be a peaceful one)
System Failure impending
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Do you copy?
(do you want to?)
Are you even there?
(it’s been a long time)
Are -
Can you-
Can you he-
Hear me?
Hear me.
I want to get my message across
but the signal isn’t clear
Too much static
Hard for me to interpret
The radio silence.
Waiting for me to engage?
Waiting for me to make the call
But it’s so hard to read minds via walkie-talkie
Permission denied.
Transmission: incomplete.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

New poems, new art; Sucker Punch

Been a few days; that's not good, I've been a little lax in my artistic self-discipline. I suffered a bit of ennui over the weekend. The day job took a bit out of me, I suppose.

I saw Sucker Punch, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. After reading more than a few scathing reviews, I went in with very low expectations, but I found it not only visually and aurally entrancing, but I thought the message overall was empowering and the performances decent. It wasn't perfect, but I wasn't expecting it to be the King's Speech (which I still haven't seen, come to think of it...). Anyway, I dug it. Plus, it wasn't the fanboy wank material a lot of people made it out to be. The women of the cast kicked ass in an utterly believable way; I didn't feel the "wink-wink you know the ladies couldn't ACTUALLY be this badass" of other films with female action stars. The cast apparently trained for 6-8 months with Navy Seals prior to shooting, and it showed. All I'm saying is I wouldn't want to run into Abbie Cornish in a dark alley...well, actually, I would, but for different reasons. Heh. But yeah, she was a beast. Rawr.
Also, I can't stop listening to the soundtrack. It was fantastic. Fun fact, Emily Browning (Babydoll, in the film) sang the cover of "Sweet Dreams" that opens the movie. 

Head over to my deviantart account to see some new artwork. Yay!

Here are some new poems. The second one, "Permission to Unhinge" is a WIP, so I'll most likely be posting it again soon in it's entirety. I hope.

Holy Sacrilege - 3.28.11

I’m afraid to open my mouth
for fear of vomiting viscous rage
all over the damn place
mine is a leper brain
slowly rotting away
under the pressure of near delight
It’s easy to sound smart around fools
and conversely it’s difficult to stay calm
under the abuse of monotony

everything i do makes sense
and that is confusing
i know i am beautiful in my deceit
and loathsome in my confession
it is far too risky;
when i have lived 5 lifetimes
in 5 years and spent that half century searching...
yes it is far too risky to be pure
it is far too risky to be honorable
i think i might have found what I was looking for
and my conscious demands i chance
putting it back where I found it

i am shitting the bed in an effort to escape
back to being predictably miserable
who made me unlovable but so fuckable?
That ain’t right
being so troublesome is bothersome
when you missed the lesson on being a rebel
I try to create a new picture of myself
every day until i get it just right
and stay between the lines
But I’ve got mental carpal tunnel
grasping important messages
is touch and go at best
so i am dashes of color and anger and guilt
splashed into some semblance of
some kind of person
who does not know how to conform
but is too scared to cause a real ruckus

I want to detonate myself
enrage myself
unleash this
this distortion of god’s image
this psychotic slapdash job of a person

that extreme is what it is going to take
to wake up those stupid enough to trust me
and cruel enough to hold me
and vicious enough to love me.
Maybe then they will learn.

“Permission to Unhinge”

Alpha One this is Charlie Company
Permission to engage the enemy
on all fronts
Not just the front in my skull
The open front of rat-tat-tat-tat
Tattoo on my lips of the words
I keep trying to say
Do you copy? I said
Do you copy?
Do you copy the edge in my voice
as I tremble further out onto the edge
of my limits to endure
I am requesting permission
to engage the incoming hostiles
of my making

That's it for now, folks, thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

New poetry 'n stuff. Also, Suckerpunch looks awesome.

New! I wrote this ....couple days ago, we'll say Saturday. Also, I started working on this idea I had for a short play. I had the idea over a year ago, wrote a page then put it aside. So I'm trying to start over again. It's more for me to make myself finish something (other than poetry) than to try to produce, but you never know.

Also, I'm really obsessed with the costumes and overall aesthetic of "Suckerpunch." Once I see the movie I'll probably write about female empowerment v. male fantasy and blah blah blah, but for now: PREETTYYYYY. On a related note, my hair used to kind of look like that of Jena Malone's character. But less well-lit and desaturatededly (yes I made that word up) awesome and stuff. Sigh, jealous.

The Space Where Ends Meet

The moments tick painfully and quickly by
as I struggle to erase the space between ends
and stand on my feet instead of borrowing somebody else’s
Bright flashes clamoring for attention,
fighting each other and trying to claw their way
to the front of my brain
in a desperate attempt to escape my mind
and I don’t blame my ideas, I’d like out too
it’s a little confusing in there
I don’t like the way words look on a page anymore (if I put them there)
My creative engine is out of fuel
Somebody poked a hole in my tank again, but I don’t know where
And now I’m just leaking dreams all over the place
it’s quite a mess; if you trip on one,
please send me an email so I can collect it
I need all the power I can muster
to fight this happy monotony


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"When I was a child"

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” - 1 Corinthians 13:11

I have found that whenever I have any sort of profound realization about my life, it occurs in the calm, in the moments between crisis, between soul-shaking emotions and fist-clenching rapid-fire thought. After a storm clears in my mind, after the winds die, and the clouds part, I see clearly. All the anxious piping voices of my demons finally cease their clamor and I can really hear myself. I can hear myself and I can hear what others tell me by their actions.
In the last 9 months, I went through several changes; I uprooted things that had been planted in me by unknowingly destructive forces and charged ahead, confident in a new sense of self. But the things  I dug out had been there so long and had grasped me so tightly that in tearing them out, I was left raw and angry; angry at the lies I had been told, angry about the wrongs done to me, and most of all, vulnerable and lost. I mourned a part of my self that had never really gotten to flourish, and did not know what to do with the remains. So for a while I sunk into a somnambulatory existence, grasping for the straws of my childhood, feeling lost and isolated and incompentant. I missed certain lessons growing up, and I didn’t know how to teach myself.
After a particularly dark day(both literally and figuratively), and tears welling from an anxiety I couldn’t articulate, I enjoyed the good company I was fortunate to have and breathed and let it pass. And that’s when this passage from 1 Corinthians appeared behind my eyes (Ya can take the Catholic out of parochial school, but....). I can’t get back what I lost. I can’t be a child again. I can’t relearn those lessons in the way that I want to. So I must accept the responsibility of the gifts I have, and the opportunities that have been granted to me, and rise to the challenge. I am indescribably lucky to have the people in my life that I do, and by allowing myself to savor that, and to realize my own potential as the determining factor in my life, then, I can do the things I have the potential to do.


Must be the weather

Felt really shitty all day and most of yesterday. Thanks a lot, Uterus. Thanks a lot. When I get my period, my hormones get wonky and I get depressed and anxious and prone to meltdowns. Plus the weather sucked today, which didn't help. And I have a migraine that keeps traipsing in and out of my brain, at random. I've never gotten migraines with my period before. What's up with that. Anywhoist, here's a little something I wrote to get the Blahs out:
Ummmm, we'll call this....I Hate Everything. Yeah, that'll work.

It’s so hard for me
to live in any kind of unity
with myself or anyone else
when at any given moment
the bottom drops and I can fall
in the middle of class
in the middle of work
Just slip and start drowning in my confusion
Me! A perfectly rational, mature adult (supposedly)
And yet so prone to inexplicable moisture
emanating from the optical area
for no apparent reason.

Hope you're having a better day than I! On the upside, I edited my work resume and am going job-hunting tomorrow. Go me!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Know Thyself"

This next poem was written 9 days before the most recent piece I posted (see: Abortion Debate & Depression Stigma).
If you're a writer of any kind I encourage you to go back and reread your material. Since hitting puberty, all I can remember is a roller-coaster of mental and emotional instability, and I didn't have the tools to express what I went through on a monthly basis. I was confused, angry, self-loathing, fearful, ashamed, and for a few reasons, I didn't think that was abnormal, even when these maladies affected my performance in school, my friendships, and so on. These destructive emotional patterns and ways of viewing myself recycled themselves throughout high-school and into college, with occasionally severe effects.
It was by journaling (at the encouragement of a few teachers) nearly daily that I was able to express myself (and eventually start writing poetry, such as I am posting now) and start to understand my own mental process. If nothing else, it helped let off the pressure; release the steam and enable me to cool off. This past summer I read about two years worth of my own writing, and was able to identify a lot of cyclical behavior, in an a relatively objective way that facilitated my personal growth. Now, if I could afford a good therapist, you bet I'd be on the couch faster than if you'd told me you'd procured an advance copy of Trueblood Season 4 and, do I want to come over?, but because my waitress/bartender/artist thing, shockingly, isn't paying for said therapy, writing shall have to suffice for now.
I by no means think that we should all run around diagnosing ourselves (Damn you WebMD! The nightmares you've caused! *shakes fist angrily at the heavens*), but we should not always have to leave it to a professional to ask why we make certain decisions, or why we feel a certain way. A degree of self knowledge can be attained through carefully and attentively looking inwards at ourselves, by daring to dig that giant rock out out of the mud and take a peek under it. Sure, there will be a few worms and beetles hanging out, but they're so little in the big picture. Once you heave that rock up, you can expose the earth to sunlight again, so new things can be nurtured into existence. It's only by diving into that dark, rich earth that we can plant a sense of understanding and peace with ourselves.

Tablet of Unutterable Thoughts


what do I see in my dreams?
how to begin and how to end
the answer to the unanswerable question
how do i explain what i dare not say aloud
for fear of frightening away the light
I fear the abyss of warped faces
and bloody traces of my identity
(if i even have one)
what do i dream that keeps me drugged in uncertainty
smothered in inability
to express or connect or color the wasteland of my subconscious
can you guess what horrors I give birth to?
what absurdities I breath life to?
what reprehensible, incomprehensible
inconsequential evils I rest with?
I sleep alone and am not isolated
my demons keep berth with me


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Are You St. Patrick?

St. Patty's, for a long time in my family, was the biggest holiday of the year. Don't get me wrong, we did Christmas and Easter big, but for the celebration of all things Irish-American, the Sunday closest to the holiday, we would all wake up early and, after attending mass, start decorating the house with Shamrocks and greenery, and my mother would start cooking. We would put forth a spread of cold meats and cheese, soda bread (which I know how to bake, btw, and it's damn good), sugar cookies in Shamrock shapes, lamb stew, triple layer cakes, fudge cake and Irish coffee for the adults.  Then about 40 of our friends (adults and their kids) would arrive in the late afternoon. Irish music played on our CD player all day, and everyone stuffed their faces. We kids would engage in war (the girls vs the boys chasing each other around the yard with sticks, basically) whilst our parents got silly on the Baileys in their coffee.

As we got older, the parties became more and more subdued and ceased to be the affair they once were. Some of the reasons for that are good, some bad. My parents both quit drinking, so understandably, a holiday that has become (for many) simply an excuse to get fucked up was not something they really felt like getting excited about. I never remember my parents ever getting really drunk at our parties, but the association was still there for them, I can imagine. At any rate, the parties that make up some of the fondest memories of my childhood, faded away.

For a long time, I was rabidly proud of my heritage, and in some ways I still am. When I moved to NYC, I looked forward to St. Patty's, sure it must be even more exciting in a town with such amazing nightlife. The reality wasn't what I expected. My first St. Pat's here I got extremely sick, and the little drinking I did exacerbated the problem, so I stumbled back to my dorm and passed out around midnight, and was horribly sick the next morning, so bad that my teacher sent me home (I'm sure she thought I was just really hungover). The next one, I was in rehearsal until 11, and only partied a little, with people I didn't know very well, at a party that wasn't even about St. Pat's. I don't remember what I did last year, I think I worked. It wasn't memorable at any rate.

This year, I find myself at work again, sitting in the office at my bar, adorned in festive garb, while drunken sports fans reel around the bar upstairs wearing green party beads, "celebrating" a holiday that probably means very little to them. After reading this on Gawker, I found that I agreed almost wholeheartedly. My Irish heritage is something very real for me, and while I like a party as much as the next person, it irks me that the holiday has been turned into "Excuse to Get Obnoxiously Drunk For No Reason Day." I will not begrudge anyone their partying, but for myself, I want to make the holiday about more than just drinking. Maybe it's just nostalgia for what once was, but I would like to, in the future, make the day about actually celebrating my ancestors fight for recognition in America, make it about eating Irish food and listening to Irish music, and while I cannot by any means Irish dance, I want it to be a real celebration and not just an inebriated shit-show.

Of course, holidays in general have been hijacked by corporations in America, and St. Patty's is probably the least of them. But it's the one that is most personal to me, so next year (or perhaps this month if I'm able to budget it) I will host a celebration that is about what St. Patty's used to be for me: a day about Irish culture, family and amazing Irish food. Though, I'd probably be kidding myself if I said I wasn't going to crack open Guinness. 

Have a great and safe evening lads and lasses,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Abortion Debate and Depression Stigma

This is really two posts, forgive me.

Currently really thinking through the abortion debate and trying to back up my position. I was raised Roman Catholic and Republican, I attended the March For Life every year and was an outspoken anti-choicer amongst my friends. Even after I moved to NYC and started having sex, and became more liberal in my social views, that was one issue that I always thought I would remain unmoved on. 
Then, something changed. I don't even know what, exactly. Perhaps my brain was finally ready to flex and see how the other side felt, ready to really examine the arguments outside of a biased environment. So I started pondering, and musing, and I came to the conclusion, at the end of a 4 hour conversation with my friend G over beers in Brooklyn (check out the Cherry Tree, cool little spot) last summer, that the argument was unsolvable. How can you define what makes a person? Isn't that the ultimate philosophical question? What are we? Isn't it a little arrogant to think that we can define it? And if you decide to legislate off of any theologically based argument (you cannot scientifically determine "sanctity of life"), doesn't that destructively start to blend Church and state?

Now, I still have a lot of thinking to do, and I am hesitant to take a strong stance either way currently, as I would not be able to defend my position. But, prompted by my brilliant sister, M, I am really trying to give this debate the proper amount of critical thought before I throw in with anybody. M can debate circles around me in terms of politics and philosophy, so I've got my work cut out for me. But, though I disagree with her, I am grateful to have someone to push my buttons in a non-threatening way; a worthy counter-voice who will actually make me think, rather than just attack me and tell me I'm going to hell. Additionally, I wish the greater political scene would behave like me and M, and have civil, rational discourse, rather than name-calling. Sigh. Anyway.


On a completely unrelated topic, I'm going to start posting poems I wrote from way over a year ago.  I have to admit, I'm almost a little embarrassed to post them, as they are quite "dark", and I suppose I'm still a little afraid of the stigma attached to "angsty/emo/depressing" material. Or, depression as whole, for that matter. But guess what? People get depressed and think horrible, dark, shocking things in their low moments.  Odin knows, I have. So, while I always appreciate constructive criticism (and will not discourage it simply because the subject material is very personal; all of my material is, so critique away!!), I'm really posting this to do something for myself. 
There is still such stigma around mental/mood disorders, and a lot of misinformation and confusion. I myself have never been professionally diagnosed with anything. I do know that depression (as well as alcoholism, a oft-time symptom of deeper emotional problems) runs on both sides of my family, and I have struggled with incapacitating bouts of "down" feelings, and suicidal thoughts on and off for a couple of years, as well as intense manic periods. I have them mostly under control now, as a result of confronting things from my past that were worming away in my subconscious unfettered. I'm sure I will continue to address depression/related topics frequently. 

Without further ado, this is "H(a)unted," written 10.18.09 (that fall was a particularly tough time for me).


It’s awake now.
Sometimes it curls up and
retreats into a cave of memory
and imagination
Leaving me unburdened as
though I had just woken and realized
“It was only a bad dream.”
I smile and sigh, feeling
a little foolish;
fretted over something I had
clearly only imagined.
My step frees, my body light with the ease of liberty!
My words roll out without care
My voice heard and unrestrained
I feel like everyone else must feel
Then -- it stretches, unfurls itself in my chest
and crawls up my throat
Ah. There it is. It WAS real.
And it’s hungry.
My true folly was presuming I had escaped
That I had found the way out without incident
How arrogant.
You would THINK I would learn that
When dealing with a predator

One’s survival depends on out-witting it
Killing it if need be.
It does not simply lose interest,
for it is driven by a desire
more primal than yours.
It does not just want to survive
it wants domination
of its ancient drive to destroy
it does not simply go away
And by forgetting its presence
I took another step back into
its slavering maw.
“Remember me?” it growls
as it tightens its claws around my breath.
All too well, my friend.
All too well.

And now, I leave you with this.

Peace and kittehs,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"God Must Be A Kitten"

I have, altogether, far too many questions
and queries and curiosities about
Things that make sense to “everyone”
And yet no one at all
and every institution and theology and system
is so firmly settled in so many willing, desperate, terrified minds
that to begin to unravel the crisscrossed strings
of fact and fallacy is not a task many will accept.
Perhaps they fear that the ball of yarn, once undone, reveals
at its center
And that Nothing would so shake and shatter
every assumption their entire lives were built on
that they prefer to leave everything a big, colorful, tangled mess.
If only I knew how to weave my undone yarn into something beautiful and real
and show myself
(and maybe more than myself)
that the lies are worth untying.