deathmarch poetry

deathmarch poetry

Apr 18, 2014

persistence

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they keep taking it down and i keep putting it back up.

this is the third banner i've installed at this particular location.  if there needs to be a fourth, so be it.  when i was getting ready to stitch this piece in to place today, a woman walked by and thanked me for reinstalling it.  it made me feel good that the community here has noticed the work and saw it as a welcome addition to the neighborhood and was sad to see it go.  it made me even happier to be thanked for putting a new piece up.  pep in my step. :)

THE WAY YOU NEED TO BE LOVED

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Apr 2, 2014

ode to eva hesse

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IT IS SOMETHING. IT IS NOTHING. Ode to Eva Hesse.
crocheted sweater
angela simione, 2014


i keep forgetting to post this!  the first sweater of 2014!  it felt so good to make.  it feels like it's been forever since i made a sweater.  the process is just long enough to feel substantial, and quick enough to supply me with my fix of instant gratification.  :)

the text is taken from Eva Hesse's artist statement for her 1968 exhibition "Chain" which is taped to the inside of the front cover of my "sketch" book.  i took her last two sentences.  


"I would like my work to be non-work.  This means that it would find its way beyond my preconceptions.

What i want of my art I can eventually find.  The work must go beyond this.

It is my main concern to go beyond what I know and what I can know.  The formal principles are understandable and understood.

It is the unknown quality from which and where I want to go.

As a thing, an object, it accedes to its non-logical self.

It is something.  It is nothing."

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Mar 24, 2014

in bed with kate and all my memories of When...

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recovering today with kate.  my back hurts.  i am spending the day in bed.

it's good to finally be reading this book.  i've been a bad friend in that regard...  we artists are supposed to stick together.  but i've been a bad artist lately too.  i bounce in and out of enthusiasm, in and out of my once-unshakable integrity and devotion.  maybe i've just needed a bit of a break?  maybe i am, once more, in the wool-gathering time...

today, i return to a previous self.  maybe the pain is good for me.  as a result, i am caged (beautifully so) in my new grey sheets, in my new bed, in my new room at the front of the house.  last week, i upgraded.  i jumped from renting the smallest room in the house to the largest.  private bathroom and all.  this aspect alone makes it feel as if i suddenly live by myself save for the occasions when i hear a roommate drop a dish in the sink.  it is beyond nice. i can stretch out again.  i am no longer cramped.  my books no longer crowd me, dominate the room.  i enjoy the light that spills in to my room each morning from the window above my bed.  i wake up feeling free.  i wake up feeling grateful.

even today.  despite this pain.  a day in bed should rectify this ache.  tomorrow will be better.  tomorrow i should be back on my feet.  but until then, let me languish in this strange variety of luxury.  though i am in pain, it is fantastic to be able to spend the day in bed with a book.  especially Kate's book.  i think back to that weird, wonderful era when we communicated across the electric blue line of the internet in the comment boxes of each others' blogs.  so many of us, us girls and women trying to say something about our lives and find a site of understanding...  having to fashion our own nests out of words and sadness and the light of a computer screen...  i lived for my blog in those days, and i lived for hers, and i lived for rebecca's.  i was obsessed.  pleasantly obsessed.  i was so miserable in my daily physical reality, then: trapped in the deadening silence of little Calistoga, in the deadening silence of a dead relationship.

it's hard to even talk about it.  not because it hurts but because it seems (and feels) like such an impossibility; a falsehood.  it feels like it never happened.  that wasn't me.  i was never that girl...  but i was.  i lived it.  and it feels just as much a lie now as it did then.  jose reminds me: "but you made so much good art there".  he's right.  i did.  but i have a hard time calling that a fair trade.  i have a hard time looking at my work and saying, "yeah...  that's a good consolation for what i went through".

i used to write everyday in this space.  

i wrote everyday in this space because i wanted desperately to have someone to talk to.  it is horrible to me that that was the impetus and i was in a relationship at the time.  

on page 24: "I am realizing you become a wife, despite the mutual attempt at an egalitarian partnership, once you agree to move for him."  

perhaps, i became a wife when i agreed to follow a man out to the California countryside, a place i had no desire to be, in order to feel some sense of safety...  for so many reasons.  so many hard, horrible reasons.  the collapse of my biological family being central to that decision.  and we were never officially married but everyone saw as as married anyway.  toward the end, i resented that.  as if my decision to remain unmarried didn't matter.  there were good reasons for remaining unmarried and it upset me that they weren't acknowledged...  and this Upset led me to look at myself and what i'd chosen to be a part of...  i helped keep those good reasons a secret: the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell each other and the lies we build together.  it's easy to allow oneself to become lost in the haze of desire.  especially the desire to be Right...  the desire to avoid the shame of being Wrong.  

perhaps i became a wife when i chose Silence.

perhaps i became a wife when i chose to endure Silence.

it horrified me when i'd hear women far older than i complaining about how their husbands never talked with them and how deeply i related to that deep pain.  the ignored wife.

years later, i lay in my own bed reading about the silencing of wives...  the necessity of a wife's silence.  i recall the years i offered up my own Silence as a benefit to the lives of the men around me.  my lover and my father and my step father... all the things i never spoke of because, in telling on them, i told on myself (or so i believed).  in telling the truth about my own circumstances, i somehow became a Judas.  i somehow betrayed my mother.  i somehow betrayed everyone by simply telling the truth about my own life and self.  the knots of silence that keep a girl in place.  the knots of shame that keep her poised and pretty and appreciated by everyone around her.  the prize of her silence.  the reward she receives is simply the absence of Shame. 

perhaps that's why i put so many words out in to the street now.

perhaps it's why i am so slow to trust men and so slow to trust the idea of family.  i need a new definition for these things...  a new understanding of what relationships can be and what they are for.  i am most comfortable and happiest in my independence.  and so i paint my nails lavender and turn the pages of a book.  i lay in bed, shopping on the internet, and choose to not feel guilty about any of it.  if i am silly, let me be silly. let me be what i actually am: a non-wife and a non-daughter.  i went down the other roads and it nearly destroyed me.  i am making my way out of silence. 

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Feb 27, 2014

THIS UNSHAKABLE LONELINESS

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under the overpass where so many people are sleeping in cars these days.


this unshakable loneliness
yarnbomb
angela simione, 2014

just to be asked...

sitting in my kitchen, annie lennox on the little boombox we keep on the counter by the window.  everyone else is asleep.  and my mind turns to a few nights ago when a man sat in the chair next to where i'm sitting now and asked me about my mother.  this song was playing and i relayed the story of when i visited my mother for the first time in Tennessee. it was just after her 55th birthday and the chemo had really started to kick in.  one evening, my stepfather made good on their deal to buzz her head once the drugs made her hair begin to fall out.  they walked into the kitchen together and he sat her down on a stool, wrapped a white sheet around her thin shoulders just like a barber, and turned on his clippers.  i walked away.  i hid in the guest room.  i told myself that, as an artist at least, i should witness this.  i told myself that, as a woman, i should witness this pain, know this horror and keep the record.  i walked down the hallway and crossed the living room.  i stood for a few long, horrible seconds in the entry way to the kitchen.  i saw my mother's head bent over like a school boy's, head shorn and bowed obediently.  i can't tell you what happened in my heart then.  i can't tell you.  english doesn't have the words...

when she came out of the kitchen, she went straight to her bedroom and put on a men's white button-down shirt.  then she went to the bathroom and put on dramatic eye make-up and lipstick.  Yummy Plummy by maybelliene.  her favorite.  when she walked in to the living room and sat next to me on the couch and sighed, i said, "mama, you look like annie lennox!"  she smiled wide and i wanted to cry but i smiled wide right back.  i smiled wide and wanted her to just go on feeling beautiful and bold.  i didn't want any standard to dissuade her-  she WAS beautiful and for once in her life i wanted her to not argue with it.  not even in the hands of cancer and the horror that it offers.

i told this story to a man in my kitchen the other evening and he might actually be the only man i've ever known to sit and listen to these things.  this is an important happening.  it flips my ideas all around.  so few people have let me speak to them about my mother's death.  even fewer have initiated that discussion.  how can i explain how necessary it is to speak about this horror?  i can't shake a person's shoulders hard enough.  i can't cry loud enough.  i can't scream and kick and beg enough.  there is no language for it.  there is only the moment that sweeps in so unexpectedly...  an annie lennox song playing in the background, wine in the glass, an open ear, an open heart, a willingness to let another human being know they aren't sitting at the table alone, and that there are enough scars between the two of us to be able to look at each other squarely when she sings, "this kind of trouble's only just begun."

and then a breath...

and then she sings...

"i tell myself too many times 'why don't you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut?'"...

and my entire being shakes.
goddamn...  the secrets i keep.
i feel so embarrassed sometimes.  and so often, i wonder if i've said something wrong...  done something wrong...  maybe was just BORN wrong...  inefficient or defective...  made for a different world...

and i know none of that's true.  it's the old training kicking in.  the training which has me rushing to smile wide and proud and warm in those difficult moments...  in those moments when i KNOW that's what the Other needs to see...


to be asked about her...
just to be asked is a tremendous thing.




and when she sings, "i don't think you know what i feel.  i don't think you know what i feel.  i don't think you know what i fear.  you don't know what i fear."

i'm tired of having so many opportunities to say the same thing.


to be asked is a tremendous thing.

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Feb 20, 2014

destruction/creation

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this self (destroyed self portrait)
3" x 3" digitally photographed half-frame photograph
angela simione 2014

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Feb 19, 2014

an instinct toward joy

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it's near impossible to think back to just a little over 2 years ago, spend a moment with those memories, and relate to them.  that wasn't me.  THAT girl is not THIS girl.  that life is not mine.  i wake and stretch wide in my own bed.  my hand reaches down down down and i give myself cause to smile.  a roof i pay for above me and a blanket i made with my own hands. and for however humble my accommodations may be, they are mine all mine and i love every inch.  my satisfaction is deep and abiding.  i begin to take pictures of the small moments...  the silly bear planter that i use to hold my pencils and crochet hooks, the books piled in to a boarded up window ledge, Seth sitting on the kitchen counter...

i was once so miserable that the very idea of making a visual record of my life - a life i was so utterly at odds with - was a humiliating, horrible thought.  i didn't take pictures for years.  i had absolutely no urge.  no instinct to nest.  no instinct toward joy.  i made lots of pretty good art and i will not say that era is without value...  but i'll never be grateful.  i will never say Thank You for those days.  i'll feel thankful, rather, that i somehow managed to acquire the wherewithal to find a way out.

slowly, the camera has found its way back into my life.  i want to know myself and my life through different lenses and films, different croppings and configurations.  i take pictures of my mouth, my smile.  i take pictures of my naked form in the mirror.  i take pictures of my friends.  i take pictures of the things my neighbors leave on the curb and the defunct churches down the street.  i take pictures of my diary.  i take pictures of the notes i leave to myself stuck to the door of my armoire.  

i take pictures...

i'm in an era i want to remember.  

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Jan 26, 2014

1am in oakland, california

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DEATHMARCH POETRY
angela simione
january 26th, 2014

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