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Notes on the Occasion; or, Gifts for Future Arrivals

2018-05-01T03:06:01+00:00 May 1st, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

A groundbreaking. A toast. An elegy. A talking bouquet. A dedication. An urn. Inaugurations mark — call marks — the occasion. Such marks, when poetic, have the unfortunate status of occasional verse. Marginalized as “light poetry,” they often draw little attention within larger literary canons. As quaint, if not abandoned practices of ceremony, these forms [...]

Berkeley Blooms

2018-04-27T03:05:19+00:00 April 27th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

A magnolia tree in Berkeley. All photos: Ruth Gebreyesus. I moved to Berkeley in 2011 prepared to walk. Having spent my high school years in sleepier towns nearby, I often ventured to Berkeley on weekends to wander around the city on foot. In those days, I spent hours walking on Telegraph Avenue, where I felt [...]

Draft for an epic #4: For Love and Land

2018-04-26T03:04:54+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Dear _______, It is almost summer where you are, and I imagine you are preparing for your first beach trip of the season. The moment when the water is warm enough to not scare you away as you submerge your body in the oncoming waves. A season for picking shells from the sand, for fishing [...]

Body Group

2018-04-24T03:05:48+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Upstanding Others at the CounterPulse Festival with Megan Young, jose e abad and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Tara Pandeya, Saulaman Schlegal, Nina Gasteva, Olga Tsvetkova, and Sasha Portyannikova. Photo: Alex Girard. The premise:Upstanding Others was an experiment that happened within the inaugural CounterPulse Festival, and it happened from March 12 through March 17, 2018. There were [...]

It’s a Thing

2018-04-20T03:05:31+00:00 April 20th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Xandra Ibarra, Lumpy Lumpen, 2018 We asked artist Xandra Ibarra to meditate on Michelle Handelman’s Hustlers & Empires at SFMOMA. While she was experiencing the performance installation, another hustle unfolded in her mind. Here’s the script. —Eds.   White Thing with Power and Brown Thing enter an empty room with one chair. White Thing with Power [...]

American Loneliness (Postcards)

2018-04-19T03:06:58+00:00 April 19th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Dear Ben, killer whales came and snapped up the man who was pale, who bravely swam through the freezing black waters of the ocean, they grabbed his head and threw him aside, then we (people and whales) rolled around together in tufts on the sloping grassy field — Sesshu Dear Son (White male, twenties, I [...]

The opinions of this writer do not necessarily reflect… On Open Space’s Tenth Anniversary

2018-04-17T03:05:34+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Click to enlarge. Ten years ago today, me, pushing the “Publish” button on the first post for Open Space, launching into an unknowable future with high aspirations and tremendous fears. I remember thinking it might be a soft start. Perhaps, I hoped, Open Space would stay partly invisible while it found its footing. Not to [...]

Lineage, Mimicry, and Ambivalence

2018-04-13T03:05:53+00:00 April 13th, 2018|Categories: Inspiration, News|Tags: |

Stanley Gambucci in Paramodernities #3, February 23–24, 2018 at ODC Theater. When I think about lineage, I imagine taking those DNA tests that reveal surprising details about one’s ancestry. I have never done this, but I suspect that results may be less revealing for immigrants of color than our white counterparts, especially those of us [...]