Feb 26, 2014

I am having fun, playing the Sea-Air as TEAR-E-AVATAR, a hot pink entity largely modeled after my crazy azz cousin, Terrie, and my mother’s insistence on “going in” whenever needing to costume. Drag, perhaps. But not really! It’s just a nice day on the harbor, on the beach which I have the good fortune to have so near my apartment in California. Why not? The writer and critic Indrani Chatterjee, after seeing my videos “BLACK” and “BROWN,” asked me where my mother was in the work, when my father is so clear? I think my mother is in my swimming and in my dancing, and I know she is in my dressing the part of my imagination, not as escape, but as encounter with what’s possible in the mix up of playing with who one is, inside, and its manifestations of race into the joy of say, neon. I am not a doll. I will not often paint my face, no blush on my cheeks; but instead, I will attract with a mask. After filming, I edited for so many hours that I burst a blood vessel in my right eye. It now features a large red dot: Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. I’m usually more low-tech, or “loose-tech,” than hi, but I am learning, now, how to use the proper instruments (HD camera, tripod, shotgun mic, etc.) for my growing video work and play. In one way, the act of working with cameras widens my sense of what is visually compelling in the act of making poetry, the mic exploding the sound in my ear, of sea, of sky, or the ocean, and I find myself wanting to stop, to paint everything. These are good signs. White words gently touch the brown sand and visit my sparkly black mask. There were at least two old white men that cruised me on the shoot. One said he loved my outfit, and the other turned around and stopped on wobbly legs: “Well, Good Morning!” Maybe other filmmakers and performers understand this, too, that the camera acts as a shield from query and attack, as it also begs invitation. I am a performer. I make video. In four inch heels. And I am, at all points, ready to run, or fight, dance, crouched low on the breakers, knew in that day, when to harden up in flashy NIKES, to protect my material, and how to move with the force of desire to satisfy in my porous pink shell. I pop to release race into the beautiful blue day. I am happy a whale was close to us that morning, somewhere near the shore in the bay. An old white lady told me she spotted it: “I don’t want to stop you, I know you’re doing something important!”