dogs in the hood

The dogs of 82nd St. inbetween Central Park West & Columbus Ave.- interesting pet culture here. Again I observe my surroundings in the dark of the night. At all hours I see it- the light of a flat goes on, in a few moments an owner & their dog appears on the stoop, down the steps and onto the sidewalk for this nightly ritual of dog-walking & defecating. How strange it must be to be leashed & enroute to a patch of dirt w/trees (sometimes not even this & just pavement) to 'do their duty' as the owner waits...watching & ever ready to pick up the remains w/requisite plastic bag already wrapped around their hands. I don't think dogs like being observed- I mean who likes to be observed in these instances? It is hard for me to catch dogs eyes here in NYC because I sense this sadness in them being cooped up in a flat all day long and to not have the freedom to run around in a yard and deficate on their time. How strange to train an animal when to deficate. Homo sapiens don't go through this ritual do they? Why does humanity impose this on their beloved pets- man's best friend even? These are my thoughts on this matter and they end here...

So the storm arrived earlier than scheduled this evening. It was 6:15 pm & just back from Zabar's w/foodstuffs when I felt the drops commence. Large, playful bursts at first that I knew within 4 blocks of walking would drench me before my journey's end. So yes, 45 minutes early- pretty good meterological standards I reckon.

Different- East Coast storms, from what I experience on Maui. This was an exceptional lightning and thunder storm that flooded streets instantly where rivers appeared out of nowhere overflowing the curbs onto sidewalks. I've seen nothing like this in a long time. People were flitting all over the streets initially. What a great feeling getting caught in a torrential downpour. It reminded me of a scene in Vienna for me a few years back now. I was in the historic district downtown and found myself in a park where suddenl
y rain broke out in such a feverish manner that as I looked up the scene I saw was vastly different than moments before. Suddenly I noticed that not only did everybody have umbrellas, but there was a sea of couples underneath them walking and chatting in such a sensual manner. Suddenly the whole world was in love and underneath those umbrellas. My eyes were hurting from what I soaked in: everybody was hugging and kissing passionately.

It was such an incredibly beautiful yet painful experience in that moment as I had been traveling along for the past month in remote places. What followed was that I just couldn't stay in Vienna, for whatever reasons I told myself at the time, and headed back to the train station with no destination in mind- just out of the 'city of love'. Arriving at the station, 2 guys were getting off a train & we started talking of travels. They told me of a 3-day dance party in southern Germany in the forest. Off I went... That was fun!

Nearing 2am and I write this to wind down. I have just finished what I think to be my last paper of this school term! It was an emotional experience as all my writings are & even the ones prepared for school. This is a turning point for me as it signals my time in NYC coming to an end. It is such an incredible experience here and what a rich opportunity I have in being here for a chunk of time- enough so I know this city. I have a history with this city. In knowing this, I am ready to journey away from this city.

I have changed. My body has struggled to adapt to this city. It is increasingly difficult to not feel really free from stimulus here. There are not too many quiet moments where I really feel a connection to what I am standing upon. Tonight's rains brought comfort. I ran inside to throw groceries down and back out and just stood in the rain receiving my communion with nature and enjoying myself and the scenery of watching people scramble down the street. The lightning that followed added to the drama as the sky was still blue blue in isolated places with the clouds filling up with so much moisture that they appeared to be free-falling into the rooftops and finally letting go of its embrace and release the negative ions into the atmosphere for humanity to soak up and regenerate. In moments darkness crept over the skyline and thunder ripped through the atmosphere. It made my heart jump. It felt incredible. Just add water and breathe deeply- don't forget to laugh.

I can now unleash my thoughts on what to do my last 3 weeks of NYC life when school is out next week. Do I continue to take advantage of this metropolis? I am free to wander! Free to have my mind blown. Free to honor my wanderlust briefly before hunkering back down on Maui engulfed in work & school. I can almost smell the salt water. It is faint but I can visualize & feel the water tingling. I can feel the wet sand erupt from between my toes, and the I can hear the squeaking of the hot, dry sand upslope underneath my feet as I walk my favorite stretch of sand- the stretch that I know so intimately so memories vibrate throughout my body as I relive them now. To be reunited with this lover... so moody when the sun sets through the crotch of trees bordering the edge and further back into the depths of Iao Valley looming in the distance. It is the curiosity of an adult-child that keeps me together. The wanting to feel something resonate throughout my body in those moments of sunset splendor with rays of light emminating from the Needle and into the atmosphere like a spotlight drawing attention to the coming of dusk.
If I continue to write I will never sleep...


Rooftop BBQ's make things better

My spirits have been lifted & my mood restored. Tonight was such a beautiful reminder, no- slap in the face, that life is incredibly fascinating and that you wake up and you don't know what the day is necessarily going to bring. I had the good fortune to meet up with a whole cast of characters tonight- just people doing their thing in NYC & Phily from all corners of the earth. Together we represented so many countries and ideas and cultural values. It was poetry in motion- as well as poets, filmmakers, artists, and so many more hats that we all wear in life and interchange. It was THE setting for a NYC short story of a cast of seemingly random characters coming together to a function- yet whose lives are all intertwined- some more intricately than others. But the defining line is that this night changed all our lives- even if for a moment in time, it was our moment in time. It was a beautiful experience and those lexical choices cannot even do justice to what I experienced. So many memories of Istanbul flooded my body tonight. Not just Istanbul though but a continuum of travels that culminates in a treasure chest of memories that are instantly activated by a sight, smell, touch, verbalization. I traveled the world tonight through each person and all the collective experiences we brought together. We are animals imprinting our journeys through each others ears, eyes, bodies for self expression. It is a ritual, it is a necessity as cultural creatures for Homo sapiens to figure out ways of expressing ourselves to each other. It is primal. As primal as the nightsky cloaking the sun so we can commune in the darkness as our ancestors did. We must feel the connection- certainly looking into a bonfire long enough evokes these abstract images of states of hypnopompic expressionism- is it real? did I dream it? did I already live this? is this a glimpse into the future? are we all in this moment riding a wave of collective consciousness? This is our connection- make it meaningful, so as to recall the sensation of what made this night so mindblowing. Yes I do believe I got it right once again.


1 woman party...reflecting on K Kitty Kat wisdom

Like a stealthy feline I'm sitting on the stoop watching the rats on their relay course darting in between cars & trash. So many perfect opportunities to pounce on one but I'm not feline enough I suppose. It's a night that I think deeply about professor Kolohe K Kitty Kat. All those nights we used to sit on my lana`i in the murkiness of damp moonless nights. Competing skyline space with the jungle taking over in layers of flowers, trees and rainsoaked clouds. Such grace & shapeliness to the scenery. With every breath soaking up this- all this- around me and each exhalation pure love.
Kolohe K Kitty Kat taught me about fascination & observation of all things nocturnal. So many nights of deafening sounds & vibrations from that land. THE spiderweb that got out of control and with each observation a witness to murder & mummification in gray coffins throughout its web of intrigue. As the rains came down the water would drip off the web with the slightest hint of tantalization. Amazement ensued watching drops trickle its network & send out momentary rays of reflected light on its route to the bottom where the waterfall would build up ever so carefully and culminate in a seemingly long disconnection.
It's like that drop was produced for the very reason I'm relaying the story- because it blew my mind. It always blew my mind. NYC is incredible in many ways but I find it difficult to really be touched deeply by the elements. So far nothing has humbled me on this hallucinatory level that I have come to develop a sense of immense appreciation for so that I can be brought to tears.
School is easing up for me this term. It seems strange to go back to a slower pace. The City already transformed me into this person that was busy all the time and never having time to sleep due 1st to studies, then to explorations. I miss those days of lazing the afternoons away at the shack. All the cooking, the laughter, the gatherings, the weather, the Sunday jazz mornings after yoga, Kolohe K Kitty Kat... Oh but there is the food...all the ethnic dishes here that is amazing. Everything my hands touched this week was delicious. I can't wait to go back to Salam Cafe, the Himalayan Restaurant- just everywhere around every corner lurks tasty treats. Oh and what about the movies? So many movies and film festivals going on all the time here. It's a dream! I adore the old theaters. And the architecture- who doesn't have their mind blown when they lay their eyes on the Flatiron Building?
The weekend was such a release. It's such a good experience to cut loose and dance. It comes so naturally the desire to free myself of inhibitions and just let the body move. I have to say though that New York dance clubs suck- the 'big' ones anyway. Masses of people standing on the dance floor with their drinks posing. All night long drinks spill & glass shatters so not only are posers standing on the dance floor but the crew as well cleaning up the mess. Strange but why not just have no drinks on the dance floor? I'm not down with that shit. Saturday night thought re-confirmed my love of fabulous sweet clubs with people in them because they want to get down and dance. I saw some amazing Brazilian jazz & R&B that was just infectious & everyone's stoked. Yea the night rocked- even the subway ride back racing against the sunrise. Even had one of those subway moments meeting an interesting NYC denzien.

I'll apologize now for any grammatical errors...



Sitting outside on the stoop watching the world go by. I find my mind escaping the clutter of the waking hours & the debris that comes with ingesting the city- this city. Escaping into these moments of peaceful awareness to reflect critically what I cannot, or don't want to process until I'm illuminated by the moon's evasive glow. It's more like an afterglow as the difficulty of sensing where it is with all these buildings in the way is frustrating in many ways. It's like I cannot find my way home. I search though.

With every search comes new beginnings. Never answers, just layers of textured truths than spawn more thoughts laying foundations for seeds of renewal. Thoughts on humanity & our conditioned response- how to rise above conditioned response & feel free. Freedom from attachment of patterns of expectation. Can one really be free of this at all times? I find it increasingly difficult to see this through. If we are still seeking answers, or enlightenment more appropriately, then are we free?

Opening myself up to truths- it's so vulnerable to put oneself really out there. To really feel something- something that you want badly, perhaps to feel it slipping, or lost, and to rise above & realize not all is what it seems- this feels like freedom tonight. Freedom comes at a cost because you have to understand the consequences. You have to handle it graciously. In this you are rewarded with enlightenment through a meaningful experience.

To understand the value in the meaning of the road less traveled. These back roads- I have found the most meaning in these juxtaposed roads with no roadsigns. Passion accelerating down a 2-lane highway suddenly taking a detour onto a pockmarked dirt road. Seemingly so unpleasant at first, it shapes into a distant gas station at the far end of the galaxy where you can refill your fluids and move along.

Suddenly craving some David Lindley. When I dance, as I danced this weekend, I am free. Free from conditioned response & expectations. Sweating next to other revelers in the heat of estatic moments of losing touch of conscious thought processes- this is beautiful- too beautiful to mess up. No pretenses, no inhibitions, just loss of control. These moments of higher awareness blow my mind. I need this- the endorphins it produces, the thrill of humanity in that moment working together as a group yet independently riding the wavelengths of freedom... it is inspiring.

Will there ever be 2 people that can continue on this lost highway, or do we find ourselves stuck in rips in the fabric of time and end up in parallel universes only to spend our time seeking out something that has already happened or currently happening on a different plane of existence?

The lesson here is to embrace all the forks in the road and challenge the unknown because what do we really know? We think we know. We want to know. We want to avoid taking the wrong turn because our more eclipsed comfort zone of being tells us to seek out conditioned response to stabilize. Our primitive minds know- I know. I want. I desire. I will not settle for anything less. There is no lonely highly when you love yourself enough to know- even if the sole hitchhiker on the road.

I always seem to get lost! I feel free. There are like-minded people that seek this. I tend to think they are down that pockmarked dirt road awaiting that moment. I always prefer the pockmarked dirt road. I don't necessarily know what this means. I don't really mind.


smooth sailing ahead

The calm after the storm sinks in slowly. Where to set sail now? So many images, smells, sounds flood my reality now that I feel I am already out on the open ocean charting a course guided by the stars tacking to & fro, sailing into the unknown.

As I step out of of my reality I turn around and look behind me- its still there- the past. It's not going anywhere. If I were to time travel and journey through my mind to the future what would it look like? What if I was to open those doors that remain closed? Where are they- if there are any? What lies behind those doors of perception? Ancient scrolls with intimate wisdom encrypted? I have the time and the desire to break codes. I know what is revealed will blow my mind.

I re-enter to the present moment and am grateful I can access these matters- by whatever means. It is so easy to travel to these places in the quiet of the jungle on those dark nights where so much history, or herstory, reveals itself. The difficulty and inconvenience of the City prevents me from going to these places. I am at a loss in this dichotomy. My heart is heavy with nostalgia for a life - such the life I live among the real giants of existence. Yes man can built cathedrals and monumental architectural wonders to become closer to 'the one' and to marvel at, but one only has to look at the beauty created from earth and water to know, to feel, what prevails. I want this so badly right now. I want. I want. I can't have because I've made the choice to want other things... It is necessary to continue to cultivate my mind and my body. What do I do with all this intimate wisdom? Do I open up & let people in to discover these mysteries with me? This is the skeleton key to the reception waiting behind that door of perception.
I want to live at the junction of earth & sea in a lighthouse- where the doors are round. Where science-fiction, fantasy & the open sea come together. Plan B? Plan B is to go to Montauk for the weekend...


quieting the mind

Finally- the bewitching hour has arrived. And with it my ever-growing family of school books gets shoved off the bed onto the floor to remain silent and not talk back to me. The soothing sounds of darkness calm my overactive mind. My body finally has a fighting chance to overcome my mind-ego.

I spent some time today trying to appease both body & mind studying out at Chelsea Piers overlooking the Hudson. I am increasingly feeling out of my element here. There is so much beauty to be found in this city but it is difficult to share it with so many people at times. Bastille Day celebrations today was a case in point. Central Park South was transformed into a Parisian street faire yet so many people were coming at me from all directions that it felt suffocating. I left without even eating a crepe! Part of me wants to run back to Maui immediately but I know Maui- it is always there for me with open arms waiting to caress me and put me back at ease, back in my element.

To not anticipate sunsets, or even be aware of sunsets seemed intolerable at first arrival here, now it just seems normal in an abnormal way. I try to listen to the night rhythms but I do not always hear. My body feels so much more relaxed here in the darkness. Daylight hours are spent traversing the city through subterranean tunnels in the earth- yet I feel so removed from the earth. I can't explain it yet I can feel it so I suppose it is nearly pointless to attempt to document this in words.
What I can express is the delight I take in the culinary arts available here. Yesterday I found a Himalayan Restaurant down on E. Houston that I can't wait to try out! Anything I feel like eating is a few subway stops away at most! It is incredibly rewarding to know this. To taste such exotic food


lost & found- Metropolitan Museum of Art Young Members Soiree

1:45 am on a rainy Saturday night. Just made my way back from the theatre down on Lower East Side and didn't expect it to be raining (thunder & lightning no less) when I got out of the movie (Tetro- and another movie that comes highly recommended by me- who doesn't think Vincent Gallo is tragically brilliant in anything he does?).

I am finding the friendliest people in the strangest of ways that I have to hand it to New York- this city has opened its arms to me. S
o I'm upstairs in the lounge watching the rain fall onto the street scene and it was just so touching for me. I was considering hitting up the midnight showing of Casablanca, but I really wanted to prance around in the rain- even if only dashing to the subway station... Another option was to meet my friend at the IMF theatre to catch the midnight showing of Dr. Strangelove but she cancelled after the opera got out later than expected (Romeo & Juliet) and it was pouring on her end as well and she, such as myself, was not going to fork out $5 for another umbrella...

Furiously tapping away at the iPho
ne GPS to find my nearest subway station, a (the only) guy across from me is talking on his phone telling someone that he is headed home and staying in now due to foul weather. He looked at me and I at him and we just started laughing & were the only 2 people enjoying this brief moment in time.

After some exchanged niceties I bid my adieu explaining I'm making a run for it to the F train and a few moments later he pops by and says, "Hey I'm going that way, I'll walk you there if you want" and pops open an umbrella. It was great. He walked me 2 blocks to east 2nd & I said bye & he said bye and poof we were gone o
ut of each others motion pictures.

It's by no means a grand story but to me it was just sweet. A moment in time- in a New York Minute. I'm feeling inspired to open my arms just a little bit wider to The Big Apple. Speaking of the Big Apple, it's original meaning is rather elusive as I've been researching it this past week. So far I have found this on Wikipedia:
nickname or moniker for New York City. Although the history of the Big Apple was once considered a mystery,[1] research over the past two decades, primarily by noted amateur etymologist Barry Popik[2] and Professor Gerald Cohen of Missouri University of Science and Technology,[3] has provided a reasonably clear picture of the term's history. Prior to their work, there were a number of false etymologies,[4] of which the most ridiculous was the claim that the term
derived from a New York brothel whose madam was known as Eve.[5] This was subsequently exposed as a hoax[6] and has been replaced on the source web site with more accurate information.[7]
The Big Apple was first popularized as a reference to New York City by John J. Fitz Gerald in a number of New York Morning Telegraph articles in the 1920s in reference to New York horse-racing. The earliest of these was a casual reference on May 3, 1921. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in 1997 signed legislation designating the southwest corner of West 54th Street and Broadway, the corner on which John J. Fitz Gerald resided from 1934 to 1963, as "Bi
g Apple Corner."[19]

Ok where was I? Big Apple- yes then there is The Big Easy. I lost out over a war with school books on going down to The Big Easy this coming week. What wretched timing finals... I have made the wrong choice for the right reasons unfortunately... I hate being so civil and realistic sometimes (pondering over the 13$K for grad school this summer makes me be realistic). Bittersweet memories that can't be
made rise up through my chest echoing back and forth in images of seductively aromatic smells (what I wold give to smell night blooming jasmines wafting by my window right now as moon beckons me to come out and play) and cajun spices set against a backdrop of hot, damp humidity and moody jazz ... All I can express is my deepest regrets that I cannot manifest the rest of this memorable nonstory- as I'm sure he is devastated as well. Yea definitely so- he is a smart man.


full moon muse

Staring into the Hudson until my rational blurs and dissipates into a thinly veiled exoskeleton- finally succumbed into a more pliable existence. It is well into the wee hours of the night so I understand my body's innate will to seek out solitude here in this increasingly maddening city. It is naturally drawn to the stillness of the feminine energy that only seems to exist during the bewitching hours. This full moon so ripe pulls at my body rhythms as does the ebb and flow of the tides moving the Hudson. We seem to be breathing in unison. This is reassuring. As I stare into the nebulous horizon my eyes relax and my breaths get deeper and I begin to calm down. This city takes its toll on me. I can feel my pulse throughout my body now and it slowing down to a viscous primordial ooze that I am familiar with. This is more my rhythm. I know this feeling. I know the wealth of goodness that comes from it. Breathing in the negative ions from the obscurity of the twilight shadows. It is a beautiful dance and I am a solo performer tonight.

That I can find a placidity amidst this insanity. Even the river seems enchanting tonight with dark cimmerian smokiness illuminated by the moon with distant shores (Jersey...) captured ever so provocatively from the shoreline lending favor to an abstract visual. I am grateful for this because I see it in the daytime... It is not quite so poetic.

Granted this place is so stimulating and there is so much greatness contained in this city, my body feels like it is fossilizing. It is like a caged animal just waiting patiently, or knowingly more appropriately, to selfishly, selflessly grab those moments of fleeting freedom even if only to experience momentarily. I do have these flashes of laissez faire but I am indeed selfish. I want more. More than even the American Ballet Theatre can provide. More than the broadway show Billy Elliott can provide, more than the exhibition of our first ancestor "Lucy" fossils can provide. More than all the dancing 'til wee hours clubs in the Meatpacking District can provide...

School- now there is something that encourages me on here. This is why I'm here. I have a plan and I am seeing something through. To be among such stimulating minds here- this is my ecstasy, my delirium, my rapture, my euphoria, my intoxication. My mind is so powerful here but still not enough to overtake & convince my body... fortunately. My mind & body still compete for alone time. My restless body is in direct competition with my overindulged mind. The battle continues on. My mind is on the same biorhythm as my macbook pro. Madness ensues surely. My body goes to great lengths lately to compete; how many miles can I run in a day to exhaust myself? Not enough. Daylight hours are allocated for school. Funny, so are the darkness hours... How can these 2 coexist harmoniously? I am pleasantly amused in the end. To witness in the experiment of the highlight of humanity. These blogs are my time capsule.

I eek out a small laugh as I ponder tonight's dinner provided by my favorite Vietnamese family here that own a Mexican joint around the corner from me! Yes the absurdity of this elicits glee. This in NYC...


2:30am brain juice burn-out

The waxing gibbous moon is overflowing with seduction tonight. I met a friend down on the Hudson after the movies got out (Moon- which I highly recommend, and Ice Age- which is what it is- a great movie to go into after your first movie has finished and not quite ready to return to studying).

The sky opened up and there it was in solitary majesty reflecting shimmery moonrays upon the water as it ebbed and flowed to the response of moon's seductive rhythms- as lovers should be doing on this evening basking in the shadows with moon's display of gratitude that one can partake of such an incredible expression of amazement and wonder. Tonight I am not that lucky lover that shares such nocturnal knowledge. Instead I stealthily walk the dark, empty streets back to 82nd to take to the pen, or keyboard rather. Upon entering I take refuge in Rumi's writings:

Some Kiss We Want

There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language- door and

open the love window. The moon
won't use the door, only the window.

My legs cave in at the visual I create in which I am witness to "seawater begging pearl to break its shell" It is so beautiful that it hurts. It is that feeling of so much goodness that you almost feel sick because you cannot express it in words. Then you lose the desire to express abstraction in words because it is not possible. There are better uses for channeling one's energy when they reach this level of knowing-ness...

Dare I gain some insights into another Rumi poem? Wholeheartedly YES:

"Suddenly the drunken sweetheart appeared out of my door.
She drank a cup of ruby wine and sat by my side.
Seeing and holding the lockets of her hair
My face became all eyes, and my eyes all hands."

I stare disbelievingly into my computer screen- how can these words leap from the screen and affect me so? Will I soon be tasting words? If I can feel the eroticism of words why can't I taste them? So I lay pondering what the words "My face became all eyes, and my eyes all hands" would taste like... Ambrosia? Nectar from Gods & Goddesses? Ben & Jerry's Phish Food? Eggplant Parmeasan?

I cannot stop now as I lay drunk in Rumi's world...
Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absentminded. Someone sober
will worry about things going badly.
Let the lover be.

These are the secrets moon whispers. I hear them loud and clear because, unfortunately, there is nothing to distract me on this waxing gibbous moon tonight- shameful not all lovers are able to share this insight...

Ok, enough Rumi, now it's time to return to the very real world of English language phonology & patterns of stress, intonation and rhythm. Yea that's right the real visual here is a mess of school books covering my bed, a laptop, a printer, hiliters, paper clips, loads of assigned reading printouts... It's been nice soaking up your passion-filled poems Rumi- to the point where I don't think I will be an effective language student tonight because as you stated in the above poem, "Close the language-door and open the love window". ..