A Vagabond’s Ways

A Vagabond's Ways            Pentapolis of the Valley’s number one vagabond dancehall is Etica, populated by the alienated, underweb-hackers, punks and clubbers equally.

The exterior of Etica is an uncomplicated warehouse, like any in Noex along Wuthering Canal.  The area began as an extension of Parkfront, which had been a vacation spot until it was overtaken by the 1899 formation of Landing Alley, the Valley’s main shopping district.

Underneath the dancehall are large drainages, returning water from the end of the alley-canals.  The mini-waterfalls were loud enough to be heard on the other side of the dancehall, where the line formed at the door of the once abandoned building.  It was originally constructed between 1843 and 1846, acting as a distribution for dry goods, and turned into a taxi depot in the 1930s.  It remained a depot until it was gutted by a fire in the 1960s.  Afterwards, the space was occupied by a seafood restaurant, a movie theatre, a dance school, and a bagel shoppe before being foreclosed during the recession of 2011.  Artistes and hackers made the warehouse their home and park during the years the building was foreclosed.  The hackers decorated the main floor with neon graffiti espousing integration with the underweb. In 2014 the squatter groups worked together to collect technology, drugs, and experiences to create a 24/7/365 model of communal vagabond culture.  The two social groups hybridized into a new caste of vagabonds, state identified as citizens lacking education, employment, or training – CLEET. They see the future as currency, founded in a belief in amalgamation leads to a better whole. Vagabonds believe the future belongs to them, that they do not have to adhere to a median standard life. Vagabonds spread their ideology by utilizing The Stream, further cultivating a sub-culture and style that capitalized in their outsider status. Then in 2043 FETCH magazine did a holiograph expose, “Harbingers of the Future,” on the original CLEET graffiti, bringing to attention of a capitalist who saw its appeal as a vagabond dancehall, a utopia of meaningful fun.

[For The Compete Short Story Click the PDF Below]

(2054) Vagabond’s Ways, A

 

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Re-Read SILK: Introduction

Silk by Caitlin R Kiernan            I first read Caitlin R. Kiernan’ Silk on a train ride returning to college freshman year.  Her usage of words and compounding nouns to colors creating imagery pulled upon collective memory to produce emotion was angry, hurt, and younger version of the Southern Gothic Writers (Toni Morrison and Carson McCullers) I enjoyed.  Her frustrated with life’s reality had reflected my own by this point.  With that book, and all the followed, Caitlin R. Kiernan became a writer whose books I purchased, on the strength of previous work, on release day.

            Like all the characters in Silk I wanted more from life, to achieve the dreams that I dreamt for my grown-up self.  In my first reading, the weight of pain of characters’ life was lost upon me because I was still in the midst of my own and was unable to identify it.  The pain that characters radiated bloomed from their queerness, their ability to perceive and reconfigure the world so that it reflects their identity.  While Kiernan was able to infuse the characters with knowledge of their uniqueness, I was still constructing mine and so did not see that my lack of knowledge was the source of my repressed anger.

Lamprocapnos

Lamprocapnos [Bleeding Heart Flower] 01“@Love”

I think about you sitting haphazardly with legs opened

Hat covering face

Leaning back and fro

Deep in thought cross trainers come untied

You move me –

To bleed like a waterfall

In your reach

I know an existence of myself

A common disaster

 

“Cellularly Alone”

With a friction space between my arms,

I’m falling prey to gravitons of junkie jocks

And cutting cliques that navigate my orbit

I’m sneaking into some strange cracks;

I want to be on my own time

 

“Everything Smells Like Tension”

Even on a good day no one wants to be alone;

Bitter and cold

 

Love with one is too few

Love with none is too many

Everything smells like tension

 

I’m a coward wanting love, thinking I’m something special;

Adorning my self’s mass-disaster in diamond quips

Dream Home – Bedroom & Bathroom

The bungalow’s salon has French doors that lead directly to the bedroom.  Three of the bedroom’s walls are painted different shades of cement grey, with a darker tone for the trim.  The fourth wall is large bubble glass that faces the backyard, and open to the porch.  An ornate Ottoman stained glass room divider obscured the bed from the glass.  A long installed curtain rod ran across the ceiling with green and watermelon sheer curtains that could be drawn.  There is a Victorian fainting couch next to the French doors.  In the corner is a large mirror.  There are four armoires in the room: one against the wall to the side of the mirror, and the other three lined the parallel wall.  The wrought iron bed, with antique white European country chairs acting as side tables, are in the center of the room, with a black rug underneath.

Opposite the bubble glass is the bathroom, which is black and white art deco with subway tile, and accented with green and bamboo.  The free-standing sink, toilet and claw footed bathtub, are porcelain; the rainforest shower and fixtures are nickel.  There’s a small door across the bathroom entry that leads to a laundry room.

 

Conflicting Teacher Philosophies

Teachers Cant Be Erased (conflicting teaching philosophies)‎            I lost my passion for teaching because of the teacher I worked with, Lorela Graham, passive-aggressively pushed me out.  Lorela began by criticizing my clothes and hair, rather than help me build better lesson plans or practice performing the lessons before teaching them; she preferred me do her paperwork and grading.  I was given the upcoming week’s outline on Sundays, leaving 6 hours to personalize lessons for an entire week.  She “hazed” (her word) by having me out of the room following students to gather data on their behavior in an effort to remove them.  Lorela’s life problems (such as her son’s college suspension related to drugs) were taken out on me, erupting and swearing at me after school hours.

Lorela and I had different educational philosophies.  She did not believe in connecting student lives to curriculum, that students did not have agency and shouldn’t engage in dialogue with the teacher. She preferred comma placement over critical engagement, and avoided student imagination. Lorela was about results, through lessons that were easily duplicated yearly, which is little more than playing school.  The unresponsive teaching reinforced the status quo, and for a homogeneous student population that is a dangerous proposition because college becomes an uncontrollable culture-shock upon discovering not everyone has the same background, opportunities, and financial resources.

My conflicting philosophy was that connecting ELA to student lives creates global citizens capable of compassionately understanding human values, creative experiences, and skills in conflict resolution.  ELA analysis of language can be used to question the socially constructed self, giving students the ability to deconstruct attitudes towards culture/ethnic groups, and transform into democratic agents prepared for civic choices towards societal change.  Stories have the unique ability to present students with influences inspiring students to re-imagine the world from another cultural perspective and appreciate culture-originated solutions, to find unique solutions based on multiple perspectives.

Verve (3/17-21)

The in-costume players and actors in Williamsburg, while vacationing with my parents for Spring Break, brought down walls and barriers that I usually keep up, making me feel warm and comfortable.  This is rare for me; typically, my guard is up and fourth guess what to say and do.  Often I am overwhelmed by intense feelings of shame.  It has always been difficult to ascertain the origin of why I am paralyzed, other than feeling my existence is brought into question – to open myself, to create a bond through self-expression, leads to being ignored and thrown away to be forgotten.  What didn’t lead to being ignored is compliance to others and their needs.  It is easier to serve another than to assert myself.  Overtime I have made the masks I wear for acceptance the expectation others have who I am, in relation to them.  Should that mask be revealed to be false, that there is a second me underneath with different wants and needs, I will be seen as duplicitous.  I am terrified that my masks will be seen not as made for survival, which has grown into a core fear that my identity would bring about rejection from others.

Queerly Geek

Enigma            Peter Milligan’s The Enigma confronts society’s expectations about identity.  The Enigma, narrated in the first person, tells the story of 20-something Michael Smith. Smith meets Titus Bird, the writer of the superhero comic book The Enigma, the story of a man with omnipotent powers who adopts the identity of a superhero. Smith runs into the Enigma, who reveals that he is an emotionless being, unfamiliar with concepts of right and wrong.  Enigma take Smith on life changing adventure where Smith is challenged by how consciously he is aware of himself.  His experience with Enigma reveal a deeper understanding of his, and the reader’s, place in the world.

In a twist at the end the narrator is revealed to be a lizard, that had been gifted human consciousness by Enigma, and the lizard is attempting to explain its new awareness to other lizards.  The other lizards though are unable to comprehend the story they are being told because their own knowledge of self and the world is limited.  The lizard’s interaction with Enigma mirrors Smith’s, who too has been changed and grown from experiences with Enigma, and finds it difficult to explain to friends.

[To Read the Complete Personal Essay Click the PDF Below]

Queerly Geek

The Extremist

The Extremist (ted mckeever)            The Extremist, written by Peter Milligan and artist Ted McKeever, was my first Vertigo comic book, a DC imprint of mature themed comic books.  The Extremist showed me that comic book books could be elevated from escapism to literature.

            The main character Judy Tanner surrenders herself into the identity of the assassin The Extremist.  Judy discovers The Extremist after her husband, Jack, is murdered and uncovers the costume and identity belonged to him, which he used as a patron of sex clubs and to work for The Order, a shadowy organization.  She is able to take her revenge on her husband’s murderer, but then learns she was manipulated by The Order’s Chief Hedonist, Patrick, who reveals he is the true killer.  He had manipulated Judy into murder because he wanted to liberate Judy from her bourgeois suburban code.

            The Extremist’s exploration of moral codes runs parallel to the homosexual search for identity because traditional gender roles can’t be applied to homosexual relationships.  Conversely, heteronormative gender roles are all that were modelled for homosexual relationships, which creates internal dissonance about behaviors.  The effect of this confusion is culture-identity dissension, when cultural-norms disconnect from a developing identity resulting in habitual painful feelings.

MCU: Cloak & Dagger

 

Cloak & Dagger by Marco Xiconhoca
Cloak & Dagger by Marco Xiconhoca

Yesterday, Freeform (the rebranded Family Channel) released the trailer for the Cloak & Dagger TV series’ 2018 premiere.  I first found Cloak & Dagger at the same barbershop where I had discovered comic books; it was their first four issue mini-series.  Unlike the X-Men I did not follow Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) with a zealous vigor, but I picked-up every appearance they made once I discovered back issues at Empire Comics, captivated by their Romeo & Juliet relationship.  Tandy, a privileged white girl who took ballet lessons, ran away because she felt ignored by her super-model mom; Tyrone, an African American, was mistaken by the police to be a murderer.  Similar to the Shakespeare characters Tandy and Tyrone followed their misguided desires and broke from their parents’ world.  The romance discovered while running away was balanced by the everyday struggles of living on the streets.  That Romeo and Juliet bond realistically portrayed love and relationships as a strength and weakness because the support that is given can embolden action, but creates fear that action can drive the loved one away.  Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger trailer retains the core aspects that made me follow the characters.

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in […]

via Freeform and Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger Gets a Trailer — Graphic Policy

Dream Home – Office & Salon

In my future bungalow there is a writing office off the back porch, overlooking the coy pond, is a small writing office with a square wooden coffee table.  On the porch is a loveseat that overlooks the coy pond.  Through floor to ceiling glass doors is a particularly large salon; curtains are red and gold cotton.  Along the left hand wall fireplace juts out from a brick wall.  Above the fireplace is original artwork.  The fireplace is flanked by floor to ceiling built-in shelves filled with books and candles.  A small slim HD-TV sits on a rolling table out of the way.  In the center of the room is a rug, on top of which is a couch, antique Byzantine conversation couch, and two chairs huddled around a coffee table.  Strewn about the coffee table are periodicals.  Between the couch and the fireplace is an eight-person dining table, with two wing back black chairs at the heads of the table; the remaining six are three pairs of Edwardian chairs.  The right hand wall, where the fireplace is, made-up a library of antique books.  The parallel wall is lined in tiers trailing many feet to the ceiling is a large art collection.