Excerpts from solo performances

We live in deeds, not years
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

From Through the Craic: (you don’t go to Ireland for the weather)

In Ireland, before the invention of duct tape, it is said that a farmer could repair everything with a ball of twine carried about in his or her pocket. I brought a ball of red twine to this country, stuffed into a corner of my suitcase, not knowing why, or its purpose. Perhaps I could attach the twine to the clouds, carry them about, bring them to parties. Hand one to a crying child . . .

From Dinosaurs & Haircuts:

An editor of a feminist journal posed the question: Are lesbians becoming extinct? Hmmm. Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur among haircuts, and from time to time I do ask myself some questions: Am I still a lesbian? Is our post-modern understanding of the fluidity of gender and sexuality and identity making my identity irrelevant? Is the word, Queer, truly inclusive, or does it serve to erase me? Or, am I already erased? Am I soon to be a relic––Oh look, an old lesbian, how quaint? I am so fond of lesbians; I like to hold them in my arms, to touch them, feel them . . . It seems as though it took me so long to get here. Back when I came out, we didn’t exist then either. We have not had a long run. I’d like to linger just a bit longer . . .

From Way Out West:

When I was a little older and too tall for my beloved rocker but still sleeping with my cowboy boots on, guns and tomahawks by my side, our family would vacation at a dude ranch somewhere in British Columbia. I rode real horses and learned to gallop wild into the country and far into my imagination. I was, to quote Gary Snyder, “the bobcat that roams from dream to dream.”

From Desert Notes: Sunrise at Font’s Point:

i stand looking down at a desert that was once underwater four hundred million years ago.  ocean.  i look out over ribbed hills, alluvial plain, alluvial fan, sandstone, tan, grey, red, the ages marked by colour and fossil.  layer upon layer.  camels, mastodons, bone-crushing dogs, saber tooth cats, giant sloths.  i can imagine myself swimming over the mountains at the bottom of a sea that is no longer here . . .

From My Lunch with Sophia Loren:

Sophia is also the only woman I have ever had sexual fantasies about. Don’t misunderstand, I have fantasies about different women all the time, impure thoughts; I mean the kind of fantasies you sometimes use when you make love to yourself, or someone else, the kind you get off on. For me these fantasies sometimes go like this: I am a man making love to a woman, or I’m the woman and a man is making love to me, or it’s men with men, or women with women, sometimes it’s one on one, other times there’s a crowd. I mix it up, but everyone is always generic, I am never I in the fantasy and the others are never anyone I know. Except for Sophia . . .

From This Is Just to Say:

A message to a neighbor, a note to your child, a reminder to a friend. You read something you want to remember, jot it down in a small square notebook you brought home from Italy. You have an idea for a poem, it goes into your favorite notebook, the one with the 3D holographic cover of clouds. Then you tear the sheet out so the notebook itself never has a theme. Or perhaps you just touch your head near the temple to make a mental note . . .

Notes are the snacks of writing. The spirit of notes is that they are small, handwritten, informal, and free. There’s no need for quality control. In fact, most of their charm is their dashed-off spontaneous quality. But a good well-written note, is a worthy item . . .

From THREE: a risky, irreverent and curious look at the things that keep us awake at night:

It wasn’t really the number three I think that enthralled my nephew,  as much as the fact that he had discovered the concept of “multiples.” That one could have more than one of something. Especially something you wanted. One Oreo is not enough.  And two doesn’t count because, well, it’s three that kicks it into more. And I got it. I still get it. I want three ,and then three more: three pieces of chocolate, right now, rich and dark and crunchy. And three naps, morning afternoon, and late afternoon. And three cups of tea, and three scones, and three guavas to rub on my lover’s belly. And three orgasms, big and deep, and heartbreaking . . .

From OUTTAKES: monologues, stories, & social commentaries:

Tish and I are sitting at her lover’s kitchen table. We are discussing the secret of a good pie crust.  Her lover is looking at us in amazement. Tish and I talking about baking is a little like watching Xena Warrior Princess and “7 of 9” get their nails done. You just wouldn’t expect it;  we’re usually in the water, or talking about it.  Tish is one of my best friends; we met on the basketball courts, moved on to bodysurfing, we watch Star Trek and Xena re-runs, Six Feet Under, and yes, Harry Potter; we call each other by last name. We’re butch buddies . . .

From The Study of Nouns, Part 4: Fetish

The show is good although

careful     at the museum’s insistence

It examines colonialism and African art and contemporary art

and the power of language    the use and misuse

of the term Fetish

how it turns against those who use it

how it     as Baudrillard suggests    reveals

more about the user than the object or objects

to which it is applied . . .

From Still Running:

Have you ever had one of those moments, when you’re sitting parked in your car, the engine running, waiting for someone, and suddenly your car starts to roll forward. You hit the brakes but the car keeps rolling. You ram that brake peddle practically through the floorboards, but the car keeps rolling, and there’s a huge, OH NO, tight in your chest, and just when you ought to be crashing into that cement wall in front of you, you realize that it’s the car next to you that’s backing out; it’s not your car at all that’s moving? When my Aunty Ann revealed herself to me in that way, in that moment, she took her big loving white Texas self, with her pecan pies, home-made bread, black-eyed peas, her laughter, her big comforting bosoms, she took all that and she backed out and drove away, while I sat there, heart thumping, foot slammed against the floorboards. Had I not been so young, so well-trained, I might have opened my mouth and said––something. The silence that fell between us was forever . . .

From On Being Cool and Other Digressions:

As the weeks progressed, I quickly became aware of the fact that I had a problem, it didn’t matter if I was making good art, it was clear that I was not cool and the only way my classmates were ever going to talk to me was if I put a little effort into being cool But I had never before aspired to coolness and I feared it might be out of my range . . .

I started with boots.  I thought this odd given that Irvine is a desert environment and at least in September it is quite hot. But boots seemed to be what all the art students wore so I thought I had best start there. And I did. I learned from one of my profs where to go buy cool shoes––a store called Re-Mix here in LA, and I made the journey and bought myself a pair of 1950 construction worker boots, very cool, and I’ll be damned if people didn’t start talking to me right away. I went to class and they said, “Cool boots, Lauren.” . . .

From Re-Mix:

He keeps on talking ‘black’ even though he looks white, and I find myself looking at him to see if he is white or black because I have been with black people who look white but are black who may or may not talk black, but in this case Paul, that’s his name, is white and is talking black.  It is also confusing because he keeps talking about his girlfriend but when he invites his girlfriend to come from the back of the store to meet us she turns out to be a black man . . .

From A Simple Question:

Excuse me, I saw the three of you and I could tell you were dykes by how you walked down the street. You were laughing and talking and touching each other, and you were so alive and happy. I could tell that you were old dykes with your silver hair and your 70-year-old wrinkles, and I am feeling lonely, and afraid, and outside myself, and I don’t know any old dykes and I want to ask you, What is it like?  Do you feel desire and longing, and are you sexual? Are you afraid of your wrinkles, and of the cane you use? Do you have many friends and lovers, and where do you live, and how do you live?  Are you afraid of dying?     What are your dreams?      Do you sleep at night? . . .

From Beige Dreams: When Beige Becomes More than a Way of Life:

. . . I was feeling constrained by the language of psychology:  words like the defensive repudiation of passivity   or    evacuated feelings . . . I wanted to learn a new language:  of contemporary art theory and cultural theory; to know what it means to call someone a deconstructivist, Marxist, post-colonial feminist and how gracefully to work the word syntagm into a sentence.

And I did learn a new language–lovely words like alterities, hybridization, and my favorite, heteronormative . . .

From What’s Love Got to Do with It?:

Recently, driving with my sister in the mauve evening light of the Arizona desert, she turns to me and says, “You know, we are at the top of the heap.”

“Yes, “ I say, “we are at the top of the heap.” . . .

From The Circulation of Desire: a collaborative performance:

J Maybe I don’t have to worry about my life, just study
C I love mangoes
L I have to hold my desire all the time
S I knew when I was six that I loved her
J When I asked about my culture, she told me to look in the encyclo   pedia
C When I told her I was Canadian, she said, You’re no Canadian, you have too much access to your emotions
L I don’t like to speak
C I don’t know what I am supposed to be hearing
S I am losing the battle . . .

From Wahine O’Kaha Nalu–Women of bodysurfing:

We each have been hassled by men, called “fucking bitches,” told that wahinis belong on the shore watching, pushed out of the waves.

There have been the near misses: sucked out to sea in a rip tide, lost and exhausted inside sets of thirty foot waves, crushed under a misjudged shore break. There have been the rescues, the dislocations. But mostly, there has been beauty.

“Why do you do it?” we are asked.

We do it because it is thrilling, erotic, and sensual. We do it because we are good and it is fun. We do it because it is terrifying.

We want to face the biggest thing there is . . .

Performances may be commissioned. Please contact me directly via my Contact page.