This summer I've been having way more vivid dreams than usual. The following was written right after I woke up and before my alarm went off. I'm considering publishing a zine inspired by my dream journal, either that or working a few accounts into my reissued Save the Bees Worx Vol I - III, due to drop this Fall.
Recently my sweet friend from Baltimore, Jessie Delaplaine, brought up the joy of returning to old work with fresh eyes - which is something I don't think about or do very often. I wrote this in the second week of July, back then I thought it was finished. Then our talk it inspired me to revisit it and do some sweeping, hang up some new shelves, change out the candlesticks and rearrange the bookshelf. It feels nice to write new poetry without starting from scratch.
Here we are at the Ritz-Carlton, making ourselves at home on my birthday.
rain / glitter
"Meet me in Ravenswood"
my last whisper in your ear
after you found me freezing and throbbing in stilettos
a drag queen recently taught me how to correctly walk in
and gave me both the hoodie and puffy coat off your back
before disappearing into a crowd
I ran barefoot down Foster Avenue to find you again
I never stopped
When I awake
the house is submerged in indigo
at the windowsill I find
thick periwinkle frosting
caked across the sky
the only break of light in the far west
an island of silvery blue emerges
pipped with wispy white clouds
and promises waiting impatiently
leaves from the trees kiss and ride, then reunite
their infinite passion shimmers and twinkles
between the silhouettes of maples and oaks
through I can't hear their rhythms
over the thunder crashing in my heart
Scribbling this down
as I am hurried through the terminal of a dream
tired eyes need to see this through
before I go back to sleep and
re-record over the synapses that brought you to me
As I go back to poetry
the way the godless go to prayer
when they are desperate for salvation
My deliverance is my heart is forever tethered to Chicago
even though I no longer walk down Foster Avenue
I'm not a content creator, I'm an artist. I don't pressure myself to keep a regimented schedule to pump out new material, I enjoying hunting and gathering for my inspiration and that takes time. As you can see from my track record over the last two years blogging, once May hits - I'm out of here. I try to use social media less during the late spring and summer, living in the moment is my greatest source of inspiration. I do my best work when I fit in the gaps during a fun day of hiking, kite flying, snacking, Murder She Wrote marathons, music making and stargazing. Be kind to yourself, take breaks - you don't have to earn them! Try making work outside of your desk, I've been having a great time this summer plein air painting by the river - that is, when the AQI is good enough to be outside.
Please keep our Canadian friends in your hearts while their beautiful Boreal forests are on fire and donate to wildfire relief funds, especially those that support Indigenous communities. If you're unable to donate, boost the message to your network, friends and family who can. I'm working on publishing a zine about air quality this summer, however it's taking longer than expected because living with the stress of monitoring our AQI around the clock has taken a lot out of us, can't imagine the insurmountable, horrendous stress being in it's inescapable path causes.
Recently I've been writing the best song yet in my hammock. Hoping to record some new songs later this summer and sell them on Bandcamp. All proceeds will go to Canadian wildfire relief funds that directly benefit Indigenous and Arctic communities.
As much as I can't believe I don't live in Chicago anymore, being here seems almost inevitable at this point, as if this was the natural course we were meant to travel, unbeknownst to us. Friendly reminder that six months ago to the day we drove into town for the very first time. Moving here full-time was never in the plans, building a tinyhouse we could weekend at somewhere on the SW coast of Michigan was. But once we heavily considered all the driving back and forth, and how the Sunday Blues loomed and hit heavier each time we visited costal towns to see where we could build, it became evident that weekending would only be a gap filler. Whether it was this year or three to five years from now, we would eventually want to stay here and never leave.
There's an incredibly mystical vibe surrounding the whole transition and our new location. Yesterday we packed up our lives, crossed two state lines and pulled up to our new, empty home for the first time. A clean slate. After the last three tumultuous years, a fresh start is exactly what we need.
I can't impress upon you enough how I never saw homeownership possible for us, we were dead-set on staying in the city and were trying to figure out how to steal enough gold bars or take on 4 side hustles each so we could buy a condo in Rogers Park to be closer to the lake and beach. Now we live on a peninsula, surrounded by a pristine river, bayou, great lake and miles and miles of beaches. It took the biggest leap of faith I've ever made, and quite honestly there were some days I didn't know if I had it in me to say goodbye to my first and deepest love, Chicago. But she'll always be waiting for me and I'll always carry her in my heart so it's not goodbye but see you later.
Likewise, I'm going to step away for a while to fully embrace being a first time homeowner. See ya after a while!
Hi friends and fans, I shot my longest film to date: Newspaper Headlines Omit Queer Joy! Since I usually work in the genre of micro movies, I consider this work that clocks in at 24 minutes to be my first full-length film. Would you believe we did it in under one week's time? What if I told you we did it while simultaneously going through a financial colonoscopy and signing our life away during the home buying process? Because I cannot!! That's right, I went from 0 - 100 on an idea that was completely unplanned before I learned about a filmmaking grant opportunity that was too good to pass up.
To say I'm very tired doesn't begin to cover it, so I'm going to try and nap for a hundred years and when I wake up, I'll tell you all about the incredible cast I worked with and all the flaming hot cheetos it took to finish this on time. Oh, and how my VPN almost prohibited me from being able to upload the film with seven minutes to spare before the deadline.
This one is dedicated to the lovely queers who shared their definitions of queer joy and how they experience it daily. It's a vast, beautiful, honest, sexy, intersectional, explicit, harrowing account of the current condition of our community at large. Almost every letter of LGBTQIA+ is represented and includes multi-ethnic, disabled, neurodivergent and immunocompromised and COVID long-haul babes. My heart is so full by the large swatch of representation this film embodies, our community deserves nothing less. Like the title states, newspaper headlines don't celebrate queer joy and spread harmful homophobic and transphobic rhetoric (we're looking at you NYT!). This is our fight back, we deserve so much more than the crumbs we are given. It's my favorite project to date and I can't wait to share it with you later this year once we're able to make some adjustments with a longer timeline.
Also, I wanted to fundraise for it but couldn't because during the home buying process you can't accept any financial gifts without documenting them and having them count towards your house goals, which this is entirely separate from. I'll share more on how you can donate to support this film, the gear purchased for it and to cover the stipends paid to talent closer to the release date.
Words I sincerely never thought I'd say. I was a happy and content renter for fifteen years, gave the best years of my life to Chicago. The city will always be home, no matter how far away I move.
But the world is very different now, and if we're going to be cooped up indoors - we need more space to roam free. We went on vacation last Halloween and found a lil' slice of paradise on the other side of Lake Michigan we never knew existed. It's the perfect combination of forests, waterways and pedestrian-friendly living. So we quit our jobs for permanently remote positions based in EST and essentially rearranged the entire trajectory of our lives to accommodate this monumental move. It's the most spontaneous thing we've ever done and we're impressing ourselves every step of the way with how adaptable we're becoming.
In case anyone is wondering how fast the timeline on this decision can move:
MON Feb 13th - Saw the house on Zillow after it was only posted for 5 hours and screamed "OMG I FOUND OUR HOUSE!" while my partner was making dinner (after not looking for over a month because we weren't pre-approved yet, after monitoring the site hourly for weeks to learn what kind of inventory there is out of state)
TUES Feb 14th - Scheduled a walk through and signed the paperwork to officially become pre-approved
WED Feb 15th - Left after work to drive to our new hometown, outrunning a blizzard that spanned half the country east of the Mississippi
THURS Feb 16th - Saw the house, knew immediately it was The One™, tried to schedule another walk through for my parents and sister but the sellers declined, stating that they already started to receive offers and would not be showing the house to anyone who wasn't already booked for a showing.
FRI Feb 17th - Submitted our offer
SAT Feb 18th - Offer accepted
If there's any advice I can offer, it's this:
My new microfilm that I wrapped on last month, Branches Are Arms Are Branches, has been added to my Short Films page, go check it out! It's my ode to majestic trees I've fallen in love with. A lot of people said the music to last month's microfilm made for a creepy soundtrack, so this is my concerted effort to craft a score that's light and fluffy, inspired by the only real snowstorm we've gotten this winter. It's so scary to see what crops will be like this year without the water table being replenished by melting permafrost. For instance, plum trees take a vey hard hit when the ground isn't cold enough to keep frozen, one warm winter can prohibit a plum tree from fruiting for a year or two.
I've taken down An Abundance of Lavender, as I've been submitting it to film fests! Fingers crossed the next time I upload it, it'll be adorned with some wreaths.
It was only a matter of time before I figured out a way to make my hot dogs more gay than they already are. This was my first experiment with my new foiling station, which includes a laminator, an array of colorful holographic & rainbow foils and the pièce de résistance - a hefty laser printer!! That's right, I can finally print my own zines and business cards without having to depend a printshop! I feel so liberated, it's beyond glorious. I've wanted one since I published my first chapbook in 2012 and it feels really great to be in a place where I can justify the investment.
I'll be setting up an online shop next month where you can buy my zines, limited runs of foil prints and House of Egregious merch! Should I also sell hot dog stickers?
ps: shoutout to all the fellow emo scumbags out here in these streetz,
doing the absolute most at doing the absolute least
Recently I was commissioned to create some ghost art, and I challenged myself to use my new POSCA paint markers, which I've only used for street art and never for canvases. I'm actually shocked by how easy they are to blend and remove contrasting colors from the tips of their neon markers, especially sherberty orange/pink from my yellow marker when I used it to blend out the sunset. As long as you quickly brush off the blended color onto a clean paper towel and pump new paint once finished with the blend, the blended color comes almost completely off the marker tip! Also POSCA paint markers are much more inexpensive than their competitors, I'm scowling at you Krink, and still have a great color density to them.
I'm excited to hopefully do more of these. Feel free to reach out if you'd like a mini ghost painting of your own! I have three 5.5" x 5.5" canvases left.
¿Como se dice "Un Blog?"
Here is where I share announcements of all shapes and sizes, and deep dive into my art and music making practices. I aim to demystify the creative process for BIPOC women & NBs.
© 2013 - 2023 Allyson Gonzalez - All Rights Reserved