Thursday, December 23, 2010

Embrace This! a comment on Fear and Fearlessness

We were all troopers Wednesday night. I had visited my dentist earlier that day only to be informed that the pain in my face was caused by a "massive, huge infection" that required surgery, and had started on an aggressive antiobiotic, with the usual unpleasant side effects; Big Mike was battling bronchitis, tonsilitis and had just audtioned for the Frigid Festival with Faux Maux, who had endured being witness to a direct rip-off of her piece, Nude Artist Model; not only had it been plagarized by a competing duo, but it was performed in derisive and demeaning. Despite this assault, Maux way had bravely soldiered on and performed her own piece, Adam and Eve, with Big Mike. Naturally, they were the only ones whose audition involved strategically placed snakes and fig leaves. They didn't make the cut, but at least the theives didn't either.

So we're a bit battered at RevJen's anti-slam, which started later than the usual 10:30; luckily, Big Mike got a number 3 pick so we premiered a piece that I had written, Embrace This! (Maux was performing solo later on.) I was a little trepidatious because we had run through it only once, and I had removed and then re-inserted the music - Hole's Violet. The piece is based on a conversation between myself and Big Mike shortly after my book launch party for knuckle tattoos last March. We were watching the dvd and I didn't mind my performance, although the sound was bad for the last half, but I became overly critical, to put it mildly, of my appearance in the cinema verite shots:

PUMA: Oh my God! Look at me in that video! I look one hundred years old! I’m like an old lady in punk rock clothes!

BIG MIKE: Well, not all of us can be Elle McPherson.

PUMA: What??? I’m literally ready to curl up and die and that’s your response? “Well, you’re no Elle McPherson?”

BIG MIKE: I didn’t say Well, you’re no Elle McPherson.I said Not all of us can BE Elle McPherson. Elle McPherson is Elle McPherson. You’re you. Look how happy you look in that shot. Can’t you focus on that?

This dialogue is pretty much verbatim. Big Mike did not go the obvious route, reassuring me that I'm still beautiful, etc etc - no, the fuck went right to the heart of it - ACCEPT IT, no, do more than accept it, EMBRACE IT!

The heart of the piece is my admission that I do NOT like getting older, I have limited acceptance, but I am doing it anyway because the only other option is to quit - We rant on about the meaninglessness and pointlessness of the piece, as he begins to cut my clothes off. He got a bit overzealous, ripping off my garter belt, thong, and destroying one of my stockings. I wound up nearly naked except for Harley boots by the time he flipped the music on, so what could I do except scream "go on take everything, take everything I want you to? while he danced around finishing up the job.

Some time ago I wrote this piece called "Fear and Fearlessness" which was published on Lara and Roxi's blog, Bad Girls, Worse Hair

It feels relevant to post right here:

Fear and Fearlessness

I got an email from a "friend" – she is such a good friend that she has not come to one event of mine, including my book launch party, even though she lives in the city. But, suddenly, she identified herself as my caring, worried BFF, and wrote – in part –

I'm worried about you. What is going on with the nude pics??? I truly don't understand them, Puma. I feel (and it is not my opinion only, many others have mentioned it) that you are sabotaging yourself as a legitimate, important poet by putting yourself out there with Big Mike like you do. I cringe when I see some of those photos. You are a good poet, why do you feel you have to do that? I just don't get it.

Don't you love it when people invoke the "many others" plea – it's not just me, EVERYBODY is talking about you! Of course, when I confronted her on the many others thing, she backed down and admitted that it was "just a few." She also retreated from her statement about my "nude" pics – because there are none. I might also add that she has not seen one performance that I have done with Big Mike.

I played Cher for laughs, dragons drawn on my ass in line with the cellulite, thong apparently shifted to reveal my Brazilian waxed pussy – EASIER than dressing in layers to look old and frumpy!

Here's the thing – my body is just a body. If it provokes a discussion, if I break a boundary, if I make you "CRINGE" – good, at least I'm doing something. If I were mean, I would ask the lady poet who wrote to me what the fuck she had done lately but I already know the answer – NOTHING!

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