started yesterday by submitting my BRIO application (bronx recognizes its own- a $2,500 grant from the bronx council on the arts) which involved putting together a 10 page manuscript of my poetry. i could have put together a performance poetry video but i figure its time to get to putting this chapbook together and this is a good start. instead of mailing it, i was lucky enough to be able to drop it off at the BCA offices. saw bill aguado, leslie, steve & mildred from universes and had the normal thing that happens when i chill at other people’s jobs

grant applicant: is this where you drop the forms off at?

bill: yes

ga: good (looks over at me) do i have to seal the envelope?

b: yes

me: yes

ga: (still looking at me) i included my slides is that ok?

b: excuse me?

me: ask bill

ga: but the slides have my name on them, that’s ok? right? (still looking at me)

me: ask bill

b: he doesn’t work here

ga: but i could remove my name from them (still fixed on me)

b: miss, please come over here so i can answer your questions

never fails, i hang at an office for three seconds and the whole world starts looking to me for answers. the best was the time it happened at home depot and the time i was mistaken for a restaurant owner. when you see me, i’ll tell ya about them.

hung out at taller boricua, fernando salicrup’s art gallery at the julia deburgos center in spanish harlem, for the debut of a new art exhibit and that shit was da bomb! met fernando at the blue ox and we talked about networking for a minute but that’s not why i was there. xavier is a co-worker of ray medina’s and he has been to a few synonymii, even did some art for us once, and he was at the acentos debut. since it’s all circles, i felt it was time to return the love.

i’ve been to deburgos a few times for ‘julia’s jam’ and felt a slightly different energy the minute i walked in. more packed, more diverse, more focused. soon as i hit the main room, i spotted xavier. it was hard not to. he had that same energy going on. he was genuinely happy to see me as we traded early pleasantries. checked out the other art in the room and then hit the rest of the exhibit. the rafael tufiño art was ridiculous! sketchings of white on black that reflect a style i’ve already learned to appreciate in the comic books of frank miller. also caught the art of wanda ortiz, who was kickin’ it lovely on the make.shift dancefloor when the congas hit!

went back over to xavier and discussed a bit about the piece that he had on exhibition. it’s called ‘epithymia’ which is greek for desire. (head over to the friends section and link over to his spot to check out the painting) the story behind it is lovely and it reminds me a lot of ‘leticia’s’ story and how i relate to feelings of longing in that piece.

ray and elaine finally showed up as i was having a convo with ernest camacho, one of the other artist being showcased. i got to introduce ernest to fernando, who i’ve only met twice and now i’m acting like if i’ve known him my whole life.

also met up with somebody else, whose name is being purposefully left out, that was speaking very highly of one of the artists in attendance and threw some similar praise my way– “both your art is so good, but just starting, i want to see both of you in five years truly come into your own” that was good for the soul especially since said person was not speaking to me much the last few times i saw them… enough of the mysterious convo.

introduced xavier to fernando as well. it felt good to be able to try to make the connections happen.

the after party (which follows every good artistic event) was at flor de mayo, a chino-latino spot on 84th & amsterdam.

had me some GOOD peruvian sopa con camarones (shrimp soup) that was crazy south american. choclo (slice of corn.on.the.cob) and fried egg with some spicy oil. i added some white rice and lime to it and it was just like ecuador!

missed out on lynne’s reading downtown which was the initial plan and i feel quite bad that i can’t be in two places at one time but the lure of hispanic culture was too fucking strong. so much art, so much appreciation. not just from latinos but everybody, just too much, especially when you add the arroz con gandules, drums, jibaros— all going on at the same time. fish said the deburgos center is puerto rico without the flies and now i know what he meant.

the downside is that i feel like a complete idiot when xavier is telling me the names of all these artists that have been around forever and are trying to make an impact on the entire art world. course, there are some poets that i mentioned that xavier didn’t know about. so it’s still all circles, as x teaches me some stuff and i return the love.

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