A Week In the Life of LIMINAL

Uncategorized

A week in Life of LIMINAL

Erin Rodriquez

Erin Rodriquez

This week has been extremely powerful on several levels. With Bree’s historical triumph over the confederate flag, in a time where being a black person in this country is still not safe, let alone nearing any sort of equality, intersectional feminism is becoming more and more essential to the survival of all women and the future of human beings.

What I mean is, the historically white mainstream feminism of the previous waves needs to change in a big way. We can no longer afford to be colorblind, exclusive, privilege-toting twits and call ourselves feminism.

As Jenee Darden pointed out this weekend at LIMINAL, “being friends with black people does not make you an ally.” Similar sentiments were all over my news feed about the straight people that take PRIDE as an opportunity to party half naked and do diddley all year round to support GLBT rights and communities.

Jenee Darden

Jenee Darden

We are experiencing a time where we cannot afford to be passive.

On Thursday night, I finally got over to see the Gina Gold Show at 3000 Broadway. She almost has the same name as me and “Gold” is a pen name I considered taking at one point, to get rid of the “BLATT” that every time I say it out loud mimics me in the voices of the elementary school kids who changed it to “go splatter,” “gold bladder” and my favorite Gina “go splat.” Though, like much else ambiguous in life and the way that truth finds its way to the surface no matter how much you try to stifle it, I said fuck it. My name explains me in the ways that it doesn’t. I am a disheveled Jew\not Jew on my mom’s side but Jews claim me because matriarchal lineage, with a name that comes from a father’s stepfather, who was a Jew raising an Italian (who was secretly half Portuguese via the birth father\mother’s high school sweetheart) Catholic.

On Saturday, I hosted LIMINAL’s 3rd Showcase: Archive Alive! The show more than lived up to the name. At LIMINAL, there was a happenstance synergy in the pieces. The political presence of the rights gained on the marriage front, the devastation of black communities in the wake of the Charleston Massacre, as the latest piece of disgusting evidence that we still live in a country full of scared, small-minded, hate-filled fucks who actually believe in white supremacy, and the small but powerful sacredness of spaces where people can gather and express their experiences as feminists, activists, members of the community. There wasn’t any apology necessary for what was brought, what was carried, what was shared, what needed airing.

Xan Joy and Lajuana Decatur of Black Women’s Lives Matters presented on Melissa Alexander (https://www.facebook.com/FreeMarissaNow) and their caravan journey to find out more about Melissa’s sentencing, how as often happens when someone or some people go asking questions about one heinously unjust situations, tons more examples start making their way to the surface. They are making a documentary to expose these injustices and fight for Melissa’s pardon. I cannot emphasize enough that feminism is an active commitment to change, and not just the change that reaches the comforts or confines of your individual existence.

Alana Dykewoman read about the nature of true love, commented on her dream of opening a woman’s space and how if you just live long enough—

Julia Park Tracy

Melissa Eleftherion Carr

Sandra Wassilie

Emily Wolahan

Angela Ina Penaredondo

All read poetry that was captivating, raw, and relevant. Thought they were all in attendance together by complete coincidence, the themes and approaches to their work were hauntingly complimentary of each other.

Lyndsey Ellis and Ruth Crossman read fiction about family and relationships. Crossman’s piece centered on tarot cards, with under narratives of hallucinogens and dating. Ellis’ writing captured the love and distain we can feel towards siblings, the ways in which the successes and failures of one is dependent on the relative statuses of the others in relation to the familial whole.

In almost everything there was a ghostly appearance of the weight of the mother. Body and sexuality, the natural world and how we relate to it, were other common threads in the readings of the night.

Octavia Crompton and Erin Rodriquez performed as an accordion and trapeze duo, playful and strong, the dynamic between them natural and captivating.

The strength of each of the people in the room, whether of spirit, of intellect, of physical prowess, or some combination of these and others, was palpable.

We had neighbors in attendance, 2 I hadn’t met and 1 who has been at the majority of events I’ve had so far.

On Sunday, I worked Brunch at The Juhu Beach Club and made Sari not Sorry cocktails in the spirit of Pride. At night I had the privilege of celebrating of a friend’s Birthday with her and other friends of hers, where we talked about writing and dating and gluten. I met a local organizer for various groups including Onyx and Black Lives Matter. She shared with me the heaviness of some of the events she has attended where relatives of Oscar Grant and others immediately devastated by the loss of their family members at the hands of police leaves her needing to hold these feelings, care for herself, renew and go back out and keep fighting.

sari not sorry

Sari Not Sorry @ Juhu Beach Club

I feel all sorts of things coming out of this weekend. Grateful, empowered, angry. These are only a few. I am in awe of all of the strength around me, the creativity, and the stupidity.

Let’s keep fighting. Let’s keep creating. Let’s keep taking care of each other. Perhaps enlightment is contagious.

red orangeyellow green blue indigo purple

The Truth About Daddy Issues: Father’s Day Edition

Uncategorized

This past week, I did a visualization of my self-slandering voices. I made them spirals in red. I then put the alternative replacement I want to start believing in instead, as a purple arrow moving in a forward direction.

spiral to arrow

One of the more prominent scripts I have been working with lately is “I will always find assholes.” This hard-wired message makes me doubt myself, my value, my ability to judge and often makes me feel extremely anxious and defensive around men. I worry that caring about one will end in me finding out he was just an asshole who had the wool over my eyes, someone not capable of loving me, being an equal or seeing me as an equal. I am trying to re-work this messaging and inscribe something else. A trust in my ability to judge. A slowness to the process that allows for checking in with myself to see if I am finding things I want in another person or just wanting to find them there. I am also trying to believe that there are men out there that are not assholes. That can love me, would want to, and are interested in and in awe of the person I am.

alwaysassholes

Here is a poem\mess I wrote today about having a father I don’t speak to on father’s day.

As we joked about how to message a father who didn’t,

Luke, I am my own father
Happy You Suck as a Father Day
Or just a simple “Fuck you” to convey the sentiment
it made me wish for each child he had a thimble sized fissure in his veins
that the blood was carried, like fishing lines, crossed, baited, waiting
to bring up a sunfish off the dock of lake George
where we went on our one and only family vacation
I want to tell him that I hope each item he orders in the mail
every rifle, hand gun and accompanying neatly rowed box of ammunition
is a reminder of the people he has brought into the world
that his replacement of their love with the accumulation of things
is a constant reminder of the marks he has dug into our flesh
the carving that happens over years, the span of decades
the intergenerational sorts that scar down to the bones
where the white of truth shows in a flicker
before sewn up
a mouth flapping at the jarred air
asking the questions I’ve asked myself
why was I not lovable?
What could I have done to be a child not worth valuing
to grow to an adult that a person couldn’t be proud of?
but the white is like the flash of teeth before a full growl
a small but distinct warning that a step further means you submit to the fear of your attacker
the four legged creature marking territory anxiously, so his scent will let others know he was in deed there. that he was in deed, somewhere.
because when the history books are made, a man leads a battle brigade into victory, discovers a property that wasn’t know of a certain type of cell, coins a phrase that becomes common, but no one speaks of the ways he abused his wife, the children he sexualized in his image
the scripts he wrote them in his myopic vision of jezebel, temptation, blood, guns, slut;
the slanted view of women he held to because the vantage point was from the crux of his mother’s open legs and he looked out like the pope over the crowd that comprised the entirety of women
I know you must have seen some shit. Been in the midst of some fucked up realities. I am sorry for that child within you. As for the adult that doesn’t protect it, or the ones he made externally, to combat the loneliness of that chubby cheeked, neglected and never able to please boy you still are at most times,
what you’ve done is beyond irresponsible.
It is to forget that you are made of bone, that shows white in the moonlight.
To forget you are made of veins, like fishing lines, fishing for heartbeats
to have no memory of the ways your sanity was held in each of the small fissures the size of thimbles in each of us that came into the world
to  have coated these memories, cut them out like malignant tumors
to have made your children the disease you are to be rid of to heal
when no excising can save you

The Truth About Daddy Issues Part 1

Uncategorized

daddy issues

Daddy issues are like fungal infections, hard to get rid of.

When people ask me if I have a relationship with my parents, I usually say not really. I haven’t talked to my dad in four years, minus a phone hand off to my mother a couple of years ago and a text he didn’t respond to on Christmas of 2012, telling him he was an asshole for leaving my nana alone on Christmas.

When someone asks why don’t I talk to my father I usually say, “because he’s an asshole.”

Just like staring at your athlete’s foot doesn’t make it disappear, taking a magnifying glass to my daddy issues doesn’t burn them dead, even when I angle it just right to use the rays of the sun.

It doesn’t quite make anything any different inside of me, or change how difficult it is for me to relate to men in a healthy way, when it comes to trying to trust or date one, to know that he is an a$shole. Even though it is commonly said that the first step is awareness, an alcoholic does not find the help they need when they first begin to know they are an alcoholic. They still have to put the fucking drink down. Then they have the rest of their life to try and not pick it back up again.

In situations that mirror the dynamics of my family, where I am to keep my mouth shut when I am being treated badly, or when other people I care about or have a responsibility to are being treated badly, I continue to find myself fighting the urge to stand up and scream bullshit. It is painful for me to sit still. To not tell the truth. To not point out the undercurrent of dysfunction that no one calls by its name.

The dynamics of my childhood keep finding me. I am turned into a secret holder again and again. I am keeping quiet to keep the semblance of peace. I am the gender that holds secrets in this country, where our binary systems have women harbor the pain of men, even when it comes in the form of the abuse they have endured by them.

It is then, all sorts of problematic that when I get stressed out, I want more than anything to be comforted by a man. I want to know I am okay, that what I am doing is justified. I have an intensely strong urge to have a MAN APPROVE OF ME.

I have a very strong urge to call whatever male I think might come to hold me in his arms and squeeze and tell me it is okay, I am okay, to let me cry until my nose runs and my body trembles and gives into being held.

When I fall apart completely, it is only in front of a man. This continues to confirm for me that men are the only ones who have the power to make me better. To make it even more fucked up, the men I reach out to, have to be interested in me sexually.

In this way, (and my not yet talked about daddy issues that aid in my selection of men that don’t meet my needs) I set myself up to have a man disapprove of my speaking out as a woman, admonish my truth, and in the process diminish me to a object for sex (as in my mind\perhaps in the actuality of the situations I keep seeking out with men, dismissing my convictions as unnecessary or over the top or because of my dysfunctions and history, diminishes me to sex) and again prove that no man can ever care for me properly.

I see how I set this up for myself. I can see how the small child inside of me keeps going back to see if just this one time daddy will show up. The way he used to before I grew boobs. The way he could when he could control my entire world by just picking me up and holding me in his big bear arm grasp.

What My Sex Dreams Tell Me About Life

Uncategorized

ourvoices

I had a dream last night that I was at a party, a sort of bridal reception or something turned sleep-over and once I feel asleep in a big room full of all the female guests, two very nice looking people (a man and a woman) went down on me in my sleep. They were fingering and licking me and I was just about to cum, when I was woken by a room full of people who tried to scurry them out of there and were asking me what the fuck was going on. I thought I was just dreaming an amazing set of people came to get me off in my sleep. The two people were the best friend and boyfriend of a woman who was also at this party, who had gotten word of this happening and now wanted to fight me. I was concerned with 3 things:

1. Would I have to fight this girl naked?
2. I didn’t want to fight her.
3. Why were we fighting instead of having a conversation about consent?

Interestingly, the females hid the man in the bathroom and let the other female run away to be admonished by her friend for her wanting me and maybe disowned for performing a sex act in collaboration with her boyfriend.

While there are many different, interesting and I’m sure telling aspects of this dream, the harboring of the men who fucked up and the ditching of the women, leaving them to fend for themselves is interesting to me.

wild once
This morning I am also wondering three things:

1. Why, when I say anything about the mainstream lit scene being comprised of a disproportionate amount of white men does some woman always feel the need to defend white men?

All I said was a fact. An observable truth. I didn’t say down with white men. I didn’t say put their heads on sticks. I just said they get to talk all the time and us, these people who comprise the rest of society, don’t get to talk as much, don’t get asked to perform, don’t get handed the mic.

It’s the whole “some men vs. all women” thing again. It is also a certain harboring of a culturally reinforced truth. Why are we all so okay with harboring truths like they are secrets? Like they are somehow mean to say? As a culture, we harbor the truth of the mainstream and why? It will hurt white men to realize they are in charge, disproportionately and not because they are inherently better than everyone else? But how much does it hurt everyone else to stay silent? And not to mention this sounds a lot like an unhealthy codependent relationship. If your friend told you over coffee that her husband never listens to her, tells her how the world works all the time as if he is the only one who sees clearly, and expects her silence as a way of preserving his delusion that he is all powerful and important at the cost of her having an equal partner who values and listens to her, would you not tell her to speak the fuck up? Expect equality? Want and deserve an equal? If we keep acquiescing to the norm as if the world will end if we demand to be heard and seen and valued, the norm will never change. I for one am not okay with the norm. It is shitty to be expected to stay silent. To hold up the image of men as so much more than I am myself and know the Achilles heal of their fear that they could be human, could be just like me, yet play the role of propping them up because it has been deemed better for everyone. REALLY? Is it better? Or just easy? Conditioned maybe? Comfortable?

And yes, the white men that perpetuate this due to a discomfort of straying from hearing themselves reflected around them, assuring them of their rightful position in the center, on the top, or wherever the hell they happen to like being, should squirm. Feel a fraction of what it feels like to be in a space that wasn’t designed for you. It isn’t even an exclusionary space, and it isn’t to say that white men don’t do good things or say things worth hearing, it is just a reminder that they are not the only ones that should be talking ALL THE TIME. Good. Feel discomfort. Perhaps let that discomfort grow into inquiry. Let that inquiry inhabit you, drive you to reflect, open up, perhaps grow. THAT IS WHAT I AM ASKING OF YOU FOLKS. You don’t have to give anything up or become smaller. Become larger because of the space you make inside of yourself for others to exist.

dontfuckwithgina

2. Why the fuck is it acceptable to address women as “girls?”

This shit makes me cringe. Girl is a diminutive. When it happens in a professional setting, it shows a lack of ability to see a female as a professional equal. When it happens in a hitting-on or flirtatious interaction, it makes the male look like a creeper who not so covertly wants a boob-less, curve-less, naïve female in a way that if he truly wanted a “girl” it would be illegal. As soon as I turn it around and call a male a “boy” he is defensive and offended. It is assumed that a male, should he continue to grow physically and in age, would someday become a man. A woman’s fought-for status to be recognized as an adult, capable person that doesn’t just get awarded to her for growing her boobs as they naturally come in, her ass as it fluffs up behind her or her curves as they cut into her neutral child body, has the vast inequality of her reality against her male counterparts reaffirmed and silenced every single time she is referred to as a “girl.” If I’m old enough, mature enough and grown enough for you to be staring at my ass or for you to expect forty plus hours of work out of me a week, I am also old enough, mature enough and grown enough for you to call me a fucking woman.

3. Why is it not yet common knowledge that having white skin in this country makes you a person of relative privilege?

I am not saying that no white people have anything to say or that they should just light themselves on fire and perish. I am a white person! I have a lot to say. But fuck, I am not they only motherfucker with a voice. I am not the only motherfucker with passion, with sight, with experience, with hardship, with joy. I haven’t experienced everything and even if I had, others have experienced it differently. I am tired of watching people appropriate the hardship of others as if it is their own, since they have the privilege of being able to get into the spotlight more easily than the people they are representing. Why not do the little bit of extra work and make some connections to the people who you are acting as? Why not ask them to tell their stories themselves? Why not pass the motherfucking mic?

I forget sometimes if people are about a cause or using a cause to gain publicity. Don’t get me wrong; I like to be on stage. Once on stage, I live by a couple of rules:
1. Speak for yourself
2. Don’t silence or hush the voices of anyone else,
3. If you believe in empowerment and equality and change towards those ends, pass the fucking mic and let people speak for themselves.

wild once

LIMINAL’s June Newsletter

Uncategorized

Hello Loves!

Thank you to everyone who has made it out to an event or workshop, has helped to make these events and workshops happen, and to those of you have considered coming out but haven’t made it yet. We will keep doing things, so you will have more opportunities!

RECENT LIMINAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Whole Package: Social Media & Platform
A Workshop Led by Alameda Poet Laureate & Doris Diaries Author Julia Park-Tracy

socialmedaworkshopLIMINAL

The Arts Resistance for the Right to Love: In Support of LGBT community in Russia
Photos by Kenneth Finberg
Top to bottom(L to R): Amira Jan Steckel, The Wyatt Act

Photo by Kenneth Finberg

Photo by Kenneth Finberg

Photo By Kenneth Finberg

Photo By Kenneth Finberg

11393212_841708252589784_9079593357125715299_n

Photo by Kenneth Finberg

COMING UP At LIMINAL:

LIMINAL’s June SHOWCASE on June 27th: LINE-UP COMING SOON
15 performers, vendors, cash bar and FEMINIST CELEBRATORY FUN!

liminal workshops brochure pg 2

Fall WORKSHOPS W\GINA GOLDBLATT at LIMINAL 

Reserve a spot now! (Send me a message to let me know which class you would like to be in)

daphne bus selfie

LIMINAL PRESENTS: DAPHNE GOTTLIEB’S BAY AREA BOOK TOUR

FB Event Page

LIMINAL and the infamous poet, Daphne Gottlieb are pairing up to debut her punch-to-the-gut new novel Pretty Much Dead.

Do you want to host? Reading series, books stores, venues and creative pairings welcome!

LIMINAL information on upcoming workshops, events and opportunities will be available at each reading.

Want to host? Have questions? Email: booktours@theliminalcenter.com

Daphne Gottlieb stitches together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. She is the award-winning author of ten books including the new collection of short stories, Pretty Much Dead. Previous works include Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in her Own Words, a collection of letters from Death Row by the “first female serial killer” to her childhood best friend. She is also the author of five books of poetry, editor of two anthologies, and, with artist Diane DiMassa, the co-creator of the graphic novel Jokes and the Unconscious. She is the winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Poetry, the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, and is a five-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She lives in San Francisco.

About Pretty Much Dead:
Beyond the surface glitter of tech wealth currently overwhelming San Francisco are the interstice communities that have barely survived the onslaught. In the streets, in transient hotels and rent-controlled buildings, the residents settle and search. And those who work for them settle, search, and try to hold on in the city at the edge of the world.
In these stories, Daphne Gottlieb chronicles inner and outer worlds, shedding light on the significance of a cat, the larger meaning of a parking ticket, the violent mutability of an indoor hurricane, the contents of a bag as the owner stalks like a wounded tiger though the streets, dragging the memory of her objects through the collection itself. Artful, heartrending, clear-eyed and darkly magical, Pretty Much Dead is part fable, part witness, and part chorus with the voices that are only heard when they start to yell.

LIMINAL AT THE BEAST! 

littledrapes

LIMINAL will be hosting a Feminist Reading featuring the core group of Feminists that inspired the space. Farley’s East at 6:30 (2nd Leg) on July 11th.

ONGOING AT LIMINAL

kitty cowork
Free Co-working Hours on Tuesdays1-6 & Fridays 11-3.
3037 38th Ave Oakland CA 94619. USE THE ADDRESS TO GET DIRECTIONS!

Email or text gina@theliminalcenter.com or 510.298.7541 to RSVP to co-working hours.

Interested in a massage? On TUESDAYS from 2-4:30 you can book a massage with Tamara Gilhooly / Writer for $50 an hour suggested donation. Swedish or Deep Tissue! Text her at 510.613.5280 to schedule.