Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Neil de la Flor wants you to support Florida AIDS Walk 2012

Florida AIDS Walk 2012

When this photograph was taken in the early 80s, almost no one had heard of HIV/AIDS. Thirty years later and between 33 – 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS across the globe. There’s no cure for HIV, but there are effective treatments that help people thrive, prosper and just BE. However, this is the problem: many who live with HIV/AIDS do not have access to basic care and are often stigmatized because of the disease. Florida AIDS Walk 2012 will raise funds for organizations that provide some basic healthcare services, counseling, education, support and peace of mind for people living with and/or are affected by HIV/AIDS.  Support Florida AIDS Walk 2012 by making a contribution to my team: Neil de la Flor’s donation page.

Thank you,

Neil de la Flor

Interesting stuff: “HIV is a lentivirus, and like all viruses of this type, it attacks the immune system. Lentiviruses are in turn part of a larger group of viruses known as retroviruses. The name ‘lentivirus’ literally means ‘slow virus’ because they take such a long time to produce any adverse effects in the body. They have been found in a number of different animals, including cats, sheep, horses and cattle. However, the most interesting lentivirus in terms of the investigation into the origins of HIV is the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) that affects monkeys, which is believed to be at least 32,000 years old.” Source.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Almost Dorothy’s Florida AIDS Walk Fundraising Page

Bobo the Mutt, ma and I are going to raise money on May 2oth, 2012 for several organizations that provide healthcare services, counseling and peace of mind for people living with HIV/AIDS regardless of their ability to pay. Ma says this is important because we still live in the richest country on the planet that doesn’t provide equal access to health services for all citizens regardless of income or employment status. Some of the organizations that will benefit: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, SunServ, The Center for Positive Connections among others. Join my family or support us with a small cash donation that is totally tax deductible. I’m not sure what tax deductible means, but I suspect it has something to do with ducks who don’t pay taxes.

Visit my father’s fundraising page where you can make a donation: Florida AIDS Walk Fundraising Page.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash, Politics

Heart Attack: KONY vs ASSAD

Hafez al-Assad. Taken sometime before April 1987. | Sexy and he knows it.

Somewhere between the left ventricle and the right ventricle, the heart beats for an assassin and a Noble Pizza Prize Winner. Between YouTube and Facebook, the heart beats for updates and check-ins and friend requests. Somewhere between KONY (island) and ASSad, the heart beats as plastic ponies go round and round a loop. Between the beat and loop, the heart sleeps somewhere between hope and matzoh ball soup. Between what is and what will be more or less. Of the same. Between less and more, the heart beats aware of rifle fire and Lucky Charms. On Sundays and everyday the sun shines in Syria and Syracuse and Syrup. Somewhere between Syria and Uganda, the heart beats under the weather. Unaware of dictators and ducks. Unaware of politics and public policy, the heart beats like a bunny’s heart beats as the wolf snaps the bunny’s neck. Energized, the wolf’s heart beats for the transactional state of Schrödinger’s bunny and Schrödinger’s anti-wolf. The heart beats to beat death to death. Not for peace or prosperity. Not for smiles or chewing gum. Not for Africa or the Middle East or new Nikes. Between the forest and the trees, the heart beats in the treasure chest of a boy and a girl who are unaware of the heart beat of wolves and bunnies. Of Homs and black birds. Of the origin of space and plums. Of what it is like to be funny in pajamas while running from mortars and monkey mobs. Tanks and tat-tat-tat-tat. Tat. When the heart beats, love dies for more.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/sep/08/syria-protests-video

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Lakshmi

God Vishnu with Lakshmi and... | 11th Century | Art Institute of Chicago

Somewhere between Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, Lakshmi swims in an uncanny river of Covergirl and Maybelline. Between the Western Station and O’Hare Airport, Laskshmi pulls eyeliner out of her vintage fanny pack and draws a unicorn between passengers who sleep between the nightmare of the American dream and Disneylandia. Between Lady Gaga and Lady Di, Lakshmi throws stones. Between acts of beauty and acts of courage, Lakshmi winks with her insanely big brown eyes. Between the Gilded Age and the Epic of Gilgamesh, Lakshmi unravels the mystery of junkies and junk food. Between Tablet I and Tablet XII, Lakshmi scribbles a mini epic staring her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya as lovers reaching their hands out toward each other because they don’t want to waste the life Vishnu gave them. Lakshmi laughs like an idiot because she is not the carefree Jain Goddess of Beauty and Make Believe. Not a coward or schlep born out of frustration and chaos. Not a stone tablet or statue of art. Not a chance.

Between then and now, Lakshmi reasons with seals and pepper-sprays for peace and quiet beneath the aurora borealis and Aurora, Illinois. Between the two poles, Lakshmi raises her mighty magnet hands against the impenetrable night to attract the birth light concealed in the shapes of shadows. Between the Blood of Bashar al-Assad and the Panjwaii District, Lakshmi fails to distinguish saints from sinners. Devas from asuras. Machine gun from washing machine. Indian from Indian.

Lakshmi sings for women to spin their halos around and around and around. She challenges them to sing happy as rain as they pray for the ascension of fossils and fools. She challenges them to unfree themselves from the safety mat of yoga and farmers markets. Between the stun gun and the crowbar, Lakshmi weeps for Rama and Krishna. For quantum physics and quantum love. For the murdered civilians and the servicemen who killed them. For Santa Claus and his army of slaves. For light and for courage. For generosity and for providence. For consorts and avatars.

Between Monday and Friday, Lakshmi weeps for the atoms of sand that layer the desert and for Michael Jackson’s glove. Between the piano and bar, Lakshmi belly dances with a pink elephant and crotchety owl entourage. In her glamorous pink sari, Lakshmi hums oṃ śrīṃ hrīṃ klīṃ tribhuvana mahālakṣmyai asmākam dāridrya nāśaya pracura dhana dehi dehi klīṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ oṃ. Again and again and again. Until flight 1557 lands in a blue hammock.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Ganesha

God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles | 9th/10th Century, Java | Art Institute of Chicago

Somewhere between the Big Bang and the Big Gulp, the universe lives silent and cunning in her unstable mink suit. Somewhere between the atoms that create us and the atoms that will destroy us, the universe lives benignly unaware of our prayers and promises. Somewhere between the cosmos and the comic book store, the universe lives in the smile of a boy and/or a girl standing on the southwest corner of 42nd Street. In a blizzard. In awe of the universe. Wearing mittens and Long Johns. Somewhere between the crucible and the last dance, the universe lives in every elementary particle that powers every disco ballroom from Heaven to Las Vegas. Somewhere between the heavy elements and the light elements, the universe lives in our desire to be prepositioned for entry through the gates of heaven. Somewhere between heaven and hell, the universe lives free of sin and sorrow. Between Ganesha and Goliath, the universe lives in an elephant’s memory of blizzards. Between the belly button and the Achilles Heel, the universe lives with the secret that no one, not even God, can remove obstacles that do not exist in the physical world. Between the real universe and the imagined universe, humans live in a constant state of humming. In a constant state of ah-ha and oh-no and WTF. Between you and me, the universe lives in us. In every obstacle and wound. In every chant and bedroom. And even in the womb sealed tight from the light of the blue moon.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Art + Design, Culture Clash

Art Institute of Chicago

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Ma says this is a woman collapsing into a woman collapsing into a background of elegant brushstrokes divined by some god or goddess possessed by a deep love for Jupiter. For real. This is what ma said between sips of gin.

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This is what ma looks like divined by Toulouse Lautrec.

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This is a lyrical representation of what ma and I would look like if we were the subject of art and not the creators of mayhem and mini murders. I’ve always been a fiery redhead in my head.

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Ma said these two look like fools beneath umbrellas beneath the unbearable beauty of the mid day sun.

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When ma saw the Chagall windows, she shut the fuck up. She bent down on one knee like she was a knight in shiny pink lipstick and prayed. She prayed for the advent of sun. She prayed for the blue and the blues. She lifted her head up as if she were a marionette pulled by an almost invisible string. Blue, she said, belongs to god and windows.

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Between us, ma and I understood the power of art and factless wonders like love and Alzheimer’s. We went down to the lover level because the lower level is a level we hope to never return. True love, ma said, is subterranean and foundational. It’s what stabilizes the whole wide world. It’s what normalizes the logic of sequined pants and the smile of a long loved friend.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Almost Dorothy Is Back

Almost Dorothy Wasn’t Born this Way | Photo by Neil de la Flor

My alter-ego is back. He (or she-he) spent the week writing brilliant stuff at BAP, Bad Ass  Poetry, I mean, the Best American Poetry blog. By brilliant stuff, I don’t mean turkey stuffing. I mean semi-well lit and deranged writings that are luminous (because they were written by candle light), goofy, sad, stupid, smart, funky, discoish, totally gay,  impersonal, way too personal, problematic, polemic, prosthetic, hectic, corny, cheesy, divine, trashy, semi-soft pornographic (not really) and, most of all, honest (more or less).

I’m glad my alter-ego is back. I’m glad he has taken over my body again. I’m glad because I think he may have learned something about himself that he didn’t know before, but knew, but didn’t want to accept. Anyway, hopefully he’ll treat me better and not make me write stupid things on this blog too often. But, I won’t hold my breath, because a breath is really hard to hold in one’s hand.

Here are the links to this weeks postal posts at BAP if you wanna read. Don’t take it all too seriously. Please. 

July 10, 2011: “Oprah, Mood, Swings, Set, Go, (Dis)order”. Excerpt: “Last night I took the “Mood Disorder Questionnaire” at http://www.oprah.com because I believe in Oprah, polar bears and the accuracy of self-diagnosis on the Internet at the witching hour while moderately depressed. In other words, I had nothing better to do.”

July 11, 2011: “Kazaky, Wonder Woman, Pedicures, Lago Mar, & Other Stuff”. Excerpt: “I need a pedicure. I need to spend more time Little Miss Sunshining my ass on a hammock on Fort Lauderdale beach. I need to live in the present tense. I need to stop caring about my presence in the present tense. Ghosts exist in every tense–past, future, present and inside the tenses that exist in between these.”

July 12, 2011: “Mama Mia, Chiquitita, Sinead O’Connor, Ladytron and Pegasus“. Excerpt: “Resistance is futile, so I bought tickets to see (the best damn) ABBA (tribute band in the world) next week at the Hardrock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. I’m super excited because “Mama Mia” may go with us. She is a “Super Trouper” and a “Dancing Queen”. We invited “Fernando”, but he has to work, which is too bad because he does the best Cubano rendition of “Chiquitita” never recorded.”

July 13, 2011: “Florence + The Machine, Piss Christ, War, Little Miss Sunshine, District 9 & Then Some”. Excerpt: “This is what I taught this semester while wearing a fedora: Florence + the Machine: I’m obsessed with Florence and her red hair. I’m obsessed with her cosmic voice. I’m obsessed with her lineage and her Celtic robes. I think she is an extraordinary terrestrial.”

July 14, 2011: “Do Not Disturb Rocks & Other Things I Saw Today”. Excerpt: “I took a coffee break. I passed by Saint Anthony’s Church. I saw this statue and took a photograph of it to remind me that I am not a statue.”

July 15, 2011: “Disco”. Excerpt: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to disco.”

July 16, 2011: “Goldfrapp, Stepmothers, Scissors, Brandon, Depeche Mode, & Why I Was Born (More or Less) This Way”. Excerpt: “I’ve walked into strange places where, say, a DJ spin spins beneath a canopy of scissors and walked out because I am afraid of heights, of danger, of people and places that take me out of my center of gravity. When danger enters my life like an uninvited ghost with scissors, I use to run. No more. Because there is beauty in danger if you give it enough time to reveal itself.”

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Art + Design, Culture Clash

Florence + the Machine: We Got the Love

1. Ma says if you haven’t seen Florence + the Machine perform live then you’re not living or alive and you certainly don’t have the love. That is her opinion. But I kind of guarantee her point.

2. Last night ma and I saw Florence + the Machine perform at the Hardrock at Universal Studios and we got the love and her angel wings. We stashed them beneath our skirts so security couldn’t seize them from us–the rightful heirs of her angel wings.

3. Ma and I cried so much poetry during the concert, because we love Florence so much, we had to take a water taxi home. Florence said she loves us so much too. At least that is what she said at 10:49 PM. Ma and I floated home on the notes Florence left for us because she offered them to us like precious stones or the breath of a new-born baby angel.

4. Ma and I wore our best J.C. Penny rendition of a floral printed Laura Ashley dress with cream colored strappy sandals. My dress was white with islets and islands of chunky embroidered daisies. The center of each daisy looked like an egg yolk. Ma’s dress was white too, yet egg yokeless, but ma didn’t look as chunky as I suspected she would be wearing her Chuckie face. Ma and I wore the halos we made for the show which we had strung together out of the artificial white daisies we borrowed from Target.

5. Actually, the daisies were real. The white was artificial. Officially.

Florence + the Machine | Photo by Neil de la Flor

6. When Florence appeared on stage, everything turned blue and disappeared except for the blue and Florence’s angel wings. Even the sound of her voice sounded like the bluest bluebird on Earth. The first song she sang was “My Boy Builds a Coffin” and that’s when I knew I would go home a different human and somewhat more better than I was before the concert began just like ma went home the same person she has always been, but sweatier.

I’m not sure Florence cured my grammar issues though. Thoughts?

Florence + the Machine | Photo by Neil de la Flor

7. Is it realistic to ask if god exists after witnessing Florence’s light?

Florence + the Machine's Ghost | Photo by Neil de la Flor

8. When Florence said to raise it up, we did, and the whole world did too–at least the world contained within the blue blue room. We were momentarily and eternally blinded by a white light–Florence’s light. In that moment of blindness, we embraced each other as brother and sister. I thought I had seen a ghost but it turned out to be ma’s butt hurtling through space and timelessness. She had just performed a spontaneous asymmetrically designed cart-wheel. The crowed cheered for ma, and Florence did too. I’m just not sure if they were cheering for ma’s safe landing or her departure to the lady’s room where ma rearranged her thong and halo.

Ma's Halo + Stars | Cosmic Love | Photo by Neil de la Flor

9. Sometimes when we raise our hands I get the sense there is a god or goddess (or a light of goodness) up there hovering about and laughing at us–laughing at the way we love and love to dance uncontrollably contained within the light shell of our bodies in the womb of the Hardrock’s Ballroom.

10. With my hands raised as high as my four feet can go, I’m not that tall, I grabbed on to that deity’s orange light and held on until he or she or they came down and danced with us.

Florence + the Machine | Photo by Neil de la Flor

11. “You’ve got the love,” I told the light. In manufactured silence, the light concentrated on the un-staged performance on stage.

12. “Watch this, ” ma shouted. And I watched ma fly through and into the light, the orange glow reflecting the pieces of me I see in her off of her face.

13. We were standing in the shadow of her heart and I took the stars from ma’s eyes and made a map. It looks like this:

Cosmic Love | Photo by Neil de la Flor

15. A halo. Surrounded by cosmic hearts of light.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Heavy In Ma’s (Florence + the Machine’s) Arms

Ma says I’m heavy in her arms. I tell ma I weigh like 100 pounds. Ma says no weigh and that’s way too much weight for such a small soul. I tell ma I have a big soul, a soul so big that it is heavier than what it appears to be. Ma says I shouldn’t talk shit about my soul because she is my ma and she knows a thing or two about souls, big and small. I tell ma she has no soul for insulting my soul and the souls of those who are my size and seem to have small souls. Ma says don’t worry little soul. It’s not about how big your soul is or should be. It’s about how heavy it feels when you are in the arms of angels. I tell ma she is not an angel, “so don’t get any ideas”. Ma looks at me aimless with that strange (and probably fake) pink neon halo hovering over her stupid head. “Prove it!”, she exclaims. “That your ma ain’t no angel.” I look into ma’s contact lenses for the answer to the question that is answered as she lowers me into bed.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash, Politics

10 More Reasons Why I Love New York

Man-made - New York City - Empire State Buildi...
Image by Trodel via Flickr

1. Because love is framed by the words “I” and “New”, I love New York.

2. Because the Hudson River and the East River together bear hug New York City just like ma bear hugs me like her ma bear hugged her–with her extraordinarily long arms, I love New York.

3. Because reason prevails in a city dominated by liberalism, I love New York.

4. Because the Empire State Building (almost) poked me in the eye when I flew over the city on Delta Airlines, I love New York.

5. Because of the sounds that resonate from the Brooklyn Bridge when we biked across it on the first day of summer, I love New York.

6. Because of the sanitation department, I love New York.

7. Because New York was once New Amsterdam and thus proving that nothing is permanent especially when it is new, I love New York.

8. Because New York taxi cab drivers represent the true melting-pot philosophy of our founding fathers, e pluribus unum, I love New York.

9. Because the Village is not a real village, I love New York.

10. Because New York City admits that its very foundation was built on the backs of slaves and cheap labor, I love New York. As a matter of fact, ma and I read this fact on a subway poster.