Wednesday, November 16, 2011


photo : Neely Johnson

Here I am in Chinatown. It's Friday at 6:34 AM What does AM stand for again?

"Excuse me -- hey. Hey! Hi. Where is the subway from here?"

"2 blocks that way."


Monday morning: 9:54 AM. My coat's belt is dragging on the ground as I explode into the building to clock in.

1 minute to go.

Type in the code to the door *******X, type in my employee number XXXXXXXX and my password XXXX.

30 seconds to spare.

Fluorescent lights and cracked plaster -- this place is like a prison. Except I arrive with boredom rather than fear.

Take the stairs in the back. My rush has passed.


Down the urban rabbit hole I go. I see a train coming. Is it mine? How do I know? I'm already neurotic and I haven't had caffeine yet.

I slide in my card. Punch in my pin %%%% and the auto clerk hands me my ticket. 

My train has arrived.

Slide my ticket through. Green light means DON'T STOP.

Doors slide and here I am inside the Delorean. Seriously, the inside is a time warp to the seventies. Complete with beige plastic seats and wood paneling. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


photo: Neely Johnson

“We haven’t located us yet." - The Darjeeling Limited

        She lit up another cigarette. Examining the embers that disintegrate as she taps it back into the ashtray, she exhales. She immediately feels guilty.
       So much for that health kick.
       She takes another drag and another sip of her hot whiskey. She exhales. Her body feeling warm replacing the chill that has been affixed ever since she left herself alone.She looks around.

       A room full of no one. No one she knows. She wonders what it would be like to be in a photograph with each of them, as if she knew all of them. Bunny ears, crossed eyes, the works. Each of them showing their personalities without regret.  Regret that is festering in her gut every moment.

       “Zia,” he croons, “tune out the noise. Why listen when it’ll only bang up your head?” She rubs her temples, hoping that the image of the familiar photographs with perfect strangers will fade away. It fades away quicker than the blue gaze that seems to be permanently etched into her heavy mind.

       Expectations litter her mind. Weighing it down with scraps of worries, anxieties, smiles, crossed eyes that were never her own. A puppet.This life is not meant to be lived for others.
Maybe she is a bit darker than she thought -- than everyone thought. Maybe it’s the whiskey.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lock and key
Come find me.
A brutal brawl
On a buzzing saw
Slicing my two mirrors,
Waiting to see clearer.
Reflecting my mind
A thousand times.
Shrink myself into a crystal puzzle
To be solved by that dream lover.
On the brink of cracking,
You are what I am lacking.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Write Way

I figure I should start getting used to typing my thoughts out, even though it feels inorganic. There is something about having a pen in hand (Pilot Ultra Fine V5 writes like butter) and using it as your prophet delivering messages from that cerebral stream through your limbs and fingertips and finally to Earth (or cardboard coaster, or napkin, hell, sometimes my own hand).

A complete and natural flow.

Though many thought it was a complete waste of time, especially when I would have to write 10 page papers, I felt more involved in my writing. Rather than staring at a blinking cursor and deleting random jabber in a blink of an eye, writing something by hand is also an art. A person's handwriting is another a fingerprint: a slant to the left denotes emotional repression. A slant to the right reveals emotional expression. And what if your letters are perpendicular? You're in balance, my friend. This is all theory of course - but there must be some truth between the slants.

There is also the typewriter. That clicking sound and the way you can see the mechanism of a key sending a stamp to your paper keeps you close your art. You roll the paper in. Lock it in. And if you're lucky, you get a happy little ding! moving to the next line. Like your own personal cheerleader telling you to Keep Going!

I had a professor who only communicated to his students through this antiquated machine. No computer, no e-mail, no digital communication. A copy machine was about as modern as he got for dispersing his thoughts to his 200+ students.

One night, I was scribbling away on a paper that was due the next day. I wrote in pencil this time -- my version of having a cursor. Come 3 AM I decided it was too late to type it out (the thought of staring at a computer for another hour made me even sleepier) and I decided to type it right before my 8 AM class.

Disclaimer: I am not a morning person.

I ended up running to class, my 3-page essay written on college ruled paper, smeared with pencil and eraser marks in my frozen hands. As I stumble down the stairs to his podium, hair disheveled, and nose bright red from sprinting in the morning chill, I set my crumpled heap on top of the neatly typed, crisp, white essays. He stares at this rumpled mess in front of him and then glances at the eye sore that is my paper. “I’d prefer it if you type it next time," he said curtly.

I remember feeling embarrassed for being a nuisance. “Oh well, at least I’ll find my paper easier than everyone else!” I thought optimistically (or perhaps a ploy to bury my embarrassment).

And I did find my paper with ease, along with a note that said “I see why you wrote this way. You have my permission to write this way for the rest of the semester. In doing this you have invoked your power. Power is useless without the ability to use it.”

To this day, he still writes me on his typewriter and I still write him by hand (I have since upgraded to a pen this time).

So, here is the beginning of my attempt at drafting my thoughts out via some keys and a mouse.

But my pen will always be in arm’s reach. 

Cheers, Professor R.W.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Your plastic power has disappeared in a flash/I'm no longer your puppet/ Instead a floating beat you'll never catch/My rhythm is off from yours -BOOM!- a mismatch

Sunday, July 24, 2011

photo: Lib Hedgepath

Take my ego
Stomp on it with a steel toed boot,
Leaving me raw and running on my heart's buzz.
Never mind the fumes that leak from my heart to my head,
Leading to a beating paralysis.
For in those moments of exposure,
I am in a world of hopeful mirages and ideal nightmares.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

(mixed with lust)
Wilting for that sweet desire,
Waiting for a reciprocated smile...
Body grins like a fool
Against the bickering mind's soul
A crescent smirk
Stains a star struck gaze
Hearing only open space,
Littered with your taste
I don't have to lose my eyes to see
That a fool's heart
Wanders blindly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


photo courtesy of: Wonders In the Dark

Three words: ethereal, heavy, and mental- which sum up Portishead's third studio album, fittingly titled, "Third." A departure from the lo-fi turntable scratching and jazzy undertones heard in "Dummy" and "Portishead," "Third" still exudes their signature broody lyrics yet with an instrumental twist. Gibbons' notorious witchy voice is replaced with sinister organ synthesizers and booming, rolling bass complementing her melancholic, siren soprano vocals accompanied with acoustic instruments.
The balance of delicacy and boldness throughout the album is delivered in tracks such as the lazy-afternoon-in-the-hammock "Deep Water," where Gibbons' strained soprano pitch embellishes the harmonizing, deep baritone of a barber-shop-quartet.
The celestial plucks of the acoustic guitar in "The Rip" bring the listener to a dream in her own reality. Gibbons' delicate (almost fading) vocals stretch to a light whisper as the deep synthesizer tones bring the song to a run creating a whimsical feeling of solemn and hope at the same time. Contrarily, "Machine Gun" blasts a heavy staccato synth which perfectly complement Gibbons' pleading pitch.
"Third" is an experimental heap of different sounds and textures all while maintaining a symbiosis of boisterous back beats and ethereal melodies that can easily be missed the first time. Aptly named, this album is meant to be listened to not once or twice but Three times.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Minor Blues

photo: Neely Johnson

There you are
In your usual jet black,
hunched-over back,
and haunting stare,
waiting for the next one to                   
test your approval.
Your eyes robotically scan every inch of my face
searching for that glint of desperation.
You leave me vulnerable at the threshold,
clueless to your thoughts:
sometimes you’re lovin’ me-
other times I’m turned down at my childish request.
For this isn’t a game adults play.

So I haven’t been completely honest,
Who is at first sight?
Either way, you’ll never know.
Just let me have a little fun ‘cause
my eyes are painted black
and I parted my hair on the side this time –
even my red pumps boost me up an inch.
All so I can fit the image of what you wanna see.

I won’t forget you
As you’ll forget me.
Your mark on my hand will stain for days:
A constant reminder
Telling myself to find another
but the night feels right when you nod towards me.
I could keep coming back for more:
An intoxicating partnership between you and I.
So I’ll be waiting on the line,
hoping I become one of your favorites.
Until the Day I no longer need your judgment,
and laugh at my anxiety
Once my bare eyes reach yours.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fall Out of the Wackness: A night out at Richmond's (private!) dance club

High energy industrial-house music is strobe-lighting along Fall Out's black, graffiti-filled walls. The bass-booming soundtrack is accompanied with underground avant-garde fashion that clash beautifully with the conventional world outside.

At first glance the atmosphere appears intimidating with the coolness of the crowd (I.e. No bumping and grinding, dancing solo is encouraged) but once the music gets pumping, its easy to see that this is just another club- but with a leather studded twist. From Muse, to Manson, to Hansel and Gretel, to Lady Gaga - the music is just as experimental as the pseudo-Alexander McQueen-style of the patrons.

Fall Out's Leather and Lace theme night prompted Gothic Lolitas to shamelessly strut their ghoulish glamour on the dance floor - Morticia Addams-inspired corsets, kohl-soaked eyes, and attitudes blaring louder than the music - this place is the antithesis of your generic club where the music and patrons promote experimental artistry rather than mass produced digitized droning.

Just remember to don some industrial strength kicks for all that dancing - no pansy shoes allowed in here -

Check out Fall Out's Website for their Weekly Shindigs and Membership Info:

Fall Out Club RVA

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Funhouse Dysmorphia

photo: Neely Johnson
all day long I'm lookin' at me
all day long I'm lookin' in the mirror.
one of these days i'm gonna smash it to pieces
one of these days i'm gonna finally see. 


photo: Neely Johnson

          Gears grind, drones buzz, and stale music chirps through fuzzy speakers as fluorescent bulbs beam brightly, cultivating the concrete bubble and it's creatures:
The wolf, who dresses in baggy sheep’s clothing while his fangs glisten at every plastic transaction and gleam insatiably for women.The sole-less nymph sneakily flutters to feed prey right into the baggin’ saggin’ wolf’s smacking teeth. Beware of her enchanting visage.
There are the two-headed sirens- their beautifully painted faces deceive every bare eye- for their sharp tongues and sweet gazes mask their expired kindness.
       And then there is the lioness – her full mane and towering strut shake the Machine until the wolf’s sheep costume crumples lifelessly, the nymph’s soles glued to the ground, and the  sirens’ heads shrivel squeamishly.
The clickity clack chatter of nonsense wilt away, while the brightly colored wallpaper peel, revealing comatose cracked plaster. The imposters are out of costume as the cracked whip leaves them raw in form. The masks are off - all fooling one to think that life is captured in the Machine.
One step outside – at the mercy of reality – where all of the glitz melts away, only to have them scramble back to the wool blanket of fluorescent bulbs and painted smiles.
May those gears forever grind.