Art, Poetry, Sacred Space

Rocked
All my life
I live each day as if it were my last.

Savor every morsel. Every bite.  I choose to have a blast. 
Nonstop. In the moment, moving extra fast.

I go hard. Making it count. 
From the start living out loud – taking the scenic route. 

I turn it up.
Throw it down.
Twisting and shouting 
Till’ I pass out, sound asleep 

 all the fun I keep… inside. 

I live for the nighttime;
after midnight I shine.

Top of the witching hour,
my super power is staying up all evening empowered by the moonshine
 sun bright – Loving light. 

Going to sleep when the sun comes up…
Not a morning person except when I have to fill up my cup…

I make it extra strong, shots for all, by the seat of my pants
I dance and give it away happily for free, hitting romance sharply. 

I am smartly
Going long on the field, all for the love,

I present tough but inside, I’m a big pile of mush.
Yes, I live for the rush.

My five minutes of fame
Take all that adrenaline straight to the brain.
I am not ashamed.
My life will not be lived in vain 
On fire, I am the flame I feign 

Of course, I’ve always lived this way.  
On the edge.  About to leap.  

Pick a parachute. 
I’ve got plenty ready to go, deep and wide 
all across the board my mindlessly
making moves as I be 
shaking grooves on this moody ride.

Playing the good tunes twice just for 
the sake of feeling more alive.  

Tapping into my blood line. 
I hunt blind
and gather up what I find in my dreams to speak my beliefs. 

My subconscious screams to be 
living out its own schemes. 

On my own terms, 
I had to learn. When it’s all said and undone 

I’ve got nothing left to prove  

Except that if you’re not happy in the space that you are in… 
you gotta make moves. 


USED

Bruised.
Even the word doesn’t look right. 
(And they never do) Bruises.

It’s hard to spell. Hard to say. 
And they are hard to see, too. 

They come and go, easily, 
in ways you’re not used to lines bleeding.

Like what the fuck, where did that just come from, 
Did I fuck myself up? Last night?
Is this what getting old’s like?
Was I alright? Did somebody bite me…
or did I just live up to my own false sense of hype 
and knock my knee into the dresser in the night? 

Silly me.  

Maybe it was my fault? 
Maybe I hurt myself? 
On purpose? Or in self-defense, hard to tell.

Battling your own mind is a hard sell,  
at $150 an hour to talk to someone, hell 
I’d rather just buy more pills 
and numb the swell – dumb down this welling
up, dreaded knot in my throat, that starts to creep in. 

Blood shot eyes deepen to reveal, yes it’s true. 
I’m not weak. 
And I’m not unwell.  
But I’ve definitely been beat to hell. 

Bruises heal in time, still I know 
this dull ache won’t always feel so loud in my bones 
like it’s punching you in the stomach 
every time you sit. 

A constant reminder of why we feel the need 
to settle for a bruising to begin with 

When we am so afraid to get hurt 
that we stay in a the same place – 
You’re only hurting your self worth I’m afraid. 


Adulting 

Eating chocolate in bed at midnight
after you already brushed your teeth.
Making bacon at 4am just because you can cheat.

Eating peanut butter no spoon straight from the jar
and cookie dough with raw egg, I’m still alive so far.

Doing your taxes …
four months late …
for the last two years 
and still not owing a dime.

Having to plan to waste time. 
with no time to waste. 

Creating safe space. 

Shedding dead skin. Not having to always win.

Reinventing your face every few years.
I’m definitely adulting a bit too hard these days, it appears. 


Rafiki Sonnet

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely with your snuggly strength:
Your bark does bite the sharply spoken bray,
And yes, your leash has all too short a length. 

Sometime too sweet, your eyes of heaven wine,
And soft is his gold complexion silky;
And every hair so fair sometime defines,
Your tongue and heart to match your coat milky. 

But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose esteem when over years you age .
Nay, shall death separate us from our graves,
You’ve been the best friend I can possibly crave. 

So long as men can breathe, our eyes will meet,
Long lives friendship my little rafiki. 


What am I going to do with you  

I don’t know what to do with you –
My muse, you schooled me, 
So beautifully, and a bit unruly

Now, in hindsight, it doesn’t amuse me quite 
Like it used to, smoothly 

See you blew me right over, cooly 
I fell for you, and your beauty 
When almost instantly you turnkeyed 
me, a bit rudely 

I dove in, making plans, 
growing roots in to a tree
Mistakenly carelessly, 

I believed in the musing of love – 
stupid me.

The thought of keeping you, fooled me, 
now the pursuit is no longer newly, and
I’m on a loosing streak, read:
You and I are living proof
that life isn’t always fair, foolery. 

It never is, the truth is now cruelly
forever etched on our personal movie 
narrative so brutally. 

I wish you loved me absolutely 
but you’re only here to do your job, 
to bemuse me 

And yet I can’t stop coming in for a closer looksie at 
the mirrored flame, playing with fire always wooed me.

My brain still screaming, bewildered amusingly
“Pick me, pick me, I’m a god damn ruby,“

While my heart knows, that you’re a diamond stone, 
always going to shine, shrewdly in your own light, moody, 

I know nothing else lasts forever, newbie
So why am I getting hopes up on a story line 
gone slightly out of tune key?

I might a well admit it, 
you will never choose me. 

All you’ll ever be is just a muse to me.  


When I fall in love, I fall in love forever

You said not to love you – 
I loved you anyway. 

I tried to prove that my love was real, 
but you said to go away. 

So I sat down in silence 
         and prayed 
that someday you and I would both find the kind 
of love that would stay,

Even if it’s not in the other’s love in which we played,  
Prey tell, I’m compelled 
to love you forever and a day. 

Hell, up close or from far away,
and not in a creepy predatory kind of way… 

Nay, don’t be afraid, see 
my love isn’t controlling,
not in the way you’re used to it behaving

My love is steady, brave and sweet.
It won’t ever ask you to say things you don’t mean.

Nor will I lie, I could try, 
but love this undeniable, it won’t just ago away.  

This isn’t the dress rehearsal for a wild play.
My love, is a compiled stance of romance strayed.

Even if you don’t ever want my love, that’s okay, 
you don’t have to take it, 
cuz in my heart it will live on safe, 
or possibly die on a stage, for now, 
that may be the safest spot for my display.  

Though I’ll settle for the page, 
where I can rewrite my own 
passive aggression play how I determine, 
bigger than any one person  or fashion or place.

My love, is not to be caged, 
or placed on hold, stale mate, 

not to be sold, no, this kind of love, 
can’t be foreclosed or late,
it’s never going to be for sale, 
let alone sold at a second hand rate 

Because real love can never be traded or erased. 

So when you say, with grace, 
“Don’t fall in love with me, okay?”
just know, that you never really even had a say,
because my heart knows and will always show 
up on it’s rightful sleeve, an obvious face. 

In an effort to protect it’s own rep 
in it’s very own protective case, 
up front, unapologetic, and impact braced
all the while leaving no trace 
back to any one heart chord, strait laced.

Yes, I fall in love quickly, deeply, madly, 
it’s all a part of this lovely character 
display of gravity

And sadly that doesn’t mean my mind can’t change, 
at any given moment, indeed, my love could fade… 
I mean that’s a very real part 
of putting your heart on parade,
you never know what’s coming 
or going next in this charade.

It’s like playing Russian roulette 
with a connected gut brain, 
my head and my heart at odds, God’s blood stain,
stuck strong together in vain, 
breathing through the pain…

All the while making claims 
like “maybe it was in the stars?” 

Perhaps it’s all just luck well played cards;
“  just can’t help myself” I thought, that’s the game,  
I think.  And I’ve come too far to retreat.  

I’ve learned that love oft 
is a play by play frought with 
“He loves me, he loved me nots”. 
Still I’ll take whatever shot I got, 
even if it means betting on the risk 
of scarring my own damn flame.  

No shame. No far away wish. 
I’m amiss –

Though I suggest you best not go asking me 
to refrain from saying “I love you” when I mean it. 

For it is because I took a chance on this love,
my life have been changed for the better;
Can’t you see it?


Much love to you all in the New Year! Here’s to falling in love with your life and making 2023 your bitch, right.

Love,
MissConception

Art, Burn

Burning Mannerisms: Waking Dreams 2022

“I will never be the same”

…is all I keep thinking after this year’s annual pilgrimage to the dust. Waking Dreams… (or was it a nightmare?)  It was my 6th burn, and I thought I was prepared; I mean, at least this year I didn’t forget all my socks and underwear like my 4th burn (that’s what happens when you pack TOO early)!   My tent zippers still failed.  My rain fly busted.  My dry ice cooler didn’t last more than two days, and if I told you how many marbles I lost (some of which I managed to find) you probably wouldn’t keep reading…  

Welcome to BOUNCING MAN! Jiggly bits went flying all over… deal with it.

How did we deal with it? Rawly. Maybe it’s because we are out of practice and the muscle memory just isn’t there?  Maybe it’s because the lake bed didn’t fill in so the desert ground was chunky and extra sandy, making it even more of a challenge to traverse the many miles around the city.   Or maybe I’m just getting too old to be rocking it so hard (I even brought an electric scooter, and I still got my ass kicked). Chalk it up to whatever excuse you can think of, whatever the case, this year was a serious test of endurance, and so far, nobody has said anything less.  “Is it worth it” we are all thinking?  For most people, the general consensus is yes, though from the looks on the faces of our beloved DPW (the department that builds the city and is on site the longest) it’s hard to tell. How much further down this rabbit hole are we willing to go? For me, it was certainly a challenge, and what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger, right?

I kept repeating Glennon Doyle words in my head all week as a mantra: “we can do hard things… we can do hard things”!   And that’s what we did.  

So was it worth the physical toll it took on my body, and the financial hit it takes to get out there?  I mean, it always is in the end… this mixed bag of hell and heaven on earth took my breath away more than a dozen times, daily.  It’s the most badass place on earth, I’m convinced.   The art was beyond mind-bendingly spectacular.  The people were kinder and quirkier than ever.  SNARK reigned with fleeting bits of wisdom as inside jokes evolved. Love languages rang out loud and clear between acts of service, gifting, and all the quality time with the people we love.  Did you know it’s possible to fall in love with a group of 30 people all at once?  Yep, that’s my camp, Pandora’s Bike and Fix it Shoppe, a midwest contingent that has more heart than the heartland. Oh and let me tell you about the nice pair of brand spanking new sealed in a package socks I found in the middle of the road one evening that later when I opened them up to put them on had a bag of, achem, goodies inside, my reward for picking up MOOP (matter out of place… not to be confused with SOOP Sound out of place and LOOP Light out of place).

The jokes were on point more than ever! I found a 100 bill on the ground that we debated was absolutely real, until we saw in small fine print “only for motion picture prop use”, go figure.  I also particularly loved the Dusty Throwdown prank from our friends at Friendgasm that posted in the Rockstar music guide that Rüfüs Du Sol was playing at some tiny obscure camp in the burbs, which caused an epic traffic jam on a side street as thousands of people tried to attend.  My campmate said it took 30 minutes to get out of the madness of bikes and confused crowd.  Somebody was thinking ahead, and it wasn’t just about Daft Punk (the ultimate prank people are always trying to play, who supposedly, WAS there this year?) Hard to say… hard to say. Holy WOW how This place will BLOW your mind, if you let it.  If you’re open to it.  Full of surprises around ever corner, no black rock unturned. I do believe I found myself again, but not before I lost myself first. 

This year I choose to again camp with my Midwest family, an old school bike camp placed near Center Camp known as ‘Pandora’s Bike and Fix It Shoppe and Lounge’.  We are a bar, we are a refuge from the no-mans Bermuda Triangle land also known as Rod’s Road, just a hop skip and a bump down for HOTD, and we also are a badass group of wicked smart hard ass workers who fix bikes, one of the ultimate gifts when you’re stranded far from home and pop a tire, or need some lube.  (No, not THAT kind of a lube, tho you can probably find some of that somewhere lying around.)  My bike camp was one of many homes with all kinds of themes. You find whatever you look for in any city you go to, and that doesn’t ring any truer than at Black Rock City.  If you’re looking for a dive bar folk music feel, you can find it at Hair of the Dog.  If you’re looking for love, you can try and find that, too, at the Costco Soulmate camp.  Looking for an adrenaline thrill, there’s plenty of structures to climb and ways to hurt yourself if you’re not careful. Fireside chats with the Flaming Lotus Girls, rolling Techno Gehkos, supposed Pizza in deep playa… it’s all there.  Oh and if you’re looking for Paris Hilton, you’ll find her, too!   There’s many rabbit holes to jump down; something for everyone.

So many people have the misconception that Burning Man is a big giant sex drug cult, or that it’s only for a certain type of person, but none and all of that is true. It is what you make it. The best part about Black Rock is that everybody is so radically different and accepting of other’s differences, there is space for every voice.  If the world needs an example of how to get a long, I always say take a look at Black Rock City and let the haters be gone.  So many different languages floating through the air at any given moment.  All different kinds of music all over. Okay, yes there was plenty of the same EDM 120 BPM that half of us spend the week trying to avoid, but it makes you work even harder to find those magical moments of musical ecstasy… Like when a magical light up piano player played a small set in the back hidden layer of a bedouin style tent, plush with beds and pillows and ambient lighting to set the mood.  Or the live Jazz Dome in center camp with live licks, or the Freestyle Palace live jams happening on the reg.  I graced a few open mic stages myself, pulling out some Burner parodies and freestyle funk I’ve been working on.  Collaboration at it’s finest!

Zak and What Army – The Nonsense Man – Center Camp Performance
Steven Ra$pa and friends hosting the Marching Band March Off – Center Camp

Center Camp was a mixed bag, with the sale of coffee removed this year, it didn’t quite have the same buzz as before.  There were strong emotions with the changes made, as always, while minds inquired “why can’t they have done this or that better?”.   We must keep in mind as critics, that the artists and city planners and staff have all been working their asses off so that we can come and play carefree in the sand, and I try to find the space for grace, even in all the struggles.   In all honestly, we are all learning, and we all make mistakes, especially coming out of the Covid frame of reference and attempting to be hyper-social after such a long hiatus for many.   Rather than let FOMO (fear of missing out) creep it, I try to focus more on JOMO, the joy of missing out.  You can’t see it all, and that makes for even better story times when one gets back to camp.  

Man Burn Ancestors

Though plenty went wrong: 8-12 hours in line for exodus, the 107+ degree blazing heat (some reports are saying 120), deafening dust storms and the lack of food (yes, so many people didn’t have much food left towards the end, but what saved us was the grilled cheese! It was the year of grilled cheese… everywhere you went, people were serving free grilled cheese, thankfully). I like to try and focus on what went right.  The community REALLY brought it, for starters, and we brought it hard. The art was moving, raw, and brilliant in so all the ways I wanted it to be.  The fires were spitting out dust tornados, also known as “ancestors”, left and right, in their true magical eye-candy fashion.  The costumes were on point on another level; two years stuck at-home really allowed for people’s creativity to shine.  

There was also a noticeable lack of the plug-and-play burnier-than-thou elitist mentality that so often blind-sides the city with the arrival of the Thursday weekend warriors.  I often notice an obvious shift in vibe once the city is infiltrated with sparkle ponies and tourists as the event commences, this year I felt safer than ever, personally witnessing no predatory vibes and what looked like people actually have their shit together.  Sure, people still got a bit sloppy, and with the heat, RAMPART was busier than ever, taking care of those in need.  I pray nobody got seriously injured.  I even had medics called on ME at one point, when I fell asleep at a show and didn’t wake up right away.  Averaging three hours of sleep in dust and heat waves after a few days caught up with me, and I realized, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.  My camp and those around me took such good care to ensure my safety, and for that I am forever grateful.  There was even a baby born on playa this year… talk about a wild first burn!  Gotta love those virgins… 

And sure there is still classism and vast differences of wealth and politics, just like you’d find in any city. Sure, we have a long way to come with radical inclusion and diversity. At least the conversation has begun with Burning Man’s RIDE initiative, lest we fail to mention all the impactful work that Burners Without Boarders does globally. (Want to get involved Bay Area? Hit me up and let’s keep this train going full steam ahead). The whole world can be your burn, if you let it.

Coming out of such a mind-fuck of an experience, filled with so much love, and at the same time, feeling so incredibly physically and emotionally taxed, is a lot to process after the fact.  The heat, the dust and the emotional taxation were all a lot. Be gentle with yourself. We didn’t have a temple to take our grief to for a few years which really stored up a lot of tension.  Speaking of the temple…

My first trip to the temple this year, I felt numb, and I questioned myself: “How can we have gone through such a collective trauma and here I am, at the most beautiful Empyrean temple, with no tears to cry? What was the matter with me?” I wondered. Turns out, it took my run in with RAMPART to unlock the overflowing love from my camp which cracked open the deep personal and collective wound that I had been carrying around for a long time now, and once the levy opened, it was hard to close.  Tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears of empathy and compassion seemed to flow from all directions, from all of us. What a cathartic kaleidoscope this Waking Dream has been.  

We can easily be tricked into thinking Burning Man is just a party, but what we fail to always note is the extreme power in allowing one’s self to break down and then being forced to rebuild in such a raw state. A new friend and virgin burner said to me and I paraphrase: “I thought I was coming just to have a fun wild time. If you had told me I was coming to completely break down emotionally and recalibrate my entire life’s purpose, I probably wouldn’t have come. But I’m so glad I did.”   We had a good laugh and cry.  People opened up and shared their deepest darkest fears and secrets.  People spoke about suicidal ideation and the struggles they have faced with mental health; we grappled with our loneliness and our regrets.  People FACED their own shit, on and off the dance floor, with dust every with way, underneath flying embers of freedom; we embraced it… this hell on earth that we can still find so much joy in.  We took it all in.  We had no choice. We let it devour us. Every single bit.

There were so many moments upon arrival and decent when I thought to myself “Why did I come here? Did I make a mistake? Maybe there’s something else I should be doing with my time, money and resources?” We all thought it, at one point or another.  And then the wind shifts, and there are these 4 or 5 nights of fleeting rapture, with electricity that catapulted us into another world of excitement and awe.

What you end up with is: Permission is what it gives us… permission to be your true radically expressive self, and even though it may have been temporary, it was everything my soul needed, to connect on such deep levels of intimacy like that.  You don’t get this at Disneyland.    

Burning Man 2022

Yes, it’s true, we do this to ourselves. Year after year, we return to that desert, to crumble and fall apart so that we can strip away that which no longer serves us anymore.  Then we harness that synergy and attempt to rebuild to be better versions of ourselves than we thought possible.  We know we all still have a lot of work to do, as a species, as a community, as individuals.  Be gentle withbyourself, fellow burners.  No divorcing your Heavy Petting Zoo just yet.  Hopefully, after we get through the week or two of decompression, we can arrive at a point where we are more than ready for the future than ever; ready to take all this burner juju out into the world and continue to shine that light of kindness and creativity even brighter, so that it may give others permission to do the same.  As the light keeps expanding, and our hearts keep growing, the kindness multiplies, and we continue to push the envelope of evolution.  I believe that’s what we were sent here to do. 

We can do hard things.  We can do hard things.  We can do hard things.  

Oh and to the Borg, I say this: Oh Borg! Mercedes Benz Burning Man Parody 2022

Guess it’s time to do more hard things in our Waking Dreams.  And it’s been an honor to do them with you all. 

Bring it on,

MissKinnection

Art, Evolution, Poetry

MissConceptions of a Modern Day Mash-Up

I laugh at myself (as artists often do) almost every time I practice my newfound art of DJing.  I laugh because I never thought at age 33 this is what I’d be geeking out over, but also I laugh because as a poet at heart, my DJ flow is an extension of my poetry.  Whether I am spinning hoops, weaving words or mixing tracks, I find poetry and laughter in each art form. As a DJ, the poetry flows from my own consciousness as well as from blending other people’s cherished words together (more often than not, the words accompanied by music in the background) to put together a unique and experimental set.  Call it hip hop, call it vocals, or poetry, whatever; I have fallen in love with the art of blending the sounds of other people’s words in a way that takes the listener on a new and mystical journey, and it totally cheeses me out.  And now here I am BLOGGING about my LOVE of DJing WORDS as a POET… the irony layers upon layers of “WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE DOING” seems to spin me around saying boldly that in this wild world of art, I have, and will again, come full cipher.

“How did I get here?” I often ask myself that question.  At first glance it might appear that my white girl entitlement woke up one day and thought “hey, I think I’ll be a rapper”. On a deep level, where one must look honestly at ones privileges and entitlement,  I can admit that there is an element of truth to that; however in all honesty the evolution of MissConception has really has been so much more.  Allow me to spin a tale of truth, take you back to my youth, and share why I dare be so bold as to tread instead on this blazen path of creativity.  See, I was born wanting to defy any and every stereotype imaginable, but I wasn’t always so brave.  When I look back, there are a few crucial moments in my life when I distinctly remember thinking “I am going to be an artist, blow some minds, and have a fuck-ton fun doing it”.   I didn’t realize it was going to be so hard, despite everyone’s warnings.  (Sometimes when you’re not even trying things come easiest, and then you start working at it and the challenges show face).

Safe to say, I pretty much came out of the womb dancing.  My grandmother Carol used to tell me about how she would take me to brunch on top of the Alameda hotel and I would sing and dance and put on a show for all the guests with the piano player on deck.  I choreographed and performed my own dance in 2nd grade for a talent show.  I wanted to be Aretha Franklin at age 10.  (My parents put me in singing lessons when they heard that.)  I remember my whole childhood full of adults telling me I shouldn’t sing because I was, plainly, annoying.  Nobody used that word, but I could tell they didn’t want to hear it.  I often wanted to put on shows that nobody wanted to watch.  Time and again I participated in ecstatic plays where nobody cared to hear me out.  Entire lifecycles I role played out in my head, alone.  Though my parents did offer dance lessons and school play auditions, which I readily appreciated, I couldn’t help but feeling stifled in hindsight.  I wanted to bring joy, but I was told to hush, like many children.  “Don’t be so silly,” they warned.   I distantly remember a time in 5th or 6th grade when even though I knew deep down in my heart that I was an “artist” of mystical meanderings, that the power of the universe was within me and I had all the knowledge I needed to make the world a better place, admist along all of that confusion, I decided I would put it all away, as to not bother anybody. The sadness in not feeling welcome to be ones self, I know it well.

Yes, I put it all away alright; through high school in dance team I opted to be in the back row every time. I didn’t try out for parts that had singing auditions, which were almost every part.  I didn’t want to call attention, for fear that I would be told I wasn’t good enough.  All of those things we are told as women, as children, as adults that we “aren’t pretty enough, aren’t smart enough, didn’t make the cut” echoed through my head constantly.  After all, wouldn’t we rather do nothing at all than fail?  “If you don’t do anything you can’t fail,” I thought.  (All this coming from a straight A student…). I never really felt like I fit in, or had a purpose, and it was very confusing for a child who was asked constantly “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Until I found the misfits…

I signed up for a poetry writing class at KU, mostly to avoid British Literature, and I remember my classmates seeing my love of creativity and word-smithing, encouraging me to go to poetry readings and let my words be heard.  I didn’t believe them at first; THEY thought I was worth OTHER people’s time??   As I began going to readings and putting myself out there slowly people started asking me to do it more.  The local jam band asked me to come sit in and flow during their Monday night jam sessions.  I started calling poetry circles in the park, where strangers would come to just hear words exchanged in the moonlight.  People BOOKED me!  I started attending secret midnight readings, hosting events and finding serious poetry slams, with jazz bands and professional poets encouraging me to “work harder to find the right word,” which is what a professor taught me once.  An endless cycle, nonetheless, I was hooked.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t poetry that dragged me surely out of my sh-ell (sheltered-hell), but rather, it was a hoop.  I was in college and my friends started learning how to hula hoop, this oldschool-made-new fitness craze; but these girls were learning tricks, dancing and meditating with the hoops.  Dancing, having always been a vertical expression of a horizontal desire (said Rita Dove), became an immersive experience. I had always been a lover of play and movement, so I followed right along in stride with the other hoopers, learning how to work with one, two, and up to six hula hoops at a time.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but later I would light them up, and set them on fire!

 

“The irony spins in hoops yearning to endear our ears to truth” – Stella Dreamwalker

It was using these plastic rings with a “give-no-fuck” attitude that gave me the courage to really bless the mic the way a mic should be blessed.  Well, the hoops, and many poets and artist that I encountered who each inspired me to the stars and back.  A little bit of self-confidence was the ignition I needed.  Fueled with my words of love, I combusted and in 2009 I made a decision to start taking myself seriously, as an artist.

Over the years, I’ve casted many nets and caught a lot of fish, some very lucky minnows and some sharks. I knew carving out a niche as an artist was going to be difficult. It was going to be full of disappointment, misunderstandings and with plenty of people telling me I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t be successful. I knew I was fishing in waters deeper than I had fished before. I also knew that there was no other option for me but to try. I was a guppy who wanted to move mountains with art. So first learned to walk on lands and then I learned to fly… and then, mountain hunting I went.

I remember the night it dawned on me that if I was going to do this, which is when I started diving deeper into hip-hop.  I realized I had been embodying many of the elements of this loved art form without even knowing it… DoJing and emceeing, art (graffiti/stenciling), bboy dancing, and the consciousness of it, all touched my heart; the pain and the sadness right along with the badass gladness.   “My Main MissConception” was the first spoken word performance piece I wrote and my roommate deemed me the name MissConception.  #miccheck

Special thanks to Alex Chase for recording and mastering my first track.

Since I was little I had always loved rhyming.  Shell Silverstein and Dr Seuss were heavy influences as a child , and in middle school I memorized all the words to a Jurassic 5 song and then the rap at the end of TLC’s Waterfalls.  I was obsessed with cadence and delivery.  After flaming hoops unleashed my inner confidence, I took to the stage saying the thing that nobody at least nobody who lied like me) wanted to say.  Passion and truth flowed naturally like water from my lips.  Largely, I wasn’t the most popular act in town, especially in the thick of the spoken word and rap scenes, despite my emphasis on social inequality, the environment and gender equality.  I wanted to change the world, and again it seemed nobody wanted to listen. Eventually a local producer, DWILL, offered to make beats for me and record my first album.  In  2008 he helped me to debut my dream, Self Titled: MissConception; I was ecstatic.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be making a hip-hop album. He believed in me, and that is sometimes still hard to believe.

Since then, I’ve performed on hundreds of stages, hosted showcases, self-produced several more albums (Ostentation, Saraswati, Saratonin, Serendipty EP, and my new release coming in 2020 titled: Saramony); I’ve worked with some very talented producers, and I even had the opportunity to release my first chap-book of poetry in 2016 entitled: Class Action (because who really wants to go to law school anyone when you can be a poet). #poppoetry #12poetsin12months.  (I still have a very limited amount of 2nd edition signed copies left #classaction)

Yes, it all looks so pretty on a website, and yes I have wanted to give up over and over.   The truth is for an artist, it is a constant internal battle of your mind as to whether or not to keep going or give up, and an external battle with everyone else.  Almost every day I doubt myself.  And almost every day I have someone reach out to me telling me that my words changed their life.  “Have you considered getting an agent?” is the most grateful and yet painful question; lord I wish I could find an agent who would understand this hot mess of an artist.  But just knowing that so many people now believe in me; what a blessing. On the other side of the same token, I receive more messages than I’d care to admit that my work is trash, founded in ignorance, and  I have no business as a white woman in hip-hop, or that I’m chasing a dream that no longer serves me or my lifestyle.  One thing these hoops and ciphers have taught me is that each of us has our own fires to burn and our own lessons to learn.

I learned long ago to not chase the dream.  Follow it. Show up for it.  Be ready for it when it comes knocking, but don’t chase it.  Desparation is a heavy stench. The thing I keep coming back to as an artist is that it doesn’t matter who likes or doesn’t like my art. The art is made FOR ME, by me, because of me, and through me.  It’s there if you want, take it or leave it.  You don’t have to understand it to appreciate it.  Sometimes the parts of creativity that we MISunderstand are actually the POINT of making the art.  The more healthy discussions that spark from these dreams come alive the more fuel for the art.

More often than not I wake up lyrics in my head from a dream and scribble them down before I forget.   I am not necessarily a writer, dare I say that I am a channel? I always tell people that although I may write down the songs, they don’t exactly come from me, they come through me.  I didn’t plan for this. I didn’t ask for this.  I just simply cannot help myself; and thus another misconception was born.

Saramony Album Art 2020
Album Artwork painting done by Wieteke Waterborg, 2008
Ceremony | Saramony Release Day January 1, 2020
– A projection of desire and reflection of the fire –

In preparing for my new album release, Saramony | Ceremony in 2020, I collaborated with a group out of the Twin Cities called the Gypse Freq Circus for one track; several of the tracks were written by a producer named Eisenhauer, and a few parodies in the mix that just fell out as well.  (Parodies are my favorite!)  Recorded and mastered by Jonathan Larson of the Tenderloin Studios in San Francisco, this is some of my darkest and most conscious work yet dare I say?  It is set to release on January 1, 2020. #2020vision

I’ve always said that there are two rules of ‘Show Business’: 1. Shock Value –  and 2. Always leave them wanting more.  Say the thing that they don’t expect you to say and then leave them hanging on the edge of their seat baby so they come to your next show. These 8 tracks I am hoping will tug on your heart strings just enough to help me fuel the next round of creativity, whatever that may be.  I’m always paying attention and ready when the universe calls.

Another professor once taught me that “Poetry is the art of paying attention” and he could not be more right.  Paying attention in a century where attention-spans are the length of twitter tweets is a nearly impossible feat.  It’s asking a lot of people these days to cut through the clutter and really give your mind to one train of thought for more than five or ten minutes.  How about, just one song even?   Listening may or may not save your life per say, but it’s CERTAINLY saving mine.  Here is a sneak peak of the title track off my new album, entitled: Gypsy Freq Circus

Gypsy Freq Circus 

Being an artist and performing original work to an audience that appreciates said art is truly the greatest give in the world; the highest of highs abound.  It has become my mental health lifeline.  Booking an artist is somewhat akin to saving their life in a sense… it’s our purpose, striving art. It’s what we live for.

“Art is why I get up in the morning,” said Ani Difranco, “but my definition ends there you know it doesn’t seem fair that I’m living for something I can barely define…and there you are right there in the meantime”.  Art is the process of defining what there is to get up in the morning for.  Whether it pisses you off or inspires you, at least it’s doing something!

 

❤ Thanks for the love during the last decade ❤

If I’ve realized anything about the beauty of performance art, it’s that it’s an incredibly hard sell, almost especially so when your tool-kit is full of a variety of tricks; often people don’t know what to do with me as an artist.  I’ve been told, “I’m too spiritual for the hip-hop heads and too hip-hop for the yoga teachers.”  I don’t write my own “music”, I write the  words.  I take other people’s music and words that flow through and mash em up often serenditiously.  When they ask about my work style I tell people, “If you put Ani Difranco and Jurassic 5 together, you get one hell of a MissConception”.  And I suppose I’d have it no other way; after all, my name is MissConception; the element of mystery and elusivity is part of the practice.  You’re supposed to interpret art, not be told what it is.   “Just what is she trying to do?”  Truth is the magic is in the mystery.

In closing, I just want to say a seriously great big thank you to anybody and everybody who has ever supported MissConception, myself, or any other artist that inspires you on any level.  Thank you for also sharing your art with me. Special thank you to my dear friend and editor,  Stella Dreamwalker, for believing in me and writing with me along the way.   I will be forever grateful for your love, and I will continue to offer my creativity and love to any and all who wish to share.  The only way out is in-word, and we are all in this wordy world together, spinning circles.  Let’s keep rockin’ into the twenties!

THANK YOU 

Love,
MissComeOn

Miss Concept Ion

www.themissconception.com

Art, Evolution, Health, Poetry

Healing Feelings

“Creating all this drama while running from our trauma” Professor Nightlife Jones

“Despite all my rage, Im still just a rat in a cage!” – Jai Love

I’ve come to love the sound of the recycling jingling in and out of cans outside my bedroom window on the street below…. not because of the environmental implications, I mean, but because it sounds like home. My home, now. Life on Clement. 94118. I chose this very place, of all the towns and cities in the United States, I picked here. The Inner Richmond. Why?  Many reasons. Fate. Chance.  Coupled with my proximity to work in Tiburon at the synagogue, and for a variety of other factors involving landscape, environment, proximity and creativity, this is my home of choice.  My sanctuary. My center. The eye of my storm.   

That’s not to say I don’t doubt myself everyday. Did I make the right choice? Pick the right city? The right job? The right part of town.   I KNOW that I picked the right partner, thank goodness, and I am grateful everyday for that clarity. So why have I been so…. disillusioned?  So unhappy.  What more could I want?

Yes, I do miss my family. But I like it here. I like who I have become.  I’m not as sweet as I used to be, but much kinder and smarter, I’d like to think.  Rougher.  More careful with my energy and time and space. Protective. A mamma bear.  I work out now, sort of.  I actively DON’T eat cheese at every meal.  I don’t smoke… near as much as I used to.  I don’t weigh myself down with unnecessary bullshit and small talk with people I don’t care about.  So where are these giant waves of sadness coming from? Are they a part of me? Or maybe much bigger than me? Generations larger than I can possibly comprehend, it seems.

And I am open to it.  I asked to understand, the human condition. I remember at six-years-old asking for answers of the universe.  I read Conversations with God and the Four Agreements at an early age, and lots of other spirituality self help type books that seemed reasonably informative.   I remember adults protecting me from the truth, for the same damn reasons we protect our own hearts and tune out our own minds when it’s convenient, which is more often than not these days.  Every night we feel the need to turn the volume up or down, it seems.  To alter our current state, because reality is not pretty. 

And sure, we can blame it on mercury in retrograde, or the solar storms, or claim we are just products of our environment, and that’s nice, to put a name on it. A blame. “Survival of the fittest”, gone wrong.  Of course, I am not niave enough to think it is all outside consequences no, I am open to it being all my fault. By no means is my life perfection; though I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  The amount of beauty and joy I have been shown far outweighs and exceeds the haunting of mistakes and misdeeds, that me and those who came before have scored. Everything we know is constantly in a stage of flux and transition; growing, changing, building, maintaining.  Disruption. Creation. On repeat. New twist.  Developed plots thicken. We grow sicker. We discover a cure.  It is true, that I have grown sicker, weaker, sadder. And it has been very hard for me to admit that to myself, because once you give it power, then it changes, right? 

Upon reflecting of my past, my relationships gone wrong, friendships failed, I have grown discouraged. Though admitting your mistakes is the first step to changing the future.  Please know that if I haven’t followed through or reached out to you lately, and I was supposed to, please forgive me. Life has been like a god damn tornado. I  lived my whole life in Kansas thinking I’d never seen a tornado, until I got to San Francisco and realized that the tornado was all around me. I was the calm. 

Somehow, I’ve thrown myself out of orbit. What was once an eye is now a limb, a gust, an upheaval of old foundation crumbled to new. As I continue to stumble down this dumbfounded road, seeing new walks of life, some pristine and some soot, I recognize my own depression is a result of years of neglect and emotional instability, from my own actions but also from the gusts of wind from other storms, other atmospheres, colliding.  Exhausted.  Worn. 

The storm comes and goes, and so does my vulnerability.  As I continue to try and be as present and available to others all the while taking care of my own sanity.  I want to do more. I aim to do more.  I will not give up on doing more, for myself and for my community. 

Sometimes it is as simple as switching your medication.    

Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying something.  Speaking up. 

Saying I’m sorry if you have to.  

Admitting your truth and finding your next step. 

Sourcing the pain, so you can work on healing the wound. 

My friend taught me a learning recently. She said “Sara, you’ve been so open, you’re forgetting to protect yourself”. And then she taught me to clear.  After years of being an empath, I now am aware of the consequences of neglecting that power. 

“Thank you (insert higher being here)
for clearing all draining and negative energy chords
in all directions of time. “

» three deep breaths – then follow with «

“Thank you (insert higher being)
for shielding me with 1000 feet of silver light
in all directions of time. And so it is”


-From April King_

Ripples that we make go everywhere, in all directions. We make them constantly- some microscopic and some so big we can’t even see that it’s a wave.

I Invite you, to be careful what you put in motion, as it may not turn out like you thought. You may not even be thinking about it consciously at all. Luck is chance and fate is a game. Back and forth. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose and you don’t have to play. You choose to feel it all or feel nothing. Both have consequence. Balance is only possible with out attachment and then constant upkeep of the body soul and mind / space we occupy. None of it matters and it all matters we all could argue reasoning for both. We are that enlightened. And yet we are our own enemy. We hold each other back. We fight the way of nature. We protect what we have know we hold onto tradition and the sacred for dear life maybe for a good reason maybe not. Sometimes both. The complexities of chance and fate and intentions at work here are astronomical unpredictable. The equation is long and the ripples are strong. Waves so big you may not even notice it.

In this day of age we are all ripe and raw.  We are BOTH sides of the coin and the paradox. We are all misconceptions. We could all argue both sides of the fence. So be careful what you say and always tell the truth. If you have the facts and integrity and kindness you will come out ahead and if for no one else but yourself. Be your own karma. Don’t forget to breath through it all. I love you. I’m working it out just as you are.  Maybe you’ve learned something and have something to teach me.  Don’t hold back; please, we need your voice.

“It’s about planting a seed, letting it grow
Nourish it, flourish is, give it grow, flow,
Water it down until the roots take hold
from the leaves on the trees to our breaks get old
Cultivate relationship millions of years,
Keep it strong, erase thereof fears.
Don’t you let no producer tell you that you can’t,
Just make sure you’re careful which seeds you plant” 

-MissConception, 2009, Plantin’ a Seed-

Art, Evolution, Poetry

A Shortcut to Love

I used to think falling in love was the key to happiness… you think you learn every thing you need to know as a little girl… “he’ll be on a horse, just before midnight;  I’ll be wearing white, and it will be happily ever after”.  Right?

And then… you grow up.

Reality smacks you in the face, and if you’re paying attention, you realize that if you really want to fall in love in a HEALTHY way, you must find that happiness and love within yourself first. Quintessential, yes, just as the love itself is.  A perfect mix of idealism and reality.   There are no shortcuts.  There’s no magic pill or perfect weight that suddenly grants you the divine agape soulmate twin flame type of love you read about in the romance novels.  You do the work for you; you get to that place where you are SO ecstatic to NOT be in a shitty to relationship, to be FREE, and that’s when true love finally has the opportunity to open itself to you.  Even then, it’s not a guarantee.

In the meantime, while it’s incredibly difficult to wait it out and trust yourself in this divine plane,  in all actuality, if you are not madly in love with yourself, then you have no business trying to love or support another human, a partner, let alone a child.  Even if it NEVER happens in this lifetime, don’t you still want to be THAT happy, that it doesn’t even matter?   I do.  And every day is an effort to meet myself in that place.

So many people are miserable in relationships, and also miserable alone. Loneliness is a slow death that will kill anyone’s spirit faster than it will kill a body; but what good is a body without a spirit alive? Falling in love with yourself, all the while letting go of attachment to things and places and ideas that will in theory ‘make you happy’ requires a good dose of proactivism; meaning, you’re going to have to go out and get it.  You can’t sit passively and wait for love to find you.  FIND yourself.   I dare you.

We look at couples who have been together for years and think, “Why them? How come they get to be so happy together and in their relations?  Why do they deserve it?”

First of all, if you are still thinking like that, then you’re not there, or ready.  You still have work to do within loving yourself.  Once you’re there, you won’t CARE who has what relationship or why they deserve it more than you.

Also, what we often fail to see are the sacrifices, or choices, one makes to be in love, truly. It requires a selfless that comes from selfishly loving yourself first; then that selfishness turns INTO selflessness for others. Loving another means not always doing exactly what you want because you’re putting someone else’s needs right up there with yours, which can look like a chore, but one that shouldn’t ever bring resentment.   This applies to familiar love, and the same goes for romantic love; there comes a point when someone else’s happiness becomes just as necessary for your happiness, though not dependent on it.  The second you depend on another to fill up your cup, that is the moment your cup will drain, and continue to drain, unless you re-learn to fill it up yourself.  This happens on a micro and macro scale.

So, how do we will up our cups?  One bite at a time. With a daily dose of self love and self care.  Eventually, when you start giving yourself SO much self love, you will begin to expect it.  You deserve it.   You already know all the ways; don’t let it overwhelm you.  Remember your worth; stop giving your power  away to other people – that is never true love.  YOU live in your power and in your own divine agape love.  Once you’re there, then we can talk matchmaking. 

Anything you would give a partner, give to yourself.  Anything you would WANT from another, choose to be that.  Too many people are sitting around waiting for love to find them, wondering why it isn’t happening. When was the last time you went to the gym, or got yourself a pedicure?  “Money’s tight,” you say?  Work out a work-trade for your local gym membership, or take up a part time job with all the free time you have not dating somebody and start saving those pennies for a well earned vacation and spa retreat.  Take yourself somewhere exotic.  Push yourself to harness your creativity and freedom to make the most of this trip around the sun, even if it’s alone.  We are born alone.  We die alone.  And in the meantime, we have all of these fabulous souls to get to know and experience on a daily basis!  Start inside.  Work your way out by walking your talk.  The only thing you’ll have to regret, is your own disappointment.  Start now before it’s too late, and remember, it’s never too late to love yourself! 

And Happy Valentines Day,

MissConsumed

 

IMG_1734

www.themissconception.com

Art, Evolution, Poetry


Do you have change for a button sir? 



Imagine there’s this red shiny button, with no label on it… do you push it? Or not? Even if you don’t know what it does. 


See lately, I’ve found myself pushing buttons. Lots of buttons. All the buttons that we must push…

Including but limited to, my own and yours. For example:
I get up, and hit the alarm, first thing, snooze is on, twice or three times AT LEAST I’m gone back to sleep, to push that button again maybe catch another wink. Flip the lights. Then push a series of buttons and knobs, facets, electronics and different kinds of tabs, showered, dressed and ready to brave the street. I unlock the car with a button chirp, jump in the seat, ignition switch and hit the sun roof, then radio, then gps, then reverse, lights, mirror angle, gas action, and we’re down the highway bend.


Across a bridge, pusha button to pay the toll, my mother calls, do I answer the phone? Or click ignore?


Push the button to the gate at work; a code to enter, buttons to remember, systems of order and cognition, passwords to recall, and change as one forgets, don’t we all? Tapping the keys all day, buttons and letters and numbers all in array, combing through pages and emails online, I hit the send button, often to soon, I’ll admit it. I’m hot on the buttons, pulling the trigger out of impulse, and release.


Turn on the fan


Turn down the music, turn it back up again.

Microwave your lunch and then the copy machine parades it’s multiverse of button wizardry all afternoon.



Hit the lock button on the bathroom door, which sometimes I forget, yeah that’s happened before. You want more buttons, we got more in storage…



I am so tired, of fucking pushing buttons, and of people pushing mine – will we ever just chill the fuck out, let the buttons rest for a time?




Yes, maybe, just maybe I’ll let you push my buttons a little, on purpose, if you’re nice, but don’t rush it, until I trust it, otherwise you won’t be pushing it twice. 


Pushing buttons…
Clock out.
Wrap it up.
Take it home, I’m done,

But not before
I reset the buttons back for tomorrow’s pushing some more.

<3,
MissCompissed

Art, Poetry, Sacred Space

Mountain Earth

I study the mountains
like I study the curve of a woman

Like the way I stare deep into your eyes
looking to lift the disguise from your gaze

Like how we listen to old stories the
the mountains tell it…

Every rock and groove a lifetime of moves and slip.

Each hill a gift to the present.

Every dry river bed has a past documenting the history of lifetimes,
and oh, how I’ve missed you.

<3,

Miss Constance

img_3739

www.themissconception.com

Art, Happenings, Poetry, social justice

Poetry as Personal Power

What helps you get through tough times in your life?

Poetry for Personal Power is a Midwest based non-profit organization designed to do the virtually unheard of.  Poetry for Personal Power, or P3 for short, provides health care messaging via community prevention info that manifest through paid gigs for sponsored artists.  Essentially, P3 has been allowing artists to use poetry and music to address mental health and wellness in the community, in order to improve the community at large… and it’s working!

Specifically focusing on  youth audiences and underprivileged communities, P3 hosts workshops, poetry readings, performances, and events of all shorts to get young people talking about mental health and wellness and what it means for them to deal with the struggles and complications of life.  Also known as peer support, P3 strives for a 70% hospital reduction rate, while intimating health care advocacy and research.

“What helps you through adversity? We are now in our seventh year with over 150 events per year, 75 sponsored artists and advocates in 7 regions, and research and peer support programs in full pilot trial modes! We are building a national replication process to share health care messaging, promote resilience in nonprofits, and increase the number of peer support programs. We are becoming an evidence based resilience messaging campaign with sponsored artists. We are also increasing Wellbeing Impact in host organizations with sponsored advocates.” -Poetry for Personal Power Website

So how can you get involved?

In 2017, the Kansas Mental Health coalition (KMHC) has a $120K grant to teach artists how to become citizen lobbyists. They are looking to pay stipends to people to learn to use arts and advocacy together to support social justice. Poetry for Personal Power and KMHC are doing a free one day training on March 14 for artists and advocates. P3 would like to invite anyone to attend, especially youth or young adult advocates. You can apply here to attend that training: http://kansasmentalhealthcoalition.onefireplace.com/event-2168073

Also, Poetry for Personal Power has a $5,000 grant to support youth and young adult artists from Kansas who want to become tobacco prevention advocates.

You can apply here: http://poetryforpersonalpower.com/artist-entrepreneur-supports/event-replication-application/

If you are interested in the Poetry for Personal Power initiative, you can always email corinna@poetryforpersonalpower.com for more info, or text 816-392-6074.

One of the best parts about Poetry for Personal Power is that the organization is actually paying artists to facilitate these actions and events.  You can check out artist profiles on the website here.  Get involved.  Get excited. And get ready, because P3 is about to revolutionize the way we look at healthcare, via ART!

Always,

MissCompassion