All posts by Mike iLL

Just the Five… Six of Us

poh-pih's mama

It’s one thing being gay in theory. It’s another in practicality. Pensacola, Florida ain’t exactly San Francisco.

Eight months ago we were polyamorous in theory. Now it’s real. Our boyfriend is beautiful. Well over six feet tall with very dark skin and a wide, bright smile. His speaking voice has a very high range that on the phone would be mistaken for a woman’s.

Rikki did not expect him to be interested in them. Our new boyfriend is fairly bird-like with affectations that would lead one to expect they weren’t interested in pussy. Whether or not pussy is an interest, Rikki is. The two of them are adorable together. Fucking adorable.

In many ways we barely even know this dude. He’s been our voice trainer for a few months. Sings his ass off. So far it’s just been kissing and hugging and maybe a little crotch massaging. Rikki and I fucked slowly and every time I would gently say the name of our new love, Rikki would moan. Rikki was singing like a bird. Rikki has been on cloud nine since finding out that our new boyfriend was not just my new boyfriend: bubbling and gushing on and on.

I can’t believe that he’s interested in me.

Rikki has always talked about being a fag hag. A fruit fly.

Rikki says that seeing he and I together, I am “so gay”.

You are so gay.

Bubbling and gushing.

hipsandbreastIt’s taking a little getting used to. So gay is something that as a kid in Hoboken, New Jersey was no thing to be. I aim to fearlessly embrace this, though. If I am so gay, so be it. So gay and then some. Fuck yes. How liberating.

And I get to enjoy this absolutely gorgeous feminine partner in skin, shape, voice, motherhood and wisdom.

The top of the world is a nice place to look around from.

More Death

Broken-fuckin-hearted. If I even know what that word means.

Saturday started with an early morning visit to the market for raw milk (3 gallons), vegetables and maybe some humane meat.

Jerry Jackson and I mangreed with each other for a few minutes. That’s where men get together and mansplain with each other. He goes, “I deal with a lot of fundamentalism, but the Christian community housed two hundred people last night, what did the yoga community do?”

Ran into another head-shaving mom and learned about her and her beautiful husbands impending divorce. He insists. They have been co-habitating with her parents, which must tie in at some level.

“You can tell him Mike iLL says he’s being a fool.” And as if on cue, Dude pulls up twenty feet from us on his moped (or whatever it is). She chokes up and walks away.

He’s shrugging his shoulders and looking everywhere but in my eyes insisting that he’s “happier now.”

My usual rap: “isn’t one crazy partner enough? we end up with the same issues again. you are such a great couple.”

Been reading the author bell hooks, who talks about crossing the threshold of pain to find the self and live in love. So when “a round peg and a square hole” comes up I arrogantly say, “you can either go through the pencil sharpener or stay square. you can even die square.”

An hour or two later Can Imagine is at our house with an opportunity. A bee swarm up in one of his trees. It had happened to be National Tree Climbing Day and we spend an hour or two cutting a lowering this limb down to shake the swarm into a screen box. Can wonders if monogamy is actually a good plan. We talk about how many pounds of bees this heavy box must be holding.

Shaking the bees into the top bar hive, there is a pretty large pile, many of which would be dead.

Well today I confirmed that that pile was most of the swarm. Literally thousands of bees, who’s death I am responsible for.

Our marriage has also been very very fucking rocky lately and to complete the weekend, the International Folk Dance Group are discontinuing for the time being do to lack of attendance.

What should die is thinking I’m supposed to be in charge. Fuck you whoever told my great great grandparents that.

Sex Magic

Gorgeous rain. Night rain. Rags shivers always. Does he remember the great flood? Dogs, Gods love made visible. Rags deserves more. Everybody around here is neglected.

“Intense, Remote and Intelligent”, Doris said. Three words. Without a moment’s hesitation. Like she just knew it.

Rikki is transgender. Pussy is a Penssy. We barely use it. Asexuality is a thing. Why do women have breasts? So men will talk to them.

Getting older and staring at women’s asses. Fuck. This isn’t what life is about, is it? What kind of role does sex deserve? Sacred? A distraction? Both?

Oshun is goddess of sex, love and abundance. We barely even have dance. The children do. Spinning skirts.

Om. Indian and Muslim cats who awake at three am for two hours to ponder the universe: hang with God. Jam with God.

Went with almost five Ashirah to the instrument petting zoo today, then croissants on the grass in the park. The cafe had given us red and white checkered wax paper. The perfect little disposable picnic blanket. It was the best day of our lives.

Wondered a little while later, was there a best day? Rivka goes, “you might not remember it.” So fucking wise.

How do I find these people with so much fucking integrity. Even the liars I hang with have integrity. Nice.

Other homeless transgender people stay here now. STRIVE peops. So far between good and great. Or fine and great, anyway. Cool learning. So much to learn.

Try to remember to shut the fuck up. Talking is a dangerous occupation.

Midlife Crisis

Free from eating today. Hoping to track down the cause of this persistent rash on the legs. Would love to reset my ego. It’s a lot of work to haul around.

Maybe happiness is a false goal. An impossibility. We distract ourselves from a giant hole which is the foundation of this existence. A huge longing. Maybe we just want to experience as much joy as possible.

With our art, our projects we place interesting shapes and pretty colors, ideas, graphic relationships across the emptiness that fills the hole. Ideally we paint the sides of the hole. We paint our way down to the bottom of the hole, finding our way to the eternal bliss on the other side. But we have to turn ourselves inside out in the process.

Having never made it through all the way, we emerge from the process having unloaded some pain, some baggage. Maybe we share the process, the colors. An exhibit.

Afterwards we realize we are still half-way inside out. Our intestines are hanging out over the edge of the pelvis. The mouth is inside out, silver fillings and yellow roots showing. The white stuff at the back of the tongue is thicker than you realized. The stomach is stinky. The heart exerts itself publicly, trying to get the attention of the exhausting stillness of the partially unfolded brain.

We start reassembling ourselves into some kind of non-offensive form. Something easier on the eyes. We consider discontinuing the practice. Who would mind if we ceased our endeavors? If we simply stopped generating more colors, more success, more of the music that litters the sound waves, ears and landfills of this world.

Good for you, they’d might say. Well done. If John Lennon became a shoe salesman, would it have bothered you?

The Song

Billy told us a great story last night. His first big gig at like 18 or 19 was playing with this smooth jazz superstar who plays one of the softer-sounding brass instruments. There had been a song at—as an instrumental—was a top ten chart-topper for a long time and everyone knew it. The dude would pay it everywhere: Happy Mood, or something.

The band would get on a plane and out pops the horn. Everyone recognizes the popular melody and applauds. At restaurants after the gig they’d arrange champagne bottles for Billy to play the accompanying beat on.

Smooth Jazz was an object of ridicule and scorn at this point for hipsters and serious musicians, but it was a good gig and took Billy around the world for years as the guys popularity gruelingly waned. Eventually iLLy-B was able to establish himself on a hipper scene and moved on.

When he got married, Billy invited the guy to his wedding, but begged all his friends, “don’t let him play the song.”

During the reception all these edgy, esoteric musicians and the “the song” guy are smoking out back and the guy goes, “ya think it’s time to play the song?”

John—who can’t say no to anybody despite is mischievous nature—breaks the pensive silence with a slow, “yeah.”

So they all go in. Billy’s in his wedding suit. Dude starts playing “the song”: doo doo dawh, dot dot ta-dah. dot dot ta-dah, dee dah dah… . Billy’s heart is sinking. His wedding is ruined. Then someone starts playing along on their beer bottle. And another. Soon everyone is playing. It was the peak of magic. And for Billy, an epiphany.

Fandango the Poetess

A few months ago Rivka decided she wanted to practice polyamory. It’s kind of like the non-slutty version of swinging. I’m down. It didn’t take long to realize that no one was going to be up to Rivka’s standards, but we are enjoying the freedom of knowing we could potentially reach outside of the the person dynamic and potentially even enjoy some group sex.

This poet that we know from the open mic scene in NYC in the nineties and Rivka sparked up a lively video chatting relationship and it was decided that on a US jaunt from their home in the Netherlands, they would come visit us in Pensacola.

Fandango is actively polyamorous, has been for years and is preparing to marry two men: one in The Netherlands and one in Australia.

Cool. Fandango and one of the fiances ended up coming into town earlier than planned because their cousin decided it wasn’t safe for them to come visit their non-progressive town. Following the 30 hour Greyhound bus adventure, I picked them up at around 1am.

Cubbins, the fiance, is really great. Fandango and Rivka have a lot in common. They both don’t drive. Both basically left a non-supportive household as soon as possible and suffer PSTD or at least it’s symptoms. They also both identify as gender neutral or gender fluid or some other place on the spectrum between male and female. Fandango is, however, much more interesting.

They wear only black. Always. Long black coats with pins and spikes on them. Big black boots with chains on them. Expensive baggy pants covered with hooks and rings. The only other color is the white skeletal bones on the fingerless gloves.

Fandango hasn’t performed in years because they are too racist in Amsterdam and Sydney. They are writing a science fiction series which is up to the 14th book, however so one is allowed to see the work until the entire series has been completed. So far this project has taken over a decade.

There were a couple of items in Fandango and Rivka’s online video discussions that raised a bit of a red flag. One was when Fandango explained that the Australian mother-in-law was always trying to get them to do man tasks. Fandango would exclaim, “I am not a man, darling. Go get someone else to do those things.” The other was, “I don’t work! I just get money!”.

Fandango’s dad dies when they were a teenager and they were homeless during high school. They had enrolled themselves in a gay-oriented high school and graduated from there. Very cool. Their mother and grandmother are evil, racist bitches, as are the mothers of the fiances.

Fandango’s role is to tell the truth and most people are not comfortable hearing it. One example of this was, when we had dinner at my mother’s place, stories including exclamations like, “you wish, you racist cunt.” Mom had been planning this vegetarian meal for days, determined to have a nice offering for Fandango and Cubbins. Fandango, however, wasn’t hungry and called their Australian fiance, Vinegar so that they could also enjoy our company.

Fandango wears there headphones that are hooked up to the phone and along with the giant coat — which must be worn inside and out at all times no matter what the temperature — has a lengthy wire that swings to and fro in sync with the flare of the coat and clanking of chains. When not engaged in the 8 hours a day of phone conversations, the thin sound of electronic dance music is piping from the phones. Early on in the visit Fandango drank too much of the expensive tequila we bought and fell, hurting their knee, so that for a week or so, the sound of one foot being dragged as added to the soundtrack. Swish-clank-clunk-flush-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi. Swish-clank-clunk-flush-chooku-dimi-chooku.

In and out of the bedroom, through the kitchen and office all day every day to smoke more pot — the only thing Fandango could, apparently afford to purchase. Actually a big presentation was made: “I’d like to pay for your internet for the month.” Sixty dollars. That was the extent of the financial contribution. The headphones would be worn at  the dinner table: chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi-chooku-dimi.

Cubbins was basically an awesome house guest, however it shortly became evident that Fandango was incapable of doing any cooking or cleaning. Not a single dish was washed in a month. Piss was on and often next to the toilet seat. We were constantly cleaning the blue stain of stinky mouthwash out of the bathroom sink. Garbage was filling up with styrofoam cups from the gas station across the street. Fandango drinks their coffee, “black and strong”, so that Rivka needed to make two rounds, one of her cafe con leche and the other black. However, Fandango mostly drank the milk-shakey cappucino’s from the gas station machine.

Cubbins headed back to the Netherlands after a couple of weeks — as he still hasn’t evolved to the point of not needing to work — and there was no one but us to serve Fandango, which we got a bit tired of. So Fandango would hang around the kitchen, looking hungry and pathetic at mealtimes until we said, “There’s food in the pot, Fan. Help yourself.” We wish that instead of telling us they would be cooking up a storm, they had warned us that they were totally incapable of functioning in someone else’s household so we could have planed for it.

The most progressive thing that we’re still trying to wrap our heads around — being the old fashioned luddites that we are — is that in the future, anyone with whom a member of a household or community is having a phone conversation will actually be treated as if they are present. We kept thinking Fandango was talking to us, as they would be looking right at us while offering their wise teachings to various friends and followers. We really have a lot to learn.

Fandango almost drove Rivka out of their mind with the teachings. It’s partly because as someone with a vagina, Rivka is sensitive about being mansplained to, and Fandango does have, we’re told, a penis.

Actually Fandango is sexually very wild. We still don’t quite understand why they were totally uncomfortable with us being naked around the house. Though it would be really cool to learn more things about the planet Venus and every science fiction or horror movie that’s ever been made, it does feel like a relief that Fandango has headed up to Chicago for a wild fuck fest.

The Terrible Mystery of What Should Happen Next

Woke up this morning feeling like laziness, arrogance and self-importance are at the root of this life of failure and confusion.

Did some stretching. Actually some abdominal work, for about two minutes. Drank some yerba mate herbal blend from the anniversary gourd.

Wondering if writing this right now is an exhibition of moral depravity. Should be making some money.

Worry that we aren’t spending enough focused time with the girls.

Went out and burned the remains of the again-collapsed bee hive. The queen seemed to have vanished a couple of weeks ago. Beetles took over. I imagine my time in hell may be similar to what the remaining worker bees were dealing with. Larva-ridden slime. A life without purpose. There are probably one or two thousand bees left out there. The hive box is wide open. There’s a maggot bonfire next to them.

If there is in fact enough love in this tired, dry heart, it doesn’t seem to have the voting power to overcome the creative obsession.

Rags has been missing for over three weeks now.

Wild Chickens – Pets We’re Rather Eat

“Butch”, up the street is sixty-one. His orange house has been in foreclosure for a while now. Since he spent ninety days in jail for a third DUI. “One beer, Mike. One beer.” He had already lost the chicken farm after his wife died. “You got to wake up at two in the morning to feed a hundred thousand chickens, Mike. Can’t sleep anyway. You think a hundred thousand chickens is quiet?”

I bother them about smoking and drinking the beers. “That shit’s gonna kill you, man.” Lester goes, “We don’t wanna hear that, man. We know it’s bad for us. We know we should quit.”

Butch drove trucks for a while. Drove his own birds down to Miami to the slaughterhouse and got ripped off. Truck broke down on the way back. Twenty-grand in repairs or some shit. For a while he drove a cement truck. A master driver. Driving down into construction sites and angles no one else would consider. “You got to keep that barrel turning, Mike. If the cement dries out in there, you got to clean it out. Get in there and scrape that shit clean. Wouldn’t make that mistake twice. They fire you. After you clean it out.”

In jail you don’t earn an income. Your friends move into your house and don’t pay the bills. They pawn your shit. Bank sends letters. Finally get out. Owe a lawyer twenty grand. Cost you three thousand dollars cash to get your car insurance reinstated. Not to mention truck license. Cement company can’t let you drive ‘cause of the drunk driving. Plenty of people would say that makes sense. Drunk driving is some fucked up shit.

Did you guess that Butch is black?

We’ve been doing West African Dance and Drum camp. And attending Ifa/Orisha services hosted by an 87 year old priestess, Iya Monifay. She’s from the Bronx. Her and her previous husband were the first blacks in New York state to own a liquor license. In the 1970’s. She had plenty of money. Had a gold record (showed it to us – dust-covered, leaning behind the couch or something.) Left it all to pursue the calling. Lived in a hotel in California with her Nigerian partner ‘till the money ran out and they were cleaning rooms to pay for their board.

Ogun, Oshun, Elegba, Yemaya, Oya, Obatala… Old friends.

A science, Ola Olun says. Ola Olun is the seventh of nine kids, like Rivka. Parents were founders of this village in South Carolina called Oyatunji. There is word it is a “sovereign African nation”. Ola Olun goes, “sure, ‘till the government wants something.”

I teach a bhakti yoga class on Friday mornings now. Bhakti is the yoga of devotion. Chanting, praying. Ninety minutes. There are a dozen or so wild chickens Rivka wants dead. A new community center in the works, and beginnings of a Community Organization, Historic Brownsville Community. I chair it. How rock and roll? Rivka has come out as Transgender. They are identifying as gender fluid. The wispy beard is quite subtle at this point.

Dear Maka is non-gender. Do I identify as male?

Been oil-pulling every morning for years now. Seems to at least be keeping the dead-tooth infections at bay. Natalie had tracked the gum recession and apparently there’s been some regeneration!

All Lives Matter? Really?

The problem is that if ALL LIVES MATTER had been successful, it would have marginalized if not killed BLACK LIVES MATTER. And the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement is not a result of only the recent occurrences. My dad, who was a Civil Rights worker with Beth Hines Kilmer, used to talk about how back in the 1940’s, there was a phrase, “BLANK killings” which basically meant, “whatever”! In many ways our society considers a black person being killed to be par for the course. The difference is that NOW there is a movement to bring attention the a systematic problem. As far as I see it, there is practically NO representation of the Pensacola Yogic Community in ANY of the VERY IMPORTANT local activism. I have seen Nancy LaNasa out once or twice. She knows that Yogis need to be activists. She teaches it. But from a practical standpoint, the Yogi’s of Pensacola have more important things to do than participate in working for justice for Black People.
I have never seen a poster at any of the local studios for an issue for Black, Mexican or Asian lives and if there’s ever been one for LGBTQ, it isn’t the usual. I do see TRUMP bumper stickers in the parking lots, which tells me that people who want to promote someone that says, “they send us their rapists” when referring to local Mexicans feel comfortable and welcome to not only join us, but to proudly promote their racist choices. So we need to either make some REAL SACRIFICES and SHOW UP to support blacks, or continue to allow the injustice. AHIMSA means non-stealing. So if you listen to music with it’s roots in black culture: rock, rap, reggae, jazz, bluegrass, funk, house, disco, etc without PAYING the culture for it, we are stealing. You are one of a handful of leaders in the local Yoga community. I’m racist and sexist too. We all are. We are part of this society. Homophobic. We are either working on it, in denial or finding it acceptable.
The leaders I think of are Nancy LaNasa, Rebecca Sathre, Krista, Stacy, Michael Brant DeMaria, Ric Kindle. We have AT LEAST one LGBTQ friend who moved away because he was continually attacked by a citizenry that we are not challenging. If we prioritize activism we WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. Pensacola will become more tolerant. And it needs to. Actually the change will happen either way. The question is Will we have been a part of it?