In honor of my upcoming graduation from my Creative Writing M.F.A. program at the California Institute of the Arts, here is what I imagine was my first, maybe second, writing assignment I ever turned in for my program (September 2019): a 250-word review of Joseph Kosuth’s “One and Three Chairs.”

This installation also served as my introduction to conceptual art.



There’s a “chair,” and then two more. The one at the center of the installation is tan, edged, symmetrical, wooden, mint, and very average. To its left, and slightly raised in level on the wall is a life-size, black and white photograph of what may be the same chair, but might also be its somewhat raggedy twin. To the far right is a white canvas, also raised, with the textual definition of a chair; this portion differs from the other two in size and shape. All are set against a white wall, upon or over a wooden floor.

In this conceptual art work, titled “One and Three Chairs,” Joseph Kosuth challenges us to reconsider the mundane using a demonstration that is among the first of its kind. One way he achieves this is by inviting us, the viewers, to observe his tangibly basic yet conceptually complex piece in a manner similar to how he, the artist, must have fashioned it: by expending minimal physical and medium to maximum mental labor. Everything about the installation and everything in it is so startlingly commonplace, yet Kosuth’s composition comments on such great phenomena as time through the diverging conditions of the central and left depictions of the chair, as well as the definitional variations he offers in the text. 

The artist also makes us contemplate where we belong in his installation, if at all. Are we to sit in this chair, or does it simply imply our corporeal absence?

— relearning the scent of roses

refamiliarizing my parchment nose ||

drenched-down bones with rose-ish   gold-ish

wonderbloom

— differentiating between how delightfully cool

they are in the american

northeast nostril      how vividly warm

they steam instead   in my

otherside otherworld    my beloved motherland

uncertain regarding which smells more

like home

— how naturally miraculously they assemblé

between my hard-ruled fingertips       adagio

against my ink-drenched thumb    silk

satin        petaled separation       choreography

(all things melancholy)

— the manner in which I

bleed into them     the manner

in which they bleed black

into me       this flame-goth correspondence

of those estranged from       engaged

to our vast cosmic tick-tock-time

cycle(s)

{round and round we go}

— their prickly thorns     earth plant

daggers from which I stem

longswords by which I always

see saw myself     steadfast and

on the defensive for cutting

or else self-fortitude    regal and

loyal to my Rajasthani gore

{origins}

Black/Black-Inclusive Non-Profit Organizations for Disabled People

Justin Carpenter (In Need Trans/Disabled NB Artist) | Instagram: @grotessk)


Black/Black-Inclusive Non-Profit Organizations for Disabled People

The National Black Disability Coalition

The Black Disability Collective

The Disability Justice Culture Club

The Disability Justice Mutual Aid Fund

Ramp Your Voice!

HEARD: Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities

The Autistic People of Color Fund

The Disability Visibility Project

Sins Invalid

Pivot Diversity

Women for Political Change (Prioritization of funds for Black Lives and Disabled People)

POOR Magazine

I was asked a little while ago to talk about some of the things that inspire me, my art, and my writing. I was actually planning to start doing so, but then a major moment in the #BlackLivesMatter movement occurred and allyship took the center stage in my life and, therefore, on my blog. As a result, I’m only just now finding my balance between “activism” and my creative/career/educational pursuits.

Furthermore, the past two weeks or so have been the longest I’ve gone without writing or making any art in some time now; 2020 finally got to my creativity, and it’s been very uncomfortable for me. Even reading has become a little bit of a struggle; my brain clearly wants a break from my usual activities, and at some point, I decided to just suck up my pride and listen to it.

Therefore, I went ahead and did what anyone would do: I abandoned hope that I could get my mind into the space it needs to be in for my Master’s thesis right now, and turned to my PS3 in the hopes of launching myself into Skyrim again instead.

Unfortunately, the Universe had other plans for me. I realized quickly I had taken the wrong PS3 when I moved here, and that this one is broken (along with all my hopes and dreams).

My immediate reaction was to “collapse into myself like a dying star” (Jan from The Office is so relatable on just so many levels). Then, after promising the rotting corpse of my PS3 that I would write it the sickest elegy of all time (which I eventually did and may post at some point), I headed over to my laptop and sighed in sad realization of what I was finally about to become: a PC gamer.

Of course, my original plan of action was to purchase Skyrim, download it, and get back to one of the only places that’s ever made sense to me, one of the only places where I’ve ever really and truly felt at home. However, when I reached the Bethesda website, I realized I had an opportunity to try something new without taking a major risk, since whatever I decided to delve into from their website would still be a member of the best gaming family of all.

So, I ended up choosing Elder Scrolls Online

And my goodness have the past few days been an EXPERIENCE.


Firstly, and just to get this out of the way, yes, playing an MMO version of a Bethesda game is WEIRD. Not do I keep forgetting that Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO and therefore standing just way too close to other players like a total creeper, but it appears I can’t gleefully murder all the townspeople with my warhammer as I was always prone to do in Skyrim for X-Box, and then later on, PS3. This came to me as a major disappointment, but I decided I wouldn’t let it get in my way. Maybe this was the Universe’s way of telling me to do actual quests for once instead of destroying the towns, hopes, dreams, and lives of random people in the game.

This ended up being the correct call for just so many reasons, one of them being the concept, acknowledgment, and regard of and for the “Warrior-Poet.”

Now, as a poet and MMA fighter in a world where I am a very awkward anomaly (at least in this specific context), I feel so understood by Elder Scrolls. I mean, they even have a literal Shrine of the Warrior-Poet!

PSX_20200721_124833

Furthermore, my friend later informed me that the Warior-Poet was once an actual thing! Should I ever time travel, either with or without the help of my evil, immortal rubber duck, I now know where to find the true kin of my soul. ⚔️

PSX_20200720_225743


I also assumed I’d meet numerous characters in my quests (since apparently I play by the rules now), but what I never expected was to find my people (elves) along the way.

For example…

Exhibit A: Fovus Bethrimo — “Do I look like someone you can speak to? This fan cost me more than your entire outfit.”

blair waldorf

Not only does ol’ Fovus here get five fire emojis for via my “badass fire rating” system, but I’m also obsessed with his Blair Waldorf state of mind. He would do very well on the Upper East Side, should he ever decide to partake in high society.

Exhibit B: Uryne Radarys — “I’m not here to entertain the likes of you.”

Badass Fire Rating: 3/5 fire emojis. Please teach me how to say this to people…

Especially men.

 

Exhibit C: I don’t quite remember her name or if she said anything particularly sassy to me, but she did give me my first quest, force me to get an outfit upgrade, help me to escape from a rather bleak fate, and lead me onto an enticingly dangerous path by demanding I do some rather ~questionable~ things in the eyes of the law (including blowing up a ship with a device my character somehow made herself).

On top of all of that, she’s also a total emo queen. She’s through and through my, “When you have a girlfriend, but she just goes to another school.” It’s an unfortunate thing that we had to breakup, but I just couldn’t keep up with her pace of life.

As a dear friend of mine said when I told her about this specific elf, “What a woman.”

elder scrolls online

Badass fire rating: 4/5 fire emojis. I hope she’s well, wherever she is now.


Anyhow, I can’t wait to do another sassy Twitch stream, Elder Scrolls Online or otherwise, for you all soon. This game is now added to the potential line-up, along with Old School Runescape and, of course, Tetris.

Stay tuned for updates!

7 Ways Non-Black PoC Perpetuate Anti-Blackness in Their Communities

Why I Stopped Including Blacks in with People of Color

George Floyd’s Death: What India Can Learn from Black Lives Matter

South Asians in the U.S. Must Support Black Lives Matter, but First Undo Your Own Anti-Blackness

My Fellow Asian Americans, We Must Address the Anti-Blackness Rampant in Our Community

Asian Communities Must Desert the American Empire and Protect Black Lives

Why Asian Americans Should Support the Black Lives Matter Movement

Asian American Women Must Stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement

Asian Americans Are Still Caught in the Trap of the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype. And It Creates Inequality for All

“You’re Asian, Right? Why Are You Even Here?”

A Message to the Southeast Asian Community Regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement

Southeast Asians for Black Lives: Knowing the Difference Between Colorism and Racism, and Why It Matters (#BLM)

What Southeast Asian Refugees Owe to Black Lives

*** An Asian American Responds to “Why Can’t Blacks be More Like ‘The Asians’”

‘Fire Carranza!’: Why Asian-Americans Are Targeting Schools Chief (Added: July 19th, 2020)

Hasan Minhaj Breaks Down Threat to Affirmative Action in ‘Patriot Act’ Premiere (Added: July 19th, 2020)

*** Note that this one really could be more politically correct and less centered overall, but it still makes some important points that belong on our list.


 

LGBTQIA Black/Black-Inclusive Funds

Aaliyah Kylie’s Journey

Top Surgery for Hunter M

Support the Transgender District Fund

Justin Carpenter (In Need Trans/NB Disabled Artist) | Instagram: @grotessk

Top Surgery for Natalie | Instagram: @catalinaa.bby

Street Legal Safety Gear for Trans Humans


LGBTQIA Black/Black-Inclusive Non-Profit Organizations

The Emergency Release Fund

The Black LGBTQIA Therapy Fund

The Homeless Black Trans Women Fund

The Okra Project

The Black Trans Travel Fund

U.K. Black Pride

The Black Trans Advocacy Coalition

Black Trans Men, Inc.

For the Gworls

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts

By Us For Us

(F)EMPOWER

The Trans Women of Color Collective

The I Project

bklyn boihood

The Point Foundation

Brave Space Alliance

Marsha P. Johnson Institute

Black Art Futures Fund

Autostraddle