December 29, 2009


san francisco, california

surely i would be a genius of music
    if i wrote it
the most wonderful poems would
spring forth like fresh water from tuck’s
spring. who wouldn’t weep
at my costumed dancers
performing the most sublime choreography
inspiring one to suicide  so

but none of it happens
i sit hammered into stillness by the
world’s beauty. or caught somehow en
snared an ineffable paralysis
colours penetrate me in
the most violent ways  i hear
sounds on the street  i mull a face in passing
as if it were a hard candy in my mouth
at least  i think that’s why
i think i do  it all

that’s the problem with being a vessel
for every thing that comes my way
i’m an empty gun a car without
a driver a pot without a plant
i need someone to push me
over the edge that’s
the most valuable thing
to me i need it or
i’m nothing

December 28, 2009

the mobile temple

san francisco, california
on the dragon throne
portland, oregon. february 2009

 “you must get so lonely moving around all the time.” F could see it in my eyes as i leaned with my back against the wall outside of alte lampe. i was on my set break. he kept talking to me, sucking the air through his teeth as he fidgeted, not knowing what to do with his pity. compelled by the gravity of his compact bear frame, and much more by the superlative brightness of his eyes, i had called him outside for a chat.
there was,
in fact, no such loneliness in my eyes --i was having the greatest, most carefree time in vienna-- but it didn’t make me listen any less. besides, i saw he was already beyond convincing; there was an undeniable resonance between us, which F would hardly entertain for even a chat on the sidewalk, much less the date i was requesting. i was leaving the city in a few days, and he used his projections as sword and shield, cutting off attachments before they could form, hiding behind the rest. i knew that if i was going to keep this kind of touring up i’d start to feel the edge he was talking about sooner or later, or something like it.

it’s easy to get sick on tour. i fell ill in zürich after my 15 shows were over (i still thank god that it was after), then again a week after getting back to the states, then again in new york while i was choreographing for the out music awards, and once more after a round of shows in san francisco last week. four times in 2 months, it might seem like i’m falling apart at the seams. but these are less full-fledged sicknesses than dips in my immune system from over-exertion and stress, meaning i’m usually down and out for about 36 hours and then pretty good from then on.
still, something in F’s words and in moments of meditation i cultivated with Bardia in his house in aarau behooved me to ponder what was stability in all of the movement, even if that stability itself moved, and more importantly, how i could create it.
so i call it the mobile temple: the outer temple (the body) as it moves through the universe, crossing borders, meeting cities, moving; the inner temple (awareness), supported through creating a small shrine in house or hotel room, by remembering to follow the breath while at a bus stop or waiting for a train; and the innermost temple which is always available, and which the first two temples support in accessing.
i’m a taurus. if i can’t feel the ground i go crazy. i’m methodical as all hell with my practices and home routines. and for all these reasons it’s good for me to think about what i need most while on the road (i usually don’t have time for everything i’d like). no major developments with the mobile temple so far, beyond following my inspiration moment to moment-- that and being tenacious to start each day with meditation as it can be the only constant for weeks on end, and that one small piece can be the difference between me feeling sane and going to pieces.
it doesn’t feel like it’s all that much to go with, but something tells me that’s all i’ll get... at least for now.

[your comments are welcome]

November 27, 2009

what if pain were public?

i often wonder at how backwards our social interactions are. everything's happy-go-lucky, people exchange information on what's new and great, going on with them--but there's scarcely ever a word about what's happening besides that, dare i say what's happening for real. the usual, "how's it going?," is no longer a question but a greeting. ask someone how their day has been and actually wait for an answer, and you'll be surprised by their reaction. or ask someone the question, and then ask it again. you'll see that the first one was just a throw-away. they'll be surprised you actually meant it. ground your feet into the earth and sink your awareness into your body while you do this. it will help them know you're for real, and you too.

i wish pain were public, as public as our façades of joy and excitement about the party this weekend or what have you. it's ludicrous to only share our positive feelings in this world and discard the rest. that pscychology is indicative of something. i think it's maddening that we can't lean our head on someone's shoulder on the bus and cry, or chat with someone in the grocery line about what a hard day we're having. i crave this. i crave this realness. i know we're all in pain at one point or another, so why the pretending we're not? i think a violent society capitalizes on our fear of rejection, but i think there's more to it than that. we seem to be push-overs in this regard. people don't seem to even consider that there might be another way.

i think of a world in which our pain were just as emphasized as our pleasure and pleasant feelings. what if we were all honest, all the time? of course, society would come crashing down because it's predicated on submission procured by physical, psychological, economic violence. but would that be so bad?
i see more equilibrium. i see more equality. i see more harmony, equanimity, and balance in the possibility of embracing difficult feelings as much as "good" ones. it would require more feminine energy, more receptivity and subtlety. it would require social systems of therapy and physico-emotional processing to deal with anger, depression, anxiety, and trauma. and our government wants no responsibility in this. it's created pain, but doesn't want to clean it up. but let's not think about that in this moment. let's think about where our heart is at right now, and if we might dare to take the leap to expose it to the people we see around us, not just keeping it to a select few, and especially not just to ourselves. but sharing as a reminder of our shared humanity, opening as a measure of solidarity and support, whenever we may need it.

i don't believe in strangers

[your comments are encouraged]

November 25, 2009


chelsea, new york
(foto: ipanema beach, circa 2004)

i realized it in dolores park the other day: in my speedo, my body exposed to the strong sun, a clear sky overhead, and the freedom to do with my day what i wanted, that this to me was the ultimate happiness.

people search the world over for their happiness. they conquer lofty feats or pursue expensive things, but to me it was that moment, that moment of near nakedness, of simplicity, of nature and sun, that was essentially the epitome of my entire existence. it was a sense of death, that we come into this world naked and we also leave it that way, that despite all there is to grasp for and collect in this life, we really only have a moment like i had in dolores park. we can experience our bodies, we can savour the freshness of the air, be grateful for the day, perhaps we can appreciate the view, but there’s not much more than that. and if there is, perhaps it’s falsity.
it seemed silly and even a little sad, that that was it for me. “i could die in this moment,” i said aloud, “and everything would be alright.” i thought,
the fact that i have realizations like this is what makes me freakish, different from other people. but perhaps this naked feeling is something that all people should one day achieve. perhaps i had just found it sooner.
but it was of no consequence. i just rested in my own happiness and freedom on the subject. aware of all the scrambling we can do in life. completely let it go.

October 26, 2009

as far as one can be certain

Bardia's horn.
from the album fall europe tour 09

train from aarau, switzerland to bolzano, italy

i spent my time in switzerland nearly exclusively inside. the first two days i was recovering from the tour. the third day i was writing music. and the last two i spent in and out of headaches and upset stomach. i think i got sick from the exertion of being on the road, the 16 concerts in the past three and a half weeks, and of course the general strains that life seems to bring. (perhaps i’ll speak more of this later.) the body has a way of staving its needs for a while. and i’m thanking for being in good health throughout all of my performances.

the highlights of my time in switzerland revolve around one of my most cherished friends, bardia charaf. a man of extraordinary talent which surpasses his years, he is a deeply gifted composer and virtuosic saxophone player. bardia and i met six years ago while studying at havana’s instituto superior de arte, cuba’s national conservatory. we hadn’t seen each other since then. but after hearing some of my music, bardia sent me some pop and electronica backtracks of his own. a stellar jazz and classical musician, i was shocked to see bardia working in more contemporary styles, and a little miffed he hadn’t told me sooner! (his response was that he found “fun boyz,” and “moody,” to be so good, he didn’t want to give me just anything. :) ) the tracks possessed his usual vigour and brilliance, whilst reflecting his persian and arabic background, and intimacy with cuban music. bueníssimo! i couldn’t pass up the chance to see him in europe and hopefully develop some of these tracks with him there.
i had the pleasure of landing in baden mid-way through one of bardia’s concerts. walking into the jam-packed pub between songs, the show stopped for a moment as bardia peeled himself from the piano and walked over to give me a hug. a dramatic moment befitting us both, i think. bardia and his multi-cultural cast of musicians (venezuelan, colombian, cuban, and brasilian) expounded his triumphantly chorded tunes with über-rhythmic fire through the night. but it was bardia’s inability to stop playing hours later, long after the concert was over, that really struck me. i saw in him the same fire and delight for life that i possess, unrelenting, verging on madness. i felt a little less alone in that moment. perhaps this is the source of our strangely powerful brotherly love, i wondered.
in the end, my need for recovery made our collaboration slow-going. but as far as one can be certain in this life, we parted with the knowledge that this was just the beginning.

October 21, 2009

the psychology of beauty

"it's not very hard to tell you're back in vienna"
from the album fall europe tour 09

train from graz, austria to baden, switzerland

when i was in cuba my pack was ripped out of the window of a moving train at approximately 3:30 in the morning; in europe i leave my ipod, sennheiser headphones, mobile, and camera out in the open as i go four cars up the train for a bottle of mineral water. my laptop stays not-so-securely hidden underneath my rucksack.

in vienna i contemplated beauty and it’s role in civil development, namely through the eyes of its citizens. what kind of effect does it have on a person to see palacial buildings slathered with gold-gilt statues, or indeed real palaces, on his way to work? how does that affect the mind? what’s the difference between such sights and seeing dilapidated structures, wolfing down smoke from ancient automobiles, seeing the city you live in crumble day by day?
it would seem that there is something inherently uplifting to the vienna-type environments around the world, encouraging refinement and sophistication, perhaps a sense of the order of things: that a city should be clean, that it’s trains should run on time and be fully-functional, that it should have beautiful architecture and museums that speak to it’s history. but what about those who live in urban decay? what happens to their minds?
if order is the way of things, then why not so for cubans and the other darker-skinned people of the world? and how is it that one society establishes order while another languishes? or is order purchased? or perhaps wrested? and does not the absence of beauty perpetuate a people’s dis-ease?

as it stands humankind lives an equation that can never be balanced. when walking the streets of vienna, this is where beauty takes my mind.

October 18, 2009

so it begins

car from graz to mitterdorf, austria

first of all, thanks to tess for the inspiration--an exceptional person and a warrior in the pawo sense. being so young and so fiercely heart-centered, i hope that she will continue to flourish in this way. please follow her journey here...

my name is KID AKIMBO. i am a singer and dancer originally from brasil. i live in san francisco. it’s on stage that i feel that i really come alive, so i also consider, “performer,” as a defining part that i play.
it has been a karma year, ripe with expansion and growth. the green wind of activity blows through my life. my work now takes me across the u.s. and internationally (i’m currently on my second european tour) and it seems that this might be the way of things for me in the next years.
this blog is begun as a record of my travels as a performer, an exposure of my inner world, and a sounding board for my sanity as i cover ground mostly alone. my work is image-based and high-gloss--this is not that. this is a place for me to share the things that may not be readily apparent, or to reveal a deeper meaning to something in the fore. it is a space for my ruminations, thoughts, obsessions, and fantasies. and most of all for my passion, which is consumptive, giving as it takes. as such, i think this blog is more for me than for you; my thanks for your generously open ears.
i hope that you will take the ride with me through a subscription,
and that there is something in here that will be of benefit to us and all sentient beings.

the king of colour,