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Neil De La Flor
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I'm still disturbed about the rocks not wanting to be disturbed. Actually, I think the rocks really want to be disturbed. I mean, who really wants to sit their whole life and never ever move. I freed one and now it is happy.
When I was in college 1.3 billion years ago, all we had to study was aquatic life. Boooring! Now, we got YouTube to totally distract us from every learning or living again.
Nice! I love that palm trees can do it. What would life be without palm tree sex?
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It took me longer than expected to write this post because I didn't want to write this post. Plus, I couldn't stop hula-hoop dancing and doggie style two-stepping to Goldfrapp's “Number One”. I am better now, and I really do feel like I am number one. For now, at least, I'll be just fine until next full moon arrives. Yes, I was born this insane with a hula-hoop for a brain. My stepmother, who I adore very much, thought I was insane and angry as a teen because I was gay. When you came out, she said, that explained everything. I looked at her like what, because I never came out. I just do what I do because I am who I am. I didn't say anything to her. I just smiled and spoke under my breath because that's what I do because I don't want to be angry any more at any one because anger is too easy (and fun) for me. I also didn't want to burst her Hubba Bubble. What I wanted to say to her was this: I was angry because_____________________________________. And that's the truth. Scissors are dangerous like life is dangerous. The morning Brandon got killed on his motorcycle on his way to see his father in Fort Pierce, he called me and said, When I get back, let's meet for a drink . Fine, I said, let's. We had run into each other at Joe Allens, a restaurant he had been working at on South Beach. He was a painter and I bought his first painting. I still have it. It is hanging behind me as I write this post. Brandon and I lost touch after he divorced my friend Nina. Even though we lived within 500 yards of each other, we lost contact, all communication was cut, severed, because we cut it. The day he died, he called me just a few minutes before he was killed which was just a few blocks from his father's house. This phone call took place about 127.6 miles away from South Beach where I answered his call in my kitchen. This phone call was the closest Brandon and I had been since we met. I've walked into strange places where, say, a DJ spin spins beneath a canopy of scissors and walked out because I am afraid of heights, of danger, of people and places that take me out of my center of gravity. When danger enters my life like an uninvited ghost with scissors, I use to run. No more. Because there is beauty in danger if you give it enough time to reveal itself. The photograph above accurately represents my frame of mind when I shot this frame of mine several months ago during the Wynwood Art Walk. Every day, I remind myself to just breathe. I believe in Depeche Mode and the policies they set forth in “Enjoy the Silence”. I believe in the sprit world. I believe in the possibility of ghosts.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to disco. After reading 37 essays about District 9, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and Little Miss Sunshine, I'm ready to dance. I have 87 more essays to read, but I don't care. Well, I do care, but I need to dance and to smell a stinky nightclub to remind me that there are bigger things in life. For now, I'll enjoy this stinky life because I only got one left. The other two I sold to pay the mortgage. Hey! Did I mention I'm teaching 5 classes this summer and 8 in the fall? I'm teaching 5 classes this summer and 8 in the fall. I'm an adjunct. What else is new? FYI: I hula hooped today for about 40 minutes. Everyone should hula hoop at least 5 times a week. There's something about keeping the tube up that makes me feel important. Well, not really, but it's great exercise for the abs. I'm heading out. The full moon will guide me. Jupiter too. Just the the two of us, we can make it if we try, just the two of us. I don't know why that lyric popped into my head, but I can definitely tell you I accidentally wrote pooped into my head. I can't read or write any more today. I'm gay and plan to prove it to the world. In about an hour or so. --Neil de la Flor Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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I don't know why the rocks can't be disturbed, but I'm disturbed someone spent money on a sign that reads, "Do Not Disturb Rocks". I'm not sure if the rocks will mind being disturbed from their undisturbed state. I'm not sure if the rocks really care about being touched by adjuncts, but someone cares about the peace and tranquility of rocks. I am aware that there are disturbances in the universe that threaten us (and the rocks), disturbances that penetrate our daily lives even when we put up our biggest and baddest shields. I wore my shield today and every disturbance in the universe passed through it, and they passed through me, even the disturbances that I usually shake off without much effort. I disturbed a rock just to see what would happen. Nothing happened. No one came out screaming, "Don't disturb the rocks!" Today was just another day for the rocks. I took one home. It rests, peacefully,on my chest. I took a coffee break. I passed by Saint Anthony's Church. I saw this statue and took a photograph of it to remind me that I am not a statue. Mermaids exist just like Wonder Woman exists. It's obvious mermaids run fish markets and cafeterias, but what you may not know is that mermaids also run coffee shops and strip clubs. They also pilot space shuttles and nuclear submarines. They fly combat missions over Iraq and transport children to school every day. They even operate heavy machinery and deliver UPS packages. Mermaids also make great clinical psychiatrists.What many may not know is that mermaids are an endangered species, a species that is threatened by the proliferation of plastics in the Earth's Oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, not to be confused with a Cabbage Patch, has killed at least 3,000 mermaids this year alone--a disturbing trend that demands our attention and a sign that reads, "Do Not Disturb Mermaids!" If anyone can truly save a day, or mermaids, Wonder Woman can. With her charm and fabulous outfit, with her smile and insane optimism, she can right the wrongs of any day and fight back against any disturbance that challenges her powerful wrist bands. Wonder Woman, wonderful woman, the stars blink for you. I blink for you, too. This Wonder Woman card cost me just $2.13 at Walgreens, but finding her today behind a stack of overly sentimental Hallmark Cards was worth more to me than all the diamond rocks in the world. --Neil de la Flor Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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This is what I taught this semester while wearing a fedora: Florence + the Machine: I'm obsessed with Florence and her red hair. I'm obsessed with her cosmic voice. I'm obsessed with her lineage and her Celtic robes. I think she is an extraordinary terrestrial. “Piss Christ” by Andres Serrano: When we studied this photograph, almost every student appreciated the image as a work of art until they discovered Serrano used his own blood and urine to create the golden background for the image. Once my students discover this fact, all hell breaks loose change. In the end, less than half of the students wanted the image censored. Art is dangerous, I told them. One student asked me to (politely) shut up. Why didn't he use orange juice, instead, the student asked. No idea, I answered. Maybe he is anti-orange juice. “War” by Sinead O'Connor: I knew why Sinead O'Connor tore up the photograph of the Pope. I was 18 when I witnessed her act of defiance on national television. This was just a few weeks after it was revealed in the local news that a substitute math teacher at my private, Catholic elementary school had sexually abused boys over the years. The Vatican's child sex abuse scandal, revealed years later, vindicated O'Connor actions, but no one wanted to listen to her then. Last year I had the opportunity to ask her a question on behalf of my students during an on-line forum at the Washingtonpost.com. She told my students to keep up the fight for justice for all victims of sexual abuse and to burn down the forest if that is what it takes to get our voices heard. Fortunately, we don't have any forests in South Florida anymore. We've cut them down already. Ladytron: Students were like, what is Ladytron. I told them it's a combination of a Lady and a Tron. They didn't get it, so we moved on. Little Miss Sunshine: I cry at least twice during the film even though I've seen it 8 times. Alive Day Memories: I cry thinking about the human cost of war. District 9: I hate violent, graphic films, but this films makes me see the beauty in the uglyfulness around us. My students preferred Little Miss Sunshine, so I made them write a Marxist Critique of District 9. I just felt like giving them a challenge. "Mr. Zebra" by Tori Amos: I love Zebras. I love Mrs. Crocodile. That's my explanation. "Kinky" by Denise Duhamel: This poem is a good way to subvert my students preconceived notion of what poetry can be about, especially when many of my students have had little to no contact with the art of poetry. I ask the girls to bring their Barbie Dolls to class. The guys bring their GI Joes. Given enough time, at least one student will suggest that the two dolls have sex.It's our stupid human nature, I tell them, to try to recreate the world in their image. --Neil... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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“Love is reciprocity and so is art. Either you abandon yourself to another world that you say you seek or you find ways to resist it. Most of us are art resisters because art is a challenge to the notional life....It fields its own realities, lives by its own currency, aloof to riches and want. Art is dangerous.” --Jeanette Winterson, “Imagination and Reality” from Art Objects. Warning: there's a subtle fusion here. Resistance is futile, so I bought tickets to see (the best damn) ABBA (tribute band in the world) next week at the Hardrock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. I'm super excited because “Mama Mia” may go with us. She is a “Super Trouper” and a “Dancing Queen”. We invited “Fernando”, but he has to work, which is too bad because he does the best Cubano rendition of "Chiquitita" never recorded. This is my favorite cover of “Chiquitita” sung by my heroine—Sinead O'Connor. I'm in the process of creating a new world void of blue tones and built upon reciprocity of love and art. I'm on a mission. I'm not perfect. I'm an idiot. My numerological number is 22. This is overwhelming Monday - Friday. I am fish-sitting for my roommate. Before she left, I asked her what I should do just in case the fish drowns. It's a fish, she said. I shrugged my shoulders because I wasn't joking. In my first post as a guest blogger for BAP, I revealed that I'm probably moderately bipolar. At this time I would like to clarify that I am definitely not a bisexual polar bear. (Someone asked.) Furthermore, but totally unrelated to science fiction, I blame Anne Carson for one of my recent catastrophes. In her Autobiography of Red she wrote, "a paste of blue cloud untangled itself on the red sky over the harbor". I took her seriously and I should've known she was a trickster, a prankster, and that she really wanted me to untangle myself from my own sea of entangled states. I'm always getting tangled up, but I'm working on this every day. I've learned to meditate. A few weeks after ABBA, I'm going to see Ladytron and her chorus of Korgs. Then, I'm heading to Richmond to spend time riding horses at my cousin's farm. I expect to ride a white horse. This is what I wanted from life:"everything there was and what was left after that, too." This is also what I wanted from life: “everything that will be and what will be left after that, too.” Now, I want something more fantastical, unexpected and dangerously beautiful like Pegasus. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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I need a pedicure. I need to spend more time Little Miss Sunshining my ass on a hammock on Fort Lauderdale beach. I need to live in the present tense. I need to stop caring about my presence in the present tense. Ghosts exist in every tense--past, future, present and inside the tenses that exist in between these. Bartenders at Lago Mar make $60,000 a year and I don't care if I'm beautiful. I'm trying not to be a liar. While lying on the beach yesterday, I read Tony Leuzzi's Raidant Loses while sharing a towel with Jupiter. The title of Leuzzi's book was appropriate for the weather. It was radiant, not the losses, but the day. I wore my ridiculously tight black Lycra-Nylon square cut bathing suit and a navy blue floppy-rimmed hat to protect my face from ultraviolet radiation. I'm under treatment to remove scars and wrinkles. The cost of the treatment equals skin cancer if I allow my face to be exposed to the light. I really want to be a goat or the man with no face.I want to spend every day consumed by a blinding light. FYI #1: Playgrounds aren't just for kids. They're for adults too and the idea of adulthood. FYI #2: These two palm trees are lovers.I can tell by the way they reach their arms for each other in the harsh daylight. FYI #3: Yesterday was the first time I spent more than three hours on a beach since I was child. I live less than a mile from the beach. I once lived less than 100 yards from the beach. We drove 20 miles to Fort Lauderdale to spend the day on the beach.No beer cans were harmed during the writing of this post. The beach wasn't harmed either. I hope. FYI #4: I can (kind of) float. We sunned next to a turtle nest—bursting with almost life—that was cordoned off by yellow crime scene tape. I didn't know almost baby turtles could be criminals.I didn't know it was a crime to nest, but we nested anyway. When we got home from the beach, this is what I learned: Lynda Carter, a.k.a Wonder (Freaking) Woman, had a singing career. I don't know what to say. I don't know how I feel. I don't feel like a responsible homosexual anymore. YouTube will explain: I also learned that Kazaky is from Ukraine, not Russia, and they inspired in me the courage to be gratuitous: Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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My name is Neil de la Flor and I am (probably) (moderately) bipolar. Thank you, Oprah.com. Last night I took the “Mood Disorder Questionnaire” at www.oprah.com because I believe in Oprah, polar bears and the accuracy of self-diagnosis on the Internet at the witching hour while moderately depressed. In other words, I had nothing better to do. I was listening to Ladytron's “Soft Power” in bed and that's when I decided it was time to learn my psychological truth. I wanted answers from the dark side of my baboon head—answers from the part of me that swings back and forth between seas of entangled and unentangled states for no apparent reason. According to the questionnaire, which I assume is totally legit and vetted by professional psychiatrists or, at the very least, one competent veterinarian, I am moderately bipolar. The diagnosis came with a disclaimer that read something like, we're not 100% sure you're crazy, so if you really really want to know, seek professional help. I was pissed. I felt scammed and distraught to discover that I am almost officially probably moderately bipolar and that I would have to seek out more advice. Why can't Oprah.com just sell pills direct and bypass the middleman-woman? FYI #1: I went to a therapist two years ago and I told her that I thought I was crazy. She told me that I'm not crazy because crazy people don't know they're crazy. I thought that was crazy and left disappointed that she didn't diagnose me with anything except being normal, which is the worst diagnosis of all. In my opinion. FYI #2: My cousin's girlfriend just posted on Facebook that she is cancer free. They haven't been together too long. FYI #3: A close friend, who is a writer and Wonder Woman's step-sister, just told me he has cancer. He is almost bald. FYI #4: I am in love with a Cancer. FYI #5: I am also in love with Jupiter. According to Erwin Schodödinger, evolution almost always moves from a rock of unentangled states to a sea of increasingly entangled states. This idea is illustrated by a seaweed-strewn sea. Translation: we're all screwed in the end. Get use to it. FYI #6: Schodödinger likes (cat)astrophe. Before I took the questionnaire, I thought about going to Grand Central, a nightclub/performance space in downtown Miami where kids—some of them are probably my students—get high and dance their thighs off till dawn. I am almost 40. I'm losing my hair and I don't have a faux hawk anymore. I have fancy boots, but I can't wear them, because my feet hurt when I do. But, I love to dance. I love the way the sonic vibrations pass through my body (or soul) as I rage beneath the insane flashes of the green and magenta or whatever color laser lights. Dancing makes me smile. I forget that I live inside my human shell. I forget my mood swings. I forget about that Oprah and her clandestine tricks... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Jul 9, 2011