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An ode to butts | Let’s hear it for derrières

A short, original piece I wrote and performed at my first reading last month—the VIDA VOCE series at MINT Gallery. It’s a bit tongue in CHEEK. 

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The dimples on your butt gave me the freedom to exalt the dimples in mine. Derriere smooth and rounded just right— two plump apples to provide seat cushioning, love leveraging, and picturesque views.

 

“I can see it from the front,” he giggled, and then he turned me around for a better look. Prior to college, I hadn’t been ogled so intensely. The people pleaser in me thought, “you should be flattered,” but the truth was, I felt like a pig at the meat market with an apple precariously perched inside my jaw; making me look imbecilic…and perhaps greedy.

 

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The rumpus.

 

A feature so brash yet so exquisite. How could two protruding bumps be the culprits of such fits and tantrums amongst us? There are other fun bumps; namely the breasts. But they are another topic entirely. The donk can PROPEL. It is a muscle; mighty to assist athletes in their time of need, to charge a hill, to sprint and pedal home. If you have never ached for a butt massage, have you ever truly worked out?

 

It is a tenuous line— the concept of big vs. good. The insinuations I would draw from the peanut gallery— as they commented on how vast, how gigantic, ginormous my backside seemed to them. It infuriated me, because cultured a middle class white suburbanite, “big” was the most derogatory word I could fathom. It is why I fasted on month long smoothie diets, ran twice a day, and did core workouts religiously.

 

//

 

But a donk is a donk is a donk is a donk.

 

It was stage left at Psych Fest this spring when I surveyed the crowd and realized I was butt-watching; a new thing for me. I, the ogled, was ogling. I turned to my friend and whispered, “I have never been what you would call… a butt person, but I think I’m becoming one.” As we grow older, our tastes refine. We go from downing McCormick’s straight from the bottle to infusing our cocktails with lavender and honeysuckles. Likewise, I’ve gone from the mysterious unknown world of non-butts, to full fledged bootay acknowledgment.

 

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Located between the lower back and the perineum, the glutes allow primates to sit upright without having to rest their weight on their feet. The caboose is the physical party starter. How could we “back that thang up” without a posterior with which to back up?

 

Old me sighed in the Wet Seal changing room, head uncomfortably turnt as far over my shoulder as possible, trying to glimpse my rear in full. I learnt to hide it, but honey, don’t fight it.

 

We all have butts, we’ve all got rears. Whether yours is big or small, wide or obtuse, we’ve all got to learn to love our caboose! So let it out, let it play. Your butt deserves to seize the day!

 

ladypoints:



Halle Deneen in NAKIMULI CURVY’S SPARRO SWIMSUIT TOP CURVY


Ooh we love Tennille’s nakimuli swimwear line and these photos are amazing. Watch Tennille’s ladypoints episode here!

Last year, I transcribed the audio for this interview with Tenille McMillan, creator of Nakimuli. A very inspiring lady—a true #Girlboss.  
ZoomInfo
ladypoints:



Halle Deneen in NAKIMULI CURVY’S SPARRO SWIMSUIT TOP CURVY


Ooh we love Tennille’s nakimuli swimwear line and these photos are amazing. Watch Tennille’s ladypoints episode here!

Last year, I transcribed the audio for this interview with Tenille McMillan, creator of Nakimuli. A very inspiring lady—a true #Girlboss.  
ZoomInfo

ladypoints:

Halle Deneen in NAKIMULI CURVY’S SPARRO SWIMSUIT TOP CURVY

Ooh we love Tennille’s nakimuli swimwear line and these photos are amazing. Watch Tennille’s ladypoints episode here!

Last year, I transcribed the audio for this interview with Tenille McMillan, creator of Nakimuli. A very inspiring lady—a true #Girlboss.  

(Source: plussizeebony)

Quote IconDon’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.
Mom goes to The Earl
My mom is staying with me in Atlanta, and last night I gave her a glass of wine and dragged her out past her bedtime to see one of my friends play at the Earl in East Atlanta Village. My mom, who barely, rarely drinks, is noticeably wobbly from that one glass, and has me sidled over with laughter every few minutes, incredulously looking at me, asking, “What? What’s so funnnny?” She’s adorable. 
After the doorman got her giggling over something and we made our way inside for the first band, I started taking notes, because I wanted to remember it all. 

Holy cow! That guy over there is digging in his butt.
If I were him, I wouldn’t keep lifting up my arm—he’s got a hole in his shirt.
DEATH TO THE PIXIES?! What’s he have against the Pixies?
I wonder who Earl is…

Mom is clearly struggling— on top of the wine, she didn’t get much sleep the night before, and I know I’m a dirty rotten scoundrel for keeping her out when she’d rather be comfortably snoozing in my bed. So I lead her over to the loungey couches in the corner so she can spread out and relax while the first band plays. 
Dad texts her throughout the night, asking when she is coming home. I tell her he’s being a bit of a baby—that I’m her child, and I need her time and attention, and he should just give her another week to visit with me. I’m pure sass, but nobody seems to realize this til they’ve taken the time to banter with me. 
My friend’s band starts playing, and they sound marvelous, but mom is drooping. She’s a poor little wilting flower, so I say, “One more song, and we’ll go?”
She’s also very hungry. I’m a negligent daughter— I forgot to make sure we ate dinner, and poor mom was famished. So we popped inside Flatiron for a portabello sandwich and sweet potato tots. She really hits it off with our adorable blonde server who wears short overalls and messy pigtails. She hugs my mom before we leave.
In the morning, she wakes before me, dons a full length towel she finds in our kitchen, and gets to work cleaning and scrubbing our sinkful of dishes. After making a pot of coffee. My roommate Amy walks in, surprised. She says she had a nightmare about those very dishes, and she must be an angel. Mom looks at Amy and says, “Do you always wake up that beautiful?! Your skin is flawless.”
Mom is good at making friends. I don’t want her to leave. 
ZoomInfo

Mom goes to The Earl

My mom is staying with me in Atlanta, and last night I gave her a glass of wine and dragged her out past her bedtime to see one of my friends play at the Earl in East Atlanta Village. My mom, who barely, rarely drinks, is noticeably wobbly from that one glass, and has me sidled over with laughter every few minutes, incredulously looking at me, asking, “What? What’s so funnnny?” She’s adorable. 

After the doorman got her giggling over something and we made our way inside for the first band, I started taking notes, because I wanted to remember it all. 

Holy cow! That guy over there is digging in his butt.

If I were him, I wouldn’t keep lifting up my arm—he’s got a hole in his shirt.

DEATH TO THE PIXIES?! What’s he have against the Pixies?

I wonder who Earl is…

Mom is clearly struggling— on top of the wine, she didn’t get much sleep the night before, and I know I’m a dirty rotten scoundrel for keeping her out when she’d rather be comfortably snoozing in my bed. So I lead her over to the loungey couches in the corner so she can spread out and relax while the first band plays. 

Dad texts her throughout the night, asking when she is coming home. I tell her he’s being a bit of a baby—that I’m her child, and I need her time and attention, and he should just give her another week to visit with me. I’m pure sass, but nobody seems to realize this til they’ve taken the time to banter with me. 

My friend’s band starts playing, and they sound marvelous, but mom is drooping. She’s a poor little wilting flower, so I say, “One more song, and we’ll go?”

She’s also very hungry. I’m a negligent daughter— I forgot to make sure we ate dinner, and poor mom was famished. So we popped inside Flatiron for a portabello sandwich and sweet potato tots. She really hits it off with our adorable blonde server who wears short overalls and messy pigtails. She hugs my mom before we leave.

In the morning, she wakes before me, dons a full length towel she finds in our kitchen, and gets to work cleaning and scrubbing our sinkful of dishes. After making a pot of coffee. My roommate Amy walks in, surprised. She says she had a nightmare about those very dishes, and she must be an angel. Mom looks at Amy and says, “Do you always wake up that beautiful?! Your skin is flawless.”

Mom is good at making friends. I don’t want her to leave. 

I was wearing my new polka dotted pants with holes in the knees— very avante garde for my tastes, but something had tugged on my heartstrings when I tried them on after an all night shift sorting merchandise at GAP. A year ago, I would have said, “NEVER.” But a year ago, I said never to skinny jeans, but I dipped my toe into their snug fitting waters anyway. My mantra has been to have a plan, but keep an open heart and mind along the way. To know who you are, but be open to tweaking who you are.

I had on red lipstick and my polka dots felt good, felt fierce. They kept me company.

I rode through the cemetery and propped my bicycle against a gravestone, turned my blinking back light off.

Roaming through the quiet, wide open site gave me a strong sense of comfort, and the sunset was breathtaking.

Like a dog who must turn herself ten times before finding the right position for sleep to come, I must wander aimlessly until it feels right to stop. I finally found a welcoming spot between two families of stones, and I laid on my back, breathing deeply, eyes closed.

I’d only been in Austin for about two months, but it was already sucking the soul out of me, dementor style. I always feel more alive in graveyards, me breathing….them not breathing. Wondering what they were like, how they lived, what their hopes and dreams were. Were they well loved? Did they find what they were looking for?

Eventually I propped myself up, and began in earnest to attempt the perfect graveyard selfie.

I saw two dudes on bikes approaching, but they didn’t see me til I walked to the end of my row of graves. They looked a little startled, and their question tumbled out, “Is that your bike over there??”

“Yeah. It is.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” they relieved themselves. These guys clearly didn’t spend as much time in cemeteries as I did. They thought Roger was a ghost bike. And I was his ghost mother.

When they asked what I was doing, I just shamelessly shrugged and said, “Just taking some selfies with the gravestones.”

We went our separate ways, but ended up at the same pizza joint. One of the scared boys introduced himself as Roger. I introduced him to my ghost bike, Roger.


And then I got back on and kept riding into the night.

chapter ^20 Six

HAPPY COLORS SPIRALS SPACE GYPSIES DANCING FIRE BURNING SPIRIT FACES IN IT, NORWEGIAN SWEATERS COFFEE IN TIN MUGS DRUNK AND NOTHING TO IT, BUT FLOWERS ALL UP IN YOUR HAIR.

A DINOSAUR IS FRIENDLY HE LOVES HOW WILD YOU ARE PARROTS CIRCLE YOUR HOUSE WITH MAGICAL HERBS IN IT.

blow out all the candles

blow out all the candles

your wildness is a gift.

I’m just believing the best in you and hoping you won’t zoom in. But if you did, it wouldn’t matter much. It’s a letter for Lauren, not you. 
-wristband from a Desert Noises show at Stubb’s in May-wristband from Psych Fest in May-my brother as a giggly bandit in 1993-lettuce from a recent edition of Edible Austin-sultry pin-up lady from a 1950’s GALA magazine-an orange from a recent edition of Edible Austin-IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE
I feel much more centered after writing a letter. I wasn’t expecting to find so much love waiting for me upon returning to Austin. I think, being an effusive personality, you forget that people love you, since they don’t wear it on their sleeves in your same unprotected way. It always blows me away and leaves me gnawing on the little flecks of dead skin on my lips, wondering what to do with so many brilliant little specks glowing in my heart, scattered across the globe. I think—it must be killing me; I am splitting my soul apart with horcruxes. But it is not dark magic to love and love deeply. It just feels like it sometimes.
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I’m just believing the best in you and hoping you won’t zoom in. But if you did, it wouldn’t matter much. It’s a letter for Lauren, not you. 

-wristband from a Desert Noises show at Stubb’s in May
-wristband from Psych Fest in May
-my brother as a giggly bandit in 1993
-lettuce from a recent edition of Edible Austin
-sultry pin-up lady from a 1950’s GALA magazine
-an orange from a recent edition of Edible Austin
-IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE

I feel much more centered after writing a letter. I wasn’t expecting to find so much love waiting for me upon returning to Austin. I think, being an effusive personality, you forget that people love you, since they don’t wear it on their sleeves in your same unprotected way. It always blows me away and leaves me gnawing on the little flecks of dead skin on my lips, wondering what to do with so many brilliant little specks glowing in my heart, scattered across the globe. I think—it must be killing me; I am splitting my soul apart with horcruxes. But it is not dark magic to love and love deeply. It just feels like it sometimes.

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It’s July, believe it or not. And pardon my new age mouth, but this new moon feels glorious. Despite my knack for always, always finding a silver lining in every situation, the past year was a complete nightmare for me, and I’m so happy to lay my Austin demons to rest. I grew and learned a lot, and most importantly, realized that I don’t have to call just one city home. There is life outside the box. I’m geographically polyamorous.

Also very exciting—I published the introduction to my heritage project, a vignette about my maternal grandma, in Heroine Zine's latest issue.

And I completed my own zine, ni9e lives, thanks to the help of good friends who modeled, photographed, designed, and gave great advice. It was a bit nerve-wracking in the midnight hour, because of many technical snafus and not having the first clue what I was doing, but East Atlanta Copy Center did such a great job printing them, and I sold several copies at Atlanta Zine Fest in June.

I made a Tumblr page for ni9e lives, so please take a peek at my zine’s online version! Hard copies are also available if you email me requesting one (suggested donation: $3). 

Also of note, I recently made my first splash into the world of live lit. I read two original pieces at MINT Gallery for June’s VIDA VOCE series, and had the time of my life doing it. I rediscovered how much I enjoy performing, being on stage, and interacting with an audience. There is so much more I want to explore and experiment with.

Like…

-putting out my first chapbook
-hosting a multimedia folk art event with folk ballads, stories, puppets!?, and acted out stories
-completing a photo + text project for my friend’s breakfast journal
-learning how to write a song 

I’ve been picking up new clients that I’m excited about + have some part-time work on the horizon, and feel like I’m part of a healthy creative community again; so light has returned to my eyes, color to my cheeks, and pep to my step. People keep saying that pretty soon I’ll be on my way, and I’m starting to believe them.