Friday, May 25, 2012

Strangeness and Charm

I know, if it’s possible you almost forgot about me…

    My knee ‘thing’ (I’m avoiding the word injury, sshhhh …or at least trying not to say it as loudly so my body doesn’t hear it) and my recent dating ‘fails’ ( yes, there may have been more than just that one)  has kept me fairly under the radar…although it hasn’t kept me a complete hermit. I’ve still managed to become an expert passenger on the back of a motorcycle, go target shooting a second time (this time with a glock), go wine tasting AND join a wine club (I’m so grown up), AND ….wait for it….. BUY MY COACHELLA TICKET and car camping pass for next year! BOOM! (Presale is the only way to go, I literally spent half of what I paid when they went on sale to the public last year, Muuuaahahahahaha!!!) 

     But more importantly, I dove into the deep end with my art and writing again. In addition to joining a wine club, the other way that I know this baby’s all growns up is because I am not only mastering the art of self-soothing but I am catching myself before I fall over the edge of my Cancerian emotions and Leo dramatics. In such a situation where I’ve been benched for the last month, normally my impatience would fuel any impending depression and create a very viscious cycle, but the Taurus in me quickly smacked me upside the head saying in a goombah accent, “Ey, quit that shit out!” 

    When the art show I tried to get in to said they were already full, instead of getting discouraged and assuming they were just politely rejecting my shitty art I emailed her back and said, “No problem, when’s the next one so I can send my proposal in now.”
As some of you may have seen on Facebook, I am also back to submitting my poetry. I found this great online journal called Literary Laundry that not only has individual contests, but a featured author and artist application, and a chapbook series. I have thus far completed three of the four. The last one I have yet to complete is the Chapbook Series. I actually have enough new works for this, but it has to be submitted exactly as I would want it printed, with or without pictures (obviously with). This one is going to take a bit more of a push because my goal is before the 1st! Thus far the hardest part of the entire process was writing my bio and an abstract about my work, explaining why it is “intellectually evocative and of interest to a contemporary audience.” My friend Steve hilariously pointed out; " Um, what other audience is possible besides a "contemporary" one, anyway? ... "Dear Sirs, I'm sorry, but I feel my work is more suitable for a Napoleonic audience. If you would be so kind, please forward my manuscript via time machine to the appropriate era." 

      It was not only hard but virtually impossible, and I under duress might admit to needing a glass of wine and some herbal encouragement to do it. I’m just sayin’…  maybe.  In the past I tried so hard to sell myself or say what I thought they wanted to hear, make justifications for the fact that I don’t have a PhD in English Lit or a BS in anything….except maybe BS. I didn’t do that this time. I went with honesty and some slight self-deprecation because that is who I am, and I no longer care about whether any of these submissions are accepted. Now it is all about the acting of submitting in and of itself. I have to feel like I’m working towards something else, something I really care about, when I walk out of the office each day. Between fun with friends and boys, I’ve definitely been in a honeymoon phase since being back and that’s great, but it’s also made me somewhat complacent. And lately, I’ve been dealing with some fairly strong feelings of restlessness…aside from the fact that I’ve had a prescription for stillness. 

     As I approach my birthday, I always examine where I’m at and see if I’m okay with it. At almost 32, I am still more or less okay with where I’m at… but I gotta say in about 3-5 years I probably won’t be. It’s like that Italian joke I referenced before leaving on my trip about a poor man, who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging ‘Dear Saint, please, please, please let me win the lottery.’ Finally, the exasperated statue comes to life and looks down at the begging man, and says ‘My son, please, please, please buy a ticket.’ So while I am not one to make a formal 5 year plan, because in my experience it inevitably bursts into flames, I am buying a lottery ticket or several by putting my work out there. No guts, no glory. And on that note, my other goal for the 1st is to sign up at the open mic night at Tuesday Night Café. I’ve let several Tuesdays pass me by because quite honestly I keep chickening out. I actually could use a few gentle reminders, please and thank you!

Without further ado, allow me to share with you what I came up with after much hemming, hawing, and hair pulling:


I am a dancer, writer, artist, world traveler, music whore, tattoo collector, lover, book nerd, dork in general, and superhero! The quote I used in my first collection of poetry is very indicative of how I have chosen to lead my life thus far: "Never be afraid to tread the path alone. Know which is your path and follow it wherever it may lead you; Do not feel you have to follow in someone else's footsteps." –Eileen Cady
    I grew up in Dayton, Ohio amidst what I like to call ‘Midwestern Magic’ and though I left at 19, I am still a fiercely proud Buckeye. I gave higher education the old college try at three different schools in both Ohio and Arizona, but in the end decided on massage school. Upon completion, I promptly moved to Santa Monica, California. This particular path oddly enough helped me remember my passion for dance. A year after getting back into classes with no prospects, I randomly quit my job to pursue a career in modern dance. This decision has given me the gift of working with two modern dance companies; Lion's Pounce Dance Theater in Los Angeles and Daughter of Zion Aerial Dance Co in Santa Ynez. I’ve since been embodying that first sentence in Los Angeles for the past eleven years, thus granting me with native status.

Poetry Abstract: 

    Trying to determine why my work is “intellectually evocative or of interest to a contemporary audience” gives me significant pause. The self- deprecating part of me immediately responds, “It probably isn’t.” To be honest, I’m not sure if what I have to say and/or my style of expressing that is actually intellectually evocative, but I can say that I believe my work to be emotionally evocative.  It is part and parcel of my Cancerian make-up and astrological trilogy of water, earth and fire.
     Aesthetically, my work is free verse. The only time you will see my work in any kind of traditional form will be in haiku, and even then I put my own twist on it (adding stanzas, etc). My style reads like a very strange weed would look. You aren’t exactly sure, is it flower or weed? Do you bend down to smell it and let it grow on you or pull it? I write boldly yet elusively, and most times in the first person.  At the risk of taking an easy detour I shall let the following opinions speak on my behalf:
“Your poems are very much an expression of your imaginative and strong self….powerful language to convey a complex and enthusiastic relationship with the world at large. If somebody would twist my arm to make me spot a fault with them, I might say they are a big fragmentary (but then I would add that such is most of our experience).” – Riccardo Duranti (Raymond Carver’s Italian translator)

“Writing is not simply observing and reporting, nor is it a purely whimsical venting of a damaged psyche. It is having the sensory tools, the eyes, ears, nose and fingertips feeding into an artistically driven intellect. The result, once imbibed by others, evokes the senses, the intellect and the creativity of the reader. Thus the circle and purpose of the writer is complete. Courtney Trowman is such an enigmatic scribe.” – A. Stone (review from my Facebook Fan page)
 I believe the 10 poems I’ve submitted allow you to gaze upon a strange weed and clearly hear its voice. The following poems exemplify my style with their strong imagery, sensual undertones, and self-awareness.

Art Abstract:  
(having to speak about inspiration, aspiration, and style/substance)

    I ended up combining my habit of picking up random objects, ok trash, and voila--collage, to help soften the blow of an otherwise elementary attempt at painting. I have always loved the layering genius of artists like Robert Rauschenberg. I am also inspired by the likes of Robert Overby, Ron Mueck, Kelly Moore, and Gerhard Richter. Even in a work’s final draft when I can step back satisfied with the right amount of mess, it still has an element of containment, which is appropriate to my contradictory personality…my strangeness and charm.
   My style and substance involves simply a canvas, acrylics usually, random bits (like photos, a shattered cell phone, balloons, dirt, watches, frames, window frames, broken records, shooting targets, jewelry, old tools, bullet shells, poems), superglue, liberal use of Modge Podge, and a fine tip Sharpie for when I handwrite verse. I also enjoy coupling my poetry either directly into the work or as a companion piece. I do this most often with my photography, like my ‘Conversation of Chairs’ series. My father was the one to instill my love and somewhat artful eye for photography. While I resisted for years to move into the digital age, I don’t despise this new era as intensely because it has made capturing some rather temperamental moments much easier. As an artist, in its broadest definition, my aspiration is for movement and reaction. Whether it’s as a dancer, a poet, or with collage I want to move people to smile, step closer or walk out, grimace, smirk, laugh, shrink in disgust or embarrassment, ask questions, answer questions, swear, embrace, cry, be politically incorrect, and/or use words like LOVE and HATE. I no longer have the same investment into other’s opinion of my work. What I am invested in is your reaction, were you moved enough to even have one? 

    As for the dating game, I'm taking a time-out ... I think anyway..... we'll see how long that lasts ;-)
As another favorite dude of mine commented, " dude...... whatcha gonna do?...guys are stupid....being a slut is much better'.  Not sure if I entirely agree, but what would I do without the wisdom of such men in my life? I'd be lost, hahaha! Love ya Kevin! 

I hope everyone has a fan-fuckin'-tastic 
Memorial Day weekend!!!