Art As Praxis: Embarking on Regreening the Desert
Looking back at all the different projects I’ve worked on throughout the years, there’s always one thing I wish I did more of:
To kick-off Flow The Desert, I’m publicly writing, taking notes, and reflecting as I go along — something I don’t like doing, because I’m afraid of what it means to work openly in public.
What Is Flow The Desert?
I left my hometown of Los Angeles several years ago to travel with my typewriter and give #FreePoetry away to strangers. On the surface, I wanted to see if I could find a way to travel without capitalism affecting my art. Underneath that current, I was drawn to lands full of greenery, forests, and trees. That’s the force that took me to places like Sweden, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Flash-forward a few years into living on the east coast. Every winter, I’d fly back home to celebrate the holidays with my family. Each time I flew in, my sister, brother, mom, and/or my dad would suffer through LA’s traffic to pick me up from the airport. I remember whenever we’d drive through the mountains into the Valley, I’d be struck by the same tiny epiphany:
These rocks, these mountains, these shrubs — all yellow and brown — they’re gorgeous. I wonder why I never really saw them in this light, before.
I drove across the country from Philadelphia to California, last year. As soon as I crossed into my home state, I couldn’t help but notice all the wide, barren space: some corporation drilling who knows what out in the middle of nowhere; driving miles on an empty highway with yellow, dirt fields soldering in the heat on both sides of the road.
The unconscious place inside me had been thinking about rocks, about sand, about mountains for some time, now. I remember years ago talking to someone I wrote a Typewriter Poetry poem for. She was from Colorado. I told her about how I hitchhiked through the state and loved it. “I miss the mountains,” she said, a light longing in her eyes. “They surrounded you. You always knew where you were, based on…