Thursday, May 03, 2012

Here is what I feel when I am in my very dark place:

I don't want to support anyone else's projects and ideas ever in any way at all. I want to be the center of attention at all times.

Writing and performing texts where I pretend to be famous is fun, but I don't want to pretend anymore, I want to actually be famous. I want to feel, and BE, so superior to other people that anyone who has ever been mean to me sees my photograph in a magazine and literally wants to kill themselves and/or commit violent acts against their own person, I mean like cutting out their own eyeballs and swallowing them. What happens when I am thinking this is that I feel this intense, like, welling in my chest and I want to grab the nearest object and squeeze it so hard it shatters.

I don't understand the problem with being surrounded by syncophants. I want to be surrounded by them constantly. I do not want to so much as turn around without someone complimenting me.

Nobody takes me seriously, everybody is talking about me behind my back, they think I am ridiculous and wonder when I will outgrow my schtick already.

I used to think it would be wonderful to be a cult figure or underground icon, but underground icons die young, poor and addicted to drugs. I have to be MASSIVE, or there is no point in being alive.

I am sick of social justice, the notion that my life and career ought to contribute to the betterment of the world, and anything and everything connected with caring about other people. The reason I want to be famous is not because I think fame is meaningful, but because it seems like a way to dwell in fantasy as much and as often as possible. I am ONLY interested in escape. I have no interest in reality whatsoever.

I am not cut out for a lifetime of WORK.

...Please please please please keep in mind that this is my "very dark place," this is not "me."

And usually what it leads to is the recognition that what I am really frustrated about is that I am not disciplining myself to make stuff that I ought to be making, that my work in various media is not improving to the extent that it can or should, that the only person I am actually angry with is myself, etc, etc, you get the point.

Monday, December 19, 2011

xxxmas spirit


My six-song Christmas EP is now available, thanks to the fantastic writer and photographer Ashley Inguanta, who encouraged me to create more material. Bring more glamour, obscenity and slightly sloppy DIY dance music into your holiday! Imma make it self-determined pricing, so pay what you will via paypal to timjy@sbcglobal.net and I'll send the download link! XOXOXO




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry XXXmas... War is ON!!

I am THRILLED to share with you ANOTHER new holiday classic.

This one is a very special gift for my atheist nearest and dearest.

This song addresses the question: Have the inclusive language-minded indeed, as Rick Perry and his ilk accuse, declared a war on Christmas? And answers YES! If a war is what they want, let’s give them a war! Declare war on Christmas! Death to all believers!

SMOOCHES! XOXOXOXOXO MERRIEST XXXMAS!!!

War on Christmas by Tim Jones-Yelvington

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sequins is the Reason for the Season

Hello lovelies, here is a little x-mas bon mot to help you celebrate the holidays in style. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I Can No Longer Contain Myself

We have come to the time of the year when people start making their lists of their favorite books of the year, and so I am going to make my list, here are the FIVE best books of 2011 according to TIM JONES-YELVINGTON:

1. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, by Elizabeth Colen
2. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, by John Jodzio
3. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, by TIM JONES-YELVINGTON
4. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, by Sean Lovelace
5. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, by Mary Miller

I had to list our book, MY book, five times because it has five authors and each of them have their own book inside this book. This book has so many authors, IT CAN BARELY CONTAIN ITSELF. Ba-dum-bum.

Hey! Did you know I published a book this year, and that it was in THEY COULD NO LONGER CONTAIN THEMSELVES, a multi-author volume from Rose Metal Press!? And did you know that my contribution was called, EVAN'S HOUSE AND THE OTHER BOYS WHO LIVE THERE? And that I never got around to posting about MY BOOK on my neglected personal blog because WELL FOR NO GOOD REASON. Did you know that we had a release party in Chicago where I attached Pizzazz, the lead singer of the Misfits (from JEM) to a hot pink feathered hat and then I WERKED that shit?

The book received a number of really lovely reviews that I should have linked here on the blog, but since I did not, I will focus on the two loveliest, which I am calling the loveliest because they focus the most on ME!!

Here's an excerpt from Amy Kates' review at flashfiction.net:
The collection’s most palpable sense of want, of stifled desire, of lightning-quick loneliness lives under the roof of Tim Jones-Yelvington’s “Evan’s House and the Other Boys Who Live There.”
...and Terri Solomon's at Lambda Literary:
If you prefer a depiction of life that’s candy-coated, yet calorie-free, I’d avoid “Evan’s House and the Other Boys Who Live There.” It’s dense with the harsh realities of adult living. In one section, Evan’s boyfriend Patrick details his frustration and disappointment with his partner; Patrick is unable to control Evan’s drinking and his general self-destructive behavior.

“As I clutch his shoulder with one hand and dab the blood from his face with the other, I think maybe this is love. Maybe love is holding another person’s potential when they’re too weak to hold it themselves,” says Patrick, as he cleans Evan’s face from a bar incident Evan can’t remember. In the world of Tim Jones-Yelvington, this is love—a little desperate and codependent, but also wonderfully human.

Click the links to read the rest.

Jonathan Messinger also did a lovely capsule review for Time Out Chicago where he called my chapbook Elizabeth Colen's "punch drunk" counterpart, and I cannot imagine a more delightful description.

This is the part where I talk about how honored I am to be in this collection with these four other authors, and how wonderful their books are, and I am, and they are, and it was also awesome to get to read w/ the two dudes when they came to Chicago for our book release and I especially liked the part where John Jodzio took off his shirt and gave us a view of his divine nips. That bitch is a silver fox.

THEY COULD NO LONGER CONTAIN THEMSELVES IS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THAT FICTION LOVER IN YOUR LIFE.

THEY COULD NO LONGER CONTAIN THEMSELVES IS A MAGIC OBJECT OF LUSCIOUSNESS.

THEY COULD NO LONGER CONTAIN THEMSELVES IS EVEN BETTER THAN A BAG OF BATH BOMBS FROM LUSH.

THEY COULD NO LONGER CONTAIN THEMSELVES RENDERS ORGASMS OBSOLETE.

Hey! Wasn't this post, which is about six months overdue, just marvelously, hilariously self indulgent and clever?

Buy my book.

Listen to Indie Lit's First Pop Record!

Extra special holiday surprise!! -- Interested in previewing "indie lit's" first pop record? For anybody who paypals me $5 today (timjy@sbcglobal.net), I will send you a download link for a 5-song EP of material from my LIT DIVA EXTRAORDINAIRE project. I will also mail you a surprise book... spread the word!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

We couldn't flush the toilet.

This week does not seem to be a very good week for anyone, in a way that makes me believe in things like astrology, or at least some kind of cyclical collective energy that shapes the tempers or experiences of everyone.

I wrote something very, very silly as a judge for htmlgiant's Tournament of Book Shit, that should go up soon, that will be fun.

That has nothing to do with what I opened this entry talking about.

A good friend is coping with the yuck side of a chronic mental health stuff, my partner lost an old friend, a friend who was like family to someone else whom my partner cares about a great deal, my partner has work-related stress, I have work-related stress, yesterday one of my co-workers panicked for a split second thinking she might have accidentally sent a really rough draft email template intended for specific parties to our entire listserv, and she said, That would be so in keeping with today. (Evidently, with all of our todays). Two days ago, the water was not working at the building that houses our office, nobody could flush the toilet bowl or wash their hands. Unflushable shit. And then this morning, it took an hour to get to work on public transit, which should never happen ever. I had time to watch yesterday's episode of Top Model in its entirety, which is a sign of a very bad commute.

Speaking of -- Team Angelea, y'all. Triumph of the hood.

Last weekend, after I wrote that first confessional entry, I spent the following morning reading Interview magazine because I downloaded the Interview app on my ipad. It was delicious -- in one of the interviews, Daphne Guiness was throwing Isabella Blow's name around -- Issie this, Issie that, so so casually, I almost exploded. In another, Chloe Moretz was super adorable swooning over Ryan Gosling with Drew Barrymore, talking all about her obsession with the movie DRIVE. But then after staring at picture after picture of wealthy, beautiful young things who are scions of supermodels and movie stars -- folks like Patrick Schwarzenegger, who is clearly the first in a new and genetically superior race of human beings, or Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore's child, whose band seemed to be getting this lovely full page profile only because he is Thurston and Kim's kid.... they have not recorded a record and are not even sure they will remain a band after they graduate from college -- I felt ugly and fat and disgusting and never wanted to leave the house ever again. I suddenly understood just a tiny bit more why all the young women in my Women's and Gender Studies courses were obsessed with analyzing magazines. I might have to delete the Interview app.

Here is something else I never shared on this blog, and should have. Last spring, Jacqueline Klimas, a photojournalism student at Medill at Northwestern got in touch with me and requested to profile me for her final project. She found out about me via Orange Alert's Jason Behrends. So she trailed me getting ready and then performing at a reading, at one of my dance classes, working in my cubicle, watching television, eating dinner and cuddling with my boyfriend, and created this lovely photo essay. If this were in print, someday it would be a collector's item. I mean, really. Also, if you poke around in her photostream (pages 4-5, at present), you'll find some of the images she omitted from the final set of ten.

Love to you all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am going to attempt to make this blog "confessional."

Gosh, you know, I have not updated this blog in so, so long. When I launched my website, my plan was to use this as the "announcements" page, so that I would not have to so frequently update the website, but so many things have happened -- readings, publications, even fundraisers, that I have not bothered to announce here, does anyone really read this? Is anyone reading? And then on the rare occasion that I do get my act together to write something w/ content, something analytical, I usually post it at Big Other, because, even though that place feels like it's running on fumes (hopefully I don't get fired for saying that), I still assume it has a larger and broader audience than this long dormant personal blog that isn't even running on life support. I blame my poor curation on facebook -- it is so easy to post an announcement about something there and feel like I have done my job, often I feel like facebook replaces or gobbles up the rest of the internet, which I think is Zuckerberg's goal.

Earlier this week, I got sucked into this very important conversation launched by J.S.A. Lowe at htmlgiant (and continued in Kate Zambreno's excellent post at her own blog) about confessional blogging, and about women's confessional blogs, or the feminized confessional blog, which is so much about formalizing a public mechanism for coping with or confronting the shame that is endemic to so many of us "others" in this culture, and is so often ridiculed, you know, the very same obsessive focus on the self that makes these blog projects so liberatory also draws some ugly shaming or re-shaming criticism.

And then my friend Mike Kitchell and I got into this conversation on gchat where we tried to figure out if whether could name any confessional blogs authored by men, blogs that are as intensely confessional, and that move between the confessional and the theoretical, that crackle as fantastically, as those by Kate Zambreno, or Dodie Bellamy, or Bhanu Kapil, and we could not think of any, and Mike was like, This is what I have been trying to do with some of my recent htmlgiant posts, and I was like, You know, I need to embrace the faggot confessional. My project has been so much about masking, transforming or glamourizing the self, and a kind of camp, histrionic, exaggerated, dramatized, or ritualized confessional is actually a critical part of my Lit Diva text's attempted pathos -- I think it would bring a fascinating tension or richness or something if I started using this space to talk about myself more. I have never liked the binary between "performance persona" and "true self" (that's me up there, y'all, the glitter's as much me as the unshaven bathrobed grossness that's sitting on the couch typing this, and "self" feels, emotes and has materiality, but does not transcend, does not "exist" separate from the processes, interactions and contexts that construct it), and I am hoping that maybe radical juxtaposition of artifice and confession will help fuck shit up.

I tend to think of myself as very open, I do not like the compartmentalizing of the self that the bureaucratic institutions that many of us interact with on a regular basis either require or encourage (or coerce, getting inside us and causing us to regulate and normalize ourselves without even realizing that is what we are doing), and I have written quite a bit about my embrace of gossip as an aesthetic practice, but when I look at my online "persona" on facebook, what have you, I realize that I am openly vulnerable basically never. Most of the time I am sort of just histrionically barking things about my favorite glamorous media products, like, DAPHNE ZUNIGA! BWAH! In 2001-2002, when I was depressed-ish and combusting as a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence, I kept a livejournal full of performative yelps for sympathy and attention (I have never taken it down, maybe if you're nice to me, I'll send you the link), but that was the last time I have used the internet as a space for sharing the kind of stuff we tend to associate with "interiority."

Sometimes I think the reason I don't share much vulnerability is because my life is basically fine now -- I mostly dig my job, relationship, artistic practice, family, friends, I don't really have anything to process or any real guts that need spilling. But then I remember that just a few weeks ago, I felt so overcome by anxieties about my professional and artistic practices and trajectories that I literally ended up biting my arm as hard as I could and leaving behind deep teeth marks because I couldn't figure out where else to stick all the feeling. The core problem I am facing is not a very interesting one -- it is all about trying to find some balance between work, art, my intimate relationship (while also knowing that "balance" is sort of bullshit), feeling spread very thin, and feeling like I am not accomplishing everything I am capable of accomplishing in any one of these areas, wanting more money, more recognition, more freedom, more time, feeling critical of these desires, wanting to be better at what I do, wanting not to disappoint people, wanting this ongoing performance project to become more self-supporting and sustainable. The work piece is probably the most confusing and scary at this moment -- I love my workplace and the work that we do and my coworkers and also don't really know exactly how to progress, where I want to progress, in order to develop more skills, expertise and yes, eventually make more money, which I feel is necessary to secure the freedom and mobility I want for my intimate relationship and artistic practice. I have a number of ideas about what I might do long-term, if I stay in this field of grassroots social justice work and/or philanthropy and the tiny lil' social justice-oriented corner of the nonprofit sector, to enhance the contribution I am able to make, but all of these ideas, in the immediate short-term, are eventually going to require a great expenditure of time, energy and possibly dollars on my part, and on any given week, I often find my motivation and priorities flip-flopping tremendously between my paid work and my art, which is sort of, you know, scary, what am I willing to put in to get the outcomes I want, what sacrifices will it require, I don't really want to sacrifice anything, I like all the things I am doing, but what I am doing right now really is not going to keep working forever, it barely works now.

And jesus, my body, I have not even mentioned this, my health, I really need to get the excercise thing under control in a sustainable way, I feel like schlubby shit like all the time and it has a very negative effect on all the rest of this.

And money, God. Makeup is so fucking expensive, y'all. And I have so many places I want to TRAVEL. Plus I owe Peter like $700 for plane tickets.

I actually really like meetings. I know this makes me a big weirdo. But sitting at my desk all days just DRAINS me. And I love watching people plan and bounce ideas off one another and disagree and resolve issues and whatever. I'm probably one of the only extroverts in the "lit scene," like in terms of where I draw my energy, it's from other people, I definitely need time to myself periodically, but too much solitude makes me feel sleepy and disengaged. Omigod, going to conferences like AWP and &Now is the best thing ever, but also the worst thing ever, because I go into such withdrawal after, I'm depressed for like a week at least. I think I am still missing San Diego and &Now and that happened weeks and weeks ago. I think this makes me so different than so many writers, who might enjoy these occasions, but also have to do so much to rev themselves up for all that social interaction. I often feel shy and awkward and anxious, but I also feed on it. Anxiety is maybe one of my biggest issues, because it fucks me up a lot, but I also think I sort of need it, I am maybe an adrenaline junkie, I need adrenaline almost as much as I need copious amounts of caffeine, and I feel like a lot of my adrenaline, my stimulation comes from the mix of terror and excitement that accompanies social interaction.

I used to watch Star Trek the Next Generation a lot while I was growing up, and some of my favorite scenes were the scenes in the conference room. Is that what they called it? The conference room? I have had this fantasy for years of being very knowledgeable in my field of practice, so that when the Captain asks me a question, I will be able to rattle off a response super competently and effortlessly, like the characters on Star Trek. I am starting to feel more like this in my current work, I have been doing it long enough, there are definitely times I feel very in command of my ideas and interactions, but there are also still times when I'm like Buh-- Buh-- Buh-- As a broad generalization, I am still much better with conceptual conversations than with concrete management and logistics. I've got a much, much better grasp of the concrete, tangible details of folks' lives and work than I did when I entered this field, and I draw upon this knowledge a lot, but sometimes people will ask me a very basic question, for instance, say, about how they should fill out a certain field on our grant application form, and I feel like my answer will be less sharp than when I am talking about things like our grantmaking strategy, movement building, youth leadership development. I love to do things like analyze the patterns we are seeing in our work. I feel like if I can better hone some of the concrete management and interactive skills, it will be very useful for me, especially considering I think my long term goal is to become some kind of consultant. Many nonprofit folks become consultants as a kind of quasi-retirement, but I think it is my actual career goal, to the extent that I have one, I think consulting would very much suit my temperament and assets.

And then, you know, in terms of the artistic practice, dressing up, the sequins, etc, this has been on the one hand so liberating, makes me feel like I can tap into a power and fierceness I cannot access any other way, and then on the other hand, it only contributes to my anxiety, you know, I am not even close to famous but already I sort of feel this weight that comes from doing something notorious, even though I am not really selling anything, there is still this way that I am putting my body and "self" out there as a product (and at the same time, although I think of this art as very embodied, I do not necessarily think of these faces I give as "my" face so much as my canvases -- like any artistic product, they are very much mine and yet not mine at all) it is difficult not to imagine a number of external critiques. On the one hand, I worry about people I care about feeling alienated by the artifice, especially people who have known me for a very long time, while on the other hand, I worry I am actually not doing enough to make this total art, that if I were truly dedicated to this project, I would be doing more to carry the performance persona into my everyday life. At &Now, we were sitting at a table for a while talking to Noy Holland, and she seemed so nice and "down to Earth," and I found myself toning down some of the mannerisms that usually accompany my costumes, because I wanted her to like me, and to see the sweetness people have been telling me I emanate throughout my entire life, a sweetness that I am simultaneously terrified of losing and obsessed with obliterating, yet ultimately probably have very little control over either way.

This distinction between performance persona and an everyday, "true" self is an interesting one, because while on the one hand, I actively reject it, on the other, I cannot escape it, because although it is more ideological, constructed, discursive, than actual, that discourse, because it so dominant in our culture, has material effects, people are likely to believe in this distinction whether I embrace it or not, and that belief makes the distinction "real," in a way. I mean, doesn't so much of celebrity media coverage purport to unmask a "true" celebrity self that is hidden from the masses? I think this is why more total artists inhabit their performances to their furthest limits, because how else are you to challenge these tendencies, it is not easy to end the world.

I have nothing left to say about all this, so I am going to end by doing what I have been intending to do for months, which is link to recent projects, which I will space out over a number of posts, and I am going to begin with one of the most recent -- this year's Queer issue of [PANK], for which I once again served as editor. I am very happy with how this year's issue came together, and hope you will read it, "cover to cover."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spoiler Alert

After the cataclysm, TJY becomes the last remaining DIVA OF DANCE.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I started a secret tumblr.

Here is a password hint:

"Bristol likes Levi to fuck her with his __________ mask on..."

Friday, January 14, 2011

SUPER SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

edit: I am extending the deadline until midnight CST!

Every single person who pay pals $5 to timjy@sbcglobal.net by 4:00 (CST) today will receive a selection of FIVE books and/or magazines from my personal collection.

Anyone who pay pals $10 will receive a full season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, after which I will send a selection of ten books/magazines as above.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Facebook Friends are Tim Jones-Yelvingtoning (And So Should You)

Robb Q. Telfer: That just made me tim jones-yelvington all over my new blouse!

Karen Oliveto: I am planning to Tim Jones-Yelvington with friends later this evening.

Erin Teegarden: My boyfriend and I are going to Tim Jones-Yelvington before the lunar eclipse.

Eun Young Lee: I am going to Tim Jones-Yelvington with my grandma to celebrate her birthday!!!