Friday, May 29, 2009


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moons of Lucy

Moons of Lucy

Lucy used to share the sky with diamonds,
lifted by hallucinogens
that cast her in cubic zirconium light.
Lucy, carried on the backs of five white Beatles
singing yesterday as if we'd never catch up with today.
Beatles, black scarabs
That pulled her up further
after she was pulled
from the ground she was pulled from
pulled from her Mother's land
our Mother's land
and we became her faithless children.

So how is it, then, that Lucy used to worship here
millions of millennia ago
centuries ago,
no, decades ago
though she was seen here the day
before yesterday
okay, earlier today
before the sun crawled up the ladder
behind the horizon
and her moon sunk its face
into darkness that looked like water
much like one of those tortured ships -
but these I'll not speak of
I'll not speak of
because Lucy does not wish me to.

The walls of Santa Lucille, now
contain stains and mirrors
indentations made by needles.
Hymns written in fingerprints,
sung by dust.
When the floors of Santa Lucille became
lined with bags of heroine
on top of vials of cracks
the saints devolved into
prostitutes and erections
drawn on the ceiling with the kind of ink
only Lucy can generate for us in our sleep.

The church began to crumble
when her asbestos bones became brittle
no longer boasting their robust remains
her aliases - illegal alien a/k/a angel-dust
but never ancestor.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Harold's House

Harold's House

The house on
Harold Hedonism Hill
once held handsome Harold
whose history of hustling is hearsay.
But whose house
haunts the memory of
hookers like Harold's?
Here's what I know:
Though Harold's blueprints
smell of sandalwood, sex,
saccharine and
salmon sandwiches
they buried Harold with all
of his architects,
ancestors and answers.

by Tiffany Osedra Miller

Monday, May 18, 2009

A One Second Fairy Tale

A One Second Fairy Tale
For Grown Up Children

Tiffany Osedra Miller/Bassagirl

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pleading for the Desert (1961)

Pleading for the Desert (1961)

With your sand-pills
plant pricks
and tonic winds
I long to crawl along
your filthy midnights
stare at myself
in mirages and mirrors
chased by casinos
driven by cadillacs,
to have you
travel up your down sandsteps
onto fertile land that's mine.
I long for looking up at
stars from car hoods
realize wrong rituals
bathe my wishes off with water
imported from tenement
buckets and tubs.
Drag myself
along your dryways
ride all of your ripe cacti
'til I empty the flood.

Pleading for the Desert (1961)
from 'Portrait of a Mantrap'
Starring Mathilda 'Tiddy' Rockchester
who likes to cause an entrance before she makes a disturbance - or appearance, rather.

The above words came right off of the liner notes included on Mathilda's 'Tiddy' Rockchester's 4th album, 'Revolution My Ass, Pour me some Rum.' She didn't write this plea as if it were a poem (I took that liberty) she wrote it this way, instead:

"Listen here, Desert-honey:
I long for your sand-pills, plant pricks, and tonic winds. I long to crawl along your filthy midnights, stare at myself missing in mirages and mirrors - chased by casinos, driven by cadillacs, to have you travel up your down sand-steps onto fertile land that's mine." She broke it off here, and included the above picture, whose author, (undoubtedly a beatnik-hippie or a freak of jazz) is unknown.

This album was produced and distributed posthumously by her former manager, Wellington Daniel Waters (aka Wellwater) who branded himself sole proprietor of her estate, after discovering the location of her unmarked grave on a map which provided a most disturbing backdrop (according to Wellwater) to the most vivid dream he had.

Her liner note continued after the picture, with the rest of her plea:
"I long for looking up at stars from car hoods, realize wrong rituals, bathe my wishes off with water, imported from tenement buckets and tubs, then drag myself along your dryways, ride all of your ripe cacti, 'til I empty the flood."

Wellwater swore the note was meant for him but still dedicated the album to Tiddy (as she liked to be called), writing, in his own hand:
'This album is dedicated to the memory of Mathilda 'Tiddy' Rockchester, which does not necessarily mean that the lady is dead. '

After the album's release, Wellwater spent that winter waiting for one conjugal visitation from - at the very least - (according to him) her wicked, wicked soul. When the Spring of 1962 came and Wellwater was forced to realize that though he had aged, he could detect inside of him little growth, he hydrated himself with water, then whiskey and wrote down these lines to the beginning of an account in which he denigrated, then elevated, then denigrated, again, the myth of Mathilda:

'I have always loathed Mathilda - and not because she was ruthless or manipulative or that she sold to the public the image of herself as a prostitute and genius. I loathed Matilda simply because I created her - and though it is no comfort at all that she allowed me to ruin her with every act of my creation, I have been destroying myself ever since."

From 'Portrait of a Mantrap' excerpt #1 by Tiffany Osedra Miller

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's New Wings

The last time I dreamt of my mother was a few days ago. She was dancing on a stage with three other women whom I didn't recognize. In the dream I remembered thinking I never knew she could move this way. The time before that I dreamt of her holding me, embracing me on an evening when I felt like I was the loneliest, unhappiest woman in the world. When I woke up from this dream I felt invigorated, hopeful, refreshed. I have since began embracing my new relationship with my mother. Though she is bodiless, I feel her energy. She wanders inside the spaces of my art and more than ever I love her - what she was and what she is now. Where in life I had closed doors on her in my heart and mind, those places are now fully open. I do not merely love the memory of her. I love the freedom inside of where she lives without the weight of what life and circumstances eventually did to her body. Her new presence inspires me to find the newfound freedom she has while I am in the prime of my life. The freedom we all seek to be our complete unfettered selves. It is a way I have found to honor the legacy of my ancestors.

I was a dreamer long before I claimed the identity of an artist. I was fortunate enough to be born into a family that encouraged me to achieve my brightest dreams. From the time that I was a small child I was taught by my parents that anything was possible. Learning at a young age that anything is possible meant that I was somewhat prepared for both greatness and devastation.

Though I long to feel the reality of my mother's physical arms wrapped around me just one more time to make me feel loved, forgiven and safe, I cherish those arms that embraced me in my dreams a couple of months ago far more. It has always been her spirit I've wanted to cling to the most. Her sense of humor, her imagination, her beauty, her wisdom, her grace. And while, just over a year later, I am still sad and at times angry that she, in the way I remember her, is no longer here, I think of her as she was a few days ago, dancing with such liberty with other women on a stage, and I recall the eternal reality of movement in any time, form or space, from one place to another.

Tiffany Osedra Miller (aka Bassagirl)
Mother's Day, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Maskfisherman

The Maskfisherman

He couldn't hide anymore,
so went fishing for masks.
Caught a maskfish,
held it against his body
and wore the costume
closer than his wife.

He ceased blowing horns, too
and beating steel pan
and calling out with a voice unfamiliar to him
inside of dry, judgmental rooms.

He became a maskfisherman
and found ways of obscuring from the world
what he believed to be truths about his life.
He fished for these veils
covered his face with corals
entombed his body inside of seaweed and nets
evacuated wife and sun for the company of the moon.

He took down the moon, too,
slapped the glare off its arrogant face
and positioned it over his own.
In the morning the world woke up in darkness
beneath the sea, tribes of maskfish
extinguished their lights.

The maskfisherman
stalked all of the world's river banks
and beaches
unmasked many he found
searching for candles and suns,
on totems he carried
the carcass of their illusions
costumed them in breeze.

by Tiffany Osedra Miller

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dirty Freedom

There was a dirty freedom in the 1980’s
when grafitti was written on the walls of our brain
and we rode the train
on the laps of people stoned and dancing,
killing and cursing.

Bibles were thrown way up into the air
and they later came down and crushed good, beautiful people
already concentrated into volcanic ghettos-
humans covered in disease and debris
blowing away-
from every last immigrant parade,
every last existential blowing, hollow
empty flag.

All colors slink and shine in this dark universe
of individual universes
who move slowly with the weight of their culture and color,
trying to remember
to forget
that assimilation becomes a cellular duty-
survival of the filthiest.

How do you arrange the fragments
that make up the puzzle that is you,
to arrive at some sort of honest human picture,
as you walk through what is left
of the hollow recesses of your dying culture
scattered throughout the terrain of your
broken borough’s mind?

by Tiffany Osedra Miller