Marya Erin Jones will be our feature for East of Edith tonight at 7 pm at the Projects, 3614 High Street NE. She is a word-person/performer extraordinaire, the kind of person who engages in creative activity because it is in her blood and absolutely unstoppable. I’ve been impressed with
1. her writing
2. her humor
3. her performance
4. her zine-skills (and zine-making-dance videos)
5. her passion
6. community building
7. capacity for word games
8. eclectic and way fun parties she throws
I’m glad she’s our feature tonight with a new zine hot off the presses, Mocha Chocolata Momma, and I’m frankly hoping her involvement with Local Poets Guild will increase in the next year. She does good work all round.
A excerpt from the zine, Prague: A Fucked-up Travelogue
October 2001. The Twin Towers were still simmering and the unfound flesh bubbled, fused together in a heap at the top layer of hell on the Dutch side of New Netherland. While only desperate business men were still taking to the air, I’d already been to the heart of Colombia, South America and back Stateside to the luxury of hot water, soy-based ink tattoos and toilet seats of San Francisco. And then BACK across the sea, this time to Bohemia, on the most turbulent flight I’ve ever been on that didn’t end in a crash landing. Bad weather doesn’t describe the flight. Cyclone. Cyclone is a valid description of the last 90 minutes of the trip.
We land. Hard.
Ten minutes later I’m standing on the front porch of the airport, wrestling with my blue and yellow Kelty backpack, fondly nicknamed, “McKelty.” My eyes not lining up with the holes because it’s around 9:45 at night I just got off a plane, that if it were a ship pulling up to the dock, it would have made onlookers seasick just watching it.
Welcome behind The Iron Curtain
I cracked open my phrase book and started talking to anyone who would listen, and most people didn’t. I had to get to the city center and I had no Czech Crowns, and the airport was pretty much closed for the night. I could sleep there or charm my way into the city.
“Prosim (PRO-seem)?” Please? I said. I got accustomed to saying that word. A lot. Not just because it was a polite thing to say, and as a Mid-Western-born Southerner I was hard wired to say it at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but because it would become my call for mercy, later. Oh, and “pivo,” that means beer. I would say that a lot, too. The combination of, “Beer, please.” Or, “Please, beer.” Same words, very different sentiment. At that moment, just a little prosim. Please?
Flashback . . .
I’d wanted to go to Europe since I was 9.
As far back as I can remember, I was fascinated with somewhere else. Anywhere but Tallahassee, Florida. I plastered my notebooks with photos I cut from magazines: Paris, London, Munich, Spain . . . my mom used to call me her “Little Bohemian.” I used PBS to teach myself to speak French phrases between episodes of Doctor Who. I fell in love with movies I didn’t understand and had no business watching, like Diva and Last Tango in Paris. I waited until my mom was asleep to watch Summer Lovers starring Peter Gallagher, Daryl Hannah and the late Valerie Quennessen on Cinemax, with the sound turned so low I was reading lips– thank Christ they spent most of the time kissing and sweating in the Mediterranean heat. There were plenty other dirty, European films I stole in the middle of the night, including all those Emmanuelle movies and what did those have to do with Europe because they hardly ever went outside? Well, there was the skinny dipping . . . I sat so close to the TV screen my eyes have a permanent glow of phosphorus embedded in them.
I can see in the fucking dark.
Marya Errin Jones creates hybrid works of performance that cross, blend and redefine the traditional genre of storytelling. She uses lo-fi puppetry, LED technology, VJ software, paper, fabric, photo copiers and computers to tell her stories and has performed her original works in the US, Europe and South America– most recently as a guest artist in the series Feminism & Co.: Art, Sex, Politics at MCA Denver, and the women’s music festival, Titwrench also in Denver, CO and at its sister festival, Gatas y Vatas in Albuquerque. Marya studied creative writing and art history at UNM and Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International in Northern California. She also taught in the Young Artist program at the Rhode Island School of Design. Marya is zinester and the founder and producer of the ABQ Zine Fest, now in its second year (October 6, 2012 at the Kosmos Performance Space). Marya is teaching herself how to sew.