Sudden Summer Storms.

A man says in a Spanish accent that he’s closing the window beside me and I say,
“It’s going to rain?”
Disbelieving, liking the air untill yes it’s pouring.

Sitting under a coat rack in the corner, our legs intertwined.

His best friends girlfriend keeps calling me his girlfriend,
loudly and giggling.

“Not girlfriend!” I say from under the coat rack.

He’s sticking his hands in through the rips in my jeans,
we are high on MDMA.

A black capsule split in the bathroom,
he wrapped it in toilet paper.

I made a face,
asking does this actually work?

But,
I swallowed it anyway since he’s been doing drugs for like as long as I’ve been alive.

“Would you like a bump?” Asked another,
the kind of aquaintance I haven’t known how to bond with previously and I hesitated,
“Oh…,” he said, “I dunno, I’m just trying to be nice.”

So I did two off my triangle tattoo because why not and this is how to make friends.

Then I met a guy who looks like Nickelback and we did a bump together too.
Then he stalked me all night like a fucking softcore Canadian nightmare.

Standing way too close, staring, following.
As if I owe him sex for a sniff of Coke.
Haunted by his terrible haircut,
lurking in the shadows of the shadow loft.

So I crawl under the coat rack,
digging in my bag for my soggy gum.

I need three pieces to save the skin inside my cheeks.

And we watch as he lurks at the bar,
watching us be watched.

His best friends girlfriend keeps slipping us free vodka drinks.
We watch super models hullucinate and I rant about friendships.

Beside the bar,
under the coat rack,
he says, “Not girlfirend!”

His eyes coaxing and scanning my face like the first time,
when he was the stalk-y one.

“She’s just teasing us.
You do whatever you want,
I’m just happy to spend time with you.”

And I smiled the smile I feel for being so happy to hear men say that.

And the spanish man with a cigerette in his mouth and a coffee in his hand,
slides back open my cafe window.
Even though it’s still raining,
the wind has softened and the storm has passed.
We exchange smiles and I say, “Thanks.”

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Artist Statement Draft #3:

Madeleine Black is younger than the number of her sexual partners would suggest.

She is presently a student in, ‘How to change the World with Beauty and Non Violent Protests of the Heart’, at Concordia University in Montreal.

She drove a boat for the first time yesterday and isn’t afraid of the dark.

Lately – ‘Spring is for the Romance’ (a place)

A sister piece to ‘Fall is for the Ultimate’
I wrote most of this around the end of April and I’ve been building on it since.
I’m already nostalgic for Spring now that Humid Summer is upon us (even my eyeballs feel sweaty!).

Spring is for the romance. Spring is for wanting (to have) someone to pet your hair, because just the feeling of the wind moving through it in the sun is enough to make you cry.

Spring is for wanting to eat burgers everyday, so you do.

Spring is for first encounters skipping handshakes and moving straight to hugs.
A Mile End landscape drawn on diner place mats. The reflection of rainbows that last nights top sends casting across the table and your bagel. Comparing the colors of your eyes and ending with, “well there’s so much here!”

Spring is for a new book for every sleepover. And for only ever reading the fist three pages of every one of them when I can’t sleep. And for borrowed books, fiction and otherwise, about sexuality.

Spring is for men saying to me, “I think you’ll really like this.”
(over breakfast and beers)

Spring is for friends who look like all of Tumblr at once, and up all night talking until 9am because whatever.

Spring is for, “Can I touch your scabs?” said romantically. She said, “You are quite literally an open wound.” Highly sensitive people discussing sensitivity and MDMA hangovers in sunrooms and over cigarettes. She said, “It sounds like you don’t need to do drugs, you can already feel it all.” I feel so much.

Spring is for skin theory, surface contemplation, sensory overload. And should I be a lab rat? And exactly how deep does my disease go? And how much of myself can I expose before vulnerability will be misinterpreted as performative.

Spring is for meet me in the rain would you like a cigarette?

Spring is for blueberry pancakes, when the sun feels dark, visiting the animal shelter for emotional therapy, and every Vitamin water tasting like, “are you hungover?”. Can I buy every shade of lace and plaid and blame my art?

Spring is for a fresh new notebook soon filled with sprawling letters written while kneeling in a gravel alley way. A notebook like a companion to remember the overflow. The overflow of living presently.

Spring is for school is over, seems like it’s someone’s birthday every other day, how many days can celebrations last before they become benders? Is there such a thing as a date bender? Can you overdose on feelings? Fall into a pit of romance, down down down the rabit hole only to find yourself lying in a park sharing a beer thinking, ‘Oh, I think I’d like to get used to this’.

Spring is for April feels like some sort of time joke, like no, I haven’t had enough of purgatory yet.

Spring is for a roommate asking what the poem you read was about and when you say, “being a girl”, her saying, “ahh” with a smirk because this topic seems to consume all of you and by extension all that you create.

Spring is for can everything be a photoshoot? Are you filming? Is this a vine? Am I on the internet already saying this? (and I haven’t even finished my sentence yet.)

Spring is for I can finally write this outside. And we can finally make out outside. And we are drinking wine and making out in the park. He said, “We are the people we would normally laugh at, but also feel happy for.”

We are spinning. Twirling around the poles on metro cars like this is a Jon Hughes movie and I’m sometimes scared it could be.

Spring is for he is in my bed again and he literally blends right in. And where does one naked hug end and the next begin. He said, “I wear lace shadows on my face just for you.” And I can’t keep my eyes open, and I can’t see you this up close, and are we talking about hamburgers or sex, actually? And in how many different contexts can that last question apply before it will feel like a city wide joke?

Spring is for the lipstick smudges over my tattoo gave me an idea for a painting.

Paint me your brain in watercolor. And I will send you my name in flowers since you like to say it so much. Spring is for you say so much, I wish I had a tape recorder at brunch. Spring is for brunch became a picnic and picnic became life. Sleepovers and goodbye parties trail from the park and back again for days on end.

Spring is for “Are you titillated?” Tittylated. Tittyland.

“You’re breasts are even nicer than mine.”
“Impossible”

He said, “Are you actively into girls?” and she (the girl I like) said, “You and I will be wearing leather for very different reasons.”

Spring is for gender neutral pronoun politics making me self conscious. But only because I’m so relieved to be living in a sexually progressive city. He said, she said, they said. We are a galaxy. He (they?) said, “Madeleine, what if the galaxy really is reflected on your skin?”

Spring is for NO PARENTS. And this means sex in the kitchen. And texts saying, “Your kitchen is an erogenous zone.” And I’m, beginning to wonder what’s not. And your hip fits perfectly in my hand like side of a pin ball machine. And I want to play you like a win win situation.

Spring is for having erotic passages about pinball read to you in the park.

Spring is for the rain giving me mermaid hair. And for mermaids giving me hope. And for mermaids who smoke like 1950’s movie stars to match their haircuts.

Spring is for this threesome or that one?

Spring is for this city is smarter than people give it credit for. Not just a pretty place, not just a La Bohemian lifestyle. This city brings personality to knowledge, and it brings people together in living rooms where we gladly share beer and poems and are kind to each other even when we’ve been sleeping with each others lovers. Imagine that.

Imagine a place where I have not been home yet.

Spring is for if you see me out in the world somewhere before 7pm imagine that I haven’t been home yet. But also imagine that there’s a 30% chance I’m just earnestly up at a decent hour and probably trying to be productive or find coffee or round up a picnic.

Spring is for do I have a cold because:
(1) I kissed someone with one
(2) rolled around the city all night wearing something sheer
(3) put substances up my nose
or (4) all of the above.

Spring is for I hate to admit that I kind of judge people based on their nail polish color.

Spring is for at this rate everybody could be married by the weekend.

Spring is for there was a moment this morning where I forgot how to write so I wrote this instead.

Spring is for group writing parties. And fact sharing. And cross pollination between disciplines to procrastinate the morning away. And caesars at 8am when you haven’t been to bed yet because maybe this will bribe the essay outa me?

Spring is a place where one lover is saying to me about another lover, “For someone who falls in love so often, I just don’t understand people who make such a big deal about it, just be nice to each other.” while I’m making a big deal about it.

Spring is for we can hear you fucking while we say our awkward, lingering, tension filled goodbyes.

He cut all of their faces out and filled them with light. And I left my eyes blank because I’m unsure of what I see. And my prof considered this unfinished but I consider it self aware (optimistic).

Spring is for I have been taking pictures of my reflection reflected onto other surfaces for months, and then I met a boy carrying around a gigantic sheet of a reflective surface all day. And he said, “Oh you and I, Madeleine Black, we’re going to be great friends.”

Spring is for can you choke me and he said, “Gladly”.

Spring is for sexy socks. And friends running into my bedroom screaming, “Maddy! I feel like you’re the expert on boys!??” only to find me in bed with a girl. Spring is for booty calls have dress codes and hers was black socks, which she didn’t have and I gave her. Mine has become no makeup, and sadly that is actually something I have reason to feel proud of myself for.

Spring is for all I can think about is skin. And so I pulled it all off, in public. And a new friend told me a month later that the first time he saw me I was standing on a bench surrounded by a crowd and he thought, ‘What the fuck is she doing?’ And I got an A.

At a party once my roommate told another friend that she thinks I’ll be a performance artist, and that was the first time I’d heard her say that. Spring is for every prof telling me that I’m very performative. And all winter I’d been trying to hide behind a scarf, but then they say the scarf became performative because it was on me, and I laugh to myself about trying to hide from the things that always find me, like performativity and kissing people (everyone) at parties.

Spring is for I’ve given up on trying not to put on a show. I am treated like a spectacle in a hoodie and no makeup at the grocery store, so I will not apologize for the spectacle that erupts when I do nothing more than add lipstick.

Spring is for sweethearts who ask, “D’you think they have performance art in vancouver?” And, “I have so many clothes because I’m a performance artist”. And no, absolutely not, my mental health has nothing to do with it. Mental health has nothing to do with anything. And how could you live in this century and not be at least a little depressed. And, “I only like people who are a little fucked up”. And I totally hated her when we first met because she was so happy and she was encouraging me to be happy and I thought, bitch.

Spring is performative in the same way that your hair always looks specific in the mornings by accident.

Spring is for your hot prof jumping up and down with excitement to show you artists whose work yours could parallel someday. And telling you that you could be a really interesting artist someday. And that you have a presence. But sometimes it’s just so hard to get your essence to the spaces where it needs to be, literally your body where it’s supposed to be when, and that’s a problem.

Spring is for the predictive text in my phone suggests, “this —> cuddle”.

Spring is for we’re so platonic he didn’t even notice he was spooning me naked in the morning.

Spring is for anxiety about happiness. The seasons are designed to make us all manic depressive and I am in guilty adoration of mania, my own and others.

Spring is for anime eyes. Wide like the way I feel to the world right now. In terrified and elated awe of all the beauty and chaos and mania that it brings.

Please, just hold me. (and pet my hair)

Another Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black grew up in the prairies (Regina),
chasing bad boys and sunsets.

Now based in Montreal,
she’s chasing her highly unrealistic and foolishly girly dreams of being
an interdisciplinary artist, with a truly fulfilling and richly creative life.

(making art about the (beauty in) fooling around and girlyness).

She can most often be found trying to remember where she scattered
all of the pieces of herself, and/or crying about gender barriers and/or
re-applying her lipstick without a mirror on the bus.

Colors break her heart everyday.

Artist Statement Draft:

Madeleine Black is a girl with all strings and no strings at once.

She is a marionette on fire.
A firefly in a mason jar.
A discontinued edition of mock barbie dolls,
accidentally equipped with hearts for brains and vice versa.

Colors break her heart everyday.
And probably, so do you.

She wrote this drunk sitting on the floor of some dark basement (dungeon) show.

burn burn burn

before I was a star girl I was a child wearing plaid, floral, stripes and polka dotes at once. one day vogue said skinny girls with wide eyes and milky skin are in. suddenly I was a lolita, awkwardly trying to make my long limbs move in time with the rest of my body. being stared at and asked for sex by men twice my age before I even knew what blow jobs were. I was thrown into the galaxy, held only by a string tied around my wrists with a label that said, will likely die.

Lately – Fall is for the ultimate.

Fall is the ultimate neo goth season, and is best spent tripping on giggles down Parc Ave with a friend who’s yelling, “You’re a witch, aren’t you!” and then doing a reenactment of your body up in flames at the stake, and through his own laughter he confirms that you know how lucky you are to have been born in this century.

Fall is for gangs of fur coats. And alley way mosh dance parties illuminated by soaked street lights and sparklers that are resilient to flames and flash lights for cameras. And friends with green eyebrows, WTF!? All she said was, “I know, I’m a bitch.”

Fall is for, this was all still just as funny in the morning.

Fall is for, “I’m in this mood like it’s still Halloween so I can do whatever I want.”

Fall is for wearing your demons on your sleeve. Or watching your demons dance between the wooden tables of a poetry and projections showcase and deciding to put on someone else’s demons on for a try. Fall is for the vulnerable, and the embracing.

Embracing the haunt, and loving it.

Fall is for the symphony of public transit.
(and that includes the visual, it’s a multi-sensory symphony.)

Fall is for the root chakra.

Fall is for trying to be a good student, and feeling like you’re terrible at it, but then realizing that you don’t have to do it like anyone/everyone else, and that you can make it up your own way, just like everything else in life, and wondering why this wasn’t more obvious.

Fall is for, up all night at the studio, and reading your poetry out loud in a new city for an audience for the first time, and for winning the prize in your drawing class for being the first person to have a sketch book that’s literally rotting, because you’ve collected probably a hundred leaves and stupidly used white glue which has made them rotting leaves.

Fall is for, real life time lapses, ADHD, illusion-ary doorways, hoarding fashion magazines and dreaming of color draped in all of the furs.

Fall is for, thinking that I haven’t been writing enough, but don’t I always feel this way?

Fall is for, copy and pasting 30+ feminism quotes whilst having a crush on 3000+ guys.

Fall is for, scarves make for optimal flirting.

Fall is for stumbling (maybe literally) upon art parties that are directly related to the projects you’ve just started the research for. Fall is for parties count as productivity. Fall is for people who love endless dancing.

Fall is for all of the ultimate second guessing.

Fall is for I have brunched in my leopard print coat for three weekends in a row.

Fall is for this blog post is scattered.

These next few pictures were taken at Theatre Saint Catherines during the ‘No!’ Haunted House. One of them is pretty X rated, so be warned, and just know that it’s only a dildo.

Fall is for clowning around.
The man on the far right looks strikingly like my grandpa (we called him Pop) right mom!?

This homemade Homer Simpson costume is by the same actor who made his own fake skin mask to look like his mouth had been sewn shut for the haunted house. I really regret not getting a picture of that, but I know that there are some floating around somewhere.

I’ve been making so many new friends! This is Paulli, I’m invited to his 50th birthday party. (he’s such a blast! best 7am dance partier)

Fall is for I haven’t slept in 3 days but now I’m going to sleep for a whole one straight.

Fall is for home decorating and IKEA road trips that feel like a 7 hour trip of different kind.

Fall is for making this Holobody music video, starting in my (circa Saskatchewan, yay!) friend (and one half of the loveliest sibling band) Luke’s apartment, and migrating through various Mile End alley ways, fire escapes and strangers rooftops, the abandoned graffiti warehouse, champagne at Nouveau Palais, endless hilarity at the strip club Exotica (my first strip club! also my first strip club head injury, HA!), and then what led to this:

Fall is for seeing hearts everywhere (seriously see one every 5 minutes) after a drunken dance party of pasting heart shaped post it notes all over a new friends (this) apartment.

And sticking your hands up the nostrils of a horse face mask while you dance and alternate between hands up his nose + coating hearts all over your pants (tights).

And waking up covered in paper hearts.

The video is for a soon to be released song, you can see/hear the trailer here. Except that the whole thing wont just be of my hair, probably.

Fall is for breaking, entering and sneaking around abandoned courtyards, fire escapes, rooftops and various warehouses like every other day. Fall is for climbing fences and no party ending before 5am. Fall is for every color looks better against a grey lit sky.

Basically, fall is for the ultimate.