So I got this NYFA Grant...

...and just when I was gonna pay everything off....

So NYC has a bigger arts budget than the feds. I was fearful I’d need to rebrand myself to get some of it, but the Covid bucks came through. Fantasies about paying off my credit card, taking the money and running, but you get a chunk (5K) and feel a bit validated, so you want something worthy to put up. I mean, why would n’t the ego get in the way as that’s why you do this stuff in the first place, right? "We could run the sound ourselves” Nope. “Wait- why don’t we film it?” Yup. “What’s your budget for sound?” Gulp. “What do you mean the venue has no sound system?”. The Instagram post said Hillai just moved back to Brooklyn. Everyone’s here. We could do “Insomnia”. 


When you’re doing one-off stuff, you’d think the logistics would be easier, but they’re actually more complicated by the fact that it’s all new and serious people have, like, life commitments to other things. Just negotiating rehearsals. One advantage is the stuff would be performed mostly as recorded, so if people just learned their stuff…we could put it together while we…rehearsed. Well, almost. Despite a few snags, I feel like we largely pulled it off. In moments it did remind me of things I didn’t pull off. You be the judge. 


“Live Insomnia” 


Emilia Cataldo- Vocals

Bob Gaulke- Bass + Guitar

Leon Gruenbaum- Keys

Hillai Govreen- Clarinet + Tenor Sax

Gil Oliveira- Drums and Percussion

Alex Nahas- Engineering + Live Sound

Pavlo Terekhov- Video 


Recorded at Pavlo’s October 23rd, 2021. 


Thanks to NYFA CAC Grants + StreetlabNYC

Bugolgi Apparatus


it’s your turn to be 
that crazy person

the role has recently
been vacated 

you’ll have to face 
their cruelty directly 

stomaching the looks
of incomprehension 

it’ll cost a pretty penny 
thank god for insurance 

getting those thoughts out
at any price will surely be worth it



are we still in a lull

how long does it last

you seem depressed

why do you ask

i’d give you a call

if you’d respond

you might not be up

preferring down

my friend Carl used to savor one

paired with a wine

writing dead stars

without replies

i use the time

to be unproductive

putting existential goals in order

working seductions

Goddess of Irony 

the goddess of irony 

drowns the city with her laughter

then she offers assistance

after every disaster

you tell her you're leaving

she says, "not so soon."

she's busy using your heart

to clean up her room

you swear you'll miss her 

this she doesn't believe

you hide those pictures of her sister 

in the folder on your screen

everyone carries her egg

within the egg is a lie

you find out too late

it’s not what it takes to survive

Zyprexa Latuda 

I just watch everything and think

What the fuck is going on

I’m fine in my apartment

I see no reason to step out

I miss the city I miss the buzz

I just miss being young

But could you imagine stepping

Back into yesterday with what you know now

So I’m exiled in the suburbs

I’m that old crazy woman now

I won’t post more than a few pieces of art

It’s insane how everything is public

Where’s the dignity in that

When I get too lonely I just talk to my plants

You’ll never get me

The way you want me

Live with your regrets 

While I don’t have any

I had my fun

And now I’ve got my dignity 

Can’t step into that cesspool again 

Not with these heels


I meet a lot of people 

coming out of trauma 

they make it sound thrilling 

connecting with something 

that gives them 

so much meaning 

before I can wish it 

could happen to me 

they’ve got me up to 

my bare sleeves


I breathe them in 

over my skin 

before I can tell 

what’s happening 

I’m feeling horrific visions 

blended with love 

resembling the predictions 

science warns us about 

I’m telling you all about it 

just telling you all about it

this again 


what we say and what we do 

in this world of thieves 

can I count on you 

to stick it to me

in everyone we’ve got

a mini-me 

pocket dictator 

mirror of society 

and I get down 

thinking about it 

get up putting it 

into pockets

work it out 

then bring the lucre home 

trying to make sense

of these hangovers

it’s the curse of work

hardship of birth

and the wonders 

of you 

searching everywhere

for one beautiful thing 

most days I surrender

to the ugly truth  

I’d like to believe 

I was wrong all along 

these signs me nothing

everyone is smart

but I’m haunted by those

Phil Ochs songs

not that naive to believe 

anything since has been done 

and you’re the answer 

to these imponderable questions 

don’t think I ever 

learned my lesson