Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Struggle" Artwork

You can click on this photo to see it much bigger.

Several years ago (don't remember which year), ImageArt (Rochester, NY's annual glbt art exhibit during ImageOut Film Festival every October) rejected the work. I was also unsatisfied with the work and left it in the storage for a while. I happened to ponder about the work and decided to bring it back up. I took the time to redo the work, using color wax crayons and color pencils on the major male figure. I also re-drew the little male figures with a white pencil to make them stand out more. I only used orange, yellow, white, gold, and black color pencils to do the major male figure. I used the color wax crayons to do the pink triangle and the rainbow lines, and the rest of the lines. There are some fabrics on the canvas and I used a back pencil to draw black lines that show them a little bit. Before I even applied the wax crayons and pencils, the work was  made of acrylic paint in gold and black, which you can notice below the male figures and lines. The male figures and the triangle were much darker without the crayons and pencils, which were more challenging to see. When applying the colors and lines, I realized that they really helped the male figures and lines stand out much more. It took me a while to figure out how to solve the problem with challenges, forcing me to fix this and refine this and so forth. So, it is officially done to my best.

This work is certainly clearly related to the gay men's struggle. As you may know, pink triangles were used on Jewish gay male prisoners' shirts in death camps during the Nazi regime as a label for "Gay" and many were executed. The little male figures are pulling, pushing, lifting, and holding the triangle to keep reminding us what really happened. The dark black and gold with stripes and splashes in the background give the mood of darkness or the feeling of oppression. The rainbow lines, of course, represent glbt pride. All in all, this is the message to say gay men's struggle for freedom is carried on from the Holocaust under the Nazi regime and still is today all over the world regardless of where they live.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ASL Performances at Equal Grounds for DEAAF, 2013

The ASL Poetry Show at Equal Grounds Coffee Lounge was a smash success with a great packed crowd. DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) made up to $213.00 from the fund raising effort during the show, which will help deaf/hard of hearing African kids in Zambia, Africa get the education that they need. The performers were great: Vicki Nordquist, Jojo, Dangerous Signs, Chris Coles (plus Joe Fox as Chris's guest performer), and myself (Eddie Swayze).

As it could possibly happen, my computer had tech difficulty by refusing to play the CDs that two performers brought in to play the songs. Had to use someone's iPad and iPhone to play the YouTube version of the songs with the microphone close to the device's speaker, and that surely worked very well. How could that be possible without such high tech devices available when something doesn't work? Also, my computer froze and had to re-boot it, which caused the waiting to happen, but it went back up and the show went on. 

I would like to thank John White, owner of Equal Grounds, for granting me the opportunity to present the event and making the funding toward DEAAF possible. I would also like to thank Grey Van Pelt and Mike Drees for being the voice interpreters.

Here are the photos that you can enjoy.

Eddie Swayze

Vicki Nordquist

Chris Coles


Barb Deitz discussing about DEAAF and the funding effort.

Dangerous Signs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Two Photos: "Song of the Journey" ASL Poetry, Tiger Talk

Here are the two photos of my ASL poetry performance titled "Song of the Journey", taken on Oct. 12th 2013, at the Robert F. Panara Theatre at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).  I was told that the video will be posted soon and that may not work well in this blog. I may put the video into my WildPoet YouTube that already have other ASL poetry stuff I created. 

Enjoy the photos. You can click on the photos to make them  bigger.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Song of the Journey, Tiger Talk

My poem "Song of the Journey", translated into ASL, got accepted by the jurists and I was able to perform the work on stage at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in the Robert F. Panara Theatre on Saturday, October 12th. The performance included my video and electronic music, all put together along my ASL performance. A technical difficulty popped up a bit, but it got straightened out quickly and I was able to pull it off. Ha! I will eventually get the video of the performance from NTID soon. Meanwhile, I would like to share "Song of the Journey" in writing for you all to read. Enjoy!

    "Song of the Journey"

Beautiful creatures on campus,
You may stomp your feet and echo your voices across the continents and the seven seas.
Spread your petals and send their aromas with crucial contributions through the air. 
Expand your innovations like glowing wings upon the air.
Your precious jewels of visions shall never dissipate. 
Expand! Expand! Expand!

You, scholars with crowns of laurel on your heads, have the power to provoke new images, new words, new actions;  you have the power to accelerate dialogues in our majestic society.
Dialogues on behalf of new ideas float among us, a togetherness that enhances our quality of life.
You are in charge of your visions!  
Provoke! Provoke! Provoke!

As avid explorers, you may maneuver your vessels up toward the distant corners of the sky
And seek for places you have never been before.
Take an electronic compass and follow your paths.
The expanding space and time can carry you toward your dreams. 
Explore! Explore! Explore!

You, the students, faculty, and staff, like trillions of stars and planets circulating far in the distance, 
May yearn and scatter your dreams like the Milky Way across the midnight sky. 
Your imaginations may glide like space crafts heading up into the open blue sky.
Your abundant beauty may bloom just like a thousand embryonic stars. 
Scatter! Scatter! Scatter!

Your tasks shall not be viewed as marginal, nor as irrelevant, nor as abysmal, 
For they are to be seen by the very eyes of everyone all around our globe.
Your insights can be seen or heard, the beauty of your creative work, 
Just like how the astronomers discovered Bernard's star, Alpha Centauri, Vega, Sirius stars, black holes, pulsar stars, brown dwarfs, supernovas, dark matter, and other cosmic miracles.
Invite yourselves onboard the ships, warm travelers that you all can be,  with great appreciation of respect, beauty, and diversity. 
Roar! Roar! Roar!

Allen Ginsberg's "Holy" Poem in ASL on the Web

My translation of Allen Ginsberg's poem in ASL (American Sign Language) got uploaded by Peter Hale last week. Peter's Allen Ginsberg site also includes Miriam Lerner's vid clip of Allen Ginsberg visiting NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) in 1985. I am indeed honored to have my ASL translation of Ginsberg's work in the site. Unfortunately, the video isn't in high quality but that has nothing to do with the webpage; it has to do with using my Mac laptop's PhotoBooth through the laptop video camera instead of being able to afford an expensive high-quality video camera.

Here is Peter Hale's Allen Ginsberg webpage address for you to click on:


You'll need to scroll down until you see "The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox" and then you'll see a video of me doing the poem in ASL and Miriam's video of Allen at NTID.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Deaf Lit Extravaganza Book with 3 Poems

My 3 poems are published in an anthology book titled Deaf Lit Extravaganza.  The 3 poems are "The Fable of the Fox and the Heron", "Diva", and "Fragile Earth". It's out in the public for sale. You can order online, using this site address:


Here is my one poem titled "Diva" that is in the book for you to read and enjoy.


Young wise woman.
Brown-cinnamon flesh.
Black braided hair.
A heart listener.
No one can exploit her.
Listen to her stories.
Honest as an open bowl.
Men don’t understand.
She knows what she needs.
She is a diva!
A deaf woman she is.
Doesn’t matter.
She isn’t a light-headed bird.
It won’t work if men try playing tricks.
Beautiful she is.
Intelligent she is.
But she doesn’t lift her tail feathers up.
She doesn’t want to be a pawn.
Respect her dreams!
Respect her existence!
She carries the armor.