response to Audrey Marie Keel

i do not know what it feels like to be forced outta country (thank god) but i do know what it feels (and felt) like to have to leave the home of the culture i grew up in which would (and did) have me hate myself for i do (and did) not belong i am (and was) not loved nor do i (nor will i) exist in the belly of the culture i was born into, there was (and is) (and will be) no place for me and i ran like hell to get to myself to find myself to love myself against all that hated me (including them) (including me) before i even knew who i was (who i am and will be) and that was (is) (will always be) different      — KatYa (response to the poem ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire)


Journal # 04.23.16

You had a yo-yo and could walk the dog and spin a bottle and beeline where it stopped, rushing into a body, knocking torn denim boots and books and knocked up if you don’t watch out. And maybe you won’t cause maybe you wanna raise a kid with me? Unless we think of the future. Big with it. Feeling it. And nobody else could be happy.

I remember the road trips very well. Close enough to see all the stars been pounded into the pavement. Shoe string budgets and the smell of gasoline. Stretching youth into the sun. I’m glad I made them with you. The nights of headlights and dashed lines and loving you inside your angst. How we found joy in the midst of an endless journey. Must have been the laughter over stupid shit. Got the character outta me and it cracked you up. Nirvana and Pearl Jam all over the radio. Immortality got a tan on the beach. I began to trust you and not myself. Bleach. Marley on a tape deck, and the clock on the screen is digital green. Glowing and the butts end over end flipping behind us, flicked out the windows when windows were rolled up and down. Life was more manual and maybe we liked it that way. The soundtrack of pre-millenium America. See the old Gulf gas signs above the bible belt bullshit?

My stomach kept getting upset. I tried to calm her down with lengthy and prolonged cream and coffee, but it was no use, she continued to grumble and make my life hellish in the middle of the night. Flamingos and origami cranes. Paper journals on backseats with Big Books. She almost made me sick until I hit the joint. NA was put back another day. I lost the point. Tunnels to Mexico beneath us, Tijuana, and why are they all coming this way? Like you and you made me so happy. Goddamn. Lost the point like Marlon Brando on an island. Jane’s addiction. Carefree when wet.

Today I was binging on Netflix in the dark. Remembering that three-legged dog in traffic by the tracks on Broadway. I postponed anything real, awash in afternoon rains. Maybe that’s how I begin to remember the names and the places and searching for the kindness and laughter still so hard to find sometimes. The streets carry scent of flowers and here in the City of Trees — all has turned green, too, like Chicago trying desperate to win back all the land it lost. Last winter. I love you.     – Katya, 2016

double blind

I am a new number, now, they faked my initials. I volunteered for another clinical trial to benefit myself and others who suffer from the same autoimmune issue. A stranger stole into my system about a decade ago, and decided to settle down. I made room for them, what choice did I have? They had faked their papers and got through customs unaccosted. They pretty much keep to themselves and haven’t done me much harm all these years. But they like to live contrary to the culture heritage,  and have thrown the ecosystem off. After much deliberation — and because they are rooted eradication is not an option — I decided to go for containment. Before the system is gravely disordered. I don’t think it’s too late, I am still in very good condition.

It’s funny how I would become a number in a double blind study, on trial. How I would fake my identity to combat a stranger who did the same to get in.


6pm. The sounds through the walls when the neighbor comes home. The shudder of the door as i lie here with a finger in my navel. Hoping for some sleep. The walls make sound soft, too.

what are we in love

culture. dedicated to breakdown and cracked in the teeth. the splinters are our lives and they glint in the sun. stillness is a wonderful thing and makes sense except when you’re dead someone said. you decided on an orgasm and made one while i read. i was on the couch with milk green tea and a book and a little light stirred in at the top. i like to strand the light so i can sit at my desk and write. undefeated by music and outta control. how could you lose religion like that? so easily. i gave it to you and you took it to church. communion was godly. white as a sheet (is unreal) and you turned it. black was outright boring until the inky darkness and the not knowing where the hell we are anymore. worship black and white and renounce all the colors between. culture. dedicated to breakdown and cracked in the teeth. gone for a day without nourishment. the corrupted water still pure at the edge where we kissed. all the particulate matters and lip service gave us substance. stars in the ocean in the sky. tattoos made us endure made us pure. i don’t give a fuck what you say when you don’t know what you’re talking about is only in your head. comprised of particulate thought. just like me you’re unreal. compromised. but i won’t stand behind you like gospel. no. it’s just my slant and i try not to crowd anyone. with stars were the children with stars. the splinters in our lives they glint in the sun. i saw myself in a mirror in the darkness and hadn’t a clue.  made me me made you you. stillness was a wonderful thing after the noise came, impressed in the froth of a green tea milk sea. i decided on a book and i made one too. i decided on you and you decided on us two. what are we in love.


Video Book Reading – Girl Without Borders


4545 3

four five four five three

Dope me up with novocaine
This life is hard to take
When I am numb
You can tear me to pieces

Then when you’re done
I can be alone
Putting myself together
One cup of coffee
At a time

Read to me
One word at a time
And i will read
To your grandchildren

Then when I’m done
I can be alone
Putting myself together
One silent prayer
At a time

Some day
I will tell you
How i feel

KatYa © 2016


Preface and Book 1: Chapter 1: Part 1 …

Chicago. West side. Follow the paths of three young lovers at the turn of the millenium. Working-class punks and degenerate-labeled youth move across the urban landscape, effortlessly, at night. Suffering the depths to which culture has sunk. Looking for refuge. Fearless in love. Will is a young man with big dreams and a big heart, determined to learn the code of the streets. He falls for a girl with a punk attitude and style all her own. Life gets complicated as Will gets lost in love… with tragic consequences.

This is my debut novel, written from 1997-2003. Girl Without Borders — Published in 2013. A literary fiction. The first reading of what I am calling a videobook or vbook. I hope you come along for the ride!

there won’t be any weekend

I know it’s saturday but there won’t be any weekend, I promised, the pulse will count out the same in sixty seconds and I cannot live any other way; I am anti-heroic when it comes to arresting the life in me. I can slow my breath to a near standstill and hibernate on a couch with a cell phone texting emoticons to god through t-mobile, torturing myself with online validation. I don’t have an avatar. This wild child of atari is fresh out of excuses for joysticking the halfway living. I cannot even cry about the sad stuff, unless it’s yours, cause the sad life is long gone and even if it kills me I promised to fulfill these dreams if only in the making.

There won’t be any time off, nahahna, I used all my PTO, all my floating holidays, all my sick days and all my fuckin vacay, distributed through the twenties and thirties, the dopamine bordering on bottoming out. Hell, I had my glory nights of indulgence and days of despair. You probably see it in my eyes. Now the fire comes from within and I am home! So there won’t be any weekend just a shot of cream into coffee, on a table turning. Lemme in the mix. Scratch me. Spin me. Put me in play. I can give you what you need. Saturday night seems fluid and I love to work it out with you like this.  –Katya © 2016

writing process

momentum. writing process.

You got the scars and now you’re seeing stars, you have your vision about you, it’s time to write that story and see where it goes, take off all your clothes, undress the wounds. Let them see you. Finally. Picked up the slack and got your pretty self hitting keys with an urgency; that licklack-click-clackallack, riding the train high off your pain, maybe some beats to keep your heartened. What started as a dream became your work in progress.

Now if it’s short blast, high frequency flash, sudden or smoke-long, well, you can pick up anytime and push it out. But if it’s longer form and you have that kinda stamina, well, it’s a momentum game. You will know it when you get there. Another cup of coffee. Don’t forget to sleep. Don’t forget to dream about it when you’re waking. All the time I swear I have it in my head, that WIP. Cause it works itself out, only slowly, with undivided dreaming the plot develops in my emotional darkroom. The container must be sealed, shielded from social media and the drag of everyday life. The fabric stitched together, then torn apart in places and replaced, reconnected to the whole drive, thematic.

The water will be charging you, ionic bond to the vision. Watch out for the dam. When the locks change you may not be able to get back in so easily. Requires extra effort and self-confidence, sometimes. You might break in through a window. Recall must be superb, almost perfect. Next time you get that puppy tail wagging -peeing with unharnessed shaking excitement- take her out to the park and set her free. Stand in the green spring grasses looking over your WIP with pride. Carry the momentum to see your vision through. Let the words take you, and the pain fall, away. By the end? I promise — the vision will carry you.