I am a writer originally from Chicago and currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. I work as a professor in the UNLV Honors College, and as a spiritual guidance counselor at Grow With Soul. I’ve lived in quite a few places on the globe–and in no shortage of atmospheres in my mind. My work is very much a reflection of the state of being I adopt while exploring a particular space. When I’m finished composing a piece, I also abandon the person I became while I was creating it. There are many of me out there. We never meet.
People ask writers where they gather the materials used to create a story. The fragments I assemble into narratives and poems are pieces of my many pasts, richly lived and sometimes accurately remembered.
I also salvage materials from the stories I hear around me, from lives and philosophies of the characters I meet roving the streets, dancing in the moonlight, musing at universities, and drinking potent teas. I am deeply inspired by nature, God(desses), my Beloveds, and the imagination.
Themes of home, memory, loss of the Mother, movement and exile run throughout my work—as do feelings embraced through communion with lovers, crude survival experiences, ‘waking-up’, and the beautiful, difficult, miraculous experience of being a human being.
If there was a need to name the school of soulful, alternative artists I see emerging in the West, I would call us, as humbly as possible, Transformationists. We are here to help dissolve the old world and usher in a new golden age. Our insatiable desire for progression & truth are what sets us apart.
With any luck, a well-written book by a Transformationist calls the real condition of a reader’s perception into question. The function of such art is not mere representation, but rather transfiguration of the reader—and consequently, the world.
Henry Corbin illustrates:
All the elements in a work of Symbolic Art are represented in their real dimension “in the present”, in each case perpendicularly to the axis of the viewer’s vision. The viewer is not meant to immobilize himself at a particular point, enjoying the privilege of “presentness” and to raise his eyes from this fixed point; he must raise himself toward each of the elements represented. Contemplation of the image becomes a mental itinerary, an inner accomplishment; the image fulfills the function of a mandala. Because each of the elements is presented not in its proper dimension, but being that same dimension, to contemplate them is to enter into a multidimensional world…
Though a Transformationist may crave the clarity earned from a well-examined life, she will also refuse to be corralled by the rational mind–sometimes placing more importance on the energy from which each piece was created rather than the form it eventually takes. This follows the belief that form is the debris of Energy, the poem is the debris of Poetry, and only through the loss of form are we led to the true Spirit of things. In the same breath, a Transformationist may still view the novel as a social contract and realize the need for a recognizable narrative in story-telling. The challenge presented while attempting to strike a balance between these beliefs unveils one of life’s greatest paradoxes: forever aware of the nobility & necessity of words to adorn an ineffable knowing, we continually re-discover that reason and language are mere parodies of Being.
While there are artists whose vocation it is to represent the cultural mindset of their time—feeding tradition and encouraging the existing collective consciousness—one of the duties of a Transformationalist is to compensate for the lack in the current consciousness. In this way, the needs of the time work through a Transformationalist.
As Erich Neumann states in Art and Time, “the [Transformationalist] is closer than any other artist to the seer, the prophet, the mystic.” Inspired power seizes an artist of this sort, “taking possession of him without the least consideration for the individual…[because] when a creative impulse springs from a larger source, it serves the will of the species rather than the individual.” This creative drive moves through nature and through individuals with such intensity that they abandon their birthrights and leave their homelands to seek whatever adventures to which the Godhead leads. And because of the predominance of the inner, transpersonal, nominous characteristics of a Transformationist’s way of being, this path demands a journey filled with continual growth, repeatedly expanding the individual’s capacity.
Still, it is only and precisely when an artist does not represent the existing canon (but instead transforms and overturns it) that her function rises from the level of the mundane to the level of the sacral, for it is then that she gives utterance to the authentic and direct revelation of something beyond herself.
The task of integration facing the artist today can no longer be performed in a single work. A Transformationalist’s compositions are more like a collection of starry pixels—and it is only by stepping back from an individual star that one is able to perceive the entire constellation.
Thank you for reading.
 The World Turned Inside Out, Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism, by Tom Cheetham
 Art and Time, by Erich Neumann. Taken from Man and Time; Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, Edited by Joseph Campbell
back in my Morocco days
…and a conversation had at the edge of the Sahara, as a flirtatious nomad attempts to lure me into the dunes… (it’s black as a desert night, so don’t expect much imagery)