A K Mimi Allin

this is a self portrait
about what constrains me
what keep me from my happiness

i’ve been at peace in a balanced place
& i’ve been wildly happy when the scales were tipped toward paradise so long as i have something to explore

i’m chasing a certain kind of knowledge
a certain kind of awake

the art of living
will flower from me one day

no matter how sparse it seems
i can alter the world to get what i need

what constrains me
is the doubt of no reply
i’m having transparent dreams again
it all means nothing

my view of myself is distorted
but perhaps distorting is defining
& defacing can unveil

what does that mean?

food water purpose
that’s what i’m looking for

the buddhists ensure me
i come readymade with purpose
but sometimes it seems unso

no is not a happy place
no is a hole in a trampoline
yes is about freedom choices time
yes is an engine

what keeps me from making
the work i know i need to make?
the inevitable thing?
the only thing? the way forward?
confidence single mindedness definition

lack of focus holds me back
20 things i feel lukewarm about
or the one thing that sets me on fire
i try to listen to the nagging thing
mongolia mongolia mongolia

since wealth denies me
poverty will have to define me
without money i make different art
use fewer materials
an artist doesn’t need to make a thing
an artist can suggest a thing
i’ve learned to be suggestive
to take people partway
which leaves them work to do
for which they must move & grow

what do i fear?
i fear getting rid of everything
& walking away like a penitent
so that’s exactly what i want to do

i fear stasis & wasting time
& that is not what i want to do
but i know it is good for me
boats grant me that
so i have a boat

i fear not being brilliant
& there is no cure for that

i want to have nothing to take
so i have nothing to lose

boredom is also freedom
but boredom is a luxury
that must be bought

i want the freedom that comes with poverty i want a red sweater & time to see it unravel one peach should matter more than a crate full of peaches

i make meaning to correct the world
does it need correcting? no
what needs changing? i do
what resists change? i do

when i feel myself getting diluted by society i retreat & ask myself who am i? what do i want?
i quickly realize i do not want
what others want
this helps

what stalls my art?
a never ending trip to the mirror
trap doors falling floors
the committee of should
expectations lovers nostalgia misunderstandings these same things drive my art

i do not wish to make of my art a business i can live without everything but meaning though i do need to see a dentist

to what am i bound? on what do i rely?
where are my buffers? am i too comfortable?
ease heat music walls the known thing.. get rid of these

the stuff i found in the center of my spirit took away my reasons for making art for 6 months i made nothing why would i do this or that superficial thing when i knew what i knew about spirit?
it might be good & clever but who cares
this isn’t about clever
this is about growth

my art
is it pure?
is it relevant?
does it change anything?
what needs changing? i do
what resists change? i do

i have trouble making connections
between my emotions & experiences
there are no real lines between money & work a vocation is a vocation is a vocation

what constrains me defines me
thank you for seeing this



A K Mimi Allin has twice crossed the Pacific Ocean by boat, has worked as a climbing ranger on Mt Rainier and has served in the Peace Corps. Allin lives and works as an artist in Seattle WA. She holds an MA in Writing from The City College of New York. Her performance-installations have premiered at the Seattle Art Museum, The Olympic Sculpture Park, Bumbershoot, Smoke Farm, Tether Gallery, Artscapes, ArtSparks, Arts Crush, Guiding Lights, ACT Theatre and Litfuse in Tieton. In 2006, Mimi became a household name for her yearlong project “The Poetess at Green Lake.” In January 2010, she fulfilled a self-designed residency at NBBJ Design & Architecture Firm to become the nation’s 1st Corporate Poet. And in the summer of 2011, she drew a line around 14,410′ Mount Rainier with her body to effect “Tahoma Kora,” a 36-mile, 65-day prostrating circumnavigation. At the heart of Allin’s work is the pursuit of home and the search for the sacred. She is interested in the potential of ritual, inquiry and quest to act as catalysts for personal growth, inviting her audience to transform by transforming herself. Her art often takes her outside and involves physical labor, time spent inhabiting, activating, redefining spaces. To sate her desire for feedback, and because she believes it is through the community that we know ourselves, she builds triggers into her work that ask the audience to speak and participate.

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