There was once a small girl.  She didn’t consider herself to be this, she just considered herself to be small.

Just now I cut the edge of my toe, and I barely feel it though it’s bleeding remarkably.  My aim was to get at the edge of a hangnail, but I cut with scissors too large and too deep.

This little girl loved to romp and play in the sun.  She hoed the garden and rolled around in the grass, she stared at spiders making their nests, and she ran screaming into the woods.  She loved the sun on her shoulders and chest, on her back and arms and feet and legs.

It’s a strange thing to see blood drip down your body, smear across the plane of your toes as you brush them over.  It is odd watching any amount of blood you are bleeding without feeling a thing.

Her Father told her, one summer’s day, that she had to go put a shirt on.  He told her this as they worked in the garden, he shirtless as well in the sun.

My foot is cold where the blood is wet, but drying fast.  I have no desire to clean it up yet.  I wonder if my roommate will come home and see me like this?  Why am I asking myself that?

“Why?” she thought.  Inside a ball of anger, sadness, and fear swept from ears to eyes, circulating the unfairness of the moment into her heart.  Her head and her voice and her little body exploded, shouting the question, “WHY?!”

Why do I care what others think of me?  I am not a child.  This shouldn’t scare anyone…  But maybe showing myself in this state is what frightens me – something could be perceived as wrong, as inherently wrong with me.

Should one always listen to the ones they love?  Should one always take another’s order as correct course of action?  Should she defy her father, or pack away the sun and joy of awakened bare skin in summer?

Do I clean up now and try to make myself appear all right for those who may see me?

***   ***   ***

The truth is, I am not ok.

It’s not my toe, it’s not my young feminist torso aching for freedom.  It’s my heart.  Swollen and silenced.  Told to exist quietly, more easily for another, to die down in comfort of someone else running scared.

Whether I bleed from my foot or from my questioning mind or from my emotional, beating reality: I bleed.  I ache.  I desire to be seen for who I am and let be to live the life I love.  To be good to the people I desire.  To express myself and process my life freely.

I respect the status quo.  Too much maybe.  The people telling me no.

Use warm water to wash the blood away, and calm your feelings.  Bandage up now.  Grow a thick skin over.  Be callous.  Live cautious, quiet, sometimes unhappy.

Or scare people.  Be left alone.

I ache for options.


When blue isn’t, it is some other thing

Deep under blankets in the winter colorless cold sets in

Blue dressed in Goth blackness darkens mid-afternoon sun on days you cannot face the hours before what comes next

Pink Shame licking your cheeks

It is anger turned inward.  Blue isn’t when it’s deep red instead:  a gash cauterized before bleeding out, not able to carry poison away from the pain

Sit.  We stay put.  The world turns and nothing changes for days on end

Addled brain drifts like tumbleweed

Terror infused hardening, internally the body crumples

Lungs breathe shallow and controlled, a police line within your body formed

Blue is yellow heat sickening the digestion, intestines out

Rust-brown lead ribs sweating venom from a kick to the gut

Blue is chafing green jealousy

It is grey morning fog invisibility, flame orange heartburn caught in the throat and silencing, sea green solitude that buttons the lip for too long, silver-white lightening threads: the outside noise that makes your ear shudder and shut down, it is the blank white untouchable tablet I will never understand no matter how often it has been explained, blue is metal triggers and mossy-brown feelings inside slimy, unclean and trapped with no way out; it is purple want unrequited and dangling, it is the shifting color of a shadowed corner staring out at a room rejoicing

Nothing under the sun stops blue from settling into the creases of other colors

When blue is blue, there is something exquisite about its clarity.  A night sobbing does the trick, the rain clears humidity from your pores, the air is fresh on the other side

You aren’t left for an eternity attending blue when the unshakable rainbow is your cause.

Snake Eats Tail

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

I want to mean something after these bones grow cold and dissolve.  To have had my say, words echoing off mountains of future bodies.  Flesh stacked on flesh, to the Sun and back.  Hear my words, vibrations from before resounding.  These vibrations, ancient memory bringing decay and eventual death near.  nearer.  Each wave, each rock of the boat a stress fracture in miniature – knots forming strength in the bone, cells regenerate, mass rises and falls over time – but the feelings in my heart can’t touch down.  Even now.

They barely reach you.

They worm fear-holes into your heart and dis-ease pries space between our fornicating bodies – I’ll be a memory tomorrow, not a care the day after, and one day forgotten, moved on, left to rot.

I want to mean something after these bones grow cold and disappear.


Photo of UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb by David Aquilina

I wrote the following piece in 2010 for a burlesque show produced by the Bitches of Destiny entitled “Show”.  It was an event at the Coolidge Corner Theater to promote Henry Hornstein’s newly published book by that title.  I’ve performed the piece a few times since, maybe it’ll make a comeback sometime soon…  This piece of writing keeps popping into my mind recently, so here it is – I hope you enjoy.  (Photos taken by Caleb Cole)

SpokenWord1 SHOW CCSpokenWord8 SHOW CC


By UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb

She sits looking out at the audience from a chair center stage…

She takes a moment to adjust her skirt.  Runs a hand up her stockings…  plays with the audience’s expectations.

She poses.

She picks up the mic and says hello to a person or 2 in the audience…  She flirts a little.

She picks a volunteer from the audience and brings them onto the stage.

Her new companion receives a laundry basket…


“I could be anyone.

What turns you on?  (she touches herself)

My glasses?  My skin?  My hair?  My breasts?  My mind?  My mouth?  My questions?  My movement?  (stands) My shoes?  My hips?  My down below? (she moves into the audience and begins removing clothing, motioning for her volunteer to follow)

Would you fuck me because of the dress I wear?

The tie I wind around my neck?  The cut of my shirt?  The cigar I smoke?  The way I sit?

Do you assume I want your touch and attention because I am listening to you?

If I flirt do I owe you something?

At what point in our relationship do you own me? (motions for audience member to help get undressed)

Halfway through dinner?  After kiss?  After sex?  After drink?  After smile?  Half way in?  After marriage?  After I show mine?  After touch?  After consent?  After payment?

If I say stop will you respect that?

No matter.  How.  Far.  In.  We.  Are?

Will you ask me for what you want?

In life?  In bed?  In another partner?  In relationship?  In me?

Do you act needy?  Do you assume?  Do you use others against me?  Do you negotiate respectfully or do you manipulate?  What if one day I want him or her or them? (she directly references people in the audience)

Am I a bitch/cunt/whore for being separate from you?  For being me – fully and honestly?  For having a voice outside of your comfort or fantasy?  (she moves back toward the stage)

After that fight how do you keep me?  Through co-dependence?  Through negotiation?  Manipulation?  Therapy?  Through “I love you” or money?  Through family?  Abuse?  Depression, dependence, lies?  Communication?  Depravity?  Begging?  Time?  Through physical power?  Through sex?  Blackmail?  Through space? (she is back on stage)

1.  2.  3.

Are you ready?”

(She finishes stripping, turns, and exits)

Today I write less romantically.  My friend Pax commented on a blog I wrote a while back entitled “My Best Friends“.  I intended to answer him in the comment section, but the answer “grew and grew and grew until [the] ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around”…  Here are my thoughts, pricked delightfully by his mind:

paxus says

What i think is that you are part of a group which is fighting the tide. That exclusive romantic arangements are not just the norm, but they are socially reinforced at many turns and actually necessary to maintain the political repression which is the root of the current maldistribution of wealth.

What i also think is that against all odds, you are winning. The tide is finding other things to do with it’s time. It is light bulbs going on in peoples heads and sparks in crotches and all manner of wake up calls lighting up the lines.

Whisky Doll replies:

Thank you Pax! I love your words regarding the repression of non-exclusive romantic arrangement as being: “actually necessary to maintain the political repression which is the root of the current maldistribution of wealth.” I would add to that that it very particularly maintains cultural misogyny as a primary tool in this endeavor, and where we have inequality between the genders in our culture, there is easy economic control of the population at an individual level.

Fear of [strange] love and/or maintaining relationship(s) within the construct of individualistic meaning making negotiated privately with another individual(s) is tantamount to fear of living boldly as an individual in your own right.  In the United States I can not wholly make decisions for myself and my body: especially as a Female, especially regarding my sexual health within our current political construct. Therefore I am taught to believe I am also not able to respectfully, lovingly, firmly, advocate for my needs clearly with the people I love at an individual level.  In this construct, why should I be able to do anything in the world I feel is risky or unsupported by socially accepted protocol – I should fear for my life, body, wholeness, family, and safety.

A person’s ego is inextricably tied to their body.  Women’s bodies legislated by our political system rears women as a class of person who cannot believe they have ego/body/life worth fighting for or individualistically understanding without consequence, and it rears Men believing not only these same things, but also believing they are dogmatically tied to taking care of this lesser class (regardless of individual connections and desires, and creating strong basis for identity crisis regarding masculine gender expression, sexuality, and identity).  Women and Men are reared to believe they have minds, bodies, and desires belonging to and defined by others: “The Fairy Tale” is exactly a systematic Patriarchal repression of everyone based in misogynistic construct – and the “ball and chain” acting out of relationship (when it is not chosen free from societal pressure), is the source of a chain-ganged citizenship serving a power-hungry, self-protecting, status quo reinforcing political machine, rather than Free Will as Master.

I hope you are right, Pax.  I hope it is getting better.


Before Breaking

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intrigue me. A certain mix of lust, quiet desire, admiration, curiosity, chemistry, excitement; I notice my blood has a buzz.

To illustrate*:

When I imagine you standing before me (your face, your presence, your hands, your height, your eyes), my chin has the notion to tilt up and I want to bite air.  As if a ripe peach was just out of reach from my mouth, and I can smell it, the juices ready.

My lips feel the curve of fuzz on skin, my teeth sliding open and around it’s particular shape.  Before breaking.  Before flood of sweet, I hesitate.  Before certain eruption brightening my senses, dripping down chin, sticky, I pause.

Holding tension.

Focusing on breath.

I salivate.


*Author’s note: On an ordinary day I loathe peaches.  I despise their often mealy, rotten, soft, dry, disappointing insides…  but every now and again I smell a peach from across a room, feel it in my hand and know.  Taking a breath and biting reminds me what all the hype is about.

This blog has been a private thinking space for me over the past couple years of writing.  A place to place my feelings and quietly drip this ‘other’ art form from my mind and heart into the world.  It is my most quiet shout.

Steps to nowhere seen through a fence

Today that changes a little, and I am coming out, so to say, to be a part of “The Next Big Thing” blog post challenge.

“Whisky Doll” is written by me, Karin Webb, the person behind the persona that is UnAmerika’s Sweetheart Karin Webb.  She is (I am) a performance artist, actor and dancer dealing mostly with words as aural script, influence to image, inspiration for dance – thoughtful musings before staged action…

But here, in this space, I write for words to have permanence.  To feel the texture and edges of emotions written down.  To serve up the deepest parts of me to an audience mostly unknown.

And there you have it…  now you know.

snakeMoonStoryTeller-copy-229x300The reason for this outing is that a friend of mine, Pampi, found my blog and loved it.  Pampi was writing an entry for “The Next Big Thing” blog challenge, and wanted to include me in the game.

I acknowledge up front this gets a little tricky because I am primarily a performer and not a writer who publishes, which is what the game is about.  I have a LOT of “next big things” coming up always, and my “published” works are staged moments in time – whether repeated within a run or standing solitary as a one-time experience, my “writing” exists in the memory and shared experiences of my audience rather than the pages of a book.  I do have book projects in my head I must still nudge into forward momentum, but today I will discuss the meta-novel that is my career.  I hope you enjoy.


What is your working title of your “book”?  

The working title of my [book/career] is “How to Fuck with my Audience for the Purpose of Authentic Conversation”.  What I believe in most of all is the danger of live performance, the catharsis that occurs by being arrested in public by an idea or emotion, a shared experience you could not have had in the dark without people around to feel you feel, without the living objects you are empathically connecting to.  A person in the flesh can make you feel, question, think, breathe differently, want… and I believe this is remarkable in a world where non-flesh prompts inform our senses much of the time.

Where did the idea come from for the “book”?

I am a woman who thinks about sex.  And gender.  And feelings, and communication, and why people are the way they are…  It follows that being a character actor and performance artist to express these ideas in physically compelling forms should be my way.

What genre does your “book” fall under?

There are many genres my “chapters” encapsulate, but I believe tragedy to be a great theme.  In the Greek sense, my characters know who they are and are doomed to repeat their mistakes even as we learn from them.  I hope that is what people carry home and talk about over breakfast the next day.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm…  Johnny Depp.  Charlize Theron.  (Also I’d like to perform with them.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your “book”?

Imprisoned in an imperfect struggling body, the stranger puts down her mask and bites back.

Will your “book” be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am often “self published”, though in recent years quite happy to have worked with producers who believe in my articulation and vision enough to cast me in their compilations.  For a not-short list of collaborators, you can view my CV here.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft of my work came to me during a couple of agonizing weeks trying to write story for a character I created in storytelling class: “Dick Schmidt, Private Eye Detective” was a man I unintentionally created and to whom I had to give articulation.  I was 11 years old and unaware that I was embarking on the first of many cross-gender-storytelling adventures…  Since, the drafts have been innumerable and the story itself evolved into a world of characters with a plethora of tales to tell.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My influences are Kafka, Pina Bausch, Carol Burnett, Alice Walker, Twyla Tharp, Antonin Artaud, Julie Taymor, Edward Gorey, Terry Gilliam, The Tiger Lillies, Dr. Seuss, Annie Sprinkle…  the list goes on…

Who or what inspired you to write this “book”?

I have had many supporters along the way.  My current point of view has been inspired greatly by the performer and teaching mentor Ronlin Foreman.  I consider this man to be a clown-shaman, and am grateful to have studied the Art of Passion with him.  Instilled in my little heart was a belief in possibility, and the practice of courageous gesture.

What else about your “book” might pique the reader’s interest?

That I breathe when you breathe, that we share a space and time together, that unfolding is the question to your answers and a drawing board to reshuffle the words…  That I dare to tell my story, and you dare to listen.  That I am here for you when you want to come to me.  The stage is a space built for conversation, and I long for our next moment together.

Thank you again, Pampi, for roping me into this challenge, as non-traditionally as I have shown up to it.  Following are the artists I recommend for further reading, and to whom I pass this torch.  Please, Dear Reader, follow and enjoy~

Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys there is nothing this rebel group of artists can’t and doesn’t do.  Read on, be impressed, find them live, enjoy life more.

Jojo Lazar the wordsmith that delights me the most…  While I’ve spent my life being labeled a malaprop, she takes inventive languaging to heaven and back.  Le sigh.

Dianne K. Webb (in full disclosure) happens to be my Mother.  She is a writer, painter, director, teacher, past sexuality-educator, super-woman, creative spirit, the list goes on… (and by the time you’re done, I’m sure will quite obviously seem the woman I emerged from).

Thomas Dodson is a great writer, a great editor, a great assembler of other people’s writings, and a great debater.  I enjoy his words and company, and I hope you’ll find great company in his words.

Michael Marano is one of the most published of my writerly friends, and here in Boston you can take classes from his twisted imaginative mind…  If you’re not yet familiar with the man, now you know better.

Paxus Calta coined the term “Funologist” (I’m pretty sure), and after 7 years of friendship still finds ways to drag me South, to do things much more crazy [read: in line with my internal politics] than anyone else in this world…


Message for the tagged authors and interested others:

Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Be sure to line up your five people in advance.

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