Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 4 March 2014

Elevator Statement

Came about while thinking about why I have changed from a Philosophy focus – giving up philosophical discourse not on philosophical analysis or speculative philosophy. Aging has made me be even more pragmatic.

Suryodaya 2014

Suryodaya 2014

The PhD in Mystical Research/Comparative Religion allows me to focus on my personal and community end goals:

  • The making of virtual environments that allow me to reach the same kind of altered state of consciousness that I achieve when I physically create. Subjective Calibration first.
  • Being my own lab rat will hopefully lead to end products/processes that can then be shared in varying permutations – from an opensource package that someone can cost effectively install on a PC and/or sync with on a mobile device [DIY] to a custom made, high-end, holographic virtual reality. Objective Verification second.


Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 2 March 2014

“Not Like This…”

I’ve had some insight as to how I’d like my hero’s journey to end. Of course, we don’t always get what we want.

This is a slightly modified version of a Facebook post:

If I am honest with myself I worry that I am not still living the moment that I realized the person I thought was my biggest partner and ally betrayed me when I needed his support for a crucial battle. Like Wallace I just wanted to lay down on the battlefield and let them come get me.

Also, when Wallace trusted again that person (even though he was child-like and adorably happy at the opportunity to once more be an integral part of something) was just a tool that led to Wallace’s evisceration and death. As inspiring as that last freedom yell was, I was crying not cheering.

Fun may not be worth it.

I will not go into the darkness under the knife directed by the token arm of justice for the system said ally deep down would like to NOT be part of anymore, while the people who were there with me through all of the battles watch helplessly. I would rather that freedom yell come as I face the enemy alone, feet firmly planted on the ground, eyes wide open, my blue streaked face/waist length braids stiff with battle grime  – gripping weapons in both hands.


Heh. Melodrama anyone?

*If you’re a Matrix fan you’ll remember “Not like this…” as Switch’s statement at the unfairness of having a beautiful death stolen from you by someone’s betrayal. I’m a true Westerner so I don’t even want to go in an Eastern culturally & aesthetically pleasing way like the 47 Ronin. Who knows, I may accept something like that but in the name of all that is sacred to me if it must be a hopeless end, let me go down like Stelios in 300.

**This conversation was in the context of releasing control, letting go, having someone else lead (yada, yada, yeah, have you really seen this blog?)  – “All women love but not all women find a man trustworthy enough for biblical submission.”

Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 27 February 2014

Moon in Wolverine Observation

Kali the Destroyer | Living out Loud

Kali the Destroyer | Living out Loud

Continuing to smoke will raise the probability that I will not be around by the time everywhere is smoke free.


Pardon me while I exercise a perverse freedom.

*middle finger Snikt!”

Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 25 February 2014

Hello World

My eyes pop open.
I lie there for a while unable to go back to sleep..
I get up with a groan. Thirsty.
On the way to the kitchen for a drink, a smile comes.
I’ve remembered that I bought Pepsi last night.
Humming contentedly at the sound of the ice clinking against the glass.
I open the bottle – First Fizz.
The smile widens.
I take a deep drink.
Bubbles tickling my upper lip, my brows furrow.
I look at the bottle.
A low animal growl escapes me when I see the zero.
It rumbles out with increased intensity as my eyes land on the word ‘Max’

Hello World, There will be hell to pay.

Hello World, There will be hell to pay.


Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 13 February 2014

Canna Stop Me Now

Canna Stop Me Digital Print (c) 2014

Canna Stop Me
36″ x 36″ Digital Print (c) 2014

New work in the Blue Black++ Exhibition. One of my favourites.

I’m in Second Life again for a bit building another live/work studio/gallery space.


Art imitates life | life imitates art.

Riding my own personal beam of light.

See you in the Metaverse!

Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 11 February 2014

It’s Delicious…

and you remember the times when you let yourself sink into it not caring.

You can’t remember if it was like sugar or cocaine just that back then you didn’t care if you ended up fat or strung out.

You wanted it… Because it helped you focus on what you wanted. Because it felt good.

There were times though when it didn’t feel so good. Though now, you remember everything with flipping fondness. You know there were tears and some… desperation – when whether it was coke or sugar (still can’t put your finger on which it was, can you?) it was no good for you. And you cried – desperately. And you sought help. And there was none, so you became desperate in your refusal to cry.

And now, you find yourself drawn in again. Can’t really tell [still] from the looking which one it is. Over here where you can only see it way over there, you don’t know. While afraid to find out, worried about what the end result will be, you know resistance is futile. Because, it had you from the very first moment.

You hope for sugar.

Doesn’t help that somehow there is a beckoning beacon. Inveigling itself into your psyche, your dreams, your senses… again. And you’re helpless to resist. Almost helpless – you will have to take responsibility for this go round. You cannot pass on the responsibility of whatever outcome it turns out to be. You are not innocent of the potential quicksand of feeling that may swallow you up this time. You know there is a danger, just not sure how much of a quagmire. Or you’re in denial.

Denial is a definite possibility.  The beacon could just be your desires and nothing else. Some people are just like the flame to the moth. They can’t help being what they are when they burn off wings.

Love does not conquer everything. You know this. You know you could never live with being second. It has never been a position you can tolerate. This you know. It may be the only thing you know. You’ve felt your emotions shut down little by little upon the inkling of the realization that you are not primary and thus the beginning to distance yourself. You’ve been there many times with different people. You have never been able to even talk yourself into tolerating second place. Have tried your darnedest to convince yourself, made up scenarios where it could be enough – without success.

Still, now, it’s only the lusciousness of those remembered feelings that you find yourself drowning in, keep remembering. Realize you never forgot and have subconsciously been reproducing, reconstituting, re… creating.



Is it fine if that usual end game is removed? Are you sure enough of your declaration about not needing that end? Can attractions be savoured purely in the moment without the culmination? Pure, unmitigated and viscerally honest – not many people can handle that. Can you even handle that? Yeah… It’s been done. Should be able to be done again. Although, even the major college crush came back of his own volition to close the deal.


Don’t want cocaine. Too dangerous…

Ugh! In the end you know you don’t give a damn. You have been addicted from that very first moment. You still remember that moment when he placed his finger under your chin like some romance novel male protagonist and raised your face to look in his eyes cementing the destruction of your vulcan-like self control (even more than the man you almost made your husband), the moments even after in the confessions and desperate tears, the drunkenness of the sensations in so many of those moments, in actions and reactions from him that caused you to imagine those hopeless scenarios…


Since you are still unsure of the level of danger [or are in denial], maybe more information will help you to decide.

Let’s just…


Please let it be sugar.

Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 11 February 2014

XG: Superfly Fanny

She’s found a new home!

XG: Superfly Fanny Oil on Canvas (C) 2009

XG: Superfly Fanny
Oil on Canvas (C) 2009

She will probably miss all the happenings at the Write Side Poets’ Cafe where she has been since 2010 but I’m positive she’ll be happy* with her new owner.

He promises to talk to her everyday 🙂

*A proper home is a requirement before I let go of some pieces.

Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 18 January 2014

Split moments

Leaning against the rental smoking a cigarette, I notice the VIN number peeking out of the space made for it in the window tint and marvel at the attention to detail that is probably needed to put an entire car together.

Still, I am quickly reminded that the reason I am leaning is because I honestly had to pull over when I realized that I am expected to make it through an entire exhibition reception without my excuse for separating myself from people on the FIU smoke free campus.

XG circa 2006

XG circa 2006

I believe this is another exhibition where only Xhyra Graf will show up.

Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 12 January 2014

Things I normally keep to myself

On the road in FL.
Needed a potty break.
Got off at the next exit.
Actually verbalized “Eek!” like a startled mouse when I saw the Sanford sign with the arrow pointing left.
Turned right toward Mims.
Only saw a McDonalds.
Made a legal U-turn to get back on the highway.
Panicked when I saw the police car behind me.
Turned right onto I95.
Police car kept going.
Breathed a sigh of relief.

Not wanting to drive into Sanford? You know why.
Police panic? The last time I got pulled over by a cop was at Broward College Davie Campus. He was abrasive so I handled it the only way I could without bursting into tears – expressionless, brief answers. My license was suspended. He wanted to know why I was on the campus and didn’t believe me when I said I taught there. “You don’t look like a professor.” He had me out of the car with my hands on the trunk and was arresting me when an older Hispanic cop showed up. This one talked to me like I was a person so I started crying. He convinced the Nazi to let me go.

Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 10 January 2014

Blue Black ++ | Virtual Afrofuturism

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6th @ 6pm EST

At Rest

At Rest

Tonietta A. Walters shares artwork, photos and video of her virtual existence as Xhyra Graf. At the reception the artist will talk about the decision to create a virtual version of herself, her experiences as a virtual entity and her intent to use Open Simulator – an opensource platform for virtual environments – to catalogue or safeguard her memories (including her virtual alter ego) and use as training ground in preparation for eventual mind upload.

The exhibition will remain open at the Graham Center Art Gallery at Florida International University for the month of February 2014.

Next News: Xhyra Graf is being Space Cast!

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