Who am I? I don’t know who I am. I can tell you what I do and what I think about and what usually comes up each day.
When I was a young boy, my father was a doctor, and so I was a cocky know-it-all, who would visit the hospital with my father and speak to the patients, while he would check their incisions. Relatives said that I had the vocabulary of a doctor. I was the happiest kid, but he died when I was ten.
Because my mother didn’t get along with my father’s relatives generally, she elected to move us to Honolulu, where my uncle was teaching at the University. We lived in hotels, see Paul Theroux’s book Hotel Honolulu if you want to know that that was like. (See: https://savioni.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/you-lose-track-of-the-thing-you-are-beholding-a-review-of-hotel-honolulu-by-mario-savioni/)
Anyway, growing up there was difficult because they don’t like white people generally, which is a byproduct of the plantations, where people from other countries were brought in to work the fields and the white upper classes purposely separated the ethnicities so that they would fight among themselves, or so it has been said. Eventually, the ethnicities infiltrated government and the white is now on the outside, at least in public schools, which is where I went.
I know a bit about what it is like to be black in America as a result of that experience. Being hated for what you cannot control, your skin color, for example, is a fairly insidious thing. How it played itself out was on the playground. We would play bean him and run, which was basically to throw the ball at someone and if you hit them, they would be it. Except that they would all throw the ball, a small, hard rubber ball, at me and they did so with vehement hatred. Then when they saw that I was walking Kathy Sadanaga home from school for lunch with Lani Miki, a Samoan guy, later I was told was in jail for murder, pulled me aside outside of the classroom and said: “If I ever see you with Kathy again, I am going to kill you.” I was shocked to say the least and I never saw Kathy again that last school year of elementary school in the sixth grade. I have no idea what she thought. I saw her later in life but I wasn’t able to talk to her. She had married a fellow 6th grade classmate, who was a very good person.
Later, the guy who orchestrated my beaning, Chris, would get together with Toru on the Middle School playground after hearing that I had a crush on Karen and they punched me a few times and then threatened that I should stay away from her. This was some years after Toru, when I first arrived in Hawaii and I were attending Jefferson Elementary in the fifth grade, took me outside of class and punched me because when we were dancing in the May Day Parade I mentioned to him that I liked a Filipino girl. Of course in these instances, they were’t dating these girls, it was just that they didn’t want me, a white person, dating them or so I thought. The injustice made me cry. I never fought back. But, much later, when I was working at the Prosecutor’s Office, I saw Toru, who hadn’t grown and he stood next to me in the elevator and I looked down on him and I said hello, but I was getting very mad because he basically destroyed my relational life, and as soon as the elevator opened, he ran out and away. I didn’t chase him because I knew if I assaulted him I could go to jail and it made no sense. He got the message.
So, over the course of my experience in Honolulu, I mostly surfed and went to school, eventually working in restaurants and attending the University, where I obtained a degree in Speech, then went back and took photo courses and having a one-man show that my professor, later dean of the art department, said was a Master’s Equivalent. At the same time, I was writing for the school newspaper, mostly feature articles, where I seemed to have found my voice. It took that long for me to figure out how to write and by that time, I was done with school. Those days were some of the happiest in my life. I loved photography and I loved writing. I was also the College Art, Inc. Student Coordinator, which brought together all of the colleges and universities of Hawaii and put together a juried art exhibit that housed the choices from among 605 pieces.
I can remember as the announcer for the evening that I waited until the last second and people were telling me that I had to make the announcements. My mother said that there was tension in the air. It reminded me of the confidence I had as a child, when I did one-man skits before audiences, once I placed 2nd in the state of California USA CAL Expo Clown Contest.
I never felt like I belonged in Hawaii. I felt like I should leave because it wasn’t my place. I was an intruder, but when I had a going away party, the room was full of well-wishers and I felt loved for the first time and I told them, “Why didn’t you tell me you loved me? I might have stayed.” It was sad because people in Hawaii are not expressive of their feelings, until I guess you are leaving them permanently. Aside from the specific instances of dislike based on my skin color, which actually happened to be darker than most, since I surfed and have an olive tone, there was a general camaraderie, which is based on economic class. Most of Hawaii’s people are thrifty and middle class. Most are all associated with the travel industry and so wages aren’t that good. A lot of people have to live in multiple family units and budget their money.
Before I left Hawaii and went back to the University for a second time, I met my ex-wife. I went to a party put on by my Spanish teacher, who said she was trying to introduce me to another girl, but when I saw my ex-wife, a Nicaraguan Chinese cutie, I said to myself that I had to marry her. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and she was flamboyant with colors for a Chinese girl, who are typically conservative in their dress. She was getting her Master’s in Spanish Literature and Economics. I still smile. There was no way that I wan’t going to marry her.
After the divorce five years later, I went back to school and took the photo classes and so on. When I finished, I moved to Berkeley, where I ended up having to go back into the hotel business because my dream job in the arts was not practical. It was 1993 and the economy was bad. Galleries were closing, besides I had no idea what the business of art was like. I studied artistic photography, not the business of photography.
I learned how to design websites and created art. I wrote. I eventually got a paralegal certificate and immediately went back to reading novels and then philosophy books. I keep threatening to take the LSAT and the GRE and go to law school and/or get a Master’s in English Lit. I love American Literature.
But, this is one of the most important things about who I am. I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up. All I know is that I like to get up and write. I don’t take photographs anymore. I don’t paint anymore either. If I could, I would simply analyze literature and other peoples’ writing as well as write each day what was on my mind.
I care about the underdog and I have been fighting for workers for at least ten years. My mother is dying.
I typically sit in cafes and read before work. But, I am liking it better to simply sit at home and write at home.
I have written a number of books, mostly prose-poetry and so far one photography table-top book.
Here are some links:
- September 2009 to Present
Table Top Photo Book – Urban Reflections is the culmination of a project that spans the course of 14-plus years. Mario Savioni walked the streets of San Francisco, New York, Rome, and Paris. With exception to two images, all are “found.” In some cases the images were shot with a 24 mm lens that he bought at Longs Drugs in Honolulu for $35 on a Canon AE-1 35 mm film camera. Generally, the images were…more
- April 2011 to Present
Prose-Poetry Collection, which is about unrequited love.
- April 2011 to Present
This prose poetry book tries to accurately portray what men see when they look at women and what they want from women. Savioni believes that men are attracted to women because of what they look like, how they smell, how they speak, what they say and even what they do not say. The prose poetry is infatuation at its root with an intention to attract. Everything a man is is to attract a mate, but it…more
- February 2011 to Present
This book began as a response, or at least the notice of a response to other works, where a piece in Poetry Magazine described a literary genre, where writers created works of art based on other works of art, like movies, books, paintings, poetry, etc. This genre, according to the author, was known as After. Many items refer to the political landscape after 9/11 and so on. I think often, as…more
- May 2013 to Present
Blue Emptiness is a fresh and vulnerable observation of the human condition dealing with loneliness as a philosophical, psychological, and poetic account of the present. It reminds one of music and evokes feelings.
Blue Emptiness is intended for readers who enjoy poetry and short, succinct works, like Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Blue Emptiness is Influenced by poets and novelists like John Asbery, Joan Didion, T. S. Eliot, Louise Gluck, Robert Hass, Louis Zukofsky and philosophers like Roland Barthes, Noam Chomsky, Heidegger, Karl Marx, Jean Paul Sartre, and Slavoj Zizek to name a few.
It is a love story sung by the disenfranchised.
Here are some of the things I have done and still do: Paralegal, Graphic Design, Photography, Book Production, Editing, Illustration, Painting, Poetry, Musical Writing and Production, Art and Literary Reviewer and Analyst.
I was a graphic designer for the San Francisco Opera.
Dog Bite Statute Memorandum
- May 2009 to May 2009
Ralph and Harvey Woodley: Cause of action against Arthur Androcles for Violation of Illinois “Dog Bite Statute”; Zoo Keeper’s (Arthur Androcles) defense against suspected liability in damages for owning a dog that without provocation attacked and injured Ralph Woodley’s son (Harvey), who was peaceably conducting himself, and where he was lawfully supposed to be.
- July 2009 to July 2009
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND ORDER SHORTENING TIME FOR HEARING ON THE MOTION FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION
MEDICAL MARIJUANA CASE – Memorandum, Briefs, and Comparative Cases
- May 2009 to May 2009
At issue is whether 62 mature marijuana plants at Oakland, CA residence can be construed as justified for a person, who was arrested and charged with violations of Cal. H.& S. Code Sections 11358 and 11359 and who was in possession of a valid medical marijuana card and claims the plants were to be used for Jane’s health problems.