We make excellent ghosts you and I, pretas dressed in mortal claptrap. We fed only on carrier bags and webs of orb-weavers behind the refrigerator. Our stomachs became round and filled with white slurry. We swam through canals flushed with microwaves like foil streams, to be among spoiled, fat bhoots. If one devours the food of a master, might one move through his flesh? Let us choke on each barbarous, spiked pineapple, smother ourselves with fried medullas, served and fed into by Bob and Tom, our waiters for the evening, Xeroxed into verbose gradient. Gluttony requires a patience neither of us admitted for our brains are sharp and quick. We have seen advertisements (end of life respirators, mosquito repellent) freckle across your birdlike face. Avian-reptilian bastard wipes drab sand against each equatorial cheekbone from west to east, an afternoon erased inside an AC simoom, my acupunctured imago.
The vocal cords must be maintained like any other instrument. You need to practice. Use it or lose it, they say. I talk to myself. So what? I could go days without hearing my voice otherwise. I don’t leave the apartment often. Since my diagnosis, I stopped working. The checks come in the mail from where they come from. I bought one of those digital antennas for the TV so I can watch stuff live. I don’t like to mess around with people much. Especially the ones I can hear through my walls.
“The climate is healthy. Quality space is available and affordable. The systems for success are in place and working well. But even more important, Philadelphia is livable. You can choose from five professional sports teams, a world-class symphony, 100 museums, the largest municipal park system in the country, and a restaurant renaissance the whole world is talking about.”
—Andrea Fraser, “Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk,” October (Summer, 1991)
Like Œdipus gouging out his eyes after becoming aware of his incestuous sins, so does BCC Gallery blind herself after the sins of the art world (there are too many to begin to fathom). The blind copy of the BCC is a secret message—it is for partisans. So is that of BCC Gallery, the new gallery “opened” by artist Matt Voor. It positions itself fundamentally antithetical to downtown gallery openings—the positive cybernetic loop that opened up sometime in the 90s. But there is no way to stop them, no way to close the opened Pandora’s box, packaged by an underpaid intern.
The first tragedy on record was when intake and excretion parted ends. Cells mitotically engineered themselves an expiration date. Goliaths with furfuraceous hides ensued. Their scat took on dimensions and, following an extinction event, viviparism became the next scatological fad. Succeeding beasts had the will to defecate down their mothers’ backs while they swung on trees, avoiding predators. Mammals syndicated their cramps, accomplishing much furry butt-play in the forest. Millennia of agriculture later, whole troops of dudes could select “mom’s basement” over getting a life, and the shit of it was they were basically on point. Grown no bigger than the amenities encasing them, offered an option between wage slavery and marriage, many boys, satisfactorily in the throes of penile death grip, indentured themselves to an academic business model ensuring each of its customers that they could remain a fixture of the previous generation’s failure to achieve the human rights their squalid, prodromal lot were falsely promoted as originating – and these rotten sons, parasitical Hamlets one and all, became the new human ricochet breastfed into senility.
Sundays they gave to autumn
in exchange for venison
and white pills like constellations.
Aunt Sharon stayed up for days
and fell into death in a pastoral course,
such that no ambulance siren dare
smother the clattery of aphid adult chatter
of 17 September in the country.
I: Phantom wolf had sung
in a patrolled suite underground
impressionist fuckscape painted
onto the cardboard confetti mask
where Keith nails his piano
to a leaking ceiling of cankered
plaster and molded shut cassette recording
robed without peace or sully facial responses
downstairs is always forever to
flooded basement with our ex-lovers
mangled in a jot of white leaf rope
is a room with shattered stained glass
where infants fortuitously drown
your neighbor carves pumpkins to release stress
we leave secret letters via brail dug into the hallway walls
brain tumors leaking onto my incomplete poems
remotely desolate one incandescent light by bedside
Late October, early evening, fourteen years old, 1984, living with my mother and her boyfriend in their small two bedroom apartment in North Phoenix, the clamshell of my turntable gathering dust gave the illusion of something permanent. I had a room of my own! Dust filtered through the slatted windows, settling over everything, no matter how tight I ratcheted the crank — I could tongue the fine grit on my teeth, feel it on my skin, the scent of it embroidered in my sheets, and when I dragged a finger across my album covers, my record collection being the most important thing in the world to me, the thin line of broken dust may as well have been the Red Sea.
memphis crows eat well
relaxing under the black sun
torrented blood in a canyon
of obelisks of shrines of idols of worship
to nothing making the dirt bubble
someday the sun’s going to condense
into six miles and crush
our flesh into equations, who cares
circling another “senseless
tragedy” to feed––they’re all the
same meat anyways
no victim/perpetrator distinction
beaks like flechettes against bone
Sir, I have registered your desperate entreaty for guidance. A meaningful dialogue between two receptive adults articulates in a myriad of styles. Sensuality offers a portal to the subtle communication often not available in our daily lives.
Thousands of decades of life, love and experimental understanding have nurtured a powerfully feminine and wisely balanced woman. I offer a manner of engagement reflective of another era indeed; when grace, sensitivity and the healing power of intimacy were the standard.
As discriminating as I hope my clients to be, I take very few appointments after testing our communication skills to assure a mutually enjoyable and enriching encounter. Please offer your inquiries with a respectful metaphysical introduction and allow things to move from there. I present myself with straight-forward integrity and expect the same in return. That being said, I will simply not respond to queries that are blatantly solicitous or unforthcoming.
I’ve been wrong too many times not to talk about it. As we speak, I don’t know how deep I am beneath the house that hosts the family man, the successful writer, someone taking a chance, top of the class. Stylistic master. Working towards his doctorate. The coveted title. As his hero before him. His dad. We can still say that. God, the world that we live in. The waves that we crash through. The way they can split beds.