Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wild Animals Rose Up

The wild animals rose up and complained about the lack of respect, in a furious row, they beat their chests and pulled out their hair, about the unfairness of their treatment. Blind hatred ran through their bloodshed eyes, as their masters who had unleashed them, kicked them in their guts, back to the muddy ditch. They spit foam filled words, lost in the rage of their voices. I stood by and observed their helpless anger. The calmer lot of them, had climbed out of the gutter years ago. Here were left the riffraff who felt entitled to the thrones and bones of greater dogs above them, but they got stumps instead, which served them better. I was completely indifferent to the pack of rats that crawled in their filth, not capable perhaps, not trained, not guided with strict enough leashes. Their words were incoherent, but words to them were intelligence already, entitlements. All the dogs feel entitled. All the lots kicking down the doors, and when they get hit in the face, and lay on the wet asphalt, crying, they are filled with anger once more. Beating a drum, their fear their reason, their beliefs their words, and each time again, they find them selves locked out. They feel the hand of compassion and slam it, cause they don't need it. When they search to get up, they find the steps too high, and with indignation they curse the lack of hands reached out to them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Night Poem: 120910















Dogs against the tethered heat of night with
voice raised rage in the reflection of the room against the
dark frame of the night.

And whose demon screams
pitched thick through ink roll hot as a breath
and heavy

tear the night fitful

Monday, November 29, 2010

Faces (21-22)

(21) The black stripes on her forehead were not her own natural eyebrows. She had drawn two lines too high above her eyes, in half circles. She looked wildly with a mimicked expression of lamenting surprise, her mouth open, her lips pursed in astonishment, as if a complete stranger had just slapped her in the face in public, while she scurried past me with a cup of coffee in her hand, busy, crazy. (22) Her face was lighted by a white-blue light that elevated her eyes, the same translucent color as the palms of her hand, the brown shadow breaking on her high round cheeks, her large, curling ears freed by a pony-tail in which her long black hair was tied, as if she was being upheld like a puppet by its string, as her fingers tapped gently on the screen of her iPad, which lay on the table before her, her face prostrated over it, pushing her shoulders above her neck.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

20:44 PM

I finally got it! I finally have found it!

What?

'What' she said with an inquisitive tone. I wasn't really listening though. Tom, I said, I finally have it! Tom wasn't here though, he was 5258 miles far away, but I was talking to him. He only looked at me, silent like in dreams. He didn't say anything, but I answered 'the hidden link you had mentioned!' I exclaimed. I wrote down the time, it was 20:44 hours on Tuesday, November twenty third, two thousand and ten.

Maybe I should write it down I thought, which I did. The floor was empty, I noticed this unimportant feature of my room, because I was writing, and that's what Tom did, that's what I had read, the unimportant details of a random impression when he was a child, I think in England. I saw the clouds drift by, the clouds of years, without thinking anything, but the skirts of his mother.

The Long Reach of her Legs At which Ends I Lay

She chuckled with an exotic tick of her teeth, as her elongated legs stretched far under the table, distancing themselves from her firm torso, her bottom well rounded. She gave the briefest replies, she snubbed me, hardly even looked at me at all, she must have been making an effort to not see me in such a small room as we were in together. The infinite length of her legs, the gigantic size of her calves alone, extending her thighs like stilts, and the soft curve of her buttock, washed away her bitter smile and I remained infatuated with her physique, reflecting in her dark mirroring eyes. I still wanted to fall at her feet on my knees before her and started to wildly kiss the inner loins of her crotch, clamping myself to her womb like a desperate maniac. She has a long bush of wildly growing black curly hair, giving her the overpowering impression of a diva, blowing me away by her utter arrogance, not sparing me for the least bit, smashing me to pieces, obliterating me in the corner. She must have totally despised me with a divine fierceness, she was chewing me raw and spit me on the ground like rotten meat, yet I was still undeterred to fly at her like an idolater, throwing my arms in embrace around her brown neck with the love of a child and kiss her full erotic lips, even if she wiped her mouth which breathed the same air which I had just exhausted from my trembling lungs. She lived in New Jersey, but that also did not matter to my veneration. I clamped my thin fingers around the hard bone of her ankle and listened to the numbed drumming of her blood, climbing up her legs the long road to the clouds surrounding her head.

Monday, November 15, 2010

4.02PM

It's Thursday and it's waiting to rain.  Sometimes it waits minutes, sometimes days.  In the meantime there's the grey.  A thick, pressing dirty grey.  An abandoned quilt.

How many words do the Eskimos have for snow?  How many do the English have for grey?  Not enough. It seems absurd to call the air grey although it tastes grey, it smells grey.  It's heavy, every breath sucked slow through teeth like old soup.

The room is still and so silent it seems to buzz.  Once upon a time a clock would tick, embarrassed at the quiet, but they don't bother anymore.  It sits plastically above the door, mounted and mute and showing 4PM.  If grey had a time it would be 4PM.  A desert of time.

Lying on the bed you concentrate on breathing.  Your jumpered stomach lifts and falls back and your breath gets caught up with the wind - not a violent wind, a soft suburban wind - so that it's difficult to tell where one stops and the other begins.  Despite the gentle breeze outside your room is unusually warm.  Just warm enough to be uncomfortable, not enough to make you remove clothing, but sufficient to keep you thinking about it.  If grey had a feeling it would be this.

A sound rises from the street and enters through the small window above your head.  If grey had a voice it would be this: two millstones grinding slowly.  The weight of two worlds pressed close but trying to part from one another.  The sound circles.  Every so often you hear it stop and then the high peel of a child's voice lets you know you're listening to plastic tires running against tarmac.  You picture a tractor.  An orange tractor.  The sound starts up again.   On the clock the largest hand has slipped forward two minutes.  It did this quietly and without emotion or fuss.  It's 4.02PM.

The sound of daytime TV rises from the living room where your father sits slumped on the sofa.  The muffled sound of deep baritone voices chased by canned laughter.  It is strange to hear laughter trying to enter the house, squeezing its young body through the tiny holes of tired speakers.  Late afternoon is no season for laughter.  The bitter-sweet horror of bright summer days that march forcibly into November.  How do they record a laughter like that?

This morning you read online that a building was burning somewhere on the other side of the world, somewhere in China.  The building was having construction work done and the flames had started at its base before climbing the scaffolding and raging toward the sky.  People had left their windows and hung from scaffold rails despite the rising heat and waited to be rescued.

You turn and look out of the window.  The child's mother leads him back into the house.  She has him under one arm and the tractor hangs from the other.  On the far side of the road a man is opening the boot of his car and seeing the mother and child he waves.  She throws him a smile because her hands are full and he shrugs knowingly because he understands what it's like to shepherd children.  You imagine the three of them hanging from scaffolding and you know he would jump first.

The doorbell chimes.  Unexpectedly.  It's 4.17PM.  Who would come out here at this time?  You hear your Father stir but he doesn't get up.  The TV has stilled its voice now, it has leveled to the steady drone of commerce.  Somewhere in an office that will never catch fire a woman approved the hushed noises you now here.  She had listened to them at her computer and felt nothing.  What horror.  The nightmare of feeling nothing and understanding that everything you live for is based upon passion.  Perhaps she took a breath and told someone superior she believed in this 'take'.  It just felt right.  Through boredom or lack of time somebody said ok and here it is now.  A part of your world.  The ad space would have been bought ahead of time and that would have factored into the speed of approval.  But it does feel right doesn't it?  These human noises, these vowels and growls that blur toward nothing couldn't have been said any other way could they?  And now its gone and a second spot rumbles into earshot.  Another life, another held breath.

Your father doesn't move and you can sense the half pressure of a finger wanting to press the plastic-smooth white of the bell again.  You swing your feet off the bed and onto the carpet.  Carpets are suburban fake luxury.  Carpets don't go to cities and they shouldn't enter bathrooms but on the occasions they do, what horror.

Cityscape: All I Really Know About My Neighbor

Les Pensées (23)

Artaud looked outside at the blood red brick facade against the fierce blue sky. A car blew its harsh horn breaking the air that cracked wide open, a second horn follows in canon with an interval, more distant. Artaud listened without a thought to the more distant claxons, sirens, and rumbling engines in absolute silence.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fiction

I press flowers he said under his breath. Well, why not. Why not.

It's some time in June. One of those days of lazy heat that breaks through in the moments just before summer, a day loaded with the promise of things to come. He had walked out past the shops and the main road and turned into the lanes; a network of old-world but somehow human tracks. More human than the solidness of the dual lane carriage-ways that bend and twist from city to sea.  You felt someone had carved through rock to make these things, forcing the weight of their body against the earth. The grass is tall and yellow at their edges and bends with each breeze. Patches of shadow thrown by Oak trees at intervals of ten feet or so. The last time you came here was a Saturday in 1997, the weather was about the same and you were on a bike and there were four of you. With four people the road felt crowded, over-populated but cheerfully so. It was over-populated with the right people. But of course, the lanes are empty now, it being mid-day, it being mid-week.

How is everything mathematics and yet the first hint of order causes such hell? The line of the desks, the elevator lights rhythmically counting off floors, the computer keys. No, that wasn't completely true. Somehow, in being a millimeter out of synch, uneven rifts and gullies had been created between the keys that tossed light to places you could call beautiful: Little oblong shadows on mornings when he was alone at the office and would sit bathing in the calm and order and allowed himself to make believe he was in control of everything he saw. No-one calls that early in the morning. A brief glance through emails reveals that of the twelve unread, eleven are either personal messages from friends or spam. That's true beauty. That with the little wave of joy that rises and engulfs your entire body. In the distance a coffee machine snores, squeezing water through all those ground beans.

Being professional requires bending your body to other peoples vision of the world without them ever needing to demonstrate why their vision is right.  Being professional is knowing your place and so not knowing your place leads to a horror you can't describe without wandering into the world of the B-movie slasher.

A tractor passes slowly. The farmer looks down from the high bucket of his seat and frowns. Did he actually  frown? Did he look for a dog? No dog, he would have thought. The woman in the street with a pram and no baby, the man stood outside a bar without cigarettes. Little trip wires. It's the uncanniness of it that sets the alarm bells on edge. What are you doing in an empty road in the middle of the day? What could you possibly want? Other minds begin to process the images.  A man alone on a road in a wax jacket on a Tuesday.  The wind pushing his hair to inhuman places, the eyes half shut against the light. The world needs answers, needs justifications. What do you know that we don't?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Diaries of Arnon Grunberg (10)

Arnon sat at the bar and ordered another Brooklyn lager, supporting his head and leaning with one elbow on the counter. The trivial absurdity dawned on him of only being able to drink Heineken when he still lived in Amsterdam. Although he hated the bourgeois fetish with feeling good, its obsession with consumption and with being entertained, at least a man should be able to choose his own beer, Arnon thought. Heineken controlled what type of beer you drank in Amsterdam. He had escaped that controlled environment of Amsterdam, where life took place under a bell jar, and never took on a scale bigger than individual man, the way it did here in New York. Here, a man felt in control over his destiny in the grid of the city, here you could believe in an illusion still. The scale of reality pushed a man up to the thought to be still physically part of the life around us. Standing on the top of the Rock and looking out over the sky scrapers, seeing their golden domes, the glass facades, rising so high above manhood, that what remained were only dots. The people below look just like ants, and they counted for no more than ants. And yet, looking at the world from the top of this ferry wheel, one felt like a god, not subjected, but in control of the spectacle. How different, to stand on the Wester belfry in the Jordaan and feel the heavy heaven of rainy clouds fall upon the city, every moment capable of washing away the sinful souls, opening up to give way to a Biblical deluge. Here on the island there was no one to look down on Arnon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Conversations (1-2)

1.
'So when they ask what the survey is about, what will you say?'
He pulled the dog, a chocolate labrador with a glistening coat, along by its burgundy colored leash, while his left hand reached back for his girlfriend's hand. She reached for his with her woolen mitten.

2.
'It is still very much up in the air.'
Her hair waved before her, covering her face. She pressed a cellphone tightly to her hear, and with short decisive steps hurried past me and an archaic chrome colored telephone booth on the side of the pavement.

Les Pensées (22)

Artaud deliberately stepped flat into the puddle of rainwater at the curb's edge on the corner of the street, the water splashed up, breaking into small drops, and splattered onto the dry cotton of his pants. Artaud realized that death did not matter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Les Pensées (21)

Artaud stepped through the drizzle as if the rain beat on his face like the gentle rays of sunlight, he looked up and admired the modest and gray sky, and felt the wet relief of the water touch his face's skin like a soft brush, like the fingers of a lover rolling down his chest.

Petite Merde (6): The Loving Family of Mr Dirty Hands

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dull Boy Jack (1)

Tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks, frozen at their computers, eyes fixated on screens, hands chained to keyboards and elbows glued to tabletops, lips pressed to taciturn lips, tongs bitten off, teeth ground down, I observed my coworkers at their computers, their eye bulbs and fingers in full concentration, no trace of the Neanderthal instinct of the genes that shaped their eyebrows and yokes, nothing of the evolutionary traits that selected out of the genetic variation these limbs hanging from torsos and heads. I imagined a group of apes in a thick forest gathering fruits, and looked around at the jungle of gray and beige office furniture in which we sat fated for most of the days of our lives.

4.17PM



Clean out refrigerator
Remove washing from line - if it rains
Call Jill
Shopping: we needs basics, eggs, milk, bread etc...

Timothy!  He doesn't hear.  It shouldn't rain I don't think but it has clouded over.  I don't know.  I can't hear myself think with this thing on.  He should come in now I think.

As she opens the door it screams so loud it makes her wince.  He should have fixed it.  Said he was going to take a look.  Timothy!  The child stops peddling and turns to look at her.  Didn't you hear me calling?  What if he didn't?  That's actually something we should talk to Dr. Stevens about.  He doesn't read as well as I thought either.  Come on, inside.  God you're getting heavy.  And you're not to go too far on this thing alright?  Not to go further than mummy can see from the window ok?  He doesn't even scream or cry like other kids.  Hello Roger.  A devout christian out of work.  Why do Christians wave and smile with such pantomime desperation?  As if they need to prove just how much more they're enjoying it.   Drop that there.  David will pick it up on his way in.  Or I'll tell him to.  Inside I said. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Am The Heart and Fractal Eternity

Les Pensées

Artaud opened the letter, unfolded the single sheet of paper and read a delusional paragraph elaborating on the difference between the English and American literary epic of the ordinary man. Artaud looked at the obliquely pasted stamp on the envelope and saw it was marked Buenos Aires, October 29, 2010.

The Lucky Man

A week after he had come back to the city, he had sent out precisely one application for a position that he had been contacted about and that just seemed a perfect fit, Felix received an offer to start his new job the very next week. He had not been searching long for a new home. In fact, the first broker he contacted showed him the first apartment, which turned out to be a steal, they shook hands on it, and Felix signed the lease that very same day. Although Felix was an independent and critical man who believed that one should only love a woman if she was the right one, he had filled out the profile on the dating website and had met two women whom both seemed to be the love of his life, and because he couldn't choose he didn't. In the afternoon, Felix on his way to Grand Central, had taken the subway. There was an empty seat where Felix sat down and as he stared to the ground between his feet, he saw a silver dollar. He picked the dollar up, looked around at the half empty car of indifferent bobbing heads and put the coin in his pocket. The next day, Felix woke up with the sun shining in his face. He got dressed, walked out the door to get a coffee at the corner store. As he approached the corner, the lights turned to green and he crossed. He entered the grocery store, where Maria, the girl behind the counter greeted him with a smile. Felix! I just made fresh coffee! As he walked home, his neighbor was selling some of his belongings in front of his home. Felix walked up to the neighbor: David, how are you? They chatted while Felix eyed the books. At the top of the pile lay Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, which Felix had wanted to start reading, but he had not bought the book cause he thought it to be too expensive. Oh I absolutely loved the book, said David, but why don't you take it. No I can't charge a neighbor, take it, I am happy it is of use to anyone.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Office in the Window

Imagine: you draw a knife through an anthill and with the same knife gently push the two slices apart.  Now every tunnel and half opened 'room' looks across a gulf of space into other passages, into other 'rooms'.  Or if ants aren't your thing, imagine apartment blocks cut through by a street, the apartments lined and as mathematically poised behind shields of balconies as members of opposing armies.

And scouring this cross section with its jumble of plants and lounge chairs your eye falls quickly upon something that doesn't seem to fit.  A square of life that shuns domesticity, a balcony of plantless neutrality: in short, an office.  Behind a sensible black desk a slightly overweight, slightly greying, slightly well dressed man stares intently at a screen that loosely frames some excel spreadsheet or other.  He scrolls up.  Stop.  He scrolls down.  Stop.  And now he makes a little note on a pad or sheet of printer paper.  He checks his watch.  Stretches.  He seems pleased with that because now he's out on the sterile balcony for a fag.

That's when she appears.  Sliding her balcony door open with a yawn, she pads out into the late afternoon sun, a dog under one arm, phone pressed in half shrug against her ear.  About his age by the looks of her, about forty five or so.  By complete coincidence she mirrors his pose exactly: close to the rails, one hand on hip.  But she's a floor above.  That's the tragedy.  The smoke from his cigarette wafts up and past her.  She doesn't seem to notice it.  And then he's back in front of the computer, he makes a little note on a pad or sheet of printer paper etc. etc... 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Under the Moon's Light

When I looked at the moon, under the moon's brightly lit visible neck, I saw Jupiter, planet of man, the king of gods, Jupiter, a man of thunder and lightning, his force contracted in the night under the watchful eye of the moon, distant and barely interested, with a sliver of cold indifference, so manly cool, under a blue cloth of secrecy, covered in the moon's cloak, Jupiter does not love, so when Natsume Soseki loves, Jupiter loves, they stare up, fold their necks in creased upward stares, eyes looking away, as they ponder, the moon is so blue tonight.
And in that blue light, Venus shines, shines with a light brighter than Jupiter, there Venus, planet of beauty and fertility, female goddess of the mountains, sister of the earth, Diane of wild animals under the shadow of thick pine forests, I admit, woman's light is so much brighter than that of man. But most bright of all, more bright than man, more bright than the beauty of a woman, I stand and stare at the moon, my sister Selene, sister of words, sister of dawn, sister of earth, sister of animals, greater she is than man, she is Luna that I love greater than man, greater than woman, can I resist her eyes that do not look away, that do not say the moon is so blue tonight, Selene paces so gentle while the world sleeps, and she whispers I love you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You Know It's a Fantasy, Don't You?

Faces (20)

(20) A slender man, half long black hair combed backward behind his ears, glistening in a slick reflection of the lanterns, has buried his face in the womb of his elbow, his under arm leaning against the dusty rear window of an old sports utility vehicles, his hand dangling down by the gravity of despair, his other hand holds a phone to his ear. His face bows down to the street, the world around has collapsed into the one dimension of the voice on the other side of the line. His shine black curls wave left and right on the gentle shaking of his head, which is lost in nothingness, all of space, all of the city, its architecture reaching to the yellowish night, the bellowing of voices walking by, rising and dying out, the gospel of merry happiness of Saint Marks Place, is absorbed in the silent tears that fill a man's eyes, leaning against a rear window.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Faces (17-19)

(17) Her face did not just consist of layers, but of separate rolls, oil black blurbs hanging by a string from her jaw, her double chin a rubber tube, her cheeks two rotting apples, her eyes peering out like the outer shells of a pair of mussels, her forehead frowned like the shifting sand on the beach, her ears two disconnected joints, her hair nothing but a scuffled wig. Her hands like fatty claws just hang out of her sleeves, as she spoke with a defeated voice. (18) The tiny skeleton of an old lady, her head protracted from her neck, welded to her fragile shoulders by a single joint, her arms kept their balance like a wooden puppet, she moved in jerks. Her white scruffy hair was deceiving of her astute and kind voice. (19) Her face was marked by round shapes, her jaw and forehead formed a perfect circle, the bridge of her nose was retracted and hollow with wide nostrils, emphasizing the two round openings of the nose channels, while her large black eyes stared with a soft roundness, covered by the semicircles of her dark eyebrows, resting on her loving, bulbous cheeks.

Les Pensées

Artaud looked at her white Fedora hat with the black ribbon across the base. She was a writer she said, had just moved here from California and was working on her memoirs. Oh no, Artaud being a true child of his time thought, not another memoir.

Writers 5-1: Albert Camus: Confessions of a Happy Youth


Looking back, I was naive. No, not just naive. I had not fully matured as a writer even. I was living still, in a state of purgatory, and living I was happy, my chest bursting with a loving heart that pounded so loud that I could sense it beating in my throat, the throbbing of desire, I could taste the thrushes of blood that rushed to my head, filling my veins and bursting open into wild thoughts. The way it came out was like a carnival of idiotic thoughts, and a stream of nerves tingling at my fingers end, so the only resolution, to relieve myself was to pick up a pen, and write. But I was scribbling, hastily jotting malformed thoughts down, and reordering ideas into a story without cohesion. The only thread was the trace left behind by the character's wandering. And the character was a wholesome person, too real for fiction, a happy character with a family, with children, gathered around a dinner table. If I have the courage to pull the manuscript out of the bottom drawer of my desk, I want to burn it to ashes, if it wasn't for the first chapter, which still holds the promise of another story, and I tell myself, Albert, put it back, something will come to you, and it will prove its purpose. But happy to place it back in the bottom drawer, I hope to forget about it, but I never do. Is that perhaps happiness, the haunting spirit of failure? Too much A Happy Death was still centered around happiness. Hunted by failure, the story's death, I became a writer. Because for the writer, happiness has no meaning, only when I learned to see unhappiness and the lack of meaning was I able to write The Stranger.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Petite Merde 4: The Three Hungers

Les Pensées

Artaud put his pen down and stared at the paper laying on the table. Letters curled along the pages from top to bottom, sentences streamed from left to right, words started floating. Artaud grasped for his lighter with a disgruntled expression on his face. In the last week, he had burnt most of what he had written, except for a four page letter to his friend Max starting with the words 'Dearest Max, my last request: everything I leave behind me...'

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I am in the heart

Metamorphosis

In the middle of the night, I woke up, my body overheating, my mouth dry, my tongue felt like leather skin. Despite being so warm, my nose was stuffed like I had caught a cold, so I didn't know if I should open the window or leave it closed. The night before I had gone to Wildwood BBQ for dinner and had ordered the special, a combination plate of three variations of ribs, 4 baby back ribs glazed in raspberry barbecue sauce, 3 beef back ribs in traditional barbecue sauce, and 3 Carolina pulled pork. 'I have seen one person eat a whole plate,' the waitress had ensured me. I regretted trusting her, but with her low décolleté and wide smile, she looked like someone I could believe. I woke up again an hour later from my own snoring, and as I grasped for breath, my nose rumbled again like a pig. I could hardly breathe and had to inhale through my opened mouth with quick takes. I reached for the bottle of water, opened the cap, and took a sip. Half of the water gulped out of my mouth, spilling on the sheet. I dried my lips and turned over. The third time I awoke from the early morning light. I took three quick sniffs and felt a lot better. I rolled over to my other side, and back again, rolling around in my sheets and pillow, like I was digging in the mud, and was surprised how comfortable I felt after such a bad night of sleep. When I stepped out of bed, however, as I tried to stand up, I fell to the ground and could barely just catch myself on my hands, as I toddled to the kitchen on my four hoofs.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud had spent the evening at a rowdy sportsbar. Groups of fans shouted to raise their voices over the blasting televisions. Conversations mixed into a loud blur of words. Artaud sat silently and observed, thinking in what a lonely city he lived.

Faces (15-16)

(15) Of his face I barely remember a single detail but its periphery of strong muscular arms that stick out of the rolled up sleeves of his t-shirt, of his thin and scruffy afro beard, his full and wide, coarse lips, his deep, soft-spoken voice and gentle dark eyes, misplaced in his tall, muscular build. (16) Her thin sandy arms are of the same color as her cheeks, with her slim limbs dangling along with her aging face with its sharp eyes, lengthy nose and round jaws, under the umbrella of a puffed up Afro hairdo, that gives her enough sexy air to fill the room.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

We are in the bowels of a bar on Houston street. It was empty when we first stumbled in around five but now the post-office crowd are pouring in, sucked into the darkness like leaves into a storm drain, riding the tide of filth and water, hugging the sidewalk, rushing blindly on to god knows where. So this isn't a bar after all. The walls; damp and congealed, rats scurrying across our shoes, and the crack and rummage of slow content cockroaches. Here comes Artaud back from the bar. He's grinning, which means something's happened. He's carrying two glasses of cheap beer: three dollars a glass if you manage not to tip. In the dim candle-light that smears a blurred red light across the room he seems like a devil. This is it! He says slamming the glasses down hard onto the table top and falling into his seat. This is what? I say. IT he says. Don't you see? We're exactly where we should be. The eye of the storm! The heart of the sewer! Look at these fuckers! He lifts his arms as if cradling a giant globe on his shoulders, trapping loud suited men in a deep parenthesis. How long do they have left? Days? Minutes? New York is emptying out. The Great Cleansing! One violent bowel movement that they'll talk about for years. But doesn't that excite you? Doesn't the idea of adults - grown men and women jostling for little pieces of society, selling childish trivialities like Coca Cola make you vibrate with excitement? Grown adults! All that anxiety and hope and ambition and sugar water! And here we are swimming among them, carried down the same stream of shit. It's perfect! Perfect! Wait, what time is it? It's still only six thirty. I need to make a phone call he says. I watch as he leaves the bar, pushing through groups of drinkers. Pigeons! He screams. And I watch as he ascends the stairs to be reborn into the cold evening light of Houston street.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Faces (12-14)

(12) His thick pepper and salt hair was perfectly dried and fostered, combed backward with great care, topping his hamster cheeks out of which peaked a small hawkish nose, and insecure glistering eyes. He spoke softly but pulled the left corner of his mouth slightly down as he smiled contemptuously from above his blue pin striped collared shirt. (13) His deeply tanned, frowned forehead did not draw your immediate attention, distracted by the thick frame of the retro frame. His head leaned forward trying to read the text on his mac's screen, giving his posture the appearance of a man in his early 60s, despite his fashionable brightness and much younger look, with his combed-back, half-long hair reaching his shoulders. (14) He did not make an immediately astute or hansom impression, his retrieving, shaved hairline, with his face directed downward, his eye brows formed a sharply declining V that pointed to and merged into the bridge of his nose, but maybe it was his plain white shirt, upper two buttons open, his washed blue pants, with his simple black dusty shoes, that gave him at second glance a sympathetic and considerately intelligent charisma.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Girl in the Window (2)

Her deep, black silhouette is tightly pressed against the whitened window's glass. Her opened mouth astonishing and astonished at the same time, her eyes are absorbed by the blinding light that sheds through the panes. I stand behind her in the dream, behind her curved back as she turns in a flash toward the garden, away from me. I can't see what she sees, a figure. Is this when I lose her? Is this when that she is losing something, is this a memory of her childhood? In the instant, she wants to run after the figure in the garden, chase it, but she is locked in by the walls, the windows, the glass, the frames, she stands still and instead only her eyes follow the man out of the garden, opening the gate, closing the gate again. I want to pull her back toward me but I sit at the kitchen table behind her and cannot reach her fragile body, that I want to cherish, retain, regain, possess, I want to enclose her in my stretched out arms that form an empty embrace, but she is out of my reach. I feel sad, I want to cry, but I have lost the reaction to sadness, and just stare at her beautiful, lost, black body, mourning. A continent away in time, the same dream, forward in time, the same room, the same kitchen table, my same stationary point of view in the girl's life. I don't see the coal black silhouette anymore, not the large lips, the curved eyebrows running like crescent lines around the waxing, tiny eyes, instead, a brightly lit, brown face on the other side of the window. Her face stained by the dusty window, her mouth covered by one of the white window bars, I can only see her longing eyes, her African nose, her Afro hair that fits her like a hat. Her face is framed near the door handle, in the pane below her flat, girlish body wearing a black sweater, but her arms hang silently besides her slim body, she stares at me, I cannot read her thoughts. Does she long for me to embrace her perhaps, does she not comprehend why I still sit at the kitchen table? I feel immense sadness again, I wish to hold her, kiss her, to comfort myself perhaps, I search for lips, but they are invisible, out of sight, untouchable.

Video Sketch: Buenos Aires

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Petite Merde 3: The train line between Palermo Viejo and Palermo Hollywood


Palermo is divided in two by a train line with Hollywood to the north and Viejo to the south.

Both sides of the track are full of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

In order to get from one area of bars to another, Palermo's young, wealthy population must cross the train track strewn with rotting garbage.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Petite Merde 2: Master Ass Class



"What happened was simple: people were greedy and took advantage."
A social-criticism on the financial crisis. If you can please bend over and get fucked. Rising profits and a strong economy feed your consumer's lust. The great fairy rescue of more, more, more!

Petite Merde 1: Buenos Aires

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Big Bang of Self

"Everything living dies of internal reasons," Artaud thought. It is the law of being which states that all matter, organic or not, has no presence to the other except as an outer, remote appearance. This appearance was but a coincidental appearance, which was incapable to revert itself to the deliberate action of essence. Sartre had stated something along similar lines, he remembered, but of course, to Sartre the essence had been the self, and the appearance had been the impossibility of love. Death was the negation of the subject of the other, turning the other into a state of object. It was not enough therefore that dark matter constituted only eighty percent of the matter in the universe, according to estimates. It was obvious in Artaud's understanding that the universe itself was only a representation of the self and that this, true to its nature, was fully unknown. The dark matter of the universe together with ordinary matter did not even exist. The Big Bang had come into being by the immaculate conception of theoretical physics, but this ontological myth had as little to do with science as the religious myth of Creation. God created life, but as Artaud believed, the I was destined to die. Artaud concluded therefore that perhaps a lot of things didn't make much sense, or at least not right now, but as soon as he would unravel the mystery of death, the last missing chapter in his Theory of Life, the pieces of the puzzle would automatically fall together.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Girl in the Window (1)

I watched the heavy lump of male flesh sink rhythmically into the nest formed by the two slim legs, hanging somewhere in mid air without grace, of the girl with black hair laying on her back. She was being fucked without lust, his body rising again from her clinches but too heavy to free itself from his own gravity that weighed on her, trapping her in the mattress. She moved into another position only at the silent gesture of his hands pushing her sidewards or upwards, without portraying any sense for pornographic beauty or luscious will. I stared nevertheless obsessively at these two slowly fucking white torsos, maybe as much captured by their lack of desire as bythe beastly attraction of their movements. Their act of pairing visualized a necessity. I saw no passion, no madness, just two human bodies clumsily caught up in an attempt to shake off their loneliness, their movements desperately failing to escape their human fates. I saw the fat on the man's waist shake like a distant gel and felt disgust and pity. The girl's arms lay folded helplessly above her head, and I wanted to grab her hands and pull her out of her trap. When I looked again, their tired bodies lay along each other, in a parallel harmony, his hand caressing her, like unexperienced children denying the violent clash of lovers. His hand glided from her shoulder to her waist, over her thigh, as if to comfort her. I felt utter boredom and jerked myself off watching them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rivers of the Underground: Phlegethon

The fire of my loins, flowing around my torso like lava, erupted from the mouth of Etna, spitting ashes in stone formations that sprout through the air, like the mountain being a giant whale ploughing its majestic grand body through the waves of the terrain, pouring open the wounds of evil, that live in my heart, of the cruelty that shoved in people's throats, like the sharpened pole's end of rupture and ego, penetrating their rectum, constituting the horrific rape of Lucrece, a crime that will not heal, but bleed here hundreds of yards beneath the plain's surface of goodness and kindness, of compassion, of humanity, like flames licking my beard, that smells of sulphur, the passion that once fueled my madness, now aflame, and like Tantalus bending down desperately to put out that bursting heat, my thirst increases, my hunger grows, alas, why were you Lolita of my heart, so young and luscious, to cut my head like Judith, the beak of a snake, now in your hand, that pulls me down this stream of fire. Did I not repent? To boil my soul in blood unto the end of times, is this the wage for loving you, this your justice. My crime to love you, to lust for the blood of your womb, to quench my violent passion to possess you, all born from love. Here now is my meal, the plate of man's hunger, for the flesh to ravishly possess, to penetrate the shield of other men with my spear, to kill the impossible and to take you. Now you speak, young maiden, where lies the crime in that?

Les Pensées

Artaud felt how the drizzle absorbed the mass of his body, the space of the city, and believed that he would soon dissolve, or was it Artaud who absorbed the drizzle, the city, the space, the mass, like millions of other bodies that wandered through the city without aim.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Brief Histories of Undiscovered Art: 1 Suddenism and Piere-Martin le Gris


Pierre-Martin le Gris (1895-1914)

Le Gris grew up the second of four children in Clichy on the outskirts of Paris. His father was a factory worker and collector of scrap metal.

In his early teens, greatly influenced by the Futurist and Cubist movements, Le Gris expressed an interest in pursuing a career in art but his father insisted he become an apprentice at his Uncle's Boulangerie on Avenue de Clichy.

Despite his father's disapproval, Le Gris sought the company of artists and spent much of spare time on the terrace of the cafe Wepler. It was here, along with a group of young like-minded art students that he became obsessed with the idea of Suddenism, an artistic movement he invented and which he claimed moved ten years beyond the art world's avant garde. Suddenism's aim, he said, was to smash past, present and future together so that the act of producing a piece of art coincided exactly with both its being viewed and its destruction. On the night of August 4th 1914, Le Gris set fire to one end of a Wepler napkin and began writing the Suddenist Manifesto at the other amid cheers from his fellow artists.

Le Gris was killed in the first battle of the Marne four weeks later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Les Pensées

A yellowish blue colored the nightly sky above the high rising facades that formed the immensity of the city. Artaud lay in his bed and pulled the blanket over his shoulder and fell asleep unaware of the millions of lives that surrounded his lifeless body.

Why Women Drive Men Mad

At the end of the conversation a brief pause fell, so unlike G, and B waited for her to say a few more words. Then G said.
G: I did something really stupid.
B: What do you mean?
G: Never mind, it's nothing.
B: Oh. But what did you do then?
G: Nothing, just something stupid I shouldn't have done.
B: Well tell me! First you tell me you did something, but then you're not telling me what!
G: I am afraid to tell you.
B: Why! We always tell each other everything.
G: Yes, but I am afraid you will be mad at me.
B: No! I won't be mad, I love you.
G: I know, but I did something stupid.
B: It's okay, it doesn't matter, we all do something stupid sometimes. Just tell me.
G: This is different.
B: I promise I won't be angry.
G: You promise?
B: Yes! It's okay.
G: Well...
Another pause increased the hesitation in G and the expectation in B.
B: Come on! Now, you just make me worry. What is it? Do you still love me?
G: Yes, of course, I still love you.
B: I love you too.
G: I'll tell you tomorrow! Okay! I am tired. It's nothing. Just something stupid that happened.
B: Hm. Okay, I guess.
G: I'll talk to you tomorrow.
B: Okay, talk to you then.
G: Love you!
B: Love you too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Male-ifide

From the Feminist Dictionary of Words:

"mal-e-ifide or mal-e-ified [mah-l-e-eefee-de or mah-l-e-fied; Eng. mey-l-e ah-fah-dee or mey-l-e ah-feed]
adj.
contraction of terms.
feminine ablative of malus, bad + fid, declination from french, feminized form of mal;
ablative of fids, faith;
from Latin masculus, diminutive of ms, male;

used to indicate the false pretense of women in contemporary society who have taken on male role patterns and masculine, aggressive behavior to seek assimilation and acceptance from existing, conservative male elites.

"She is a real bitch. She always aggressively cuts people short, clamors above every one else to be heard, and tries to make jokes all the time. She is an archetype of the male-ified woman."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud believed that those very matters, which made him often feel so good, could in fact never be right for him and should be considered inappropriate, but he was nevertheless incapable to ever feel bad about them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Daytime TV


The branches curled and lifted, contorting themselves into horribly human shapes against the window and he half expected them to knock against the glass, crash through or at least point him out knowingly. Inside all was bright. The studio lights spat individual pools beneath which young girls in hoodies and headphones were rushing, checking light levels with meters and notepads and being nodded at by older men who sat half slumped against their cameras as though each were his own private bar.
One of the young girls appeared then at the door to the green room. Latte Mr Clarke? It wasn't a latte he wanted. Yes he said. She took two long strides across the room and placed the cardboard cup dramatically upon the plastic table-top as if laying rare jewels at the feet of a king. We'll be ready to go in 4 minutes yeah? He nodded and she left. He could see two boys stood awkwardly on the studio floor. New interns he thought. Someone was marching across to scream at them. Do they get paid for this? You pay them in experience he thought. Ignoring the latte he took a long swig on the bottle of JB he kept in the makeup draw.
He walked out onto the set and noticed people looking desperately busy, their eyes fixed on some minor last minute detail, real or imagined. It doesn't require a shit load of intellect to work as part of a television production team he thought. Two minutes Mr Clarke. And then he tried to think of other jobs that required intellect. Real learning. Science and.. One minute Mr Clarke... You know today's issues don't you? today's issues? Someone handed him a sheet of paper. He nodded as he skim read over the large emboldened type. It's on the auto-cue anyway. A hand patted his shoulder. And then they began to count backwards from ten and when they got the three the room fell silent and he watched the camera operator mouth three-two-one and saw a glimer of hope or excitement flash upon audience's eyes. Just then the wind was raised for a moment and he was aware of the branches curled and lifted, contorting themselves into horribly human shapes against the window and he half expected them to knock against the glass, crash through or at least point him out knowingly.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Trilogy of the Father (3): The Self

Halia was humming lines from 'If I was a man for a day'. She walked firmly down the crowded street on the beat of her heels clicking to the pavement like automatic gun fire. She answered the occasional glance from a boy with flattered indifference, responding to the jealous stare from a girl with a friendly face of glass. 'I turn it on, I turn it off, why? cause I can.'
A high beep vibrated in her black jacket's pocket. She let it go over twice more before answering. 'Riding to Bear Mountain on Sunday with our bikes? Yeah, I am down! Sign me up,' She decisively replied. Halia had just traded her old motorcycle for a new Kawasaki Ninja and was dying to race it. She was perhaps a skinny and petite Asian girl, and made a fragile, cute first impression, but in fact she could stand up to any man on the asphalt, being more fearless than most of the boys and more than ready to burn her rubber.
Today though, although it was Saturday, she was off to a business meeting. She had just incorporated her own startup, having received substantial funding for the first six months, and without hesitation, she had quit her daytime job as business analyst for a top financial firm, and jumped into the pool of entrepreneurs that formed the powerful heartbeat of New York. Today was the first presentation to a board of advisors and she was going to push hard to step to the plate.
Success came like a hard blow and she was set to throw the punches. And as she thought hard about success, parading with a soldier's step, she did not forget why men love bitches.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Les Pensées

He had always avoided making eye contact with strangers in public, but once he looked at them, Artaud knew he had never realized before, the intense river of loneliness that streamed out of people's eyes, and scared by what he saw he quickly scurried along.

Inspiration: Guillaume Apollinaire
























Thursday, September 23, 2010

BS: trash vagina love splash

Music and Melody

Listen, somewhere drums are playing or if not drums then the heels of shoes against the pavement beneath your window or perhaps it's the group of men gathered and shouting and erecting scaffolding across the street. A car crash could be a percussion solo. But is that enough? The drone of static from the television offers something in the way of accompaniment, a discordant hum that could be from a bagpipe or accordion. But can you really call that a song? Try humming one of your favorite tunes to a friend. No, wait! Don't pick out the melody, hum something else instead, the partenership of hi-hat and snare perhaps or the bass progression. Do they recognize it? No? Hmm... Well look, what if against the backdrop of all this noise, the banging of scaffolding and things, you are expected to produce something in the way of melody? After all, how else can you expect others to understand that you exist? And that daily pottering and meandering from room to room, fetching a coffee here and tidying a bed there won't be enough either. No, you'll need to make a more definite noise I think, and quickly too, before the television leans into his solo and steals everyone's attention.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Faces (11)

(11) His spiky Asian hair was carefully aimed into random directions, the color balanced by the black framed eye glasses, as the corners of his dry lips hang downward, adding a melancholic but not sad expression to his saggy face.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Faces (9-10)

(9) A halo of sprayed, blond-reddish hair, pale, freckled bony cheeks, under the cover of silver-blue eye-shadow, a black glitter shirt sliding off her round shoulder, legs, and the seductive hard lines of black, five-inch pumps, touched the asphalt, and stepped out of the yellow frame, at the moment the photographer on the pavement captured her on the cab's back seat. (10) Her black cheeks were full and round, like her double D breasts resting against the table top's side, on her round but small nose rested the black frame of oval shaped glasses, while the back of her relaxed hair curled in a wide curve around her neck.

The Trilogy of the Father (2): The Father

"Why?" the little girl asked, sitting on her father's lap. The father placed his firm hand on her little, brisk shoulder and certain of the persuasion of his answer, he replied with a deep, soft voice that that's simply how things were. Back then, such an assurance by her father proved sufficient to solve her little worries. But somehow, now that her life seemed to have become so much more complicated, her adult mind struggled to accept any longer such matter of fact evidence. Maybe the questions in her life had become too complex to be solved by a fatherly hand on the shoulder, her life seemed mingled in a web of abstractions, or maybe her mind had become too demanding to settle for the simplicity of a child's answers, real concerns requiring concrete solutions. Her father was still alive, living a few hours away from the city, but for some reason the effect of her father's assurances, that still echoed that same paternal simplicity, that's simply how things are, sounded too distant to be audible any longer, drowned by the boisterous voices of practical concerns. What's is the matter with me? Am I not attractive? Am I too demanding? Are men afraid of a strong, independent woman, who holds the strings of her life in her own hands? Her father on the other hand had cried of pride when she had graduated from law school. He had never told her directly, but her mother spoke to her about how he told everyone that she was a lawyer in New York now, with her own mid-town office and with important clients working on deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But to Halia, it was not she who lived in an ivory tower disconnected from the world of ordinary mediocrity, to her it was her father who was the one on the pedestal, whom she respected more than anyone, for his strong will, his determination, having come to America as a hard working immigrant, sacrificing everything to be able to send his daughter to the best schools in the country, working mornings to evenings, to sacrifice himself to advance his children. Was it too much too ask then, to just want to be loved?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Trilogy of the Father (1): The Son

Halia was intelligent, successful and beautiful, and did not need any man to look after her. Still, men played an important role in her life. It seemed that she suffered not alone from a wider disease of her time that affected mostly big-city professional women, and which had been diagnosed so strikingly in the television hit Sex and the City. Men on the other hand, of all walks of life, class and race, remained immune for this epidemic, or as Halia saw it, they rather leeched off of this disease of women to feed their egos, although technically leeches were hermaphrodites, but like leeches men eat their prey whole. And thus, when it came to men, Halia felt sucked dry. Asked if she would ever sacrifice her career and ambitions to sooth a man to devote himself to her, she answered resolutely no, absolutely not. But at the same time, there was nothing she craved more than a man to worship her, and she wondered if she had sacrificed herself already being without a man who loved her more than he loved himself. She thought of the goddess worship of Cybele in Ephesos, where Halia had vacationed last summer. Later, in early Christianity , the widespread goddess worship was replaced by the cult of Maria as the mother of Christ at the Council of Ephesos. What had happened in three thousand years that she now lived under the firmly established autocracy of men? In this patriarchal status quo, it apparently was too much a loss of face for men to love a woman beyond themselves. Is that what Gogol meant in his story The Nose? Do men really think that a loss of power threatens their success with women? Then how was it possible that all women with power were still single? Halia did not need a man to take care of her, but she did need a man to love her. Yet, she was intelligent, successful and beautiful.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud couldn't help but overhear the conversation of a couple at the next table. She was thrilled and he was excited, they held hands and observed each other obsessively. Artaud was shocked to see so much happiness from such horrific platitudes and felt sad.

Ode to Joy or Is This Madness?

The ninth symphony from Beethoven started playing with a short cacophony that abruptly ended, which I recognized as the Ode to Joy. I entered, drunk with fire. An expression of madness had hardened on my face, unable to crack its stiffness. And in this madness, I jumped on top of her, and as if we were connected by an elastic, she bounced off me in fear, equally mad. And in this madness, everything was colored purple, as if we had stamped our feet wildly in the grape press, the juices splattering her skin, pale like a ghost, and mine, fiercely red from crazy blood. My hands fumbled her fleshy tits, she felt extra soft from the flowered cotton that covered her still, while my pelvis sank between her thighs, which by my weight spread apart. I felt her legs kicking, jerking along my legs that pressed her to the ground, as my drunken wet lips pressed firmly against her neck, I nibbled her nose, out of which she breathed like a wild bull. Although she was screaming, I only heard the rustling of the madness pumping the same crazy blood through my head, and all I saw was the grotesque hollow opening of her mouth. My insanity only increased, her eyes were fire sparkling into the air and waves of sea water rushing ashore, both intoxicating me with an earthly force that I believe was a sensation of happiness. Oneness with the world, oneness with her, I had for the first time in my life, made contact with another human being. I pulled her skirt up, felt her naked thighs, soft fat flesh squeezing against my hard and bony hips. I spit in her mouth, which closed in a quick jerk, as she tried to spit but could only swallow. Her fists still beating against the back of my head, which felt numb. I felt a strong urge to drink, grabbed the wine on the table, and as I in the same, one movement reached for the bottle, I pushed my erection in her vagina, and pushed against the opening of her uterus. Into the sanctuary of this heavenly daughter. Her breasts were now rocking like dead plasma up and down over her chest, her hands strangled me without force. I wondered if this was madness.

Islands


There was a time when living in Manchester he had woken gripped with fear and a sense of loss. Who am I? He had asked. What have I lost? He had hurried into the kitchen and drunk straight from the tap, slurping water from his hand before rubbing it accross his face. The coolness of the laminate floor against his feet and the suddenness of the water soothed him. He filled the sink and contorting his body into some unnatural pose plunged his face in. He stood on tip toes, his chest pressed hard against the outer edge of the sink.

He hadn't liked the sky up there. She'd said, I don't know, you can lose yourself in a sky as grey as that, all those layers of cloud to sift through,it helps me think. But don't you miss the water he'd said, don't you forget we're on an island? What water? She said.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Infinite Loop of Commonplaces

I am so happy for you! The mother hugs the child as they say their farewells at the entrance of the child's dormitory. Of course the mother is not happy at all. She has only just recovered from a depression. The father stands aside, still struggling to overcome his sadness for the loss of their child. They will go home now to an empty house without life, without purpose, soon it will be autumn, then winter.
At home in autumn in an empty house, the wife asks the husband: and how do you feel? In a monotonous voice he replies that it is tough, that he misses their conversations. But many more will follow, conversations between two adults. Of course. Both uphold a face of coping strength.
During breakfast it remains quiet. While scraping his scrambled egg to his plate's edge, the father asks what they should do for dinner. They laugh cause they're only midway during breakfast.
The mother says love is unselfish and good, but that dependency is selfish and bad. She read a book by an eastern philosopher and thought this was very true. He nods. Any plans for the weekend? They change the subject of their conversation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Faces (7-8)

(7) Before him lay an open notebook with black cover and lines written in black ink and a cursive, steady handwriting. His hands with widespread fingers, a slight laugh on his lips, and slow movements of his head, emphasized only the calm of his mind. (8) Her straight hair was bleached and reached her shoulders. The bags under her eyes, her reddish tanned skin, her stretched flat lips, and her coarse, boisterous voice revealed an inclination for addiction.

Les Pensées

Artaud turned left at Saks Fifth Avenue, the area they called euphemistically hedge fund alley, here the rich made and spent their fortunes, and entered the lobby of Rockefeller Center. There he was stunned and admired the mural by Diego Rivera called Man At The Crossroads.

Deja Vu of the Meaning of Life

I am a bit in between. In between what I don't exactly know. But I will soon figure it out and escape it. Every little observation I get trapped between one and the other, but I don't seem to be able to be in perfect sync with what it is that I am observing. This constant feeling of deja vu of the ordinary, the constant thought that everything is happening twice. All that I see for the first time, has a dusty layer of familiarity. The odd sensation that everything has happened already, that I am just an old witness, as if staring at the rerun of an old tv series. The worst of it all is that nothing of it makes any sense. I am staring at it as if I don't understand it. Of course there's nothing to understand. There's nothing to think of what is happening. The old white woman with her black untailored shirt and pants, the young black woman with her distinguished eyes whose toes point toward another, the small groups of New York police academy cadets that cross the street, the yellow cabs that color the road, it all just takes place without a particular meaning.

Inspiration: Interview with Anne Carson

"The form hasn't emerged yet of the thing I'm working on."
- Anne Carson

Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, and scholar of classics who lives in Montreal.



Wikipedia: Anne Carson

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Village Post Office


Can't complain she said, her voice barely audible above the ruckus of stapling and clicking from behind the office window. Of course there is my back. The Post Master slowed his stamping. To ignore the comment would bring minutes of blissful silence, to show interest would be nothing less than slow death. But sometimes, he thought, staring death in the face is perhaps preferable to passing your days with nothing but stamp books and the dull clunk of a second hand for company. Others have sports cars and roller coasters he surmised, I have old women. Oh yes, and what's wrong with your back?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Old Friends

Herman hugged his goat as they drove off in the back of the trailer. Bob had Korsakoff disease, he couldn't remember much, he didn't even know what had happened. Herman moved for the tenth time, his last resort was Salvation Army, but he preferred sleeping in his car. When Hermann saw Ben come around the corner he lost his temper and flew at him, his fists taking relentless punches at his face. Jan rambled on about his broken marriage, his sixth, he forgave her, but could not stop accusing her. She never loved him. Jos picked up his guitar and begun singing. Jos had been rejected numerous times by most record companies. Bob died of a heart attack. His wife Hermien had moved back to Jan several months after they had broken up. Hermien was sick, Jan took care of her. She drank. A month later he was arrested. It was around that time that Jos and Jan heard about Bob's death. Herman had started a business in second hand goods, but was closed down after welfare found out he was using his money to run his business. Jos earned money playing Jewish music at weddings, during the day he drove the taxi for senior citizens. Jan was released and lost a lot of weight. Herman lived with a decent woman for a few months. Jos realized he never knew his friends. Jan cried when Hermien called him and told him she missed him. All I could think was that these are real fucking people.

Thought Soup 090610

My CD collection is a mess. No case contains its partnering CD and so listening to music becomes a perpetual game of lucky dip. This stressed me at first but now I'm actually starting to come round to it. So long as I know beforehand that I have no control over my aural landscape it feels good to just throw myself against it. Dazzle Ships, I keep coming back to Dazzle Ships for some reason. Vorticist artist Edward Wadsworth moved on from creating Vorticist woodcuts to painting dazzle camouflage for allied ships during the first world war. The figured that since no ship could be hidden entirely at sea it would be better to make their camouflage patterns as confusing as possible. Silence is either horror or happiness but very rarely something in between I think. It is surprising how horrific the Freudian Uncanny can be. Returning home is something like diving head first into a deep pool of uncanny. Everything becomes the same but different, you see yourself at 16 years old walking down the same streets you wandered along at 18 and then again at 28. To double the horror, try putting all of your new clothing to wash and having to wear whatever still fits from your teenage years. The Gothic boy who worked at our local corner store is still there but now he has cut his long hair, is going bald and has grown a beard. he looks like a very respectable 40 year old man but he can only be 22 at most.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Unhappy Patient

Felix Krull lived on Roebling street in South Williamsburg. He was an artist. That is, many people believed he was. He made post-Rauschenberg assemblages, which sold fairly well, not enough to make a name for himself, but enough to make a living as an artist, and of course he was a photographer like everyone else. His most acclaimed work, which even was featured in an obscure art magazine published in Oklahoma by an independent small publisher whom he had found through the listing in the 2009 Writer's Market and later had spoken over the phone for a long-distance interview, was a guitar assemblage of a M249 toy water gun that served as the neck and a speaker box integrated into the iron cover of an old land mower. Of course, most of his shows had been black and white photographs of his neighborhood and portraits of people whom he met at art gallery openings, exhibited at anonymous cafes and a few bars that he would frequent. The biggest question that lately had occupied Felix was 'Is unhappiness a physical illness?', a question which had not found its way yet into representation in his photographs, and to which he had not found a definitive question yet, but he fore felt that it would occupy a central place in his next series of assemblages.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Faces (1-6)

(1) Her eyes were fully hidden behind her mirrored Ray Ban sunglasses, her flat nose and her pouching lips, crunched into the shape of a fist's clasp, as if she was trying to grab my attention, her perfectly dark olive skin gave her a warm reception, but her boxer's face punched right back in your guts. (2) A white bearded man with a scruffy ball of hair extending to his neck, wearing a baseball cap walked with a stiff torso, but his mousy eyes jittering back and forth, nervously changing and never locking down on any fixed point, seemed to tell me he wasn't very at ease in the city, but he really was never given the choice, and it was kind of too late now. (3) A table down, a pale woman with tanned sunglasses, with shabby upper arms and scattered sunspots, tears a piece of transparent tape off and tapes another receipt on a letter format blanc sheet of paper, dotting down a note, which she encircles. (4) An Hispanic with dark muscled arms, covered with tribal tattoos, swings his shoulders and hips, hustler style, super fly manner, wearing a small hat with a narrow brim, and in the band sticks a gray feather, while his head marked by a hawk's nose and wide nostrils, rotates scanning the periphery of his proxemics to catch people noticing his presence. (5) A lanky Chinaman, with a Vietnamese expression, and greasy hair combed backward, his dark blue checkered shirt hanging down to this knees, leans forward to balance the weight of the shiny trash bag on his back. (6) Her dark eyes looked like soft candy rolling down her reddish, girly cheeks, as she bit her thin lips with her canine teeth, and while she straightened her plain red summer dress, I almost melted for her kind impression, until her voice spoke in a deliberate intention and her straight laughter revealed only a shallow confidence, and I deeply disliked her.

Les Pensées

Artaud woke up in the middle of night, somewhere in the grid of the city in a stranger's bed. In a state of half sleep, he ran through the floor labyrinth of Reims, looking for the virgin at the end of the labyrinth, the woman whore, the vagina dentata that would swallow him, devour him, and liberate man.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cityscape: Copenhagen

1.
cobbled streets leading to a harbour of ancient ships. The sound of
English voices raised and echoing beneath a bridge crossing the canal.

2.
Kirkegaard's shoes. The heels heavily worn away. The sound of
footfalls thrown against the walls of terrace sailorís cottages to
become the explosions of fireworks towering above the harbour.

3.
Christiania. Quiet riverbanks. Wooden houses peak from between trees on the
opposite bank.

4.
In a warehouse a man builds a submarine and sails it in front of the
Royal theatre. Someone says that the same man plans to build a
rocket.

5.
In Andy's bar, the smell of cigarette smoke still lingers from a time
when sailors and 2nd world war soldiers would stumble up the stairs.
On the wall is a painting of a woman standing in the centre of
Copenhagen with her knickers down. A saxophone begins to play in the
other room.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud a self-styled intellectual was reading The Man Without Features but couldn't concentrate, the letters floating off the page. He put his book down and stared outside at nothing in particular.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Shield of Achilles: Bucephalus

alexander remembered his father's words
spoken to him still being a child
my son, find yourself a kingdom equal to and worthy of yourself
for macedonia is too small for you
ever only since
could he remember the loss of home
for home was macedonia
how can a shelter offer comfort
when it cannot hold oneself
being not appropriate to one's needs
he took a last glance at his home
then saddled his horse
how can the soil of his land
ever satisfy a god
that is to rule a people
that is to govern the present
when home is a higher future
how can man carry glory
without knowing courage by heart
alexander rode to where the sun rises in the morning
for this is the path to heaven

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Les Pensées

Artaud opened the envelope containing the results of his genealogical DNA test to trace his male lineage. No trace of his favorite author, a Portuguese who was raised in South-Africa and abandoned his studies of literature early on. No trace of his favorite philosopher of whom only a dozen of aphorisms were known beside his name. Disappointed, he questioned the value of knowledge.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In Search of Duende (2): Must We Burn?

Was there freedom in madness. I knew there was, I had believed there was, I had always been certain, but I suddenly doubted madness. I doubted not the existence, but the realm of madness. I realized that despite the popular usage of the term, which was vulgar, plain, I never felt aloof from it, not to say I was crazy, but I had always felt bored by normality, so I had without giving it much thought, assumed madness was normality, which was obviously not how most people meant it, when they said, you are crazy, or that's insane, and I didn't know what to reply, I just stared at them with a numb wit, scrambling to understand what they meant, losing my ground, what precisely of what I had just said did they think was insane? It was as if they believed there was a reality of concrete matter and a world of mental madness, which separated from the reality by a wide moat and an unbreachable wall. True, I couldn't tell anymore if I was on the inside or the outside, and if I was on the inside would I liberate myself by breaking out of this castle on the cliffs, and was madness in fact a prison, was I like De Sade locked up inside the Bastille, shouting at the masses, they are killing the prisoners, but then why had the defense walls been erected, in defense of what, as if madness was a prize, a tribute of war, the holy grail of sanity and the masses storming it on it outside, slowly losing their minds in the frenzy of blood hunger, smelling the power of madness, losing oneself, becoming god, or was I on the outside of the walls, and was madness the loss of perspective, without space, being able to follow the horizon in every direction and never approaching it, and was sanity the prison, like the asylum where De Sade found freedom, a safe harbor from the roaming infinity of madness. It was pitch dark. I couldn't tell if I had been dreaming or thoughtfully awake.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In Search of Duende (1): The Deep Song

They say the city never sleeps, but the street was quiet and dark. I held my breath and tried to hear the deep song of the city, could I hear the heartbeat of the soul, but I heard little, only the rustle of the wind in the gossip of the night. I felt disturbed, uneasy, annoyed perhaps, by this void, by the absence. I yearned for a jolt of madness, but just now when I was in search for it, the madness seemed to evaporate at every turn. A young girl in the corner possessed the inflamed, black eyes of a gypsy, her luscious stares tortured me, but when I approached her, her eyes turned flat and dull, and I lost my taste for her. The muscles of her olive colored calves contracted, I felt her gentle, pointy breasts screaming, I was haunted, but when I pulled her close to me, her body collapsed, her fatty arms released my captivation, her heavy torso disgusted me, and I lost my appetite. This madness, to possess, this physical need to enforce myself upon the helpless creature who had surrendered herself, this need to impose myself by force of will, it rose from within, it came out, and hang there in the air, motionless, pointless, aimless. Dawn rose. Normalcy rose. Bodies responding to their habitual, biological cycle woke up and filled the streets of day. I was engulfed by this tide, and I too disappeared into the day, sane, normal, all without madness. It was then, that I could hear the echo of the deep song.

"I will die
in the roses
they will kill me"

Les Pensées

Artaud crossed strange avenues, turned an unfamiliar corner, in a city strange to him. At an unknown bar, he ordered a coffee and a glass of water. Artaud's forehead was sweaty and his heart was racing. Was it the madness of the city or was it his own madness?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Les Pensées

He walked along the flottage du bois, the deck in between the four towers of the national library that looked like wood drifting down the river. All that is published in France was stored here. Artaud felt like Citizen Kane on his death bed and whispered 'rosebud'.