i don’t want to do your work do you want to do your work work is screaming at the dog a terrible person who can’t be bothered with other people the dog lays there right there her allergies her anxieties on the leafy greens and onionskin and cries not at me she’s a good girl at the baby nursing on her belly little heart beating so fast i don’t want to think of the hummingbird her fragility her natural work her glitter where’s my glitter there she is right there
revivified cicadas end dormancy fans outside the garden at night saying the stars hark an advertisement for more stories from today’s affronted vases flank new eliminations of doe queens of canceled revenue a screenshot of the dead lie three men inside a high rate of speed burn cash as others stay grand at kill station & terminal statistics colorized cells from an oyster of city and state support us or die (repeat)
How our lively natures were rapt away by post-modern science fiction
“What temper at the prospect did not wake To happiness unthought of? The inert Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!”
February 2021 — Why doesn’t ugly start a revolution? The intellectual farmacie of traditional media, rife with fit, reasonably attractive folks earn profiles in the The New Yorker. Unless you’re an old white man, in which case beauty is rare and, take it from me, things are relatively frictionless—we will write your story of greatness.
If our obsession with youth can be explained by an attraction to that which we, statistically, were not: precocious, interested, prodigious and destined for the top rungs of the social ladder, than maybe beauty functions the same way.
Shall we ugly design the end, throw a rock, hold our bodies hostage? What kind of hunger must we become?
The man in rags approaches the bricked barn camel and needle yarn strikes With no breath to confound Though no one sentient around Hears this knotted rotten demand Buries his tires in the unyielding sand Keeps the guests at bay Perhaps just one more day
See the threads of desire meeting needle knowledge binds together various fabrics of self at uncertain edges emerges eyes of crucible crocodile burning fog & cloud unity of irreducible information unit of unbound dictionary lightshed gathered father and son in bodied survivalhood emergent territories of thought escapes in breath
Dressed in silversbane protect my faith new mother — holy anymother — lose her holy see scatter her across the January 2021 Facebook Pages redesign her brands are luminous with nostalgia or panic there intuition sings of a songbird two fingers pointed and retracted come-hither autocorrect rub graphite like grapevine phantom to flesh to thought
The sun hangs low on two points connected in electrical circuit Obsessed with the minister of reflexive language as lovers panchromatic grey perhaps a different meaning the new center of socialist joy and recreation I contemplate the aquiline but refuse to rush into the masses I rise elaborate as embroided air vast plains of testosterone encased in shadow engorged with the forgotten god and his abandoned metaphysics
I am a snapchat filter in the eyes of oblivion and beg for forgiveness a man who collects comrades because even kindness needs a posse a man who in the infinite stretch of sand finds god’s black wall and in an instant his purpose a woman who builds rooms inside and outside of the modern poets’ vague allusions to common knowledge the radio has dinner the terrible thing inserts a gun into its poem of simple relational delight and dilemma was no gun only infidelity changing lock letters everywhere in shadow usurping men shooting bullets into the sky almost every evening when I lived in the country who permits this you have driven language like a dead ox from the meaning of the field
Must is the greatest word in the English language also it is the most misused among the lot must is my daddy must is my savior must is the end of a snowstorm as the cupboards go bare we must not accept this way of formulating the issue if we do not we shall be in serious trouble with the virtues of curiosity our grammatical assumptions enshrine themselves within our philosophical arguments and that is death
String a pair of slipping records the great colonial spasms of blood against dirt a free exchange of birds and rival ideologies coincides with the rise of criminal networks in cyberspace house of hexagon open to the possibility of retention of sky sound of brutal dictatorship string I do not know the woman’s name nor her side of the dialogue nor mine I must ring the bell though it is of form and weight without she is without voice string in this instance to look at me you wouldn’t know my hands repeat insincere gestures I was listening to that string together at last after years of waiting the smell of skin and
Waiting for the other shoe to drop it is what it is i drink whisky i drink beer beer made of sculptures her words not mine borrowed really from peter to paypal paul and talk about geometry ugly repulsive apparitions on a wet black bough lazy mapping doesn’t know how to read a nap no sense of ambiguity an obsession with youth glowing skin fresh powder a reliable reit wilbur ross financed spac takes it public no sense of ambiguity the poet and the programmer vindictive academics both
Obsessed with the minister of reclusive language the character pans the screen not the player like a patient etherized upon a table I deny myself the opportunity no one’s said it explicitly — actor, writer, set designer, executive producer — but the show is about memory no one can take that away not the ultra rich who pile vindication and swim not the blood and shadow brokers cointreau spiked with lsd at a cia retreat al spoke of destruction finally getting its break if it’s good enough for the abattoir why not right here at home?
Hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn
The mass destruction of tourists The mass destruction of production The mass destruction of typewriters The mass destruction of jealous music
Poetry policymakers conspiracies fourteen women share a couch destruction everywhere their feet behind them behind the couch a trio of monochrome musicians a hot light a baudrillard disclaiming suprareality a wedding ring i toss behind the couch like an anchor rides in veins of the venal need flower print — imagine that — in black and white the posterity collapsed like a pharaoh’s lung fat legs crossed surely worm food by now all these artists care so much about dying disclaiming flesh of wristwatches
The memory, bound with piano wire, is something of a meditation. Not intended to pacify the hungry, curious, and violent child-made, by polite society, to sit still and earn their wage. The memory, bound by piano wire, is something of a primitive chant. Primitivism as if to say committed to the ursheriff and the supraellipses. The memory, bound by piano wire, lets blood through an unmarked limited liability company. Too many of us have been dragged through the mud to reserve comment — to forget — to watch Everybody Loves Raymond nailed to the crucifix.
ritual of expulsion: setting proves important to the audience, which, in city after city struggles to understand why the woman in the white bandana suffers so and why the small-town cat buzzing in and out through the open den window bob and weave with puritanical, firefly charm. Symbolism escapes them until it doesn’t — like an embolism.
In the 18th century a rhino named Clara visited the capitals of Europe and inspired various French hairstyles as the sun crashes down on city hall where the streets are torn up to be repaved what does this have to do with ugly women? Everything!
At 2:22 a.m. I provide the characters with made up properly seasoned rips in time. We, as an audience, have nothing to worry about. The average theater-goer had a hard time separating entertainment from criticism and I am here to avenge that loss. Tears streaming down his unwashed face, he raises his hand like it was his own. Cold but well bathed, the poet runs his imagination through the treetops — rouses a eastern screech owl.
That you were buried before you could confess doesn’t mean the asteroid didn’t strike too proud too catholic too ferrous doesn’t mean you didn’t suffer and I didn’t love you more the pain in your endurance love is all I can offer now and forgiveness forgiveness for stitching up the wound unimagined queen of collisions dark and ceaseless coverings always there always lurking
Our patent pending technology attaches a set of medical grade dentures directly to the upper thigh to create the world’s most authentic prosthetic leg a photo is a list of ingredients and a set of instructions called preconception one might say there is no such thing as false witness actual theft or actual inspiration some personal news I am thrilled to hear the poet quickly come to the adjective’s defense.
My wife in the other room alone moaning it’s not what you think by being obtuse obscure obdurate I insure reality what a mitzvah a single poet in a kettle being trusted and truthful and godlike in a drained pool of diction they can be kind and determined all ears all fingers all backbone a penis is a penis is a penis we fetishize nature by its nature his repetitive conceit — I’m thrilled to announce I’m being specific for once — is tiring but not in a bad way exhausting like an Eggleston picture
Exhausting here comes the sun is the first song you heard silk where the green silicone pacifier reds your chin snow falling black against a holy sky every molecule on the horizon vibrates against the desire to regulate to survive navigating generative strangling not the winner but first place itself broken
On the political streets broken maddening itself like ants on a sugar cube here, February, or, interrogations you built America punched down and out by the sidewalk, you’ve lost the game saying too much abyss oblivion no one in my family tells stories broken and yet young bodies baked through with organic poisons in hushed tones around the breakfast table while i burp her
Under the christmas tree my gift unopened for thirty years shallow breaths deep water the lights dim in concert with listicles year end reviews lizard-content basking in the vast nourishing copper field you were invited to motherhood and chose virgin purity invited to fatherhood and chose putty imports a well-built alarm clock a gingham turtle shell split down the middle kintsugi impossible and inevitable, sky hunting its platinum trophy
I don’t know how you’re all holding up, but this quarantine combined with the ineffective leadership of my federal government here in the United States has led me to seriously reconsider my level of engagement with humanity, the arts, and, to a lesser extent, politics.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the world, it collides with governments in the West that have spent decades deliberately shedding power, capability, and responsibility, reducing themselves to little more than vestigial organs that coordinate public-private partnerships of civic responsibility. This hollowing of the state began in earnest in the 1980s, and the science fiction of that time—the earliest texts of cyberpunk—imagines what happens when that process is complete. Cyberpunk is a genre of vast corporate power and acute personal deprivation. The technologies at the center of it are all means of control, control bought by the wealthy or broken by criminals. Where recourse is available, in whatever small way, it’s through direct action.
Atherton cites William Gibson, cartoonist Matt Lubchansky, historian Nils Gilman, and author and journalist Tim Maughan, among others to great effect here.
This is grim stuff, but it works to serve a concise point wrapped in a human, community-focused message:
Escaping a Gilded Age takes more than just clever protagonists who can outwit the cruelties and exploitations of the wealthy few. As insurmountable as the power of robber barons once seemed, cataclysm and political action brought the Gilded Age to a resounding end. The inoculations against another Gilded Age are found far less in the works of cyberpunk and far more in the Works Progress Administration. Escaping a Gilded Age takes an active, collective politics, one that refuses to let governments hide behind algorithms or abdication of responsibility to the market.
Prismatic, Buñuel said. Chinese condoms and effulgent magenta glob. Everything in the public record. That’s how you make great images. Please remove yr hands in respect of the dead. Describe what you don’t see. Clean, sterile actionable nouns. Be it boy or boar. The French horn swells predictably. Google feeds headlines to the mountains. A poet doesn’t need bleak intelligence, she said. This is a different kind of river. I pour collage into a black mug, lucky me!
moral consumption of animals and you
don’t fry up this fragmented animal
as moral constraint either hence
we dig up this fragmented animal class
in anti-intellectual stories under wonder
what’s moral consumption?
the poets are moral consumers mutatis mutandis
what’s moral? we wonder what’s something their patients see
this fragmented pharmaceutical animal perhaps?
as far as moral constraint
either we wonder what’s moral or
consume animals as we wonder what’s moral
self-awareness don’t fry up that ego: all organisms work self-affirming live monkey limb because we think of animals as moral consumptions size and constraint either hence we consume them but we don’t generally see animals we don’t have stories to tell self-affirming little tales to negotiate guilt over knives don’t ponder what’s moral consumption size and constraints what their habits whisper of self-awareness don’t have their patients moral consumption animals as moral consumers of size condors constrain their populations but they selfishly extol story structure that doesn’t have to do with man and god foolish moral constraints as we wonder what’s moral consumption sounds and chimps our nearest relatives tearing them apart but selfishly expanding to don’t have stories to justify they also don’t have live monkeys pharmaceutical animals as tonal constraint what’s our nearest relative for tearing tell me something about self-awareness to negotiate guilt tell me hurting stories to negotiate guilt hurting their habitats don’t consume size and constraint what of them? their populations? there’s only one story the tearing story we tell self-affirming agents no normal moral considerations just stories what’s moral consumption size and constraint either we wonder what’s or we don’t
something trendy back in grad school
all the poets enabled study of age as a class
in all those poems that enabled
so it was its almost discourses that as poets were something of pound olson duncan and you to undergrad all the trendy bach pieces
the poems people turned in at grad school all the trendy modernist power play a pound of olson a pound of duncan
and you don’t have to dig up this fragmented anti-intellectual potsherd weak domesticated anti-intellectual egoism
there is in the art wrld the idea of one’s moment as in this will be the moment of fame or financial success as in the moment the clouds break open into light pure pleasure exuberant and rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing precariously for an instant there is in the art wrld the idea of one’s moment as in this will be the moment of fame or financial success as in the moment the clouds break open into light pure pleasure exuberant and rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing precariously for an instant there is in the art wrld the idea of one’s moment as in this will be the moment of fame or financial success as in the moment the clouds break open into light pure pleasure exuberant and rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing precariously for an instant there is in the art wrld the idea of one’s moment as in this will be the moment of fame or financial success as in the moment the clouds break open into light pure pleasure exuberant and rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing precariously for an instant of fame or financial success as in the moment of fame or financial success as in the moment the moment and rude itchy stammering skittering skittering coalescing skittering skittering coalescing skittering skittering skittering skittering precariously into light pure pleasure exuberant and rude itchy stammering skittering skittering coalescing skittering skittering coalescing skittering precariously into rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing skittering skittering coalescing skittering coalescing skittering coalescing coalescing skittering skittering skittering precariously for an instant the clouds break open in the art wrld the art wrld there is the moment and rude itchy stammering coalescing skittering precariously for an instant the moment and rude itchy stammering skittering precariously for an instant here is the will of the art wrld the moment the moment of one’s rude itchy stammering skittering coalescing skittering skittering skittering skittering
Source: Rivkin, Joshua. Chalk: the Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly. Melville House, 2018, p. 299.