no cheating no cheating no duplicating no copy-pasting words onto sacred blank paper, no copy-pasting thoughts and images through time from past to present, present to future, the three holy tenses like mirror images like a centerpiece altarpiece three-piece mirror three-piece suit of satan, this lawyer of the children of the future I speak no evil I simply speak in future tense, I don’t believe in santa claus because I am no longer (a child) get behind me santa, I look to a brighter tomorrow, the tunnel at the end of the light cubicles like sacred closed-off altarpieces in long rows, mass will be held in the confines of the altar the rest of the church brought into the heart of the office drone with halo around sleepy head, mass producing tongue, offices opened up and closed again like eyes but someone having misplaced the lid now our workplaces are open to high heaven and duplicated endlessly with millions of people in them with different faces and different names, all these little creations in hardwood frames to keep track of, the creatures and the things they create, like mise-en-abyme, like babushka dolls lined up to make it look like the tiniest one is the furthest away when really they’re all equally close, the future as close as the past both hazy memories that could be dreams when just waking up and there’s no saying what has really happened and what has simply not happened yet, this is the time and this is the way the time moves marching in circles to the tune of keyboard-pressing fingers like endless r’s and endless l’s and endless s’s and all the duplicated letters that somehow mean something new every time, create new sounds and watch the old words get new meaning, watch the old treasures be forgotten and the pirate open his chest one day as if by accident while cradling the patch around his deleted eyeball like a monocle while groaning while lying around while forgetting while saying yarrrrr, this be the currency of a thousand repeated promises
words words binge word binge twitch tweak things spin fin work shark word whale how to produce words like schools of fish, schools of words swimming through book pages, sharks like titles backfins like quotation marks cirkling like lions, like tigers, pupils dilated to their utmost comprehension point, their utmost sign of recognition delight, pupils dilating like balloons filling with hot air writing down the teacher’s words words on the black board, the teacher’s factory-made thoughts, mystery meat, a problem with meat on it, let’s dig in deep like lions like tigers dissecting a still-warm carcass with fangs like scalpels, claws like meat scissors, the taste of knowledge in our teeth results on our breaths, let’s solve these words in their complex yet simple formations, like spinning plates like a school of fish spinning out of control, without control all trying to get away from the predator while staying close to others, a vortex of nothing but blank confusion and fear spinning around in the schoolyard, tag and skipping ropes in oblong movement circles, how to produce the wrong words in all the correct orders so teachers will grant passing grades for things that still mean something, the recess not the only space for words words the words that matter the words that express inner reality, swear words, sweat words, the words outlawed, banned from the reality of the score board, the black board, keep score of your grades bet on the fastest horse the fastest mind the reddest herring in the race to survive grow up and become someone whose words matter, words that matter being said in contexts where the words are reproductions of age-old habits, how to keep the words that don’t fit in, make them the glue that holds fish together in a school, stay close to the teacher don’t get lost don’t lose your head, bite into the main artery in the throat right by the windpipe this producer of spoken word this tunnel with light at the end of it always infected with a virus from outer space, a double virus of the meaning of the thing and the word for the thing all scrambled up like morning eggs, like fetal chickens still in their birthday suits of oblong orbs while being prepared for a meal or being prepared for taking form, surviving growing up, learning to sing with their own beaks like music class like playing the triangle, the double triangle like a double virus of notes scribbled across endless pages from scratch, mozart as a four-year-old, barely out of the egg, look father I made this symphony from scratch, not a baker not banging eggs like heads against tables to make them crack open and reveal the contents of the mind, not opening minds just pouring silently from his own through the quill leaving dots like carbon footprints across prison pages, almost arbitrary, completely logical, all the music locked up in rhythm, in a structure of starched knowledge of form and content, an information system like a word for each note and each duration of the note, like words like a school of fish swimming through a flooded prison, all these words flowing from schooled hands into blank data filling up like an aquarium to the brim like the glass of water that occupies the nervous hand and lends a welcome pause to the speech
I’m so tired of remote controllers trying to shame human nature out of celebrities this delusion that being on a pedestal means being made of pedestal like the artist is nothing but sculpture of dead culture, this delusion that millions of dollars and a record deal sucks all the hormones out of a young woman, like where the fuck are you imagining they go, hormones strewn about the studio like money in parody of gangstarapvideo people slipping in hormones like bananapeels, “you’ve gained all the outward signs of success through singing your heart out so now hide away your inwards in favor of what parents will adore, only when you stop moving what your momma accidentally gave you only when you stop giving your intimacy to fans through instagrammed half-naked lookatmes normally preserved for long-term boyfriend, only when you stop playing girlfriend to little monsters after the death of the rock star fantasy lover only when you treat the audience like strangerdanger like I’m only here to do my job and get paid only then will we stop calling you a cynical money-grabbing empty vessel, sex can never be intimacy can never be rebellion self-realization experimentation only art clothed up to your neck shows your depths”, and here’s miley cyrus pointing the great hand of #1 like a gun to her belt “I have a pussy and I’m not afraid to use it” here’s lady gaga with great big imaginary dick, the many different kinds of endorphins at the very core of why even before hormones before boys and boobies I was pressing my face up against my TV offering that sweet sight of human flesh like radiator defibrillator curiosity satisfied like mind blown by a hundred singing tongues, the sweet stereo whispering foreign familiarity into my pulsating body, try taking the sex out of music like removing pulse from veins wired throughout limbs like speaker system, here is a voice I will need to rehearse before launching into the world, here is the hormone shitstorm I need to see in full-color HD before it happens, proxy recognition the only thing keeping me safe when those olderadults scream not curse words not political incorrectness but very state-sanctioned insults about tooskinnybody ugly superficial mentallyill as if any form of hate is okay as long as it only hurts the young and vulnerable, smiley the snakish womanchild mocking the paradise lost on sesame street the disneymovie that cannot be repeated with tongue stuck out from breastfed over sex to crazed and teddy bears twerking to their heart’s delight strangely doped much like existence in the living rooms of tradition of that queer victorian age that seems reappearing in endless new decades, like reoccuring nightmare like repeat offense to compassion like the rape that’s never seen because it’s done by the book, hey society come back and talk to our frenchnailed stripper hands when you’ve realized that here in our sequined bikinis we’re still only the logical product of your own well-meaning emotional bdsm the assertion of bodyfreedom needed when we’re never defined as anything but what’s at the end of your judging gazes, hey assholes if your heads are ever coming out of there maybe use them for realizing that music’s main audience has always been and will always be teenagers looking for a place to be all of their own raging wrongs
every time I try to name my losses the sound is drowned out by the pecking window rain of a thousand chattering feminists · will you please shut the fuck up so I can hear my own heartbeat and reach carefully into my deficiencies · please step aside so I can see what’s hiding at the ends of the roads I have to choose between · and MOVE your fat averagefaces melting with decades of no pain hundreds of proud rejections sitting on a throne of satiated childhood · move your gazes out of my way so I can contemplate the thousand outstretched arms before me to choose the pair that won’t drag me screaming into neverreceding night · grandmother what long arms you have · all the better to liberate you with my child · grandmother what little understanding you have · all the better to build a society with · out of you and three thousand other confiscated bodies · empathy halts progress with its shrill screaming ants blocking our freeway to freedom · money’s comforting arms and feeding hands must be hidden away in the treasure chests of happy hearts as if someone might steal it from us through our cheating husbands · maybe you little hooker maybe precisely your starving heart on a street corner will pirate the man’s resources · better to hasten your disaster throw you away like a broken barbie doll · (which by the way is totally unrealistic real women don’t look like that real hearts don’t beat that fast) · better to sacrifice you to the garbage men than risk being infected with unhappy childhood or developing countries · here is a cry for help like a circumcised vocal cord in the silence · here are all the wrong problems and all the wrong solutions in a jumble of humorblack puzzle pieces · a woman forming a different image than the one on the box · I don’t want to hear your whining about minimum wage · inflexible job market · depression · anxiety · carpal tunnel syndrome · jacks-in-offices like avenging angels with unexplained grudges guarding the gates of heaven from · for example · people like little you · don’t give me your problems if they don’t solve mine · have a problem with the solution you’ve chosen for yourself · lose your respect for yourself · for your expertise in your own life · become the story we tell with the full force of fully functioning lungs · or GTFO in the rain with your red umbrella
the artist must never copy other artists never repeat what others have already done don’t even wear the same shirt unless you’ve found a new way of wearing it life is a series of copyrighted moments from head to toe from birth from first breath from cradle to slightly different cradle the creed is always the same, no copying no cheating no repeating perfection as if we could anyway in the chaos of timepassing there’s only living perpetually and helplessly in the avant-garde,
the lover must never copy other lovers no pecks on the cheek that’s been seen before, no french kissing we will subpoena your lips all parts of the cheek have been officially covered explored patented no white sanctuaries left on that map,
in the future everyone’s a conquistador driven forward by the internalized whip of copyright but fear not, if you fail to find your white spots then sit back and live vicariously through those who do the loving, the camera never forgets no using the same sexual position twice what would your memories say if they saw you were cheating with the new big paper c’s plastered across nipples,
must even the most healing the most exhilarating art be exhaled never to be inhaled again, just take its place like a hostage and then implode in a black hole of derision,
what if art is so worthwhile it’s worth repeating like when a loved one dies and you rush him to the ER and they say yes we can save him we simply press on his chest to mimic his heartbeat and you stop and think oh no that’s so passé it’s been done a million times before what if an art piece heals the spirit heals the mind like the doctor heals the patient like a prayer on a metal table, what if we can’t all come to the mountain and muhammad stands there fruitlessly screaming into his megaphone only reaching a few hundred thousand oh woe is the artist who can’t hold all the world in a single embrace, woe is the nostalgic who feels no greater desire than for the outdated fashions the dead horses, give me second life give me plagiarism like the egg repeating all of evolution in its own forgetful mind like an idea taken in then forgotten and then dreamed up again as one’s own, every life slightly inaccurately copied every one a mutant an unsuccessful attempt at breach of copyright isn’t it enough of a difference that you’re you and I’m me what greater difference could there be than the same words spoken with two different breaths oh dear reader, don’t believe the hype the subpoena my own tattered ego screaming for you to back away from the paper because I’ve written something beautiful, no don’t believe me when I say I want my art to myself, just take my word kiss the monitor and then rinse and repeat
(to Cecilia Giménez)
a friend is just a stranger you’ve yet to meet. and you you you you will be in the eye will be the eye of the beholder leaning in to make just one of the two reflections of other bend all the way into the skull, eyes wide open to allow for as much expansion of the art of friendship as possible oh that reflection it’s dead the moment it touches the matte warmth of the skin, that’s what I always say, a friend is just a stranger who never became a lover, a lover is just a friend you lost at the point of impact all things merging together becoming unbearably hot unbearably close like meteor meeting earth’s personal space melting metal across the atmosphere like electric blanket, I sleep alone to forget/remember that sleeping in someone’s arms is impossible, there’s only lying in his arms pretending to be asleep because it’s not romantic that it’s too hot and you have nowhere to put that arm, and really all in all there’s just too much person there to lose consciousness, me I can forget, me I can ignore and fall into blissful chaotic nothingness of memory-wiping dreamscape like ecce homo touched-up by a well-meaning old spanish lady, oh aren’t we all eventually touched-up by a well-meaning old spanish lady, like lying in another’s arms pretending not to be slowly erased by the blotchy make-up of somebody’s love
In the plane from Copenhagen to Amsterdam: A father kneels in front of his one-year-old son to indulgently let himself be annoyed. The son picks at his father’s face, and every time a couple of fingers venture into an opening or scratch so hard it hurts, daddy abruptly pulls his head away and then returns. A game, a little lesson in other people’s physical boundaries, a love declaration of patience. The son’s inner monologue clear as daylight around him: “Will you hold still so I can stick my fingers up your nose! Why are you being so difficult!?”
Later: His tiny hands appear, crawling like monkey fingers up the back rest. He sees me smiling at him between the seats and smiles back like only a child that is loved can smile: Unrestrained, confidently affectionately; Still in the happy state between the moment when he realized that someone catches him when he falls – and the moment when he realizes that mutual smiles from the heart are not a basic fact of life, but a direct consequence of his cuteness.
Behind me the grinding double monologue between a grandmother and her grandson, looking for words to have in common.
And it suddenly occurs to me that it’s not love to ask you to stop suffering.
Above the clouds, everything is an optical illusion.
It’s a question of faith
that the airplane I’m sitting in is moving at 400 miles per hour
than a horse carriage
and that another plane is not suspended in stillness
above the horizon at the end
of a tail of smoke
but is moving just as fast
without passing anything I can use as a background.
I’m not designed for great spaces.
I’m not mutated enough for these sights.