i. The Ashen Landscape
“He’s got what? Days left? I don’t want to be there when he dies.”
“You didn’t wish to come back to the village — to the sea?”
“I see… a Rothko — canted, a lost apocryphal work — an ashen landscape in three gradations. My father tore out its center and revealed there’s no heart to the universe, only a corrugated armature — frozen, encased — as if the sky were stapled to the sea with liminal ice.”
“You see wasteland?”
“I see ghosts. I was eleven. My father placed the gun to his temple — then mine. He abandoned me here.”
ii. A Song for the Plague Year
I find my father supine on the bathroom floor, limned by a bloody halo — a pinpoint hole in his left temple. Gorgeous.
The floor seethes and the ceiling lowers its claim upon me. I’m extruded out of the bathtub spigot. Suffering. Wait. Wait. Suffering. I’m in the heart of darkness. I’m in the heart of the work now. Shiver. Fertile. Gorgeous.
iii. Molecular Organic Nano-machines
I’m at the morphine station.
I’m a soft machine inside a hard silicone husk. I’m a warped machine rattling out flickering images: images of a gun.
I’m a soft machine in a hard exoskeleton — silicone dark inside — silicone smooth and white outside. My memories play back on the cryoscreen. Here memories are particulate existences transformed into nano-globules (n-g.’s) that are secreted from the ferrules at the end of your iPuffer: smoky, hormonal, and projected inside and beyond your eyes.
“Please cue n-g. 173-A: the day I met my father at CBGB’s; and frame n-g. 173-B: the moment that punk rock saved my life. Please add the blue 17 gelatin filter.”
A puff from the ferrule and the images resolve, but this memory is faulty. The memory warps and echoes: a radiator squeals, brass electrodes buzz, my father is blood-crusted, ignored in a dusty corner, covered with mites escaping the evil heat. Batista’s henchmen torture another… no, stop, this is not my memory but the anecdote he told me that night…
“This is not the n.g. I requested. STOP. STOP. Press the eject…”
Blood, on the tip of my tongue. Where is it coming from? Then a bestial din: the sound of a million cicadas’ lament before the seventeen year death — a rupture tectonically within me. The smell of hissing green plantains dropped into overheated oil — the splattering: tinny, spastic — and then the loss of control.
iv. missing STOP
im not who i was once was STOP aposiopesis STOP STOP im a perfectionist im obedient get away from here get away from that gun STOP STOP STOP dr x said im not my thoughts im not my feelings dont relive it dont rehash it and if it finds you then embrace it embrace the thoughts embrace the feelings be one with it and then release it youre not your memories youre not your feelings be one with the thoughts be one with the feelings and then release them STOP
punk rock changed my life no punk rock saved my life the songs of the minutemen no not that memory STOP STOP dont touch him there dont touch me stop it put down that gun 38 snubnose it weighs a ton STOP STOP STOP embrace this memory embrace this emotion im not my memories not my emotions STOP aposiopesis apoplexies apophatic and aphasic STOP STOP dr x said whatever happens its ok whatever happens is ok im ok whatever happens im not my thoughts im not my feelings youre doing the best that you can im doing the best that i can STOP STOP STOP
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
— Kurt Vonnegut