In my art-brute short-film
I slowly comb the fine hairs
Of the mutant-plastic alien-mannequins
We stole together
From the X-files soundstage
You're more beautiful than antelopes
Or buzzed-naked puppies
Why did we dissect
All the family poodles
You filmed your trip to Target
And put it on a commercial
During the local news-report
Which became pet-food murder-porn
Before the political-debate
And starving shrimp-cocktail ice-sculptures
Friday, April 27, 2007
In my art-brute short-film
Thursday, April 26, 2007
"My friend soon I shall die"
Which is when I cut off his thumbs
And decorate his thumbs
With magic markers
Before my Swiss tutor
Asks about Waterloo or the Spanish armada
Then I go on Surivor
To form the naked alliance
Because no naked teenagers
Will ever lose an election
With forty-five year-old cannibals
In Spider-man costumes
Who terrorize potato-bugs
In Phoenix, Arizona
Before my state senator
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The Denny's-table's a smooth brown rectangle with dark and shiny wood-grain and the table-side's lined with a ridged metal-strip which is very cold so I touch the table-side's metal-strip and place my forearm against the table-side and feel the cold metal of the table-side until my arm feels cold and metallic.
"Aluminum," I say.
Aaron's eyes are small and watery and red. "I'm tired," Aaron says. "I could sleep here, under the table. I could shut off the lights, make everyone leave, and make a makeshift bed underneath this table and I'd sleep even with the dried gum, the dirty floor, and cockroaches crawling on me, maybe. Toast-crumbs. Egg-pieces. Whatever."
"Yeah," Erik says. "Tired."
Merna stands. "Be back."
"Where's she going?" Aaron says. "Did she say something? I feel deaf and alone."
"Bathroom," I say. "I'm tired too."
"You could sleep at my place," Erik says.
"It's my apartment," I say.
"My lungs feel sleepy. My lungs want to take a nap." Aaron leans against the window. "My lungs could stop breathing and be the happiest lungs ever. And my heart. My heart is napping. I'm turning pale. See." Aaron holds his hand up. "I'll run out of blood. It's okay. Bored of my blood anyway."
"Noah gave the dog morphine," I say.
"Who's Noah?" Erik asks.
"Merna's husband. The doctor."
"Noah's probably sleepy too," Aaron says. "Doctors get tired and don't sleep enough or sleep just a little in empty hospital-beds, but always ready to wake and so only sleeping a little probably, dreaming lightly and with awareness, so that the sleep's not restful. Correct though, I think. Sleeping's a waste. Never sleep again and be always tired. Efficient use of time."
I construct a narrow tower from single-serving jelly-containers. "Security is security," I say.
Aaron crosses his long thin arms over his wide belly. "I'm tired. Never been this tired before. Keep yawning and hurts to yawn, jaws aren't supposed to open that way. Have to work tomorrow. Conference-call meeting and going to be lethargic and slow-witted and get fired. Become homeless. Sleep in dumpsters."
"Tough being a security-guard murderer," I say. "Fate's against you."
"Should be beds everywhere. Communal communist beds. Sleeping-rooms with wide queen-sized beds and soft down-comforters, nine pillows."
Erik's hairy little fist knocks my tower down. "Wrecking crew," he says, laughing. "You need building permits. Using a licensed contractor? Didn't think so."
"Real live ducks," Aaron says. "Warm feathery ducks with amputated legs and wings and beaks and heads so that they are living warmth. Maybe food-bearing tubes built into the bed and introduced intravenously to chickens. Could sleep well in a pile of amputee-ducks."
Aaron and Erik are laughing together and Aaron and Erik's laughing-mouths open and close rapidly in sudden, violent motions, as though each laugh is accompanied by a solid, vicious bite and it seems, suddenly, that Aaron and Erik are menacing the air with their laughs and monopolizing the oxygen and siphoning the oxygen from the restaurant into an oxygen-tank or even transforming their lungs into twin oxygen-tanks so the restaurant-oxygen is their oxygen in their twin oxygen-tanks and so Merna and I and all the restaurant-customers must beg Aaron and Erik for oxygen until our lungs collapse and we collapse and our oxygen-less bodies lay quietly on the floor. I think, 'Aaron and Erik are greedy oxygen-dictators. Criminals,' I think. 'Thieves.'
"Careful," I whisper. "The air."
"What?" says Erik.
Aaron's laughing. "Put everyone to sleep. Naptime everyone. Everyone take a nap. Dictator declares naptime. First act. The nap-act."
"I have to piss," Erik says. He disappears.
"Naptime?" Aaron asks.
"I can't sleep here."
"But it’s the nap-act."
"You might suffocate me. You'd enjoy suffocating me with a pillow or with a sweater and you'd wrap your red sweater around my head and squeeze my neck with your hairy little fingers or even a plastic shopping-bag over my face and you tightly constrict the shopping-bag until I'm breathing plastic and my lungs are plastic because you're brutal."
"Never suffocate pretty girls."
"That's what I said."
"Good. Won't suffocate dog today."
Our coffees arrive. I drink.
"Security-guard?" Aaron says.
I'm watching our reflections in the dark Denny's-window.
"Is a security-guard." Aaron says.
Merna and Erik return together. I reconstruct my single-serving jelly-tower. Aaron laughs quietly. Erik slumps in his seat. Merna touches my shoulder.
"Don't worry," Aaron says. "Only talked with the security-guard."
"I bet," I say. "We should call the police."
"Paid him," Erik says. "No police, money."
"Where's your phone Merna? Where's mine? Police is a good solution."
"Only gave him money. Everyone wants and/or needs money," Aaron says.
"After the ass-kicking," Erik says.
"Yes, after the ass-kicking."
"Police will help," I say to Merna.
"Thought you wanted to be a terrorist," Erik says.
"Money and ass-kicking's the winning negotiation technique. Security-guard's okay. Happy. Satisfied. Asked him if he's satisfied, this was before I kicked his face, and he said he was satisfied and that he was going to take a nap. See, nap-act. Security-guard wants a nap just as all people want naps. Naps should be mandated, I think. Siestas. Nap-revolution. I'm really tired. Are you? Like I haven't slept in days."
"Wasn't much blood," Erik says. "Thought there'd be more blood."
Our food arrives in steaming papered baskets.
"Hungry," Aaron says. "Really hungry." Aaron stuffs french-fries and patty-melt into Aaron's mouth and slowly, mechanically, chews, and while Aaron chews mechanically, Aaron grunts softly and Aaron's little eyes slowly close. "Good food," Aaron says.
"Part of the negotiation," Erik says. "Wanted the ass-kicking. More believable police-report."
"What?" I feel distracted and tired and my coffee's warm and bitter so I hold the coffee in my mouth and imagine the security-guard sitting at our Denny's-table ordering coffee and a slice of blueberry-pie and when the security-guard says, "blueberry-pie" the waitress slaps him and says, "I'll remove your brain," which make no sense. I think, 'Security-guard's normal-looking and man-like and large with warm sleepy eyes and short white hairs and the security-guard moves powerfully forward and sideways, crab-like at angles with firm steps and firm feet. Security-guard firmly demands blueberry-pie and firmly chews blueberry-pie until there's no more blueberry-pie. Security-guard's always uniformed and solid and speaks very little but communicates directly and violently with eyes and hands so when Security-guard demands blueberry-pie the waitress or waiter's suddenly fearful and cold and each nearby person moves incrementally away from Security-guard's position except me because I have nothing to fear. Security-guard should be my security-guard and I'd have a remote-control and I'd speak directly and violently with Security-guard's eyes and hands and I'd remain speechless for years maybe and lie in bed cocoon-like and immobile.'
"Cocoon-terrorism," I say. "Caterpillar-death." I don't mean what I say.
"Let's be anarchists?" I say. "Let's be fascists or something."
"You're my little anarchist," my grandfather said. "Know what that means?"
I shook my head. I was fifteen years old. It was September.
"Means you've got personality. You're clever. You know. Anarchist! Surprising word, has a little punch and gumption, probably. Something you can tell police when you get pulled over for speeding. You stare at the cop's eyes and say, 'I've got anarchism in my heart,' and the cop's surprised and a little scared and you say, 'but not the way you think,' then smile a little smile and you'll never get a ticket. You've got anarchism, I think."
"I also have caterpillars," I said.
"Caterpillars are interesting too," my grandfather said. "Insects with hair. Make cocoons. Metamorphose into big winged butterflies or moths or something and flitter around prettily. Humankind could learn something from caterpillars but I'm not sure what. Maybe something about embracing nature and I don't just mean plants and trees and stuff but maybe embrace instincts, things like that, building mud huts, farming, subjugating and dominating animals and plants or maybe how to design stylish clothing."
We were at the zoo watching the penguins swim around.
"Penguins are good too. Very stylish. Life of the party."
"Penguin," I said.
"Are you hungry?"
"Can't eat penguins. Penguin-steaks are probably illegal or something," I said.
"Correct. No penguin eating. But there's ice-cream around here somewhere."
"With waffle-cones and strawberries and other things."
"I don't know," I said. "Ice-cream's sort of evil, isn't it? Made from milk and sugar and other things but isn't it evil to steal cows-milk from milk-cows and to then change it, unnaturally, and to filter in sugars and preservatives and berries and chocolate and waffles. It's a little like playing god."
"Milk-cows make milk and wouldn't exist otherwise. You must eat ice-cream and drink milk, otherwise those milk cows are redundant and pointless and would have to be slaughtered which would be disgusting and bloody."
"We could save the cows, couldn't we? Together? We could invade cow-farms with semi-trucks and steal the cows and drive the cows to
"It'd take a lifetime."
"Important work though. We'd design and build cow-saving submarines and transport the cows to uninhabited desert islands and recruit teenagers and college-students. It could be the 'bovine-underground.'"
"You draw up the plans. I'll get the ice-cream."
"Ice-cream's over there," my grandfather said. "I see the umbrella. Be back shortly."
My grandfather walked toward the ice-cream stand. I sat on a nearby bench. There was a slight breeze so I hugged my shoulders and thought about my grandfather's over-the-calf black-and yellow argyle birthday-socks about which that morning my grandfather had said, "When I wear these with shorts I'm visible to drunk-drivers and spy-satellites." I touched my socks and watched my grandfather's socks and thought about how our socks were different socks though often my socks and my grandfather's socks intermingled in the washer and later in the drier and that our socks shared static-electricity sometimes. Then, momentarily, I couldn't see my grandfather's over-the-calf black-and-yellow argyle birthday-socks so I stood and moved toward the umbrella which was white and green and concentrated on the umbrella and the little black ice-cream bar symbol stitched into the umbrella and I wanted suddenly to be beneath that ice-cream stand umbrella so I moved quickly and recklessly toward the umbrella. My shoulder smashed an old woman wearing a rain-bonnet who said, "Excuse you, bitch." I nearly trampled a small girl in denim overalls. My hands moved in front of me and opened and closed as though my hands wanted to grab something, but I didn't know what my hands wanted to grab.
I stood beneath the ice-cream stand umbrella.
I remained very still.
I could see my grandfather's argyle socks.
"Here," my grandfather said. My grandfather's hand was wrinkled and spotted and shaky. The hand held my ice-cream.
I took my ice-cream. "Thank you," I said. I held the ice-cream and watched the ice-cream and the ice-cream didn't move. The ice-cream didn't disappear.
"Anarchy and fascism are dumb ideas," I say. "Ignore me, I'm sleepy. We should be pacifists or something. We should live in diners. I want to go home."
Aaron and Erik chew with closed eyes. Merna rests her head against my shoulder.
"Don't worry," Merna says. "We're already pacifists and omnivores and that's more than enough for most people."
We pay the waitress for our food and coffee.
In the Denny's-parking-lot, Aaron's smoking.
"Smoking's cliché," I say.
Merna laughs and covers her mouth with her small delicate hand. Merna's laugh is warm and wet sounding and I want Merna's laugh to be my laugh or for Merna and I to laugh simultaneously with the same pitch and rhythm and with our heads at the same angle and our mouths open at the same width and with the same surprising and gentle curve of lips.
"You're cliché," Aaron says.
"I'm just sleepy."
"Just sleepy," Aaron repeats.
"We're all sleepy," Erik says. "I think everyone wants to sleep, maybe forever." Erik softly places his hand on Aaron's back. "Communist beds, right?" he says.
"Don't touch me."
Erik moves his hand. "Calm down okay."
"I'm calm. I only said, 'don't touch me' because I don't want to be touched and really only people I want to touch me are allowed to touch me and, if you must know, I never allow guys to touch me so you, Erik, will never touch me again."
"I'm not Erik."
"Who fucking cares?"
Merna and I walk to Merna's car and sit inside Merna's car. From the passenger-side window, I can see Aaron and Erik pushing one another.
"I can touch anything," Erik says.
"Let's go home," I say. "Let's go to sleep."
Merna turns the key in her ignition and backs the car out of its parking-space. "It's late."
"I'll eat your arm," Erik says.
"You know about grandpa?"
"Eat this," Aaron says.
As we turn out onto the Interstate, Erik's hand forms a fist and Erik's fist cocks and punches Aaron's face. Aaron's hands reach and Aaron and Erik are clutching each other tightly and toppling slowly toward me until, finally, they are on the ground grappling and embracing in the darkness. The car is moving swiftly now and Aaron and Erik are distant and shadowy and invisible in the darkness and I think about what Aaron and Erik must be thinking as Aaron and Erik grapple in the concrete Denny's-parking-lot. I think, 'They are thinking about love and men and embracing, or they aren’t thinking at all, which is more likely, probably, or they are imagining mirror-reflections of each other, cold rooms, hamburgers, and sports-cars.'
"Fighting," I say. "It's weird."
Merna doesn't answer.
"Should we wake grandpa when we get home?"
"I sort of want to talk to him." I lean my head against the window.
"He needs his rest."
"Granpa's very insightful and comforting. We could make coffee and bring him in the kitchen and talk about life or something. Talk about important things we don't usually talk about like on television-shows."
Merna clucks her tongue. "Grandpa needs his sleep."
"Just let him sleep."
"Fine." I suddenly want something and I feel the want in my stomach and my intestines and my brain, but this thing that I want, I don't know what it is, so I try to picture it with my brain and then my eyes and my brain fails me and my eyes fail me. I stare at my fingernails and think at them, 'Fingernails, what do I want?' but my fingernails don't answer. I think at the car-window, 'What do I want?' and the car-window doesn't answer. 'I'm doomed,' I think, 'to want things that aren't things.' The car-window is cold and my cheek is cold and outside is dark and frozen.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I selflishy stab myself and remove my arm-tendons
Leg-tendons and neck-tendons
I carefully tie my tendons into square-knots
And with my tendons I fashion
A small hammock
For the tiny remainder of my human-body
I lay on the hammock
Swallow raw fish
And snap photos of straddled amoebas
For pornographic magazines
Monday, April 09, 2007
I want fifty-nine robot-pets
Are mechanical and perfect
And don't shit on shag-carpet
Or eat from bathroom trashcans
I want robot-friends
I can program and control
"Exterminate my meat-friends
And all the meat-people
In the meat-world"
I say to my robot-creation
Which is shoddy and grotesque probably
But that's wrong
Because I'm a liar and lying
Is the only moral thing in the moral-world
"I worked in a Portuguese tin-can factory," my grandfather said. "After the war. That's where I met your grandmother."
I was fourteen years old. It was July and humid. Outside the lawn was patchy and brown. I sat on a tall silver stool. My grandfather stood near the stove wore two red potholder-gloves and watched the lighted oven in a concentrated way as though at any moment something terribly important would happen, something that would require pot-holder gloves, decisive resolution, and inhuman dexterity. I spun on my stool and watched my tiny bare feet and my thin little toes and toenails.
"We produced thirty-two styles in twelve sizes and really these cans were for beans and pineapples and paint and oil, and we made some for peas and olives, condensed milk, other things. You sweated forever like hell maybe. One-hundred-fifty degrees in the factory and always two glasses of water from a riot. Know what the secret was?"
"Drugged water. That's how you pacify an angry population. Drugs."
"What are we really talking about?"
"I don't know."
My grandfather was baking blueberry-pies in tiny pie-trays. He had already baked thirty or forty pies and these pies covered every counter and filled cabinets and the refrigerator and each place I looked in the kitchen there was a waiting blueberry pie and in the air I could smell the sweet smell of blueberry-pies.
"Blueberry-pies and drugs?" I asked.
"Pie was invented by a Roman or something, Cato the Elder. Write that down." My grandfather was laughing. "Cato found that the best way to pacify the Roman population was to drug them with pies. His pie was more of a tart with honey and goat-cheese, probably, but he added, I don't know, hemlock or something, and tricked the would-be rioters, the probable evil-doers, into eating these pie-tart things with hemlock which is how Romans liked to poison people and every day Cato'd send out a cart for the dead, poisoned, would-be rioters, and sometimes two carts, and he'd have his men dump them in the river, or if the weather was inclement, pile them up and burn them."
"Are you drugging these pies so you can burn 'probable evil-doers' too?"
"These blueberry pies," I said. I pointed at the blueberry pies. "What are all these pies for?"
"Bribes," my grandfather said. "Bartering. This pie is a valuable commodity and I'll trade it for other valuable commodities on the commodity-market."
"I want a pie can I have a pie? The pies look sweet and I'd like to eat one or maybe just a piece of one of these pies, maybe if there's sort of an ugly one or one that doesn't seem whole and perfect or as valuable. Or maybe you could make a special pie for me and Merna and mother or something, you know family-like, a special blueberry-pie. You could make a special blueberry-pie I think, it could just be a normal pie but a special because it's for me and Merna and mom."
My grandfather opened the oven and removed a blueberry-pie and stood very still and watched the kitchen-counters with the blueberry-pie in his hands. My grandfather's eyes seemed very distant and concentrated.
"You don't have to though, I mean I don't need a blueberry-pie and really a special blueberry-pie like that is probably narcissistic or something and it was a stupid idea. Don't worry, I realize it was a dumb idea and I won't tell Merna about the blueberry-pies or anything and I won't even ask for another thing like that again. I won't ask for anything. I didn't mean to go around demanding blueberry-pies which would be terribly frivolous and stuff and people should probably work for their blueberry-pies because it's a valuable commodity and I can probably make my own pies and maybe I'll make you an apple-pie sometime, if you like apples which I don't really know because I never asked you."
My grandfather turned the oven-knob to 'off' and set the blueberry-pie on an empty stovetop burner. "It's okay," he said. He stepped slowly out of the kitchen with little shuffling old-man steps and with his tiny black wrinkled eyes half-closed and I followed him and we were in the living-room near the sofa which was empty and plastic-covered and sort of apathetic.
"Yeah it's okay," I said. "Pies are unhealthy and sort of insidious and probably addicting and I didn't really want one anyway because it would make me spoiled probably and fat and ugly and useless."
"Blueberries," I say aloud.
"Hmm," Merna says.
Merna's car is parked in the Denny's parking-lot. We're waiting. The Denny's is well-lighted and warm-looking and through the windows are dozens of Denny's-customers and the Denny's-customers have large round heads and wide mouths and the wide mouths are open and moving in an excited way and there's food and coffee and the windows are a little steamed from the moving mouths and heat and oxygen.
"Should we go inside and wait?" I ask.
"No," Merna says. "I like it here. I like it in my car, my car's very comfortable I think. It has comfortable seats."
Merna removes a miniature-mirror from her purse and opens the mirror and with the miniature-mirror examines her face from several angles and Merna focuses the mirror on her eyes and eyebrows and with her other hand Merna smoothes her eyebrows. "How are you feeling," Merna asks. She's watching me.
"I'm feeling good, what do you mean? I'm fine. Actually, I'm pretty happy. It was my birthday and I'm older and alive and stuff."
Merna places her miniature-mirror back into her purse. "On my birthday I usually feel old or closer to death, but I'm only a little older than you so probably I should say, good for you to be happy on your birthday. Still," she says. "I feel like you're a little strange and distant and even grandpa said something to me about it, and grandma too."
"Maybe I'm a little tired because I can't sleep well lately. Allergies, I think. Black-mold. I saw some black-mold at my apartment in the bathroom, on the ceiling and behind the toilet, and it took a week to get the maintenance-man to remove the black-mold and I'd already breathed the black-mold spores when I went to the bathroom probably and when I was sleeping and the black-mold spores are probably in my lungs and stuck there and clogging my lungs and killing lung-cells and breeding on my lungs and stuff which is making me tired because my body has to produce more white blood-cells to fight the evil black-mold and keep me from dying and also because the black-mold is probably inhibiting my lungs so my oxygen intake is smaller and weaker and my lungs feel smaller and weaker which makes my blood oxygen-less, or at least oxygen-starved kind of."
"Oh, okay. I guess that makes sense."
"Grandpa should be worried about you not me. You're the pregnant one, and pregnant with twins and married to Noah with his weird hands and weird busy work-schedule. You'll have to raise the twins by yourself, probably. Noah works one-hundred hours a week and sleeps at the hospital, I think, so you'll be always lonely and talk to the babies and the babies will only cry and burp and they won't talk back which would drive me crazy so that I'd end up walking down dark alleys in my night gown and banging my head against trash-dumpsters and probably the twins will be boys and the twin boys will grow up without a paternal influence which will make them violent and dangerous and do risky things like knife-fights and baseball-bat fights and racing cars and chicken on curvy mountain roads at night with no headlights and drugs and alcohol and you can't stop that because teenage boys only care about exerting themselves on the universe and existence and stuff and also negating the universe and fear of death and stuff and these evil twin boys will ask you where Noah is and you'll tell the twins he's at work saving people's lives in the emergency-room which will internalize their anger somehow and make them quiet and passive, but in a sad way so that it destroys their adult lives and paralyzes them in lonely apartments in lonely cities with only boring jobs and video-games."
"That's ridiculous and can't happen, won't happen, and Noah doesn't work that much anyway."
"I've only ever seen him at work because he only exists at work in the emergency room."
"He gets vacation-time and sick-time and flex-time."
"Oh," I say. I watch the Denny's-customers through the Denny's-window. "What if there's an emergency, if there's an emergency then Noah has to go to the emergency-room and help people because of his Hippocratic oath, which could happen on vacation or any time like he's talking to the twins and teaching them important life skills like talking and then he looks at his cell-phone and says to the boys, 'I must perform surgery at the emergency-room,' and Noah leaves and the boys never learn to speak and are silent until you crazily bang your head against exposed steel-pipes."
"Don't worry, Noah and I will be fine and the babies will be fine."
We don't talk for a while. Aaron and Erik arrive and Aaron parks his Lexus and Aaron and Erik leave the Lexus and slowly walk inside the Denny's. They don't see us.
"Why do you fuck with grandma so much?" Merna says.
"Shouldn't we go inside?"
"Grandma's a good and nice person and you should be nicer to her."
I open the car-door. "There's Aaron and Erik."
"She's basically our mother maybe and she loves you."
The parking-lot's cold and snowy and lighted and I'm stepping into and out of long stretched electric-light parallelograms and my shadow's long and indistinct. "I'll have coffee probably. Coffee and fries maybe, or a piece of cake or pie, something sweet would be good with whipped-cream and sugar or like cream-pie maybe blueberry-pie, blueberry-cream-pie would be good. Denny's probably doesn't have blueberry-cream-pie but they should and I should riot about it somehow and make them make it quickly and just for me."
Merna's walking next to me. "You could have a worse grandma. You could have a violent child-beating grandma with special ass-beating paddles who burns you with matches."
"Thank you Merna," I say. "I didn't know that."
"You could be nicer and more considerate. You could show appreciation and be a person."
We're waiting to be seated.
Merna points Merna's eyes at my eyes. "You're my sister and I'm your sister so we're sisters and we have to be honest all the time because nothing else in the world can be honest with anything else except for us two sisters so I'm telling you honestly and sister-like that you don't need to be a bitch to grandma or grandpa or a bitch to me because we're sisters and only able to understand each other and the only two people who can speak the same sister-language which is unique and sharp and defined and we're fine and okay and we have grandparents who are good grandparents and do good grandparent things and deserve for us to be kind and considerate and to do nice things like visit and compliment them sometimes and to be honest and truthful with them which is difficult because truth and truthfulness and honest are pretty much impossible probably."
"Oh," I say. We sit down.
"It’s good. You're a good person," Merna says.
"I'm at Denny's," I say. "And everything's pretty much the same as everything else."
There are plenty of action-figures to identify
When the police-detectives put me in my little gray room
And illuminate the criminal line-up
Before the rampage
Where I stab thirty-two
Seperate psychological dilemmas
And make love to the desktop pencil-sharpener
I'm unreasonable and perfectly furious today I'm
stealing scooters from elderly homeless women
And running down puppies with my aluminum baseball-bat
Which is innocent and sin-less
Because I am thinking
Without thinking and thinking about thinking
Something else entirely
At the bus-stop with a butterfly-knife
And a brain that loves every object it discovers
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I shoplift five-thousand candy-bars from AM/PM and carefully pile the candy-bars in the Safeway parking-lot where a security-guard detail disassembles my body-parts and melts my body-parts and melts my candy-bars until everything is melted or not melted
Sunday, April 01, 2007
It was a raccoon.
I was six years old, I think. I could've been nine, or even ten.
A car had hit the raccoon and really the raccoon was a half-raccoon but the little front raccoon-legs were still shivering and pulling in a forward motion, as though, if the raccoon persisted, it could drag its bleeding half-raccoon carcass to the field beyond the road. I thought, 'I should hurry home with this half-raccoon and put the half-raccoon in my parent's hands or maybe my grandfather's hands and beg my grandfather to fix the raccoon, to put the raccoon back together with science or magic or something, to sew the raccoon-pieces into an unsullied whole, I think, to super-glue the raccoon, maybe, to resurrect it.'
Instead, I poked the half-raccoon with a stick. I flipped it and inspected its fleshy holes and jagged misshapen bones and the little pink muscle-tears and everywhere the thick black blood. I wasn't surprised or sad or happy but I thought I should be surprised or sad or happy.
I thought to myself, 'Death's very normal and boring.'
"What is it?" I heard from behind me. It was Anastasia and Anastasia was small with long hair and a delicate white dress with little puffy sleeves and a lacy hem. "What are you doing?" Anastasia asked.
"I found a raccoon," I said. "It's my new pet." I poked the half-raccoon again. "Come look. It's a mutant raccoon. Look at its funny waving legs."
Anastasia stood next to me.
"We should operate," I said. "We can make an experiment. We can play with the raccoon-muscles and like the lungs and heart and stuff."
"I don't want to experiment, I want to fix it, you should fix it. Why did you hurt the raccoon?"
The little raccoon-mouth opened and the little raccoon-teeth were wet and slimy with thick black raccoon-blood and the raccoon-jaw was shifted a little so that the raccoon-face was symmetry-less and swelled and the raccoon-eyes were bulging and misshapen and I wondered if I was hit by a car would I be a half-me with a symmetry-less face and bulging misshapen eyes and would I try to pull my little half-body into a cold wet field?
"It's my experiment," I said to Anastasia. "I'm investigating how raccoons survive with half-bodies and stuff so I can do magic-tricks and cut you in half with a saw and so I can be a doctor. I could cut you in half and keep the bottom-half in the closet and the top-half in my bedroom in a big fish-tank or on my nightstand attached to a plaque."
"I don't want to be cut in half and die."
"Everything has to die sometime. Besides that's why I'm doing the experiment. So you won't die right away and I'd probably save you when I'm a doctor."
"I don’t want to."
"I'd put you back together," I said.
Anastasia didn't answer.
"What about the raccoon?" I asked. "Look at all the blood. It's going to die probably. I could kill it now."
"I would probably bleed until I die and then I would be dead so don't cut me in half, you can't, it's weird and mean and I'll tell grandpa."
"Forget it. We have to experiment on this raccoon before it's gone. We need to get some knives or something and some rope."
"You don't have to." Anastasia was almost crying. "You could fix it or grandpa could fix and someone could fix it so don't kill it just fix it please."
"Grow up," I said. "This is a half-raccoon and a half-raccoon might as well be a dead raccoon as far as god-or-whatever's concerned. This raccoon is going to raccoon-heaven with the other raccoons and they probably run around knocking over trash-cans in the middle of rainy clouds and fight and stuff or maybe they just go to like raccoon-hell and burn up forever. You should go to church and ask the priest and the priest could tell you what happens to dead half-raccoons who are experimented on in the road."
"I hate you," Anastasia said. "You're mean and nasty." Anastasia was running away as she said this. "I'm telling grandpa," she said.
"Go be a liar," I said. "You're the nasty liar."
The raccoon was still moving but I left it on the road and walked into the field which was wet and cold with tall grass and thick mud and the mud was slippery and dark and brown and as I walked my feet seemed to disappear beneath the mud only to reappear a step later and the mud was in my shoes and soaking my socks and I moved my wet little toes and thought about my toes and how my toes were wet and moving. I imagined myself buried in mud, moving my toes beneath the mud, sleeping quietly in the muddy field then waking later in the muddy field with mud-toes and a mud-body and a pet mud-raccoon.
"Will the dog live?" I hear Merna ask.
"Probably," Noah says. "I stitched it up and injected morphine. It's sleeping now. Later I'll determine if it should be put down."
"It's in a lot of pain and I can't tell what happened to its musculature and internal organs when the leg was torn off. It'd be different if it had been chopped off because everything within a body is sort of connected but I don't really know about dogs, I mostly know about humans."
My neck is sore and pinched so I sit up and stretch. The room's white and empty except Noah and Merna who are standing near the low white front-counter and behind Noah and Merna are flat gray computer-monitors and wide bulky desks and a hanging row of metal clipboards. Noah's very tall and thin and Noah's arms and legs are long and thin and delicate and Noah's wearing thin round glasses which reflect the fluorescent-lights and obscure his round black eyes.
"How is she?" Noah asks. He points his obscenely jointed index finger at me.
"I'm okay," I say.
"She's just tired," Merna says.
"I said I'm okay."
"I'll take her to get some coffee or something or take her home or whatever. Can you call me with the dog news?"
"I said I'm perfectly fine," I say.
Noah hugs Merna. "I have to check on my patients," he says. Noah moves away from Merna and with his obscenely jointed fingers, Noah squeezes my shoulder and smiles a wide fatless smile which shows his teeth and each tooth is wet with saliva and shiny and so I think about saliva and acids and mouths and digestion.
Merna is standing in front of me. "Are you ready?" Merna asks.
We're outside. It's very cold and very dark and the parking lot is wide and empty except for an ambulance and Merna's car.
"Where are Aaron and Erik?"
"Back at the ice-skating place."
"But how'd they go?"
"Aaron called a cab or something."
"Why does Noah hate me?"
Merna looks at me. "What are you talking about?"
"I know," I say. I sit in the passenger-seat of Merna's car. "I can tell by the way he glares at me and how he moves when he's near me which is kind of tentative and quick and violent, maybe, like he's imagining holding a butterfly-knife and thrusting the butterfly-knife slowly into my face, like he's imagining where to thrust the knife to get the least resistance and to kill me the fastest and he chooses my left eye and then slides the butterfly-knife in until the butterfly-knife cuts little chunks out of my brain."
"That's sort of specific."
"Noah probably imagines how to dissect my body and dispose of my dissected body-pieces and where to dispose of my dissected body-pieces, like in a canvas sack off a tall bridge or in the ocean or in some dirty restaurant dumpster, or something, next to fish-guts and gristle. I wonder if he tells you about the fish-guts and gristle or he probably thinks you'd think he's a serial killer, maybe, and would call the police so it's like his secret hobby and when you're sixty-three years-old you'll go into his study and find serial-killer newspaper clippings and little bone trophies made from clavicle pieces, human-bone jewelry or something. Maybe. I don't know anything."
"Want to get coffee? Or go home and sleep or something? It's very late."
"I'm getting too close to this Noah thing aren't I? Is it scary?"
"Stop being weird. Noah's my husband."
"We're making a family."
"I said I was sorry."
"You always do this. You're always negative and paranoid and hurtful and I can't ever tell when you're joking."
I don't answer. Merna's shaking her head and Merna's thin pink lips are moving quickly and soundlessly. I watch the digital-clock in the dashboard which is composed of tiny red-lighted bars and I think, 'These red-lighted bars are shuffled and reshuffled to produce numbers and the numbers give me hints about what I should do at any moment, or something, and it's very late.' I cover my mouth and yawn.
My cell-phone ring-tone plays a little song.
"Good morning," I say into my cell-phone.
"It's done," says Erik.
"Oh good," I answer. "What's done?"
"Coffee," I say. "What does 'done' mean?"
"The usual place?"
"Done?" I say.
"Okay." Erik turns off his cell-phone.
"They're done," I say to Merna. "Coffee, I guess."
Merna's lips continue to move soundlessly in a sudden and jerky way.
"Done isn't always a final word, I think. It could mean anything probably, and Erik probably meant that he melted the ice and drained the ice-water into a big tanker-truck and shipped the tanker-trunk to the starving emaciated homeless children of Lisbon who, before this melted ice-water came, were crawling around dirty alleys and with long thin hanging tongues were licking little dewdrops from cold trash-dumpsters probably and Kevin Costner probably paid transportation costs for an oil-freighter and together with Erik drained the ice-water into one-million little baby-bottles and held the baby-bottles near the mouths of the emaciated children who suckled at them."
Merna turns the car onto a wide empty highway and the streetlights flash through the car's windows at regular intervals.
"Right?" I ask.
"I don't think so." Merna says. "You're being ridiculous."
Merna was prom-queen of her high-school graduating class. I photographed Merna in her prom-queen dress and Merna stood next to her prom-king who was tall and thick and hairy and who wore a white tuxedo-jacket with black pants and a black bow-tie and shiny black shoes and whose name was Anthony. I over-exposed the film but made fifty eight-by-tens anyway and hung at least one eight-by-ten in every room of our house and handed the others out at school.
Merna said, "That picture's disgusting I hate you."
We were walking home from school with wide backpacks slung over our shoulders and it was sunny and cool and a little wind moved the tree-branches slightly. It was May.
"I captured a moment in prom-history."
"Anthony and me look like poltergeists or something. We look like holograms."
"Artistic expression and stuff. I wanted to show the 'innate ephemerality of the human-body as object.'"
"I call it, 'Prom-queen alley.' I think that's a good title."
"It's a shitty title," Merna said. "I think you should call it, 'Photographer as bitch.'"
"I like that. I like naming things. I think I'll call you 'Cross-patch.'"
"What's that supposed to me?"
"I don't know. I read it somewhere once for some reason."
We were walking next to a narrow two-lane road that curves downward and along the two-lane road's curb were dozens of gray-sedans and each gray-sedan was slightly different from every other gray-sedan so that from a distance I thought I was looking at replicated gray-sedans but as I approached the gray-sedans appeared unique and individual and I felt strange and warm each time I discovered chrome tailpipes or bumper-stickers or any other distinctive detail like neoprene steering-wheel covers or baby-on-board window-shades.
"Everything's the same," I said.
There was a driveway and in the driveway was a gray-sedan with its hood up and behind the gray-sedan's hood was shirtless boy with little thin chest-hairs and cavernous, shadowy black eyes. The boy closed the gray-sedan's hood and moved carefully toward Merna and me.
"What's up Merna?" the boy said. "Who's this?"
"I'm me," I said.
"It talks," the boy said. The boy laughed quietly. "Kind of."
"This is my sister," Merna said.
"Oh?" The boy scanned my body with his cavernous black eyes. "It doesn't look much like you."
"I'm the 'innate ephemerality of the human-body as object.'"
"Whatever," the boy said. "Check out my rims. I just got these rims. They're spinners because they sort of spin backwards when I'm driving my car. It's fucking tight and shit?"
Merna squatted and looked at the rims and the boy leaned and looked down Merna's blouse. "Just got these rims today?"
I said, "The rims are very shiny."
"Pretty awesome," Merna said.
"Spinners spin?" I ask. I was laughing a little.
The boy glared at me. "Yeah, they spin." The boy squatted next to Merna. "What's wrong with your sister? Is she a retard or something?"
Merna giggled. "Stop it," she answered.
"Just wondering, cause, I mean, look at her eyes which are kind of weird and shaky and maybe she has down-syndrome or something. I don't want to hurt her feelings, if she has any, I mean if she can think or whatever. I heard down-syndrome kids don't have feelings because they can't remember more than a five seconds at time. Is that true?" The boy was whispering. "Do you keep her in a cage and feed her dog-food or something?" The boy pointed his chin toward me and sniffed loudly. "How often do you change her diapers?"
Merna giggled a little and nervously looked at me.
I didn't say anything.
"You want a ride," the boy asked Merna. He stood and leaned against his gray-sedan.
"I'm going home," I said.
"Can she find her way home alone?" the boy whispered. "She looks kind of confused."
I shook my head. "Bye," I said. I moved along the sidewalk.
"Now that that ugly bitch's gone," the boy said loudly, "you want to go for a ride?"
"Fuck off," Merna said. Merna was walking next to me with her hand on my shoulder and Merna's hand was small and wrinkled and warm and Merna's fingernails were painted purple and the fingernails were very smooth and pretty and my stride and Merna's stride were the same stride for a while so that we moved slowly together. "I'm sorry," Merna said. "I'm really sorry."