Hello one and all,
For various reasons I am consigning this blog to oblivion. I will however continue blogging via my tumblr at http://jdavidcharles.tumblr.com/
Hope you’ve enjoyed it while it lasted!
Facebook from a certain perspective could be reduced to a sort of neoliberal bourgeois tool for producing the perfect consumer. It provides, creates, and sustains a limited space to define yourself by what you consume (movies, books, TV shows, and so on) while directing you into a milieu of advertisements both explicit (along sidebars) and implicit (groups, likes, etc). Even one’s FB friends structurally function as a means of redirecting one to other pages and groups and products.
While FB catapults us into these questions of the self, the other, and it’s relation to text, capital, and the social, OKCupid, as its name already signifies, uses language of desire, sexuality, and maturity. We are told we are entering a space where we can OK, on an individual level, our preferred specimen of desire. Playing the part of Cupid is like taking a shortcut, a childish impishness, cutting a corner—the adult world of seduction—and B lining it straight to the metaphorical release of self-security that can only be found in the orgasm of the other. The few who specify not wanting sex or a relationship merely seek to confirm what OKCupid is really about. Let no one fool you, OKCupid is about sexual desire, however neat, romantic, or dirty you like it.
Like your Facebook profile, the OKCupid profile includes various headings that seek to define “you” by consumption—movies, TV shows, books, etc. It also, however, includes a Self-Summary, What [you’re] doing with [your] life, what [you’re] really good at, and so on. These are of course typical dating clichés that have “correct” answers. You exist within a Foucauldian regime of truth, a sphere of acceptable subjects to be, answers or accounts to give. The profile is consumed with investigating, revealing, representing “the truth” of the individual. Still, this is a certain openness—though a regime nonetheless, a broad-ish regime—not allowed by Facebook.
For instance my profile includes some answers where I attempt—and probably fail quite miserably—at upsetting the implied hegemony my answers are meant to reinforce and, co-extensively, produce “me.” Under “The first things people usually notice about me” I write,
my effeminate gait.
my words about which I gather.
my shame and fear and insecurity.
my shame and fear about people noticing my insecurity.
my incapacity to market myself.
positive thought: I guess I have a sense of style, an intellect, a maneuvering. who doesn’t strategize to find a way.
my broad shoulders and deep set eyes.
the way my body topples trying to identify itself with these words.
Okay I know I’m a pretentious ass and blah blah. Yet to answer the question according to its own guidelines is a sort of pretention too (whether or not my poem “succeeds” at addressing this is of course up for debate). It requires a siphoning of the self, a reduction to prescript and correct answers, a “knowable” or “genuine” self that I am meant to sacrifice my insincere, unknowable sel-f/-ves to. It’s like a perverse sacramentality—I must reduce my unknowable mystic erotic loveliness to a profane and knowable breadiness. I am not opaque to myself let alone others and I’ll be damned if you make me cover up my excesses and failures and seepage to a discourse that pretends people are all narratively complete, wrapped up in neat lil bows.
Which is I guess all I have to say about that. Cause really OKCupid is precisely like contemporary depictions of Cupid—something of an overweight adult with a Peter Pan complex. OKCupid refuses to assume “adult” ways of approaching sexual desire (typical dating structures, meeting up, bar hopping, etc), while yet providing a certain regime where only an “adult” self is OK’d—a secure, marketable, stable, employed, and so on self. I guess we see a space for the possibility of childishness, (in)sincerity, queerness, fragility, play, while yet all the old trappings of who counts and succeeds as a mature, civil subject. OKCupid has got a lotta shit that needs queering up, but at least there’s something like a space where it can begin.
It begins at a mall with my father and youngest brother. It is interesting where we begin, or rather where we find ourselves beginning to speak. And it’s a mall, across the street from yet another mall, and it’s my father who says it’s a fun movie which I doubt, and it’s my younger brother who tells me I probably won’t like it. We pay. We watch previews and advertisements respectively which, given their ordering, I am assured are discrete things. Welles was obsessed with the camera as an eye. As a view and an ordering of things. Cinema is an answer. Maybe the questions are always asked after the fact, but what you walk into a film asking seems salient at any rate. And when walking in, and yes, paying, paying to be let in, and see The Avengers, one asks questions or presumes them.
The ultimate feeling one gets before the giant vision of a screen of men is an comforting finitude. There is a woman somewhere in the film who thrives on the insecurities of less heroic men. Some have made mention that this is a radical statement about the subjectivity of being a woman or maybe it’s a radical statement about the movie industry or maybe it’s an ironic critique of the sidelining of women or how sexuality is always a failure. Maybe we are all black widows to the corporate America we are led to believe S.H.I.E.L.D. fails to be. Tony Stark succeeds and we know this because he is an all American heterosexual white male hero—a category the slightly flaccid Rogers reminds Stark he fails at. Supposedly the ending of the film disproves Rogers because Captain America fails to have wings or a jetpack or anything really other than nationalistic virtue and a proclivity for sticking around. Tony Stark due to presumably not going public or by dipping into the company pocketbook bravely teaches us that only CEO’s can enter the void of the universe. This is what the film means by vengeance.
On more than one occasion the film whispered to me I was Banner who is perpetually avenging himself against himself which gives him definite contours of self-reflexivity. Banner is something of a William Burroughs without conviction. Perhaps the most relatable in his awkwardness, which is yet another failure, but also most complicit in his passivity, Ruffalo plays a sort of Kubrick Joker or Alex or whatever Tom Cruise’s titular male porn star character in Eyes Wide Shut was called. This is perhaps why Mark Ruffalo makes so many romantic comedies. In both his romantic comedies and The Avengers, Ruffalo’s nudity plays a prominent role.
Stark wants you to think the Hulk is the real Banner or that Banner is some alter not-Hulk, meaning the dissonance or resistance to capital is a sort of negative narcissism. To be angry is to succumb. Unless of course you smash which is something sadly Banner never quite does to Stark or S.H.I.E.L.D. but who knows what will happen in the next movie or two. For now he dares not destroy our big American submarine-boat-helicopter, but of course we do with our imaginations, if not for justice ,at least for the spectacle of justice. And this is why they chose Loki as the protagonist of the film—an honestly corrupt fellow with nude paradoxical limbs rendered seamlessly explicit.
And here we have these various men who bring with them worlds, both literal and metaphorically literal, and politics and ideologies and general mythos to bear on our protagonist’s oedipal problems. We are led to like this or that particular instantiation according to plot and whim. These moments of dissonance, world scraping world, seem the most pleasant—who doesn’t love the frottage of a Captain America and Iron Man after all? Of course we know the phallus of corporate America will win out in the end, the flaccidity of post-WWII America having become an overstated albeit nostalgic fact.
I must tell you at some point in the center of the film I left to use the bathroom and I don’t think I missed too much or rather I experienced something other people in the theater probably didn’t get to. There is a fight near the end and some extra stuff if you stick around through the credits which, as an exercise, is meant to lead us to believe is not part of the film. When I saw Thor eating a sandwich it was the closest I came to sympathy with any character throughout the film. Oh and someone died near the beginning which was sad because he was being paid by the government to make guns.
We left shortly thereafter and argued about this and that about the film but really we were talking about each other and how afraid and guilty we all are. If we could truly love each other I bet I would’ve liked the movie a lot more. If I had to remake the movie I think I’d cast Jack Kerouac as Captain America, Esther Newton as Tony Stark, GWF Hegel as Thor, Teddy Roosevelt as Hawkeye, Bjork as Black Widow, Loki played alternately by Michel Foucault and VI Lenin, Leonard Cohen as Bruce Banner, and Nina Simone as the Hulk. Of course Samuel L. Jackson would reprise his role.
We would film on location at the edge of the universe and the earth respectively and I imagine we’d shoot on an iPhone. I’d then project it on my breast, film it with my webcam, and upload it in segments to youtube. Naturally, I’d sue any theater or distributor who dared play it for copyright infringement (and maybe something about distributing pornography as well). No one would die though and we’d open with everyone eating sandwiches and end with a shot of Charlie Chaplin as a marine alternatively crying and trying on outfits but sort of smiling in between. If you stuck around until the very end you’d get to see a special little scene where we show you the names of all the people who worked on the film.
I’ve been having a fun little back and forth with a friend’s post over at the The Evangelical Outpost. You can find the whole of the post as well as my comments here. The gist of the article, which you should really read if you want more than my bad summation, is that it’s offensive to refer to men as boys or to treat them like boys. If a man is guilty of boyish behavior, one should treat him like a man, that is, address the responsibilities he is failing at, rather than resort to inaccurate name calling. My last comment summed up my position I thought pretty well, so just for the hell of it I thought I’d repost it here:
After some basic criticisms of this idea of a “man” and why I think self-identified “boys” or “bois” should be called what they want to be called (cause it’s nice), Nathan (the author) responded,
Whatever semantic labels you prefer, the fact is that people gain responsibilities as they age and sometimes they shirk those. I hope that in talking to people who turn away from responsibility we can show them that they do not have any semantic hiding places that will save them from what they are doing.
To which I wrote as follows [edited for spelling and grammatical error],
Yeah. I’m pretty sure I get the broader point about responsibility. And I agree about semantic cubbies and hiding places. But also semantics shapes the cubbies. It’s the mountains to the valley–complete with snowy peaks and potential landslides. It’s important to periodically stroll through and maybe close down an unsafe road or two.
It’s this correlation between being adult, masculine, strong, and virile with responsibility that I guess I was trying to push back against. Of course we give children responsibilities and we should be forgiving towards adults. If it’s a question of responsibility, all fine and dandy, but children have taught me a lot about responsibility and adults have at times been disappointingly repressed, irresponsible, and narcissistic. It’s not so much how to balance these two (adult/responsible with child/irresponsible) but more unlearning the ways we’ve been taught to privilege adults and trivialize children.
It seems like the source of frustration for you was this category “boy” and how it was implying you weren’t fit for or outside of certain responsibilities. I agree with you–it’s trivializing and dismissive. Yet it’s not just trivializing and dismissive to you, but to boys and children in general, while also assuming adults are way more secure and essential than they are. Just as the male who dismisses someone as a “boy” positions himself as a firm and solid “man,” so too joining in with calling all boys irresponsible positions you and I and all males into a comfortable category of “man.” It becomes this very sort of semantic hiding place–a means of coping by bullying those we’d like to think weaker and smaller than ourselves. It buttresses our own insecurities with a safe semantic and social shell, shirking responsibility of ourselves while scapegoating others.
So I guess my problem is a binary that’s so neat it pretends boys, and children in general, are irresponsible and men/adults are responsible. Like childhood is some bit of ash we must pass through to really, truly, finally be born. But children were born and are people and no less real. We give children responsibilities according to what they can and can’t do just like we do for adults. We expect them to follow through just as much. They have voices and stories worth telling and it’s nothing shy of narcissism to turn a deaf ear, thinking ourselves to have come much farther then they. After all, the kingdom belongs to such as these–a kingdom where there is no “man” or “woman.” I’d like to think St. Paul wasn’t just thinking about gender or birth-sex but birth, growth, maturity, aging, and dying. Ultimately, I think The City of God might be a little less “mature” and “civil” than we think, and just a bit more like Neverland.
Hello one and all. Sorry for being mildly absent (aren’t we all?), but I am in the process of some serious editing before sending off poems to journals and magazines and the like. Also in the process of looking for an apartment among other things. Other things include: stressful conversations, money issues, mild car issues, coming out as queer/fluid/bisexual/WHATEVER/Just-josh to the fam, birthdays, weddings, and other things that actually seem like excuses now that I type them all out. Anyway one of the poems I am editing I thought I would share with you, the reading world. I wrote it in the midst of all the above mentioned things while also reading some Heather Christle, Judith Butler, Julia Serano, Suzanne Buffam, Ish Klein, among others. So I give it to you from this context and wash my hands of this context. Cheers and love.
advice for a new you
you were sorry
in a personal way. a
description of things like settling
rain, a description of umbrellas. don’t
tell me about the sky or the origin
of things. the light is what we
left behind. backdrop to
shadow. tomorrow the glorious will
come, spend its night, whisper
of dawn and the kingdom
that is in your breast. you have half
of everything already, the
rest: alarm. to find that inner
beauty they tell you about,
first bury yourself, wait
three days, then
make new friends
Garbo ‘got in drag’ whenever she took some heavy glamour part, whenever she melted in or out of a man’s arms, whenever she simply let that heavenly-flexed neck… bear the weight of her thrown-back head… How resplendent seems the art of acting! It is all impersonation, whether the sex underneath is true or not.—Parker Tyler, “The Garbo Image” quoted in Esther Newton, Mother Camp
Over the past few days I have been asked a number of times what “kind of christian” I am. This is a curious phrase—the demand for a label, the religious truth of the subject, that will reveal itself by confession. Suffice to say my answer has taken a few forms depending on context but which has consisted of intentionally tense phrases like “secular/materialist christian,” “believing atheist,” or “reformed neo-pagan.” These titles of course are intentionally camp-y. They exemplify how “I” try to do the whole christian thing: as drag.
Drag—as espoused by Esther Newton, Judith Butler, and others—presents us with a duel confrontation. On the one hand, it presents us with an exterior woman who is *really* a man, and yet also presents us an exterior man who is *really* a woman. Drag, as pastiche, reveals simultaneously the absurdities of interior/exterior, male/female, essence/accident, and subject/object binaries. In Gender Trouble Butler notoriously shows how drag functions as a subversive act to reveal the constructedness of gender. Drag, for Butler, just as much as any engendered position, is a strategy, a posture which both situates the subject as well as produces the subject. The difference between a “man in drag” and a “woman” is precisely the normalized and compulsory practices which sanction and produce the woman as natural. Thus drag works as a means of not only subverting naturalized socially sanctioned positions but co-extensively produces a new position.
The key thing is this happens only by taking up the very languages and practices of the social. Butler is highly skeptical of any discourse which appeals to an origin *before* a parasitic or extrinsic power that corrupts some pure essence (like some feminisms which appeal to a matriarchal/matrilineal pre-patriarchy). Like Derrida, Butler finds no “before the Law”—any origin is produced retroactively by the Law’s conditions and prohibitions. If all we have are the terms of the Law, how do we escape (the “we” it produces)? Just because we only have the terms of the Law doesn’t mean we can’t use those terms in new and creative ways to undermine the very systems of power and oppression that the Law implements itself. This is, in short, how Gender Trouble seeks to show performatively subversive acts, like drag, can re-distribute power-relations and normative constructions of engendered subjectivity, opening up new possibilities of relation.
Likewise, asking questions about what christianity was “before the Law” (I think here of questions concerning a historical Adam and Eve, historical resurrection, literal second coming and resurrection, fulfillment of prophecy, eschatological literalism, etc) are nonsensical and irrelevant regarding what christianity *does* and what type of christian subject it produces. Likewise, alternative positions which attempt to circumnavigate christian discourse (I’m looking at you new atheism) often uncritically accept and replicate the terms and cultural practices of christianity. I think a large problem with this is the tacit assumption that christianity is a system of beliefs—something subjects choose—rather than a historical object that conditions, positions, distributes, etc, its subjects. If we assume the latter though then we can see how christianity, as a structuring and organizing and productive machine itself needs subversion and critique.
Now subversive acts that reveal the artificiality of christian belief or practice needn’t happen by someone who identifies *as* christian, but merely by positioning oneself as a speaking christian subject (just as the “man in drag” accepts given gender categories). It is by speaking from this position, by using components of the discourse, its objects of construction, that one reveals christianity’s composition. Just as drag shows the artificiality of interior/exterior through its performance, so acts of drag christianity disrupt this very notion of an inside/outside of “a” christian community (saved/damned, orthodox/heretic, sacred/secular etc). Instances of drag christianity include textual manipulations (William Blake), liturgical subversions (HIV-positive men lying down in protest within notoriously homophobic churches), cultural parody (Life of Brian jumps to mind), among other options. The point isn’t whether an individual subject is within or without the christian discourse/practice but how these various ordering of bodies are rearranged to reveal new possible (and hopefully less oppressive) relations by questioning that very relationship. Just as the “man in drag” accepts the terms of normative gender relations and compulsory heterosexuality in order to reveal the discourse’s contingency, so too drag christianity accepts doctrines and practices in order to invent new practices and recodify its subjects.
SO. I made a video. I hope you like it. I read some old poems and a new poem and chat too much but I was feeling chatty. I also started talking too soon. ENJOY.
BTDUBBS: I realize I said something weird about tallow coming from milk fat WHEN WE ALL KNOW it’s rendered beef fat. MY BAD. It also was and still is in some places used in feed. So like, cows are eating cow fat. Gross, I know.
I rarely say I am vegan. If I attend a BBQ I choose to idly pass by the chicken and scoop up an extra heap of green beans and continue on my merry way. But people have a curious desire to know, to rank those who behave in ways unfamiliar. In this way there is something queer to veganism, something that by the resistances I encounter declares my position—a positing—a political stance. This is particularly curious given that veganism is itself an absence, a refusal of something, yet given the normativity of meat-consumption it stands out: ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down’ goes the proverb. This reminds me of Heidegger’s hammer somehow, the broken (unready-to-hand) hammer, the failure that gets read onto my being and in turn shapes and colors my being.
As the second-wave feminist mantra goes, “the personal is political.” What for me is a personal refusal of something is taken as (and therefore is) a political statement. People will ask why I did not pick up a kabob, why I took green beans, etc. And although these questions may be asked in earnest and a certain genuineness, they stem from a desire to take account of this statement, take account of me as a subject, to in fact give it a political shape. These statements and inquisitions themselves give birth to, flesh out the body of, my refusals as political.
Interestingly enough of course if I say I’m vegan for health reasons everyone is validated and secured in their position as a meat-eater—“well, it’s best for him and that’s fine, but it wouldn’t work for me.” But to be approached to give account of why I think it’s wrong to support the slaughtering of non-human animal life, to be asked to give the body—the meat if you will—of my personal practice is to ask for a politics of meat-eating. It is to ask, really, where I think they stand, on what ground I see their footing. And, they assume, they hope, that I will not say “over yonder with those who support the destruction of animal life.”
It is here that all the stock answers as to why someone’s not vegan or really really actually for reals cares about animals comes in. All of which boil down to trying to reposition me into the “over yonder of destruction” (usually by revealing the ‘hypocrisy’ of my stance) or reposition themselves as the wonderful kind compassionate person they truly really are (if only I could see how much they care about their cats)—both of which ignore the fundamental issue of whether or not giving money to corporations who profit off of breeding, abusing, and killing very real non-human animal life is good or bad or worthwhile. It defers the issue to teleology—how he or she or they use the animal—rather than an ontology of or ethics to the living, breathing animal. This is in part because, granted, it is an uncomfortable topic—especially when I am eating off a plate of green beans and she or he has chunks of a chicken’s leg in hand. But why ask the question in the first place then?
I think likewise this stems from people’s desire to ask about someone’s orientation—to take account of one’s (sexual) position. Derrida uses the nifty mouthful of a phrase carnophallogocentrism which I’m sure made him very popular at parties. Subjectivity, what constitutes the Western subject in particular, is a interpenetration of carno, that is meat—what they can consume/”handle”/receive; phallo, that is masculinity/virility—what they can fuck, and logo, that is reason—what they can speak of or argue for or justify. It is this structure of subjectivity—of this is what you are doing and ought to be doing and everything you are doing is okay—really that people do not want to question.
So really why I think people want to take account of vegans and queer people (as well as persons of color and disability and size and many other things that are outside my own privileged white, able body experience) is that it affirms their position as politically and subjectively firm and solid. It re-inscribes their position as central just as eating meat re-inscribes these behaviors. While attending a church I was once told—when making mention about a particular problem I had with the liturgy—that we don’t change god’s will for ourselves, but our will to his [sic]. Eventually, by inscribing the liturgy on my being, by repetition, I would create and foster new desires—the right desires—and I would come to find theological justification for performing the liturgy.
There is a radical and terrible truth to this. These repetitions that form our sense of centrality, of sure-footedness, even form our desires, are learned practices. Granted, they are inscribed, they are external—I don’t mean to imply they are a simple choice on the behalf of the subject. I believe meat is very tasty to a very many people. I believe very many women are *only* attracted to men. None of this means though that meat-eating and heteronormativity are not also means of socially positioning the (meat-eating, heterosexual) subject into a place of centrality, stability, and comfort. It is this central position that vegan practice and queer existence destabilizes, or at least threatens to destabilize, by its political stance and practice.
To paraphrase Gloria Steinem, the problem isn’t so much of learning new practices, constructing new desires, but of unlearning. The problem is the way in which we constitute subjectivity through a series of bodily practices—meat-eating, (hetero)sexist privileging of the hetero-fuck, and the cultural weight of these symbols—and repeat these practices socially so as to seem natural, god-given, and transcendental. Where veganism and queer existence stand is to simultaneously reject these practices as well as proffer new ones. For veganism, a practice that has unlearned the rhetoric of “handling meat,” “taking it like a man,” “manning-up,” “doing the body a favor,” etc, posits a practice based on compassion and self-humility. Likewise queer existence rejects heteronormativity, heterosexism, sexual binaries, and embraces a practice of openness to people regardless of binaries (fe/male, hetero/homo-sexual, etc), based on mutuality and consent.
Of course veganism and queer existence are very distinct things and ‘choosing’ a vegan lifestyle is very different from the process of finding oneself in or identifying as being queer. However, in terms of the threat people can feel, the political awareness it poses, the way it hints at the constructedness of heteronormativity and meat-eating respectively, and a possibility for change, the two intersect in interesting and similar ways. To quote Teresa de Laurentis, “for what is finally at stake is not so much how ‘to make visible the invisible’ as how to produce the conditions of visibility for a new social subject.” A subject, let us hope, not centered on consumption, hate, and apathy, but compassion, love, and consent.
23 and already the bags under
my eyes sag. st. stephen’s
face was white when he died. they
called him a saint.
consolation is beyond these
lines. like this day
it is much too white. camper’s chart of faces
puts the white skull next to the gods
whose faces were marble. of course the color
had long washed off and what
wasn’t was erased. it
was called renovation. i will
refresh and refresh this
page again until i learn to see
myself from the internet’s point of view. yes, we have
been here before, already someone’s
definition of irony. tonight let’s consign
all our synthetics to the ocean, this
residue deeper to marrow, and finally be
honest, waking up inside someone’s idea
of a poem, we wouldn’t
care to read it either
even the stars fall from the wall
the first moon of the first year doesn’t have
a name anymore.
you leant me margaret mead made me gay
which i started last night
under a new moon. we call the moon
new because of how it relates to the
hutchinson was called new even
while being accused of all the old heresies.
they called her a witch just like
they called midwives witches. the most
common thing midwives
were accused of was the desire to steal
men’s penises, and
they were drowned,
burned at the stake, or crushed under rock.
then and only then could obstetrics emerge
as a science,
that is, a male-only medical profession, with
the instruments of the male medicinal
imagination, the forceps, which would scoop
the child out, piece by piece if necessary,
while the mother, tied or chained,
lay down, making for easier
reach and less strain on the doctor,
who assured the woman that pain was her
natural and allotted curse in life. i read
about that the other day and it made
me think of you and those
things you said about
motherhood. i thought
a lot about my
mother and the things
that happened to her when she was
they really happened to me too, at least
in a way. when you
finally met her it was sad
and i was guilty cause how typical,
i mean, me a man, and you, and my mother,
and i don’t
really know why but i cried
when i drove home.
after, i couldn’t forgive
anyone about anything for weeks
* * *
i fell asleep at eleven while everyone
else welcomed the new year. and,
i thought to
myself, that this must mean
something i said and you said you
probably did too and even though you
didn’t really mean it did, i agreed. i told
about my uncle then and how i like
twin peaks and how scared i am of open
and you brought up the female
eunuch and i said something about
we agreed but that was earlier
in the sun when we changed
our shirts to sit
in the shade. things were so
peaceful then in tank-tops underneath the
sun which is really
the same sun everywhere for
everyone on this
planet. god. this planet. like that really
means anything anymore after
* * *
you told me over the phone
you went to a conference where
they wore shirts
that said esther
newton made me gay. that’s
talks a lot about camp and in mother camp she
says something about
coping or transforming the
suffering of others’ fear into a state of irony
or something. i never was very good
at that. when i was 6 my dad said chicken
and i asked is that the kind
of chicken you eat or the kind that
flies. the tao
about no place for the horn
to enter. no penetration. it would be pretty camp
to be candy
darling for halloween
i think, but seeing as i wear a lot of women’s
days and what with my identity issues and
going as warhol is probably pretty camp
too. i miss you too. i used
to be the cop who got shot
when my brothers played
cops and robbers. i hate
writing i miss you.
in the writing. no self staring back in
risk of writing. no
language. no sainthood or eternality of the
soul or bullshit and
no risk of
can’t even fly.
myself writing like this
* * *
i reallymiss how you sucked
my nipples. some
people say the
male nipple is useless. fuck
them and their
teleological bullshit. it was that sort of thinking
that led to clitoridectomies on “hysteric”
women with “erotic tendencies.” if
the 18th century
male bourgeoisie really took themselves
they’d never stop castrating
themselves. at least they’d
nipples. i’d like
to think somewhere
there’s a picture of the little
christ child suckling away
at the tit of joseph. i’d like to think
it’d be easy to ask
someone to suck my nipples
* * *
later, you whispered something of a
new year (you must take this he once
maybe he too
will pass into night. forgotten
all implication and finally
be free) but
what could i say. for years he
visited me in the dead of night with
sad sad eyes like
the eyes of the american
night kerouac loved so much, and
i would dream about
those eyes and how they floated in
window, even though we lived on a
and how, even from an early age, i
wondered anyone got up so high, and
what it was about me and about
knowing, about fucking and all the
buried deep down inside. and,
here with you, and tonight, i just
really wish I knew
* * *
night emissions are what
they called it in
the glory days of 1970s freudian mumbo jumbo
america. this unconscious selffucking was
stranded somewhere on the
between shitting and pissing oneself, not
juvenile as (or so they would
say) female clitoral
stimulation, but not quite the anti-social
of full conscious solo male fucking either. but
that’s what i want to do with this
night, in the heat of it, just fuck
it right out and fuck you
and for once and finally be fucked in
course, we could take this to
mean that semen is like nighttime, emitted
from deep down inside
from some primordial sleeping granddaddy
erection, and every time dusk rolls
around it’s cause some
boy had a big wet one, bringing down both
the stars and moon on us all
* * *
in beginners, ewan
summarizes his fetish with spray
painting public property as historical
consciousness. mike mills
and also has a fetish with spray painting
public property. this says something
artist and art and what it is to have an
shit like that. anyway i think
that’s what this is. historical
consciousness. you once told me
anthropology wasn’t creative and i
felt really sorry for you then, because
the truth is poetry is just like
with less research. when
you said you were
supposed to spend a year
doing research outside of
your own culture i missed you. i mean.
to take the lid
off the thing is beautiful
and liberation is all
we have left, but resonance is
preservation, health. to uncover is to expose
or enculture, to invite bacteria
and all sort of life. to be
open to the possibility
of life. to bend your ass
bare to the sky. to risk
in the fucking. sometimes
i admit i don’t know the difference but
it was sad when you
left and i got that line from the
poetics of space stuck in my head, how the world
would be a better place if pots
always stayed together
and i wanted you back
* * *
we’re supposed to be
making love. damn that patronizing
sexedup alvie singer.
there are some things you can’t
gagging. i was
annie then, wanting to
be fucked into nothing. you were
nico or jack kerouac maybe,
always ahead of
some careening. we made love
the night you
left. it was beautiful in a way. the
onto my chest
in the night. the coolness
there. the discharge. the sense of
found in the rubbing and
in the loss. you can
never really lose everything
you said. when our
broad shoulders touched
and your hands
were on mine
told me about the iliac
was the world that
was guilty. when i
couldn’t, the towel
swallowed your cum
* * *
you had to have
something or someone to forgive
maybe you forgive lovepoems
too even though
such a hard time with
people who say the word love like
some people can’t
love spilling out
of itself. that’s
why god killed
onan. such a god lacks the imagination
to love without shame. moses
could only see god’s ass
who was so
afraid that moses would catch
the buff and laugh
at the shame of it. i was kicked
by a bunch of
boys in the balls once in p.e.
and the teacher laughed. i
was obese which
meant i was sick which meant
it was funny to kick me
in the balls. i never
the logic but the point is i imagine that’s
how god felt surrounded by
moses and with his
ass sticking out like that i feel
bad for him but
what with the whole creator of everything
bit i kinda expect a little more out
* * *
sadeyed lady of the lowlands
came on the other day and i
thought of how we never
listened to blonde on blonde while we
and how germaine
greer said the sadeyed lady and
the girl from north country were
what does she know about dylan and the
beauty of the soul. when
says he’s not a magician but an actor playing
the part of a magician he means
artifice is the only
magic this side of heaven.
you weren’t really liberated
until you tasted your own menstrual
germaine, i don’t have menstrual blood okay
the best i can do is taste my
semen which is hardly the same thing. but
it’s been getting
sweeter lately. god, even i’m a
man. a piece of shit playing
the part of a man. sometimes even
an actor playing shit playing the part of a
trying to tell you i’m sorry. i’m
trying to put this somewhere
* * *
the planet’s going to finally die someday
and of course type-1 diabetics will
still have diabetes in heaven and
martyrs always wear their scars like
icons at the getty so you didn’t
see why diabetics shouldn’t proudly display
insertionsite scars and pumps
alongside st bartholomew and his heap of
flayedflesh. and we thought
this was beautiful, and that maybe
the world’s flesh might be hung up to dry on
some temple wall someday and the
people genuflect and wonder what a world
we must’ve been and what a
death we suffered and what a beauty it all was
so wonderfully dispersed its grace like
so many tiny bombs and the world fell
asleep in angelic wonder
and never woke up until the following year
sometime past midnight, clear-eyed and
fresh and ready
to begin again
as if for the first time in forever
* * *
you held me tightly there.
you fucked me
like a man fucks. ground me
down to a pulp of myself.
i wore a
love conquers hate
shirt for days. loving
oneself is like being
blind but not like the flower girl
in city lights with her christ imagery
and madonna silence. there’s
something so canned when
chaplin’s mouth gapes open
as wide as his eyes
and those sounds pour out
proper english. but
how can you not cry watching the great
and even laugh when
he fucks the world he blew. you
know anything really
can save this world
except killing it.
when you visited
i missed you
and when you left
i missed you. even in kyoto
i long for kyoto goes a hass
translation of basho.
i guess there
is always something lost. even the
of my uncle and the shit
he did and the night and the fear
of it and all of everything
burns out after awhile. and you get
left with something