She lost her son, she had a baby. The birth and death happened in the same room. She was addicted to methadone. She slipped into the fog. After her death a video surfaced of her in clown make-up pushing a plastic baby in a stroller through her garish mansion. I was amazed. As the video played, the news ticker at the bottom of the screen blithely scrolled "legitimate" news. It was this conjunction of the garish and the serious, posited as unproblematic by the news, which so caught my attention. Through her lunacy and the event of her death, Anna Nicole had somehow forced the news-machine to unconsciously show its hand, peeling back the facade of seriousness to show a reality of frightening absurdity. As one national fantasy played out on the main screen, other bits of news were revealed as similar fantasies when they shared the same screen as they scrawled on their way.
What I ended up thinking was this: that if a performance artist had managed to consciously create a situation which revealed the same truths then it would be a triumph of art. I began to see Anna as a performance artist in her own way, though the rub of it was that she did not know that she was one. The questions and possibilities that arose then were like bright white lights. I never really answered them. I forgot about them in time, but looking back I realize they are still pertinent. Though the rub of it is that by now they are dusty and old, the country has moved on, as it always moved on, the spectacle plays out and resolution is never achieved.
Soo, I wrote this little piece. I came not to ridicule ANNA NICOLE SMITH or AMERICA for that matter, but to bury them.
...AS THE NEWS TICKER AND THE VIDEO SEGMENT...
...slide over each other in the back alley of fox news network, each only hot in the grip of the otherthe quick dirty flash of realization that contexts lock in coitus...cockpits now regular fracture tears porno mag up into explosions snow fall out of sky onto sand…that people continually saw…teeth flashing, smith smiles down into the stroller, out of which stare eyes made of plastic… a babies growth inside her that she regressed towards to meet more quickly on its own terms…wall street journal calls her symbolic of america…covering her and her ‘possibly phantom will’, the news becomes anna nicole smith…a situation she perhaps was the mastermind of…recognized in her face a mask to be worn to cover itself…when bodily movements become symbolic acts...the language of her actions became the language of those discussing them…the point every (performance) artist aspires…as the fire grows in the dirt circle of eulogy, empty bottles leak through hair thin cracks the booze each one of the boys is made brave by…before jumping the fire with flair, shirts come off and disappear into the brush…and even the quiet ones hooting and slapping ass after awhile, worry about collecting booze money for the guy who bought it in the morning…bills never paid, forgotten with good cheer… Smith dies at age 39 in the Bahamas…and next blithe segment the war… a perfect critical commentary…news validated as news the video that remade media…fulfills every requirement of performance art…so what if not intentionally…editors and photographers consciously chose how she would be represented…choosing between two photos as smoke wafts across linoleum tile print…writers sweating out the specific words to be used about her, little dangling pearls…and the readers who responded the way they did…country and culture…a perfect machine…pooling oil and tightening screws…gears sliding in tension to turn each other over…over and over…art it takes a whole society to produce…smith on the news wearing clown makeup and pushing a fake baby in a stroller as the white columns in the background fairly begin to drip the moonshine as shes racing all the televised iterations of her life out into vast black...LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH
So this is a two part poem, the first part dealing with young children, younger than ten. It concerns a real phenomenon, which some of yee may have heard, which is "sex bracelets" which are charms that little kids wear on their arms to designate the sexual activities they have engaged in. Different colors mean different acts. When the existence of these charms or something like them is periodically discovered in a school it sets off alarm bells all through the hierarchy. The issue is met with swift and stern reprobation. While I certainly don't have any answers as to what to do about it, I would like to point out that in their haste to punish the adults are creating more evil. This is because the children do not really know what they are doing, at least in terms of how sexuality is thought of in the adult world. They are in effect, innocent. When this innocence is made shameful something irrevocable happens in the mind of the shamed child. Society has begun to set in, and it is neither a kind, an open or a forgiving world.
I. Sex Bracelets
the child’s chin rests on the top of the principle’s desk. quivering.
Focus on the suit front, the tie-knot.
As the nurse and guidance counselor circle and hover
the voice narrates a list of grievances and offenses.
perchance you fail to understand the gravity of what you have done.
For a child your age to be engaged in sexual activities is sick.
There are biological consequences, your standing in
the community, the example to your peers.
I want to know who else is doing this. What other girls are wearing bracelets.
Out on the playground.
They smoke candy cigarettes
stand and prance, their coats tight stylish, listening to rap tapes
blowing in the wind.
Silhouettes born to the end of time.
Yet 9 out of 10 times those as’d tell them that are not friends.
We exist alone in a wilderness, tamed by a desolation.
We, we have made—I don’t know what to say.
What kinda conversations do you make with your Barbie?
Mother, mother and fatha.
Mothers, Fathers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
(the tapping on the microphone of the principle spreads a hush through the crowd
(the auditorium quiets before the tapping))
As principle, it is a my duty to inform you all that
a number of your children have been engaging in promiscuous games and challenges
of a sexual nature at various birthday parties and their friends houses.
There is no way to know how long this has been going on or who all has engaged in such behaviors. We do know that each ‘game’ or sexual act, is marked by a colored bead or charm, that the child wears on a bracelet, to display to all those in the know exactly what they have done and how many times.
The child wishes desperately,
to be back in class
for the school to explode
to escape with friends
The pit of the stomach
the firmly established and the nascent
inform and press as walls
Starting to stare, there is nothing (to eat)
Train moves, down the scree, moves pebbles,
To be clear, (but most of all, to be un)stricken
& having wallowed down, slept.
And sleeping dream,
Specifically, themes remind.
Came to me in the middle time, back in summer.
No no don’t go There ok.
(So stoner total-I tarry.)
This series of interludes
And qualuudes have been equal in my mind.
There is no need to speak.
Finally, I have come
to full fruition of my madness.
The PLANET EARTH series caused me to start thinking about the interaction of the film's celebrated camera crews with the environments they were filming. I was reminded of a mad scramble to try and preserve as much as possible a disappearing portion of the world. A treasure hunt, in which the technological productions are the only existence left of the animals they document.
Thus I attempted to script a scenario in which there is a museum tour of nature after the animals have gone. Think of the scene in CHILDREN OF MEN in which the news scroll on the t.v. flashes the message, "The Canadian Goose has been declared extinct."
.E X T I N C T I O N
...P O E M..................
Camouflaged as bush
The narrator drolls about
animal and fauna symbiosis,
specialization and weather patterns.
the cutting edge projection methods
the salvage crews painstaking efforts.
Observe incredible footage;
Monkeys swing and scream.
Boars, frogs, lemurs, leopards
lions, alpacas, foxes, dolphins.
The final procession.
All that has been and ever will be
The video’s last animal?
The humble robin.
as it flits past
pulling a curtain.
“The show is now over.”
Orange lights come up. Ushers point out exits.
Leaving the museum,
everyone a silhouette
the wind blows
dusk a dust
They make whatever they can for Weapons.
Sneezing shit and eating it:
Hold down till I return.
Get back, after having prevented suicides
The last person kills themself,
Appearing in a too clean suit on the stoop.
White girl robot tells black assassin
Of the murder he’d committed…
(Video Game Social Commentary)
The grody has a way of merging with the divine through the common meeting point of our souls. It remains what it is but it becomes more. Similarly, our souls are changed(?) when they experience the grody. And when tripping, the whole thing enters a crazy spiral in which madness and sanity fight for space on the stage of our tongues. This poem was written in a frame of mind which combines these thoughts with a rigorous schedule of hard physical labor and mounting debt. Enjoy.
FREE WRITE 3 LATE AUGUST
corn pops, cheese wiz aluminum Walmart trip.
American Women, thesis topic:
The sad and saintly.
The nature of This
critique rises then fades again sad.
This is a person. Idea of
Girl And Woman Switching Body, thesis topic,
the behaviors rupture—
Washing the fabric
Watching the smoke rise and enfold itself.
Reactions and perception’s vary,
And with them the story,
the body is nicer when high
To always think this way, that is how we think
There is nothing but ease
Practice pays off, and what does
pass or does not,
And in what form, the coda, but the key?
“To recreate this sober.”
A fools mission, the cause of another iteration.
This realization is the sum of all my work.
I was struck by the haiku's use of a technique of rapidly jumping contexts.
The two contexts are singular units in their own right as well as being the generators of a third context created through their relationship. This ghost unit haunts each of the other contexts, effectively changing them.
Poetry attempts to create and alter units. Therefore, we attempt to lay bare and reveal these processes even as they happen. Creating a discontinuous real time of competing time-lines and voices. Herein, sense always merging with non-sense.
G R O T E S Q U E R I E S
The most curious event happened,
cleaning out the barn yard the other day
our “team” discovered a book in hay.
It got pierced by a pitchfork was what it was.
The piss damp pages clung together.
In the back room we blew it dry.
The ink had stained due to the piss,
so that pages of text overlaid,
hard to read, but the scraps
that have been parsed,
are found, well, see-
place the book in our lap and read
this representative sample:
bending backwards to expose my opened anus, tiny finger of a worm poking at me; a needle nose pliers I use to tweeze out…
* * *
a.) as a, as a context, go to bed with the shakes, add parenthesis appropriately
as in itself as as so as in as it is.
Damn. Where goes the comma? The comma is the key to sensicality,
without it there is a red panic, a musical interlude
overwhelms the crew, the camera stops
knocked over off focus shot of stage
where the desk is on fire
and men in black run
in slow motion
the feed stops, replaced with a test pattern.
As in, imagine you’re watching television
when suddenly the programs go black.
A blue screen replaces the show.
And you are confused, and as time goes on and it does not return, you become…
A telling, of the moment t.v. shuts off, permanently
as it turns out. Forgotten, forgotten, gone, is it is.
…at that moment the speakers arise, shake off their slumber and the dirt in their mouths, babbling, orating, begging, yelling,
terrible language, language deranged.
The secret is it is forgotten and cannot be remade.
A speaker lay down stomach on ground
and beginning with knees bent legs back
spine cracks, bring feet past ears
until they sit on the ground,
the legs lower the butt down onto the skull,
saying, truly I sit on the throne of the mountain of heaven.
The motioning delights the others, whooping,
flooping down in imitation.
The big dipper ladles the smoke out to the constellations.