The soul likewise / only glances / don’t the fates object / crying in subjugation / continuously / in effect / that the soul might heal / the ceiling for what might be lit / & the drone / seen & / unseen signs / what dances / at the sky [at, not in] / all our infant labor / over the ages / overtures to / the humid doors / of a detonated center / tapping on pipes in prison cells, or murmuring or sighing or coughing / we stopped & planted seeds there, in the middle of the air. And the destruction of Iraqi gays is just another item on the list of collateral damage? WILL NOT SERVE! To be repeated, WILL NOT SERVE WILL NOT SERVE I WILL NOT SERVE! WILL NOT! Today I WILL LISTEN to only my voice for NOT serving. In the morning I performed reiki on a long, thin piece of plastic tubing, reiki with intentions to BE conscious throughout the day of being queer. Queer. Only queer. Today I will NOT ALLOW anyone to change the subject when I talk about what it means to be queer. Reiki. I did reiki for half an hour on this plastic tube, then lubricated every inch of it, then inserted it inside my penis. It was not for pleasure of pain, it was for a chronic reminder of HOW this culture inserts its will on my penis more and more each day. I mean, why did I why did I why did I why did I why did I: sit all day on the couch with my underwear pulled around my thighs so that my bare vagina was all sloppily spread on the leather couch and by the time the cloud parted around four pm and by the time the sun really started to come in my freaking vagina lips were all smushed and clamped onto the leather and all the pubes that had gotten smashed together and stuck on each other, held in binding finity by the glue of the dried discharge that comes rushing out of my vagina every morning — actually, not rushing, more like a slow oil leak like when my father would take a near empty bottle of canola oil and instead of throwing it away, he would set it upside down on a frying pan and leave it to drip for days and days until every drop of oil leached down from the bottle and onto the perfect spilling circle of oil on the frying pan, which he then used to make me and my mom fried eggs on a Saturday when the smell of those eggs and that oil, that bottom oil with all the swirgly ugly black bits and the bits of my saliva from when I would spit into the bottle when no one was home because … well, I wanted to … (Mom: why did you spit that huge hocking wad of mucus out right when I was introducing you to the host of the party? Me: I wanted to. Mom: That’s not an answer. Me: Why not? I thought an answer was just whatever you choose to answer a question with. Mom: No, an answer has to be satisfying. Me: But it was satisfying. Do you actually have no idea what it’s like to walk around with a massive block of mucus in your throat? Mom: I should have never brought you with us. Me: Smells like basil, sticky on the top where the picture of the crescent-shaped palm gleams. There’s a tiny gem on the left corner of the palm, a chip of cloned sapphire or some other shitty rock they’ve been able to reproduce at the lab these days. Comes from the sea, or whatever’s left of it. In the sea in the old days there were also giant reptiles, some shaped like fish. They had heads formed in a pointed beak to aid them in catching the fish. The end of their backbone formed a part of their shark-like tail and they had a fin on their back as fishes used to have to. Fishes were creature that could breath underwater, and some people in the old time would eat them pretty often. I’ve seen videos of them, and replicas of their gills and their glimmering flesh at the Hologram Museum of Moss Landing, CA. The glyph message comes in a tube, and starts decomposing as soon as I open it. I read it, then I read the whole scroll once again, make sure everything is set. I was the Duchess of Malfi / my body was smeared with apricots. / I am the Duchess of Malfi and nobody forced me to be there. / I was at the party that the cops are re-creating with / new and infected toys. / I praised them for the realism before I left. / I should have told them: Picture yourself / covered with cake, / the panties belonged to a beautiful homeless / person I fucked with my left hand, / the pigeons belonged to capitalism. / I should know. I’m a foreigner and I want to live in Los Angeles but Los Angeles just wants to take photographs of my body when it’s all dank. / That’s the weird part. / In this crime movie, we’re at the shooting range again. Imagine all that apricot mess, all those ridiculous ornaments. All that pork. We can’t leave. We don’t have the proper documentation. / I look horrified in the image and also “satanic” due to the milk. This is just one more step down the road of Aisthesis. Also seen Winfried Menninghaus’s fun read Disgust. Those of us who are happiest driving alone to Target hardly glance at the night / even near the glass of all those double doors streaming out fluorescence it is free of allegory. / So the only resistance is to stand naked in the buzz of failure and tell it plain / until the plainness leaves you at the end of your interpretations and outleaping of recursion / and you know we are just here in our bodies. / We know how sacrifice works by a substitution, but Target – you don’t even want to get outside this beat. Moreover, this chapter of Writers, entitled “Begin-ing” [sic], contains fragments of an interpolated, archival text: a childishly misspelled story, a text we are to suppose was written by the fictional character Katchatourian at five years of age. In fact, as Volodine says in in this interview (at about forty-four minutes in), the quotations come from the first story he ever wrote. The end of the book also includes archival material: the fictional writer-character Nikita Kouriline researches the day of his birth, in Moscow on June 27, 1938, and he comes up with a list of those executed on that day in Butovo, near Moscow, for counter-revolutionary crimes. The names of the dead, their alleged crimes, their proletarian occupations (“typesetter,” “cart driver,” “laborer in pit No. 57”) — all come from Volodine’s research into Soviet records of mass executions (as Volodine attests in the above-mentioned interview at about fifty-two minutes in). Hence, the chapter called “The Strategy of Silence in the Work of Bogdan Tarassiev” concludes with a metafictional Mobius strip. It revolves around the fictional Tarassiev, an author of novels much like Volodine’s: they allude to, without depicting, a class war between les miserables and les heureux du monde. It is both the strength of Tarassiev’s art and the weakness of his craft that he cannot or will not represent “those who govern the planet” in his novels: “with the sentiment that such a representation would be mentally and literarily impossible, Tarassiev never worries about activating any sort of believable image of the rich, even at the moment when they’re killed, even at the moment when he, as the author, kills them.” At the end of his life, Tarassiev actually does kill several of the rich and powerful at a charity function, just before turning the gun on himself. In the pocket of Tarassiev’s jacket is found a note that could be interpreted as enjoining its readers to cross the border from fiction to act, to go from hortatory revolutionary novel to political assassination, or from writing to suicide; but this lapidary note — ending with the words “do as I do” — is signed, not by the writer Tarassiev, but by one of his fictional characters, Wolff. Speaking of Wolff, apparently one can’t go around sniffing people like dogs or biting them playfully like cats. And X stood up over these bango players and they were his fresh-faced mad toothless bango-playing horse-recruits. (IN THE RAT HOLE) (IN THE RAT HOLE) But then like a drop of dew it all glimmered, ruptured and oozed. And, so, like, yeah. Out there in the corn (IN THE RAT HOLE) (IN THE RAT HOLE) And then tossed them on to a junk heap. And toothless bango players (millions of them**) flocked to egg our heroes on.
[Note: Sources: Jean Donnelly, “The soul heals to saturate literature”, at Lemon Hound, 6 Jun 013 (“from a collection of liberal homophonic readings & orthographical transcriptions of poems in French from the collection Pièces by Francis Ponge”); Diana George, “after revolution: a review of antoine volodine’s writers”, at 3:AM Magazine, 21 Aug 014; Robert Kelly, “An Alchemical Journal (2)”, at Nomadics, 31 Aug 014; CA Conrad, “Catheter Enjambement”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45; JBR; Jenny Zhang, “why did I why did I why did I why did I why did I:”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45; Purdey Lord Kreiden, “Congressnight 313 Reports”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45; Johannes Göransson, “Sugar Book Excerpts”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45; JBR; Farid Matuk, “Happiness”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45; JBR; John Olson, “Golden remedies”, at Tillalala Chronicles, 1 Sept 014; Rauan Klassnik, “—& Tell Me NOW That U Love Me, Gd Damn It!!—”, at The Volta / Evening Will Come 45]