We could deflate the pomposity of the city square or the elegance of a park with our giant pink phalluses and lime-green sausages. Sitting on dignified plinths, our skewed and lumpy sculptures, often garishly painted, have a kind of idiot elegance. But that’s old news. I think Cat Marnell is Lars Iyer, and vice versa. And in a way they’re both Tao Lin. In the same way, Homer’s Iliad is based on real people and events, appearing at first like an abstract mess of color, and then you realize that the reclining wolf is getting off on some trippy stuff. Speaking of the Chili Peppers, I saw them once, in a little club in LA in the early 80s. They weren’t all that bad. But what made the night memorable for me was the passed-out guy at the next table and the two young women who obviously didn’t know him writing away in marker on the back of his leather jacket. RESET RESET RESET RESET RESET. And although I do not believe in happiness, self-care, or therapy, I am undertaking a project of all three. Events have made a series of holes in my mind through which I am frequently falling. Sometimes when I fall into one I disappear for days and weeks and simply do not exist or exist in a separate mode entirely. But as near seizure as I was, I was not prepared for part 10: “There is a young Galactic Empire emperor who roams the hyperspace corridors, and will not withdraw until you beat the side of your ship, and hand over a ladle.” Following the link trail led me first to a video of some Japanese kids and a green worm dancing, and then to a pretty ridiculous video of a very drunk man falling down at a wedding (I wish I had saved that link), and eventually to the English lyrics of the song “Father Abraham.” The Japanese version is slightly different, with one son being very tall and another being fat, instead of none of them laughing or crying. Could light teach us the whole dance without the counter-dance of darkness? “The dark,” wrote Lorca, “wants to become light,” but the Gabon pygmies told us, “The light becomes darkness / the night & again the night / the day with hunger tomorrow.” We are not only the victims of the forces that will destroy us, we are their children. Thank you, Mel Nichols, for providing us with two videos and for using a ukulele in one of them. I’m also very grateful to Ben for explaining the ‘lo mismo / lo mismo’ epigram – a compacted lettrist sonnet made of Francesco de Goya’s despair of finding anything other than the Spanish words for “the same” to title his endless pictures of the horror of war” which has (at last) unlocked for me the recurring use of ‘same’ in ‘Streak ~~~ Willing ~~~ Entourage ~~~ Artesian’. That is, an amateur gunsmith known only as “HaveBlue” has earned the dubious distinction of ushering in the age of print-on-demand weapons. With only $30 in plastic and a commercially available 3-D printer HaveBlue succeeded in creating a fully functional assault rifle. RESET RESET RESET RESET NO RESET. A ladle? Open dictionary. Double check. Yes, a ladle. Close dictionary, open Google. The problem was what to type into Google. Ladle, sure. But what was the Galactic Empire a stand-in for this time? And did the hyperspace corridors have anything to do with the ladle, or was that part all EnJoe and not reference? Throw different parts of the Japanese sentence into the search bar and click links in links in links. Learn a variety of interesting things that are completely unrelated to the Galactic Empire. Which is how, in the end, I learned of an obscure Japanese folk tale: Keep a bottomless ladle on hand and be ready to beat the side of your ship loudly just in case you run into the Mary Celeste.
[Note: Sources: 1029. article in The Guardian, as quoted in Hrag Vartanian, “Franz West Dies at 65 from Liver Cancer”, at Hyperallergic, 26 Jul 012; JBR; “Scientists Think Homer’s Iliad is Based on Real People and Events”, at Harriet, 26 Jul 012; Allison Meier, “Three Summer MFA Shows Tackle Painting and Its Discontents”, at Hyperallergic, 26 Jul 012 (re: Russell Tyler, “Wolf Dreams 4″ (2011), oil, acrylic, and spraypaint on canvas); JBR, comment appended to Julia Cohen, “Hater Press”, at $650 Apartment for $650, 26 Jul 012. 1030. Michelle Mabelle, via Pentametron, 26 Jul 012; Anne Boyer, “on turning 39 and the qualia of consciousness/ problem of war”, at Anne Boyer, 26 Jul 012; Toh Enjoe, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire”, and Jocelyne Allen, as quoted in Allen’s “The Decline and Fall of a Translator’s Brain”, at Words Without Borders, 19 Jul 012. 1031. Jerome Rothenberg, “The Counter-Dance of Darkness”, as quoted in his “From Eye of Witness (1): A Letter & Poem for Robert Duncan, in Retrospect”, at Poems & Poetics, 26 Jul 012; Alina Gregorian, “The Reading Series: Mel Nichols On Googling Herself”, at Huffington Post, 25 Jul 012; John Armstrong, “J H Prynne’s Unanswering Rational Shore (again)”, at Bebrowed’s Blog, 26 Jul 012; JBR; Matt Staggs, “Print-on-Demand Assault Rifle”, at Disinformation, 26 Jul 012; Jocelyne Allen, in “The Decline and Fall of a Translator’s Brain”, at Words Without Borders, 19 Jul 012; JBR]