And so, I will take Eileen’s commandment as Moses did that of his Lord and will, for all the days remaining to me, go forth and, uh. Water so thick, rats race / across its oily surface. “Um, hold on,” I say when the New York Times calls to fact-check an interview I gave three months ago. My hair’s in a French twist and I’m wearing a vintage full-length beaded gown and full prostitute makeup and a goofy fox fur. I’ve been smoking weed and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and sipping orange Nyquil with a straw and looking at myself in the mirror for eight hours. “I need to turn down the TV.” “I, um, ah, ah, um; I, ah, um, um, ah; ah, I, um; ah …” The eminent saints of Babylon were R. Huna and R. Ḥisda, the efficacy of whose prayers for rain, however, was not equal to that of the great saints of Palestine. The first time I ever heard about Asperger’s was only about two years ago. I was at a show in Williamsburg talking with some friends about a band I really liked, namely the lead singer, a hot, creepy blonde woman who I had a crush on. One of the guys in our little circle started telling me about how the band always stays at his apartment whenever they tour NY, and how he thought my crush had Asperger’s because she never made eye contact, and would get snacks out of his fridge without asking. I was like “Oh,” and thought about this for a long time. I would never just get food from someone’s house without asking because I’m secretly the most polite person in the world and will ask permission to ask you permission for something, but the eye contact thing is a problem sometimes. Mainly because I feel like if I stare into a person’s eyes for too long, I’ll get dizzy and not be able to concentrate on what they’re saying. I don't know. That seems normal to me. Bring two trash bags to your car even though you know you mostly need a vacuum. Discover notes from your dad, fingernails, a proud-looking owner’s manual, a matchbook with “Thank You!” printed on its cover, eight pens someone must’ve bought, a green exoskeleton of a cricket-like insect that breaks into segments, an Altoid tin containing remnants of Adderall. The pictures of your ass on your phone look OK, but when uploaded and maximized on your computer look five times worse than your ass on your phone, which means your ass in real life looks at least five times worse than it does on your computer. This work was commissioned by Isabella d’Este for the walls of her studiolo after she attended a daylong screening of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster at The Roxy in Brixton, London, and a few weeks later stumbled upon an artist's talk by Raphael on Ed Ruscha’s painting “They Called Her Styrene.” However, it was her experiences that same evening in a karaoke bar off Oxford Street that convinced her to go through with her planned idea and to approach a writer who could carry out her design for a bar rock pastel. At the time of the commission the patron was herself concerned with the plight of deer on the roads of Europe and North America and was an ardent campaigner for the introduction of sonic deer deterrents based on installations pioneered by Max Neuhaus. In a drawing, now unfortunately lost, and in this written description (for the first time available here within the text of a popular edition) she details her request for a masque of grotesque pastoral and mythic proportions, a cloven poetics that would feature commercial activity to be streamed live on the walls of her studiolo. She similarly required the inclusion of players as ordinary citizens — or often as ordinary citizens as artists — “got up in devious animal brocade,” to perform whatever forms of cultural consumption, display and collection they encountered over the duration of their everyday experience, all this for her personal entertainment and meditative consolation.
[Note: Sources: JBR, email to Eileen Tabios, 16 Aug 012, approx 9:36 AM PDT (more or less quoting Eileen’s admonition to me in my retirement); Barbara Jane Reyes, For the City that Nearly Broke Me, at Barzakh 1; Cat Marnell, “AMPHETAMINE LOGIC: THE COCKROACH AND THE COKEHEAD”, at Vice, 16 Aug 012; Dan Farrell, Last Instance, as quoted in P. Inman, “Notes on slow writing”, at Collected Prose (eds. Aaron Vidaver & Roger Farr); The Encyclopedia of Judaism, as quoted by JBR in an email to Geof Huth, 15 Aug 012, approx 8:13 PM PDT; Kelly McClure, “EVERYBODY HAS ASPERGER’S NOW”, at Vice, 16 Aug 012; Megan Boyle, “BOYLE’S BRAINS - METHODS OF ESCAPING EIGHT NEW LEVELS OF HELL”, at Vice, 16 Aug 012; SPD blurb for Redell Olsen, Punk Faun: A Bar Rock Pastel]