If a Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights icon wanted to talk to you and answer your questions, what would you ask? In the photos produced, tourists pose with live donkeys painted with zebra stripes, wearing hats that read things like “Cisco kid”, “caramba” and “drunk again”. This place, ONCE RED, has taken on a gray-yellow pallor. I no longer view my presence here as anything more than a heavy sack — a boat filled with the hollow shavings of deadwood trees, a set of outdated almanacs gathering aluminum-white dust. So you will excuse my ready tone. Don’t believe them when they turn my pride against me. I am not too good for Los Angeles, knowing angels never forsook a degenerate. I prefer my valise so light I pour an hour and a half into the care and handling of its contents (the nervous system, worms, and owl excrement). My knee is fucked up again. The petri dish is an appetite for the borderlands. Apparently “you” already know why tragedy exists. My bowels explode, regardless, as I open the book. I did not think you would find this forest. How much have you seen? I did not think you would find this forest. Soon I will be confronted with lipstick lights and Polish girls and bare life and animal sores and miniature eggs and sunset skirts and mushroom clouds and cup scams and mausoleums and then a blank page. The blank page invites me to sleep, which greets me with Magritte’s “The Labors Of Alexander”: a tree stump and an axe. I want to say the missing words in that last quote are “you” and “you” but what if the words are “they” and “Mars”. There is my own terror. The seahorse of all this is hacking yellow a dry lung. I see to my old man’s tongue caught on a tooth just as the word tunnel finishes. I smack it out on a leather wall. And then the crazy light that happened at the airport. Doesn’t it look like the lamps are holding up the clouds? “Opeeeeeeeegalala!” to the more technical: “It’s wired to a neural hinge inside a mountain / and swings out smoother than Killzone.” Just the whole world like a wadded-up burden in the mouth / Just the asphyxiating banquet / Just rolls around helpless as a star / Just on the noplace of the universe Oh Kay Oh Kay ohkayohkay Okeydoke Yes Yup Alright Alrighty Sure Thing Sure Thing That’s cool That’s dope That’s Affirmative Ten four.” We always charm birds from you / And produce every night flowering branch between your shoulders and arms / We tear faster than the sparks in wrist / We sighs of glass sculpture / Wonderful and shows the hole in his bed / Plants subject to metamorphosis / Every night make signs can be understood / Staircase continues without end / But no, it’s slippery at the sound of our feet to open all his steps as boxes / Boxes of bread, wine boxes, soap boxes, ice boxes, stairs / Boxes of meat with a small number of hair / Offline resorted shovel breast that are made / Smile You’re we kept us around the waist / And we took positions your enjoyment / I wonder what he meant by fuerza.
[Note: Sources: Amnesty International, “Ask a Human Rights Legend”, at Amnesty International, 14 Sept 012 (re: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi); Manae Ross, “Manae Ross: The Donkey Cart”, at The Chronicle of Artistic Failure in America, 1 Jun 012; Luis Buñuel, letter to Paramount Pictures, 1938, as quoted in Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, “My Years of Militant Surrealism”, at The New Inquiry, 14 Sept 012; SPD blurb for Julia Cohen, Triggermoon, Triggermoon; JBR; CAConrad, SPD blurb for Aaron Apps, Compos(t) Mentis; Judith Butler, as quoted in Derek Gregory, “Grief, tragedy and translation”, at geographical imaginations, 14 Sept 012 (on Anne Carson, Antigonick); Christopher Higgs, “ON READING OLIVIA CRONK’S SKIN HORSE IN NEW ORLEANS”, at BOMBLOG, 11 Sept 012; Julia Cohen, “When The Lamps Hold Up The Clouds Press”, at $650 Apartment for $650, 14 Sept 012; Erin Lyndal Martin, and Joyelle McSweeney, Percussion Grenade, as quoted in Martin’s “JOYELLE MCSWEENEY’S PERCUSSION GRENADE”, at Tarpaulin Sky, 11 Sept 012; Andre Breton, “Postman Cheval” (tr. ??? and Google, run thru Swedish, Arabic, and into English, and only fragments kept); JBR, re FB post by Benjamin Noys, 14 Sept 012]