But forget about the hoax. Like the song says, “Even the pigeons are wearing gas masks.” Hunger, hunger. – – – – The pencil counts the lines. The sun is in the firmament. It is good and harsh. I will not forget this. This is far too little. I am talking about Athens. Of the teeth in the upper jaw and also in the lower jaw. The lily is a game with the water. Yellow is the color of the bronze forests. Jeremiah, Shakespeare was a propagandist for the Tudors, so yeah. I could etcetera forever, but I'm sure you can guess my rap. Seriousness per se is not totalizing or imperial or fascist. But I’m an old guy, livin’ the life-life, so I may well be wrong. But I found government-subsidised supermarkets in the poorest neighbourhoods (where articles of the constitution were explained in cartoon form on the packaging); a plethora of free cultural festivals and debates about socialism on the streets and across the country. All this felt like being transported to another planet. This billboard can produce a hundred litres of water a day out of thin air. The point is, he says, to let yourself feel – pushing that word into italics with teeth against lips — the way you do. To be present. We work on “mindfulness” exercises where I am to visualize my breath. I envision my nostrils being fucked by two conjoined midgets. Need to lay off the dwarf porn. Fridays roll around and co-workers talk of Happy Hour — whose implication that we as a race are otherwise unhappy every single hour of every other single day of the week I find morbidly touching — and I coyly mention that I have therapy. They get embarrassed and grow quiet, as if some boundary had been crossed, as if I should have simply lied and said I’m getting a haircut. Then it gets very misty. Cast iron vessels loose in the flatbeds of truckers leap, clang in the air. So ask: what part is unfolding like petals, all rosy and slick. And what part is relation to all of the metal parts, screeching weight hurtling into crescendo of breakage and song? It’s out there. Melting, exploding, washing away, rotting, bleeding out, spilling, falling, going down, coming apart, scattering, lying, violating, coercing, abandoning, meddling, wasting, torqueing, infiltrating, and then thinking, even so, try to be precise and kind (croon to your infant; talk to your plants; swear when you cut yourself). You understand that pocketing the semi-precious stones is not an option. The next part of the instructions are only available in pamphlet form on your death-bed. Let’s hope you have the capacity to read or hear them, when the time comes. Many people eat locusts. I never would (I’m a vegetarian since childhood), but once you see these locusts up close something about their appearance makes you want to eat them. They look red and rubbery, like a good exotic fruit.
[Note: Sources: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Lightning Bolts”, as quoted in Stephanie Bailey, “Does Nick Cave’s Protest Song for Athens Capture the Zeitgeist?”, at Hyperallergic, 6 Mar 013; Ernst Herbeck, “A Hint of Sadness”, “The pencil counts the lines ..”, “The Mother Tongue”, “The Mouth”, “The Water Lily”, “Yellow”, in Everyone Has a Mouth (tr. Gary Sullivan); JBR, FB comment, 6 Mar 013; JBR; Pablo Navarrete: “Hugo Chávez: A Giant Has Left Us (Pablo Navarrete)”, at alborada, 6 Mar 013; I Fucking Love Science, FB post, 6 Mar 013 (“This billboard is for the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) in Lima, Peru. The air there is incredibly humid, and this billboard uses that humidity to produce drinking water from thin air. Many people in Lima have limited access to clean drinking water.”); Jimmy Chen, “On Therapy”, at HTMLGIANT, 6 Mar 013; Frances Richard, ‘Glancing At”, at Post Road 2; Frances Richard, “The Next Big Thing: Frances Richard”, at Futurepost, 6 Mar 013; Bhanu Kapil, “Charnel Ground: Crystal Body: Instructions”, at Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?, 6 Mar 013; Many people eat locusts … good exotic fruit: Graham Harman, “Egypt hit by swarm of locusts”, at Object-Oriented Philosophy, 7 Mar 013]