This is a collage. Two feet by 18 inches or so. The canvas is painted black along the edges. A layer of glossy gluey finish holds it all together. A painted on kind of glue-gloss that ruined old cheap red-handled brushes, where the soft bristle became stiff sharp and gouging. Upper left hand corner, perhaps too obvious, is a magazine cut-out of a piece of plywood with the spray-painted words “Welcome to L.A. Some Assembly Required” (the book was a small volume about the 1994 L.A. earthquake and the structural damages it caused on buildings and on human bodies – picked up in a Goodwill in Canoga Park, California).
Put conjugation tables away with a pink notebook bang, a beardless young man attempts a biological and genetic experiment using his own face as the parameters, so if shaven clean daily, will other buried hairs be given chance to grow, a clean playing field, a forest with the undergrowth removed, the pinecones left in dollops beneath the always green shade, forever and ever grey and green, then when he shocks his perpetually cut-at-youth hairs with a razor negligence, his theory is that the sprouts will sprout, the beard will grow, and he can be a public Seattle citizen again. Otherwise, no, nothing of the sort. Stay indoors. Watch the underside of the chin closely in the mirror for saplings to dredge up and out. Wait for the right time and then wait for the right time and then wait.
I’m sick of stock photos – of feeling my skin crawl with caricature
standing there, under an awning, eyes glued zoomed in the snowy peaks
distant West, looking there into the future, into where the sun goes when we die
Bed held my head under like I was tied to cement blocks and dropped off the ferry boat between my city and your city and our cities in between that have no commerce other than parking tickets. Missed many sunsets. Dreamed of becoming a part of the landscape and about globes. Dreamed about approaching the earth from space with a globe freed from gravity floating around and the perspective photographic moment that they appear as the exact same size, lined up, my ducks in a row, lined up like checkerboard before the game starts, the fake aims its telescopic infrared scope at the real and fires, fires, and we spun it and stopped it with our fingers to decide where to land. I landed in the middle of the pacific ocean three or four times in a row, felt sufficiently drowned, and so stopped playing.
This is the last day before winter quarter. Somehow it came right up to me, noisily breathing, nostrils flaring, huge and hulking monster of a new whirlwind schedule. Hello, you monster. Your approach makes me wonder what other obvious elements I’ve missed in my drunken vacation days. My days spent horizontal in silk sheets when shoulda spent cycling through six cities. Riding through the cold and feeling the fingers crisp with frost and letting my inhibitions go when it comes to what becomes cool after talking of it one hundred times. I am filled with a certain shame. Certain regrets. I realize there is only one direction to move from the debacle of my winter break, the general lingering aimlessness of it all. I feel now as though I sat on couches with bored people, dreaming aloud where we wish to travel or eat or when to go to the new years party or when our prestige electronic duo will become something to show others – when we can exhibition… When can I? I am resolved to show as many people as many different forms of art as possible. I want to become a fountainhead. I want to cascade and delta and stream out my subconscious obligations to art, to create whenever possible, or to die in a guilt fire.
anxiety rippled through my consciousness because I realized how bad I feel at French, how ill-prepared I am for the class tomorrow, how incapable I am prone to be when attacked by bears, or words, or then I thought about something earlier. Tomorrow I will run my body against words and ideas, very few current, and run my mouth over them and taste the bitter sweet roots of them and realize my smallness and the ineptitude of my brain and my bilingual education at home became nothing whatsoever, because I never practiced my bonjours or curlicues and the microscope poets will cut my sorry work to shreds because my alcoholic depression has prevented forward progress and I am sick to death of dying so slowly and so willfully with the lonely arms of giant voices so close (the bookshelf in reference) and the minds that translate sounds into images all surrounded, cloaked, in dust and the untouched fingertips of mine, and the gathering darkness when all the candlelight fades after we step backward from those two football fields, harrowing details when we encounter, directly, the physical limitations of us as the snow slope dissolves us to avalanche and our fingers cross and uncross and nail themselves up. I am nervous indiscriminately, unconditionally, and I am insecure about the future because it is now and I am not ready for now so about tomorrow how am I ready for tomorrow? (one influence on my countenance storms upstairs upset because she doesn’t like how French frustrates me and my reactions to certain things make her shut off like a flash light out of battery. Yet when bracing up against my own inadequacy, I too shut down. She must realize how her actions cause me to fall deeper into whatever frustrated despair I wallowed in. She must realize that our reactions to one another are often a tornado when words do not elaborate the emotions conveyed by posture, by silent glares, by storming upstairs and expecting me to follow and apologize, for drunken gaiety intermixed with sour regret, of morning in bed with the hanging head, the sore lower back from the chemicals chiseled into the spine, the growths on the edges of the circles, and I realize, despite her, despite her fears of the laziness she subsides within, I should replace hard liquor with marijuana and live a happier hermit, a happier artist in residence in isolation at the agoraphobic cottages.)
“So what kind of things do you write?”
“Christ, I do not know.”
“My son, my name mustn’t be taken in vain.”
“If you are the elements. If you are water. Turn yourself to wine. Let me take you intravenously.”
“As you wish.”
(quick dialogue attributing jesus as a genie… and the injection of red wine into the veins)
I will do fine tomorrow but it will make me again into a hunched over, awkward, and bitter person. I desire to meet students and befriend them and honestly wonder their lives and my role in theirs and what I’m thought of as and what a month off, a month of celebrated drinking stricken through with a lazy acceptance and fighting and removal and replacing of blemishes and loud late nights and cacophonous sleeping dazes where fight or flight mattered so much less than drink or drive and then the decisions were made and the regret is filled the cup because in my whirl wind life of work and moments of self removal due to the emotions of other, whoever other, or the influence of fountain flowing alcohol and the encouragement to drink from loved ones and the sober questioning of loved ones… it hurts the mind to wonder how much time I spent at forgetting instead of living. At bitter removal of blemish instead of distinct involvement in the scenery, in the stage make up of the costumes and the blitzkrieg. When we all could have rammed our bodies at the wall at once to make it collapse and instead smoked cigarettes and gossiped bullshit until sunrise, complaining of the weather for at least the first half hour of every conversation. What beauty kept itself hidden from my blindness.