How the Canvas Was Made

noise in the light that shakes

glass makes contact below

the bottom makes contact

below, lifting and lips echo

strung lights— an artifact

of tables, flags in hand

removed from needing to

hang, sovereignty need not

be recognized. dark wood

reflects the maps of faces

with no place, feet stretch

to see who is first—

swing echoes swing of stars

Fashion and Empty Love: Who Said Behaviorism Doesn’t Work?

(Stark room, one chair facing panel desk with four chairs, though no one is sitting, Girl #9 is front of the single chair, Screening Room Security General in front of the desk facing Girl #9, while three lackey, mongrel looking men are behind the desk dressed in uniform, the one on the left has a lazy eye)

Screening Room Security General:

Well, it is nice to see that you are interested in your appearance. We were becoming worried that you would walk around with saggy bottom pants forever.

Girl #9:

There was something about the original suck that put me off. I have come to find comfort in the way I can no longer release.

Screening Room Security General:

Good to hear, good to hear. We are always quite pleased to see a girl of your age come around. Usually by this time, their hair has been frazzled by constant electric conductivity inquiry and their hobbies have been reduced to throwing entire slices of bread at squirrels as opposed to the more appropriate, yet ever somewhat unsettling, tradition of throwing crumbs. This is very pleasing indeed (circus clown grin that is commonly understood to frighten small children).

Girl #9:

And about the boy…

Screening Room Security General:

Yes? What about the boy? (provokingly)

Girl #9:

His string of um…(looking for the right word) showmanship? (not a good enough word and she knows it) Not as offensive as previously thought? I mean, he goes to the barber every week and has been for some time.

Screening Room Security General:

Why he’s not an issue at all (same circus clown smile, we see the huge horse teeth this time). The boy’s packet is incomplete. No references, can you imagine? (gesturing as if such a thing had never been heard of) And you know what that means, no surface. Only subsistence. He didn’t seem too upset though, he went on talking of the failure of the bell curve just the same. But you young lady, what progress! In no time we will have you entertaining (exhibiting the excitement he feels Girl # 9 should be feeling). What do you think of that? I am sure that you will find it to be much easier, now that passion is a thing of the past.

Girl #9:
I was thinking (modestly, mouse-like, or whatever comes more naturally)… I was thinking of trying something with heels, makes conversations conclude quicker, at least that’s what I have heard from the girls up top. We’ve been practicing in the halls at night and have found that taping our toes together makes them easier to step on.

Appropriating Reference

article for
referring one
to general but
often unambiguous
referents further away
belonging only in space
existing of many whose likeness
can not be separated: a lonely wail
through my speakers, not the lonely wail
there is no ownership—to be a the instead of a a
fixed with present and possible future, definite past
unfurling among stories of conviction and pressed upon
books that make ideas and give way to singular instances
relief in other words for the anxiety of catching the right bus


1. Remember that Odysseus’s scar remains even when he returns home.

2. The highway will always be backed up; the side streets came from necessity.

3. In this way time welcomes a pause.

4. Carrying enough supplies in one bag for this trip poses pragmatic problems.

5. This does not imply that attempting is purposeless.

6. Someone will matter-of-factly look older, yet may still be wearing the new fall color: Raspberry.

7. Smoking is really only okay once everyone is asleep but if you choose to disregard any of
these, this is the one.

8. Inconvenience will not be tolerated; learn from the pine tree, which was removed after leaving traces of itself on the car hoods below.

9. “ ‘As is’ suggests the distance from perfection that the object has traveled through the course of time.”

10. Time is impressed deeply upon this.

11. In the closet is a fur coat that used to get rubbed by little hands; it has been suggested that wearing it might invoke them.

12. The numbers that are programmed now will reach people much further removed than you realize.

13. When there is a lull, as there invariably will be, topics may only include: stupid and/or silly pet stories, the discovery of arachnids or other unwanted creatures, television.

14. There are no longer any ashtrays provided.

A Setting for Imitation and Actuality:

In the bed there is a body. It is a room with no door.

The lack here implies openness. The lack implies loneliness.

There is a desk with a chair, a couch with coffee table, a reading lamp for the evenings.

Despite the horizontal wish for language, it still only descends vertically down the page.

The book Mimesis lies open on the coffee table, holding with it Auerbach’s lonely nights
in Turkey, slightly buttered bread, one thin candlelight.

There is a mirror that reflects the markings of the body.

A collection of photographs of America aging line the ceiling.

The Romantics (the main aggressors) will imagine the marks as being self-inflicted.

The way blade marks across the ankle are beginning and ending lines, a definite existence
of pain, even if short lived–the way the Romanics would appreciate and prefer
something the length of a band-aid.

Even if just for an instance–for the experience they will say.

The markings themselves though (the audience will know) have been historically

Each blood clotted bruise is built from the semiotic space where the reader/viewer has
aged and accumulated in the same way that their facilitator has.

The markings in the mirror are counted and photographed, recorded and positioned
opposite the mirror.

The mirror is used to reflect something that gives pleasure from its

In this way the markings will become the anti-heroes of the drama.

the willing and the accomplice: a succession of frames

It’s a relatively easy task was the first thing that she said. Actually, it was the first thing that she wrote. She had been up all night. There was no real reason to be writing now. Many choices have already been decided for her. She writes anyway.

It was easy, she said, because it didn’t matter anymore.
It was easy because it was all inside of her.
It was easy, she thought, because she could get at it anytime she felt ambitious.
This she was sure of.

But what happens, unbeknownst to the willing, when you are so sure of such things is that you fail to continuously imagine the future as being something other than it is and because of this the willing had not only failed at imagining herself at a different junction in time, but she had indefinitely deferred the conscious voice which tries to actualize those junctions. The willing (un)fortunately moves on just the same, trying to get at the voice that sits inside.

She knew that once she could (re)create her voice the words would come out sounding just the way she remembered them, the way ‘I just wanna go holme’ sounded on the bus with _________ on the other end of the receiver. But what the willing did not know sitting inside the bus was that her location was a precise point in a frame that made up that particular moment, and the bus sitting on Route 4 was the frame around her, and each position she held was a frame inside another which was forever once removed from the last, and because her frame never had any preconceived notions of itself it could never schedule an alignment of this succession, an alignment where her apogee could clearly be viewed.

the willing and the accomplice: reveries and suppositions

There is a hole in the story; a shade. On some days there is time, he said,
but what time there is never adds up to anything much more than halves.

In this hole, the accomplice is the accomplice only without the name. He is
something other than what she knows. Often times the weeks go by and the willing

goes with them, taking the whole of what she knows to be herself as well as the he
she knows the accomplice to be, only this does not make the intangibles that she takes

with her any more real and in fact the point could emphatically be made
that the intangibles she takes with her are more imaginary and self-consoling than the

willing could ever realize them to be, even on the days when she is furthest away
from the ego, from her geocentristic blind spot. There is a hole in the story

because she refuses to make it complete. The accomplice has had no choice
but to create a story for himself where there is elliptical resonance, a place

where movement and speech have direct dependency on one another, always being
interchangeable and reflective, never being incongruent and falsely represented.

the willing and the accomplice: enunciation

She asked him what she should have been doing this whole time.

The physical space had accumulated so much so between them that plugging the gaps,
the layers of space which can exist between people, was more than each could sustain.

His physical space was small. The lines that drew him out of the house, twenty blocks
to work, to the barber, then back up the three-floor walk up have rarely deviated in the

years that have passed.

It is hard to really say what has been happening, or what was expected to happen,
she not even being sure in her own life, but there seems to be this ultimate agenda
that waits for her consent. Like it is her, the willing, that gets to say begin—


engage in dialogues as a way to prove to oneself that there are moments
outside of the passings of daily life that hold a heightened state of awareness;
a connectedness maybe.

At one point, she always answered the phone when it rang at 4 in the morning,
and even though the accomplice would later confess to the willing that it was better off

when she did not answer (he, generally being embarrassed when she did because
whatever had pushed him to the phone, to the number pad, whatever was chasing him

back and forth through the years, was gone when her voice sounded on the other end)
he secretly missed the reassurance that someone else was alive in the same way he was.

Actually, she wasn’t too sure if she asked him just what she should have been doing.
It was something that she meant to ask, but maybe had never actually annunciated,

afraid maybe that he would have told her to move or to wait or to become devotional—
these things did not retain enough sentiment for her stubborn spirit,

and the accomplice knew all of this, at least she had thought that he did.