Zigzagging an empty room. Tracing low ceilings with fingertips, confirming ease of reach. The man before me palmed a lightbulb as we glided through. “Tu pasaporte.” Stamp. “Gracias.” Arrived. Her surprise. Hugs and cries. Then out. That same burnt smell. Quiet arteries of a city, meeting at congested joints. The whites of his eyes stared at me, paced, as I ordered my morning coffee. Three aproned women stood up to shoo him away. “He said you’re beautiful because of your blue eyes and I am not.” A foreigner again. Hidden sugar. Expanding bodies. “He asked me if I was gay… Apparently being over 30 and skinny in Mexico means you’re either gay, or… not living, not married…” Inhalations that choke. Blue toilet water. Fabuloso and Glade plugins. Hives across my neck. He accidentally ran over her foot outside the Casa Azul. Quite a lot of stuff for a communist. Heavy Suburban doors. ¿Bulletproof, por que? I never close it tight enough. A smiling man with long hair in a VW van—full of dogs. Coyoacán. “I went to school there for a year, then they kicked me out.” Down the street from Cortes’s mansion, and La Malinche’s. They must have been fucking. Shivers at the oldest church in Mexico. I touched its wall. I don’t know why. Mezcal. 80s MTV, a cantina where grown men sleep. Huitlacoche, escamoles, caldo de res, elotes, tacos. Up a 1930s elevator, through a hall of agave and aloe, onto a rooftop terrace, an orange sky + mountain view. Some beers, some cocaine. Good people, good conversation. She’s escaping European lockdown. Lived in Berlin her whole life, but still, says they can sniff out her difference. Her high cheekbones, the in-tact femininity. A further East scent. “All the women in my family; PhDs in leather mini skirts.” Then into the tiny penthouse. Full of herbs and handmade clothes and trinkets, two busts, from a friend who passed, towers of books, an AR-15 in the bathroom, or was it an M16?, toothbrushes in an I <3 BERLIN mug, frames collected from all over the place, without intention, recklessly/beautifully. In a small circle, calm. Everything we need for now. I shared a leather chair with her as she trimmed her herbs. We spoke about lineage, sexuality, past knowledge, pain, the chaos of the modern world. What led to this. “Eventually, a future generation is just going to go absolutely bonkers again, orgies and everything.” “The kids today aren’t even fucking—-maybe their kids then.” “It’s going to be a fiasco.” I’ll be back in a few weeks.
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POEMS FROM PEDRO
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Fucked dreams lately. “She’ll commit suicide!” I saw her. Almost childish. “I have all this time, but I mean nothing to you unless I make money!” Naive, I know. I shouted. So much. Too much to process, so it comes at night. Mother. Also spectral. Like us. An amplified degree, apart from society. We never spoke about it though. Only just recently, I brought it up. After watching ‘Love on the Spectrum’ on Netflix, and seeing reflections of all of us. Irritation. Patterns. Routines. Addictions. Nuances. Little things. Looks. Eye contact at times too intense. Certain noises. Smells. Artificial fragrances. Construction dust. Not construction dust! Roll the window up! Poor AQI. Mask up. Before we were lonely together, already apart. What else? Habits and rituals. If broken, potential disaster. Easily irritable, given conditions. Hard to socialize. Anxious. Self-harming. Alcohol. Substance intake overload. In, in, in. Stuff it down. Numb it out. Sensory explosion. What else? So much else. Colors, patterns. Music helps. Piecing together a puzzle, across the ocean, my grandmother and me in the same motion. No communication. Better to shut it all out than to be overwhelmed. How can we help it? All this emotion. I get too into it. Insanely intricate homes on SIMS as a kid. And LEGO buildings. Hours and hours. Should have been an architect, a designer. Can I change now? Maybe. Move from words to images. Words fail me. So do images. Nothing will do, but I have to do the best I can. Do I? Hm. What else? Overanalyzing. Rationalizing as a form of self-soothing. Self, self, self. It consumes me. I do. So much going on inside, lost in thought, I spiral around until I fall over and into myself. Endless limits. I know which roads to take, always. Map of a mind. I know which streets have the most jasmine planted. I follow scents, certain windows, glass I like. Preferences cemented in. But recently, with psychedelics, more self-aware (is it possible? yes, I was so blind to all of this before, just in it, now I can see it and experience it too, from/within some outer awareness) and open to change. Going with the flow, sometimes. But that’s all there is. So why resist and get mad if it doesn’t feel perfect? That’s another thing. Perfection. The smallest pore. You see nothing until it all comes out. And it does. At my own expense. Energy, energy, energy. Picking at myself. Impossible to sit still. Well, not impossible. In groups, in rooms with people, I can. With peer pressure. Peer pressure! Easily disguised as shyness. As a kid, a teenager, hopeless, running in circles trying to fit in, what a piece of shit. I hated it, that, her, the result. Sometimes still. But I also see the spark underlying all of it. And her, it, I love. Learning to focus on that. What else? So much else. Tasting details. Drawing parallels. I will find a way to live with this, even if I don’t, I will live with this. And it will be beautiful. It will be my art, to find a way, to be okay. I will no matter what. It all will.
Quarter tab panic attack. ~~ Everything is nonsense. Only comedy makes sense. Art maybe, but less and less. Only art without a point, but isn’t that the point? Art always has a point. No, something else. Fuck. This has a point. These words are the epitome of a point. A failed attempt, at that. Nevermind. It’s not having a point that irks. It’s certain ones. Regurgitations. I’m not arguing for pointlessness, that too would be nonsense. Everything is both and simultaneously, and infinitely, pointed. Tapped, touched. Connected. Whether it wants to or not. Disregard desire. But what makes anything different? Not the ones I see more and more often. I guess that’s the problem with humans and everything: the more and more often. Maybe immoral to think these kinds of thoughts. Anti-humanist in a sense. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a bioethicist with a fancy Monash degree. Western-moralist-problem-seeking. I prefer to glance outside of us—afraid I’m inside far too much. When I drove by those two dead crows on the side of the road and looked up to see a city before me, I regret aspects of humanity. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. We fucked up. What can I do other than off myself? What’s left? Pinker says the numbers say we’re getting better at being together, but at what cost? Chessmaster, tell me, should I sacrifice myself for the game? One less white pawn in the way. So much art these days is about being of a certain way, but we all are. // Too separate. Too insane. Too alone. More than ever. Blowing up his Spam folder. Confessions of love, pathetic pleas, apologies. Wanting him to see. There’s no point. Ah! No point. No point. But there always is, even if it thinks it’s not. Nothing entirely pointless. Or could it? Maybe everything’s pointed. Even from afar, touching. Dancing around some center together. Both must be, so much relies on each. To dance, that must be it, all must… no—not must—that’s a bad word. Too sure of itself. But, then again, one without the other seems unlikely, even in spontaneous eruption. Could it be? Didn’t it form elsewhere before piercing through? That’s it, as it was. Not just an explosion. A drop out a hole. That was it. What’s the point? Now my mind’s just going to strange places. Haven’t been touched for seven months. Since Sam. I’m starting to go mad. I really am. This is it. You made it! Welcome! We’re here! Madness. Everything but all of it. How embarrassing. How selfish. We are! We are! Right? Even if an Ego is writing this, yours is reading it too, isn’t it? And able enough to think itself around words, how undesirably, how much they need it. To get somewhere. Going! That’s what it is. Always going. Never content. But see, I knew this. I’ve known all of this. Or thought I did. That’s the depression seeping in. The ever inward mirror. Looking down. Picking at it. Sad. Stupid. A girl who was both loved and unloved. She craved so much until she ripped it all out.
today’s journal entry~~~
Cardboard boxes. Mattress pads of the street, but upright at my door. Before slicing the tape. Everyday. Sometimes even Saturday. And Sunday. I forgot that nothing stops here on Sundays. Okay, some businesses, but most, operating. Always. I’ve been shopping too much on Amazon in quarantine. I know it’s not good. The workers are treated like shit, barely offered benefits, barely paid, let alone time off. Endless delivery. I know those boxes are a total waste. Sure, recyclable, but all that energy. All that mass. Must be accumulating in landfills too. Soaked or spoilt. Bent too many ways. They’re everywhere. Especially here. We take too much. This is where our imbalance stems. Too much in, not enough out, the curl is collapsing in on itself. It’s too heavy. Too much to hold. Too poisonous. It gets inside, and infects like a virus, and at some point you’re believing the truths of the told and the told might not always tell the truth. They only serve a narrow specificity, always incomplete. We’re all blind in infinite ways and so much more than we portray. So much more than we can speak, than we can write, than we can read. Miranda July said on April 20th, 2020, online from her home in Los Angeles, for her City Arts and Lectures interview, that she would fail in attempt to use words to describe this moment, while we’re in the depth of it. COVID-19. Quarantine. Everything has changed, some things likely permanently (maybe later: thankfully). She said to try to describe this current reality would be like trying to describe falling mid-air. Afterward, grounded with more perspective and information to gather. Our little mind machines. But she said, words are her job, and alas, she would try. She’s shocked by our ability to adapt. Experiencing a bit of Stockholm Syndrome herself (a reaction unlikely in Stockholm right now). How could the end of this be near and how will she go back into the world and how will she start seeing other people? There’s really never and always a good time to use words to explore lines and connections across hypercubes. Which point is the best? Hard to say, from any given event, it will always change. We can never see with the clearest accuracy ahead or behind in a hallway that perpetually turns. I don’t know how many used books or records I’ve bought since lockdown. Other things too. Some clothes. Things I hope to wear once I can get out of here. I mean, I do get out, for walks and sometimes for coffee, but I haven’t been to a grocery store in weeks. Just small shops. The Fort Mason farmers’ market on Sundays. For the first time I ordered toothpaste online, something I said I’d never do. Bath salts, bedding, a laminator, a label maker. What else? Too much. Too much in, not enough out. Yet another addiction born of privileged position to get a handle on. It’s stress buying, I guess. But it gives me hope sticking little notes around the city. It gives me hope to see mounds of stories to read, the possibilities. One book leads me to another, and so on, Fibonacci. Still self-serving. Is it a hopeless condition? Manic over-consumption? Even the herbs and weed. To-go cups of coffee. Suppose this state of increased uncertainty, and widespread panic, is making things worse than actuality. So it’s easy to spin into neurosis from time to time during this time, if not its entirety. So people are stockpiling. A transactional means of avoiding feeling something. The anxiety. Well, that’s what seems is happening. (The American dream?) I don’t know. I have to say, my perspective is purely observational and experiential. With a skewed social lens. Been inside most days for over a year, most of my time living in Melbourne. Reading. Puzzling. Avoiding. Hiding. It’s just that now people also avoid me as much as I avoid them walking down the street to get a bite to eat. Really, quite pathetic—the stewing, the sadness, the long showers, the uneasiness, the madness, the heartbreak, and the neediness to mask it—but also, strangely beautiful and metamorphic to spend so much time circling a cube. Unwrapping a box. I haven’t emerged out the other side of this nearly year-long inward trip. (Do we ever?) Hard to say from inside it, but aren’t we always filtering through limits of body? Its relation, its settings. I could say nothing. Yes, silence is an option. But it seems, without thinking about it too much, soothing settles into its favorite pattern. Tea water boils, letters join, and ends stack.
taunted by my submission,
hopeless sin love,
I smiled it awake.
( ^ nope )
said the woman to the men
carrying the tufted leather couch
to the top of her
he took so long to come
but now every capillary
is red and pulsing
can’t imagine seeing you
I would want it
she is all I see in an eternal orgy
her face faces eyes
while he’s in her
he, a mystery
but she is me
he was beautiful
he’s still in me
seashells he brought for me
stained with my ankle’s blood
sun on a page
until you look away at another man
with a suitcase
as soon as I drank him,
I went into a trance
and knew exactly what to do
oh no my pages run up quite soon
didn’t know he’d take up so much space
the ink leaves out
what I do
it will go
he wouldn’t want to rush anything
all these weddings around me
a man sprints past
a woman poses
a boy in Doc Martens shamefully stuffs
a plastic checkered picnic blanket
into an overfilled trash bin
a little girl screams
all the leaves
I can’t collect or recollect
two men on their way
with a gallon of cooking oil,
eye contact with a skater
as he bombs the hill I climb
it’s all happening in front of me
while I’m busy writing it down
the same alley I entered
of course I can’t breathe
with my nose plugged
he gave me a poem
Everything he spoke sounded like regurgitations heard before. Isn’t every word? Doesn’t all expression come from someoranother? Can it be tapped straight from an unfiltered prime/pineal source? May translate through combinations of rule, encoded through, but it can. It can it can and it might feel mad but let it.
waiting to depart the room we arrived,
uncertain which gate screens won’t update.
she said it was not a cultural experience,
the maids, the service with a smile,
the menu, prices in U.S. dollars.
excess overflowing the absence
washed-up onshore, discarded at sunrise.
you can have it all on this island in the middle of everywhere.
cloaked women sweep our trace
inhale smoke blown oversea
what a miracle it would be to make it out breathing
Mental diagnosis felt like an act. A script I shouldn’t have played into. Some do. Some need to. Those whose function cannot find place. Like mine at the time. But I was passing through—turbulent heartbreaks, growing pains, clashes with Hims—and mistook role for reality. I overthought my relation to it, that joy and suffering, and tied it to a being beyond. I regret that now. Or at least can see it as it was: seeking, clenching, grasping. Am I nothing more than a need to reach? Maybe. I’m human. Some childlike essence that shows in contours when ignoring and blurring details of pores. Take off my glasses and focus on the obscure. The fuzz. That uncertainty between me and it. Subject in/to object. Still disoriented in space, lost along the way, I may trip a few times too many, but that’s okay. Because it’s only and not me at all.
A teary night. Heartbroken morning. Put on some tea and sat. Forced myself out the apartment. Biked to the studio. On my way, I noticed a smashed vase in the gutter. Like broken bubbles. The sun hit those curves and even the sharp edges reflected softness into my eyes. It was just a brief glimpse. Thought about stopping to take a photo, to capture the feeling—shattered. With puffy eyes that glistened like all those pieces. But I was late, so I sped past and thought I’d return later. I practiced. Got coffee with some others. Listened to them. We spoke in and out the night before. Removed myself from it. That thisness. And then, as I smiled and waved goodbye, I decided to bike back to that glossy mess and take a photograph, but by the time I returned, it had been swept away. Only one shard remained.