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Text editors, hex editors — In my continued novice experimentations with image / file corruption, occasionally I encounter data that doesn’t seem to need any data “bending,” per se.
Wraith-like and writhing, can you / do you see the phantasm trapped inside this loop, struggling for respite . . . fighting for release?
Nice to kick off the new year with a reminder that Cottonmouth Kisses hasn’t . . . well, you know : kicked it. In this case, thanks to the blog The Spaces Amid Love for posting an excerpt from the poem “Danielle, I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You.”
And since it’s been a while since this little bugger‘s inception, here are a few Cottonmouth Kisses reviews . . . “For Your Convenience.” : Via Marcus Pan of Legends Magazine † Kevin Killian of Small Press Traffic † Ara Taylor for The Bellingham Herald † Cara Bruce of The San Francisco Bay Guardian † Richard Davis for The Lambda Literary Review [ previously Lambda Book Report ] † Cathi Unsworth of Bizarre Magazine
I’m pleased to announce the release of Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp], the second full-length monograph of this visionary artist’s works, including dioramas, mixed media paintings and three-dimensional sculptures produced from 2005 to 2012.
Regarding the creative process of the “damaged anthropomorphized animals who would rather bite than be healed,” McGrath explains “The conception of these brainchildren is hard to pinpoint. They stem from the emotional encounters I have with humans, landscapes and objects, and are further shaped by the constant stream of words and images that survive my mind’s filter. Once I have the skeleton of an idea, the rest comes automatically, but staying on task through the many hours it takes to complete one of these works requires a heavy dose of news radio, stories, and audio books. For instance, the chapter titled ‘Altarwise by Owl Light’ started with a Dylan Thomas poem but grew during The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…”
She continues, “When I see the finished pieces it takes me back to the story or vice-versa, like memories from a vacation.”
As aforementioned, the tome is divided into sections — each paired with a passage from a poem or literary work that functions as a companion piece. The chapters are as follows :
[ accompanied by my poem Dead Letters : Twenty-Six Are in its entirety ]
With Tomorrow’s Scream
[ accompanied by a quote from Redmond King ]
Elizabeth — a.k.a. Liz, a.k.a. “Bloodbath” — McGrath is the only artist whose creations I collect, and without doubt, one of my favorite people on the planet. We met through a mutual friend in 2002, when I was asked to M.C. the Broken Dolls fashion show in January of the following year.
I’ve written about her numerous times between then and now : regarding the release of her first retrospective Everything That Creeps in January of 2006, the premiere of Cecil B Feeder‘s documentary Bloodbath : The Movie, the main subject of which is — yep, you guessed it — in 2011.
I even modeled for CREEP Clothing, Miss McGrath’s collaboration with B.F.F. Winter Rosebudd : a feat which included strutting around Echo Park with an evil-horned creature [the duo's slaughtered chupacabra stole] draped about my shoulders, the pièce de résistance complete with velvet cloven hooves and a poisoned arrow. And did I love it? Every fantastic click and tick of the clock.
In short, Liz is generous, genuine, a true talent, and a stead-fast friend. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and truly : I’m honored to be part of this chronicle of her creative outpourings.
Oh. And uh, in the event you might have been “skimming”? It’s as simple as this : Incurable Disorder = new book you need in your life. Me? New poem in book. Matter of fact, I’ll save you a click and leave a copy right here, even . . .
Composed in a strict poetic form I created, the details of which can be found HERE. ⟣ Thanks!
Tragic foreshadowing . . .
But I’m not here to make judgment calls. Correction : judgment calls regarding her extra-curricular activities, or — you know. Life in general. Instead, the query that’s a hot tip for me, Mary . . . A cursory glance at her courtroom attire, and I have to ask : Does she not have any queer friends? Or even white-washed WeHo GHEYS, for that matter?
‘Cause if so, whatever shady phag let her out of the house wearing that $30 Hollywood Blvd synthetic wig needs to be bound and gagged in Abercrombie & Fitch for the next decade! [The ultimate punishment : release the little shit once he's past his tweenage prime.]
Oh, but wait. I assume you guys know about The T that went down in Twitter-town?
Miss Bynes had a less-than cordial response. I’ll spare the vitriol and leave it As It Is.
Mmm-hrmm. I know, baby girl. I know. Oh, but just a little technical ish? Well aware you were “in character” and all that : but this don’t look nothin’ like no grin . . .
Diggin’ that low-rez, slightly glitched-out look, howevs. Very au courant, in fact!
Sheet. Just one last thing. Hon, umm . . .the make-up brush? Makes all the difference if you touch your skin. Pinky-swear and pierced cheeks, darlin’.
Back When I Knew Who I Was
i was content to spend my afternoons
wondering what co-dependent meant
not realizing that those lazy
humid daylight hours was better
spent figuring out the physics
of dependency and codeine dreams
back when i knew who i was
i was much better than i ever thought i was
i could conjugate fuck like nobody’s business
fuck me, fuck you, fuck it, fuck him, fuck her
fuck them, fuck yourself, holy fuck, goddamnfuckit
i could shovel dead pets off the driveway
that my aunt ran over on her way to choir practice
and not shed a single tear
i could choke down every family fight about money,
every caning that would come for no reason after those fights,
every time we were forced to go to my rich relatives for dinner and we’d
find ourselves in the kitchen cooking and doing the dishes.
i believed i knew the meaning of alcohol
i believed i knew how to get out of every scrap
i believed i wasn’t gonna make 25
i believed in 18 molecules of carbon
21 molecules of hydrogen
3 oxygen and one fab nitrogen
all in a sweet mixture enough to make me
feel like jennifer beals in flashdance
twirling my ass
in front of the snotty audition,
praying for a stinking place in
the dance-a-thon of actuality
back when my balls were the size of brazil
and my ego was the size of the antarctica
and my courage was the size of phlegm
i learned to trust few people
learned to want little
and to need even less
i learned to say “FUCK IT”
with such ease and venom
the most cynical rattlesnake
would have its underbelly turn emerald
in two seconds flat.
you could wake to find yourself in some sweet danger,
in some piss-flavored version of addiction
designed to make up for lost time,
lost ideals, lost lovers, lost causes, lost saviours
but -shit- these days,
all i find is myself back when i was
back in the conga line of perpetual desire
the territory of an incessant need
i crave my one habit of a good man
and i want to secede from
the grip of addiction philosophy,
from the colony of “i should’ve known better”
fuck that 12-step thing, i say,
i like to keep my options open
and i like having the option
to get absolutely fucked up
when i feel like it,
and not feel like i fucked up, dammit.
do things change that much?
can some stupid sign from the almighty
whip you right around?
maybe i should be looking for visions of jesus
in billboards of spaghetti sauce,
visions of buddha in men’s semen,
maybe i’ll be a much better person
if i knew who i was when i knew who i was
but who the fuck do i think i am?
i can’t even piss straight into the bowl,
can’t even tell my lover that i want to cook him
breakfast for the rest of my life,
can’t even cross against the light,
(ooh, walk to the light, walk to the light….)
can’t pay my bills on time nor balance my checkbook
can’t dance, can’t mosh,
can’t get fucked up like i used to, not that i want to anyway
can’t take it like a man, whatever that means.
all i can is kiss who i was
back when i knew who i was
goodbye, one great big tongue smooch
and wish him a good journey
as he walks to the light
and falls off the edge of the earth
and into a peaceful hell.
i’ll meet up with him later.