Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Trolley by Igor Kholin

The trolley is flying
Down Peace Avenue
Riders commute.
Out to the market
A brave soldier
Rockets toward
Leave - that's his target.
A bookkeeper clutches
His briefcase
So thick.
This young man here?
A mechanic.
Nights, Trolley
Restoring power.
Takes a cold shower.
Trolley loves
Trolley loves
Trolley loves
And if nobody
Won't take

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

old 'scow letter 2 D_S (Moscow September 2014)

I went to the bank and everything there was broken--
the ATMS, the currency exchange, everything. They had no internet.
They told me that nothing worked. 
As he was talking to me, the guy behind the counter was also talking to this woman he worked with
She was in a nice, navy-blue business dress
As he was talking to me, he snuck his hand up her arm in a way that she didn't notice at first
And then she did. She yelped and shook him off as he smiled up at her from his chair. 
It seemed like she was his supervisor.

Outside of a japanese restaurant, they had this hellscape set up in the window--
bars instead of glass, and a tree stump and a tree 
Inside this cage
and a full "japanese tea set "with a teapot and teacups and saucers, 
except instead of tea, they were all full of sunflower seeds 
and the people who lived in that cage were for some reason
two live squirrels who were literally, my friend, GOING NUTS. 
One was running back and forth and spastically scratching itself and 
jumping all over the place because it had clearly gone 
fucking bonkers in there. 

And the thing in the end with the devil guy from the subway
Was that he was the old woman's "pimp"
That's what everyone told me when I told that story
I'd be like, "I saw the devil" and so they'd hear me out, and then explain:
"He was her pimp"
Like, she begged for money on the street all day
And had to pay him a cut in exchange for.. being allowed to do that 
I still contend that this doesn't mean that he wasn't
the actual devil

"and the devil hears everything!"

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Final Crumb of X Redux

"This Place Is Romantic In A Way That Would Best Be Shared"

August 10, 2015

Mollie came over around noon, she had been waiting to hang out with me since 9 and had apparently woken up at 5 or 6, but I needed a few hours to draw before seeing her. I spent most of the hours between 9 and 12 lying naked on my bed, looking at my drawing, and pacing the first floor in my housecoat, relating the story of a love affair I'd had several years ago to myself in my head. I drew approximately 200 tessellating hexagons in wobbly perspective and made myself cry twice. I was excited for Mollie to see my drawing. After she looked, she sat down on one of my footstools while I sat on my floor cleaning out my one-hitter. Immediately, I told her that she should move to New York City. She is currently staying with her father outside of Boston, panicking about where to live following a three-month artists' residency in Venice, and is in Philadelphia for several days trying to decide whether or not to live here. I hadn't heard anything about her life yet and have not talked to her in about three months, but as soon as I told her what to do she decided that she was moving to New York. "I understand you," I told her. "I'm only telling you what to do because all I want is for someone to tell me what to do." "YES!" She exclaimed. We high-fived. For us, untethered from the Earth by jobs, pets, or lasting romantic relationships, ever trawled by nets of narcissistic mania, lack of money, and shitty trysts, this was a serious conversation. Maybe we're both gonna move to New York sometime in the next few months.  "We can't stay in Philadelphia. It's beautiful, but it's too lonely here."

I am listening to my new roommate have sex with a different woman than the one she introduced me to this morning. I am on Molly, the drug. I bought it from Laura two days ago when Laura showed up to a show having taken two pills, complained that it did nothing, then spent a large portion of the night gyrating on the grass we were sitting on, strangely cross-eyed, growling "Doesn't fucking matter." My roommate is fucking very loudly. I was very afraid of the drug, so I waited until the next day to do it. Me David and his boyfriend went to a place called "Devil's Hole," a small waterfall behind a grocery store in New Jersey, and I unscrewed the gel cap of the Molly and ate tiny dabs of the powder several times throughout the day. The Devil's Hole had a used tampon in it. I don't think the Molly did much to me.

 At midnight, the boys dropped me off at the train station in Newark, and I spent three hours getting home with a huge backpack and my bicycle. Many of the people on the trains, including a conductor, were visibly drunk and disheveled.  On the SEPTA from Trenton, an incredibly beautiful 23-year-old woman who I instantly identified as a stripper sat down across from me trying to charge her phone and told me everything. I couldn't stop staring at her, I immediately gave her what was left of my water and she took out three dollar bills and left them on the seat next to me but I still had to beg her to drink all ten gulps of it. She was dehydrated from shots, her phone was dead, and she needed to take a cab home from her stop. She had peach skin, freckles, and strawberry blonde hair, and looked so beautiful and also, like a child, talking into my cellphone to the cab company and mouthing, "Do you want to come home with me?" I absolutely had to say no.  She told me that she had wanted to be a Marine, done two weeks of training, but then her ex got out of jail, so she quit everything and moved in with him. He's gone. But meanwhile, she has broken her ankle and got a really bad burn on her left elbow from setting off a firecracker on a tennis racket, so the Marines are no longer a possibility for her. "What I really want to do," she told me, lighting up, "is build airplanes. How are they up there? It's all physics. The weather is all physics and that's how it happens. I want to know how to do that." Laurie. She wanted to hang out today, but I hung out with Mollie. 

I listened to Mollie talk for almost thirteen hours. I talked, too, for at least an hour or two of that, but mostly it was she. Or so it seemed to me, who is usually the one talking that much. At the end, she read me her diary as we sat in a bar, not drinking, because neither of us can afford more than one drink, and in fact, she had to help cover my four dollar Evan Williams and bitters on the rocks. We began on our walk from from my house to Center City, taking turns monologuing about our romantic situations.  In the last ten days, Mollie spent 20 hours then 30 hours having sex with a man who is now vehemently apologizing (via text message) for "sexualizing their friendship" and "ruining something pure." This man is 36. I know so many stories about men like this, but somehow, they still shock me. It was funny to me that Mollie (my roommate is cumming very loudly after a minute or so of quiet), when telling me the story and then, 11 hours later, when reading what she had written about it the night before - her diary a tiny notebook where the letters range from 3 to 5 millimeters tall, tiny pages of microscopic letters that she hopes are smaller than Walser's - she said the same thing as Saramax said to me about the boy she's sleeping with, when I was with her a week ago, at Coney Island. "You made me feel disgusting about my body and my sexuality."  (My roommate is cumming again. The Text doc keeps autocorrecting it to "cumin.") "Well, I'm happy for you that you got to have sex!" I told her, both jealous and sincere. "I know!" she said. "In two days, I had more sex that I've had in a year." 

Mollie was as afraid of Molly as I am, and just as eager to do it. Rushing west after eating Chinese, seeing her friend Sinead's art show, and stopping by Dick Blick to buy 10% warm gray colored pencils, which they were out of, we stood on the South Street bridge, having inhaled expensive iced coffees, and did our first dab. Mollie was mesmerized by the reflection of the skyscrapers sidewinding over the skin of the Schuykill in the wake of a motorboat. Later, as she was telling me about watching scrambled porn as a child, I remembered and realized that these two things look similar. Oh, and at "lunch," the only meal either of us ate today,  she told me about a night in Venice when she ended up with alcohol poisoning, being taken to the hospital in an ambulance boat. She had met a man on a bridge, gone drinking with him, and then he wouldn't leave her alone, followed her home and took the keys away from her before she grabbed them back and ran from him into an alley, where she passed out in a doorway. Gallantly, he called an ambulance and, as far as she can tell, did not rape her. In the course of this story, she told me about the women artists in their fifties who were also at the residency - one happy, with a family in Bologna, the other the head of the design department at the University of Honolulu and deeply difficult and depressed. I interrupted her to make her promise that if we crossed paths when we are fifty and found each other to be bitter and resentful, we would make a secret gesture. I am so afraid of that - haha, if I live that long. 

I wanted to take Mollie to Bartram's Garden, where I spend my time  in Philadelphia. Stoned, lathering myself into ecstatic states in a very earnest attempt to connect with myself and make myself happy, out of a lack of anything else to do in the hours between when I translate and when I draw, especially since Mollie left town and I don't know anyone else in this city except my roommate. Who is a nurse at Planned Parenthood and does not spend her evenings talking to herself, pacing a path in the imaginary forest, trying to learn how to move through space like a stingray. Making videos of herself falling down. Telling herself stories about her adolescence. Trying not to talk to her crush in her head and always just talking to her crush in her head. Telling him every detail of everything she sees and what she's thinking and doing while also fighting hard to be thinking and doing those things and not "telling him," trying to believe that he can't hear her thoughts and is not enchanted with her and with her, loving her. Sometimes I try to tell myself "I love you," and otherwise address myself directly, but it's hard.  It's hard to spend so much time alone and in your head. I want to be alone, sure, but I want someone there in my head with me - an audience. Something like that. I haven't figured it out yet exactly. As we walked toward Bartram's Garden, the sun low in the sky, I was astounded at how much Mollie had been talking all day and how she was still talking and how there was more and more for her to say - it felt so good to walk and listen, I love when women talk. 

We ate more Molly in front of the frog pond. "As long as we don't get trapped here humping the grass for hours," Mollie said.  Mollie told me about the Albino African frogs she had had as a child, which she thought resembled "water-logged bread," and whom she hated. "I even had a dream about them where they fell apart like water-logged bread." I remembered but didn't tell her the line Nadia once wrote me in an email, about how she was so anxious that when she tried to masturbate, she couldn't cum and lay there trying like "A white lady with her mouth full of bread." On the forest walk, I showed Mollie the movement I invented to try to resemble a stingray. She told me about kinetic ceramic sculptures of stingrays her father had made - he's an artist, too. The sculptures'  tails moved side to side - demonstrating, Mollie waved her arms. All of this is bound to have a serious impact on how I will attempt to impersonate stingrays from now on.

"Remember how stingrays look in Dutch paintings, when they are turned so that you see the faces on their bellies?"
"Yes! Have you seen the Soutine one?"

The sitting rock was taken, so we stood at "Vista Point," which I decided (in my head) to rename "Scenic View" after taking Mollie to my other spot which was more like a point. We walked past the place where "The groundhog I always hang out with" lives and startled the groundhog into the bushes.Then we stood at Vista Point under undulating clouds of gnats, staring over the river at the rusted, egg-shaped silos and the factory chimneys breathing fire into the twilight. Little silver fish jumped at the mouth of the marsh. I wanted to take Mollie to "Bat Field," which I discovered ten days ago, before leaving for my trip to Boston and New York. To see my friends, especially Ainsley, to meet Ainsley's baby. In the field over "Fruit Tree Slope," bats swarm under the rising moon, swooping to eat fireflies. It was getting very dark, and the cicadas had long been replaced by crickets. Mollie told me the story of a vicious seagull she'd seen in Venice. It had been intentionally drowning a starling.  It was so beautiful there, we couldn't tell whether the drugs were working or not. 

"Either way, the good thing is," I was telling her as we walked out of the 'forest,' "I haven't thought about that boy in like three hours." I tried to remember if that was really true, and decided that flashes of thinking about him were different than really thinking about him. 
"And I haven't thought about [that man], either! Maybe the secret is being with bats." I know for a fact it is not.  

We went home and finished the rest of the powder in the capsule, leaving behind a "large crystal" for me to take on another day, drank cans of seltzer, and smoked weed before heading to the bar, where neither of us could afford the cocktails we had allegedly come for. We talked for another two hours, during which I monologued about my relationship with the book I am translating, how it informs the book I am trying to write, part of which I had emailed to Mollie while she was in Venice and which I listened to her praise at great length, contrite and gratified (I.) I told her about the book I had translated with Ainsley, and performed a poem to her from that book, a visual poem. She stood with me outside the bar and listened to me click my tongue 64 times - my sound interpretation of an 8 x 8 square of dots. Then we went back into the bar and she read to me from her diary. 

From a description of a residency on Cape Cod she did last summer, where she was living alone on the beach for two months: "This place is romantic in a way that would best be shared." She was describing carrying a cod's head up the beach toward the hut where she was staying, forgetting to breathe as she drew thousands of tiny lines (on what became an incredible drawing of her, alone among obsessively uniform ripples broken by coves of reeds, finding the head of a cod and carrying it through the dunes.) We'd talked about this before, when I saw the drawing; we'd talked about how both of us forget to breathe while we're drawing. I stopped her so I could write the phrase down in my sketchbook. "This place is romantic in a way that would best be shared." I had just been talking about that on the phone with Matt a week or so ago, drinking and getting stoned alone on a roof in Queens under a full moon. I told her what I had told him, "I am afraid that the feeling of wishing there was someone here to make out with me is just me complaining." It was so beautiful there, I told her, why wasn't I just happy to be there? I wanted her to affirm this notion, that we are not lonely, or don't have to be lonely in these worlds. She said nothing. I can relate. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

weekend diptych

How the train made of black capsules looked over the solid blue water at dusk, after the vacant lot
Rusted white cupolas dripping veils of orange corrosion
Pulse points of sodium lights and factory chimney top flames, but mostly
A long mirroring cloth of blue air and blue water

Jordan's new man told us he met a man in st. louis whose job is to sail from one end of the earth to the other unspooling fiber optic cable, laying it at the bottom of the ocean
but and there are other men too who descend into glass chambers under the ships 
And stay underwater for weeks at a time as the craft roves the depth, working in shifts
Resting in solitude, yes, in the glow of their iPads

Shimmering a signal down from outerspace into the depths of the earth where the cord of the signals' core is laid

And us between, watching a noise ripple through the black train
Like god smacking a metal tub full of coal
But really a powerful wave passing from capsule to capsule
Gushing a river of deep-throated clatter
Fairy cilia of our little ears sparking to fuse a force field
Into the mush of our brains, bulging the globes of our beautiful eyes rolling around all around

When a man on the other side of the river steps out of a white pick up truck 
Dressed head to toe in hot orange 
Goes up to the train, bends, lifts an arm and releases
Pushing half the train off, sending it gliding
Down and away like a sliding glass door with no frame


I said, "I wonder what those are," pointing to the staggered metallic plates sticking out of the roof on one of the out houses in Bartram's Garden and Taryn said, "Those are snow jacks. My grandfather invented those." 

Taryn said she cried when we were dancing at the Cambodian New Year's celebration because she was so grateful to be there, she couldn't believe how lucky she was, she'd just recently been in Cambodia and she said that it was just like it. I watched her dance - about thirty of us had been dancing in a slow-moving ring - that's one of the dances. One is a line dance, and one is you do whatever you want, but in a group of people that slowly goes around in a ring. I'd catch glimpses of her from another part of the ring. 

Those were the main two things Taryn revealed. Oh, and she said, "Michael and I have known each other since high school," explaining the friend she'd brought with. Michael talked more than her, but not much, either. While we were standing on the water, between the abandoned lot and Bartram's Garden before climbing the fence into it, Michael stepped down from the concrete barrier he stood on, looking at the river, put his arms around me and said, "You are a really beautiful person and you're great to hang out with." Or something else shocking like that. I felt like he was about to kiss me, but then he might have also been gay. I couldn't understand and I dug my fingers into his shoulder to indicate that he'd stirred me. 

Michael and Taryn had watched me and Bison walk toward them from the direction of the temple holding hands, after I let Bison lead me around the temple's back parking lot holding my hand, introducing me to everyone as his girlfriend and hugging them all. He said, "You are like my sister. She's gone. Both of our parents were murdered." I knew that his mother was murdered in a robbery that his step-father had survived, and his step-father now has cancer and is dying up in the Bronx, but I don't know a thing about Bison's dad. I'm not quite sure where Bison is from: I think Laos? One group of people was particularly freaked out at this image: Bison, near-dangerous drunk, holding hands with some mysterious white girl, who probably looked tense but also like I was about to laugh, and he said to them, "This is my girlfriend," pointing to me. "I don't remember her name." And then I started laughing. 

He said, "Thank you for holding my hand." I said, "It's something I can give you." He said, "I am not interested in sex, I used to be, as a young man, now I am old. I am not interested in sex." I laughed and I said I understood, but really, I have my own theories. 

The day before, surrounded by 12 or so teenage boys all smoking weed and calling themselves his sons and going off to buy him dime bags, and scanning the ground for a lost joint, two of them beautiful 18 year old twins who look 12, America's skinniest white boys wearing its baggiest sweatshirts and smoking its copperiest vape and hanging out in Bison's tent passing around a handle of vodka in the garden (long beans, pumpkins) he planted behind the temple, among the stone statues he keeps, twenty odd lions, some broken like goddesses, a Hanuman with a crushed Redbull in his hand an a plastic machine gun hanging around his neck, under a flower necklace, and a mermaid he painted patina green holding a black conch shell he said was expensive, supporting a 15-foot-tall bamboo pole with an American flag at the tip Bison made, he said to me, "I love you but I don't know why," in front of Jordan and Chris. He said, "Will you be my girlfriend?" And I said, "Absolutely not." And he laughed so hard. Chris he said looked like Hollywood, Jordan, he said looked like John Lennon. And the next day he said, "What do you think of me? I am a crazy man."

Bison was wearing the same calf-length black silk jacket with a dragon embroidered on the back, loose pants, boots with no laces, worn out captain's hat, and the giant talisman with a deer's horn and stone wrapped in rags that his Master gave him.  His Master who he lives with in the temple, Bison sleeping under the bookcase full of silver urns full of people's ashes, and his Master in a room behind the altar, which is covered in gold statues, flowers, and has a giant polished elephant tusk. He says, "I love my Master."  The day before had been sunny and he'd been wearing no shirt, revealing a giant scar on his stomach from his surgery. Sunday was overcast with and strange wind and he was wearing a baggy white sweater than reached almost to his knees. With his scar in the sun, he had told Jordan and Chris about a woman who had chopped up her husband, "chop! chop! chop! Chop!" and left the pieces on the floor of her apartment, so that the blood had dripped down from the ceiling of the neighbors below. Sunday he bought everyone I was with shots of Henessey. Smoking a joint in front of one of the stalls where they were grilling chicken and beef and sausages on sticks, which had been handed to him by one of his "sons" whose face was covered in flour (everyone had been throwing flour in each other's faces as part of the new year celebration --Taryn and Michael later appeared with flour on their faces, but I never got any on mine --

              And well and slow, beautiful Cambodian rock from the stage reigned over this lot where maybe 1000 people were drinking in the backs of their cars or on blankets behind the food stalls, eating the meat on sticks, whole families, playing cards, the older generation in 70s style clothes, the younger dressed hip hop, and the oldest grandfather I saw, a synthesis in a grey pants and long grey tunic and a trucker hat reading "#FAIL, two monks in orange robes synchroniously turnnings as they filmed the scene, one on a phone and the other on iPad

Bison and I stood in front of the giant unfinished eating house that is covered in Tyvek Home Wrap and full of children - Cambodian and kids from the neighborhood who'd wandered into the monastery lot - running around in this open construction site, throwing silly string and shaving cream and flour and shooting off fire crackers and screaming. An amarinthine banner hangs over one of its unfinished doors reading "No Interference Is The Sinew of Peace)

He said, "I love you. Can you love me?" And I said, "No, I can't." He said, "..." I said, "I am young and stupid and you are old..." And he said, "And crazy." I said, "I don't think you are crazy." He said, "I have bipolar. The doctor says I have bipolar." I said, 'If you think you are crazy I believe you." He said, "I love you, but I love everyone," and he said, "Look at her." And pointed to a girl eating. "She is beautiful." He turned away from me. He'd been leading me around the festival making me stop every few paces to either point at something like two little girls scooping shaved ice from one cup to another, trading spoonfuls of each other's dessert like sand, and say, "Look! They are beautiful,"  or to talk to someone and embrace them and laugh with them, introduce me, say, "This is my brother," about everyone, because in his community, they all call one another brother and seem to mean it; everyone was glad to see Bison. When he turned back around to face me, a tear was rolling down his cheek. He had said, "I think about you when you're gone. What do you think of me?"

But when we went up to Taryn and Michael, Taryn, who I had met like a week ago and Michael that day, Bison was fine letting go of my hand, telling Michael he looked like Don Henley and Taryn like I don't remember what and talking about how he'd showered that day and it had felt good. He had said, "I just want to be loved for once in my life before I die." I said, "I can't do it," even though it's not true, its just that I don't want to be "his girlfriend." It feels like we're both 14. I should ask him if he likes chocolate. I don't want to bring him alcohol or cigarettes.

My tentative answer to Bison, "I think I know a little bit of why I love you." I didn't say that to him though. 

As I told them a lot of this, I led Taryn and Michael between heaps of mattresses, shit, rope, and broken bricks, glass, to the end of the road, to look at the river. Then, Bartram's Garden was lush green with purple, and yellow and white blooms, with a perfect green meadow dotted with yellow, the trees not yet leaved, leading us up the back, and no one was there as we quietly wound our way through. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Selfie at the Dog Beach" (Men for Women)

I'm so lonely I put on pants fro no reason
Even in pants I am alone
I hope the dogs are barking about me
I hope these dogs like wet raisins because that's what I brought to their party

It's humiliating being alone at a party
My fetish is humiliation
And loneliness
Around noon, you were taking a selfie with your dog
And you caught me watching

Monday, June 16, 2014

Andante Cantible

andante cantible

me:  dude, you should totally jerk off in front of a lightining bug

Matt:  hell yeah

Sunday, June 15, 2014

five random images from google image search as described on Facebook during a cyber-psychotic episod

five random images from google image search as described on Facebook during a cyber-psychotic episode

Arrogantly, they say they can cut the sea in strange shapes, drawing outlines and lines with arrows through their flat smears, whatever. Insofar as there are objects in the sea, all of them are unidentified. Insofar as there can be paths to them, well, they are everywhere. Wave your hand around in the dark: that's how you can tell you have a hand, you feel it and thus you believe and feel yourself capable of perception. Ball up your hand and use it to punch yourself in the balls (MEN): you have drawn the path to an unidentified object in the sea. 

In the dark, ignorance and pain are two different things but each capable of taking each other's places like liquid suspended in other liquid in two different (equally shitty) gravities. 

I only like a color or two, but i need a lot of things in that color. Preferably lots of shiny 
sticks--color in its purest form. Put the top of the sticks in bags so the color doesn't escape. Don't put the entire stick in the bag or else you will forget why the stick is in the bag. I do a lot of things to remind myself. I like to put other-colored sticks in bags next to bags of my favorite ones to remind myself about how much other colors suck.

…in the beginning the world was melon-hued, then it grew salmon, and somehow (oops, almost said someHO) it grew sickly blue-green. the world grew legs to cross over its aquamarine crotch so it wouldn't pee. what would happen if the world peed? 

God's beautiful lady arm would probably dip in the puddle with a thermometer striped like the world...

I am a process with five critical stages enclosed in four critical capsules. At five, the capsule is finally burst and my head is diffused in a fire. 

I begin as a cylinder with a green head. 
My core grows hot, which is not clear until a yellow skin grows on it and my head shrinks to a red dot. 
Before they explode, things become small. 
When they explode, I guess they are the smallest. 
They become nothing. 
Step six: I am nothing.

Where am I? I am in front of a reflective computer screen, but I am not here. What is there? The back or the inside of another computer, but only its reflective shadow. I put my hand on each of my breasts, open my chest, and from inside of myself, I project the white words between the two walls of shaded reflection: The NEWSROOM. The Newsroom drops its own name onto the ground beneath it, and there, the words lie on their back. Yes, the Newsroom.