NEUTRAL SPACES

NEUTRAL

SPACES

Stream #15

13th - 19th Apr 2019


- Giacometti



They say any artist paying six dollars may exhibit.
Mr. Richard Mutt sent in a fountain. Without discussion this article disappeared and never was exhibited.
What were the grounds for refusing Mr. Mutt’s fountain:
1. Some contend it was immoral, vulgar.
2. Others, it was plagiarism, a plain piece of plumbing.


- The Blind Man




* * *


There was no longer a space. Swollen claustrophobia. They came from a place we couldn't reach and with handfuls of dirt they built canyons.

They had forgotten the ancient, but we were the uneducated. We were not fast enough to learn and as we washed from the condensation of their machines our crops rotted from the root.

The hands of our children thinned. Their stomaches swollen. To share what we had left I would chew food into the pot. I would suck the taste and bloat each meal with cups of water. They dug deeper and we were too weak to jump across the divide.

I killed one of them. In a fit of passion, anger. He had glasses. But couldn't see that I was behind him.

Death brought anger and we were crushed underneath smiles. Rocks were thrown and the old were too slow. At first we tried to attack back but we could never clear the space. Instead we learnt to build a shelter. Safe spaces.

Months after the death, punishment came. We learned that anything above ground was not ours any more. We built. Things stood, and then... they didn't. Even though we weren't skilled, the houses didn't fall. They were swallowed. The ground sunk, rippled. Sometimes it cracked open and stayed that way, huffing. We lost half a dozen that way. Then we decided to go underground, as much as that was possible.

"If you leave and can't see it" Cass said to me one day while I was crying, "don't expect it to be there when you get back."

Every day, in the red light of dawn we ventured out tethered like dogs to the horizon. We had an hour, maybe, to find new shelter. Daylight meant discovery. Night was worse. Success let us relocate at dusk. Somehow every morning felt like a new planet.

Our backs grew heavy and precious. One of us scouted for movement, the other looked and took in scenery. We traded off, but interest in things like fairness and exploration waned. We remembered how everything happened, or thought we did, and knew enough to try to not make it worse, but we were getting hungry.

When there were more of us someone told me about a story they used to like, a brutal tune about the end of things when that reality was distant enough someone could play with it. They only mentioned it once. Then they shook their head, spat, and laughed. That night I watched the dark spot on the floor until our fire went out.

The next day they twisted their ankle in a canyon as the sun was coming up. Their scout made it back, they didn't.

WANTED - HOME WRECKER - DEAD OR ALIVE

Last seen in the arms of the man you thought you loved

Considered armed and extremely vivacious

Threat to your children and regenerative substructures

The avenging spirit awaits penance

exhibition of a death sought
sedan dome light flickers orange filaments
rooting themselves in the skull

a display a performance a joke in us
the vulgarity in everyday life rejected
favored for tastes of an unreality
no shitblood on the hands

the canyons are empty
armed with crags of sharpened clay
impale myself against a background
of beast bubbling up underneath
the savanna soil

voluptuous with love

Scum-footed full of dread. Is my beauty vulgar? I'm a mutt wearing his Sunday best, not fit for consumption, set to destruct, black magic dripping off my fingers, glasses of iron bent against my temple.

gunk between my teeth / industry beasts consuming 9-5 carcasses / hypnotic horrors on the timeline / no expression just scroll thru / the boy band at the murder again / structure dissolve the natural / crack the tablets on my tongue / leashed self muzzled my demon / dawn lights cracking my skull

We take turns carrying the bill. We set a rotten potato on one another’s head and point our finger guns, willing gravity might fill in the blanks. It will. In time. When the game is over I take the potato home. I bury it. I write a eulogy and dream of shooting holes in the lovers and listening to the dry clack of the crows that fly their bodily city.

In love / forever / waves waves waves

We drill holes in cacti and hide ourselves in their angular hollows

I want to frame my nephew's school photo but it is too small. Micro-cosmic.
I think about putting it in the largest frame I can find.
I think about going to Good Will and getting something that I can barely take home on the bus.
I can use newspaper as matting.

His small face above a collar, framed in newsprint detailing atrocities committed on his upcoming birthday and birthdays past.
A kind of memorial.

His empty suit laid in the canyon floor. His glasses crushed, their deadspider frame clenched like a fist.

We light candles at the cuffs of his jacket, wait for dusk to come down and pluck the flames.

“We’re gonna need to move on soon,” I tell Cass. “We won’t survive long here.”

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