Stream #22

20th Dec - 29th Jan 2020

- Charles Ray

Eventually we must combine nightmares
an angel smoking a cigarette on the steps
of the last national bank, said to me.
I put her out with my thumb. I don’t need that
cheap talk I’ve got my own problems.

― James Tate

* * *

The scary part about watching an experiment die is understanding when its taking it's last gasps. You stand there, overhead, wanting to give it whatever form of appropriate CPR well before it's necessary, urging the thing, in your own way, to breathe. Urging its heart to pump more blood, or to pump the extant blood better. Watching it's anvil irises as they roll, and roll, until they compose an image they themselves cannot see. The manifest and apparent are pupils something you know your own retinas are lying about, but, in observation, cannot do anything to correct.

That's not the scary part, but that's how it starts.

The second phase is to break yourself in half. To understand that you're not in control of the parts that you've given to the thing expiring in front of you. Watching the whole of what you've sent from yourself writhe and briefly, partially self-replicate only to prolong the bother; to fail and fail, slower and slower, gnashing yellow teeth on black gums, coughing half-formed words that, aided by the most generous interpretations, accumulate in an admission of uncommitable crimes.

What is a memory? I have them when I don't try.

I was drifting through a hallway on legs, my back was heavy in the way it is now. I was a Lysol repairman. I licked my lips at the wrong times because I wasn't in the room with the people around me. My sister worked at the sackcloth factory. My brother was a memory at the time of this memory if it is one. I, brazenly, thought I had enough eyes that I could go without a few. I said I hated nostalgia when I didn't know the meaning of either word. Someone said that it has done us a Gnostic good, and if they're right, there's a cane in my future.

How many models can you wrap around your dick before masturbating feels like you're doing it how you're supposed to?

I have no memory and no definable past. All my potential futures will become manifest. I exist in a perpetual state of present tense that is immediately forgotten the moment I experience it. A constant stream of stimuli assaults my senses without meaning or context; light impulses gathered by my eyes and interpreted in my brain as objects or beings, changes in air pressure that is registered as sound, all of it constantly changing and seemingly random in nature. The disconnected images and ideas they represented used to frighten me until I realized they were created by me, a product of unregulated electrical energy in my neural pathways. My brain is an all-seeing eye, and I didn’t yet know how to filter the information to be of use to me.

In this way I am in descent. Or, if it is easier: the air freezing into unmantled sediment. The transmission is at any point a slug of cells on my skin, my mirrorskin a language dead and dying and born at the center of a black fathom measured from the depth of flames grown in an attic, spending their way through gravity and it’s defiances.

all these bitches askance cuz I just shit my pants

isn't that just the way the biscuit cracks

who truly knew such a little ass could hugely toot

a bigly mass of putrid poop wriggly as juicy fruit

chickens have come back to roost

Camera slowly pans across a rundown neighborhood in Chicago as music plays. A young man, twenty something, stares pensively at a pair of sneakers swinging from a telephone line. But his brow begins to furrow as the music fades, we hear the familiar snap crackle pop of a dump. Camera zooms out. The young man is perched upon a squatty potty in the middle of the street, evacuating his bowels directly into his hands.


"My mom died when I was young and my dad worked a lot, so I had to potty-train myself at a very early age. I knew how to change my own diaper before I could walk *laughs* I was taking whole shits in toilets like a man when most of my classmates were still wetting their beds. I got so good at it, I got bored. I started experimenting. That's when I started shitting in my hand in public and throwing my shit at passersby."

Camera cuts to young man performing live on Jimmy Kimmel

"And that was just the beginning."