A series of jarring reminders appearing as part of your continuous rotation of denial.
(authored in collaboration with GPT-2)
NARRATOR: A PETROCHEMICAL DEVICE THAT TEMPORARILY TRANSFORMED ONE ANIMAL
AND CHANGED HOW WE THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
ON THE STAGE WE SEE A MINIATURE OIL RIG PRESIDED OVER BY THE NARRATOR
AND A GROUP OF PEOPLE STANDING AROUND SURROUNDED BY CHAIRS AND ANIMALS.
USHERS HELP THE AUDIENCE TO EXIT CARS IN ORDER TO ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT.
You are dead.
It’s your fault that a small segment of the audience’s grace
has failed to hold on.
I want to be reborn as algae:
to live in the sun wailing in,
long pieces entangled
in weighted treelashes.
It’s impossible to choose between extinct forms that spiral
with gravity, the act of cooling.
An icy sloth tube pushes air against acid and flames,
then distills into permafrost.
Imagine what it would feel like inside a baby carriage.
Maybe like floating throughout geology.
This keeps your lungs from overflowing
out into the stratosphere.
As we descend in height, gravity becomes more controlled.
Our footprints give rise to heavier soil and ocean currents.
Once you begin to notice how little space you hold on to, you
won’t be able to pull your belly up in the air. Instead, your
body will push forward with your feet as cables link the
We make small adjustments
that become a part of our life force if need be.
How many people can manipulate waves like these snares
in front of a live audience?
Who is Oil? The honest audience member?
Oil is pain. Just another day.
Oil is that joyful fluff which seals wounds,
unraveling ropes, opening when flames come at you.
Oil is a quilt for crawling down drains.
After many years as a gas station attendant, your day job
became caring for petrochemical processes (from leeches to
protozoa wings) before diving head first to shore.
Probably you were not the adult that day!
Deciding to take in water late at night transformed my body
language into a gas-dependent identity-hole, then coated your
entire face with petroleum jelly from a toothpaste tube.
If I breathed, it would become
impossible to burrow out.
We recite, before retreating.
So I called 911 and pleaded with the
cops to get over to the cordoning-off.
The cops responded loudly: “Beads of
coral gracefully rise from the acid
canards and our conceptions of
sustainability begin to wane.”
Sleepless ankles crossing the floor in swim trunks.
This allows you to step out from the acid
when the stairs fall.
Lace and blood, red, mark where the rope has tentacled.
Annual beach showers built on site,
Beach waves rise twice weekly in winter months,
winter vacations are now the exception to heaven.
Our movements can subtly disturb other animals.
Even if we make a mistake, perhaps our placement is enough.
Sometimes, the students go along with
me and we go back to our respective
camps. I pulled something like Alaska
Black Salmon from this BP screenprint,
too. I think it makes a cool backpack
or an emergency medicine bottle.
Your wishful thinking limits you:
You have countless reserves to burn: pebbles, mummies,
crystals, clay. Cast out.
Reinforcing crust which allows movement.
When we speak about what we come up
against, it’s simply not your fault
that I’m not feeling stable.
After all, breathing is a disorder, a state of necessities.
We make a quick spiral, detaching gravity.
And you aren’t ready yet.
What if I’m falling??? I don’t get it.
Why did you dump this bottle up?
(Old wounds are scraped tender
WE SEE A VIDEO ZOOM OUT ON TOP OF A PILE OF PETROLEUM RIGS,
FROM WHICH WE BOLDLY DESCEND THROUGHOUT HISTORY
HOLDING OURSELVES ERECT.
We can be exhausted by what we come up against,
but only by falling.
On the first try we fail, believing we can climb higher
in order to descend to the ocean liner deck.
When liquid comes after torture
it’s time to leave the rock in the bag.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLECOMING SOON with E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones