rinse and the evolution

wind and it’s heavy
the lecture did
not make me think
of place and space
nor how we construct
meaning

the campus path
i decide
“i’ll slip into the poetic,
try to SEE”

but the trees
i can’t tell the species
and it’s an important detail

throats of (?) trees
bird song
as i pass

infinite black branches
overlap, superimpose
creating visual clusters
almost opaque
but as my angle shifts
they come apart
new clusters form

and my anger
over theory
is hypothetical
–i see that now–
contingent upon
my
belief
in theory at all

a little bird
hopped toward me
said something
in undertones

by the time all this
is collected and “felt”
and i get it into the casket
–a vehicle of the suburbs–
it already is eroding
fading out

and i can’t find my self
from which
i stand at the attic windows

and the poem is almost gone

then i have to turn the thing
and wind the other thing

what were the branches…?
the wind… how was it not?

not the night,
but closed eyes.

sex
instead of love.

words
against the light.

not diamonds,
but
cut and starry glass.

who watches channel zero?

Hello.

My name is Clay McCann. Several years ago (2010) I submitted a few poems for consideration, one of which was selected for publication by your periodical. The poem is entitled “build me down just to tear me up: the Mary-Anne Apts.” I received a contract by mail and duly completed it before returning it by mail. Since that time I have heard nothing from your publication. Neither pay nor printing of the piece has materialised. Further, I have written (late 2011) to your publication regarding this matter and received no reply. As I turned down another publication (CV2) at the time of acceptance from yours (in hopes of expanding my publication portfolio) I am trebly unimpressed with CanLit.

If I hear nothing from you by Feb. 21st, 2012, I will begin to shop the piece around once more. As a UBC student myself–MA in Anthropology/Creative Writing, Okanagan Campus–I am confused by your lack of professionalism as well as seeming complete disregard for a contributing writer. I Intend to send copies of this email to Margery Fee (presumably–from your website–Editor, CanLit) and Dean (Arts) Gage Averill in hopes of spurring some semblance of response from your office.

What a curious fandango… I expected more from such a distinguished periodical.

Dear Clay:

I’m the current poetry editor and we were happy to accept your poem. There has been a delay in publication due to the guest editing of a special issue that required additional articles (as you know, we publish scholarly essays along with poetry). We are sorry. We try to publish 24 to 28 poems per year, divided into our quarterly issues, but I don’t have any control over the print publication timetable. Vetting the articles and assembling an issue is much more complicated than assembling the poetry. Your poem is in the queue and I hope to see it in print soon.

respectfully, Glenn Deer

Dear Clay:

We apologize for the delay and for not having the email below forwarded to you. I hit the “reply all” button and thought you had received the note in December, but it was sent back to the reviews office. I was the one who accepted your poem and I wanted to include it in the special “Poetics” issue, an issue which was delayed while the search for appropriate vetted articles and final assessment reports was ongoing. Now it seems that the issue is over length and we are still needing to shift some of the pages and poems. As you know, we are a quarterly but the timing of publication does depend on mustering the necessary number of accepted academic articles, with the poems then lining up in a queue.

If you would like to withdraw your poem at this point for a different venue, we will understand. We respect your feelings about this, though we have done our best to assemble the next issue in a timely manner. I personally really felt strongly about your poem (and lobbied for keeping it in the face of contrary opinions by our guest editors) and would still like to have the privilege of seeing it in print under our banner. As for payment, the practice has traditionally been to issue the cheque once the poem is in print.

Sincerely, Glenn Deer
Associate Editor (Poetry)
Canadian Literature

Glenn;

Thank you for responding. As perhaps you are aware, the CDN poetry biz can be tough on the ego and events in my relations with CanLit have made me feel less than under-appreciated. However, if I am to be circumspect, your response was respectful and illuminating of the trials of “build me down…”. Further, problems abound in all arenas of human activity–just look at this meandering e-mail for example. The poem may remain in-queue and I will continue to anticipate seeing it in your publication.

– Clay

Dear Clay:

Thanks very much for your patience and I would like to assure you that we really do appreciate your work — I am just as eager to see your poem in print as you are! I also appreciate that you have choices as a writer and your permission to have your work remain in our line-up means a lot to us.

As a sign of good faith, I would like to offer you a complimentary 2012 subscription to Canadian Literature. If you are interested you could simply forward your current mailing address to our Managing Editor, Donna Chin, , and she will ensure that the upcoming issues in 2012 are mailed to you.

Sincerely,

Glenn

Dear Fraser Institute Lackey:

“…A free and prosperous world through choice, markets and responsibility.”
………….Fraser Institute webpage (http://www.fraserinstitute.org/)

Your invitation was received today.
A “free student seminar
on public policy, oil pipelines,
crime, and the Canadian economy”.
After reading it over
and taking a quick look
at the Fraser Institute’s
record of distortion,
of neocon gobbledeygook
(and I thought there was no such thing
as a free lunch?),
of perverse plutocratic leanings,
I’ve grown afraid.

I’m afraid of the world you are imagining,
I’m afraid of the way your minds work
over there, at the Fraser.
I’m afraid Stalin works there,
paring his nails
in a little cubicle next to Himmler.

I’m more than a little afraid
since your invitation
came via my university,
seems endorsed by my university,
but that can’t be so—because my university
is a place of mind, not distortion,
my university is respectful of free speech,
my university would never align itself
with phoney economics,
with fake science,
with those who would lie for profit.

No, I’m afraid there’s been some mistake
—this couldn’t have come from my university.
That would mean your Fraser Institute
and other cowardly bullshit artists like it
already work INSIDE my university!

I wonder about this “crime”
you’ll be discussing
with the Fraser Hare Krishna recruits:
will you mention your own
institute’s public dissemination
of falsehood, prejudice, and
misrepresentation of facts?
Are these not crimes worthy of discussion?
And what is the true cost
of putting up with such nonsense since 1974?
Good questions! THAT’S a seminar I’d attend.

I imagine an organisation
as unenlightened as yours
serving something unhealthy
for lunch,
like Twinkies and heavy cream.
But maybe you’ve seen the light
(or heard about it)
and instead proffer up some
shortbread and Sanka!
You know, stuff you can get at the Superstore.

I worry about what you’ll be telling
the folks who are too hungry
to stay away from your brown-shirt luncheon,
I worry you’ll sell them the pipeline,
strip-mines, clear-cuts, whale hunts,
concentration camps
AS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY
and, therefore,
good for everyone.

I’m afraid,
as I imagine
eating your lunch, anyway,
because I’m a starving student,
I worry
if Jonestown, Guyana
wasn’t a Fraser Institute initiative,
gone wrong at the last minute
in the temple of personality.

Yes, I’m afraid…
afraid I won’t be joining you
for lunch.

[who funds the Fraser Institute? http://bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle.aspx?id=7914%5D

http://donaldgutstein.com/eight-distortions-and-other-problems-in-the-fraser-institutes-report-card/
http://www.canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca/a-critique-of-the-fraser-institute-report-on-wait-times.html
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2011/12/ideological-perfection-fraser-institute-style-why-democracy-must

your face here

dear State-funded
surveillance worker:

I see you
out there

trying to sift value
a rough appraisal

staring long
at the citizens
at life through a digital lens
always from the same angle:
down

as if you were
royalty
or deity

what must be happening in your soul
as each day you take up this
privileged post

and what does the world
look like
when your shift is done?

to think it was Sesame Street
that led to this:
you in a room
watching
watching
watching

“Only someone completely distrustful of all government
would be opposed to what we are doing with surveillance cameras.”
— NYC Police Commissioner Howard Safir, 27 July 1999.

Watcher: n. One whose occupation is to monitor CCTV feed.
“Some of the more honest watchers will say, you look at empty elevators and corridors for hours. So, the conceit was that it was boring to be a watcher, therefore we’ll give them something to watch. The further joke was, when they watch anything, they watch sex and violence—so, we’ll give them literature and class.”
…………- Bill Brown, co-founder of the Surveillance Camera Players, NYC

Drawing from Foucault (2001) in his description of the Greek parrhesiastes (person possessing ‘free speech’) provides us with insight into the role the Surveillance Camera Players (SCP) and Bill Brown, as its defining force, are playing in the open criticism of public surveillance. As Foucault re-folds the concept, he describes parrhesia as “a kind of verbal activity where the speaker has a specific relation to the truth through frankness, a
certain relationship to his own life through danger, a certain type of relation to himself or other people through criticism (self-criticism or criticism of other people), and a specific relation to moral law through freedom and duty. More precisely, parrhesia, is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses his person relationship to the truth, and risks his life because he recognizes truth-telling as a duty to improve or help other people (as well as himself). In parrhesia, the speaker uses his freedom and chooses frankness instead of
persuasion, truth instead of falsehood or silence, the risk of death instead of life and security, criticism instead of flattery, and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy.” (Foucault, 2001: 19)

Here’s more on SCP: http://www.notbored.org/the-scp.html

This morning
I taped
paper
over the
built-in
camera
on my
lap-top.

We
hide,
they
seek.

Application for a Wolfhaven

“In the church of my soul, the choir is aflame.”
………………………………- Vladimir Mayakovsky

1.
I speak mainly for myself.

Custodial,
Waste Management, Chancellor, Catering,
President & Vice-Chancellor, Rector, Principal,
pizza and alcohol delivery drivers,
Provost, TAs, Vice-provost,
Housing, House-cleaning,
esteemed faculty,
drifters & servers,
students,
sessional instructors,
tutors,
Presidents and Vice-presidents Academic,
Security, Parking,
leaders of the sundry academies,
Research Services,
sundry receptionists, secretaries,
Tim Horton’s, Deans, Starbucks, Assistant Deans,
Department Heads,
Counsellors, friends:
it is an honour to speak with you today.

2.
I would sing the academy, bills attendant,
laid green eternal, sunshiney bright,
cross-cut lawns stretching to the fence-line,
a place of mind.
let us be mindful of place.
a place, for example,
which has no agreement
with the first nations peoples,
upon whose land this
global-thinking place
does its thinking,
its globalizing.
Let us be mindful, then,
of where we step.

I would sing
so the private
might be made public,
so industries of knowledge
might find a modern home
–for in the postmodern,
where nothing is fixed,
but the game seems rigged,
we have seen the decentering of ethics,
of morality,
the privatization of the academy,
of thought itself,
so even Nancy Olivieri*
would think twice
about another university gig.

3.
I speak of imaginings.

do not imagine that we are not distracted,
that what is spoken here
is not spoken almost only here
and not loudly here,
not enough spoken of this place.
do not imagine that here is not connected so greatly
to out there,
that there could even be a here
without all the world which makes this place
shapes it, pays for it in tributes forced,
in taxes torn from the oppressed,
whom we have sworn to guide,
to lead out of the morass;
do not imagine we are not purposefully distracted,
that our endless running for awards and honours,
our ceaseless scribblings and debates
are not, in part, designed to contain us,
to fix the gaze in such a manner that the misery
and war, the real chaos, lies(check usage here) cloaked in periphery;
do not imagine that all we do is good,
or that the millions of academics
have yet to stem the tide of starving billions;
do not imagine the halls themselves
aren’t under scrutiny,
with their cafeterias,
exercise yards
and cells—we penal colonists;
so, too, the suburbs,
the condos
moreso;
do not imagine the pay, the office, the gowns, the silly hats
will in any way compensate for the growing mass
of troubled and confused,
nor will such honours
ease our conscience as,
on that fateful day, even we are stopped at the check-point,
taken from our coteries, epaulettes removed, very like a Beria**;
do not imagine the state—the very one we help to build—
do not imagine it will love you,
for in any great upheaval the intellectuals,
too, are washed away, down gulag drains,
Treblinka trains, anonymous, vanished, forgot;
do not imagine the state will mourn you;
and, please, do not imagine Passover
any great honour, for if, in it’s heated threshing,
the state does not erase your papers, your lecture notes,
your very face from the faculty photos,
why, then, your tenure is guaranteed
—you have long since failed to matter
as one who bears the light of knowledge,
and complicit be in torture, the snuffing of the light.

4.
i speak as i was taught.

we gather in such places
for this very purpose—we are the risk
power takes each September:
will we be swayed by position, money,
office?
or are we the moment when the wager falters,
when the lettered women and men
begin to piecemeal construct a different sort of machine;
imagine your art, your gifts, your very heart
set to tasks fulfilling, embarked upon a bloodless reversal,
speaking truth to power,
advocating evidence-based policy,
accountable government,
the nurturing of community,
filling the sky with hopeful light;
imagine the power in metaphor,
what must be
if we are not to prove ourselves
lesser re-runs
of the falling empire;
imagine, please, not your tenure-track,
your corner office with the indoor,
flourishing tree;
imagine not emeritus, for in such stripped and impoverished soils
such imaginings seem fruitless;
imagine the brutish, ignorant wheel
bearing down upon the child;
imagine your hand, staying such tragics;
imagine the terror in the single mother, the aged,
the infirm, and the torch you bear to light their way;
imagine your own academy, flayed of pseudo-science,
rid of untruth and horseshit;
imagine, if you can, beyond the fear of deadlines
and rules, a place so mindful
you are not breathless with anxiety
but with joy, communitas
as you study, create, and build.

– by Clay McCann

* Dr. Nancy Olivieri: The case of University of Toronto clinician, Dr. Nancy Olivieri, gained attention when her research at the Hospital for Sick Children led her to believe that a new drug treatment posed dangers to some patients. It is alleged that the hospital and the university failed to come to her defence when Apotex, co-sponsor of the research, objected to her publishing her findings. It is further alleged that hospital and university officials and representatives of Apotex variously subjected her to workplace and other harassment.
The case was reviewed by CAUT’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure which concluded that the issues raised are serious and that many questions remain unanswered by reviews conducted by other bodies. In addition to matters affecting Dr. Olivieri, broad institutional policy issues exist. Accordingly, the AF&T committee has appointed an independent committee of inquiry. (http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=199).
** Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (29 March 1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years (1946–1953). During the coup d’etat led by Nikita Khrushchev and assisted by the military forces of the Marshal Georgy Zhukov, they formed an alliance to remove and kill Beria. In that same year, he was arrested on trumped-up charges of treason by Zhukov’s soldiers during a meeting in which the full Politburo condemned him. The compliance of the NKVD was ensured by Zhukov’s troops, and after interrogation Beria was taken to the basement of the Lubyanka and shot by General Pavel Batitsky along with his most trusted associates.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria)

Pissing in the Demon’s Mouth: An Interview with The Scarves



The Scarves: fragments of a lost weekend with Kelowna’s Country/Death Metal/Dub-Step/Anti-eco-art Feminists—Julia Prudhomme, Shannon Lester, Amy Modahl (in absentia), John McGregor (in absentia) and Clay McCann. Taped Feb.10-12, 2012 at the Scarves’ ranch/studio/opium den.

Shannon: I want to…I want to go over the plan…the winery plan ‘cause it’s—
Julia: Oh, my god—
Clay: What—?
Shannon: First we win the Wolfhaven…uh…it’s a, it’s a grant for aspiring molester bands—
Julia: That’d be good…
Clay: Do you, do—
Shannon: A boat picks us up, a pontoon boat, at Gyro—
Julia: Oh yeah!
Shannon: —And we record “Welcome to Wolfhaven” en route, with, uh, the McGregor boys having a swordfight in my mouth—
Julia: Ok.
Shannon: And when the…when we dock in Naramata there’s a, like, a stretch Hummer waiting…
Clay: Is this, where is this?
Shannon: In Naramata…at the park…the Hummer floor is covered in cocaine—
Julia: (laughing).
Shannon: —And we’re barefoot…and we drive up to the winery—
Julia: I remember this.
Shannon: —And candy-stripers take our bags…and we set up in the garden…and just as we’re about to start…we have, we have Amy planted in the audience, who—
Julia: Oh my god…
Shannon: And the minute she sees Clay she starts screaming, “Rapist! Rapist!” and slapping him on the face—
Clay: Amazing!
Shannon: —Then we start the tape and it’s, it’s “Karma Chameleon” but I tell the crowd it’s called “Cock-stomp Hoedown”…and Amy, Amy’s all aroused and unbuttons her blouse…getting into it…she, she falls down in sexual ecstacy and we start to pour really cheap wine—not the wine from the winery—all over her—
Julia: It would be such a—
Shannon: Then…when it hits the peak, we all stand and stare into the audience for a full thirty seconds and then I say, “And that’s how you make Sangria.”
Clay: Oh.
Julia: It’s interventionist theatre.
(interlude)
Shannon: My dad used to have a hot-tub store called “Tubs”—
Julia: No! (laughing)
Shannon: —And my mom would model in the…Jacuzzi—
Julia: Oh, god! (laughing)
Shannon:—There’s all these pictures of my mom—
(loud bouts of laughter)
Shannon—And my uncle used to drive… race cars
(more laughing)
Julia: Uh huh?
Shannon: So she would model on top of his race cars.
Julia: That’s fantastic…
Shannon: Mmm-hmm… ‘Didn’t have Tubs for long, though… it went under.
Clay: Is there a possibility that you could get a photo album together of just shots of your mom in various hot-tubs?
Julia: That would be so good!
Shannon: I wonder where they are…they might be in my mother’s basement… but I haven’t seen them for years ‘cause my mom’s house is just—
Julia: A mess.
Shannon: A lost… void…under—
Julia: I see.
Shannon: I wonder if she would have kept them.
Clay: It’s strange the art people unwittingly throw away.
Shannon: More than likely they’re in the crawl space under the house…it’s garbage bags and boxes of photos—
Clay: Yeah?
Shannon: —There’s so many…I sometimes go through them and I haven’t seen the Tubs one in quite a long time… ‘ cause we moved, like, twenty times—
Julia: Wouldn’t it be great to find them—?
Shannon: —While I was growing up.
Clay: Army child? You were in the army?
Shannon: No, no…just in the same town—
Clay: Oh, your parents were crack-heads?
Julia: Just the complete opposite—
Shannon: I don’t know what it was…like, well first we built our own house…it was this big…monstrous house…and then my dad’s business went under so we had to sell the house…and then he had to move away to B.C. to get work…so we were just moving a lot and renting—
Julia: Mmm-hmm.
Shannon: —My mother was working in bars and restaurants….single mother.
Clay: Plus, you’re a kid, your family, typically, are moving up socio-economically, starting to do better—
Shannon: My family did just the opposite—
Julia: Aw.
Shannon: —They were moving down.
Clay: Landed gentry, huh? Aristocracy?
Shannon: We had this huge, like, mansion…it had the laundry chute…where me and my brother, sister, would jump down it…then run upstairs and jump back down the laundry chute—
Clay: Whoa!
Shannon: —And it had, like, a big open living room and dining room with this enormous banister…and we would tie all the, all the scarfs together and swing back and forth—
Julia: Oh my goodness!
Shannon: —When my parents were away… the goal was to see if we could swing all the way from the living room into the dining room…oh! We also had big ceiling fans…the ceiling was, like, twenty feet high…and we had a lot of fun throwing the scarfs at the fans and watching them—
Julia: Fly away?
Shannon: —Fly away…or get stuck up there…if you got it stuck up there, you got a point—
Clay: Right. And then how did you get them down?
Shannon: No! My parents came home one day and there’s just all these scarf’s and they (doing a parent voice), ‘What? What did you do?’ they didn’t care too much.
Julia: We used to make this huge sling shot…that you put water balloons in and then launch them through the house…
Shannon: Way too much fun.
Julia: Yeah, way too much.
Shannon: Me and my brother would always try and find different ways to torture each other—
Julia: (laughing)
Shannon: —Like one game we used to was, I would put my brother underneath all the cushions of the…
Clay: Couch?
Shannon: Couch and I used to sit on him—
Julia: Oh, no! My brother used to do that to me!
Shannon: —And he couldn’t breathe…so he’s, like, screaming… ‘cause I was a big kid…he’s like, ‘I’m dying!’…and one time I let my brother tie me to a chair outside—
Julia: Oh no!
Shannon: —And my mom made goulash for dinner…and she was gone out or something…and when she got back I was covered in goulash—
Julia: (laughter)
Clay: Oh, man, fantastic!
Julia: Oh, my!
Shannon: —‘Cause he had forced me to eat it, smeared it all over me.
Clay: Torture is learned in the family.
Julia: Oh yeah.
Shannon: We had this other game in the backyard where we would throw rocks at each other—
Julia: (laughing)
Shannon: —As hard as we could—
Julia: Like chicken?
Shannon: —And we had to dodge (unintelligible)…it was fun.
Julia: It’s good.
(transition)
Shannon: It’s really amusing that we’re just sitting here…drinking in the bathroom.
Clay: No…we’re recording our album in here!
(laughter)
Shannon: Red, gold and green! Red, gold and greeeeeen! (acoustic noises, singing)…It’s hard to believe that will be a hit on the U.K. pop charts…but the truth is, you don’t know the future—
Julia: I know.
Shannon: —The world of pop music…the world of pop music is just looking for it—
Julia: I know!
Shannon: —They’re waiting for it, they’re waiting for it.
Julia: You eating your olives?
(transition to deck)
Shannon: Boy…
(rooster crowing in background)
Clay: What are we hearing right now?
Julia: (laughing) Some sort of squealing from the neighbor’s (more laughter).
Shannon: It’s a rooster.
Julia: No, they don’t have any roosters, does she?
Shannon: That was a rooster.
Clay: Yeah.
Julia: Really?
Clay: Yeah hens don’t—
Shannon: It was the call of the rooster.
Julia: Ok.
Clay: The hens just go, ‘Rawk-ra-rahhh…’.
Julia: Ok…oh, nevermind…shows how much I know about my…animals.
Clay: (to Shannon) What time did you go to bed?
Shannon: Quite late…I, I don’t know what time it was.
Julia: I had no idea what time it was.
Clay: It was—
Julia: It was quite early, wasn’t it?
Shannon: I closed my eyes just as the…as the gates were coming up.
Julia: Yeah.
Clay: It was an interesting night of mixed media.
Julia: That was hilarious…it worked so well, though.
Shannon: I think when we’re performing our minds are too busy to focus on anything for long periods—
Julia: You’re probably right.
Clay: I was instantly let down when the other band came on—
Julia: (laughing)
Clay: Those linear complaints…I’ve got my own life to worry about—
(general laughter)
Shannon: I came back from a cigarette and was like, ‘Fuck this band’—
Julia: Oh, yeah…it was amusing, though—
Clay: Let’s go take a look at the Hot-tub…(transition) So, what’s happening here? What are we looking at?
Julia: There’s a lot of human scum…and ice build-up—
Shannon: Ew.
Julia: And some dead flies…swimming around.
Shannon: Uh…that’s epidermal matter…spilled beer.
Julia: Look at that crust over there…aaahhh!
Clay: I don’t want to get in…it.
Shannon: We drained it one time after a party…there were like ten people in here…and we found two wine glasses and a beer bottle on the bottom—
Julia: Yeah…
Shannon: And nobody had stepped on them…it could have been ghastly—you can’t see bottom at night…that’s…
Julia: I was impressed….it looks like a big man could fit right here…
Clay: What’s your favorite song right now?
Julia: Oooh! Um… “Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke.
Clay: Can you sing a bit of it?
Julia: No (laughing).
Clay: Why?
Julia: (laughing) Can you sing it…Shannon?
Shannon: (unintelligible).
Julia: ‘Kay…no.
Shannon: The goats are out!
Julia: Look at the little black one!
Clay: Who’s your favorite animal here?
Julia: My favorite…um…the donkey…Crispy!
Clay: Crispy!
Julia: The neighbor is pretty interesting…she, um…she’s a retired Greyhound driver…
Shannon: There’s gonna be a lot of dancing at the prom… can you imagine?
Julia: It’s so retro…
Shannon: We’re having a prom on Friday…are we starting to drink again?
(interlude)
Shannon: An extra-spicy, deluxe Canadian Caesar? There an little spicy surprise at the top so be careful…it’s actually a pleasantly mild, spicy Caesar…oh! Handicapped me…it’s not bad (drinking)…it’s mild…I recommend enjoying a Caesar on the deck with a cigarette….(music starts playing: “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson)…
(interlude)
Shannon: Thank god for Caesars!
Clay: I’m starting to feel ok…do you—?
Shannon: Thank Jaysus for the Caesar!
Julia: Oh no…
Shannon: Have you ever had a sloppy Caesar?
Julia: What does that entail?
Shannon: It’s your…fifth Caesar.
Julia: No…Have you?
Shannon: Yeah…
Julia: Really?…are you tired now?
Shannon: I’m drunk and stoned again…I’m gonna be such a mess this week…
Julia: Sure…
(interlude)
Julia: I can’t write a song right now.
Shannon: I had a dream about the frozen rose…that’s a good song title…”Frozen—
JClay: That’s good…mummified pussy.
Shannon: Can your pussy do the dog? A lot of girls will get offended…
Julia: We should put on The Cramps!
Shannon: We need to have rockabilly…can we listen to all (unintelligible)…can we listen to some rockabilly? Oh I wanna hear some Faster Pussycat…it’s so good…and that’s definitely 60s…
Julia: Oh…I’m drunk…
Shannon: That’s it…
(“Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies playing loudly)
Clay: Are we touring this summer?
Julia: Sure…
Shannon: We’re going to Mt. Baldy…we’re gonna…we’re gonna take Leonard Coen canoeing…we’re going to the Naropa Institute…we’re gonna tale Anne Waldman canoeing…we’re going…to Nola…we’ll take Sean Penn—
Julia: You’re ridiculous…
Shannon: Oh I like that song…
(“Dream Lover” by Bobby Darin playing)
(interlude-dog barking)
Clay: Can I have another Caesar?
Shannon: Yeah…I’d love to make you one…Julia?
Julia: Yes.
Shannon: (to Clay) I’ll take care of that…
Clay: My olive…
Shannon: Oh…your olive…ok…Would you like it as spicy as last time or more spicy?
Julia: As spicy, please.
Shannon: Clay?
Clay: As.
Shannon: As spicy…ok…
(brief interlude)
Shannon: Here you go….
(“Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day playing)
Shannon: I’m ready for another cigarette…
Julia: We’re out of Stoli?!..what did you do?…what—?
Shannon: That’s why you don’t ask Shannon to make the Caesars…
Clay: I feel like somebody socked me on the head…
Shannon: I you could be a black and white cartoon character…who would you be?…I’d be Olive Oil…
Julia: I’d be Betty Boop…
Shannon: I’m gonna do a painting of this…(to Clay) who would you be?
Clay: Who was that guy…? On Double Bubble…Pud! I’d be Pud…bald…red turtle-neck…
Shannon: Oh…I do make those Caesars strong…oh my god…I’m drunk at…2pm…I’m drunk at 2pm…
(“I Put A Spell On You” by Nina Simone playing)
Shannon: Sasha does a version of this…have you heard that one?
Julia: Yes, I have…
Shannon: Have you?…we could do this…and we could lay everybody…buy a bunch of lays…
Julia: Ok.
Shannon: I’m gonna get a new tattoo…
(end tape).

Dear art consumer:


CJLY’s Noam Ash, potter, host of Insects & Robots, and all-round nice guy.
mirth.mp3

Please. Be welcome.
Come in again.
Remember these walls,
these objects.
They recall the caves,
the rock shelters
of 70,000 years ago.
We are trying.
To make sense of it all.
The first people.
The anatomically
modern humans.
They stored information
outside of their heads.
Just like us!
They used words
to speak of the world.
Just like us!
They had headaches, warts,
and died too soon.
Just like we do!
Somehow,
they organized things.
Named names.
Built shelters,
made clothing.
But still,
they needed the art.
They needed to make sense.
Archaeological evidence
reveals they went
back to the caves,
the rock shelters,
again and again.
Rituals.
Rituals embed meaning
in the consciousness.
Rituals reinforce social bonds.
The art way back then,
images
of mammoths, ibyx, bison,
kangaroo, auk, people.
These were animals
in the social landscapes
of the artists.
Our walls, as well,
are trying to make sense.
These walls, also,
are enriched by ritual.
Dear art consumer.
The art has always been with us.
Long after our names are lost,
art will speak of the world.
Be welcome. Please. Come in
again.

– Clay McCann