Two Pieces (handwritten on the blank pages in the back of Deviant Propulsion)
“To celebrate the publication of my book Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull, 2006) I am offering
18 people the following: For the price of the book I will carry your copy with me 24 hours, to
meditate with it, argue, freak out, have sex (not on it, unless you special request) then write on
the few blank pages in the back of the book about the day. There is a blog which will house all 18
journal entries at: http://deviance4u.blogspot.com. Below are 4 & 5.” —CAConrad
4 of 18 (9/23/06) for Dorothy Lasky.
San Francisco, Haight Street, where sexy Anton LaVey used to walk his pet lion. Tonight the fog rides the wind at street-light level, white shapes zipping through the frame of light, apparitions, lovers, food. I want to climb a pole and meet it head-on, mouth open, fog in the mouth, I want fog in my mouth, to never stop knowing how delicious this world can be. Last night I read with my friend Magdalena Zurawski at SPT for the very generous Elizabeth Treadwell. Are those readings recorded? There’s a man in a booth at the back of the room which feels like — you know — SOMETHING is going on, BUT I would LOVE to listen again to Magdalena’s sex chapter, to where the room’s gasps and laughter came in. When I heard her read this in Philadelphia we were tense and breathless through the sex and the wound — Is this thing hurting her? Is this her pleasure? The laughter last night was a strange comfort, and I was sitting next to Kate thinking WE LOVE YOU poet, novelist, whatever you’re calling yourself these days! Very good time later on too, drinking with this city’s marvelous bunch of poets! Magdalena and I both drank entirely too much. Her whiskeys put her out till the bartender shook her awake. After my fifth martini I forgot this is San Francisco instead of Philadelphia and lit a cigarette to the exclamation of several voices around me, including the bartender, who had just about had enough of us. I put it out in my martini and declared there can’t be a law against drinking tobacco, then threw the drink back, laughing. Stupid fun. If I had a video camera I would record this fog tonight, hours and hours of it whipping past the lights. Have you ever loved an element as much? I want to climb the pole, undo my pants and suck fog inside me, my sphincter, my gulping, fog-swallowing sphincter. Earlier tonight I was on the Haunted Haight Tour with Magdalena, Kate, and Elise. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TOUR! Jim Jones lived here, and signed the cement sidewalk, dated 1976. Another block later we stood where a young man was killed in front of Janis Joplin’s apartment. A residual haunting can still be heard of his heavy boots running to where his blood soaked the street corner. Then there’s the garage where Charles Manson once lived. And then the house where the ghost of a little girl hides CDs in the freezer, and hates the photographs of other children, which the residents can never find again. They buy her dolls, and keep them on a shelf for her. Levi Strauss & Company was excited when Potter’s Field was dug up because the century-old graves revealed hundreds of skeletons with their Levi jeans completely intact. Capitalist SCUM marketing on the memories of men too poor for proper burials! But can you believe city officials MADE Anton LaVey give his lion to the city zoo, saying it was too dangerous to walk in the streets? Who had to deliver that message? There’s a curse bearer for sure. “Don’t kill the messenger” not just an expression. Hmm, and I wonder if LaVey went to the zoo to share raw steak with his lion friend? While on the haunted tour I saw two more examples of my favorite graffiti in this city: fig. All lower case, the “g” such a flourish it reminds me of squid. Figs and squid, two of my favorite things on Earth. Magdalena says squid tastes delicious, but I prefer squid swimming, shooting ink out the ass. I would LOVE to shoot ink out the ass! The THINGS I would do if I could to THAT! The guide on our haunted tour was a gorgeous barrel of a man whose talk of Quantum Entanglement turned me on like few men can do! GRR HE’S HOT! I wanted to take him back to Jim Jones’s house and make out on the sidewalk, our cheeks pressed to the cement signature. And later I would use my newfound squid super powers and blow ink out the ass, spelling on the street, “I’M NOT EXACTLY SURE BUT I THINK I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU BEAUTIFUL HAUNTED HAIGHT TOUR GUIDE SIR!” I would LOVE to have sex in Charles Manson’s garage (yet another seemingly unrealistic goal to manifest) HOO-RAH!
5 of 18 (9/26/06) for Corina Copp.
The times the sky looks like a painting helps me absorb paintings better, and I’m not talking paintings of clouds I’m talking ROTHKO, which some days is a cloud the battlefields of the Soul welcomes, and rains down, floods guns and soothes a few screamers. Or creates a screaming, a new one, the one we’ll all finally HEAR and all finally respond to — there IT is — here we are — what do we do? — we’ll figure it out — we’ll figure it out — okay, let’s do that. “when i do not write / i am experiencing / something i will write about later.” –Kathryn L. Pringle (Kate). Magdalena and Kate were married yesterday at San Francisco’s city hall. I took a couple dozen pictures of them filling out their forms, waiting for their number to be called. After $42 the certificate printed out. Before I even left Philadelphia, Maggie said the most important photograph for me to take would be of she and Kate holding their certificate in front of the Harvey Milk statue. We walked around city hall in search of his statue. No one knew where it was, every office kept sending us to another office. We wanted to share this beautiful union with our queer martyr, like Christians do with their martyr Jesus. Finally in the basement office of Building Control we found out there is no Harvey Milk statue, and never has been one. Maggie was sure of it though. She saw it, once, somewhere, at city hall. The three of us looking for her imaginary statue was lovely, my own mind imagining him twelve feet tall, bending down, touching our most immediate, external chakras as we approached, and I couldn’t wait to see him. We settled for the Abraham Lincoln statue, another American homo martyr, but we wanted Harvey Milk, we wanted the missing one, the one still hidden in uncarved stone. Maggie and Kate were beautiful, even when Kate was grumpy because she wanted lunch and was tired of me saying Pose here, Kiss here, Just one more picture, How about you putting the certificate on the step and you rest your faces on either side of it while facing each other? Suzanne Stein joined us later for dinner. At one point I mentioned needing to see the ROTHKO at the SFMOMA, and she very generously offered tickets to the museum, which is where I am right now, writing this. THANK YOU SUZANNE! Before the museum opened I prepared myself with chunks of dark chocolate and hot chocolate for the altered state I was seeking, to see and feel the returning fins. Rothko reverses my evolution with #14, 1960. I hate the descriptive sign beside the painting. What a bunch of bullshit that is! Telling us how certain colors will burst forward when looking at it, etc., etc., and I wish now that I hadn’t read it, it’s fucking with my chocolate high. More than once I tried to encourage others to NOT read the sign, to step back and look at it on their own. Fine, look at me like I’m crazy! All I want is for everyone in here to LOOK AT THIS painting without the assistance of the so-called “expert” who wrote the stupid sign. I’m so sick of experts. But more than experts I’m sick of people seeking the advice of experts. “Oh, please TELL ME what this painting means, my mind’s too feeble to understand without you!” I want to cover the sign with my own, “IGNORE THIS NONSENSE AND BE BURNED ALIVE ON YOUR OWN TERMS!” Why do we go to museums? Why do we bother with paintings if we’re just going to be led around by our noses? Where is the expert who tells us we’re our own experts at how we feel about this world? How does it taste? What do you see when you give yourself a chance to see on your own? Can you feel your own creative juices? How does THAT taste? Are we delicious? Are we delicious yet and breaking down the door together? I’m ready to break it the fuck down, with you! Are you ready? Can we do this now?