The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

All Issues
SEPT 2020 Issue
Critics Page

Am I Dying, Mister?

(An homage to William Burroughs printed in the Brooklyn Rail, March 2006)

Puerto Viejo clung to our lungs—Pura fucking vida—Bicycle ride into the abyss—Poets at the dark edges of the burnt paper that smells like the flesh of struggling newspapers char up the unrelenting bastard headlines—Bluff compelling tracer lines—The return of the taboo investment lacks inventiveness—Start at the end and work backwards again—No candy, stay as sweet as you are for amusement only—First step: design the set spy story entrance there are traps under the floorboards “at least the eventual earth holds up the echo chamber is about to burst—Paltry windbag ball gag.”

The whitewashing Algerian created dangerously alone in the radical dark—we don't count hours here and warned you against bouts of despondency that change nothing—Love is not a frequency analysis— A fly-on-the-screen anarchism does not equal violence the definitive essay is forthcoming—(Dying by the blue light crawling without wings and you’re beat. Write through the disaster, dial it up.)

Tamsen Wojtanowski, <em>Knife</em>, 2020. Courtesy the artist.
Tamsen Wojtanowski, Knife, 2020. Courtesy the artist.

Tico beavers make infinity pools with their eyes wide open staring up into the grief—suffering to heal where is the bravery for that world after all everything is misplaced—Today is a day where the wide open is alive across the continent—Sadness appreciates alive pain until it is over not so fast you bastard—

Bodies without organs: “Create human memories machines equipped with all of the empty sacrifices and pledges of severity in the penal code. Cruel rituals—horror masks dishonor.”

The price on your head—The origin of bad conscience—guilt where the creditor and the debitor offer the first measurements of mano-y-machina where is the consent—Merciless spoils of the victors wished well by the dethroned—“Harm the impersonal past tense pain paycheck, Mister?”

So many moments New York is not an empire—Sit up straight with the paper pulp and chew on the sweetener—Genius makes no special appearances, beat like a punk rocker—Movement highlights fragment money money money cancel rent. Afterword in the political now is a 404.

Touch the tulips at the last tango—Painting does not relent heartbreaking beauty—Break the bench in the snowstorm without gloves when the wolf dog bit off the buttons and two decades later there is still no answer—The adrenaline death drive writing so as not to die—Italian red clay tiles roof motorcycle escapes nothing will be forgiven—Forgotten birthdays and streets address the old soul boy who only talks to the elderly—There are no lovers in Central Park—Seek asylum—“Windowsill sidewalk dark stairwell sleep—“Finally the old grim city is sprouting adventure’ Always unmakes its mind.”

The cloud looked like a giant cockroach who knew it was summer—Fuckshit yes we always make the most of it man eating attack zone earth—Reclaim the dance floor exploding into existent corners of quarantina which need speaker mounts and a naked deejay in a cage free will the bastard and all the decisions are wrong—No it’s not a reflection—You do more damage free in the world—It's an air conditioned nightmare crashing relentlessly without a helmet—Responsibly outrageous the incensed genealogy of moralists where animals make promises as an obvious act of active oblivion—Screening device is not part of the science of happiness so remap neuropathway cannabinoid receptors like there is a therapy dog in the fight—Custom fit social straightjacket is not designed to ripen fruit—Feel the need to feel sacred again—Not with the rich—Better in the daylight—Eye the mainland make opportune three sleds and a coffee filter silted throat slit stretch wrap your warped feet in plastic—Headed to wonderland eviction court fantasy with shape shifting white people and back door deals. Hug the god shaped void.

“Am I dying, Mister?”

Pitter rummage bursts of pent-up harmony—Silent wish late night dice—Play quarters, no one hears you lose—A prayer without a deity as gutter winds plunder the remnant home.


The Lost Child of Emma Goldman and Bernie Sanders

knows that good human decisions can change bad human decisions and “people only have as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

All Issues