Category Archives: photography
The human machine has turned on. Spots appear before your closed lids upon each exhalation of breath. It fumes out of your mouth, then French inhales into your nostrils, burning nose hairs and other areas of the skull – namely directly between the ears – with its stale, empty exhaust. Your mouth is hot and thirsty, and as you sit up for water your stomach drops into the mattress you’re propped on, only to Slinky back to the level of your heart, which also feels stale and empty.
You pause, as your thoughts assemble and your brain’s GPS slowly finds your position and maps your surroundings. You know you’re not Home, not your Home, or wherever that “H” word is meant to connote. But, you know that your relative location in space/time has positioned you in a place where that “H” word holds great significance if used in this very spot by someone other than yourself.
Your motor skills are working on a basic, primal survival mode, and you’re able to reach your hand out for the glass of water, whose rightfully anticipated necessity has placed it not too far from arms reach. You raise the glass to your lips only to have the first several gulps-worth pour down your chin. By this point, it’s apparent that you have a drinking problem. Tossing the empty glass onto the bedside table’s edge, you give it a few half-assed nudges toward the center in foresight of your own clumsy habits.
Now it hits you. The sickness. There is an impulse of what needs to be done, with little regard for self-image or pride. As many abstract expressionist painters or freeform jazz musicians claim, ‘there’s an inner-burning creative compulsion deep in one’s core, and something needs to come out.’ In this instance, the creative product will likely resemble partly digested food and stomach bile.
You spring up too fast, causing the bubble inside your torso’s spirit level to tilt all the way to one side, and then back, and then forth, and back, and forth, and back, and forth until centering just enough to plow through the bathroom door, where the dominatrix of your instinct forces you onto your knees, and here you are submitting yourself to just another john.
Swinging open the lid, you grab hold of the piss dampened rim and heave your head into the bowel, bobbing for apples of dignity that never surface. The puke spills out in a cacophony of white-noise-feeling. It splashes your face and hands, but at the moment this isn’t a concern.
After fully dispensing bodily fluids, your brain drops into reality, suddenly aware of its surroundings. You now feel the filth of the instance; depraved, demoralized, disgusted. The high of instinctual motions has faded away, leaving your analytical reason to feast on all that is wrong with the moment. Kneeling on the bathroom floor, the stale urine that coats the toilet is now much closer, and there is an overwhelming feeling that you have committed what Catholics might call a sin.
Straightening back up, you strain to look at yourself in the mirror. Your hair is pushed up on the left side, your face is sickly and unshaven, and you have water splashed down the front of your shirt; or maybe it’s vomit. The mirror becomes a low-res television screen, and every channel is broadcasting a marathon of infomercials, advertising the miracle cure to rid you of your grayscale life.
The Mart hung in the distance like an obsolete super-computer
Overcompensating for its faulty wiring,
While nervously waiting for the next big thing.
In a field, I stood in the epicenter, across from this epiccenter,
On an uneven ground of weeds, dirt, gnats, puddles, trash.
In the limits of vision, I saw the par-king lot
Balancing its inputs with its outputs
Into the super-computer.
-> In went bleak, gray, hungry bits of code
Out came obnoxious, colorful, fat bits of code <-.
I – usually bleak, gray, hungry – approached the Mart,
Pulled from the dirt-tangled field
By the electromagnetism of the straight angles ahead.
As I closed closer,
There emerged a binary to these bits.
And the Mart proclaimed, “Let this be man and woman,
And let their sacrificial computations be predictable, timely, and manipulateable,
And above all, let the 1 of woman and the 2 of man serve separate functions
To my Consumption Processing Unit.”
The Mart looked over all that it had made, and behold, it was very good…
My heel hit the hard of pavement and rolled up to my toe;
And as this became a recurring action,
My feet dealt distance with subtraction,
And the bits of code, post-transaction,
Grabbed my eyes with curious attraction.
These ostentatious outputs carried colorful cases,
Walked with manufactured importance,
Slapped smaller outputs and told them, “When I say stop, that means stop!”
Sputtered and spat at the ground,
Rolled toward their steel boxes like medicine balls in the wind,
Held the reins of their belt-buckle stallions, bucking for a fight,
Or yanking their buckles over their bulbous bellies,
With crooked smiles, crooked laughs,
Crooked plans, but straight paths.
The par-king lot carried the code
The best that pavement could.
Should cement lament it would.
I tried to think up a better system:
-Maybe a cloud based application (?)-
But my thoughts were sparse,
So, instead, I joined the cement sojourners,
Rolling toward my own steel box,
And together we awaited the next big thing.