This was a challenge issued to me by my cohort/padawan to do a self portrait, using no photo, and to record the work as it went.
The assignment was to imagine the final moments on your deathbed:
I know you people. Your names are like good songs on the tongue. The doctor said… Well… I told the doctor to fuck himself. I been telling people that forever. People not in the room. Some in the dirt. Some sailing. Some looking into someone else’s eyes. I’ll tell you a trick. Anyone who says they know what you need is selling you a lie. All you ever need is a moment. In a storm, you need…
Your mothers and fathers were good. I maybe made them too hard. That’s why they cry at some movies. They only feel in the dark. They are blind and dumb in the heart. I always said I’d do it different than my old man. First thing I did was put his name on the boy. Like he did with me.
So. It’s very important you listen to me when I tell you to forget everything I ever told you. I’m the guy whose favorite song is from Hootie. I know you don’t know who that is. Was it great music? A lot of people hated them because a lot of people liked them. Do I remember the words?
Let her cry. Let the tears roll down her face. And if the sun comes up tomorrow…
I have an emo cousin who makes these beautiful photographs. You can see her latest one here.
I was so inspired that I made my own.
Rosa’s photo was so sad that it brought out my inner darkness and emotalia. I had to respond to my people. I am sad because my Dolphins lost again. Also, that sad face was made by my father as he flew from Cuba to Spain, away from Communism. Today is his birthday and his efforts to find freedom haunt my dreams. He drew the sad face with the dark blood from his cut up hands. Hands that worked the cane fields of Fidel. He handed it down to me and I shall hand it down to my own son, daughter, or favorite pet.
I’d like to give mad props to Chris N Chris productions. Christina Odin on the makeup and camera and Chris Turner on the photohoshopping. Good work, guys.
Lady at the elevator this morning, you have to push the button for the elevator to come. Just like when you’re at home with your vibrator, you PUSH the button. Even new cars have buttons in them. It’s a button world, lady. PUSH, don’t stare. To the rude lady who skipped 3 of us in line in the cafeteria (and I said cafeteria in Spanish), I hope you broke your ankle when you stepped off the curb. As you fell, I hope your three bags (purple, yellow, and orange) were hit by cars. But not you. I hope you and your broken ankle made it safely back to the sidewalk. Love ya! AND! SUPER AWESOME SHOUTOUT to the germophobe in the elevator who has to touch all buttons with the end of her sleeve. You always bring a smile to my lips and sometimes, I want to kiss you with my dirty mouth, just to show you that it’s ok, the world’s fine. We just need another planet for the stupid people. Mars Rover. What’s the deal over there? Hit me back.
I just pulled up there and people are tailgating and the smoothie shop is open and I remember when getting videogames late at night was a nerdy kind of thing. But now everyone’s doing it. I like to be weird. None of these people were weird enough for me. I don’t mind being in a line with a bunch of kids taking allergy and antidepression medicine, getting their piercings caught on posters and bushes. But I could see these people were wearing football jerseys, talking about working out, and 401k’s.
When did you silly bastards start playing videogames?
I slowed the car down for about two seconds in the parking lot and remembered that I had 1600 (2000, if I plan to catch up) words to write to kick my particular Modern Warfare’s ass. I thought of my girlfriend at home, on the couch, alone, watching some tv show. I thought about how much I loved her and how she expected me back well after midnight.
This would be the perfect time to sneak in and scare her.
I raced back home, opened the door and heard giggling. She was in the office with her headphones on. The perfect situation. Even my trundling ass on wood floors could scare someone wearing headphones and giggling at the sounds from within. I sighed.
She turned and discovered me. “Too many kids, huh?”
When I woke up, before my feet hit the floor, the first thing I did was check my email. There was my cousin and a Mexican, offering me their single finger salutes. I will find you both. And I WILL have your weak spines.
I might actually spend money on an iphone app.
Eating dinner on the deck, trying to do some work. Now it’s dark and it smells like maybe rain, but it seems far off. I think the parrot from the rear neighbor’s tree is around. Or maybe I’m just hearing things.
We made sliced bread. We invented the internal combustion engine. We put a man on the moon. And now… the planet earth brings you… FLYING PENGUINS!
I crawled under the deck today
unblue wood underneath
looking for the fount of wasps
and I discovered a party
in a corner
buzzing too big
for the holes in their nest.
Belly against wood
dirt in my hair and crack
something with wings
setting on my left shin
the women hiding inside
how nice down here
aimed and fired
“20 foot spray”
all hands lost
just their booger
of a nest stuck to a board.
Plopped it down
with a grout dowel
did the belly up backwards worm
caught a sharp rock
across the back of the head
no one around
just the charcoal’s chimney
on the grill
fiery wavy congratulations.
Took a shower in the dark
this is important
to know one’s home
the rug that slides on tile
steep steps to the garage
and the random blinking light
in the air over the yard
that flashes into the bedroom
like there is an invisible alien ship
reading my mind
knowing me for the devil
in the spaces
between the lives we live
ready to spray