Tag Archives: Tao Lin

I would like to make you a bouqet

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Image-Mark Gurarie

 


I Sing an Outlaw Eccentric, or L’histoire de Bonnie et Clyde

If it is written on paper, it is malleable and can be bent in any number of ways, or in fact get burned. Nothing is safe, so long as it is written down. You know, of course, the story of Jesse James. That being the case, it is true that the outlaws among us, at least on film, are the better dressed. Abiding by the rule of law inevitably implies a kind of acquiescence, limits possibilities, privileges the mundane, here, good citizen, your tax form. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, then, a glossy version of swag: Brigitte Bardot with a tommy gun, Gainsbourg seated on the steps and smoking. Let’s go get’em, says Jay Z in the passenger seat.  Try to keep this in mind: this is not a story about Jesse James, it is actually a story about Jay Z, which is to say this a story about alliteration: Beyonce and Bonnie and  Bardot, about the side of a highway in France or Mexico, and sitting around the camp fire in Montana is probably not in the cards. Like magicians, Jay Z and Beyonce are nimble, changing vehicles, a step ahead of la Police, you see, and in another room, tac tac tac Serge lip-syncs, or even maybe sings, and her tommy gun is aimed at strings that may or may not have anything to do with the heart.  A life of sin is all I need, a kaleidoscope, imperfect like no one who walks on this earth is. And Clyde Barrow is doubtless what Bonnie nee Beyonce is thinking about, stroking a horse on a baja California beach a half hour after sunset, training the cross hairs. For surely, a gun is more menacing before it is shot. For surely Bonnie and Clyde will get caught.

–Mark Gurarie


The Manifesto is itself a Revision or, I am Bubble Gum; I have poppers

When in the course of marginalized events, the necessary bonds which tie so few us to even fewer—by which I mean “you” to “me” and “here” “now”— become extraneous; become bogged down by their own absurdity or perhaps it would be more accurate to say lack thereof; become too much of a silly appropriation, or not enough of one; or one that is silly but in an increasingly more meaningless way, it becomes the inalienable duty of those assembled here— by which I mean “me” “here” and “now” and therefore by extension “you” and “here”— to break aforementioned bonds, tenuous/nonexistent as they may be, and in doing so to create new ones. Where there once was a cat’s cradle, here, find an unsolved Rubik’s Cube, a kaleidoscope with a smudged viewfinder, a different drag, a brand new joke that resembles and is deeply indebted to the previous joke, the joke that precedes it in evolutionary progression. In the parlance of another history altogether, one often falsely accused of being linear, of working in a progression (while often working with progressions): The Sex Pistols dissolve into PiL, Joe Strummer grows tired of The Clash and becomes Mescalero, NWA splits into a five headed hip-hop hydra of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella, the Jackson 5 become the Jacksons become the place where Michael Jackson forgot to grow up. Where are our Talking Heads, David Byrne? The point is: we are allowed to live under the delusion that we can change our minds about things, and perhaps even, believe that such minute rewirings are in fact and some actually objective level important. And “you” “here” are witness to such re-birthing, or more cynically put, rebranding. Tao Lin is going down, but I will remain neither. Let us then dive through this screen together, or not at all, because it is so important that it is not in fact important. Choosing from a list the appropriate emoticon, commenting on a hair cut as if it were a masterpiece in oil and found materials, writing off the undeniable tidal shifts while proclaiming a skepticism about the idea of a generational identity. Give me your chewed up bubble gum, dear readership under double digits, or give me poppers (if you even know what they are). I have teeth to rot; I have tastes to kill; I have a brand new mane and perhaps thereby a brand new name.

 

-Mark Gurarie


I am at least 75% mod

I realized when it was too cold to posture otherwise any longer. A burning sensation in my throat, dry mouth, as if the years of self-delusion were a thirst gone unfulfilled, a laughable memory, all that time scruffy, unkempt, no diagonal lines. I was thirsty, and so I filled a jar with water. Caterpillar, I wanted to refer to myself as Caterpillar and so I wondered about what this mod-me would like, what books he would misquote and how drunkenly; what colour the Vespa, and how many unfinished splatter paintings. I considered the practical matters, that it will be getting even colder. I murmured to myself: what does a mod do in the cold? The record player is on, The Small Faces, the side-B waiting to touch needle, beckoning to the tribe of mods international, the global mods, the East London of everywhere. I was no longer rocker, at last, this Feeling:

A mod me, of course, would have to undergo some serious and potentially invasive procedures. One does not overnight become a mod, rather one is always mod, carries mod eggs, an essential mod-ness. Or it should take only 15 minutes. I knew all this, but found myself doubtful, concerned overmuch. “Fifteen Mods Trampled in Berlin Night Club.” I had read that the other day, and there was a knife in the room. A dangerous kind of slinging of sub-culture, this practitioner mod who still smokes cigarettes, flask tucked into purse, the boots of the Hip Dead Goddess. A mod me would know better how to snap, would know who’s house, who to be humble in front of, and for whom to show-off. I thought of Oscar Wilde, of course, who said, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

Some days I would grow hungry but refuse to eat in a casual manner. A mod-me starving us, slouching in the living room.

It was then that I could become militant in my identification. The mod-me had become teen-aged, as it were and so I learned how to sneer, didn’t trust authority, tried to get arrested. This was very troubling, some sneaky cognitive dissonance at work, and I was surrounded by grainy footage. I thought of Berlin, again, I looked at pictures, I took notes. There in front of us, and at last- the sharp teeth of the comb, scraping the scalp of the commons. Or a promise of that nature, a grand mod promise, for even in mod there is something aspirational at work, the never ending path towards quintessential mod. Mod is a time, a time signature, I would remind myself.

As the sun rose on East London, on Brighton, on all or none of us, I was alone and awake, a shard on the broken window of last night and all that. It was then that the mod-me finally coughed, collected his little jacket, tightened the shoe-laces on his pointy Italian shoes which is to say that I realized the promise of mod, the mod ideal, is itself, a kind of performance. A mod drag at work. A mod me, chewing bubble gum, round sun-glasses, heading out the door. But of course, it was very very cold, when at last, I saw her.

-Mark Gurarie


Future Citizen of the Looming Tomorrow

On December 22nd of this year, as in others, you will be in full interaction and at all times accessible. A text window will pop up and you will touch it. The conversations had with Siri will be written into the fabric of this overcast sky, the pertinent bits of your processing will glow in sequence, These Thresholds Will Not Stand. Gray is even now no longer a subject of debate, inchoate mass though it sometimes seems to be. Turn on storage capabilities, create a folder for when this packet of silica gel is the kind you will be able to eat. Everything is archived, modeled on infinite capability, the spinning madness, the swirl and cesspool in the streaming commentary, trolls’ avatars dressed in delightful fabric pixels; you will feed on the newsfeed, Future Citizen of the Looming Tomorrow, and it will taste of agave syrup, overripe ambrosia, of fluffy cotton cloud, so many clicks away. Questions of the terrestrial sort seem to elicit a null response. The chronometers are fast at work inside their translation engines; there will be the search term to guide you no longer.


Hallelujah Mars Angel: Magma’s Köhntarkösz Anteria (2004)

I am a musician, but I’m another type of musician

-Sun Ra

The fanfare here in some way a reminder, The Check Engine Light Is On, America; choir seems to be chanting Harrison Ford, and maybe it is time to wonder about questions of archeology.

I find it may be easiest to describe this expedition in the alien progressive case, that from here, you are no longer merely strumming along, you are floating, weightless momentarily, the nausea will subside, you will see. In these broadcasts we have inverted languages and an orb spinning the similingling-lahng repeated in choir of some strange and highly evolved kinds of creatures. Paranoia inducing repetitions, hypnotic in their insistence and then. Spaces. A frantic energy always evolving in and around the fact that it never ends, it is never ending, but just evolving, changing shapes, the winding around themselves lines, as if tied to one another. In modulation and variation, waxing rhapsodic these are Kind and Gentle Folk, the selfsame you heard tell about in the Sagas of your tribe. Consider their simple invective: soønsoøndoveresang chameleons asking us, pleading us, the audience of one, in the head phones, to just listen. The, shall we say God-like Listener. Well she thinks that an album can be a love letter to the apocalypse, to the concept of infinity, and he to the fact that there is only so much time for these matters. Egregious Self Aware And Thereby Kind of Annoying Digression: Stevie Wonder’s first record is called Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. A warm welcome from many humans follows. I would play Köhntarkösz to Stevie Wonder and ask him what he thinks. If I had the vinyl. 

 

This is best seen as a kind of voyage, you see, maybe it always is with Magma, or must have been. But it’s a voyage inside the parenthesis, you know, your parenthesis (the mind. The mind, your own mind, you can hold it and it holds nothing, it holds everything, there will be an epic poem, you are thinking in your mind, an epic poem for multiple voices, in multiples, to adopt a kind of ambitious scope your mind is then also a sprint towards infinity and to know how to have written this, to hold that key change, that threatening ooh that compelling ahh. Each a ship you can sail. It is hardly surprising, then, that I have entirely lost track of the time, has it been 11 minutes or 44. A broken chromometer, isn’t that what you call it in your solar system? And, since I’ve got you here, yes, it sounds like it’s coming from the inside of a goddamn volcanic mountain, a hollow mountain, I suppose, recorded, and it came from a book, a very special book, a very special ancient book with calligraphy and illustrations, the choir all suddenly fi-fi-fa-fa set-ah and neither you nor I even know what they look like, but picture hooded types, robes, funky and zany outer space chic, the tallest one the least interesting, the tallest one the most interesting. Riding the equivalent of horses, into swirling unrest, into storms, it is certainly raining.

-Mark Gurarie


Everything Is Inebriated

“I have always thought of myself as very potent and generative”

–Jonathan Safran Foer

You can go ahead and call me whatever you can talk to the paint chips in your cocktail. You can have another miniature sandwich actually go ahead have one they’re Handmade in Brooklyn © they’re someone else’s effortlessnessness. You want to listen to 999 to drown in the seventeen infinite possibilities of drive pedal the fuzzing kick drums. I have often gone without fur hat Jonathan you are quick to point out a victim of your own propensity to surf or engage in surfing like behavior. The thoughtwethoughtwe’dneverencounter requires us to uncomfortably sip creates spaces in conversation where there were none before. ‘A call to harm’s way’ is another way to say it with of course an adequate level of guard up. We remember to have mercy on one another sometimes yet perhaps not enough. We believe in Homicide. I have been on many a crowded boulevard and we are doing very nicely indeed excuse me excuse us. As if married to a modulating meaning or to an emotion or a history which evokes emotion which modulates. I can only think in intervals when I am lucky. The music is already in a can in speakers and health supplements. I have lost the thread said the user but I have a needle. Shifting electricity she sweats only when she is upset. I’ve seen your sentences and they were not blinding. You are already closing the cabinet and you have sit for a while yes some time. We are nowhere to be seen in the descriptions we are uncredited we are the wall paper that saw the potential for growth. We ordered another and tried to shock ourselves.

-Mark Gurarie


The Parable of the Friendly Scorpion

Of late I find myself unable to complete sentences, you might say I have a scorpion waiting at the end.

There will then be at last and in a kind of hopeful light a tail, pincers, the trees are moving.

To begin again is to remember the scorpion prefers cool and dark places, some escape from the inferno of the every day.

If for no other reason than we appreciate form, fluid motions of the hills, downstream the run off is itself a connectivity; the faces are not necessarily scowling.

Across a cross out and rewrite, two scorpions at play, casually chic because, of course it comes off as effortless.

Fill our lines, almost every part of the scorpion resists imagination when seen in yes moonlight and yes it was being sucked into his jacket.

I have as many friends as I have scorpions in a cup, spoke the father to his daughter

To which she was all what.

Endeavoring to combat what she sees as a plague, a malignant tumor on that which she calls the framework of a just and equitable society.

A scorpion in the throat is better than two in the band.

The spiders build webs near outdoor lamps to attract moths; the scorpions switch them on.

Behind every exceptionalistic view of history, consider Garibaldi in San Marco, shot in the foot, defeated but escaping, his love dying.

A hollowed out scorpion, carried in a sling, a garnish in a dish, the hologram-like impression of almost memory, the constellation.

A cluster of scorpions, seen as a good omen, for the traveller that is uneasy, that has lost his wits, that never had them, that must consider weight, the weight unequally distributed.

-Mark Gurarie

 


An Hour of Dire Greediness

I have no one to ape for anymore.

Who has a brass ring; are the animals then meant to speak.

Yes to the latter.

Of which.

Zombies are meant to have the finest.

Mindlessness is not a real word.

I, for one, will agree to disagree.

I have no degrees, insubordination.

In tall oaks, as the saying goes.

The shaving cream is on the crevice.

A razor for no man.

A what?

A razor nomad.

A what?

A general, most indistinguishable interrogative.

I’ll query my database and get back to you in a prompt and inefficient hour.

You better start dancing, Swan Lake.

A pink candy heart.

If you say so, Cinderella.

Don’t coat this room in candle-wax.

You are too an appellation.

I’ve had no scissors that I didn’t like.

I am rounding the bend, as the saying goes.

Interrelations of the strangest order.

I tend to be distressed, Appalachian.

You mock a mountain.

Chain.

You bird a goddamn feather, Fly Boy.

I’ve pissed in Cloud City, sure, if that’s what you mean.

This cardboard box has your name on it.

I have neither time nor talent, and I aim to keep it that way.

Godfather of my egregiousness, do you quit.

For all the lovers in Memphis.

For the King is but the best thief.

Stealing wax, are we, stealing wax.

 

-Mark Gurarie


This is Saturday Night, People

Talk about all of the terrible words that we speak, and I will tell you about the death defying feats of understatement, and what I mean is that everything is perfect— the way the mind works is the fact that everything is just a painting of the exact portion of the way that everyone understands the islands: we can’t possibly be anything else besides the interpretation of literature… Can we talk about the way that humans decide that everything is a terrible Italian dinner, and what is that really, so glad you found me here. Here is what we work for, there is a constant in our lives, there is a sinister way that we speak about the everyday, that certain something that makes the nerves extend past the finger until they are tiny little tendrils of  the vernacular;  the spelling is just exactly the perfect way that El Reed did his and that is not exactly the problem because Last Exit to Brooklyn is a sinful topical episode— there is a populace that allows those who are not privy to the remainder of the dialogue left over from the jest that is confounding— but wait, we are the record that spins the pin, the pin is cutting upon the record  Mercury.                       Spin this insatiable appetite for reconstruction, the gang vocals, anonymous, as if we could kiss your ass goodbye. In between rock’n’roll oracles find us misinterpreting the clouds; find us exaggerating the norms like a big business tycoon, and let us tell you why we are in fact and after all the king of the seas. This irradiation haunts us:  there is music and piano sounds like a god damn atom bomb that breaks apart like a simple crying concentration of the mind, and the grey matter is just stupefying and that is nothing compared to the way… the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

the machine of a dream

I have never been a cyclone unless you count the jazz years the jazz incognito the in between as a liminal that I prefer mourning to coffee but not that much and in so far as we are left to pretend with, and as much as a meteor might exaggerate towards the chorus, us chiming a brass anechdote, my life’s insanity, take care of us, be good company let us then find it, let us then examine, please for here and now’s sake who is scared?

-Robert “Adrenaline Bob” Tumas & Mark Gurarie