by on Jan.18, 2013

I. Preamble


This past Monday, I painted my nails with four different kinds of sheer pink glitter. On Saturday, I had been called baroque. Recently I have been going out more and more often in my petticoats, some of which are borrowed.



I am twenty-four years old. I have degrees and a job and an apartment. I have never learned to grocery shop. Almost two years ago I stood in my kitchen covered in facepaint and wearing my Swarovski-encrusted riding helmet from my teenage years, at a loss; a camera was on. I didn’t know how to look at it. My roommate’s parents kept us well-stocked in arbitrary necessities. In the cabinets, we had many canisters of sugar.

i. Memorandum

In living, one seeks the “sweet spot” – the punctum. At this moment the body becomes a gel in which the “I” is suspended, separate. The self perceives itself as parts of a sum of parts; a granular agent of decay.

This is not what one remembers. When I say “remember” I mean the body re-feels a traumatic moment. Every remembered moment is a trauma because the act requires a severing.


So Barthes’ camera is surgical. Photographic saturation of the eye triggers a phenomenological flattening of the substance which acts. The human which experiences the absorptive (not reflective) mirror of photograph – be it a physical snapshot or a gut-punch of frozen bacon grease in a coffee can – is on a stage. Remembering is a violent performance the self does not initiate. The stage directions usurp the play.

ii. Decay

I was in Ireland a few years ago and my traveling companions and I used the Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin as our point-of-reference. During my time in Ireland I subsisted almost exclusively on Magnum ice cream bars and factory-fresh Guinness, which was rumored to be made more delicious by the infusion of large rats that live in the filtration system.

I think the rats that live in Thompkins Square Park are really cute. I take pictures of them with my iPhone.

Time is either linear or it is caving-in. The difference is exacted based on a concept of photographability. If, three sugary-cocktails in, I can call a night over because I have already captured the glaze that meets the eye of the beheld, the end loops itself through a buttonhole like a noose and I am preemptively dead.


iii. Rats

“In every sumo, there’s a little bulimic awaiting a glorious purge.” – Nick Demske

There is no difference between the baroque and the minimalistic because they are both trash.

The Baroque: I refuse nothing. / The Minimalist: I refuse everything. Thereby I = refuse.

Reality TV presents itself as pared-down when it is clearly overwrought. You eat Cool Whip with it (fat free); the speech is oversaturated, needs captions. You sit on a couch in a wedding dress. I say “you” when I when what I mean is “me” when “I” cannot locate my body. My life as a romance novel! Form as a hobby. On gchat my friend said any precocious fifth-grader could write great theory.



iv. Mutiny

I smoke pink cigarettes because I like the prettiness of death.

The important thing is the color thread: so I arrive in a whirl of paisley to march from berry to claret to esophageal scanning; a pink room, a pink bed, a pinkish disposition or an out-of-tune piano on which I play Send in the Clowns over and over again beneath a poster of Sylvia Plath (this is true.) –

I dyed myself hot pink before I stood in front of a room and told the truth. It still hasn’t rubbed off of my pearls.

I should be straightforward and say, “This is an essay based on a thought map on a legal pad involving the work of Kate Durbin, Jean Genet, Roland Barthes, Kirsten Hudson, Sianne Ngai, Nick Demske, Vanessa Carlton, Baudrillard, and Jewel.”


v. Teeth

I have a vague and indistinct memory of watching that awful movie, Teeth, in which a girl’s appetite for refusal is so voracious that her vagina grows teeth and begins terrorizing the town. I do not remember where I was; maybe I was on spring break in Alabama or having chocolate croissants on my college best-friend’s loft bed and wearing matching pajamas. Anyway when I started writing theory people told me I was being too aggressive and I needed to acquiesce to my elders so I started terrorizing the town.


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