Feb 12, 2014

A Long Weekend


I
Back and forth between MPLS, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, eating 40 dollar steaks, lobster cakes, and 14 dollar sides of corn and potatoes. Starting meals with Dry martinis, finishing them with Macallan’s 18 in someone else’s insistence.  The Salesman pays.  I’m wasted by dinner’s end and memories are the camera’s damaged footage dropped down stairs.
I wake at 6am in a 350 dollar a night hotel room with art prints so bad its an offense.
My red eyes grind open.
I open balconies to LA’s oceans, I eat comped breakfast’s at dawn on floors so high I’m above Seattle’s Marine Layer, men in top-hats open doors to biting winds and I am offered limos.  
My DND remains on door’s handle, allowing no one with intentions to organize my life in. My room accumulates empty beers and cigarette butts that should cost an x-tra 350 dollar deep clean fee that a year of working in hotels has taught me how to get out of. Smoldering holes in sheets falling asleep and I almost burn us all to the ground.  I reuse the same towel and same socks, for whatever length of my stay and my room is an acrid and yellow field.
My brain is a desiccant, throbbing red signals its allergy to dry gin.
I’ll order champagne tonight.
My red eyes grind open. My head massacred. The bed is wet and I am its afterbirth. I leave it, stumbling over a broken glass and lettuce without origin. I shower. I’m late. I’m paying special attention to washing my armpits, anus and genitals pre-empting a new sheen my body has already begun expelling in an effort to right itself. Toxins oxidizing. Fauna bloom, oversaturate and die, rot in the annals of my body like a beach at low tide. I am a sponge. The body attempts to right and I spin freely.
My black eyes are purple orbs that tremor. I’m late for the lobby.
My naked body in scented oils. I vomit bile and coffee grounds I don’t remember eating. I, retch.  Another wetness coats my body that with the fine oils does not mix. I am marbling. I am a reptile.
The room’s things are new, unknown every morning.  These guinness cans, that overflowing bucket with more coffee grounds.  These objects are only in the most distant sense of the word, mine. More a strange man in the night.
I’m shivering heat and my stomach pains in a way that is not empty. I drop the thermostat to 55 and it churns, plummets and the panes quakes against Los Angeles Sun.  My heat is indoors, and I sweat ice, my skin shivering glass.
I put on a dress shirt, silk socks, and wing-tips. Everything sticks. Retrieve breakfast from the hallway and I drink every liquid on the tray.  My body opens and I pour.  I don’t eat half of the 35 dollar breakfast. I toss a remnant of toast into the still running sink I can see will be overflowing onto floor in the next couple hours and out the door without even looking at the housekeeping across the way looking into my room whose eyes I imagine wide and let the door shut and the DND dangle and down the hallway into the elevator and to my job as wreckage upon a beach.


II


A space too big for anything good, divide it up into microacreage. Massive. Divided, then divided, then divided again, divided, until 55,000 square feet have been divided into 4 foot plots and the place seethes with publication, people and faces.  Hedge maze of humans, tables, and people behind table’s staring assessment of your fondling their good’s meaning.  Buy something.  Having paid good money to be here, and tired of the carp-polloi. The stream who thumbs their merch and yellow stains all along the top copies, they sit low in their watchtowers.  This thing is the culturally legitimated version of comic-con.

People everywhere and every single one has a face.  The experience is only of faces, a highways night lines passing steady, innumerable, inexhaustibly face, and with it they strike you.  Six dollars for a beer. There isn’t a single famous artist here, they’d be eaten alive.

Magazines and magazines and books filled with every type of image imaginable. The staggering amount of images contained on tables unsuitable for their fresh weight. We care only for image. It can't be stopped and no one is selling dingy information, only pristine archival Ruscha catalogs. Book purveyors care for the vessel. These are distributors. Next year it will all be new. No one is selling the old information of the Tel Quel I am looking for, only the archival body of it, the newly republished collection. Aaaaarg.org should have a booth but they do not, yet they are one of the largest publishers of texts the world over.

The array of choice caters everyone.  What do I prefer? and should I find that, I will be interested.. There is no one here supplying me with anything I don’t want. Everything has already been filled. There is no Christian literature here. No one is trying to tell me anything. It is all passive. Would you like your zines homo-erotic or just erotic? We have an area for that. This is the area for homo-erotic publication.
No one is preaching. Free Markets for demagogues.  
I go to one of the talks and its three people reading the things they have written out of a magazine they are trying to sell and I wonder why I didn’t just read it out of the expensive magazine, but then the third woman starts reading and its going on and on but then she starts reading this really erotic scene and its getting unbelievably hot and her voice is like, without mic in the wooded room, is like being placed into a jacuzzi and everyone in the very small room’s very small crowd is getting warm and shifting and the climax is nearing and but instead of stripping me down right there and us getting it all over with instead its over, doors open and dump us all out in the sterile warehouse of sexless people and sexless magazines and I am cold.
Expeller pressed, the production here is the most streamlined vanilla form. Hopes to appeal. Not a single thing is here is objectionable. It fills the orders, the stream, the vessels.  I am, thumbing through political texts, the neo- Bourgeois.
By the third day, the merchant’s faces have sintered into pale busts of limestone weathered by the passing eons of information and people; etched nightly by the copious liquid for which they are today paying. Glazed over limestone aqueous acid brains struggling to maintain a semblance of a grip.  Their eyes are swollen and bursting in sockets too small. Some have finally turned their heads down. No one touches theses people’s souvenirs.  Everyone is weathered by the blowing wind of a Bela Tarr film. Buy Something.

III

We’re not the guest list, but we get in anyway. The Metal bowels of Los Angeles’s shed warehouse opens to the brilliant white bleached refurbishment, 100k watts illuminating approved crowd, leaving undesirables for the fire.  Later when we smoke it’ll be across a small imaginary division from the fire’s huddled. US V THEM. But right now we’re illuminated. The artworks are huge and dumb, but they are still dwarfed by the space.  But they’re huge and dumb, like jetskis hanging from wooden stuctures, and this dumbness is intentional and this makes them psychotic, capitalistically pathologic. But the galleries’ chambers progress darker as they deepen, darken until you’re deep in and in the wood panelled rooms of your childhood and the bar where the bartender moves with a remembered motion blur, spilling red cups and tequila mixed with cheap sticky orange juice and none dance at a party with a guest list, but the list doesn’t prevent the human density in these back far reaches claustrophobia at the imagined prospects of the artist barbeque that overtakes this place as the wooded walls catch fire and you walk out back to the day light bulbs and breath. And then no leaves ‘cause it’s smoking indoors now and We’re all stomping out fires on painted grey floors nicotine streaks torn hairy tobacco sprouts and even the bouncers give up trying to put them out, not getting paid enough for that and they’re gone, and its getting smoky in here.
The middle chambers half lit artworks not a soul cares for hide the gathering smoke better and its getting more comfortable and the brimstone is gathering and in it people are now sitting in the artwork set.  Like the accumulating smoke, no one knows if this is okay. But there’s too many wild antelope and there could be a stampede. But Imagine the set, It is a booth dining table made to look like a ship’s, whose windows above look over a sea that mechanically churns and it makes the whole sailor’s-supper rock in ominous swells through dark glass and a single bulb above the table’s amber glow makes appearances seasick green. The transgression of smoke and supping sailors get everyone giddy and green, swaying in the booth. The riot’s central circle gets jazzed on the crowd and there is cocaine being cut up on the artwork whose table has finally become the cutting mirror for society it has always wanted to be. The snorting and beers and drinks and smokes reach the stars zenith overhead where even finally no one can ignore what is happening in the central chambers of art and a wrought man wringing hat comes up left to last defend the work finally everyone else has proven expressly they care nothing about and approaches the sailing raised nose-running denizens and tells them they are all totally fine and its cool, totally cool, but please just don’t spill any drinks or put any cigarette butts or ash out on it, and it’ll be okay and everyone murmurs their hearts half agreement, and he leaves, and someone laughs “that’s the artist.”
The night progresses further and at the end someone dreams a team mascot in full team garb entering through the smoke of the deepest recessed woods and dancing, and the next day asks everyone about it and no one knows.

IV

At a Taco Loco 3 teenage girls eat next to a homeless man sleeping at a table. Throughout the meal the man snorts drunk on the table face down, and the girls giggle hushing each other and laugh more and then eat chips and crunch and they burst laughing, again, and then hush stone silent as the man snorts awake rolling onto his skull’s other side on the formica, and the girls are quiet but making wide eyes at each other towards the man and strapping down smirks as each attempts eating chips silent and its almost too much and almost laugh but keep it together and the meal progresses until there are no more chips that the girls are willing to calorically ingest and packing up to leave and one of the girls commemorates the conflicted meal by holding her iphone out front but looking back and capturing herself making some gesture next to the sleeping man looking like a pile of blue down and naked bird skull pressed red into table and the girl snaps the photo and they laugh and run out where attached to the ether it immediately uploads to Instagram and gets like 5 likes for 4 months until totally forgotten and the forgotten man has slipped forever into ether’s warm sleep until suddenly it gets like 40 likes and comments and then viral as the Atlantic has published lambast on a practice known as “selfies with homeless” turning out widespread when you scale up to full populations and mistaking this practice as confirming the indifference and self-centeredness of the social media generation in a giant bruh-ha-ha when really its an irruption symptomatic of the schizophrenia of collective social ignoring of the staggeringly invisible homeless and the real transgression was acknowledging these people at all, and knowing its "wrong," and thus the ironic mock smiles and thumbs up, as taught, feel bad but staggeringly powerless to do anything but ignore, and recognize the absurdity of the situation and act out in the only way they know but the Atlantic article is only like 200 words and a few photos and its obvious its just a title to get clicks through the site and without any real discussion the comments just a spouting off point for people to dispose rage on these people and this girls life is ruined for a number of years and the people behind their keyboards are disgusted.

  V

The museum’s SW (and but not so W you get to the building they own but do nothing with) wing’s third floor exhibition of a political artist has shit on its floor trailed out from a bathroom around the corner and turds litter the floor in a dotted line through the gallery and into the next room. They’ve set up bright triangle signs to alert you to it. A guard in a wheelchair yells to a woman to “watch,” gesturing from his chair to the turd and looking up at her concerned she isn’t watching it. The poop. Everyone treats it like it doesn’t exist, but it does, a huge trail of shit at least 70 feet long. It’s unbelievable but true, and this strikes no one in the museum as funny, or absurd. I am gawking. There’s another woman in a wheelchair trying to get into the bathroom with the turds trailing out of it that couldn’t be more noticeably closed.  The turds are intermittent but like detective footprints its easy to discern the scene of the crime.  Everyone seems very businesslike about the presence of human shit adorning the museum floor, like they are dealing with disposed balloon animals instead of poop and most, once realizing it, politely take an interest in the politically charged photographs instead. I, instead, am watching a politically charged train steamroll busload after busload of schoolchildren and cannot look away from the middle aged hispanic woman with beach blonde hair adorn her hands with baby blue gloves and a large amount of inabsorbent institutional paper towel now beginning to grind brown towel into the feces into the grain of the whitewashed wood of the Renzo Piano building’s third floor. The photographs behind me depicts a “Love-in” protest. There is an enlargement of a hippie button on the wall that is telling me “Poetry not Poverty” which strikes me standing on the third floor of one wing of a palace of art that this pin’s dream came true.
Around the other side of the wall from the shit is a “recent acquisitions” show and the really dumb art installation you saw in the super cool gallery two years ago is now here hanging.

VI

Painter Painter artists are being acquired all over, here’s one now.

VII

An old ghost town littered with people. Double cheek shadow kisses, Will Benedict paintings and Will Benedict’s Viennese gallery, and “have you seen Sergie’s paintings?,” and a painting of a penis touching a cellphone, and a man’s green mexican pointy boots so long they wrap in gardenhose spools around his shoulders freeing the tacos out of a bandolier of ingredients well documented by the photographer who trails him in the dusty town, the set of Dr. Quinn Medicine woman and everyone seems to be having a pretty good time.

VIII

The metal around us is already throbbing 100BPM and we’re still a block away before the music changes pitch black guards let us through the chainlink automotive mess of transmissions on trojan sawhorses in this city where we’re not on the guest list again but the minion manning the desk is resigned and I nod and he just lets me through with a nod to the labyrinths and we’re behind him in outhouses and couches and I am noticing the list is blank and the metal is shimmering with percussion and a woman comes out and asks the minion if he’s checking the list and he says yea of course and she asks well then what are all these people doing just standing around and gesturing in our general direction smoking near plastic bins of chemically neutered feces and someone silently labelled jerk but not by me moments prior speaks up and says they’re all with me and we are already walking away inside where no one is dancing instead flinching to the beat with no strong alcohol and paying $4 cash only for tecate sold from behind what was a dresser earlier today now with a blanket over it and of course we are paying for it we’ve been paying for it all week and I am definitely paying for it from last night because I don’t have cash to pay tonight’s pain away and the pain of paying away so Adam pays for it and I can’t slam six which echoes the woman’s warning of who are we all standing around for.