Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ben Lerner

wen:  a harmless cyst, especially on the scalp or face, containing the fatty secretion of a sebaceous gland

After the Wen’s Out

spots of white
antibiotic ointment in my hair
look like insect dribble

my attempt to comb them out
snags on a suture

minutes later blood
fingerprints my new-turned page
spills down my forehead

bring ice!

to the downtown poetry reading
I wear a baseball cap
spotted with Hakalau mud
bleached by Hawaii sun

better artist
than head wound

Daniel had hoped the wen might contain insect larva
specifically Dermatobia hominis
but it didn't
we chose pix & bio-disposal over path lab

Ben Lerner [pic courtesy of NPR]

The first gaming system was the domesticated flame. Contemporary video games allow you to select the angle from which you view the action, inspiring a rash of high school massacres. Newer games, with their use of small strokes to simulate reflected light, are all but unintelligible to older players. We have abstracted airplanes from our simulators in the hope of manipulating flight as such. Game cheats, special codes that make your character invincible or rich, alter weather conditions or allow you to bypass a narrative stage, stand in relation to video games as prayer to reality. Children, if pushed, will attempt to inflict game cheats on the phenomenal world. Enter up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, a, b, a, to tear open the sky. Left, left, b, b, to keep warm.

The artist proposes a series of lights attached to tall poles, spaced at intervals along our public roads, and illuminated from dusk to dawn. The public is outraged. The law’s long arm cannot support its heavy hand. The public is outrage. Kingergarteners simulate bayonet fighting with the common domestic fowl. Does this blood look good on me? Does this blood make me look fat? If you replace a cow’s stomach with glass, don’t complain when you cut your mouth.

Laser technology has fulfilled our people's ancient dream of a blade so fine that the person it cuts in half remains standing and alive until he moves and cleaves. Until we move, none of us can be sure that we have not already been cut in half, or in many pieces, by a blade of light. It is safest to assume that our throats have already been slit, that the slightest alteration in our postures will cause the painless severance of our heads.

1 comment:

  1. ouch! ugh. may you keep your pokey comb out of there!