Tuesday, October 20, 2020

21 Grams of Us

for David Buuck

In the early 20th century, an American doctor named Duncan MacDougall conducted experiments with terminally ill patients to find observable traces of a soul leaving a body. His study concluded that 21 Grams of weight left the patients at the time of their deaths. Is it true? It is an exciting idea, regardless of the authenticity of a soul's weight on Earth. 

Two AAA batteries are roughly 21 Grams. I am designing different methods of wearing the batteries on delicate parts of my body to feel the weight better. One day I will wear them as an earring, bound together with thin thread, pulling on my earlobe throughout the day. I will also wear them from my nose, clipped at the apex for balance and more explicit sensation. Finally, I will wear them as a splint on my pinky finger. Wearing them on my finger so that the knuckle cannot bend will only add to the feeling of weight. Write in the notebook, write in the notebook, please write as fast as possible in the notebook explaining nothing.

I do not want to have specific concerns but simply treat it as a small amount of extra weight I will carry around. There is no way to do this ritual without the (Soma)tic fully engaged; the body will remind every part of me what the weight suggests. I want a clean entrance and a wild ride! My boyfriend Tre and I will do a version together where we hang 21 Grams of battery from our cocks, then again looped around a testicle, then write and write and write together.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Section 7 of Resurrect Extinct Vibration

 When I began writing poems using (Soma)tic poetry rituals, they became shapes. At first I tried to allow the poem to languish on the left margin, but I felt ill. Then I felt anxious while also feeling compelled to move the lines off of the left margin. The more I pushed the words into the page's interior, the better I felt. 

Muses, ghosts, spirits, there is no doubt of their existence to me. On occasion, I have met people who say they do not believe, and I am okay with that. For those who do believe in spirits who guide us in our poems, let me share a couple of things. One morning as I was waking, a voice came to me from the dimension I was about to leave upon waking. The voice said, "You have too many straight lines in your human world. We want to show you the way out of the violence of the line." After that, I never again resisted shaping the poems, and I was eager to allow all the help they wanted to offer. 

Another morning the voice said, "The shape of a poem is the space between us. The poems are the bridge we use to one another." Who are you? "Many" was the answer. Many? I began thinking of all the beautiful people I knew who died, not just grandparents, who I also loved, but the many souls I knew who died of AIDS. Painters, singers, prostitutes, janitors, poets, the many who died were somehow pushing up to my ear, to my hair and face, singing a little song for me to translate. From 1975 to 2005, they allowed me to write most of my poems on the left margin. Since 2005 they have wanted me to explore the broader reasons I find sustenance and strength in the poem's work.