from Love and Money, Sex and Death
by McKenzie Wark
 
 

Body of Sleep

Can't sleep, so I'm downstairs here writing to you while you sleep upstairs. Looking out the window at apartment buildings, clustering prow of city. Barnacles cling. An accommodating vessel. Lull, all eke starboard. Cursive dreams, poetry of floating names, the written underside of slick water. For a while all I am was a lying there with you. Feeling the singular weight and angle of an arm across chest. Listen. Each breath. What it is that makes each breath yours and yet each distinct? Little quibbles, in each repetition, of depth, of length, of pitch. Muscles moving, drowsy mice, the beneath of skin, where flesh sifts itself. What say you when you talk in your sleep? Fragments of dialogue, some static, tuned between beacons. In sleep, you belong to no-one. In sleep, you belong no longer to yourself.
When you sleep, the you sleeps too. Your body is your body no longer, but sleep's body. Not just a body asleep, but the body of sleep. A body of sleep, as body of work, adrift.

Carnal Knowledge

Folding
Know without knowing, this tremble ensemble. Know with mouth, with nerves, patched in here and there to some others. Bodies send and receive, intimating wordlessly. Connecting vis-a-vis, viscera to viscera. The language of flesh; the flesh of language. Here no message can ever detach from its sender. Here no write, no rite, can recall the all.

Unfolding
It's all in the flick of the wrist, the sign's twist, the ironist's folding within meaning's skin. Emitting the same sighs as everyone else, one passes, antennae unremarked, not in opposition or agreement, negatively free. And yet, you make your feinting mark, one that signifies this non-relation, this nonchalant non correspond with the world. The idiot attraction of distraction.

Deathless Grace
Suddenly, a bullfighter, turning decorated shoes in the powdery arena, arms up-curved, so becoming for the crowd. The arena roars as the animal jets the arena. Bull muscle, body of work, grand sleek beneath. Black coat covered in sheeny sweat. The bull approaches, looming out of a crowd of dust.
Spectators float, an insect cloud ahead. All this surrounding. Unarmed, this I faces the bull, a charging slo-mo. This first pass a caress, hands running hands from head over shoulders and down over the near flank. Turns and charge again, and again, hands smooth over flanks. Again and again the bull charges these caresses, pass after pass, until it stops still in these hands, contented and still. The crowd dispels and this I is an aloneness with the bull. Knees bent, head bent borne before the bull. A sudden awaking, sweating, horny. A wondering where you are.

Dear Seducer
Turn me turn you on. Tune you tune me in. Blaze my eye, singe my ear. My electric deity of love. But you are of love, not in love. Ever since the day you came into our lives, every ray of love passes through you. You ascribe the qualities, know and unknown, to all our loves; the qualities we ascribe to love are qualities of yours. And yet you do not love. You have no qualities at all. Love abstracted, pure relation -- is this why I love you so? Yet I do not call you 'mine'. You have never been mine. My seducer, my enchanter, but never mine. If I call you mine it is not in the sense in which this used to flatter you, as proof of my attention. I call myself yours now as a curse. No matter where you go, on whom you spread your cathode rays, no matter how many countless others turn you on and come to love you, I will always be yours. When I curse you, the words I use against you prove I am yours. You presumed to screen me with your stories, your spectacle, your dance of shadows. You became everything to me, the phosphor along which all my longings pass. So now I will place all my pleasure in being your slave. Yours, all yours is what I am, your curse. Your faithful eye.

Disco Inferno

Tribal House Groove
Eat, dance, fuck, sleep, eat, dance, fuck some more. Eat, dance, fuck, sleep, eat, dance, fuck some more. Life in the Mine Fields, stone age style, as if bronze and iron, steel and tinsel, never cut the ground. Eat and dance down in caves, sweat and grunt with the others. Sleep and fuck highrise, where bad things can't cliff us. Resist the urge to fill mouths with paint and spray the apartment walls, hands as templates. That way lies culture, and the end of dumb naked fun.

Turn the Beat Around
I see you dancing. Lost in yourself. The muscles in your long, strong legs tense and untensing. Your body finding itself in the rhythm, and its mind, for a rare moment, lets its body find its own form. And I am seduced by the sight of a body, dancing, moving time, merging time, becoming the instrument through which time is known. Feel it in the bone: that on the other side of a body moving is the moving of moving itself.

Dock

All Het Up
The kind of come that can't be faked. That expels all self from flesh. Ah, but to get you there! This idiot fakes this lack of one. A leak of liquid masked in the rhythm of sighs, as if it were of no consequence. Homeostatic pressure vent. Do you not notice, or fake not noticing?

Détente
Mouth the beginning. Air the transmitter. Mouth to ear. Sonorities of sense, promise of sex. The beginning closes. Mouths unsound. Mouths touch. Words lost, bodies list. Cross talks cease. The room a vacuum. Mouth, airlocks mouth. The astronauts meet the cosmonauts.

Do Me
I give up I to you. It's yours, in its cancellation. Keep the wrapper safe. Suck it, fuck it, suck it, fuck it. Hear it ask of its own accord and answer with that tone that muscles do, when you do them like you do. They find their measure in your time. They find their pressure in your bind. They find their leisure in your rhyme.

Eleven Step Program
Pacing around the Mine Fields on the first spring day, one foot in front of the next. It seems so easy, but as these idiot pivots wonk from one foot to the other, the sense arises for the first time that there is a moment between movements where nothing in this body knows what comes next. One leg launches the body across space, and for a moment, freefall, before the other extends to catch its crash. One foot slips on a patch of muddy snow. Its antipode alters trajectory and catches this body as it gravitates, unexpectedly far to the left. I see someone coming towards me who I know and want to greet, but now I'm thinking about every step, each after the other. The self now a useless bubble in the liquid monitoring of motion. Marvelling at so many happenstances, unnoticed in the everyday. Each step, each love, each feeling, linked to the next, not by being the same, but simply by catching the falling body, launched into space by the last. I can't stop any time it don't want.

Fountain Pen

Catamite Cheek
Some men will tell you that fucking is a science. Take it from me that being fucked is an art.

Pillow Book
Making notes after sex -- or even during. Your fingers run over this skin; these fingers run over this page. You author me.

Pooling
This is not sex one falls into, but rather sex where one oozes down a slight incline and neatly pools about in the deep end.

Transubstantiation
Turning art into porn -- and porn into art.

X Marks the Spot
Autobiography is the pornography of what the self wants.
Pornography is the autobiography of what language wants.

Intensive Care
Awake, before time awake. Aware, before sense aware. Lying bed, listening skin. An I is pricked by the ear. An I hearing you, you reading to yourself, you reading alone aloud in the next room. Reading Samuel Beckett's 'Cascando ', over and over, tremoring dead air. I know right away that the one you loved, on the critical list these last weeks, is now dead. Again, 'Cascando' , again, from the book with this last loved one's name hand written on the first page. The last page. This is a last time for last words. Yet even the words that scythe close don't come close enough. Even the silence between the words grapples uselessly at the empty air. There is not silence enough in words to still rushing stillness, in the moment when grief is the closest thing, closer to the self even than the sense of self itself. Listening to the chant, 'Cascando', this perfect, useless ritual, fated now to love him and not be loved by him. Loving him this last time, 'Cascando'. Loving him forever in his absence until another loves you in yours, forever, and so on, forever. 'Cascando' churning the "unalterable whey of words." Reading but not touching the mark. There is nothing inside the text.

Love's Time
What one loves in each lover is what defines each as not being another. But there are other feelings. Other flecks between the felt. It's not that the same things happen with different lovers, or that one feels the same way about things that happen, but that something that happens seems to pick right up where something else that happened, sometimes years ago, left off. These moments form a series, in spite of their differences -- love's time. Where love appears in novels, it struggles against other kinds of time, against the time of necessity, and that conflict drives the story. But love can be written otherwise, a pure time, a serial time, an idiot time. A clutch of absolutes, singulars, denotations, detonations. One cannot love love and love writing. One always dances to the other's time. Better to write love and write writing. Writing pluralises time; in love time stays single.

Mardi Gras

Ecstatic
You never step into the same rhythm twice. Danced by sound, bodies enrhythm. Making a manyness, of limbs and fingers, joints and toes. Flesh styled by time, give it up for time. Beats pulse through densities of air and sweat, 'til air body beat become a world of singular whims, all unselected, all moving through one time. This time. One voice. This voice. One is time's voice. Phrasing lexicon gestures. Every letter of which time speaks, only once, over and over, muttering matter. Bodies become this pantheon of signals, an utter of time. Breath time; sweat time.

Blue Mountains
Ah. A rare moment of awareness. Oh. Memory kicking in (that answering machine). I raise my head above the current to record these thanks. Thanks that the pagan gods still live. Here in this twilight animation. They know this is their night, their ceremony. By morning they will disappear. Gone back into hiding up in the blue of mountains. Where they will wait, silent daylight, for their time with us again.

Micro Orgasm
Become a micro-organism, seeking along surfaces, mouth first. Searching sensitive nodes and nooks. Mouthing cross flesh, knowing the properties. Textures and frictions, all zones specific. This skin, this hair. Tonguing along a rise to a curved ridge of skin. Hovering now, circling aureole, hoovering mouth down over. Pulse fresh blood. Flicking this disk, tippy tip. Mouthing across more flesh, smooth curved girlflesh, over the ridge of rib. An elliptical indentation. Mouth sealing itself around empty well, lowering gingerly in, brushing umbilical corrugations. Tongue retracting -- triggered a jolt from a virgin nerve. Mouth further south, salty slick. Now oily proteins, gathering in. Quivers of tissue, delicate, frictionless, tongue tied to the intima.