Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban American Landscape/15 Minutes of Fame


first time i saw her she was dressed like a man in a white face. a mannequin smooth and hard, hair slick as black shoe polish. she couldn't escape the vacuum cleaner, the knife, deranged psychotic. the more i got to know her, the less i knew.

she wanted to be famous: being famous was better than a conscience. it made her forget she didn't merely have sex, she stopped being coherent. she made a mockery out of it. she had healthy distrust of optimism.

she’d stagger down the street to my dirty little space, a dirty laundromat in a dirty basement of a dirty hotel in downtown dirty town where everybody lived, where nothing was true, nothing forbidden, everything permitted.

one night she called me to go to her place and put gypsies in her arm. i put a bag over her head. she pretended not to know who i was. we went at it long and fast. it was the one thing needed: forbidden fruit of a girl who waits on tables.

last time i saw her she was dressed like a man in a white face. a mannequin smooth and hard, hair slick as black shoe polish. we couldn't escape the vacuum cleaner, the knife, deranged psychotic. the more i got to know her, the less i knew.

(1) all of the images i've selected are images of women in one form or another. in my mind, the Urban American Landscape is a landscape of beautiful women: all i want to do is sit in the corner upstairs in the booth with only one chair near the window and look at them all. i want to eat bowls of rice, food for the crucifixation yet to come. Keeps me up for days. I walk around on a highway. I stand in doorways waiting.

The Urban American Landscape is a who's-who of famous people who forget to close the window. they wake up with an appetite for the strange. they look for their coats, baggy pants, boots and a sharp pencil. they sleep on old faded yellow newspapers. they wait in laundromats.

i remember it was 6am. i'd been working all night. it started to rain. grey skies. black clouds. black skies. cold rain and lots of it. i could use a drink. i walk to the corner. the bar is open every day. open 24/7. it's wednesday or tuesday. i'm sitting in the corner in the back, in the dark, minding my own business for 15 minutes.

(2) in 15 minutes, the Urban Landscape of America rips up old photographs of famous people laughing with saliva running down from the corners of their mouths, their eyes scratched out bleeding on virgin snow in winter. 15 minutes gives us time to see their emerald eyes crying inside the mountain buried alive. fifteen minutes of fame is the time it takes to see paint on the water, graves in the garden. we see bathroom doors and alleys behind bars out back behind dark corners. we see creatures in mirrors eating the mud of the ordinary. we see angels and demons inside skulls. we hear voices begging for the end of the world to come in 15 minutes or less.

(3) The Urban American Landscape is a can of beer being thrown at a famous woman living in a trailer park. For 15 minutes every day, she hangs out at a neighborhood corner bar suspended from the ceiling drinking and talking, taking confessions of sin. The image represents the famous and beautiful people walking home from the rockabilly50 night club. standing under a streetlight, they light cigarettes with silver lighters with their names engraved. they smoke cigarettes between cracked lips, holding it between the first two fingers Betty Davis style: one shoulder lower another higher than the other. it only took 15 minutes for the Urban Landscape to turn into a cheap aphrodisiac. There was nothing to else to say. I pointed my middle finger in an obscene gesture: there’s a red tattoo of a heart painted below the bottom knuckle of my middle finger right hand.

(4) The Urban Landscape is a motel room. It’s a pothole where our netherworld bottomed out. The Landscape gives us a vision: estimez qu'il n'y a rien ici qui est (think that there is nothing here that IS) -- to know is to die, to not-know is to live. knowing is inhumane. not-knowing is human. to know is mortality. to not-know is immortality.

We're lucky if, for ONLY 15 minutes in our entire lifetime, we're exiled from the jazz city eating the Urban Landscape with creatures nobody sees. We're lucky if, no matter how bad it gets (and it DOES get really bad!), for ONLY 15 minutes life will seem like a bass drum pounding in our head giving visions of pregnant women beating fists against stomach to wake up the fetus, worms in womb.

Overland Park, KS image by Simon Kossoff

(5) The Urban American Landscape is the face of roses and thorns. For 15 minutes it’s the face of a dream: we swallow an oracle for the sake of the world and transform hatred of many into love for few. First there is a predator, a farmer with a tractor. In the end, we are traumatized by semen in trash cans. Our breakdown is a failure. Pathetic and beautiful people dont want to suffer, but for 15 minutes life is suffering enough.

We work all night in jazz ghettos. We try to get out but escape smells like a toilet. the entire history of time gathers in the desert: drink from the cactus beyond the ashes. Next day we look for the body. It’s in the casino where everybody is beautiful for 15 minutes. Being awake in the Urban American Landscape is being in a deep coma, distorted, collapsed

(6) elbows on the table, she looks out the window. forgets about her sickness. her eyes drift aimlessly. cigarette ashtray is nasty. hair smells like irony. sleeping she wakes up coughing. sheets barely cover below the waist. kicks off blankets during night. wraps her legs tied with a piece of electrical cord. phone rings next to the bed. picks it up. waits for something to happen. waits for answer.

go to the kitchen. turn, push the sheet off the bed to the floor. grab the headboards. pull herself up. move towards the door with a toss of hair. next thing happens: man opens door. walks in. shuts door. in the space of the WHAT'S SO and the WHAT IS, the final masterpiece of the Urban American Landscape dies under the circumstances.

girls toss magick on the table. turn lights on but lights dont work. behind the door is the meaningless. crawl out of bed. ride hard on top bleeds the mexican woman. she brushes her eyes with mascara, goes to the tomb to look for the Landscape. White Horse at the gate with a wooden box. Woman listening, the way opens: "She is crying!". In the Urban American Landscape, women only cry for 15 minutes, or until it's all over. Which ever comes first.

cheap 90s porn 2 image by Exotic Birds

(7) Hung a sign on door to my apartment: "Looking for woman of the Urban American Landscape to be photographed in the worst way. See apartment 9 ask for Benny the Jazz." Finally, one day I got a knock on my door:

A face like a Pollack painting. Small feet red polish on toenails. Long legs and red thong. Small body, pale but a little sickly. Freckles like ants in a dish of cat food. Lips were perfectly luscious. Thick red hair. Wondered if pubic hair was different color than hair on head. Reminded me of spaghetti in a sink of dish water.

We stood at my bed. Eyes were dark. Icy glare felt like a bent needle in my arm. For only fifteen minutes more she’d wait for me to take her picture on a mattress I had when I lived in San Francisco. It never got wet except during sex, and only then for 15 minutes.

Tucson AZ image by James S Patterson

(8) The girl with the legs, before she had a face, drove into a parking lot wearing mini skirt. legs out the door, hot christ thighs up to her hips. wet hair against the middle of her back. the collar of her shirt had buttons missing, a tattoo of a big 'X'. a slender pearl neck, wet cleavage and so much future. we licked our lips, closed our eyes: the secret of expectation is unfulfillment. And so for 15 minutes, the urban American landscape had no reality, just a tight black dress in a desert mirage. There was no jazz. Nothing but sweat and sex. There's two kinds of people in the American landscape: those who quit and those too desperate to quit.

The aftermath image by justinsdisgustin

(9) These are the Landscape Photos of the spinning. The girl can barely see. Ears ring and hiss, eyes blur, glisten and sparkle. 15 minutes later she’s shining. Pupils in eyes black balls. She crawls out of bed with effort. It’s raining, dark outside. It cuts like a knife, the red flows out of a rock, down her face, her chest and feet. (In the urban landscape, drugs drip into spoon: floating balls of cotton dark purple artery.) Her black nylons hanging from phone lines in the street. Afraid of something, but doesnt know what. She turns off the lights. Locks the doors. Someone is in the house. Works at Ebony Black and Blues Cafe on Columbus open every day 6am to 2. Looks for shoes. Falls off bed, hits floors hits head, skin crawls over body up and down her legs from the inside. Light blinds her, creatures run away, but not this time. Not today.

2007_072_05 image by chuckp

(10) I go to sleep and it's winter. I wake up and can't get back to sleep for at least 15 minutes. I dream my face is painted on a wall. So I take pills and I drink, and then drink some more. I watch TV turn it down low. turn on the fan and the air conditioning. fall asleep have another dream. It's a bad dream, a real nightmare about the urban American landscape photos: In the dream I get a phone call three in the morning. I answer the phone. Voice says: "This is the Sheriff's Department. We have deputies at the door. Open the door and do not have anything in your hands."

I open the door. Cops come in and search house. Nothing there. They said I filed a false report, which is a felony. I get probation. I wake up in a sweat. I'm still watching TV. My face is still on a wall. Clock is ticking. Time running out. Suddenly it's the Summer Equinox in Los Angeles.

Santa Ana winds are rough. I move to San Francisco. Where am I in the landscape of zen? I ask. I wake up again. bed is wet. pillow is wet. I'm playing drums in Jackpot, Nevada with Garland Frady from Austin. It's a casino on the border. Get drunk every night and take speed. 15 minutes later I wake up and it's November at the Foothill Club in Long Beach.

WHITE_6782.JPG image by Cyclops-Optic

(11) I look at photos and sit on sidewalk outside of a bar. 15 minutes later, I go back to my room, find note on the door. I stand close to the door. Coltrane paces around in the room next to me playing modal scales.

Now I’m in a bar with a woman in red dress, funny hat, dark face, dark eyes, fur coat. Her face tears apart, torn open like paper. I read the paper looking in her mouth. Her tongue has faces of women, fever blisters in a spare room: a vision of my hands around her throat, sweat from her hair. I open door and look in. Dog lifts his leg takes a piss. I walk across the street and watch the red light flash on/off.

The woman with a face like darkness bends over at the waist. Her short skirt gets shorter. She gives me a hand, but I don't give her anything. She presses up against me. I can’t think of anything to do. Can’t kick the habit. It's absurd. I sit across the table. She crosses her legs like they’re gonna fall off. So I take a picture and have no repentance, make no apology.

The landscape session makes her skin crumbles. This gives me gas: a stomach bloated in a pure state of morbid illness.

New Years Eve image by Simon Kossoff

(12) I have a backpack; she’s got a suitcase. I like whiskey; see likes beer. I’ve got enough money to get three hundred miles. She’s got friends in California. So I get enough money to buy a bus ticket. I don't care about the landscape photos anymore. I want to get as far away as a Greyhound bus can go. It’s too late and I’m out of time. I take a seat in the back. Pull the coat over my shoulders to keep warm. Put my feet over the seat next to me to make more room. Close my eyes and listen to the engine roar down the highway. There are no conversations. It’s night. It’s late. It’s quiet. People are sleeping and there’s a long way to go before the next stop; more than 15 minutes. Heat of the landscape is unbearable. The highway hits the pot holes in every small town.