The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 24, 2004

juarez mud ruins and
i tried to resurrect this
crossing the river illegally for a better money land
there was a video but it was battering in the camera
back and forth furiously but these stills
came from the ruined video as if it were today or yesterday
it was ten years ago in juarez ten years ago in el paso
juarez was free and el paso was dangerous and furious
or el paso was free and dangerous, juarez furious
and they were crossing the river and there were empty lands
and we photographed the empty lands and looked into them
and into radiations and their routes of radiotelevision
so there's this and that this remnant
so there's this and that this remnant
we're the empire that made it happen
it's always like this and the sound is lost as well
someday i'll tell you a story
someday you'll listen to my confusion


Suicidal Thoughts

Last night watched American Splendor about Harvey Pekar and was struck
with uselessness. My domain name was renewed in the nick of time. Kerry is
behind by nine points as state after state swings towards the fascists,
with the so-called electoral vote 28 points ahead for Bush Inc. I had a
growth removed from my face being tested for malignancy. I've gone off
lexapro and feel dizzy pretty much all the time but so far nothing else.
The horror of beheadings as we're "winning in Iraq." I don't sleep
anymore. I can't lose weight. So much net art is rehashed conceptualism
from the 60s and 70s. Doesn't the country _get it_? No one replies to my
work at all, at this point. Discussion on Poetics about "erasure."
Argentina? I've used the technique at least since 1976 in those poetics
programs I wrote. A fourth hurricane heading for Florida and people still
develop the Everglades, now at 9% what it was. The roof of this building
is cracked and we'll have to move out for a while when it's replaced.
Boojum, our cat, is checked now daily for a resurgence of cancer; we can't
tell. The crazy guy on our block now has a pit bull. More trees are dying
and more pit bulls are sprouting. Our friends had to get rid of their
rooftop garden because of an "error." Sharona's leaving Monk because of
"creative differences" or some such. It's getting harder to breathe around
here. Whatever Bush says, goes. We're really broke at this point and as
usual I feel at odds and somewhat alienated from most of my family. At
sixty-one the body begins to whisper failure. I'm absolutely certain there
is no god, spirit, soul, though I was destined to believe otherwise. Every
organized religion murders. On one level, the murders of Russian children
are inconceivable; on the other, they're part of the daily routine. First
the mudslides and floods, then the drowning, then the looting and fury.
Get rid of your vegetation and everything sinks in the sea. Human animals
are by far the filthiest; look at the New York subway stations. TV Guide
no longer lists late late night at all. Every day there are new scams in
the email, targeting the weakest among us. Most of these are completely
illegal. Reality shows along the line of Survivor seem to delight in
animal-torture; where is Peta? Even the SPCA? During the Republican
convention here, half a million took to the streets, and there were online
and other offline actions as well. The result, a fascist popularity
landslide. Medication is pricing the elderly out of existence. Another
Ramone died. Madonna's Kabbalah is idiotic and insulting. I've been
sleeping far too much as a result of depression; getting off the lexapro
should help. A psychiatrist friend suggested I use "bubblegum" as a
mantra. SUV usage has gone up 45% in most places here and I gather the
Hummer gets 7 miles to the gallon. Our place is overrun with mice who
freely eat from our humane traps. The cat watches. There are some flies as
well. I'm not playing enough music and have somewhat lost my embrochure.
I'm hopefully selling some rare books to raise some money as my father
yells at me that they're not worth much. The dark night of the soul is 3
p.m. in the afternoon. Someday I'll be thrown in the jail for disbelief.
It's increasingly hard to work on texts in absolute silence. My friends
are all in academics; I sit here at the desk and hunger for a living. I
still haven't gotten over the death of my mother and my father's dislike
of me. We're living on Azure's school loans and my occasional work or
lecturing. My headaches have increased in frequency and severity over the
past several months. How can anyone claim Afghanistan or Iraq are
successes? This is no longer my country and the net is no longer "my" net;
both belong to the spammers. Frances, Ivan, Charley, Jeanne. Our
neighborhood is being redeveloped and across Flatbush, buildings will be
seized by "eminent domain." I head someone else leaped from a building at
NYU, Azure's university. My Sony Hi8 with PCM sound won't sync tapes
properly and I'm in danger of losing another ten years' work. The
Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania, where my father lives, rose to within
three feet of overflowing the dikes. I get tired of arguments about
cross-posting, but on the other hand, am almost never invited to read. I
get tired of arguments about "avant-garde" and "experimental" writing,
when clearly something new is happening and people are too blind to see
it. Was it Louisiana that just approved of a state-constitutional ban on
same-sex marriages? For the first time in decades, we're insisting on the
instituting of privilege and prejudice. Full-fledged legal racism and
anti-semitism are not far behind. This country is white, right-wing,
Christian, and by God, patriotic; don't let anyone tell you different. I'm
more afraid of Bush than Ben Laden. Who wants to hear a 61-year-old
guitar/shamisen player anyway? Let's watch Jerusalem burn. I'm worried the
mice will eat the bellows of the pump organ. I feel death breathing down
my back, illuminating the pain in my early-morning eyes. Why isn't there
terrorism directed at the fascists in power? I worry my friends won't be
able to tolerate me. We can't keep dust out of this place and live in
constant allergic reaction. My astigmatic eyes have trouble focusing
properly and if I don't consciously correct, my digital photographs come
out at a 3-degree tilt. About twice a month I have to call 911 for the
neighborhood. The sink pipes blew out a couple of weeks ago. We're in
incredible debt, for the first time in our lives. A saving grace would be
a hard cold winter.


Not to Mention

. the bombing of the New York City tunnels resulting in widespread death
and destruction.
. dirty-bombs in Manhattan with radioactive fury spreading to Brooklyn and
. anthrax and other biological weapons already in the air we breathe
. resurgence of smallpox and plague
. repeat of crashed planes into Wall Street and the United Nations
. car bombs going of in Union Square and Times Square
. firestorms spreading across Manhattan as tanker trucks explode en masse
. New York City beheadings by anonymous figures speaking through
. riots in every neighborhood as food runs out
. collapse of the New York City water tunnels and surface instability in
at least three boroughs
. images of civilians burned alive in high-rises exploded from the ground
. fire and explosions in the New York City natural gas system
. subway tunnel collapses as plastique and suicide bombers do their work
. grenades and shrapnel
. gas


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