The Gargoyle at the University of Toronto published this piece by me in their last issue of the 2015/2016 year. Reprinted below in a format that is way easier to read.


Beaten and Fucked

Love everything and get nowhere. Lose everything and get nowhere. Steal beg and borrow and get nowhere and no tomorrows and drive on burning wheels down a suicide road but fucking don’t, fucking don’t kill yourself, fucking instead of driving into the lake, reload and fire into the blue water, walk back to your car, through the wet grass, in your boots, stepping on your long laces, and sit behind the wheel and cry.

And do this every fucking day.

Look. We’re both smart and stupid and blind and eager and worthless and rented, we fall flat at the encounter of art, we beat meager retreats on young legs with doe eyes and hair-wrenching blindness to the facts, which obviate our intentions, if we ever knew them, which in fact we did—it’s a lie that nothing’s knowable—we just couldn’t sit still and deal with the pain. 

Something blocks us. 

That’s why if you walk in on me, and you’re tired and caked in mud, and your seams are loose and steaming, aching, and you ask me “what is this thing on the canvas”—that’s when I feel paralyzed and half-in the rafters. And I seize up, not being able to reach the door from where I am (which I apologize for). And I ask you to stay.

And I ask you to: dry your wet dirt on my face; push me and trip me from behind; and team up on me and seal my fate with a gun. And bear down—bear down—on me until I can think no more, until I untie these threads that have been lingering and heaving from apathy and insolence and stubborn intellect; bear down until I cannot sing or breathe, until I am choked, until I am wretched and forced and bent into the cold—then I’ll be happy.

Because though mute and bleeding and elevated and freezing—then, because happy (hovering and worthwhile)—only then will I look around, eyes clear and unbound, at you, my freedom.

So marry and beat and fuck me and become resilient to any stalling or pushing; say out loud and push more of yourself into the world; respond only by beating and flogging and writing to death. And so that all rockets may rest and all simple lust may one day scorch skin, let’s set a day to be real with each other, to come clean—to allow others ‘the great sacrifice’; let’s you and I step away from the scene, serenely.

This is my belief in blood; it’s my couched awful. I can tell you now that the native procession’s unbroken—it’s a lie, too, that disclosure’s impoverished. The reign and games and fury still do treat all with equal rigor; of course they still bury whole bodies, and believe in pale documents, pale violence—I know, because I grew up like that. In fact I’ve just come back back from there, and I see you’ve been busy too, so let’s both admit to being battlebent and having rushed on pale soldiers, rusting, who weren’t looking, who in fact were looking further afield, to their responsibilities.

And so we could cast off anchor-tight; because even if we’ve never moved at least we’ve never strayed. Even if we’re still eating mama’s sick-up, weak and pecking, glued to the walls, heart uncovered by skin yet drowned in blood, with nothing to reveal, we’re still lions to each other. And even if we’re battered and forgotten, we never grew, never developed, even if we’re still blind deaf mute prone beaten and fucked, eyes streaming, chin raised for another blow, our cold black eyes full of fever and hate—we’re still chest out, shoulders back, and screaming.