Deep in the night, just after he has digested my latest stabbings, Kashmir disappears under the floorboards and I am alone in my bunk, the soundtrack of my life’s miniseries drowned in the sounds of the Pinch Punch that float up through the register: all its groanings, squealing, drippings, writhings, stabbings, sobbing…all the sounds of life here enter my testicles like a terrible symphony in the groin. This is as close as one ever gets, in the Pinch Punch, to lying in bed as a child listening to crickets or cicadas. You take what you can get at the Pinch Punch.
The Pinch Punch is not unlike life, not unlike dying on a Mediterranean beach full of malaria.
Have I mentioned that my testicles are the sensitive orbs where all my artistic goo resides? In my former life, they used to tingle when I painted, but now they tingle only when TYRA stabs or slaps them to punish me, which is totally different: there are good tingles and bad tingles in life.
Tonight, a tiny, squeaky, unkempt voice, sloppy as mud but barely there, alights on the skin of my testicles like a mosquito. Under my tongue for thirty-seven years…knitting shawls for the earth… The bite of my muse blooms in the dark. The bite of my muse (the present) eclipses the miniseries of my life.
I am not certain whether I am having an actual conversation with my muse, or if my nightly Pinch-Punch just really kicked my ass this time, but I am thinking about light and dark for the first time since I painted David With Head of Goliath, in which I am both David and Goliath; in which I have just switchbladed off my own evil head and am looking down on it.
MUSE: Bulbed, artificial, glancing off a hubcap or a Tylenol, or the flesh of geriatric Anita; sunlight, twilight, starlight, motion light, really it’s all the same, you try to put the light inside yourself and it fumbles and chokes.
ME: Exactamundo! Just like how the point of all my paintings is that it’s as impossible to light a candle inside one’s own private residence as it is to play Parcheesi in a tiny monkey’s bellybutton. Nobody ever understood that. They thought I was talking about Jesus or some shit.
MUSE: Despite the fact that it’s undigestable, I wish there were more light coming up from under the Pinch Punch's leaves. That doesn’t happen in the city, and if it did I would reject it, just as I do the teacup piglets, in order to make them love me.
ME: You talk about picking through flesh to get to the icecaps. I talk about scaling forests to make a new color of light: the sound and flavor of sunlight through falling leaves, changing with the seasons.
MUSE: It is surprisingly comforting to be of four minds, isn’t it? I feel sort of like TYRA.
ME: Me, too. My effect is spontaneous and meaningless.
MUSE: Um, I gotta run, but I really think you should take a shower. I can smell you through the register.
ME: You are so correct. You are so very correct. Thank you for allowing me to feel the present; I have not felt the present in so long.
Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here
Ch. 9 here
Ch. 10 here
Ch. 11 here