Performance Fart

poem-prose (elmhurst college may 8 two-thousand-one)

the jivey retro-girl w/ magic glasses
sunny sandpaper skin
glitter lips & pure invisible sex-joy vibes
speaks my name

it is time

skittish numb-legged
from plastic ass-warmed chair
& strolling squeaky nikes
up to dim-lit desk on poet-stage mind-display
i rise among the masses
cough-clearing thick-lined mucus-muck obstructing breath-beat-tube
(a swallow a prayer a glance cross room)
eyes the eyes billions in excess
focused on the shining holy-apex of my un-virgin essence
disillusioned devils waiting heaven from my sin-stained lips
waiting knowledge beauty bullshit-fancies
waiting poem-prose-proclamations pronto

i flutter

dizzy in the silent nakedness of thought
till high & mighty muse envelops my brain
& blows & blows & blows

i am ready

first crisp crazy bright-hued line
tumbles free-fall
down out my face into air mixed w/ stink & unseen gunk
(college perfume-germs)
striking lobes of aching audience-receivers not yet sure

next line the next flows in groove
bold beats molded into tangible truths
metric diagrams of pain & pleasure

ART—living breathing climbing over tuned-in body-pods
taking seat by punch/potato-chip stand
listening to its own naughty neon notes
enlightened among the mental-drool of awe-gripped faces
brain-full skulls amused in vocal-bursts of blow of wail

i am it
for once this nanosecond am real am full of me
yet somehow just a figment-speck of overactive poetic imagination
a 3D imposter-cartoon
pretending to be me
(it numbs me i’m confused i do not care)

out of the dolled up carcass-shield my soul flashed before these
god-sick human-drones who cry my tears
but have not eye enough to empty out emotive-waste
i just don’t care

i am a necessity

they idea-fuck me
grown-up cock-eyed boys & nipple-horny girls
deprived of the total teenage orgasm
platonic professors
who as twenty-something infants sold their souls for adjunct PhDs
& the book-bogged smarties
who scribble-translate their every heady word
recording A-plus pin-point decibel-maps of every arrant lecture-fart

the wobbly world falls off its puny stick
we land upside-down dirty
inverted in the flesh drift-away-minded

i am done

back to my lonely spot among the crowd back to the nonsense run-on un-poetic drab of the everyday push towards nothing my soul absorbing claps of hands & yells of throats i am simply me again shy-slouched poet-boy insane dreaming of a poem-prose about this massive manic night for all to know & feel as truth

c b snoad
published in Lynx Eye (spring 2002)
edit 2-2-17

Independent Study

There is no outside, no escape from the terror of Capital.

Capital devours every critique against its insatiable appetite, reducing resisters to crumbs. Fighting back is noble but ultimately futile. Still, many people make a career (far, however, from a lavish lifestyle) out of protest.

Marshall Berman, on page 116 of All That Is Solid Melts into Air, writes that professionals, intellectuals and artists are “paid wage-laborers of the bourgeoisie.” They, according to Marx,

live only so long as they find work, and . . . find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These workers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. (quoted in Berman 117)

In short, professors need to eat. As long as they’re useful (to the academy, the publishing industry, liberal think tanks, etc.) they’re employed, even when they pose a threat to the status quo by reading and citing radical figures like Marx. Dissenters, like apologists, still power the machine.

I’m no radical, but I am critical of the system, and when I’m deconstructing assumptions I remain in its trap. There is no uncorrupted thought, no theorizing my way out of the maze. I don’t get paid for teasing ideas: philosophy is my hobby, like woodworking or restoring classic cars. Sharing a passion for knowledge comforts my soul.

The cost of an advanced degree triggers thoughts of bankruptcy, so I’m pursuing, on my own terms, a free PhD from the University of Indian Trails Public Library. My thesis is a work in progress, tentatively titled Sharp Left Turns.

No Ledge

I was reading a philosophy book recently and stumbled upon a random line break. The word “knowledge” jumped to another page, splitting into “know-ledge.” This led me to “no ledge,” a metaphor expressing the essence of knowing as I’ve approached it since college.

Pragmatic people see education as building a foundation of facts and figures, a baseline for measuring objective truths. They think that learning enhances mastery over the world, that it’s a tool used to increase confidence and stability.

But dynamic thinking is all about vertigo and disorientation. It’s a shock to your system. Searching for a different angle, you look out the window of your high-rise apartment and find there is no ledge. How far will you stick your neck out to glimpse what lies below?

Most people venturing into the unknown have a fallback plan that maintains the status quo. If things get too scary, they retreat to their comfort zones. Thoughtful people ask serious questions with no clear solutions. Excited by the prospects of deeper truths, we devote our lives to following ideas wherever they lead. Sometimes we have to catch ourselves before tumbling all the way down.