The Artscape Suite
roving thru yr city in an improv troupe
bliss among my homies, roving thru yr city in an improv troupe. we spill aggressive-nerdy from the pre-ordained patios, accost you with our Zener cards, with customized hypnoses, with wondrous Q&A for the lucky-lonely.
we crash a retail atrium whose bustle-rush sublates into a high & churchly hush, the business sent above where it collects in the vaulting. he spurns our cute powers, a vagrant given space to sprawl: a stern mien bill-givers come away absolved from, knowing now that
No one owes me anything—Thanks!
Commuters’ friendly pointers as we wander thru the Union Station underworld. we’ll come upon, and learn to awe: a mile-long arroyo made of hardwood. our cellar trail has ended, here: in end-to-end b-ball courts, the subfloor compounded of a polyfibre Stanford has a patent on, a father notes as anthem ends and WOOS & YAWS crescendo for the tip-off.
W.H. Auden in kurta-pyjama paired with pristine white nu-buck New Balance joggers—a Sri Chinmoy acolyte who sounds like James Merrill via Geoffrey Pye’s take on Gene Simmons.
thus, they are Legion. and what is it they’re saying? ‘tis witty-wise & genial, a soundstream agreeable to seize my two sisters into school-stage tableaux: a weekday edu-tainment, a Sybil re-enactment, a scene from Mount Parnassus for the kiddies seated placid.
a YouTube spiritualist, a mutualist of Jules & i insists we’re all familiar from her past-life regressions. i’m friendly & unskeptical, but ask for an example. she gives what seems the opposite: a pre-cog success. i get that all the time, i say, and think aloud us chilling in a caf; then drinking on a wind-harassed deck; then a plazzo, a pliatzo, a piazza pigeons scatter from as astral light densifies to three paying patrons flush with traveller’s cheques.
scored by my Bach alarm i’d blindly non-swiped to Snooze: a Glen Gould biopic. Alex Trebek, by the second Variation, is my over-dyed Mentor so his Aspect is a merchant fresh from Zanzibar. and thru the Variations, a face-chain: Trebek is Bruce French, my hometown music tutor; who dings Joe McElroy on the cover of a journal set before me in my day-life. he’s swarthy in this pic that the gameshow host had prepped me for, as Maestro pushed my essays into poesy.
one assessing glance from the stoop-perching genius and i’m vowed to send off "Thersites" to Fiction mag—where Eds are all his friends from the ’70s, i bet—yet don’t accept poetry, Fiction mag, hmm. maybe i can spin it as a Monologue, Confession from a prison-bed?
friends of Harvard Hall gather round
a Burnaby darbaar, The Vujh Sandhu Centre. the aluminum-cool sign extends the Centre’s sleek sculpture down a mowed slope.
in the wide & squat langar hall, many Preets urge more paraantha on me, fewer sweets. many Chachis tsk-tsk a sad decline in piety, this hangout-space where elders prowl leeringly in daal-stained dress shirts.
i barge into the seminar, announce to all Iranians i disbelieve the standard Theology. i’m ushered into hallway by their White Knight instructor, protected from the hissing and he whispers that We know.
who needs me to be freed of their Theology? if stats are right, my saying it is secondary. if stats are wrong? the truth is not with me.
a big-hall exam, someone to my right whispers type of Swedish snack that rhymes with Björk?
a marketing puzzle on a cracker-box flap, i scrawl. the O&O for Ogilvy & Ogilvy, et cet when a roving Proctor Ratchet slaps her hand upon my page, signals to the dude with a stopwatch to Note this, but what’s with? i hadn’t said a thing. the answer came unbidden from a questioning i still can’t account for.
friends of Harvard Hall gather round for the Take-down. ropes drawn taut from cupola down to lawn by strongmen straining as the crowd chants the countdown: THREE, TWO…
aaand now i’m inside, behind the brick facade with the wanderers innocuous in varied rates of time-kill. they know or don’t give a that their home shall soon be open from the front? the staff off-foyer seem oblivious in their upraised counterspace, overwatching hypnotized browsers at the keepsake shelves.
i dream a new Arrival
i dream a place i’ve been to or i’ve dreamt before. could be i concocted in that same dream a memstore. for the dreamer-ingenue, some scenes are new, some are déja vu, so he’s dazey either way, sleepwalking thru with a mou gaping stupid-cute.
within each dream, i dream a new Arrival. each of you is prefaced in a hair-raising context so i verify, in waking life, my precog. i charm you when we meet, for i’ve thought thru the symbols of your dream-self. i greet you with a knowing ease, like Stephen unto me, or the Nazarene when gathering his fisher-friends.
as i say, all within a single broken dream: the dreamt pre-meeting plus the daylight greeting—all within a drawn-out Snooze-fest.
my five easy pieces @ a Friday recital
hung the whole Saturday with regal old receivers of the weekly Salon. HIS body modded for Cock-and-Ball Tortures, HER townhome optimized for livestream Improv. i slip inside their inner court where he’s already pining for that Chicken Place he goes to when the pain overtakes.
from underneath the futon they are sejant on i draw a long piece shedding rust-dust someone needs to vacuum, pls. the long loose piece gives a jew’s-harp doo-wops when i wobble it, is totem of his steel-caged tumescent cock they spend all day transmuting into Art.
perhaps she meant this, the Brahmaness who hates Delhi Kitty Parties, this: Find thine own self-torture. the red-lip Lady with eye-wrinkles looming by our chummy huddle, post-recital. starchy in a sari, she advises ad libitum: exaggerate the tempo surges, slow the end of phrase to warp the air of the performance hall.
i don’t play piano, so waking-me assumes she means my Covid speeches, rag-outs at the mic at General Members Meetings.
Sunday, a reprise: an omnibus of all the week’s performers. is this that glass bunker on a laser-streaked thoroughfare in long-exposure nite-shots on Pixabay? Queen or King Street likely, by the streetcar i arrive by. a whole floor Triad-run for call girls, but it’s not my aim—to call on girls nor turn Travis Bickle on the Triad.
i’m dream-conflating the low-story Lakeshore condo plus the MILF sexworker’s Motel 6 Rick visits in this very sharp new novel out at Tragickal.com. a mirror-paneled Art Haus these partner profs, oldschool OCADians, preside upon. SHE commits his naked self-inflictions in a blown-up portraiture set throughout the living space. a handsome guy, in older shots, and all along like Iggy Pop: naked not thru vanity, as proved by his persistence, his commitment to the Nude as his body falls apart.
SHE plunks out chromatic chords, cabinet propped open & the stringworks treated with—rusty metal shards. it all comes together at her Pyaaner.
from bloody neckhole, final curve of cervix
is Bloody Mary’s mouth rimmed in pomegranate rind? are sailors in the wicker showers grabbing soapy dicks when waving Nurses jog on by?
she’s gazing at my side into our armoire’s mirror, snuggled into lateral intimacy. her head cocking soft on my shoulder, finding comfort, but also in a query as she
pulls her robe open on a doll-like nudity, a flash of no pudenda.
her breath a bit rank—is she Kundalini, always with me?
the apple-doll cheeks of a high-plateau oxygenator, Tibetan or Mongolian. her cheeks a ruddy rouge to match her wedding-red robe, or she’s done up for a funeral.
when next i peek, her head is gone: a curve of cervix undulating wicked from her neckhole. a serpentine facial form emergent in the snapping upper vertebrae, and hissing thru the mandibles.
a paveway in the desert
a rep from Lynyrd Skynyrd pulls in passersby for interview: what’s your favorite rock band? a segment for relief from bombings in Pakistan. a light & friendly word from the “street,” but where’s the retail, where’s the frontage & the sidewalks, all the traffic?
we’re pacing to & fro on a paveway in the desert.
one gal is wittily evasive. The Boozy Doozy Band she says while trying to shoo him off and push ahead for non-shopping. yet finds herself headed down a fenced-in off-ramp, conveyed toward a lazy-leaning border guard & Exit sign, flaking white-on-red:
Welcome to Susiland.
is she Susi, and this the way home to her solipsistic bed? Exit from the Commons that we stroll upon? we each found a portal here, a hole within our solo dream. the Alabaman longhairs all are neo-Nazareans, and we the new Ecclesia, by baby-steps. our pacing is a dynamo or site-prep.
this could be a home for us, to renovate this landing strip to Jamestown, a happy-ending Jonestown!
she pulls herself out of it, spins on the momentum of the doozy dinging dizzy, meaning children freely circling in the summer sun. her Spoonerism navigates a Susi-friendly way to join the fun.
we’re joyous she can stay yet in this easing of relations, our faces nodding yes at the pleasure of our laughter, what a tragedy. i take the chance to ascertain: hey, but are you Susi? and her final ha is panic as she dissipates & fades —
it is morning.
by Ben Beckett
... We’re on the terrace outside a greenhouse on a lovely ridge ...
by travis tate
... we’re just here to talk quietly about / this little den of massacre called America ...