Monday, September 5, 2016

THE BODY OF CON ED (by Kathy Acker)

it is holy. It gives us the telephone, the TV, electric utility bills with our bright names typed on them & short breath. It supplies us with all these plugs to suck on. If only there were pills I could take while looking down at the city all aglow with Con Edison light. I’m so thankful.  If only there were such a thing as guilt pills

At work I rub the customers’ backs with chloroform & slap their sagging stomachs with my palms. To everyone but me it sounds like applause, but to me it sounds like somebody’s teeth flapping in the wind. Or for lunch we take LSD & eat the crumbling company Fritos. Nickels taped to our eyeballs so we won’t envy the fellow next to us & count the # of corn chips in his bag. A man cant be expected to sweat his life away for three bags of corn chips a day. We go on strike

I want a new name. I also
want a new set of gimmicks or a getaway. Anything but this blood-flavored gum. Uh, as we approach NYC from the turnpike gears of this sweetness jam my face
with the milk of human kindness. The left eyebrow of Zeus knits furiously

All this furor incorporated by the
state of
it is holy. It gives us the telephone, the TV, electric blue light we work our sheepish looks over. Polo shirts & sunglasses are the most useful combination. Grow a weak heart & somebody will make you famous. When that sand rubs against your eyeball it is all you can do. It sounds like I’m using a ventriloquist again. I saw you on TV, Mr. Levenson

The novel has killed the point of view.  Tonnage of the stock exchange stuck deep to your bowels. I hand you my shirt as evidence, it cracks you up as horrible food so often does. At work, I subscribe

Who? You walk in the room, pose in front of the mirror. Tiny mirrors on your pocket book too. Beautiful streamers of someone’s hair flow out of your sides. Fantastic vibraphone solo by Karl Berger. 2631 Garfield Street   Still no one suspects

At work, I subscribe to a new game. Them that make us do sit-ups (timed) & apply for dress regulations. Otherwise you’re fired & not enough time in for unemployment. I had some pimples so I couldn’t fuck. Couldnt keep it up for the blood-tests. Confidential information. We just show the psychologist & then throw the results away. Sure I’m reading Downbeat Magazine, what do I care

My name is Robert Jordan & invented the sit-up. Is another poem, no, senor?  I eye the alphabet on your tits. Sonny Sharrock on the guitar

Dave said.
Disguised as a great man, I could fool millions.
Richard said.
I used to think my life was headed nowhere. Now I know it was there all the time

you were great, Mr. Levenson

He slurped some saliva back…   tried to pick up this wo-
into his face                  man at the bar, saying
how life-like she was. Silicon pellets in his fist of authority

As I sit here writing I sit here with a glass of dead beer stumped on my face. Stump. In my head French sounds like Chinese. That is because I’m on the other side of the earth. I fell through this hole one day. Oil slick leakage out of my pores. It has been a major influence on my life. As you have, you fucker, ashes on my breastplate & miles to go before that scum of memory on the eyes clears up like an old case of acne. Toad, you wear such vague pants. Your head punctures one cloud of pain only to take on another. While the small people grow pimples at the supermarket
That stab in the bathroom

should be called “Max’s Famous Spittle”. A twinge in your heart when we go to the bar & you try jerking me off under the table. A gasp when he tore out his stomach. Then I roll around in some corn flakes & try selling myself to a museum as an artifact

But you spelled yogurt wrong & you play all that lousy music. That’s why I didn’t accept your suicide note. I wadded up several dollar bills & stuffed them in my palms. All my fucking friends I said. The editor said. Today there are men squawking against the lurid sky. It was on the Ed Sullivan Show

Tie back your hair, lady
you’re dead. Your skin came
off in a bath these humans
call love. Worth five cereal
boxtops. Oh, Hollywood, you
suck! I cant remember a past
this dismal

I had a couple of beers & started to undo my voice, but the zipper got stuck. The stomach in the ice-bucket. Throbbtt. You fucked up on this one rather badly. I think you do better to go to an operation somewhere. Shoot up. Roll the tongue around in a bit of mucus. Clang, clang goes the napkin holder against his head             ,  is holy

the lights of Con Ed go out     we crosst our chests

[Note: from unsigned mimeographed mss circa mid-70s; not found or referenced in her on line archives]

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