A Thing Like You and Me is a multi-authored Narrative in Progress which evolves every month with new instalments by artists, poets, writers, and activists. December 2015’s narrative features works by Jessica Borusky, Louise Anne Buchler, Sarah Crewe, Charlotte Geater, j/j hastain, D.I., Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Lila Matsumoto, Sophie Mayer, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Nana Sachini, Erica Schreiner, Sandra Simonds, and Liliana Vasques. A Thing Like You and Me is edited by Sarah Crewe and Dimitra Ioannou. The contributors explore the guidelines for A Thing Like You and Me which are largely based on Hito Steyerl’s homonymous essay. You can read them here.
by Sarah Crewe
be your own legend the oldest grandchild’s room spelt RAVEN corvus in the debris of the third rising does not feature in of time and the city flick will make her own contradiction in the f being so feminist in the lick being so john jacques burnel the rehabilitated punk as kickboxer the rehabilitated kickboxer as poet you married it tales of a working class diaspora we are not a dirty word outdated archaic how to reconstruct how to objectify yrself how to avoid being case study #74 subject: flick is not eliza fucking doolittle forever on the edge of fetishisation scouse bird problems this is not brookside prole bird problems flick at the temple of electric meter crouched metal princess flick v a chevron an army of one tassled skirts on conscription trim trail a lifetime of scissor kicks flick vicious violent violent is the landscape ripped safety pinned tights the wedding pictures both bloodline brides domestic servants modern day saint veronicas paulene lisa louisa '86 notre dame blue brass bottom lip outward oui je le crois yes i believe she is immaculate she is virgin flick verges on the lapsed the lonely they all did girls in felt tip will not see the 21st century will not recognise maisonette craters moon unit car parks flick checks for rebuild each and every time
by Charlotte Geater
what rises / if i was a son
i’d want to be second
nil by hand-to-hand / a sore mouth
that’s what all the men did / bony knees
at night a small brush is that a knife
before they drained out of blood & money
a dulcimer and crooked notes, time stops
for a tuned string and did elizabeth dye her hair
with her own piss? who plays their game
second sons don’t know death
three white eyelashes hidden on a pillow
i will not pretend to be clever enough for you
smooth legs until we ran out of wax strips
a burnt finger pushed under my tongue
i don’t owe you a rhyme / when they said
you’re not like the other girls
if the second son doesn’t die in swaddling
not to bite his own mouth
in yards the spiroscope / just joking you are
the second son to live
boys play with their knives
a pain in my chest when i breathe
down to my lungs / cold water a gasp
curled over my tongue, a little bit of sky
cerise mouths / if we wanted what you have
is it god’s words or money you copy
coughs once you hit the key change
i do not know if my heart is red
and forty years in / just straw and the red
the grey sets in from the deepest point
a bedpan / there is not enough inside us
no woman is, in herself, enough
the nettle soup / rust in the root
if you look for a curse
a spell in the misspellings
the first son who dies before his father
watches your films about witches
a chest without a lock
second daughter in dirty shoes
when the first son dies the second son becomes him
a son is the nicest bedroom
a spilled pot / the cabbage was too blue
to taste naturally
a natural curl to the lips, hair
second sons are not down to pack mud
over blunted sticks
an ulcer between my mouth and teeth
your fingers too dull to pull into a plait
in the dark afternoons, without a candle
i am glad that i couldn’t read
what you had written / all of the smoke
one of the hems a rotten
it is not that hard to spell a name
so that you can understand what it means
a cold marsh spread across dawn
keep using the name until one of them sticks
the hush over boiled potatoes
a slip with the knife down one raw that was not meant to split
if we played the game with the cup-and-ball /
let me start i will be
the cauliflower buds
under my skin / the ditch / rain
my heart rate too high to let me
hold my breath underneath
pull your hair into fishtails
a different accent after all of that
the way my laugh could never curdle
cut in two no gaps between —
i will not be any son
A Crystal Clear Analysis of the Situation
Scanned Body and Objects
by Nana Sachini
I Saw Her Know
by Lila Matsumoto
Follow the everyday without privileging adoresome buildings. Humble and banal objects are ciphers in whose gridded pink lens correspondences speak in fugues. You can know them in their lean, in which the rituals of dayspring are constructed. In this view, a thing is a cemetery where significance is buried (we are reminded that cemeteries are more lively than archives, since they at least have flowers). Objects aren’t apathetic, they’re strange machines which become an idea that makes the work.
Wherever there are hands, on peace-splayed cloth or on two blue bands holding strong, holding side-snake. Attenuated fingers follow skirt’s striation, raiding the leaf-shaped hem. Or raiding for the purposes of urn and drum. Grasping the backs of chairs and scrolls of music, clenching a hat or a bent croquet mallet. Guiding a child’s feet in a basin, pinching a sponge, unable to tame a wild and unkempt brood. Gesturing an invitation to be merry, gripping a forked stick to lift hay down. Or as entreaty, pointing to heel in lean supplication. A soft troika of pen, coin, and jug.
Plique-à-jour, letting in sunlight. I stood there every day for four months, knowing there was a high failure rate. I had temporary backup, but fired most of them, and the others were chased away by acid rain. In the glass is an icon blinking for action. There is a ripple sometimes, a surface tension. I think it’s being used by a king, in a luxury house, and he’s keen for it not to be disturbed or copied. This example looks quite rare, extremely fragile, like the eight pinnacle points on the crown of some eleventh-century saint.
by Jessica Borusky
by Liliana Vasques
Objects is a digital poem. It creates random combinations with the 27 names of the Portuguese women killed by their spouses in 2015. The code is based on Silly Poet by Abe Prazos.
You can watch it here: http://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/244543/embed/?width=500&height=400&border=true
Bomb (part one)
by Louise Anne Buchler
Preset. Dim amber light. A series of objects strewn over the stage – the position is less important than the object itself. The objects are as follows: A typewriter loaded with a single sheet of paper, upon which the lyrics for Bjork’s ‘ Army of Me’ have been typed, An old cassette tape recorder, A pair of white stiletto heels, A collection of books: Darwin’s theory of Evolution, poetry by Anna Akhmatova, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Ingrid Jonker, Encyclopedias, Medical books opened on pages showing diagrams of Human anatomy, A side table with a vase filled with red roses and rubber dildos in a variety of sizes and colours, bursting forth, overflowing in their abundance, A breast pump, A blow-up doll, Bottles of prescription medication – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, reflux medicine. A few tubes of KY Jelly, crumpled tissues, empty wine glasses, an array of feather boas and sequined hats, empty champagne bottles, streamers – the aftermath of a party, black plastic bags filled with trash and piled in a heap, sprawled over them, a woman, mid to late thirties, in a wedding dress – a meringue of a gown it is so voluminous, she is engulfed by layers of tulle petticoat, her face at first concealed by the rubbish upon which she is sprawled, balloons, a half eaten cake, birthday candles, An old telephone, A Bible, a neon pink Buddha, an ashtray overflowing with old cigarette butts, A broom, A pair of stockings, a home pregnancy test.
Cross fade from Preset to full light with blue gel: Bright, cold, clinical.
A man in a soldier’s uniform enters DSR – the woman/meringue stirs at the sound of his footsteps, she leans up on her elbows, squinting at the bright light. She surveys the damage before shifting focus to the soldier who stands watching her in silence. She gives him the once over from her position amidst the rubbish. A beat.
1. Source1 OB- (preposition) (i) in the direction of, towards, against, in the way of, in front of, in view of, on account of (of uncertain origin) (ii) Against, in opposition, often merely implying the injurious or objectionable character of an action (iii) Upon or over; down upon, down (iv) Completely OBJECT (adjective) Presented to the sight or senses, interposed, tangible; (also) exposed or open to injury, understanding, etc. 2. Sorcery A un-me2 me: an u u mean me a nu ma, neu! man eu Mean U. amenu amen u! un-mea nu âme u an me 3. (Re)Source “I start small. I start with one sign. Instead of going to language class, I decide at my peril to engage with an associative reading of the sign. Soon, I become convinced that the thorn is a root sticking up from the ground of language.” Caroline Bergvall, “Noping” https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/noping Fuck being a noun, subject or object; fuck adjectival. Be verb. To the: to exist in specificity and in relation. To the: to be exposed or open to injury, understanding, etc. because existing. 1927: Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse There are no pronouns, personal or impersonal. There is no universal grammar. infinitive: to the imperative: The! present participle: thing Th-ing: present participle, gerundive. The art of thing, the gift of thing. Thing when you’re winning.
2‘Je est un autre’ Baudelaire
by Erica Schreiner
Priest/ess | I
by j/j hastain
I did not have a voice of my own for so long. While I sang, which gave the capacity to touch what I would describe as cosmic truth, that fact made me a conduit, a vessel for streaming spirit. While streaming spirit feels very good to me somatically, it is still not exactly my voice.
In merging my writing with song it has become possible for me to feel truth as one register (mine and spirits’) whereby I tap into truth, and can tell my truths all at once. This is a relief of a major, long-lived dysphoria. This is the voice as trans organ able to travel anywhere, to touch everywhere. My voice is the trans organ.
Embodied voice is a way to offer to sacred sites: a way to make love to them; ceremonially, you want the experience of your offer to please them. Embodying an everlasting phonics—where voices of self meet singing voice: frenetic and flow, not semantic. More can be said in a shorter amount of time if image and tongues are the primers. Feel what fills the center as the sound is made around it; feel the sound squeeze the image until something non-sensical, something synesthesiac, something like a tongue flopping and floating in ecstasy, emerges.
You diverge, not to simply retort or resort on the level of base reaction; you diverge to divulge.
by Navine G. Khan-Dossos
The Future of Nostalgia
by Sandra Simonds
I like your blue dress, Molly. And I hear you’re good at cutting hair. And I hear you’re extraordinarily generous. You make good things for the good people you love. I like your blue dress, Molly. It reminds me of my old body, the one destroyed by my doppelganger. I try so hard, Molly. It must be April or May now. I try so hard. I haven’t seen anyone for months. I have not left my house for months, Molly, and I have reason to believe it is a beautiful spring. and that the weather is weathery! Will you tell me if that’s true, Molly? I can’t see anything. I’m trapped in a box. I’m trapped in a blue box of water. It’s a kind of box in another box in the box of watery spring. I hear there are roaring flowers. I hear they bloom and roar in the blue wind, Molly. I hear they do. I hear that there’s something special going on out there but I can’t tell, Molly. Not from here. I have not left the house, Molly. I don’t have much time left either, Molly. I hear so much. I want to know. Will you tell me if that’s true, Molly? About the roaring flowers? I want new things, Molly. Just like the spring. I want to forget everything, Molly. Just like the ringing spring. I’m so sorry, Molly. I hear the bells often, Molly. I hear them roar and sing. Molly, I didn’t mean to Molly. Molly I didn’t Molly. Molly? I mean Molly. I want a new Molly, Molly. Molly I’m so sorry for Molly. I didn’t mean to Molly. Don’t you understand how much I Molly, Molly? Envoi: Little girl, no matter how much you tear out your hair, you will never get back what you want.