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Vincent Tholomé, The hotel room

Translated by Alex Niemi


The hotel room (during the duration of the experience john cage or his equivalent will stretch his arm desperately toward a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated but nevertheless unreachable)

We ask ourselves what goes on in john cage’s head. We also ask ourselves what he thinks about. After walking many many kilometers. In 1935. In the Arizona desert. John cage. And the future mrs. cage. The fiancée of mr. cage. A superb woman. Certainly. At that point in time. In a baby doll nightdress. Well. They arrive at a hotel. They take a room in a hotel. With a bed. One bed. For two. Wow. It’s. Yes. Sex. It’s. Yes. Very hot. Very hot between john cage and the future mrs. cage. But. After a frugal meal. And even though it’s very hot very sexy between john cage and the future mrs. cage. We ask ourselves why john cage. Once in his

(john cage or his equivalent meaning anybody, you or me, stretches an arm desperately towards a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated, and if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down, at the far end of the table)

bed. After his ablutions. Once the covers are pulled tightly up to his armpits. Stretches his right arm out desperately to turn off the hotel bedside lamp. We ask ourselves why john cage. Comfortably stretched out on his bed. In pale blue pajamas for example something very ugly very astonishingly old-fashioned. Doesn’t just ask his future wife who’s still awake at this hour. Still in the middle of the night. As for her. The ablutions. To turn off the hotel bedside lamp when she comes soon. In 5 minutes. Max. To

(the effort that it costs to stretch out an arm is clearly visible on the face of john cage or his equivalent, anyway we see it if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down… if the rendering of the experience takes place lying down, all the effort will be visible in the body of john cage or his equivalent writhing desperately to reach this damn lamp)

sleep. To join in fact her. Yes. Fiancé. This is the way we say things. In fact. We ask ourselves a lot of things on the subject of john cage a man like everyone else meaning like you and me like you and me. It appears looking as we do here in detail at john cage’s reasons for being and for acting that there is in john cage’s head like in

(if everything takes place lying down, the body of john cage or his equivalent should render the effort without moving too much, john cage’s experience being as mental as it is physical)

anybody’s head a black hole. Well. Then. Meaning. We notice for example how carefully john cage smoothed the sheets and the blanket so that john cage is now in his hotel room perfectly ensconced in a creaseless sarcophagus. The

(here, for a little variety, attempt 2 quick punches in the direction of the lamp)

wallpaper in the room is tearing at the rate of 1 mm per year. Once the drapes are drawn. They don’t let in a single sound from the street. Not a single tire screech for example. Not a single drinking song bellowed by a drunkard. So that. We

(a small jump towards the lamp and that’s it)

can say that. In the hotel room. John cage and the future mrs. cage. Human beings. All the same. Like you and me. Like you and me. Well. They live yes as if in the shadow of an experience. They live an experience withdrawn from the world. So that. Everything that happens in shadow. Everything that happens in the hotel room. Well. Yes. Assumes. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. A considerable importance. So that. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. There is some of that. Of this experience. Something of. Yes. Well. To get out of it. Without a doubt. Without a doubt. John cage thinks. The composer. The

(take care separating the words and gestures, to let each live in turn and have a space where it can stretch out easily, thinks john cage or his equivalent)

musician. So that. She. The future mrs. cage. A superb woman. That goes without saying. Passes. Phew. Very sexy. Very sexy. By the foot of the bed in a baby doll nightdress. She is vigorously pulling her hair from a brush when john cage sees her pass by the foot of the bed. She even hums a popular tune. And why not something by louis armstrong. It is 1935. All the same. All the same. She still has things to do in the bathroom. Thinks john cage. The composer. When his future. His. Yes. Already. Already. Promised. Vigorously. Passing by the foot of the bed. She pounds the ground.

(barely moving here)

Literally. Her feet are bare and she is hammering the ground. While the future mrs. cage returns to the bathroom. While john cage is wrapped tightly in the sheets and. Desperately. Stretches his arm. The left or the right. Not so important in the end. Not so important. In view of. Yes. Reaching the hotel bedside lamp. In fact its switch. Then turning it off. A clump of hair flies

(here move the hand once and then that’s it)

gracefully into the trash. The wool threads of the full carpet stand up straight. The wallpaper continues to tear. A truck outside backs into a streetlamp. It can’t be heard from the room. It could be guessed from the dimming of the electric bulb’s light but john cage. Absorbed in his thoughts. And in his actions as well. It must be said. Does not notice. No. So that. Yes. John cage’s life in the hotel room is now a dearest future wife doing something bad but what at the bathroom sink. The wallpaper tears imperceptibly in the upper right corner of the room. The feeling of being the object of an experience but what kind. So that. Once a future mrs. cage has finished with the bathroom. Once a future mrs. cage. Very sexy. In a baby doll nightdress. In a baby doll nightdress. Carefully closes the bathroom door. Once the heels of the future mrs. cage circle the bed. So

(And so here john cage or his equivalent gets up from the chair or stands up, goes and turns off the lamp that has been illuminated throughout the entire experience then comes back to either sit in the chair or lie down on the ground, concluding the experience)

that. Now. The future mrs. cage. Superb. Really hot. In a baby doll nightdress. She disturbs the bed’s careful organization. The smooth sheets without a single crease. She. Yes. John cage thinks. Oui. Slides under the. Yes. Oui. Sheets. Like it was nothing. Like it was nothing. Thinks john cage. Who observes her. Without saying anything. From his sarcophagus. From the cozy nest concocted in his bed. Slides yes maybe under the sheets maybe without turning off. Without turning off. The. Yes. Bedside lamp. Unattainable. Out of john cage’s. Reach. Unless with a superhuman. Effort. On his part. By him. John cage. A man. Like anyone. Like you and me. Thinks john cage. From his black hole. From the hole he has. Like anyone. In his head. Somewhere. He thinks. Obliged as he is to get up. To leave the bed. Just to turn off. All the same. All the same. John cage will think. In old-fashioned pajamas. She exaggerates. She exaggerates. That’s all. That’s all that there is to say. That’s all there is to say about john cage. That’s all that there is to say about john cage at the hotel. About the beautiful and terrible experience. Very hot. Very sexy. Of john cage at the hotel. In 1935. In Arizona. He will specify. Nothing to add. Later. Much later. Yes.



Vincent Tholome

Photo: Jean-François Flamey

Vincent Tholomé is a Belgian writer and performer, living in Belgium, eating Belgian food, drinking Belgian drinks, but writing in French and sometimes in English. As a writer, he has published almost twenty books mixing fiction and poetry. As a performer, he works with musicians and reads his writings in a lot of countries (USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Hungary, etc.). Currently, he is working on 2 CDs, 1 short movie and 2 new books. You can also hear some of his works with musicians on the net, here, for instance, or here, or here.

Alex NiemiAlex Niemi is an English teacher in Russia. You can read some of her recent work in Dusie and Banango Street. Her translation of The John Cage Experiences by Vincent Tholomé is forthcoming from Autumn Hill Books.

Issue 18 Spring 2014


Three Poems by Clemens Altgård
from Loss by Aase Berg
Eye of Now by Blake Butler
I, Lack-a-daisy by Don Mee Choi
from Style by Dolores Dorantes, trans. by Jen Hofer
Two Poems by Clayton Eshleman
Broken nails illustrious curs the wind by Juan Gelman, trans. by Lisa Rose Bradford
Ornamental Onion by Penny Goring
5 Poems by Kim Yi-Deum, trans. Ji Yoon Li
from I’m OK, I’m Pig! by Kim Hyesoon, trans. by Don Mee Choi
Four Poems by Rebecca Loudon
from Dream Machine by Sade Murphy
Ten Poems by Andra Rotaru
from Suicide Mountain by Matthew Suss
from Roman Nights by Martin Glaz Serup, trans. by Christopher Sand-Iversen
Two Short Films by Sara Tuss Efrik and Mark Efrik Hammarberg

Issue 17 Fall 2012

ISSUE 17 FALL 2012

Co-edited by Carina Finn & Ji yoon Lee, with contributions by Johannes Göransson and Emily Hunt

6 Poems by Christopher Barnes
Possession by Feng Sun Chen
7 Types of Ambiguity by Michele Christle
from 4 ARK CODEX ±0 by Ark Codex
from Can Sam Run Out by Stella Corso
3 Poems by Ben Fama
7 Poems by Elizabeth Franklin
Spleen by A. Minetta Gould
Home/Birth by Arielle Greenberg, Rachel Zucker, Jiyoon Lee, Carina Finn
4 Poems by Alfred Starr Hamilton
i fry fish for Jayzis by Josef Horáček
Leak Leak Leak by Tim Jones-Yelvington
6 Poems by Zvonko Karanović translated by Ana Božičević
5 Poems by Avram Kline
Pankration by M.E. MacFarland
Allison Power (after Marcel Duchamp) by Jennifer Nelson
6 Essays by a rawlings
from I Am Going To Save Your Life by Christie Ann Reynolds
3 Pieces by Steve Roggenbuck
from Obtuse Diary by Amelia Rosselli, translated by Dario De Pasquale and Deborah Woodard
“A Voice To Make Tangible My Obsession” by Jen Stockdale
from Still Places To Go by Paige Taggart
4 Poems by Emily Toder

Issue 16 Summer 2011


Swedish Issue
Edited by Anna Thörnell and Sara Tuss Efrik

from Prefatory Provisions by Ida Börjel
5 Photos by Nathalia Edenmont
sounds for soloists Sebastian Eskildsen and Cia Rinne
I wanted to get up but could not by Leif Holmstrand
Swedish Summer by Stina Kajaso
You Are the Roots that Sleep Beneath My Feet and Hold the Earth in Place by Eli Levén, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Winter Diary by Lidija Praizovic, translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson
Play Onwards: A Play On Words #1 by Imri Sandström
5 Paintings by Danilo Stankovic
All the Places Where You Don’t Read This by Pär Thörn
Astrakhan by David Uppgren, translated by Emilia Salmi

Issue 15 Winter 2011


Merry Widow by Gina Abelkop
5 Poems by Melissa Broder
from Solar Throat Slashed translations of Aimé Césaire by Clayton Eshleman & A. James Arnold
Instructions on how to by Francesca Chabrier
from Conversations Over Stolen Food by Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch
8 poems by Lucas de Lima
Organized Nomadistorms of Broken Oases by Clayton Eshleman
from The Constitution by Brian Foley
from The Brain Letters by Sarah Fox
7 Poems by Toshiko Hirata, translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Photocomic by Blaise Larmee
3 Pieces by Michael Leong
Hi, Baby by Scott Longo
Purity by Dane Martin
from Brides by Laura Mullen
from Fist or Words Bereft of Sense by Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
Car by Jason Overby

Punching Clown by David Peak
from Tree of Diana by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated by Jason Stumpf
Serbian Ballerinas Dance with Machine Guns: The Cosmic Vision of Refbatch by Jackie Wang
3 poems by C. S. Ward

Issue 14 Summer 2010


I have nothing to do with birds by Aylin Bloch Boynukisa, translated by Johannes Göransson
6 Poems by Bradley Paul
In Memory of Marina Tsvetaeva by Boris Pasternak, translated by James Stotts
Garbage Bag, Blackbird, Shadow Puppet by Grier Phillips
Boat Oades by Matt Reeck
how to fight the middle class by Michael Rerick
Attainment by Anji Reyner
2 Pieces by James Robinson
You are the image by Claudia Ryan
6 Poems by Larry Sawyer
The Grave on the Wall by Brandon Shimoda
4 Poems by Philip Sorenson
from Self-Help Poems by Sampson Starkweather
5 Poems by Celina Su
from the hanging cloud of read mistakes by Jennifer Tamayo
2 Poems by Steven Teref
The Alkaline of Maurizo’s New Exhibit by Catherine Theis
14 Poems by Georg Trakl, translated by Parker Smathers
9 Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated from the Russian and introduced by James Stotts
3 poems by J. A. Tyler
2 Poems by Jared White
3 Poems; 4 Drawings by Sam White
Hans und Greeting
by John Moore Williams
2 Poems
by Mike Young

Issue 13 Spring 2010


PR for Poetry by Stan Apps
3 Poems by Earl Babin
from Excess Exhibit by Amaranth Borsuk & Kate Durbin
from The Sugar Numbers by Judson Hamilton
The Van Gogh Diary by Evelyn Hampton
Totem by Mary Hickman
Remix of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame by Christopher Higgs
Immortal Something No. 1 by Lacey Hunter
from The Book of Freaks by Jamie Iredell
from Libel by Lucy Ives
5 Poems by Russell Jaffe
The Walls of Uruk by A D Jameson
from Champion by Shane Jones
from Malilenas by Garret Kalleberg
What I Was Saying To Peeping Tom of Coventry by Pablo Larios
from Daughter by Janice Lee
from Carlyle: Histories by Patrick Leonard
from China Cowboy by Kim Gek Lin Short
6 Poems by Reb Livingston
Pataphysical Nebraska by Sarah Mangold
One Name Would Be Enough to Exorcise This Astonishment by Kristi Maxwell
from I Woke Up Early in the Morning After the End of the World by Ian McCarty
5 Poems by RC Miller
2 Poems by Sara Mumolo
A Way No Longer Had by Jessica Newman
Miami by JoAnna Novak
3 Poems by Aleksey Porvin, translated by Peter Golub
from Anatomy Lesson
by Christian Prigent, translated by Adrian Kien
6 Poem-Drawings
by Jono Tosch

Issue 12 Winter 2010


Crush the Assholetters Between the Teeth: Språkgrotesk in Henri Michaux and Gunnar Ekelöf (Part 2) by Per Bäckström
5 Poems by Bernard Bador, translated by Clayton Eshleman
3 Poems by Ross Brighton
Spring and All by James Capozzi
The Hindenburg by Tyler Carter
2 Poems by Amy Catanzano
6 Poems by Tina Brown Celona
2 Poems by Juliet Cook
4 Poems by Marisa Crawford
2 Sung Poems by Olivia Cronk
2 Poems by Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle
6 Poems by Peter Davis
from Self-Titled / 5 Poems by Nick Demske
5 Landscapes / Reminder by Geoffrey Detrani
Insurgency by Dot Devota
3 Poems by Christopher DeWeese
Near a Window by Justin Dobbs
3 Poems by Claire Donato
3 Poems by Donald Dunbar
from Catfish Poems by Tim Earley
4 Poems by Clayton Eshleman
58 Propositions on Life and Death by Jean-Michel Espitallier, translated by Jennifer K. Dick
Lyriks by Robert Fernandez
from A Nest This Size by Ann Fine
Notes Toward A by Sara Greenslit
from 1001 Stories by Richard Kostelanetz, translated from the Swedish
2 Poems by Lito Elio Porto
5 Poems by Grzegorz Wroblewski, translated by Adam Zdrodowski
from Song For His Disappeared Love
by Raúl Zurita, translated by Daniel Borzutzky

Issue 11 Fall 2009

ISSUE 11 FALL 2009

Canadien Special
curated by François Luong

Minimal Animals by Daniel Canty, translated from the French
from The Rose Concordance by Angela Carr
The Bells by Jason Christie
5 Poems by Cris Costa
from Security Posture by Sarah Dowling
Status Updates by Darren Wershler-Henry & Bill Kennedy
5 Poems; Quotations of Brainy Smurf; Ambiance by Ray Hsu
6 Poems by Sonnet L’Abbé
As It Happens by Chantal Neveu, translated from the French by Sophie Bellissent, Antonia McGrath, Marina Polosa, & Gisèle Trudel
from Rule of Three by a.rawlings
4 Poems; 4 Sound Poems & 6 Visual Poems by glenN robsoN
Who Comes In? by Hector Ruiz, translated from the French by François Luong
from Croak by Jenny Sampirisi
If Therapy is a Must by Jordan Scott
3 Visual Poems by Angela Szczepaniak
from “On the Trail, the Image” by François Turcot, translated from the French by François Luong

Rambo Goes to Idaho to Study Poetry by Scott Abels
The Guardian’s Accurate Shotgun Upon Your Brow by Maureen Alsop
2 Stories by Kathleen Andersen
3 Poems by Takako Arai, translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles
Primary Anatomy by Rachel Gontijo Araujo
he writes by Cara Benson
The Dog of Interrogation by Mark Bilbrey
3 Stories by Wyatt Bonikowski
3 Poems by Jessica Bozek
Go Tokyo by David Brennan
2 Poems by Megan Martin
from A Book of Poems on Beauty; from One Thousand Flowers; Review of Witness My Shame by Anne Lesley Selcer

Issue 10 Summer 2009


Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy, by Anita Berber & Sebastian Droste, translated by Merrill Cole
A Quick Introduction to Abstract Comics by Tim Gaze
Selections from Abstract Comics edited by Andrei Molotiu, featuring work by Warren Craghead III, Mike Getsiv, Janusz Jaworski, James Kochalka, Jason Overby, Bill Shut, & Jeff Zenick
Alcoholalia by Andrei Molotiu
The Barbarian Intervention by Andrei Molotiu
The Life of a Young Creep or Ladybug Massacre by Krammer Abrahams
from Now 1/3 by Demosthenes Agrafiotis, translated by John & Angelos Sakkis
Crush the Assholetters Between the Teeth by Per Bäckström
5 Poems by David Ball
from “Small Liberties” by Elaine Bleakney
5 Poems by Merrill Cole
6 Poems by Thomas Cook
Dead Can Dance by Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle
from The Three Hour Swedish Problem by Tyler Flynn Dorholt
from Lake Antiquity by Brandon Downing
7 Poems by Rodica Draghincescu, translated by Adam J. Sorkin & Antuza Genescu
from strips, attempts, games by Rémi Froger, translated by François Luong
from One Briefcase, Two Landscapes, and a Fuse by James Grinwis
3 Prose Poems by Estela Lamat, translated by Michael Leong
4 Poems by Andrew Lundwall
4 Poems by Chris Major
6 Poems from Common Time by Chris Pusateri
35 New Pages by Lev Rubinstein
from A Silent Little Girl by James Sacré, translated by David Ball
Baby makeup by Kate Schapira
3 Poems by Adam Siegel
from Fifteen Walls; from Phabetical by Nico Vassilakis
Robert Grenier’s “Always/Only/A/Plenum”: A Reaction and A Response by Tim Wood
Buttons by Matvei Yankelevich
3 Poems by Adam Siegel