Excessivism
by K. Silem Mohammad

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Everything is in the European fund blinko (whatever that means), but at the risk of sounding like the Powerline Boys on a corndog-and-Super-Squishee bender, I will write to you because I just heard that The Police are reuniting for the Grammies. Now, come on. I don’t believe in God, so I don’t have a problem. I hate Southwest Airlines, I always have. I may be spoiled, but I like airlines that offer advance seat assignments and first class cabins for upgrades. I don’t even like whales. Please, feel free to observe the irony of my current situation: I love to sleep. You just go on your merry way and try and explain to the bio majors that dinosaur fossils were put in the earth to fool sinners. It’s quite simple really. If someone’s chasing you, you’re advised to call 911. If someone’s chasing you, try running backwards. If someone’s chasing you around the house, it’s super creepy, because where do you have to run? Seriously, it freaks me out. If someone’s chasing you, kill them. You don’t turn around and say “Mac users rarely expand their computers, so the Firewire ports don’t matter.” Many of you will be screaming, if I may use your expression, like whores when your deeds are read before you. That’s for the writing part, but one can make the same with music (that’s how David Bowie recorded “Outside”). As for their reception, after the friendly stabs of their welcoming committee, things got better, Sgt. Kevin Smette, of Fargo, ND said. Suppose you’re in love with a skilled piano player who loves the look and feel of her old acoustic piano. Suppose you’re in love with Mrs. Forrest, and Mrs. Forrest is in love with you, and you run away together in the big limousine. Suppose you’re in love with that rustler, Bern Venters. Suppose you’re in love with Ikea Corp, and watch Captain Planet cartoons to be reminded that the main goal of corporations is rape. You don’t say, “hey you wanna go get some parfait” and they be like, “no I don’t like no parfait.” You just let all the judgment and shittiness of high school go and you’re free to be yourself and stop caring. But that’s not why you own a train. A train is a toy, and a toy is to have fun with or look at and play with. You don’t buy a toy for investment, so you have to take your chances with eBay and the like. It’s like forbidden Halloween. Pain always comes during the menstrual cycle, which is very Chibi, and animelike, and approximately four feet tall.

I’m not saying that I don’t have an ego problem at times also, but when you treat your readers like that, it’s just freakin’ wrong. I’m not saying that I don’t have anything to say to a 15-year-old. I’m not saying that I don’t have moments when it’s “Because Mommy Says So!” I’m not saying that I don’t have problems with The Vagina Monologues. But I wouldn’t argue that this is a reason to discard the Vag-Mos altogether. I’m not saying that I don’t have a EVAP solenoid, just that my scanner tells me that it’s not in the list of PIDs that I can look at. I’m not saying that I don’t have nerdy dream women lurking in my imagination. I’m not saying that I don’t have days when I look in the mirror and I’m like “silly frizzy-haired girl with no discernible eyelashes.” I’m not saying that I don’t have opinions about nappy hair (clearly my signature says I do), I’m just not comfortable making my opinion apply to everyone. I’m not saying that I don’t have a touch of carb-face myself, but remember how hot Vince Vaughn used to be? Vaughncute. Now he’s a potato. I’m not saying that I don’t have a butt or anything but I am curious. I’m not saying that I don’t have a few CDs in my iTunes library that I no longer own. I’m not saying that I don’t have an iPod, because I do. I just haven’t put anything on it yet. I finally broke down and bought one a couple weeks ago. I’m not saying that I don’t have the urge to lick it or anything. I mean … uh … I’m offended? I’m not saying that I don’t have dope-ass friends I can already talk to. I love you guys. I’m just saying that I have deep shit inside me, but what difference does that make? They’re just ideas. The only good thing about it is that when stop, head eventually stops hurting! The midget arrives, and the rancher asks if he would like a male or female horse. And that’s when I shot the son of a bitch.

But how can you really care when you’ve got a top ten album and just did a big successful tour? C’mon. Improves them for use in fruit leather? For death? Why even ask? We’re already a nation of living dead zombies working day in and out like walking flesh. Too many poets and poetry clubs have risen across the country. All of their members are now calling themselves cowboy poets. They all have porcelain hands & arms (from the elbow), legs from the knee down, head and necks, red painted lips, sad painted faces (with dripping tears). I don’t give a damn whether they’re lifelong season-ticket holders, fair weather fans or members of some neofascist organization. I don’t give a damn whether they’re a government or not. I don’t give a damn whether they like me, President Bush or the United States or not. I don’t give a damn whether they’re killed by the patriots, slaughtered by the rebels or bombed to hell by us. I don’t give a damn whether they have an intercontinental missile or not. I don’t give a damn whether they have the Pope come over and bless the damn thing. I don’t give a damn whether they get nominated for the Grammy at all. Forced feeding leads to gross inefficiency and low absorption coefficients (effete). Nobody should experience anything. Don’t hand-feed kittens if they don’t need it. I like the movies too and television if I can lie on the floor when I watch it. I like the movies too, but dressing up like Frodo Baggins and poking my girl’s ass with a toy sword isn’t my idea of an exciting Saturday night. I like the movies too, I am left-handed and I just had a cheeseburger and I should be asleep right now. And after all, only humans have a point of view, plants don’t. As for measure and attack quality, it is necessary to avoid them as much as possible: If you’re going to buy a pair of LCD monitors, why not buy them from the same manufacturer? That’s the logic behind the GVLM1928 and GVLM1728. There’s nothing metaphysical about your “message” that would prevent it from being destroyed if I could get my hands on all the manifestations. There’s nothing metaphysical about shadows and how they come to be. Unless of course you are working for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Abstraction in poetry is a phrase or word that pulls away from reality, or is one filtered step above the true meaning. I think it appears in a Ford commercial running now. Abstraction involves creating a simplified problem description in which the amount of small isolated forbidden zones and their removal becomes the determinant of water balance. For instance, the decision of whether or not to go indoors during a lightning storm is obvious. The Nostalgia of the Infinite is a painting by the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico. This is all part of a movement, which I have seen through the multitudes of books I receive from publishers, to capture a picture of Jesus that is so totally opposed to computers in chess that it is verging on technofeudalism—one of my pet hates. Georgetown is to Catholic as Pepsi is to Wallace Stevens. It has nothing to do with philosophy. It’s just a style of music like zydeco. The long streams of uninterrupted music have nothing to do with philosophy. There’s just no money for more announcers. The Brooklyn Bridge is a nice bridge, but it has nothing to do with philosophy no matter how you slice it. Not all these young people want to be farmers, far from it! But to give you a vague idea, it’s in the Midlands on the outskirts of Warwickshire. Great to know you’re reading my diary, thus evoking pragmatic protests against that play with abstractions which “fiddles to a logical tune while the throbbing city burns,” and sustaining the illusion that it MIGHT really be possible for one person to “Mommy” while preventing “the great American public” from spilling coffee on books. That’s part of the beauty of the web, as we see it. The beauty is, Slam was invented by a blue collar white guy in Chicago on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was tied to a cactus and assaulted by snakes (like I was a child). I went back to work and wrote my resignation letter. That leads me to where I am now. Unemployed and as happy as I’ve felt in years. While I was writing it I got to thinking about all of the Nintendo merchandise I had. I am guilty of spending money in Beijing (duh), but I am increasingly annoyed with blatant excessivism (is that a word?). It puts the poem in the sound hole. About. Every morning I take something I wrote on paper the day before and I put it in my guitar. It puts the poem in another language. It puts the poem in perspective and it’s different. It puts the poem between the reader, or the listener, the reader and the subject, or the world, rather than delivering the reader into the world. It puts the poem and the poet under terrible pressure. The poem is at last 15 words long. The poem is at last 2500 years old. The poem is at last a symbol for all church doors. Excessivism to the max. In all modesty I must tell you that I am a remarkable fellow, even among the talented cat family of which I am a part. In all modesty, I type faster than a court reporter, baby. While I have certain areas that usually burn easily, like the tops of my feet and my chest area, using this product has prevented the need for me to worry. While I have certain tastes that drift toward the indie/emo side of the spectrum, I can really groove with Alain Robbe-Grillet. Poetry being one of the global fields of human endeavor, it is only a matter of time and talented graduate students. For a time, people thought that electrical brainwaves indicated very clearly whether a person was alive or dead. For a time, people thought I went to high school with them or something. For a time people thought they could drug millions of baby-boom women. For a time people thought the author was a man. Excessivism is when it starts to become a problem—when it causes you to drop out of high school, become a bum and die of alcoholism at the age of 26.

What can we expect from a country where the candidate that gets more votes loses? (This is getting good, isn’t it?) Everything, but we won’t go into that now. Everything, but we won’t have to waste our time trying to do anything. Everything, but we won’t be able to afford such a fantasy. Everything, but we won’t give it back if something’s not right. Everything, but we won’t be sure till the cooking is over. Everything, but we won’t use magic to undo everything. Everything, but we won’t all get to see it. It is too new, too uncertain, too strange to vote Green. It is too new, too aggressive, or too disturbing to the ego structure. It is too new, too hard, and smells like department store. But it, like our cultural tourism industry, is a kind of weird story from Africa about some nuns. You could call it nicotinism or excessivism or whatever you want. The recent propagandists still do not read F. H. Bradley. The result is that they are content.

 

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Other essays on EXCESS in ActionYes #5:
Anne Boyer
Lara Glenum
Johannes Göransson
Jed Rasula