Two trains colliding, dust and rust married and then muddied with rain, puddles. Two trains colliding, fertilization, conception, embryo, puddle. Man from dust, woman from rib, child from the explosion of two steam engines, bolts blinding, eyeballs blasted with steel shreds, muddied, puddled, darkness, sweat, hurried stranger love, whiskey breath, second largest city in Texas for the weekend, full of lookie lous and cranks. Crush Texas September 15, 1896. A crowd, a community, a cult for progress obliterating itself for rebirth. Believers, skeptics, conspirators, burners. Death, love, birth, cycle of life in this brief compound of ritual sacrifice. A machine made from two machines, a new engine, not for forward momentum, but self-digesting, blackhole manufacturing, Jean Tingley making insect-like maschicist robots sawing their own legs, penedente crickets, self-flagelation of industrialization, exploding in museum courtyards, failing to fail properly, dangerous, unpredictable, momentary infinity, smoking out the bourgeois to leave a silent space, steel on steel, flesh on flesh, friction then rest. Rumpled sheets, naked landscapes, a ghost lingers, steam.
The child now in womb is taken back to wealthy Chicago grandparents, who in turn try to support and tuck away, they are progressive to a point, the young expecting mother now a liability. She is a danger and a dancer. Having done work during the Chicago’s World Fair in the court of burlesquing Little Egypt she looks to the east; there is work at the Exposition Universelle. She counts on Parisian sensibilities. She steals an heirloom, trades it in for passage for her and her now birthed young daughter. The mother had been flippantly invited by a wealthy French businessman on a trip more pleasure than business, after he witnessed her dance to feed her daughter at a subterrestrial speakeasy on the outskirts of Gary, Indiana. If she could find passage he would become a daddy to her and her daughter, sugar-pocketed. But the invitation was more rhetorical and hypothetical than charitable, yet she believes in the thin offer. Upon her arrival he takes temporary pity for her and her daughter. He secures her a position dancing at the Exposition. They find lodging and safety reconnecting with an near-forgotten ever-safe great aunt, an expatriate painter who raises the young daughter as her own while the mother, still present in passing, saves what she can as she can cans and teases the pockets of bug-eyed gentlemen. The young toddler, a late walker, takes her first steps, her legs were waiting for European soil.
Over the course of six months the aunt regularly takes this little girl to visit her mother at work, making treks to the Exposition to see women take the field in competition, talking films, electric stairs, engines spewing a black smoke of diesel, the Cinéorama and its simulated balloon ride, the feeling of floating, detachment, power, like a goddess. The allure of progress and ascent burn, an impression, daguerreotypes itself into the young memory making mind. The whirring mechanics, the clunk of industrialization, pneumatic ballets, the pound of heavy steel and iron and bronze and metallurgical passions. The trains continue to collide in the glamorization of implosive cult of progress.
Around her 12th birthday, the now newly pubescent girl loses her aunt to the exit of light. The girl remembers her aunt, the colors on her blouse, a rough skirt like an unstretched canvas waiting for frame, the paint in hair, the fire in eyes. She has this same fire, but whereas her aunt had a fire of the dawn/dusk of the sun, this girl’s fire is foundry blazing and explosive. The young sassy girl, having been home educated by her impressionistic painting aunt, having read volumes of philosophy, history, the repeated tales of men slaughtering men, reads the Futurist Manifesto in Le Figaro. Like a lightning rod, or a tuning fork struck and tines resonating with pure tone, a constant pitch electrifying her destiny. She smudges the inky residue on her fingertips across her face, war painting this awakened violence. She carefully cuts it out, presses it between the pages of a book, hides it under her bed, hides it in her memory with the clattering machines, the wonders of the mechanical world. These memories dance over a heptagonal gut hive, bees ready to sting. They are mapping out a future flight pattern that will take her to Milan and then conquest. They stretch her internally, make her their queen, she bleeds into royalty.
Five years later it is 1914. She has made it to Italy. The war of the world breaks out. She becomes a singer, entertainment in the paunch of a furtive den. She becomes a lioness amongst the men from dust, twisting them and puddying their weak self-control in the darkness and sweat. Following in the footsteps of her mother, she twists not her body but her voice, contorting with it the minds soft and malleable from the opiate haze. She is exiting her teen years, but wise as a late season woman, a Crone in a Virgin body waiting to Mother an apocalypse. She seeks new language, the allure of progress, the promise of the new, violent patriotism, the hygiene of war. She reads of Luigi Russolo, seduces him with affair and flair. He builds her intonarumori, noise generators, a hand-cranked backing band with the art of noises, player piano interventions, prepared harmonium, stutter of wireless telegraphy, resonators, Opera Sextronique. Her songs began as propaganda disguised, a dress weaved together of torn and discarded flags, morphing into funeral marches.
Enter Warhol Buck$. In this transition, he decides his kingdom of terror needs a queen. A queen mother to reign in tandem, and manage his soldiers’ time traveling harem, to ease their shoulders, a BIG TIME, existing outside time and space, this brood of vipers, a den, a holding pen, a whore’s bed, an invisible web with this black widow in the middle. Now and there she is the earless witch diva. The Queen of Soft singing above the pale puked ambiance of smoked roses and huffed orchids. She is barely visible through the clouds of calm and deep muscle sleep. There is a world war raging on somewhere but she carries on in the farcical comfort of lace and turpentine martinis. Her eyelids purple, crusted like the littered pastel of jacaranda smear. Her nails are dying, corrugated fiberglass particles. Buck$ has repeatedly whispered in her ear, delivering a whisper on a whisper, a virus digging into her brain. Her trajectory of redemption is lost. She is now a convert of the silencing, her unawakened Zero Keeper devoured in a swarm of agitated gut bees like a unwanted male bee, expelled with wings ripped. The chroning is complete.
The music stays hidden deep beneath the streets, smuggled out in memory and pitch by bootlegging, mustached, round mathematicians and merchant marines in stained coveralls or weekend denim. I step in to locate this possible Zero Keeper, and I am too late. She has caricatured, infested by Buck$’ version of the fight. She has drank from the pool, and is now metamorphosing into a power tapped from the collective dead space of galaxies. She’s losing my mind, with butterfly continental rifts and tendonerizing opiate breath. The unwording melts bone from flesh. The message goes forth to the world, a virus sponsored by soft math (in which everything equals) and the infected swaggered single-speak. Light another petal, sip the lilac. We will hold dawn off like an enemy. Hush your mouth, shut your face. Drift to no memory, lost in no space. Einladung Na chusku, music is patriotism. Music makes you sweat so let’s turn it down. Music makes you think. No, let’s turn it off.
Sweetest velang, the drip of new, vindicating with the slowest of hand, the softest of word ,rubbery and loosened. Like watching plaster flakes, gold dust in the Thames, life slowed to the microcosm of moment. The towers of color, melting to eyes, oohvesh tarashka zim. I want to smell her sheets, hold her breaks, drink in her sleep, drown in her dreams. Boom and boom, the softest of boom, swimmer’s ear, and salted lips part open, drink me, let me wash you, float. I want to exit behind her eyes, havlenolongah rah mah ta ta ta, fa la so, ah bay dos umh hummm ah. I drink her in the glittery void stars saying goodnight as my mind unfolds. I drink you into the glittery void stars said goodnight your mind folded. She says, I drink no more of the glittery void stars say goodbye your folded.
Language is her lover and she its abusive mate. I want to mangle her out of my desire to fully consume her, to ingest her, to be her. To be noun, verb, flesh, and hair. The hazy slunk of victimized airs. Bumping into walls, the legs of tables and chairs. I drip to the floor. The Queen of Soft spins her widowing web of indifference. It is a fight not to succumb to the cling of her non-logic and glistening lips.
I try to locate Buck$’ in this mess of mushing relativism; I am unsure exactly who he is. Is he still present in this moment? I have lost him, and more tragically I have lost her. One of the Zero Keepers, trapped in the swirl of her own zeroing. And then I watch before my eyes another transmetamorphosization. Having planted the seeds for cyclical self-eliminating doubt, humanity looking at itself through an endless and paralyzing timelooped schizophrenia, she now steps out to embrace conflict and slaughter the sleeping. Unable to fully realize a wooing of didacticism into submissive dismissal, she rebirthed the violence and boarded a zeppelin headed straight for the war of 2039. This isn’t the Mother, it is the Warrior.
But what of the queen’s mother? The mother returns to Chicago of her own time less a daughter and an aunt, to be part of the opening of the Rialto Theater. Having delivered this offspring of new terror out between her legs and into this world, and so counter-somethings stirred in her. A hope for recalibration and stabilization of the loosened historical narrative of her half-flesh. Her plan comes to fruition as she helps coordinate Minsky’s Burlesque at the Rialto. The matron saint of the Atlantis, The Sea-Nymph erotica show, this now 73-year-old woman attracting the masses back to the ship through the songs of Sirens, hoping to resuscitate washed-up cubists and sleepy slumberers. Like Sun Ra, she sensed a calling for all-global rescue. The swimmers undressing, a return to some embryonic state, naked and safe in the womb of the Creator, umbilically unsevered from wisdom state and stability of the parenting Omniscient. Inviting us to swim and copulate and unite. But this too was eventually defeated, broken down, diverted, diminished, the theater being renamed the Loop End.