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  • Writer's pictureThe Big Ship

Little Prayers Gallery - May 8, 2023

Welcome to Little Prayers, the self-destructing weekly gallery. Here for a good time not a long time.

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This week, research is conducted.

Christina Bothwell - Solanaceae

Hebrews 11:4: "And through it he being dead yet speaketh."

Dirty in the welts beneath Helgoland we fed the boy pollen. Guts on the wall, eyes plucked, head drilled. Ochre in his braid and boiled and then ate, tropane rubbed deep into his nostrils. Tummy tucked with hay, as he was spatchcocked and then sung to, washed, hung and dried. Pruned, pickled, and aged. Beaten. Loved. Deep in this worm net of caverns and dripdocks we deposited his pile of stoppage. It seemed something to be kept secret. sacred We never wrote tomb. We never wrote. Dear reader, please do not assume that we men who blinked onto the first blackness held rituals reflective of belief, that your archaeology indicates paganist systems of trepanning, spiritualism, or worship of some afterlife unimaginable to your christ-stained brains. Our treatment of the dead is purely scientific. The boy was the first to die, ever. It was an ice-fresh phenomenon. He was our plaything of the beyond and, in this way, yes, he was a sacrifice, but only insofar as one compound might become a catalytic sacrifice to another. In the scattering of his joints like pebbles we deferred, time and time again, to object boundaries, cause-and-effect. What looks like prayer to you, to us was appeal to transrelational egress, a shot in the dark based on a hypothesis: when his heart stopped beating his body chilled, likewise when we breathed into the cave we made a fog. Mashing his marrow into soup, or creating visions of wings from his limbs we aimed to understand the quanta not of death but of transmutation, and from the atrophying shade of his guts we learned that no energy is lost.

- Written by Caleb Carter

Isaac Julien - Looking for Langston

Oh, shining tree!

Oh, silver rivers of the soul!

The past recedes into its own prickly hide. I am only interested in the creation of paradise on earth and I do not mind if that only lasts a moment. My understanding of time has undergone a vast shift. There is only the now, only the moment. Paradise for a moment will be paradise eternal. The eternal is divisible by moments, just as moments are divisible by eternity. My atoms are the spit on your lip, the sweat on the back of your neck, my atoms are spilling out of you and I try desperately to stuff them back in. My atoms are your atoms are his atoms are mine. A comet might enter your bloodstream by way of my finger in your mouth, the touch of Adam’s creation swelling inside you now. I hope God doesn’t see red where I see blue. I hope the bees don’t go on strike, I’d have to break the picket line for a Spring day with you. I will learn to pollinate, I will learn to talk only in bzzz and I will learn to cum only sweet honey. I will not watch as the city burns, I will light the match. I will not watch as flecks of paradise rain into the soul but I will piss paradise all over whatever ecstasy can be distilled from old desire. How can I surrender myself to our folded memories with so many images lost to hardware gone soft? How could I forget you when you are still dressed in a body that I want to tear off you like paper?

Were Eve's eyes In the first garden Just a bit too bold?

- Written by Bryson Edward Howe

Mirtha Dermisache - Chicken Soup

Dear Bryson,

What is perfect writing? Is it a reflection of the unmoored universe, where everything is unbordered and interrelated? Or is it the imposition of order, the eye, atop its big harp?

In language, the former might mean an abundance of verbs (forces) and epithets (strings/chains/bonds) with less of an emphasis on nouns (matter/form). However, to reflect a world balanced and magnetized beyond comprehension, should perfect writing (creation) might feel like the total crystallization of all possible outcomes, with the faultlines of its prenatal fission (the banging end that revved into this current beginning) still visible. Just as reason, intoxication, and sex allows one to briefly glimpse beyond the veil of their own order, art (its making) exists right in the mix. As an artist, as a writer, we have the opportunity to relax behind the veil of imposed order, the glittering denial of loopholes. This is the phenomenon artists describe where it is as if the work is guiding them, and not vice versa. One method of journeying beyond the veil that I rely on too often is a process of excavation, as if through the warming of the pen-engine I might write myself to a deeper state unguided by self, and often, I can. The journey is left on the page, relatively uncleaned. But I think that the most impressive pieces are ones in which it is clear that the author existed in this chaos of roaming particles and yet has plucked the ones most vital to the piece. It should feel, to the writer, that any number of words could have been applied to the meter of the piece (this is its mathematical absolute, the anima), but that the one chosen was the most accurate, collapsing into place precisely when observed. As our friend Franklin recently made clear to us, in a perfect world the cadence of our soul and the cadence of the page are the same thing. However, I am equally uncertain if that kind of precision can really lend itself to radical formulas. Experimentation is a ravaging decreation, messy, not a perfect piercing of the jugular, and I believe that every artist worth their salt should try and break their medium, at least once, like protein when it heals will be better for the tearing. Then, where is this sweet spot? Often, my writing self-destructs, and I am inevitably led toward its murder, but I am bored of the bloodbath. Might it be more interesting to just keep going beyond that? To translate once more the rules of a new consciousness, found beyond the fence of trance, into something a bit plainer, less wordy, but still sparkling and new. I often make my endpoint the soup of decreation, siding with entropy in the vote for universal logic, but I wonder if it isn't a more interesting project to keep rolling onto the other side of this undoing, and find once again the footholds of something else.

Perfect writing should be submerged into the oily mosaic on water, at all parts drowned and yet empowered towards altering the play of Word. At all points born from the visionary reality as aggressively undular as ribbons whipping in the wind and yet at each decision momentarily bunched into transient geometry. But never so tight. Apocryphal but authored: the turning fount. It should be sensemaking in process, spectrum razored by infrared ego as light through the prism of self, or character, or world, and everything mortally evaporative. Which is more joyful to read and which is more joyful to write? The soulful or the shared? Which is more vital? More true? The muck or the brick, the chicken or the broth?

- Yours, Caleb Carter

Malti Klarwein - Dream, Sex, Light

There is, often posed, an idea that consciousness comes in streams. I don't buy it. Consciousness clusters. There is never a flow, something steady and continuous, but always multiple and multidirectional voices running parallel and cascading into coruscating constellations that coexist and contribute to a more amber whole. If I thought and felt more linearly then maybe I wouldn't have to mine silent dreams for meaning in its rote symbolism, and we wouldn't look to artists to connect the different mercurial mental states that emerge and fade independently and in spite of each other. Where is the entity that composes my attention, sensations, thoughts, memories, and perceptions? Can he keep a better fucking tempo if he's out there? My consciousness clusters and clogs. I need to drain my id of the fluff; of the passion for my desired lover and the revulsion from an unwanted one; of tiredness, apprehensiveness, excitement, vertigo, shame, war, revolution, music and all things that make me sweat. I am silky. I am liquid. I am bliss caught in a never-ending afterglow. But I am not seamless. I am discrete moments with gaps that I can only hope to fill.

- Written by Bryson Edward Howe

Emile Nolde - Dance Around the Golden Calf, Wishful Thinking

You're here doing your rollers to my strange music. I'm writing this. I haven't danced in a long while. Moog hands push us down the night's canoe smelling sweet of wet wood and feeling like almost mud. The open bulb enough looks like a flame and I can't get over the lovely warm giants it makes from us in the corner of the cave. Here are your focused fingers and big eyes and it feels like dancing. It feels like I'm eight and I got my tutu on and I'm eight and I'm a spy and you're my crush and I'm Al Bowlly and you're Lew Stone and I know it's inaccurate but baby let's swing. It smells of pine, disco, synths, and leotards. The nights a gale we are guilty blue flailers refusing to stop til morning. Wakefulness is a rare import of abnegation. How much oxygen have I denied in fear of screaming? Tear me apart for god's sake, or otherwise let's just dance because words are wasted breath.

- Written by Caleb Carter
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