Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HOW TO DO THINGS WITH WORDS




Today I am some sort of hormonal milkshake. The period bomb is immiment. Fat Woman. Still the burning pain in the right shoulder, I think it's lessened. I've stopped taking the Percocet. This disappoints me somewhat, because if I became a drug addict that at least would feel like some sort of career, like when I was a mental patient, or a student, or a waitress. The only writing I've done lately is on Facebook. I've been thinking of Facebook as kind of ledge-jumping and performative lately, like yesterday when I suggested perhaps auctioning off my stale and dusty eggs in exchange for Rick Owen wedges (the plus side: your child will be fairly bright, mostly white, and completely neurotic, with periodic episodes of catatonia and rage). I've decided to sit up and work on my talk for Naropa. I feel shitty about this talk. I feel stupid and shitty and completely mute. We are working forever on these sculptures - and I thought today - why are we producing these objects? I should have done something with the body, with performance: but I cannot really figure that out yet. I hate the idea of doing something pretty. Everything can't be a metaphor. Luckily these objects are grotesque and immense. So that's something. We've also spent my entire stipend making them, and we still haven't done any of the sewing. Although John is really doing all the heavy-lifting, the making, because I'm ridiculously bad with making things. I am doing a lot of the conceptualizing, maybe. We're modeling the large one mostly on that image of Unica Zurn bound up with butcher string to mimic one of Bellmer's dolls. Today I wonder whether I should simply have been trussed up with some string on Naropa's campus. I thought this after flipping through that old Re/search book, Angry Women, with interviews of bell hooks and Karen Finley and Lydia Lunch and Valie Export, etc. But honestly why do it if it's already been done? And probably not the best idea for a weird body with a pinched nerve to lay around all day (the orthopedic nurse a couple of weeks ago, her able hands running down my back - the back is of course still "deformed," she says, I don't know why she even ahd to say it, I keep on trying to remember the context but it still doesn't make sense, "deformed," which is what EVERY GIRL wants to hear, her body + "deformed" all bodies feel deformed maybe I feel that keeps on circulating in my head, along with when the physical therapist a couple years ago helpfully pointed out my rib hump, as well as the hump at my neck, my skewed hourglass, I feel perhaps part of my obsession lately with expensively draped black clothes is to somehow hide myself, or to almost make more gorgeously grotesque my deformities. I do wonder if people can tell. This is 100% of the reason I haven't worn a bathing suit in public, save the Y, for at least a decade, that and the fact that I can't manage to found the time/energy/inclination to discipline my bush. I feel normal people sunbathe. That is totally my distinction in the world. Normal people: sunbathe, have friends they talk to on the phone and hang out with, and have jobs. Oh and cocktail parties).

Today I thought, fuck being a writer, I should become a scholar or a performance artist. For a couple weeks things happened or were suggested they might happen and I thought - gosh, I might be a normal writer, with a career, that takes me places. These were all mirages. I would like to be a performance artist, and by that I mean I would like to make things that don't sell. I feel perhaps language is overrated. I would like to just stand in public and scream. I would like to unrobe myself and run through the street. I would like for language to be like a bomb. A dirty bomb. I would like to write of being a dirty woman.

 Today I tried to read an article on spirit possession among Malaysian girl factory workers, fascinating, that I'm teaching tonight. And tried to read Michael Taussig. I was actually an anthropology major in college, almost actually. For a second today I fascinated about reading book after book figuring out Marxism, knowing more about the Frankfurt School than the Benjamin I've read + Wikipedia, and locking myself away in some graduate program until I could recite, faithfully, I don't know, Lacan's main points and something about Adorno or Althusser. But I skim. Genet is now chewing my library copy of Judith Butler's Excitable Speech, I got it because I thought it would be angry and exciting, but mostly it seems to be a deep reading of Austin's book on the performative utterance, How To Do Things With Words,  which I've never really, totally, understood, but everyone seems to write about. This past paragraph encapsulates my entire one year in graduate school. Of course I'm nothing like a scholar. People keep on saying oh "Semiotext(e)" like that means I somehow have graduated to being a scholar, but my idea of being a scholar is sitting on a book, or sleeping on it, or meditating on my dog chewing it. This is absolutely why L. Berlant won't accept my friendship request on FB.