From L to JA:
I had some dreams last night that you were in.
You invited me to some local officer’s open house where they were giving a seminar on “creativity.” Men in ties were showing us to all these kindergarten tables on the ground where there were tombstones for dogs, like from a pet cemetery. We had to redesign them.
Next, we moved a room over till we were sitting on the ground. Using paste, popsicle sticks, and markers, we were told to design a religion for the tombstone we just made. The office worker explained that we were participating in a version of a surrealist game called “an exquisite corpse,” that had been made more professional for idea monetization.
You took the paste and poured about half the bottle one the paper so that the puddle was mostly all over the carpet. Then you then started to rail against all these people being shills as I tried to clean some of the paste off the carpet in case they noticed and made me pay thousands of dollars to get the room redone. We were mostly just dicking around instead of playing the games, so we walked out when I thought enough was cleaned that they wouldn’t notice.
Outside, we were about where the Rideau Center would be looking at Rideau street, but very high up. We were interested in finding our local spirits, which were likely eating out of trash bins in the local alleys, but also doing some random shopping.
Me and Jess had won hockey tickets to the Stanley Cup playoffs that we were encouraged to use. When we got there, we were made to ride in a gothic parade in which there were hot air balloons of women being abused by the grim reaper. The games were being held in that state that had banned abortions. In protest, the local team club had decided to empty the arena of all spectators for the game. Only a lucky thousand were chosen to watch the live feed sitting in several little theaters seating maybe seventy people at a time. The walls were made of wood and the decor was 70’s posh.
All spectators had been chosen based on media appeal. We were chosen because I was a mentally ill transgender artist, and Jessica chosen for being in a lesbian relationship with me. Our story was posted to the internet like everyone else’s as a sort of advertisement. Most people were women not much interested in the game. A large group of little kids faced away from the screen drawing in coloring books on their seats.
The only footage the audience at home would get was us watching the game with the screen in the background while interviewers got our thoughts on sports and the abortion law reality TV style. I did my best to actually watch the game in case my parents saw me.
You and me attended this event like one of PP’s mental health art things, but it was also a surrealist thing. We had trouble busing there, and were the only people to show up. The social worker in charge didn’t show up till late, after 10pm, and was having a break-down from her job at the hospital. Her mascara was running from crying. I decided to leave.
The next day, at a gathering for the animation program at Algonquin I was attending, they showed dozens of complex, highly finished artworks produced overnight at the group after I left. These included video installations a huge sculptures made of intertwined cords of colored material. I was jealous none of my work was on display.
(sent August 1, 2019)
The canal has extended its feelers into pleasant nighttime excursions which are really quite dark and not very well-lit at all. The atmosphere can shift dramatically and the passage in facing certain maudlin streetlamps gave birth to an appendage, a “subjectivity” of a most evil looking sort, a kind of shadowy figure who sings snatches of incomprehensible tunes to itself as it sharpens something very dangerous. We call it the nightprowler. Over the canal it has total jurisdiction. Past Pretoria Bridge, on the east side, where it is especially dark, it makes plans. Recording the crunching sounds of footsteps in the underpass.
During the day, in certain parts of the canal, the green hue of the seaweed and the algae and whatever else is down there tend to evoke strange jungle landscapes. Analogical green. At the theoretical level: surrealism as interruption, surrealism and the lost art of “lodging a complaint”, beyond observation and into reportage. The implications of a weird and untimely hypnagogic review of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in a way that nobody we know would ever do it. The possibility of criticism from elsewhere.
On a hot afternoon, a local theatre played an old black and white film. A handful of people were watching it, clustered mostly in the centre of the theatre. In this otherwise typical thriller movie there was a very effective seance scene. The rhythm was slow, the patience of the director made a lot of sense, so the mood was perfect. Don’t we have every reason to believe that, in such a scenario, the sporadic audience is participating as much as those gathered around the table? And in that split second where expectation holds its breath and something “happens”, it would be a good chance to photograph the inside of our brains for posterity.
Bunuel, Jean Rollin…The idea of riots in the cinema. A temptation to ask people if they have ever seen such a legendary occurrence.
A lithograph of Matta’s “Les Voix” (#2/40) was found for sale at the antiques market. At 1200$, we wonder who will buy it. It is a charming comic strip of yellow and blue mania, and would sit very badly above the mantlepiece of many a Kanata home. Next to it were some very banal landscapes, and a few dolls and toys, which seems like a nice way to present images that are important to surrealism. It is an effective interruption of the standard bits and bobs you see floating around (and you can see some responses to a 2018 inquiry recently published on that very subject). A small statue of an Egyptian deity with an elongated, perhaps crocodilian head continues to remain unsold in a locked glass cabinet perpendicularly facing the Matta print. There is also an old baby pram within which a violin and guitar are nestled together taking a nap and dreaming unheard of concerts.
What are we all doing? Why don’t we jump off the peace tower?
L had some very vivid dreams involving JA partaking in surrealist activities, including a very striking oneiric collaboration on some tombstones for pets. AC on the contrary reports dreams that are more apocalyptic in nature.
In Templar Solstice Park, known for its overall nationalist banality, music. But not the normal music you’d expect to hear from the nearby bar. This is 1920s tango, straight out of a Bunuel film. Yes, it is even crackly. What? Are these strange people really dancing to this, on a black platform, sweltering day? It induces a lot of strangely loving feelings. There are still nice surprises. Not long after, a mayfly molted on someone’s leg and left its old skin in a very pretty position on his knee. Did we mention that When Rabbit Howls was being read?
On the street, overhead: “I always get the last laugh”.
An image struck, too, of the interminable summer, from a randomly opened children’s book. Four glasses of lemonade. Each one has a straw that loops, and loops, and spins, like an insane labyrinth, making almost letters, almost faces, interweaving and disconcerting. A maze for refreshment. An athanor, or anathanor? Bubbling. Is there really only one right choice for the perverted clinamen of libido? “This is not my idea of a good time; this is not my idea…”
An unorthodox translation by Lake.
You sods, errors, pissers, and lesions
Occupy our souls and travel through our corpses.
As our ailment are to our amiable re-death,
the cum of menders nourishes their vermin.
Our peach’s son, the fetus, we repent as son of leeches;
We in our phases pay grass-cement for our view
And we rend the gayness along the roads to barbarism.
Credit for a devil’s raining lavatories are our torches,
On the oilier of the evils that are sat upon by Three-reigns
Who barks longingly at our spirit’s enchantment
And the rich metal of our own violence
Is all vaporised by that savage chimney
It’s the devil who taints the girls among our remains;
Axes, objects repugnant to our troves of bees,
Chuck days against our infernal descendants passed,
Without horror, but traversing the tame beast they pounded
From our cervical malignancy comes millions helmeted,
Grilling chants and repostes on people as demons
And great in our respirations, death in our apples
Sickly engrossed, cum on flowers, with sordid plaints.
Such is the way – poison, poignant and burning –
Our own parts in cores bred by their pleasing designs
The cadaver banal before our pitious destinies
This is our love, for hell!-No ashes hardening.
Mighty perms like charcoal, like panthers’ lice
They, singe less scorpions, less vultures, less serpents,
The monsters galloping, sands hurled groaning in rampage
In the menagerie infamous for our vices.
This one is much laid, much menacing, much unworldly.
Quick are his fascistic and great gestures near great cries.
He, ferocious, voluntarily deals the earth’s debris
Towards a baleful and avaricious world
It’s ennui! The oil charging the rain’s involutions.
It raves of echoed feuds that fume for their hooker.
You who know, lecture the monster’s delicacy.
Hyopocrite lecher in my likeness, you are my friend!
“The Situation Today”
By PP, L, SH, JA
A game taught to us by our surrealist comrade David Nadeau of Quebec
Wherein a drawing is collectively made using predetermined piles of abstract words provided by each player and randomly selected in turn, in this case the words:
Pacified Soul Reaper
After which the result was deemed to be an esoteric political cartoon of the fellowship of the rosy cross.
July 4th, 2019.
P.S. We welcome any interpretations of this cartoon, its relationship to the world today etc. in the comments section.
A little girl exclaims, “nothing creamier than metal”, and you know with steely certainty she is right.
At the metal creamery, the befreckled boy behind the counter dollops more palladium on your cone. The girl pulls taffy manganese and twines it into a sloppy cat’s cradle while jealously eyeing the aurum caramel being ribboned on your order.
“Caramelized in the hinterlands, from cows fed a traditional diet of strontium-90” croons Freckles right before he extravagantly and practicedly sweeps his hands across the counter: “tantalum licorice bits, and mango cobalt, untampered hafnium (organic of course!), pudgy, polonium-milk balls and arsenic lased with risperidone are all hot this month”. The girl shrieks and adds “GERMANY”, before her mother corrects her with “zested germanium sorbet fluffed with argon”. Bemused, the mother looks at you directly before continuing “we brought my mum here for her 77th birthday and they both couldn’t get enough of it… especially those flavored mercury petals” and then sighs a little. You chuckle and say, “I always get the same thing!” before asking for a tungsten-stick on the side and “more rhenium please”. The little girl perks up again, and her mother whispers to her “the rhenium is just flavorless garnish”.
You hear the fwoosh! of a magnesium torch come from the kitchen, right before an elaborate confection is wheeled out. The chief baker tisks carefully as she circles her opus. A purest-platinum, ice-cream cake with blinding, lit-magnesium muslin creeping like vines over it. Sleepy iris flowers shaped from an alloy of caesium and chalk droop from the top tier. Inside each flower, a living violet exhales a glittering, osmium pollen that lingers in the air. Asbestos mottling for contrast of course, and a gelled uranium daiquiri en-wombed (but still visible) at the cake’s centre; pulsing with a subtle, foetal Cherenkov radiation. The whole thing sits on a red and satiny, iron pedestal. The baker dips a single finger into the iron and frowns, “whisked to perfection…,” right before drawing herself up to her full height and proudly asking “would you like to try?” The mother holds her squirming daughter back while staring dumbfounded at the cake. You barely work-up the presence of mind to nod.
The clerk scurries into the back and returns with plates and a knife. The baker deftly cuts a piece and presents it to you with a curious look in her eye. You take a bite, and as you chew, you feel it lubriciously peel away the first layer of your mouth’s inner skin. The sudden gush of blood on your tongue pairs perfectly with the delicate flavors. And the effortless lancing of your cheeks by the irises adds a new dimension. The baker studies you and then permits herself a small understanding smile, “copper and salt, as flavors, are best when only implied.” Your eyes close to fully savor the experience as DNA damage spritzes its tiny citrus sparks through your body.
The metal creamery has done it again!