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Erin Morrill



Notes Toward a More or Less Purely SimEve Breed of Existence

                  Ancilla walks to the station nearest her. In the not autopoetic sense she is irreverent of her lived surroundings as lodged in her, as constellational as the brusque texture of her finely downed limbs. Pawing pockets for the correct papers, a metro card, transubstantiation, the terraforming of her commute, the rapidity of her induction via commerce precipitates her insolubly outside time, a double bubble body, on the contrary. The movement of Ancilla’s feet is a kind of getting on together within the new technological test tube sublime colonizing a space for her body. I am writing to the last time I let film work on me, a film formation, a Lady Gaga dress right in the face of it. The irresolute insolubility, as with this sleeplessness, is something that calls on me, making the performance legible in order to function. But I cannot recoup this exhaustion, a debt, as time moves more rapidly than my thick bodily presence. 

                  “In the end it’s emotions… just emotions.” 

                  Somehow a form of compassion trickles out from between Ancilla’s legs. The skull, a blind spot marking its placefulness; how like a bowl holding it in, binding all of it, not holding. Sometimes she gets blue, like when her ex is marrying, or when her skin floats onto a Mendocino beach, bluer than a new blue rose of Suntory Ltd.

                  Gesturing toward the family isn’t necessarily reminiscent of a tower of salt, a Damian Ortega thought, crumbling into the area around where it was meant to rise out; unclinging from its wooden frame, a delicate vulgarity upon the floor.

                  When Ancilla glides her family, I mean her fingers, across the glass, a hand debrided of lament, a bandaged truancy, it reconstitutes a trace of wet droplets, in disambiguation of droplets as fishies, a smearing of the bestiary. 

                  First scene, one is reading a book. Second scene, one is rewriting it, a forestructure as natural a visage as the Bay Bridge threading the horizon.





                  Once upon a train, away from her elevated station, Ancilla wanders her mind into the boat that struck her seventy foot mammalian body causing it to rupture dead, dewatered and spit up on the Mendocino beach; she remembers the ritual of the massacre, a kind of planetary diurnal practice, an unnatural formation in the trajectory of magnetism, an inferred confusion, a death. She, in her privileging of intelligence, of cognitive prostheses and the affordances of accommodation, incurs no failure of feelingly reconstitution, insights a cofeeling encroachment, a transspecies enterprise. That is, Ancilla is pained in a way that recalls how she all but cracked her crotch on the bike seat of the someone else’s bike she rides while attempting to avoid a car that unexpectedly lurched in front of her. The history of metal/flesh, wood/flesh, flesh/flesh impact means that she is an easily retraumatizable beast and must find a moment in her day to cry about it, but in her mammalian whale body it is while under water possible to go on, tears undetected.

                  Upon remembering the endemicity of species fascism Ancilla fantasizes about a foray into eco-terrorism. The double edge of eco-terrorism — we as all terrorizing the eco, some of us dreaming of terrorizing those who more hyperbolically terrorize, for example, dolphin slayers.

                  She remembers in the darkly silted sand of Bahia dos Golfinhos calling them to her through a handstanded singing upon the ocean floor and then running her hands over them. The one with the deformed dorsal being most affectionate with her due to the easy communicability of their respective scars.

                  If not detonative of the village of Taiji where the dolphin massacre is ritualized (their deaths annually nearing 2000) then at least stalking the offshore fisherman from the bushes. Her own long range rifle squaring them up in her sights. “The trophied hunting of captive creatures with extended phallic objects… the gothic arch that is called christening which is a sort of… never mind” affair.





                  If I remember the future incorrectly it went something like… walked up the stairs and it was like walking into Heaven Gallery in snowy Chicago, but the way the stairs always veer left in the end, despite their similarity of sag, and that it is perpetually summeresque, at least not fall, inform her that this is Canessa. The Heaven Gallery recording sticks in the head at its one minute and fifty-eight seconds incremental repeat, ascending the stairs in a squeaky scale, a gush of air upon the recorder, a looped tick of stair squeak. There are plenty of faces to know and the lighting warm, maybe warmer than the faces and this couple of demigods draws me toward them with their look. He is a furry in pristine acrylic red; he is Tickle Me Elmo there in front of me much larger than my nephew’s animatronic doll. She is his blond silk-robed Zen companion; she as his spiritual leader is the man. When they hold hands, where their hands conjoin, it’s where a tickle fest meets an organ massage. Their pandrogynous offspring scatter about the room in fits of New Narrative. The offspring are all discernable by their psychedelic fur and needle sharp teeth. Not that it is psychedelic out of an alignment with the region’s hippie history, but because the effects of said history indicate the recognizability of such phrasing. Regardless, their real fur is a result of the local water and toxin ingestion and is purely a mutation of environmental factors, not of any innate genetics, where their chromosomes encounter empire.

                   One of them’s named Ancilla. The space around her green eyes is a green metallic penciled in. The strips of printed leather streaming from her ears, a talisman for all the dead.  Referent to the constant encroachment of patriarchal thinking into her animal being, the talons around her neck form a necklace. She gives a bro-nod of recognition at my entering. Then she turns to face the wine, cheese and cheap chocolates table and I notice the perfectly symmetrical cupping circles below her crisscrossed spaghetti straps on her perfectly symmetrical back. Out of desire, I walk over to her. We begin to take turns speaking. My speech is composed of mellifluous lyric, she loves it. In our heads she puts her hands upon my body, in this brick-walled room where we are not touching.  Our purpose in congregating here is to witness the sideshow of heavily tattooed out-of-towners displaying their ink. This performance troupe is composed of a unicorn enshrined fairy, an ex named Spot, and a bird man. I note that Spot is the most tattooed and has remembered his spectacles. There is a wincing screech in the background and the delicate rattle of racks of glasses coming in through the airshaft.  As an ex-fucker Ancilla imagines Spot fucking me against the racks of glasses.

                   But fantasies are easily interruptible; the curating ring leader says, “Sit,” and, as do most good Pavlovians, Ancilla and I sit. In anticipation of the promised exhibition with all the flexing of its extended poses we begin to salivate. Slowly, those less conditioned than we, the haughty individualists, trickle into the montage of collapsible wooden seats. The exhibitionists silt words into wavelengths producing a kind of communal glow and I can tell by the collective posture of the room that we are in part mostly pleased to be reconstituted. Spot wants applause for marking it out, for his Appalachianness, in that way that all exes are construable into one, but he is not his work,  or fluency’s longing’s predictability.

                  After the reading I approach the most heavily tattooed. I think he pretends not to see me. I think he reminds me of no one, or that my opacity is only half that of a Real Doll™. I try my hand at speaking. To his ears my mouth contains nothing but static. Ancilla says she hears me just fine. She suggests I’m just imagining things, but it’s not like claiming shadow puppets sprouting around her head.

                  The hand-holding demigods continue overseeing this filial procession.



                  After the reading there was, as is customary, a bar to be had and then there was a promise of a ride to be given and a paralleling bicycle to be ridden. But transportation had been displaced from its position and substituted by a loll of cop carts. In the promised ride’s wake, an indiscrete ballet of tow trucks dominating the block. The spontaneously choreographed girding of grills to the hindquarters of 12 consecutive tow trucks denotes the emptying of the city’s street parking.  In an intricate line they depart while competing cop carts, minor dancers, buzz about. There is but one sign per block indicating to the parked drivers their impending towed fate. A marathon promises to manifest in the morning replacing the extricated automotives. We were alive through feeling as though flayed between avenues of Las Vegas and a fascist state. I wasn’t wearing the dildo the homeless man accused me of. I couldn’t get the cab to come. I waited with the bio perv and her, free because I wasn’t the one towed and I wasn’t the one who had to work in the morning and I still had someone else’s bike with me. Across the street from 555 Montgomery I practice balancing the detached front tire of the bike on my head and dancing. Ancilla this evening comes to me in the form of the golden haired Rabbit 1 of the initial Bunny Butoh debacle. Part of a circuitous making way might invoke a bus terminal. “We’re all beautiful people.” But who is this ‘we’.

                  I notice an ink stamp of a deformed head upon the bio perv’s wrist. I wonder if I wet it if we could enact a transfer to her hand. I lick his wrist and he places it on her hand. There was the faintest shadow where it was meant to appear.

                  On nocturnal buses, even when it's inward lit, I focus toward the spray of lights beyond the faces reflected toward themselves within this moving terrarium. But I am preoccupied tonight by the taste of salt and ink on the bio perv’s wrist, like that he could be trying to poison me.  When the bus surprisingly routes itself in proximate alignment with my domicile I quickly leap off of it and wrestle someone else’s bike from its front. Will the driver not notice and run over me, is one of the many things my racing mind portends to wrestle with.

                   After my departure I missed a man pissing and shitting on the bus. I missed another man puking in response; I missed 4 a.m. omelettes and bloody marys; I missed the sex I was afraid to imagine with Ancilla and another more beautiful than I; I missed the firm cock I secretly longed for; I missed the barefoot picking of herbs from the garden for said omelettes. I missed segues into a confrontation with his bio perversity; I missed transspecies encounters. I put my bike in the basement and walked upstairs to put an empty cigarette pack in the trashcan. Something in there stinks. What realm of putrefaction... I don’t ask. I take off everything on my body including the removable metal, aware of the way it differently collects and conducts energy where it touches my fingers, wrists, ears. The texts begin informing me of most of everything I am missing. The rest I just imagine. You are no Bengali Tiger, my dear Ancilla, you are no winged Blakean poem. You are a species requisite of sleep.

                  Lying alone in bed I hoped to energetically open my big belly to the universe as envisioned above me. I asked the universe for things through that lower region of my torso. I believed that I was open; it became quiet enough to pretend.



                  There is paper on paper, paper over paper, paper slid into space between pages, a kind of folding in so that ever new words are kissing or whispering to each other in the brusque brushing past of loose sheets. Something else she wanted, the real makeup of her mother, not the plastic lipstick in its plastic packaging with fake plastic powder, not simulacra like that; for the pretend of it put on, the face distorted or clownish, not the put on pretended. There is a wrongful attendance to replication, not the effect, but the simulacra of the act is foregrounded in a collection of plastic pieces, the playing make believe made more about its commodification as imagined by toy manufacturers than they would have you… the toys merely created to make adults feel as if capable participants in the schema of play and the best ‘know how’ via the acquisition of prepackaged props, the ordained tidbits of fake ritual; ritual actualized through proper accoutrement. This is what Baudelaire was getting at with the beginning of “The Philosophy of Toys”. His encounter with Madame Panckoucke’s “children’s treasury,” the dissemination of which Panckoucke herself defines as “souvenir[s] of me,” an attestation to her materialist desire to participate, to align herself or facilitate or interfere in the uncomplicated world of make-believe, the alacrity of imagination. Thus “the fur clad lady” imprints herself forever onto Baudelaire’s toy psyche. But Ancilla knows best, or at least perfectly well; adulthood is simulacrum force-fed to younglings ‘til they come to beg for it.  A youngling breaches the scene. “Put down that plastic sword and come and drink some tea.”

                  The scene resettles itself. From amidst the sheets a smallish body gets remembered as sticking to the leather seat of proportionate affordances for an adult body, alone in a talking Datsun 300zx, not a good snow car, awaiting the “lipstick” (what or who to be like?) promised her for being so good during her most recent catheterization. She pushes away the reflection of her smallish body in the passenger side mirror with her finger and a button. Its angle goes obtuse, so that there is asphalt and gray sky as replacement for a young, naked face.

                  Promises. Ancilla was once a smallish body too, the real McCoy, bones to pick, mangled teeth, genetics and all. But when this smallish body, after receiving its ordained plastic, leaned against the door, away from the matriach and what KMart presents in the still dreamed of parking lot—while in motion, when the metal door fails to hold, flails to opened, then a blood blushing makes over the knee, a bit like a wine stain, but bursted.


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