People don’t want to see something I I I say don’t look. But I’m not sure things really work that way…

I look down at my feet and witness a large pool of urine oozing yellow glass-like against black asphalt expanse smells like sea rotten vegetables and plastic. Life itself. Like itself.

I look up again, my vision blurs. Through the blur I see I see my plump ex-wife and my son, almost as tall as his mom, slowly recede in the distance down the sidewalk in this neighborhood in which I have suddenly found myself silently keening. Into my breath. My ex-wife’s scarf long, long red scarf dragging behind her like a pet. Recalcitrant, knitted.

I watch my ex-wife and my son recede as if I am underwater until I cannot stand to see them them them any longer. Until I cannot sense them, always odd when I cannot sense them any longer happens too often each time it burns me a cinder. Still I remain I remain I remain staring after what thing is nothing is nothing in a landscape that that eventually stares back and and turns on me a grey bone sky…

Red or high yellow brick-faced apartment buildings erected in the 19th or early early 20th century, once once single family homes now cut up into condos donning illegal wooden fire escapes, potted plants, faux surveillance devices, metal telephone poles for self-asphyxiation, sagging wires, variously colored garbage receptacles, lollipop trees without leaves, families of trash here and there dog feces…

A chill or damp lower down my pants soaked to the ankles and beyond my spirit I turn to go or abscond to nothing no heroic or dramatic or superlative I depart…

After a bit of aimless, fruitless wandering round town, I end up on the outskirts at a car wash. The outskirts–it it it it is near the tacos, the oranges, the placards and the flowers in plastic. I stand before their welcome like an immigrant from the new world. My passport is my will and my imperfection. My perfection lies in what I did not have allowed myself to have witnessed but did but did but did but did and now I am none with the past but but but what it is dissing.

My understanding is that when one is in a car wash you either lie down or stand up, I lie down. The FWP engages my head at the temples and the RWP engages my feet at the ankles moving me through the apparatus like a product in a factory with the same goal that I be reborn into something new and useless. The water jets are triggered by an electric eye which engages my spirit so I begin to hallucinate. This remembered might sound odd to many of you, my fans, my admirers, my legion letter-writers for me Mr. Brown-Guy, always the handsome man to say, to do, to be: I begin to hallucinate just adhoc-ky like hallucination is revelation is something else so this is what I experienced what I saw more like experienced in the fat of my proteins at the back of my eyeballs in the dents of my cells:

It is late spring. I am six or seven or eight walking with a group of friends taking the short cut to to school taking a short cut through a wooded area we called Mulberry Hill. We step off the road, descend into a depth, a green depression dappled with morning light, tiny violet blooms scattered here and there like garbage and we hear the stream before we see it, then we see it clogged with rusting bed frames, abandoned washer and dryers, car parts, the waters now overflowing onto the banks and we see my cousin and his friends, they are slightly older, just standing around, hanging, my cousin is talking. That that is a problem right there. There is there is there is something afoot but we are none the wiser. We draw nearer, my cousin is talking saying something. He has to piss. He has to piss he says. He unzips his zipper. He takes out his thing and displays it in the palm of his hand like a little chocolate fish. Looks around slowly, chooses one of the younger boys and asks the boy if he can put his dick in his mouth. My cousin asks politely, always politely. And there is something else too. But the boy says no, no no he does not want my cousin to put his dick in his mouth. The boy says if he lets my my my cousin put his dick in his mouth, my cousin will piss in it. My cousin cajoles the boy, reassures him, lots of teeth and silence, always polite saying saying he would never do that. He would never do that. He would never do that and this goes on for quite a while until finally the boy relents, drops to his knees and opens his mouth. My cousin inserts himself into the boy and the the the mouth jumps up screaming, mouth full of and wiping his mouth and we all laugh and continue on to school.

I leave the carwash before the process is finished.

I am exhausted, dirty-clean in a daze still still still filled with filth and detergent I wander around town like that like like that awhile awhile until I see my car again my Eldorado Cadillac 2002, golden-colored, last of its kind, exactly where I left it when I spotted my beloveds and rushed out after to greet them apparently to no avail the Eldorado’s engine still engaged as if I never left it it it still purring the driver’s side door open just as I left it. On the ground, scattered beneath the open driver’s side door, on the asphalt I see scattered on the ground used catheters and empty drink-stained Slurpee cups once containing the frozen confection invented by one Omar Knedlik in the late 1950s, its name and logo designed by Ruth E. Taylor whose family perished in a house fire ten years before set by Ruth herself before she set out for while she was in Kowloon looking at tomorrow. I look I look I look inside the Eldorado, the front seat where I was sitting just before spying my family my my my my my my my my my my my ether eldorado and I see on the driver’s side seat a book by a well-known and infamous author and I pry the book open and there it is a handwritten note from my son inscribed, it says; ‘Dad, see page 347’, I do so and underlined is this phrase: ‘Well alright then.’

Pope.L was born in 1955, in Newark, NJ. He is a visual artist and educator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture to create art works in various formats including writing, painting, performance, installation, video and sculpture. Building upon his long history of enacting arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces, Pope.L applies the same social, formal and performative strategies to his interests in language, system, gender, race and community.