By Rebecca Warzer - Apr 2, 2018
Semiotic exercise #1
I was getting on the bus at Clinton-Washington, heading home. It was one of the first warm days of the year, but it still got dark out very early. The bus was illuminated and nearly empty. It feels like I have some sort of temporary amnesia when I try to think about it, but I remember seeing this man, maybe late forties, sitting in one of those seats on the bus that are slightly raised toward the back facing front, so that our heads were at about the same level. As I was about to walk by him, I reached toward the pole right in front of his face to steady myself as the bus pulled away from the stop. I reached, and he was yawning, this huge yawn, mouth gaping unselfconsciously, and somehow, before I was aware of it happening, my hand went straight into his open mouth. It could have been some unconscious will of mine, instead of some auxiliary will emanating from my hand, or some inanimate will arising from the physics of the bus, and my body. But as it were, my hand was in his mouth. His eyes widened immediately and so did mine, and for just a fraction of a moment I felt this warm, slimy cavity before I looked past him and removed my hand, all without breaking my stride. I found a seat toward the back and spent the rest of my time on the bus staring straight ahead, my hand in my lap wet with his saliva.
Semiotic exercise #2
Silently she falls back onto her bed, wrapped in her towel staring up at the ceiling. Getting ready for bed here is a languid process, which she uses to ease herself into sleep: the underground of the day. She needs this mental preparation for unconsciousness, because in sleep, her unconscious is always guilty as charged, of things for which she cannot be held responsible. In this prelude to sleep, she dreams of unlearning: of sitting at her desk reading then slipping down the chair. Her knees hit the ground first, then her body slides down the wall, head falling forward until it finds the corner made by the wall and the floor. Finally, she has found this corner. Her face fits it perfectly, cheeks pressed into it, nose and mouth filling it asymptotically, doing their best. Finally, she has found this groundless ground, she is at sea, and in celebration she pushes herself along the corner, dragging face, chest, collarbone, arms, down the length of the room. She is leaking everywhere, sublimating her erotic desire into art and her solid form into gaseous substance. This rupture in the performance of her everyday is poetry, the body’s defense against psychosis. She is reticent to pathologize the unbounded body. She reaches the far end of the room and pauses, before falling over the edge.