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  • mono 5:46 am on April 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , joy, , , , Travel, walmart   

    America 

    I am back in America. Trees stretch like paint gobs. The sky is as large as the Walmart that we end up at everyday (to feel stimuli, to be stimulated). You and me. We push the cart past tubs of DVDs, dog food, Milk Bones, baby clothes (bright pink, electric neon), Asian Food (Teriyaki Noodle), Jacked chips, Speedy Checkouts.

    We might park by the lake and take a photo to show others how far a lake can be or what clouds look like when we sit in a car and talk. We are in Michigan. I’ll stop at the Doggie Wash where we can wash the dogs ourselves, but when I enter, no one is there: two tubs, insert bills, spray hose, oatmeal bath. Call Joanne for details.

    The television shows Boston. The television says no one knows why or who or how many and we mourn. Some are dead. Some are limbless. I hear weeping.

    It rained last night, but when I stand in the dusk and walk Butoh steps across the lawn, I feel less wet than the grass tells me I should be.

    Our dog limps. She has stepped on too sharp snow. We have two dogs. One of our dogs was dropped off in Detroit, her kennel left abandoned there by Immigration, by a garage door like that whole place is one large warehouse. Our other dog was driven from Chicago, driven to a Days Inn (thirty hours away from us). I spent two days in the Days Inn and had continental breakfast (biscuits and gravy, cereal, a bagel) while the television spoke of Cuba, of tornadoes, of caution.

    Yes, I’m back in America and this is the wide sky I jump into as I push a cart from the electronic doors of Walmart, past the feed, past the gigantic automobiles and to the corral. I will listen to Scott Walker on the way home. The way home. I like the way that sounds. The way home. I could say that forever. 

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  • mono 6:41 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: artist, , blacksteps, , , Glossi, I Ate Tiong Bahru, singapore, stephen black, Tiong Bahru, Travel   

    Blue White Noise (I ATE TIONG BAHRU): by Stephen Black 

    Floor

    Photograph by Stephen Black

    Two of the walls are dirty mirrors. Caught between them, the guts of this place are repeated and jammed into grimy centers of infinity. Red plastic chairs, white Formica tables, the fluorescent lights, the people; all are mirrored and squeezed. In back, two young mainland Chinese women boil and cut yong tau foo. They’re silent.

    Below the streetlights a river flows. It may flood again. Angry and worried, a small Chinese woman in a tight pink dress: the taxi stand, her watch, the taxi stand, her watch, the rain, the taxi stand, her watch… On TV, subtitled Chinese promises of eternal love by a couple wearing something like Gucci,before cutting to a lit match above a gagged woman sitting in gasoline. She tries to scream.

    The man near me leans back and his orange hair enters the mirrors. Three shopping bags by his sandals, nothing on his table. He begins combing.The Filipinas drink Coke and make phone calls at a table covered with Tiger bottles and globs of chocolate cake. Young Bob Dylan rushes by with a newspaper over his head. Bob’s red-faced, with a platinum blonde Chinese woman on his arm. Bob’s wearing a Nirvana Tshirt. 5AM in anywhere.

    The vacant field, the Tiong Bahru Estates. The small blue signs of Kim Pong Street. The rain.This shop has a month to live.

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    Stephen Black is usually easy to talk to but often difficult to explain. http://glossi.com/bookmerah/4438-half-black-stephen-black-2012-review

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  • mono 12:31 pm on February 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Daily Life, , , Night, , , Travel   

    Beijing: A Short Introduction 

    The first thing that struck me about Beijing at night was the signs against the black sky. One after another, red signs passed by the car window as a winter haze hovered around us. It was cold, bitingly cold, a cold that Tokyo knows not the likes of. The congested traffic comforts and annoys me. I am American, so am used to traffic jams, honking horns, being “cut-off” as well as having to drive on a daily basis. Returning to this way of living as opposed to Nippon will once again take some getting used to, but is by no means impossible. Outside my window is a Detroit-esque mixture of urban high rise apartments and absolute rubble. Horses pull carts filled with food, which the vendors will sell, while an old woman stares out from her balcony. “Where should I put my cigarette butt?” “This is China, you can put it anywhere.” A dog limps by and another tries to bite me outside of a supermarket – a “Merry Mart.” Everyone’s eyes are glued to me and fingers are pointed, as well. “Don’t worry, they are not looking at you.” Yet, I know they are looking at me. Meanwhile, in the apartment, a pleasant heat fills the rooms, music floats in from outside and, earlier in the morning, a light snow dripped to the ground. Beijing. Here we go.

     
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