01 8 / 2012
A Proposal from Eames Armstrong: A Blogger’s Discourse
“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is “I desire you,” and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure. ” -Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments
Kathryn, I don’t know you. But, I do want to marry you. Here we are, meeting over language. And I am supposed to convince you that I’m a worthwhile performance-suitor. The best that I can do is to be honest. I quote above because I rely primarily on external references to talk about what I don’t know how to talk about, and hopefully to show off my literary knowledge-base and art-historical foundation in a way that impresses you. For some time, I’ve been following your work digitally. I have this little blog wherein I try to document performance art in DC, and have had every intention to attend your multiple weddings. Kathryn, I know I missed your deadline, and I apologize. To be honest, I was feeling too shy to propose to you before- but today I received a prompt from a friend, encouraging me to go for it despite, and I give in to peer pressure easily. So Kathryn, I admit that I am hesitant, nervous, skeptical. Regardless of the duration of our hypothetical actual marriage, my participation in even sending this proposal is something of a commitment. But here I am, sending anyway. I admit that a serious motive in my wanting to engage (literally) comes from my desire to document, to promulgate performance in the area especially through personal account. So you should know that I honestly want to marry you, but I have very human and selfish desires as well- I’m sorry. Yet, I’m not sorry, I’m trying to be honest as I hope you will be with me in our hour if you accept this proposal. Kathryn, I want to get to know you. Honestly, I want to know you and your piece intimately, and the closest I can get is deep in it, wedding you. I want to share in your innermost desires and intentions, and totally complicate my objectivity in documenting Save the Date by getting in on one of those dates. So Kathryn, if I need to apologize for lacking in romance, I’m not sorry, I’m not really that kind of a girl. The best that I can do is appropriate a sexy quote on linguistics with hopes that somehow it describes my personality and objectives.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear Eames,
Even though you proposed just over the wire, you had me at Roland Barthes…
…Is it truly possible NOT to possess the other (as Wagner is quoted by Barthes on page 232, part 1), both in marriage and in the dynamic of power relations that constructs the social space of the performance? See also, Erving Goffman on frame breaks.
Might you break with your own desire to direct your experience, to document, in this performance? “The lover’s constant thought:the other owes me what I need.”
Can we emerge from this “union within suffering, a unity of suffering” as joined, yet individual selves beyond the stage of expectation?
Eames, I consider your proposal with a “fear of a mourning which has already occurred.”
01 8 / 2012
A Proposal from Perth O’duibhdiorma: Bride Price Proposal (Dowry a plus, but not Necessary)
Listen, I’m not totally behind this, uh, but my parents have really been on my case telling me that this is a necessary part of life, I mean, some might even call it, I dunno, a sacrament. Anyway, my dad is a very wealthy man who is willing to offer a generous bride price that would allow me to have…whew, this is awkward…oh man…your hand in marriage. Now I don’t necessarily agree with you know, trading a human life for material possessions, but parents can nag, am I right? Plus, the Bible tells us it’s okay, so I don’t think we can really argue against such long-standing traditions.
Oh, one more thing before I present the offer—my dad wanted me to ask if there was some sort of reciprocal dowry on your part.
Oh, one other thing. My parents really wanted, you know, this marriage to extend beyond the proposed length and into, as tradition would have it, death. I’m not gonna ask you do do that on paper…well I mean, you’ll still get the bride price, so that part will be on paper, but what I’m trying to say is, yes, we can get divorced, just we can’t let my parents know. And I dunno how busy you are, but if you could like show up to family events just to convince them that we’re leading a happy marriage, actually it does even have to be happy. And maybe if you could conceive a child, not necessarily mine, but just have a living entity that could convince them that I’ve made progress with my marriage. Oh and like, they’ve already reserved me and my future wife a burial plot, so if you could be buried next to me, that would be a nice touch.
Anyway, onto the negotiation:
31 7 / 2012
31 7 / 2012
A Proposal from Andrew Bucket: This autobiographical poem is to say “will you marry me for a little while?”
Fall’s pumpkins melt down the stoop, I say ‘I thought leaves had left by now, blown away and reborn as cold mud— or maybe the chance to rot came and went and they are torn and petrified pages from the diary of spring…’ I say ‘sorry I was somewhere else’ and you hook my arm, a cab is rattling curbside, I ask if you have cash, but we’re already in, you buckle up ‘thats cute.’ The radio is off and I’m bored, watching nightlife streak outside this wormhole, I say ‘driving is basically time travel’ ‘we keep anticipating some time machine but we have cars, just today we got from K street to the inside of a holiday sweater in minutes,’ and yowill u are somewhe.re else, the brakes lurch us forward, and you will pay this time Lately we’ve been sparking tiny dialogue on stoops in between hard knocks and being let into parties, I say ‘I want a PhD, but it has to be honorary, like Cosby,’ but our host appears, we’re inside, and I stick by you sometimes like a comma, but more often your endless ellipses, I say ‘that’s what she said…’ and we both trail off and I speak with Tim, your work friend who has a hundred questions for me about my business, suddenly I am shy so I return to you, my drink melted to transparency, and sleepwalking is the topic. Your Blonde friend says she sleepwalks to the kitchen to fill the ice trays and I say ‘I was actually suspected in my youth of sleepwalking because I would wake up with bruises, in bizarre parts of the house with a blank memory,” they are bracing and praying that I land this plane and it makes me talk for longer, gaining altitude, I want a better view of the world… ‘and for years my parents fretted, that I’d fall, light the stove, or grab a knife, and so it was a big relief that all the while I was just being molested by a family friend…’ The radioactive wave burns their shadows on the floor you watch the mushroom cloud shoot through the roof and the Enola Gay in my brain motors home. I sip again, on the melted ness, I am your man of muddy snow, and you love me, and you have no comment. Outback on the deck, I light up under the stars, I can’t discern if smoke, or indeed my breath, is what scatters in the dark with every frosty sigh. Out here they’ve laid bricks without mortar, to make a joke of a patio, and it’s cute, I think, one shock of snow shackling a corner, sticking around, in still air, and leaves just lie— this is the dead of winter, I realize, and to leave the tree late for a shot at rotting is worth the shame of being frozen at your worst just to earn yourself the dignity of decomposing, who wants to be suspended in this, anyway, waiting for the thaw, shackled by December, and I look back at you through the glass door, and you can’t hear any of this, which is when I spot the effect between us, but poorly named, because two way mirror doesn’t make any sense, should be called a one way window— It’s just me, looking at you. It’s my birthday soon.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear Andrew,
Such a story has me tantalized, my heart tattooed with the breadth of your woo…
“sometimes like a comma, but more often your endless ellipses” - I think our time together will be more a parentheses in which we will hold each other, until the period ends.
(Sorry. Sometimes I can’t help myself - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5FnGoheN94)
31 7 / 2012
A Proposal from “Rocky”: For Kathryn
Good morning when it’s morning
Good night when it is night
Good evening when it’s dark out
Good day when it is light
Good morning to the sunshine
Good evening to the sky
And when it’s time to go away
I offer you my hand sincerely.
From one curious human to another.
With grace and appreciation.
I will get down on my knees now and thank you,
As I thank each blade of grass for rearing its head.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear Rocky,
Such playful prose makes me feel our hour may be as equally sweet. I may well wed thee, until the grass under my feet grows, and it’s time to move on.
31 7 / 2012
A Proposal from Floyd: A poem…
Metaphor, I think not.
I implore you to consider my hop.
The true nature of your reality,
is the conceptual path of duality.
Not philosophical banality,
nor existential fallacy
will stop you from rabbit-hole mentality
should you simply marry me.
The path you will follow shall veer
If only to scratch my large ear.
This hour long date, shall make for a mate
With proper time to consummate.
And last in my play for your heart,
I offer pragmatic words to impart:
I promise you not to be late.
For my famed pocket watch shall keep the date.
If for only one hour,
to drink a fine substance and flower.
This portal is but a bit queer…
If you marry Floyd, my sweet dear.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear Floyd,
Such poetry makes me grin as a Cheshire cat…Yet I detect a hint of Cadbury bunny-style tomfoolery (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oamnDsxFLyg).
This fable shall end before it begins, as I quote the following passage from Mark Dery’s essay “An Aesop’s Fable about Anthropomorphism: When Animals Attack!” from the book I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams -
“Sandra Herold, the seventy-one-year-old widow who lived alone with Travis the Chimp, believed he ‘couldn’t have been more my son…if I gave birth to him.’ Travis enjoyed honorary Homo sapiens status in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut (‘He was small and cute and friendly,’ a local cop remembered, ’ he’d wave at you’), and at home with Herold, where he ‘lived like a human, eating steak and drinking wine’ and sleeping (and bathing!) with his owner…until the day he ran amok, attacking a longtime friend of Herold and gnawing her face to an eyeless, noseless pulp…Travis’s attack was perfectly ‘normal behavior for a captive primate,’ says Grice. Again, the key word is captive. Forced into close encounters of the human kind, let alone cohabitation, animals can behave unnaturally.”
In other words - You’re a hare too short for my taste in suitor, though you would make a delicious main course; the dining room table is as close as we shall ever be, dear Floyd, The Baltimore Bunny.
30 7 / 2012
Continued Courtship from Holly Bass: Day 6 - Tears in my eyes burn
Oh Kathryn, dear Kathryn. It’s been two weeks since I’m knocking on your door, but I can knock some more… http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=KuL2rtEgmog
@SaveTheDateDC: Dearest Holly,
Don’t you worry, don’t you cry -
I would do anything for love
but I won’t treat you like a puppet on a string
I would do anything for love
but I won’t do that
29 7 / 2012
28 7 / 2012
Continued Courtship from Holly Bass: Day 5 - I’m laying out all my cards for you, girl!
My dearest Kathryn,
I think the young gentlemen of Next said it best… “You never try me. Always stood right by me. You make living lively. Highly spoken of, my only love, the only one, you’re my wifey.”
I can’t wait until we jump the broom.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear Holly - Such sure words sound sincere, but are you the real McCoy? If so, come and get your love - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kctlBvsaFuE
28 7 / 2012
A Not-So-Much-Love-Love-Letter from John long: How ridiculous and lonely you must be
Another great example of why the DC art scene has tanked.
@SaveTheDateDC: Dear John long (Your@yahoo.com),
Though I applaud the effort you took to sign-up for a Yahoo email address, and then a Tumblr account, all just to show me just how much you care, the vitriol with which you speak to my city puts us in opposite sides of the ring.
You may be settled down in another city, having left DC, yet still watch us from afar. You may be living here amongst us, blending in with the crowd, tossing barbs from Your Own Virtual Peanut Galley, doing little to produce or shape an alternative experience close to your vision of better. Either way, I admire your courage to share your opinion however cloaked behind the safety of feigned anonymity; near, far, wherever you are, I know that my heart will go on - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saalGKY7ifU
John long, with this I end my Dear John letter to you. Truly, I wish nothing but the best for you - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAc83CF8Ejk