The Operating System

3rd ANNUAL NAPOMO 30/30/30 :: Day 6 :: DIA FELIX on PHILIP LAMANTIA

[Editor’s note: It is total synchrony that sees this post going live the weekend Dia’s is in NY, kicking off a multi-city tour with City Lights / Sister Spit to promote her new book on that imprint, Nochita. Missed her at the New Museum last night? Not to despair: you can catch her in Brooklyn TONIGHT at Littlefield, or find out when she’s reading in your city here.]
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[h2]”equally real”[/h2]
I endeavor to collect her moist tissues without being discovered, if Lamantia were a woman. We’re in an underground beard that is a tour of the blackest, moistest tunnels of the Bay Area pan-transit system. Then me as “Pan”, my coccyx bumps the hard seat when the taxi tumbles down the cobbled street of Teotitlan Del Valle and kicks up dirt behind us, a celebration….
[textwrap_image align=”left”]http://www.theoperatingsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/kotin-cover-299×448.jpg[/textwrap_image] Find him underground, cool brassy water. After the end of the world and the ocean is a dustup of plastic confetti just for us, and the occasional fish who had the right composition to make it, with shiny yellowish skin. I like to sleep against his fish-feeling chest, and root my heart out in the morning with a curved knife, served on the coffee tray with a splayed-open papaya. Some things are outside of culture.
Mister, there is no difference between gnosis and wasting time frotting myself with a damp towel in this sticky window-room in West Portal. There is no difference between the sounds I make when stoned, the rudenesses of my body, and the look of the gauzy white garment as the divine figure is raised to heaven by the hair, painlessly though. I am so glad that you passed yourself into the very fact of this building, into the fritting of the glass, and the white plastic of the toilet seats, and the leaves, and the tires, and the wrinkles on the faces of the revelers at the party.
Mister, wake up from your bed and join this party–don’t you like the punch? The punks? I’ve made up this sequence of sounds just for you and brought in a dozen of mermaids to shy them out wetly for you, tender dripping ribbons from their bellies, to wrap your eyes black. You can tumble back into it or stay steady, or walk on water, why not be tricky? I know, celebrity isn’t your thing.  You were a thin vessel and there is a cost. You carried so much on your back so naturally, you were crowned and the crown was heavy, or did you notice? How many times did I pass you on the street. Sorry, stupid. I can’t help but be a fan, act as a fan. Nobody does it like you can–nobody can cook like you, making the surreal so warm and palliative. It’s like you knew what it could do and you did it. Like you knew what you could do and you did it. Like you were not concerned with alleged boundaries but even as a teenager surfed on a ribbon of synthesis, of the divine and the modern and the eternal and the fashionable fused effortlessly and gloriously together, you did alright.
And now I chase you and your choruses of mermaid, your deep, your salty, your crumbling and galloping, your globe rolled up into a granule between your sticky fingers, the smell of the insane of your coat, the breaks in the speech where the sound of the microphone becomes noticeable. I feel dead.
I am glad in a way that you Mister were not a woman because I believe being born plain, that is, man, afforded you more time and energy to concentrate on the big things.
[teaser]”You can return, after you complete your work.”[/teaser]
I endeavor to collect the moist feathers you left on your cot. I want to stay in the dream so I can finish. There are “stripes” and “spots” in the air, and bubbles and hairs, little creatures and I cannot tell if they are real or just floaters on the surface of my own eyeballs, weird. Gingerly I slip my legs into your robe while you are in the shower. “It’s all just a way to ecstasy”.  But will you bet your life? Would you bet your life? Do you bet your life? Do you bet your life?
There is the question, as a poet I tackle, of whether or not I must speak the truth, like a prophet, whether I must be always engaged in an emancipatory gesture which knows what it’s doing before during and after, OR, if I can speak the truth of not what I BELIEVE but more what I SEE. You take that question, settle it steady and knock it unconscious with a single strike. I felt the love splice my heart like lightning splitting a wheel of soft cheese. I became an ocean at dinner. I settled as a fog over marvelous books in the library after hours, the blackness was a smile. The dope has worn off but my skin still glows like a worm. The line between daily and divine rite has been dissolved with a wink: your passport photo.
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Beneath this bed the caverns gather me like water
to throw me upon moth-eaten women
in a knot of newly born suns
The arrow that protrude from drunken animals
are swept away to the bottom of the sea
where the most handsome men stand barefoot
over their lovers’ bodies rent by young witches
whose hands are in gloves of stone
Sweet renegade, I am before you with burnt flesh
with a heart that wears only a mask born in great storms
to rest in your closet of pain
where a child’s body lies open to the hatchets of love
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[textwrap_image align=”right”]http://www.theoperatingsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/vanity-e1396877823498.jpg[/textwrap_image]Dia Felix is a writer and filmmaker. Areas of interest include romance, celebrity, obsession, decadence, modernity, and rock and roll. She has performed at venues including the Segue Series, Radar, and the Poetry Project, written for many blogs and online channels, and self-published some booklettes. Her first novel, “Nochita” will be published through City Lights/Sister Spit in early 2014. {Find tour dates HERE!}
Felix has worked for many museums and arts institutions as a digital media producer, with a particular emphasis in exploring the desires and obsessions which drive extraordinary creative accomplishments.She also works with young people as a filmmaking instructor and mentor.
Born and raised in Southern California, Felix lives in New York.
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