Cement Steps To Sunset

Can Sicken This Suddenly??

Hill To Sunset

Had Totest mySerum

Room 31 x 42

My finger won’t bend, I am using my thumb to press 8; my middle finger to insert OB tampons; my middle and index finger to masturbate in South Philadelphia; and my other hand for carrying the umbrella and phone; it’s raining; and when my right hand bent just back there around a papercup at Ultimo coffeeshop, these fingers didn’t return from its cupshape—so a problem comes combining. Can arthritis come like that all of a sudden into things even such like lightning? because I have felt (strong, bright, and grounded) like a little faggot of lightning, if you were to reclaim the word to mean a bundle of kindling as Ryan White reported to have understood about that word (at first) when it was called to him, and he was confused by his neighbors, like someone (neighbors) calling a bird down to burn. The right pointer finger becomes my first problem, and now my finger actually forms a knob where the bend should be unctuously enough kneeling, and it’s a shame not to use it, the pointerfinger, to come by myself in my underwear anylonger, how you could just say to it: Pointerfinger, be the coltish bow in the underwear all morning!; even in the first room I ever had in Germantown, Philadelphia, I would have said such things to myself, in the morning, to the finger like the self like a pulsing stick of selfstuff protracting like a subseries out of brain; even as a child, I really liked to order that finger (in particular) around: Make me come, you faggot, you bundle of lightning that the self stokes and the brain it inflames. The ivy fairies were on the ivy wall outside, when I looked out and in my childhood bed came so regularly, so morningly + ocularly ravished all of the time by mutable ivy, humanable like that like a polished green knee on the neighbor’s wall, a leaf emerald dark as the green lake when it is full of all of the drowned ink. But a dapple would come on when I came hard in the morning, in my childhood on a lark in the a.m., and it—dapple—would bleed bubbles and coins and arms of light.

Dry Tunnel

Darkest Turtleshellonbrightair




So Hard Abletogetanyblood? IwasFaintingat Thelab



North Hill St. 

Not Having Serumenoughfor16tubesitjuststops.

Room 21 x 42

I can’t find money, so I’ll make it from leaves + emails, and coffeeshops and letters like Van Gogh’s to his brother Theo asking for money (for materials). Though he was sick—sick!—of coffeeshops that devastated his spirit, and home grows better the more induced violet the more capacious axe. He wrote: one is fortunate indeed if in present-day society one can live in fairly normal surroundings and has no need to resort to a coffee-house existence. In my room in South Philly, I have a boxy glass desk that you shouldn’t write stones from, don’t, or any aphorisms, and there’s the fucking horrible window: there they are as I see them, my neighbors in their window on their toilet, twice in an hour, their frosted glass not being congested enough, not compact, not frozen this frost but it’s loose against the moving and material the opacity the matte of their clearest selves, their wiping their asshole self; I report to Ultimo for a lavender latte, to be twee, and free, and confused with something else. I write to my mom asking for help with the bloodtest cost.



North Portal Of Broadway Tunnel

Not Pleased But soTerrifiedandannoyed

Room 25 x 23

Knobs on my joints now and feet are shot; I’m puffed in my feet-balls like a bird’s breast I have seen as she is shitting there. And there. At LabCorp I present my doctor’s order for 16 tests. A woman who has been drawing blood by herself all morning takes me to the Lie Down Room. She selects 16 jumbo vials for blood, like supertampon in size. She swaddles one vial in a heating swab, the blood has to remain hot for this is the biggest test, the hottest, costliest, the vial wider than a supertampon for a human, Medusa’s, Grendel’s mom’s supertampon . . . She says, “Why did your doctor order so many tests?” I tell her sheepishly what I could have. As a sheep I’ve failed, not having succeeded in convincing any of these humansbeings to give me a haircut in lieu of a blood act. They put me on my stomach and press. It’s going to cost thousands of dollars to keep this largest tube heated and then caress my diseases with heat into digits—you tell me I can’t have kids? My brain inflames my fingers. I tell her, “I might have like five different autoimmune diseases.” She says, “I mean you’re too small for all of these at one time and your doctor should have considered that, but he’s a man.” She proceeds, follows the order, we get pinned beneath that together. The flow stops and we have to wait with the needle in me, the pile-up of people in this hospital district having flowed out of eight original hospitals into this Laboratory Corp wondering where the fuck she is—the Lie Down Room is separate, we’re together—and I tell the blood to “come on, just go to her” but it’s effective as talking to a neighbor’s dog. And I fall down in the Lie-Down chair. After she succeeds, and into the second hour of deathfloating (in the Lay-Z-boy for lazysheep), I find a way to rise and to find her, and say goodbye, thanks. She says, taking a pregnant person’s blood, who has to check her fetus, “I’m worried about you making it back.” She indicates my helmet. I say I’ve used the bikeshare program, have no real bike, or income, and I’ll make another way across the city of Philadelphia. There’s a bridge. I talk with a fearsome amount of deliberation as if it’s hard to hold The Orange. She says, “God bless you,” and I will take the false positive.



Water in Room 54 ft x 34 ft

You’re meant to stay inside a story. A story is enough. Its spaciousness is enough. With your metis, your brand. There’s room enough. I wake to write this down—an energizing anguish in the rolling corridor of a dream. I wake. In the Powelton Village bathroom, to give the other person in the bed some peace, I’m hurting this into diaryform using some different fingers than usual around the pen—for what? What story? Darling, we are no longer on the dairy farm. The bathroom is the best place, most spacious for me with its lock. A bathroom is the room most prone to having a miraculous little thing, a lock! It’s devastating, isn’t it, when you visit it, and it doesn’t? And the shower! You womb with height. What is written in the middle of the night?: That I wanted to write. My right foot hurts. It has been hurting, searing, stampeding into sleep. I don’t write a story: I can’t sleep.





New Civic Center Building Site

Nebulous Caterpillarnests Creamstiffenough Bluewhitish Silkandyankedhexagonsandsexagonsenough

Water in Room 57 x 37

A lizard doesn’t have a disease; it is the disease of how it survives. There is no woman or man; we die on the spectrum of surviving; the body bends a mad coloring into orbit because it has to do that. It can do it. When she warms my blood in the 16th tube, it’s because I’m a coldblooded woman. A paragraph is a room.

Lower Tunnel

Last Timesforwhatthings,walking?

Dry Tunnel

Dark Tubestheblackenedindigothatfillsthemislikelakefluidnotblood,likelightninglightingmyblooddied

Key Room

Eno argues: “Why are we talking about Freud’s conceptions of the feminine still, and this stupid thing Freud says, right here, about women having only invented weaving + plaiting, and that’s it? That’s their only contribution? Let’s talk about Harriet Tubman.” Why wouldn’t she come into this room, at any time—is a story safe? Is a classroom anymore safe? I don’t mean guns, I can’t mean the guns that can come in at any time that make me mention them: but is a classroom safe anymore from women’s real inventions? When she was a witch, when she was burned like a faggot—only one woman left in two of the Trier villages of 1585—she, with her midwifery her empiricism, had already invented all the real medicine. Eno is annoyed with his Freud-packet; he puts his packet off the table. We are sitting in a semi-hopeful circle. He has a lisp, and a hearing aid. He says, “Whythefuck are we still talking about penis envy right now? Why are we learning any of this? Are we saying that Harriet Tubman envied what? A dick? She invented Polaris because she didn’t want a map.”

For more information about this piece, see this issue's legend.

Caren Beilin is the author of The University of Pennsylvania (Noemi Press, 2014) and Americans, Guests, or Us (New Michigan Press, 2012). She lives in Philadelphia.

Baring and 37th St., Philadelphia

In-approximate intersection of my home in Philadelphia—only worthy underworlds are at home. In-approximate address given because they all go away if visitors. "The underworld is my oyster" - John Balance