01 Delivered

02 On Hold

03 Terpsichore

04 Forget (Frozen Music #2)

I grew up with a lot of music where Rhythm is an abstraction of decorum. It dictates how you moved in relation to other people and your surroundings, to say nothing of how you move to the music itself either as a listener or performer. Decorum is the operative word here, because those movements and patterns are entrenched, sanitized, and prescribed. Listening is about a lot, but it’s in part about consenting or affirming this kind of code. It’s easy enough to count to four and follow along, but if you listen differently you start to hear knottier patterns. I’m interested in those sounds that get ironed out, and in general my work interrogates the tension between these natural rhythms and the more sanitized ones. For Fungiculture, I opted to highlight this facet of my music in composing these four pieces. — MO

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DELIVERED

bed stuy is blue and
white bicycles shining
boy-colored on chipped
paint. you are texting me
from the sky, your bubble
my bubble, your bubble
dotssss. the women
emerging from winter
wear light clothes that fit
tighter now. the in-flight
entertainment is making
you cry. the sun roars
down on my skin which
wants to fuck yours. the
bicycle swerves snakelike
playing a man’s voice out
the handlebars. he is
preaching a new word. my
pores sigh for your pores,
for the flesh cupping your
eyes seeing car crawl you
text me about. i stick my
tongue in every corner’s
mouth. who’s going faster?
man’s voice out handlebars,
my loose lips, or your vessel?
in each media you send
i seek the less you you,
the droplets displaced by
your cannonball, your
shadow on pavement
showing the arc of your
hands making the shot.
all that you effect upon
nature beaming down
on me. the sky behind
my eyes turns skeletal
in the glow change of
the sun. we women
wild in the backyard,
tomatoes having been
planted and mushroom
tea drank. she pegs a
plane for a shooting star
so each time one
passes we cry, there
goes another!
she kisses me on the
mouth for the first time
since we were children
it was irresistible to us
what’s behind the bubbling
that must be released
through lips? i warned you
i’d be wet for world
come spring. itinerant love
junkie, hyper-present,
hooked. when you picked
me up off the sidewalk and
placed me on your
shoulder, lofted  above
spiders and smokers,
rats and cracks i used
one twelfth of my mind to
steady myself and the rest
locked logging the view

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The poem DELIVERED is interested in temporal binding — how the brain absorbs differing sensory experiences received at different speeds and processes them into experienced reality. I was thinking about the stopwatch theory of time, which posits that the brain emits a steady stream of pulses subconsciously tallied by the mind over a given interval. Research indicates the our brains run multiple stopwatches simultaneously.

DELIVERED is interested in not only the sensory perceptions of its speaker, but also the consciousness of other people traveling on other vessels. The use of vessels in the poem is a play on the speed of consciousness. How can we conceive of the coming together of the experiences of individuals existing at different speeds absorbing the present separately into differing consciousnesses? How can a poem get at any of this at all?

David Eagleman says:

“There is a distinct survival advantage to operating as close to the present as possible; an animal does not want to live too far in the past. Therefore, the tenth-of- a-second window may be the smallest delay that allows higher areas of the brain to account for the delays created in the first stages of the system while still operating near the border of the present. This window of delay means that awareness is postdictive, incorporating data from a window of time after an event and delivering a retrospective interpretation of what happened.”

I like to think that the poet voice’s active positioning in the present could be an evolved survival mechanism. The utter lack of evidence to support this idea of mine does not diminish my delight in it. DELIVERED wants to position the poet voice in a multi-speed, multi-perceived center, and amidst that buzzing, interrogate what Eagleman calls the postdictive nature of awareness. — ES