Epi baguettes are hula hoops, and I bleed from the waist, red and hot in Bologna. I want to make a tunnel from the middle of a room, red. It goes out.
I have let myself become mounted to a plaque. If not, I wouldn’t be positioned. And without position, I’d be isolated, I’d be like a tunnel myself, standing there like a fire hydrant. Why would you add a tunnel to a tunnel?
A tunnel can’t come from a tunnel. So: a tunnel has to come from something flat. I needed this system, with parts dynamic in scale and kind. So backed against walls, standing in place, I held sticks. I would lift a stick, and add another one to it. I would keep adding, until I got it to fit the plaza, almost exactly. I used thicker or thinner ones, depending on what I needed. I pointed them outward and traced them over the edges of the place. I reached all the corners, and went around all the furniture, and fixtures, like cafe tables and chairs, benches, papers, leaves, garbage. I was very thorough. I would even address the flakes of masonry that a wall was getting ready to shed. Or go out into side streets off the plaza to describe them as well, going farther and farther and returning to parts to cover more and more detail.
It never worked. I would always drop the broom and it would break. Eventually it would be difficult to hold up and keep it moving. And I would become despondent then. All that work, falling and breaking on the ground. It was a pristine agony. I had nothing to do but sit, and wait, until eventually I always got to trying it again. And I got good at it, doing it over and over, always getting better.
But I didn’t know I was going about it all wrong, and that this whole thing, me making tunnels, would really only work like a game of monkey in the middle. I couldn’t become flat for a tunnel. I realized I needed to let my back have some room behind it. I needed to receive something from the backside, but still be able to see out the front. I needed something like anal sex. I needed to be filled from the back but keep room in front, in case I got so filled I would shoot out tunnels myself, red, orange, all colors, green.
It turns out I am stainless steel, about the size of a commercial espresso maker, and I have a built-in box casing with an open front. In Bologna, city of porticos, I’m set down on the ground near cafe tables and chairs. Underneath me is black, dirty, a tabac to the right, rigatoni. A noodle fell off the table onto the ground next to me. If it rolls, pasta sauce will smear my side. Cigarette stubs lie about, next to Paolo Atti & Figli. Bomboloni, raviolini alla crema, and I am looking out at the street, ready. I rest on a Bologna sidewalk, under cover of a portico, which I no longer have use for. Like a portico, my back is closed and my front is open. The edges of the box are bolted together. What’s in front of me doesn’t know much about me, which is more or less okay since it only moves away. I’m an Italian made machine` that makes colors now, with no anterior view, a portico in little, a mobile portico.
And so I am overflowing, and surmounting my sides are colors. I have already overflown my portico, and I would do the same in any of the porticos I have ever been in. Orange, green, blue, red, my colors move out. I am looking around me, and I am so enthralled watching these colors that I don’t notice I’m no longer under a portico. I have had to move away from the wall to make space for them. I’m in the middle of this place now. And I don’t even take a look at the perimeter to see if there are porticos at the sides. I wouldn’t know if there are umbrellas, awnings, covered doorways or overhangs here at all because I am busy watching these colors.
My new circumstance, then, (the portico has been obliterated)—my new circumstance engenders colors begotten. And I wonder if it might have been possible to just have a few kids and get on with it, and save this whole elegy. Anal sex wouldn’t help with that, though. I’m in Rome. My rigatoni, my bucatini, oiled. Guanciale, Grana Padano, I breathe up dirt. A bathtub of tomatoes, acid and fat, acid and fat. Acid and fat. My parents let me pick out a book from the English bookstore, and from the sculpted corner of the fountain, in this Piazza, windows independent of buildings or walls, with nothing to brace myself on, coming from me, red.
I place letters on colors. Amber spaghetti from caves in Poland shatter like honey sticks. P, d, I place on yellow. My thread is gold. I am Rapunzel, I face my open window and my back is surrounded by my room. I let myself down on a chariot made of my own hair and I lay down on the ground I had just been looking at.
I think it’s because I have let myself become mounted to a plaque. Someone won, and fixed me there hanging up. The flat plane behind me, extending up, down, right, left, all ways, is my pictorial background. I press back into it to go forward like a slingshot. The elastic potential kinetic energy is unlimited, though, unlike a rubber band. I press into plenitude until I am so filled by it that something red shoots out the front of me.
The thing that is a vertical plane behind me is my circumstance. It’s colored peach and yellow, with tight patterns of blue and green, and patterns of red. And I will only “go red” here, in this peach circumstance. It piques like dabs of silicone and recedes like burlap, abundant, collecting in the corners of a high school's theater stage and pulled across its middle.
This circumstance has a high probability of movement in it. It does not move, but it’s hard not to describe it that way, as moving. And I am the circumstance for red tunnels, only as I press against this yellow and peach circumstance, in which I have position.
I guess that I am a result that required no effort. We overlap, trios in succession, a structure guaranteed by looking only ahead. I am the result of provocation from the flatness behind my flatness. I make nothing. The miniature chocolate chips in my scone stay liquified even at room temperature. My bike is locked across the street, and I think the homeless woman outside is American. She sits in the middle of No-Name Plaza, her belongings in a toroidal mess. Solitude blossomed here, with habits practiced for the good part of a life by me, an art student, folded into the inheritance of an early-to-rise sleep schedule, and the inheritance of wire transfers from First Republic Bank. I walk to the river in order to cross it to Sachsenhausen.
There are rings of yellow all over the ground and they’re illuminated. The centers protrude up and are brighter white mixed with some yellow, like light. They are light. There are many small suns on the ground. This is a candy land. Pink is laid above the ground in a wide stripe. The stripe isn’t on the ground though, it hovers a ways above it. It’s a pink area. It might move, at any time, slowly or fast, extending like a Zamboni fan, one end faster than the other, dragging like a paint brush. Above it in a higher register is orange mixed with just a little pink.
Above that is a deep orange, long and wide at part. People walk through these planes and blend in to them, walking through, which is fun and beautiful. The bright orange register, especially.
There’s water to drink. And close to the water are lots of black pens. And beside the new black pens, is a cup of mixed-up, used pens. There is water, and there are pens and colors. Peach rings are suns and they line the ground. No one has ever had candy before, though, or heard of candy. There are colors, the colors peach and yellow, and pink and orange, and my own colors. And I move, but I don’t chew. But what is the mouth for, then? It opens and closes. Opening makes a deep breath. But no speech. Which is why there are all the pens.
I have located my appetite to be at my rear, but my mouth is in the front. I want things I can’t see. And I want things that I don't have to look at. I only need to see if I go red. My stomach, my colon, connects my rear to my mouth. But all I have is water, anyway, so I go back to front.