Sewerbot

Sparking arms, busted legs, broken heads, and smoking torsos, fell into the sewer with splashes and wet slaps. I listened from the top of the pile, upside down and pressed between a torso and a cement wall. I heard, above me, men return the cart to SynCorp’s loading dock. I paused for a few beats of silence and turned on my ocular lights.

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Arnold, Califronia, 1985

Wives pick through the avocados, press the rinds, sinking their thumbs into the meat to ensure that this one will produce quality guacamole. In the carts, small children wind their fingers around their metal cages, burn their palms on the nylon safety belts better suited for suicide. Where are the husbands? The only man in sight stands behind the chilled meat counter. He leans now, over the grinder, making sausages. His hand rests on the control, missing an index finger, perhaps an accident that someone has served on a plate of hors d’ouerves two plates down from the guacamole. Almost unseen, a teenager with unnaturally blonde hair sweeps the floors, down each aisle in an easy, angled movement that dances under the wheels of the carts, the only sound the leather pants she wears in defiance of the dress code. The one she tells her manager she would follow if only the job provided health insurance and now she slips a pack of Virginia Slims from behind the counter and steps outside. Nearly invisible, and she promises herself she only took the pack because wages are so low they really stole them from her anyway.

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The Barista Who Could See the Future

This video is part of Adam Turl's installation, The Barista Who Could See the Future, on display as part of the Exposure 19: Jumbled Time exhibition at Gallery 210 in St. Louis through December 2, 2017 (also featuring artists Lizzy Martinez and Stan Chisholm). The installation and short video “documentary” above center around the story of Alex Pullman – a coffee shop worker and artist who claimed he had visions of the future. A zine accompanying the installation, supposedly written by Pullman, reads as follows.

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Tribe, Art, God, Change and Survival: an allegory, a primer, a to-do list

The question “what can a poem (actually) do?” has been a part of the philosophical debate about art for a long time. It is impossible to know when it was first asked, but I’m willing to bet that it had something to do with the onset of the Industrial Age, and the coming of age of Capitalism. That the lack of a definitive answer, or any recognizable material profit tied to its production hasn’t stopped people from either writing or reading it, is probably answer enough, but in the Fall of 1977, I moved from Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies to Winnipeg, Manitoba – the MidWest of Canada. My step-father was working with the Canadian government and so, we were migrating. 

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