Over the last few days, I've realised that my usual approach to any of this doesn't work. Not really.
Harm and terror and pain and love and generosity and immense trust and sudden knives have all lived like loud and vibrant and the most exciting ghosts in my house for a long time now.
They have not completely gone. But they live here very differently now. The last few days.
And when I speak to friends, when I go to work and when I talk to the press and when I try to carve out space for myself and when I have the kinds of conversations about death no one ever knows how to have:
See, I am used to taking in the whole night sky and then imagining constellations. Knowing what I want to say, knowing the system of things, and then beginning.
As I've told a couple friends, this feels much more like being a child, naming the colour of the sky, then the colour of the grass, then trying to name what each is for. Or a new navigator in a hurricane: finding a star in a stormy, cloudy night sky, hoping it stays bright enough to write it down on the navigation chart, then moving on to the next one, gasping air when I can.
This is a space of naming, of communicating, of grief, of vibrant love, of care always and no shame or terror, anymore, at all.
I'm sorry, but this will not be a document of Chris or an appropriate eulogy or a coded guide to what he left behind. This is just the next stage of my blog. Grief and live and timefuck words.
It might look like nothing when it comes together. And I can't and won't worry about it.
Anyway. Enough of that. Let's begin.
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I had a dream, too. Your voice came on the radio and it was so, so, so too loud. It was a recording that doesn't exist from a poetry reading at CPT in 2002. No one else could hear it except the audience, which was also me, and I could not turn it off.
"Rejoice despite the fact this world will kill you. Rejoice despite the fact this world will tear you to Shreds. Rejoice despite the fact you're trying your best. And rejoice. The bed you sleep in is burning. Oh, rejoice. The sky's fucking falling. Oh, rejoice... Rejoice although this world will penetrate you. Rejoice although you will not survive. Rejoice. You'll never make it out alive."
"Getting naked and playing with guns...now I can see the playground for the trees. We'll kill the neighbour kid; show what our love actually means"
"No one will no how evil I really am. No one will know how evil I really am. 'Cause I like to wear disguises, and I like to disguise my plans. ... And no one will know just truly how I feel. And I can no longer differentiate between what is fake and what is real. ... To die with honour and comfort and dignity."
- The May 24, 2020 performance of the "Live from Quarantine" series by AJJ
Songs, in order, are "Rejoice," "Getting Naked, Playing With Guns," and "Evil."
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Griffyn reading (click to listen)
After Suicide, Matt Rasmussen, from the book Black Aperture, 2013
Tattoo finished 13 February 2018 by Matt Hunt at Modern Body Art
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"Dear Christopher. It is 8:01pm on May 28th 2021 as I write to you. I am sitting in our front room and it is once again filled with boxes. Your instruments are in the corner. The bookshelves still tower over me along the walls.
I'm packing up your things. I always imagined that if I did this, it would be because you had died. The scene looks very similar from the outside. Me perched on the edge of the couch or sitting on the floor, surrounded by a maze of piles and bags. Sometimes pushing through until late, unable to sleep. Sometimes sitting kind of frozen, too full of too many feelings and memories of you. But I didn't imagine it would feel like I had killed you"
Every instant, I've wished I could lessen the harm. There was never a good outcome to this."
"If you've gotten this far, I'm impressed. And thank you."
- A letter written from GG to CG following his arrest, on 28 May 2021
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03 June 21
Poem - Bruised
everything is bruised today
I do not want to be alone but
I want to be loved
and I scarcely bear anything in between
I did not think you would hold me again
But I thought I would feel you vibrating in the world
Like a spider,
Feeling the wind at the edge of the web
Knowing. It is not a fly or a frog or a bird
But finally something gentle, other
unknowable and resonant
go back to bed with something new
You lived in my bones
You will live in my bones
Which means you will be dead in my marrow
And death was heaviest for you but
Longer for me
I want to dream of you
I will never want to dream of you ever, ever again.
Last night I dreamt (AND THIS IS TRUE)
Last night I dreamt I heard your voice on the radio, so, so loud and from years ago, something I’d never heard
And it was / always had been dead in the way your eyes
Had decided to go in the last picture of you
But even in my dreams
In our wedding in our first date in the first time
I took my clothes off for you because
What else did I have did anyone have and
you are gone
You are always already gone
Second per second per second
Per square millimetres of capillaries burst
a spattering of transient cells blossoming