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  • theaptPORTFOLIO

    theaptSHOWS


    January 17, 2012

    (theaptBROADCAST novelist-in-training divad q. nead is back from his year in shanghai. his return ride is worth the trip…)

    complimentary scotch is the only way to lubricate an international extraction. this particular journey “home” necessitated more than my usual two nip share. at some point in the fourteen hour flight from pudong airport in shanghai, the flight attendants quit charging me for the bottles as long as i stashed them out of sight. they stopped giving me ice, as i just sipped from the bottle. by the time the wheels had touched down in newark, i could have made a nice candlepin lane arrangement of dewars white label screw tops.

    it was three hours till new year’s eve when i hit customs for my connection. the agent was pit bull built and my jersey shore stereotype generator began winding its springs.

    “what was the purpose of your visit in china,” he asked, not making eye contact, staring at my chinese visa. it still looked fresh in its place on the page. had i aged?

    “drinking,” a disembodied voice replied, while my mouth said “teaching.”

    “welcome home, mr. stone.” he handed my passport back to me, again without making eye contact. i could have stuck my tongue out at him, but this is jersey.

    as i walked the concourse, i thought about the six cuban robusto cigars i had in my carry-on luggage. i wanted to be searched. i wanted to lie to the authorities.

    america, i have nothing to declare!

    apparently, on new year’s eve, nobody in the united states wants to be working at an airport. six months of staring contests with the greater peasant population of shanghai and now nobody in this empty american airport would curiously glare at me, check out my shoes. my chinese fashion show was over.

    at my connection gate, an airline employee was telling a group of confounded chinese tourists to back up, step back and give him some room behind his largely empty desk. they had their passports and tickets out, waving them like they were on fire. america wants to see your papers. show us your papers.

    “what is with these people tonight,” i saw him say to a patiently waiting first class white traveler.

    i desperately wanted to walk over and shoot my mouth off about freedom and liberty. instead, i made a call to grandma on a pay phone.

    “if you go away again, then i’m going too,” she said, definitely referring to death, in her 92nd year. she’s a dry, depression-era humor kind of woman.

    “don’t worry, grandma, there’s no way i can go back again.” was i lying? yes, i was lying. lying over pay phones feels easier than mobile phones. the slam of the receiver validates the transgression, like in the movies.

    three police officers met me at the airport. sadly, i wasn’t being arrested, but taken to a bar for celebration. i had my gray don draper suit in my luggage, but no cuff links.

    “did you remember the cuff links,” i asked my brother, one of the three cops.

    “no, i can’t even find my own,” he said as i handed him three cigars.

    he sort of looked around like some omniscient customs officer was watching the handoff.

    “these are perfect grease for the captain,” he said, referring to my contraband.
    //MORE

    June 22, 2011

    tol06202011

    a salty dog beyond the dunes, divad q. nead returns with his late father’s day card (hand-lettered), a tomato and grilled impressionism cheese [sandwich] re.view of terence malick’s masterwork (another?) ‘the tree of life’.

    the 19th hour closed in on itself. i tapped my chuck on the corner of brighton and harvard, hailing the invisible asian cabs that i still see in my mind when fate waves the haitans past me, stuck dumb in the weekday pre-rain. custom jacket, bag slung with two giant sapporo reserves in tow, i waved and flailed, failing to haul marlin or sailfish, whatever fish the boston cabs seem to be  these days. ‘how ’bout a little leg, or pee wee’s gag thumb?’ i thought. no chance. my quarry was malick’s ‘tree of life’, newly screening at the art deco house just up the street from overpriced korean joints in allston village. barely a whisper beyond wells’s flash takes had been past my eyes since i returned from the missile peninsula. i was to go in quite green.

    //MORE

    October 12, 2010

    sdfentrance101210

    still reeling after his expulsion from the shanghai expo,
    we roused divad q. nead from a deep autumnal eames
    coma to cover the seoul design fair 2010. heavy doses of bayer,
    ethiopian sidamo, a nova scotian blonde got him through
    two weekends of crack reporting and serious photojourno.

    *

    design for all

    designforall101210

    good morning. my two-day walkabout into all corners of design at the seoul design fair [9.17 to 10.7] had me neck deep in an overwhelming world of physical objects along with a bevy of real time inspirations fleshing-out in rapid succession. despite my brown belt in film festivals and conventional museum shows, this fair was a first for my eyes, as I’d never gone beyond the alessi or kartell showrooms in greater seoul. much of what i covered for the apartment were firsts, breaking an eggshell sense of the design world. it’s been over a year since i began to mull wallpaper* over lunch breaks, eating back issues that i found on sale in the subway stations. imagine a porn lover’s virgin foray into the avn awards and you get an idea of what i went through while swimming my salmon way through the crowds under the concrete corridors of the venue. there was something to be seen in 360 degrees, on both the x and y axis. it was a dizzying, sublime, and educational affair.

    360 degree video of the venue

    while operating under the guise of an educator for more than two years, life here on the korean peninsula is an odd arrangement of both homogenous apartment architecture and socket fucking gem discoveries like alvaro siza’s anyang pavilion. despite the impressive leaps in public and private design greatness here in korea in the last 10 years, life here still operates under the rapidity of industrialization and therefore, little consideration for nuance and detail. few notice the undercurrent of brilliant design that is growing in the wings while samsung designs their iphone killer or hyundai pours another denture of high rises. as a grade school teacher and daily witness to the nature of toy design, pencil utility, and anything on a micro scale, i have come to see the absolute necessity for design to reach into the mediocrity of our spaces, to touch the common consumer. during the fair, i spent more time in the seoul design market, where young korean students and some accomplished small business owners sold their wares, than at any other venue. the crowds would agree that there more eye-time was being spent on a single felt brooch or clever cup holding device than on any chair by poltrona frau. the truth is always in the traffic. i followed the deer paths.

    not to disparage the mighty italians or the other leagues of high-design characters, but once i hit the grassy pitch splayed out between venues and saw people, average citizens of the city, thumbing through a fantastic new notebook, trying out new pens, or just holding a simple rubber coaster, admiring the work that went into it’s manufacture, that is where i saw the fair’s motto, design for all, come into being. granted there were luxurious industrial and house ware pieces from taiwan to oslo that had me gawking, it was the congregation of citizens, coming and going, taking what they could, that represented the best of what the fair had to offer. without a price for admission, and an organizational model that allowed for fluid, discovery-based wandering, the fair [which actually spanned several city locations] was a chance for the laypeople to get a high on the best and a touch of the ordinary. nothing at the fair, for me, was lost in translation, that is, except for my subtle korean flirting at behest of some blissfully bored exhibit attendants. i just had to bother somebody.

    i milled and caroused, shot admiring smiles at the craftspeople lining the halls, collected business cards, and together enjoyed the rare opportunity to lie on cool grass amidst a congested city, sifting through our pictures, sharing the reflections on this chair and that table. the field of design may be daunting, but it can also be extraordinarily meditative. we are constantly and unknowingly evaluating the pieces of physical material that compose our domesticated existence. here are my considered reflections from my time within the corridors of the event. click through the links for further information, video, and links to more discovery.

    *

    freshly pressed and packing new muji tools, i arrived under the auspicious eaves
    of kim swoo geun’s olympic stadium with sugarplum fairy dreams of injection
    molded plastics and norwegian furniture haunting my temporal lobes. the venue,
    modeled after a joseon dynasty porcelain vase stands as an imposing, yet elegant
    stage for a design symposium. guides were offered for the mission minded, but i chose
    to let my intuition do the walking, landing first on the stadium’s open playing field
    holding some of the best grass seoul has to offer with no drug pun intended.

    sdfmouth101210

    operating under the motto design for all, it appeared that there were as many curious citizens strolling
    with family as there were design enthusiasts hunting for inspiration. as one who considers design
    to be considerably social at its core, the stadium offered one a chance to approach and
    retreat from the exhibits, taking intermittent respite on one of the many lounging areas
    throughout the complex. the first piece to strike my fancy was a piece by byung-hoon choi in the korea-china-japan exhibition.

    bhchoi101210

    a composition of wood and stone, the piece reflected the numerous totems i have seen scattered throughout the mountains, stones placed carefully on top of one another as a testament to balance, a welcome departure
    from scandinavian linear aesthetic that i have found myself digesting over the past year. dining ware by masahiro mori of japan, was a standout in this venue, namely a fine collection of rice bowls

    mmoritwo101210

    and tabletop sets meant to fit together in a larger geometric pattern. the joining of the plates was a touch that struck a novel nerve as i have never considered the arrangement of plates on a table as a matter of geometry.

    mmori101210

    furthering my penchant for all things both organic and japanese, the suki by masayuki kurokawa
    represented the best example, along with products from karimokujp, of any traditional chair i saw during the fair.

    suki101210

    the 2010 living collection, featuring some of korea’s furniture potential caught a long look from yours truly, namely kim kyung lae’s couple bench and accompanying table. check out his outstanding lighting for a wow.

    kklae101210

    moving on through the other venues, i spotted alessandro & francesco mendini’s “tronspired”
    ramun chandelier rocking 11,000 rgb led inside the seoul brands design exhibiton,
    along with lg hausys and their cutting-edge acrylic hi-macs materials, a future look at your thermoformed world. continuing into the cycle design festival, my pedal fetish had its attention gripped on the two italian wheels of an abici cycle, noting a leather saddle I couldn’t resist touching. abici also makes wooden handles for their models, which I find to cut right along with my resurgent organic interests in all things handheld.

    abici101210

    the world design industry exhibit contained a fine showing of a personal favorite, swiss poster typography, notably pieces by david carson, jiri oplatek, and armin hofmann.

    carson101210

    norway got the merit badge for hospitality with its fantastic collection of lumbar friendly furniture in their please take a seat exhibit, featuring the best chairs in the kingdom.

    plstkseat101210

    such as classic pieces as the falcon by sigurd resell & fredrik a. kayser’s 711 had me more than once offering a longer-than-necessary pause, while the 2010 nor by steinar hindenes and petter knudsen was a contemporary favorite more for it’s mod classroom charm than it’s clean lines. germany made a nice showing at the dmy berlin showcase, featuring lighting by pluma cubic, makers of fine feathered shades for the swan fetishist in his parlor-come-aviary.

    pluma101210

    abutting the industry exhibit was the world design collection, in which the lighting from foscarini, the wagashi wall lamp designed by massimo gardone and luca nichetto was an eye-level standout, affixed to the wall like floral lampshade eyes.

    wagashi101210

    marc sadler’s twiggy floor lamp, arching over francesco binfaré’s flap adjustable white leather lounge was a fine combination of two long curving lines intersecting on different axes. cube or pebble illuminated floor lighting was also very present in the exhibit, namely arik levy’s meteor pieces for straight out of superman’s fortress of solitude and michele de lucci’s dioscuri tavolo 350 for artemide.

    before departing the corridors of design’s best, i took one last gander at daddy eames and then made for the market for one more shop stop. we breezed past a flurry of industrial design plans for seoul. this year our fine city was named world design capital 2010 and it seems that there are major plans in the works to bring some much needed flair to the non-stop rock and roll of concrete and rebar that dots the skyline from any vantage point. back on the field before sundown, a calm had come over the last of the revelers and a light rain fell. cutting out, back into the parking lot, my company and i mused over our heavy bags of handmades, microdesigns, and flyers. the best score of the day was a comprehensive catalog from the best stop in the seoul design market

    designmarket101210

    bound in card stock with a manila envelope styled string closure, the book contains scores of small design products from design tag, a collection of some of my favorite artisans and it is already bent at the binding. if there’s one good lesson learned from this year’s seoul design fair it’s that good design on a small scale is always within reach, could be the cup holding your charcoal pencils or the binder enclosing your travel journal. either way, take the time to consider the objects that form the outlines of your material life, be a frequent patron to the budding designers who build your favorites, and buy their work while it’s hot. it’s good to be first.

    dqnsig101210

    dqn

    July 29, 2010

    inceptionposter

    part one

    bucking the draw of delving into sleep post calisthenics,
    divad q. nead hastily surfaces in hogye with the bends
    and depressurizes to christopher nolan’s “inception”,
    a haute couture jaunt into the subconscious of dreams.

    down from a run in the foothills in a humid summer rain, fighting
    sleep, i ventured deep into the love motel district of old bisan to catch
    chris nolan’s first original screenplay since “following”, which I recalled
    struck me as wonderfully paranoid and thickly thieving b&w british.
    packed bag with gun, sandwiches, and three asahi premium cans,
    i rose eight floors into the old kinex 10 gone corporate, stuck sardine
    in the lift with florally tinctured local girls, some holding the wrists of
    their friendos. i was late for the meet, but ju-lee had the spots sorted
    and we hunkered into a couple’s seat [double-wide], reclining opposite
    elbows, digging the corn. it was then that she sighed and said, “why not
    the imax, daw-ling?”, to which i replied, “have you the legs for seoul, doll?”

    neither of us could have waited the 40 ride into the limbo of yongsan-gu,
    and therefore we took the local cine-paltry with its cheap sound & digital
    projection. there’s just no arguing with a perfect friday night film for two.
    ju-lee cracks her first can and jostles for elbow room. fast-forward through a
    bevy of discussions regarding the architecture of dreams, a palaver on
    mazes between page and leo, and i’m left wondering just how good this
    flick is going to get on my first viewing. my billfold jumps up from my back
    pocket and says, “you’re in for two views, nead, better get comfy.” i slap at
    my leather baby and it retreats. ju-lee pulls out her trusty red penlight
    and begins to jot notes, which then turn into birds. i nod off. i’m three rows
    away from her, front and center. on the screen “the seventh seal”, yet the
    role of antonius block is strangely played by my mother. ju-lee reaches three
    rows with her long octopus arms and pulls me back into my seat. i wake.
    my beer is full, my socks are wet, shoes dry. a lapping tide brushes my
    feet and i look to her for a towel. on screen cotillard rages stuck in limbo.

    leo and jgl are telling us something about keeping our minds fit for dreams.
    i’m recalling how the foothills earlier that night reeked of charcoal, broken
    stems. not caring much for this film as foreplay, but its doing a damn
    good job of keeping me thinking. ju-lee, her hair now red like joanie, turns to
    me and says, “well, yes, i am going to have you write a thesis.” my beer is
    always full. the caramel of our popcorn tastes like a circus, everything’s gone
    gray in the theater. we watch the limbo of leo and mal crumble under time,
    or whatever “time” is supposed to be in this film. i think i need a math break,
    a bathroom too, perhaps. fight scenes with jgl in zero g lead me to believe
    that i’m not actually watching anything connected to itself, just thinking a lot.

    standing in the darkness to my left, ju-lee hands me a torch, we walk through
    a green exit sign and into my apartment. she points to the wall where i see
    a vintage poster for fellini’s “8 1/2″. “it’s not the film you thought it was,” she says
    in perfect provençal. “when did you learn french?” i ask, but we’re back in our
    seats, the film is definitely coming to an end. a van hits the water, everyone is
    asleep in the theater and on the screen. i have faint doubts that any of this
    is happening, but ju-lee puts her hand on my leg and squeezes. “that felt
    real enough,” i say under my breath. lights up, the crowd moves to the one
    exit that doesn’t lead to my apartment. ju-lee takes my hand, her hair back
    to black. we step into the central park fountain outside the exit. i wake to the
    rain, pants off, having never left my room. my mobile phone quietly vibrating.

    from bed i see the clock reading 10. i’ve dreamed my way through the show. i sit up.
    “inception” served me itself in a dream of itself. ju-lee on the line, she says, “i waited
    for you through the previews then walked from the theater. did you sleep through my
    calls, divad?” it felt real enough. on my bureau, two tickets for wednesday’s imax,
    she laughs over the phone, and we make plans to meet later for dancing, drinks.

    part two

    reeling from his dreamed-through peyote vision of
    the film, divad q. nead finally digests christopher
    nolan’s “inception”, favoring the waking life angles,
    taking stock of techniques, and most certainly staying
    awake for the film itself. the dream deferred until now.

    off a 40 ride into seoul’s deep reaches, to a cinema bolstered
    by pink [read: red] light windows and whores, i ventured high
    into row m, seat 7 for an imax showing quick on the heels
    of my local teatro fever dream of “inception”. sans ju-lee, her
    dream self detained by sleep in hogye, my eyes accompanied
    me along with an ipad of naysayish prose from a.o. scott & david
    denby. it’s enough to say that the web’s spoil-heavy reviews
    trump the need for taking this long-player into the evening, but
    as a steward of taste, i dropped the extra twelve on the big john
    imax and sat for a second go at nolan’s as of yet opus operandi.

    zimmer begins with enfolding brass, inquisitive minds will discover
    the brilliance of this thematic defilade upon digging for edith piaf’s
    presence throughout the film, including muse cotillard gone alex
    forrest. brought before wanatabe, dicaprio’s opening lines define
    the film without any of the following wizardry. he asks us for, “a leap of
    faith”. the audience & george michael gotta have it. to re.view this
    film without a dvd screener for pause/replay is akin to humping a
    typewriter into saving your novel in triplicate. it can’t be done. yet
    as a dutiful scribe, i want to fondly convey the absolute attention
    this film deserves from levels neither you nor i have yet to ascribe.
    in cocteau’s “orpheus”, for example, the director trusts that his
    audience will think actively, noting themes, a radio’s music, par
    exemple, working it out on their feet. “inception” is a rubix.

    nolan has been challenging the line of storytelling since “memento”,
    a film, if you remember, that required countless viewings, and took
    weeks to digest. thick, richly drawn stories with reflexive arcs
    move audiences to thought, and not just that rot-gut emotion that
    i recall my mother so dearly loved in “bridges of madison county”,
    but that ugly brother part of art appreciation called “participatory
    aesthetics”. “inception” got rough on my pals for all the right
    reasons, and this is by no means a defense. what schlump wants
    to defend art that makes bucks in the first? if you’re the chad-type
    who’s tip-toing along the western lines of film canon, taking your
    “i see dead people” to new levels every time someone flips you
    the bird, or you’re the kind putting down a foster wallace novel
    to check “ask metafilter” for a new pithy thread or clever commentary,
    then this killer blockbuster is going to sweep kick you into a morita
    healing session from which you’ll never slap hands/rub/recover.

    you, swarthy digestif drinker, you’re going to sit through “inception”,
    step from the theater after halting your applause, and think, “did
    i really just love that for the wrong reasons”, as i duplicitously did.
    you, cuing bill evans on the ipod ride home, will consider nolan’s many
    homages in the film, strung together throughout his plot, and executed
    with minimal adherence to an sort of guileless smiling, you’ll applaud.
    detractors, those in the back row checking their sms whilst leo sat with
    cillian trying to disguise his third level dream hostage taking, they will
    hem/haw over their spoons of taboule that the film relied too heavily on
    cgi, or get balls deep with npr pundits who said it lacks a hero or warmth.
    i will sit through your sugar tears. what you’re looking for isn’t a codice,
    nor is it a lexicon of “i love yous”. “inception” hauls us to that oft forgotten
    altar of elbow greased audience work. want a quickie, go catch salt’s jolie.

    trudging through podcast reviews, the very essence of all the net’s metayawns,
    i couldn’t help but genuflect in quiet protest, washing the feet of my beloved
    sense of taste, when i heard how so many letdowns were associated with
    nolan’s apparent lack of interest in making his love interest suffer to their
    liking. now if i recall, depp and cotillard did nothing more in “public
    enemies” and got the high five of green tomatoes for their on screen yowsa.
    as a third generation nead i am no longer looking, post wong kar-wai 90s
    films, for any sort of complicated, intertwined romances beyond my don
    draper heartstring penny opera. i doubled down on “inception” for the pure
    challenge of taking my multiflorus interests in architecture, psychology,
    and chemical abuse to a convergent level. i’m actually enjoying my own
    dreams more now that i know how much wrought-iron awesome can be
    culled, fictionally, of course, from the pure nature of my subconscious
    manifestations. “inception” takes the silver on the pedestal for “best
    attempt to get us thinking”. you’re not going to get a baseline backhand
    like this from any director until malick or lynch come back from their
    coffee bean cherry hunt to kick the dust in our faces. the sad thing about
    watching this twice, friends, is that i can’t go a 3rd time for the costumes.

    see “inception” for your bookstore strolls through the taschen/phaidon
    tomes. see it for the martha nussbaum book you put down in tears. sit
    through the cold, gut punching wow for the reasons you dare not share
    with your kids, your colleagues, or your subway brethren. it’s not enough
    anymore to just say you like/dislike, those words bear no affectation.
    dear critic cabal, you’re going to have to serve me a blue plate of considered
    commentary for me to take back my ticket fee for this film. show me the secret room
    where camus played bridge, and rub my corduroy shoulders for a while. divad wants
    you to dig “inception” so that the books on your shelves don’t burn themselves
    in a bradbury of 451s. this man is tired of your journaleasy underwhelmathons.

    dqn

    June 4, 2010

    yoshioka0529102

    drawn back into the long asian arms of the chosun peninsula,
    divad q. nead solos a saturday into submission, visiting tokujin yoshioka’s spectrum show at the
    museum beyond museum in the heart of chungdam,
    seoul’s haute interior design district.

    straight from the likes of krypton come korea, i arrived
    at the theban entrance of the museum, itself a faux-esque
    limestone maw, nestled on a short corner in high/tight
    southeast seoul just an hour shy of spring rainfall. having
    already primed myself for the showing on a stroll through
    the interior design halles of gangnam and apgujeong, i
    steadied myself on the porch of an adjacent eatery, sipping
    cold local beer, mulling david lehman’s examination of the
    new york avant-garde, followed by udong noodles, pickled
    sorts. the femme behind the ticket booth glass, as many girls
    do when confined to tight spaces in this heralded land of tech,
    passed me my ticket through a slot whilst she nodded politely
    and returned to her tv on a mobile phone, 2.5 inch diameter
    screens are the metaphorical johnson, replacing the schvantz
    as the demi-attenton-getter for girls under 30.

    entrance0601101

    the exterior of seoul’s museum beyond museum stood out of place
    amongst modest-modish urban structures seemingly updated
    in a fierce whipping of style to match the now very radially-up
    gallery gate to heaven. ascending the stairs on a solid beer
    buzz/belly of noodle, for one never meets st. pete on empty,
    two magenta orchids threw my attention from the falling drops
    of pre-rain, to the massive diagonal of the staircase walls. it’s
    as if i’d entered the world’s greatest periodontist office, feeling as
    though i passed through two perfectly white anterior teeth, the gap
    between so lauren hutton, just enough to squeeze through ego
    intact. at the peak of the staircase, you feel that the sixties uss
    enterprise doors, split in rectangle, would open you into the bridge on
    the enterprise, and they do, as a motion sensor welcomes your presence.

    wall0601101

    your collective design jaws [denmark, detox, décolletage] drop at the
    sight of the ‘rainbow church’, standing a mere twenty paces, seeming
    more at that, from your cut into the exhibit. not a soul to be seen
    between my vantage and the figure of prisms, the initial sight itself
    was akin to my first waterfall, or the arching plume of exploding light
    one receives from a clenched fist to the temple – stars. standing nine
    meters in a column of 500 prisms, the piece doesn’t so much daunt
    the onlooker as it does draw one into it, poltergeist t.v., hypnotists eyes.
    adjoining walls painted i-pod white reach to the same height as the
    piece and are canted to a trapezoid angle, further enhancing the strong
    magnetism of the prism monolith. struck second by the ambient music,
    coming from all directions, i took careful, wet steps into the structure,
    doing the best to owl-turn my head, catching the angles, straight white.

    glasschiars0601101

    an attendant chatted me as i read the plate of details, complimented by
    a crayola-come-matisse sketch of the ‘church’ itself drawn right onto the wall
    in primary colors by yoshioka. as this was late saturday, i was privy to the exhibit sans
    a body or two stepping from room to room. the bent straw tornadoes and
    whorls curled around support columns with torrential effect. jor’el’s crystal
    throne, or so i dubbed it immediately, rested in its case, a testament to
    crack rock chic if i ever. the attendant said it grew in an aquarium, while
    i thought of breaking bad, pop rocks, and the mexico’s vaunted treasure,
    cueva de los cristales. a man who dreams of seats made of crystal is both
    a: utterly japanese b: a natty geographic fanboy. not once did i find these pieces the
    work of a singular artist, as i would a de kooning or a newman,

    whorls0601101

    no – this exhibit runs more along the lines of science meets a milanese
    blonde in an osaka motel & made babies. the ‘waterfall’ pieces, themselves
    epic works of science meeting art, were culled using a platinum encased
    glassmaking process which probably requires the supervision of an entire
    wing of nasa’s hubble lens wrecking crew. yoshioka is no stranger to stellar
    lenses and clear constructions, having already blessed the facades of kartell
    and swarovski, along with a cartier bottle and hermés. of his advanced work
    with the clear, quick, and dead space he states, in an article feature on dezeen
    ‘i don’t set out to mimic nature; it happens unconsciously.’ in that, yoshioka cuts
    through to a question which held me throughout my quick, but long enough
    stop at the exhibit – how has wood persevered, and to that, concrete, as a go-to
    material for the world’s resting places? upon seeing my first kartell ghost over
    a year ago, instantly recalling norman mailer’s hatred for plastics, i began sifting
    the likes of my colonial pinch for seats and tables, opting always first for wood
    in the kitchen, concrete for the pillars. are the prisms and the clear lenses of
    yoshioka’s compositions something of a long awaited player in the wings,
    a homecoming for the house of the future, or are we simply struck by another
    advanced japanese mind determined to redefine the nature of our lazy baby blues?

    crystal0601101

    stepping out of the exhibit after shaking hands with the attendant, who actually
    gave me a secret solo smoke show in front of the prism wall, saved for larger
    crowds i gather, the rain came down in force, each drop itself a prism, itself a
    semblance of formlessness encased in the gloves of gravity – puddles on
    the sidewalk, water in my eyes. i waved to the ticket girl, and made my way
    out into a semi-wet seoul saturday night, out for drinks.

    udong060110

    DQN

    January 21, 2010

    parnassus01172010

    searching the toilets to the rafters, our cinema desk dispatcher reached
    divad q. nead, straight giddy on rasputin imperial, venturing
    into palm desert for a look at terry gilliam’s pop-up book of
    ledger vertié lengthily titled the imaginarium of dr. parnassus

    the jawas had it right when they exclaimed ‘yanna kuzu peekay’,
    upon gazing at their hulk of a sandcrawler, so aptly copped by
    terry gilliam for his semi-surreal 122 runner. under the guise of
    pinstripes and checks i took poor heath’s swan song, largely
    improv’d, for a bonus round in the game of who’s your daddy,
    meaning, there’s much to be said surrounding the production,
    from depp’s portage of capt. jack to lily cole’s ever present gig
    of looking extra terrestrial. the premise rides the heels of your
    average faust, plummer plays the doc, dealt infinity over a trade
    with tom waits & some storyline hoop jumping. and it was in plying this circus
    ride through old battersea and b.c. that i felt constantly cee-gee’d
    into thinking the animator, or terry’s storyboards, were befitting
    for a graphic novel rather than a motion picture. his penchant for
    dali so easily gives gilliam the license to muster, from his stained glass
    illustrations, the gall to make his films so deeply ethereal, deal-
    breaking transport of actors into the middle distance of their
    stage talent, as seen in la mancha and fear/loathing – i was struck
    dumb during the flick’s vociferous moments, namely plummer and
    waits knocking back the trials of eternity’s woes. i felt somewhat
    yawny, rubbing my desert eyes, for the home stretch of this
    film to take its audience through their makeup mirrors and into
    a world of dreams. but who, mr. cameron, visits cinemas to be transported anymore?

    are we ready for such travels, arching our
    sore backs after an avatar massage with happy endings & cake?
    the unlucky audience members who thought they were catching
    heath’s magnifico by sitting for this were sadly disenchanted. our
    boy doing his best under thin script and even more translucent
    scene to scene endearment. tragically, this film rides the tails of
    its animators, gilliam being the genius behind monty’s horn to ass
    and the death of the minstrels. and much like eric idle, i found myself
    running to the john, my compliments to the chef on the way out of
    the teatro. the unlucky sluts streaming into the flick fifteen mins late
    found me leg over leg, trying ever so lightly to enjoy what i thought
    would be a romp through the absurd. tears in my eyes, girl – yea or
    nay through sixty, looking at my texts when troyer made appearance
    or the general plot exposed weak links to the overall phantasm of
    gilliam’s waning knack for mixing one part vermouth, two parts humor.
    can’t we just get some truly good drunk sex like that of hunter’s vegas,
    maybe just once more?

    i don’t see criterion waiting in the wings for
    this production, but maybe the geek in me dreams of downing heath’s
    heady run for the money on dvd. if this show were an actual performance,
    maybe gilliam should switch to stage, i’d run from the banister, sliding
    ass over kettle for a look at whatever would come – but sadly, so sadly
    we are left with a hodgepodge of scenes bound together with encaustic,
    leaving our jasper johns to sit and wait for some honest art to make faces
    with our desire for true surrealism. you can’t have it both ways, even on
    a good burger. leaving the theater with a pop in my step, heading for
    coffee, i felt the change in my pocket from my ticket purchase, threw it
    all in a fountain, at least seven good wishes that indie kids learn
    from this, the best of terry’s intentions, and head out to shoot sam beckett’s
    company‘, complete with upstaging geek genius and vancouver weed.

    DQN

    January 8, 2010

    avatar

    from the ramparts of stadium seating divad q. nead
    sports custom gucci 3D specs, goes quoi l’homme bleu
    three sheets to the wind, for james cameron’s teen baby
    avatar – lee hei ju quips & cameos as leia in slave costume.

    shoplifters of the world, steal those fucking toys. it’s christmas”
    spattered words on a protest t-shirt outside the regal fenway thirteen
    where i slipped in for the cavernous matinee of king of the world’s new
    jaunt into cee-gee three-d, avatar. heard words about it through
    the vine. my beer tea leaf reading before the screening left me blue, as
    i spoke with dear barmaid heidi over my gut reaction to the press for this
    deux heures plus sci-fi giant killer. starring sam, or is it “same” worthington
    as every man’s vfw buddy, back from the corps, legless – here’s lookin’ at
    you cruise. he spends thriftily his acting coins, furrow face and some taut
    sense that he cares. sammy, see e.t. scene with dead alien for feelings next time –
    ripley believes it, or not, in what i wished was more of the white panties
    version of herself, and not the stanford shirt – she smokes too. smokes,
    through the…ugh, starfighter stress of being so damn smart in space –
    almost like a token symbol of a cachet these rings of marlboro effusion –

    in a twist of fate, the wow of my glasses brought me, can you believe,
    into the flick. sitting near the back of the teatro, kicking my heels ever so
    often to see if this kansas i landed in was still a film. and it was, tested,
    tried & true. trouble with these kickass journeys is that you get deep dyed
    for the effects, myself lost in the hip bones of uhura from star trek ought
    nine. damn, stefan, i need a better agent. where’s my japanese fetish
    hotel for the na’vi women, and how do i get some teeth like that? fuck you
    some tall blue chicks and i’ll dump you for good, said a skype’d in ju lee,
    off in bed with warm toes in seoul, yet already besting me to the quip that i’d
    searched for to describe cameron’s run as the biggest dick [sic] in the barn,

    that is, holly-would. in her best garbo quoting demille she said “creation
    is a drug i can’t do without.” purring deep into my ears as i made a break
    for the john mid love scene between smurfette and a wily worthington under
    spells. remove the subtext of natural resources, rauschenberg the de kooning
    of the message and just give me the best lap dance in 3d i can afford – that’s
    what i asked for over my corn and water. you can already see peter jackson
    rubbing his groin for this one – moby dick with glasses anybody? overall,
    cameron has done what few blockbusters have succeeded in doing over
    the last decade, with the advent of the viewmaster way of doing film business,
    in that he truly wows. push aside your bangs dear art school darling to see
    the effervescence of avatar for what it is, a boyhood dream of your genres
    sucking themselves off before your very eyes. you know you’ve tried to do it.

    my hollywood elsewhere cadre reacted in much of the same way i did. why
    wait through the sadness of thin writing for the fuck me over the couch three
    dee hellos of this magnificent work of ingenuity and art? stepping out into
    unfortunate daylight, i offered not a comment to the wind for cameron’s opus.
    it didn’t move me, but then really i left my godard decoupaged shoebox at
    home. there are times in film crit when you’ve gotta dance at the wedding
    and just love sitting there in your plastic seats, jaw ajar. this is how i got
    through avatar, by giving in to the hand job of absolute techno astroglide –
    buy the blu-ray when it drops. get your kids the lanky blue toys. do it
    twice a month with your wife says i, and when i say your wife, what i really
    mean is your inner-kid, running the show from the parapets of true fantasy.

    DQN

    January 6, 2010

    singleman122809

    insomnia stricken after a night of domestic chinese
    food fever dreams, divad q. nead comes correct at
    6 am, filling a rocks glass, tipping his hat to tom ford’s
    a single man” from the depths of his local art deco.

    breaching the exit door as the credits rolled, my companion
    and I locked antlers immediately over the substance/style
    pommel horse of criticism – yes, there’s vogue written all over
    tom ford’s first jab at cinema – down to the measly detail of an
    elegantly smashed bottle of tanq a la luckies mixed like blood
    and oil. three deep in drinks and out with a lady, i’d taken this
    101 runner on the aisle seat thinking to myself, “get ready for
    a leg crosser,” and I got what I expected. art house opening shots,
    known heartily from the trailer. we see firth in his birthday getup
    struggling under water, noting quad muscles and other limbs,
    as if birth wasn’t enough for the man, or was this foreshadowing?
    tuck chin, the screen gives us white snow and ugh a dead boy,
    all over the outside of a vehicle, so fucking good looking in cream
    turtleneck and dead terrier. come off it, boyo, you and j. dean got
    some face for that rigor mortis. the bonus is the firth saunter, which
    he seems to pull right shoulder first, light in his loafers, all film.

    stress, furrows, and a saddo j. moore up in her makeup – there’s
    not a looker lady in this flick for nearly half, lois, and she’s a beat
    fag hag bff to begin with. this was my second flim in a row with no
    space around the vacuum of the lead male, the last being cage
    in his nawlins. i’m fucking bummed that between a killer score,
    and firth’s verdant, fecund run of george, that we didn’t get more
    from ford’s ingenuity than some choice bods and a greaser from
    spain. granted, 28 year-old eduard grau kills the focus and frame,
    along with ford’s first a handsome effort by the d.p., but i got guff
    central in my critic bone when firth drifted out into the story swamp
    and we were left supposing. as ebert quip’d “isn’t it pretty to think
    so”. and yes, we’re dumbstruck with the costumes, the design of
    our 10 dollars worth socal and that damn gorgeous mod house,
    but when i stretched my leg into the aisle and shifted weight, the
    film shifted with me, like it wasn’t attached to the screen, like I’d
    let the pages of my mag go peeling themselves one by two in a
    stiff boston wind. this was disappointing, that the mere gay stress
    of ford’s work didn’t hold the mustard for my deeper look into the
    writing.

    damn, I keep saying it yes the film grabbed me frequently,
    great chris doyle inspired office shots through windows creating
    internal frame, and fuck yes fantastic ysl frame closeups of firth
    getting serious in his killing self phase. i trust these touchstones,
    but i won’t let it get in the way of a: casting, less models please b: failure to close the deal. naturally, t.ford’s gonna come clean on
    this flick looking drop-dead in the first row at the academy as firth
    rolls heavy besting renner for best actor. hell, even clooney will
    clap his ass off – but the divads of this world, their faraway ju-lee
    and juicebox, well they’re not on the blu ray train towards putting
    this in our collection. we’ll go head first and stock one more ozu
    in our ranks before a dude recs us to buy stock in “a single man”.
    i’ll take it on my saturday night, even pull faces with the barmaid
    when she asks me how i liked it. but grins aside, even head shakes,
    i’ll not put anything beyond the vacuum of firth portrayed in his
    frame, dressed best by ford’s magnifico taste – for, as we know from
    dior, zest and beauty roll two-handed into the cinema, spilt at their
    seats, and make out with the dark haired girls in the empty back row.

    DQN

    December 4, 2009

    episode1412309

    episode 14: quomodo from the ashes

    cloris archangeli, buttons down, sat tall in her sigurd ressel falcon chair, one leg tucked under, shoes off. the other women marveled, quietly, at her sheer confidence, the posture from hip to shoulder, and the manner of deploying her cigarette smoke, in purrs. decades lapsed into decades under the led lights, fresh from installation, illuminating white perforated girders, casting ellipse-shaped shadows on the oak-paneled ceiling. a masterwork of design, compressed into weeks, chinese-type efficiency combined with norwegian tact, vaulted olen ragnarsson’s already heady status amongst the dwell crowd. at the entrance a floor to ceiling mouth of 6mm tempered & smoked glass, two klieg lights pushed a tippy toe mike dent into frame, ifa okereke tucking her bare arm around his torso. local news had sprouted cable, which gave way to npr, and their beady crew of bone-wale corduroy and muji shoes. setting an example was the intention.

    olen held a polaroid flash cube in his fist, tossed it like a kid, caught it, repeated the gesture. he’d found a box marked thomas at the back by the lip, hidden behind a flipped pieff sofa. inside the box, viewmaster, flash cubes, and a box of dixon ticonderoga hb. a rolled sleeping bag in the box cradled, like an embryo, boxcar trophies. the bronze plate read westchester county boxcar rally 3rd place. olen had no idea what a boxcar was, but his design-track-mind built one in a heartbeat: conical, pleated, vulcanized treads, lucite dials, nothing vestigial. he turned his head in degrees to check for spare wood from the shelving, none to be found. they’d rescued endless cords of old pine from the razing of the richardson mansion. it was rick pince’s abstract kowtow to dent’s dick first style of dealmaking. from across the room, near the newly painted typeface mural, a floor length vera wang dress carrying one tamar naser glided on clicquot bubbles towards the lap of mr. ragnarsson. “even your lettering bears nuance. what the fuck don’t you dabble in, o?” blushing with what blood he could muster, olen replied, “my mum spent hours with me drawing roman letters in ten x scale on masonite with a greasepencil.” like his lines, this anecdote was true. olen knew the intricacies of even the deft letter r, considered by typeface johns to be the pisa of latin script. the two sipped more bubbles, touched glasses. the tv crew departed.

    renee emerged limping from beyond the stairs under the lip. “he waits until the grand finale to pull off his cosby-sweater-type anal and do me like lamar, like real reading rainbow,” as she straightened her a-line dkny. nobody in the room had a clue as to what it meant, even the speed-nosed mike dent. they smiled anyway, amused that the mission began with dick and was ending with dick. if quomodo was forced to sport a logo, it’d be an obelisk, pantone 12-0915, pale peach egyptian descended dick. darby mcclure could be heard from below the balustrade singing buzzcocks lyrics, a melody of hits. he followed up the flight, black tank, red ink. renee spun on a prima bare foot, despite her limp, “buzz-cock, cock, get me some veuve and don’t doddle.” dent had rebuked offers by ifa to cater the event, which wasn’t so much an event, but a surefire seance of design wanks spilling grande dame like st. ides at an ms-13 corner mourning. nobody needed to serve the punks of 42 bond, their game was taking.

    dent put two feet on a pagwood, “it is in my egocentric interests to applaud your seamlessness. minimalism got its dick sucked here today, like it’d stuck it through a barn hole and met the sow instead. on this mission we came together not as friends, but collaborators, partisans in the struggle against our own instincts. we now barrel bare-chested towards the champions of convenience to thwart them. you know, a thought occurred to me, setting foot in the kitchen, seeing poor andy denemark’s unyielding phallus, it was this…to dig life you gotta go down straight up, and not for show, but for function. not the broadway, or the off-broad, but the coney show, hand-lettered freak theater, original english brickside adverts, ham radio shows into dead air. function. this structure, intended to take a khrushchev bullet, may now be used as a facility to combat the mediocre creation, and regrettably, perseverance of sub-standard human design. olen ragnarsson, stand up, take a look at your work. i’m certain that given enough plastique our man mcclure could make this into a mess you’d take pleasure in resurrecting, but that won’t happen. welcome to the new quomodo offices. tip your glasses, choose your weapons.

    *

    divad q. nead thanks stefan boublil & the apartment broadcast for the space, our anonymous art donor for the image and typeface, and finally the readers of theaptSERIAL for your attention and interest during this experiment. remember, “a house is a machine for living in.”

    December 3, 2009

    ep1312209

    episode 13: rick pince, whale mouth, and the panton chairs

    open auction room, at least seventy chic seats laid out, none filled. dent chewed nicorette, drank the ritzy coffee, three sugars. in his pocket, mont blanc, index cards, a single check, throw away mobile, like in the wire. darby was on call, told to circle the building in a cab for a half hour. the room itself, an swedish/danish who’s who of office furniture, surprising for a private estate sale. who were they trying to impress? this was to be more of a spectacle than an actual transaction, at least that’s how dent planned it. running the sale, an old rival, gigs in repo, mortgage, bonds, and now, estate auctions. dent once popped this guy’s sternum with a thermos after a night out with chums in upstate ny digging for clawfoot tubs in a warehouse, bumping lines off thumbs. the fellow never forgave mike, as he’d reeled from the jab into a handcut mirror from 1794. to pieces it fell, along with the dinner they’d had together. ever see oxtail and shattered glass on concrete? pure post ab-ex. a sworn enemy of quomodo, the auctioneer waited for mike dent at the podium, also sporting a blank check, and a mont blanc pen. evil twins. remember, said cloris, “darby is a tool, not a weapon.” in this case, dent’d have mcclure in full form. the object of his future pugilism yet to be decided upon. there were plenty of chairs about.

    the site reeked of rot, when the cabs rolled up, you could smell it through the air con. “dead deer carcass, for sure, omen.”, a pensive ifa said over shoulder. renee gagged, stuck her head in her shopping bag, brought specifically for heaving, breathed deeply. she’d packed the bag with lavender sachets, the only cure for her carsickness, which she’d not revealed to anyone in the group. they looked upon her, huffing her saks bag, with incredulity. she’d been known for worse. tamar searched the roadside for a body, decided it was off in the brush, thought about its guts. “exactly where is this magic kingdom?”, tamar shouted from the back of the cab, through the screen, over rai. “covered from this angle,” ifa pointed west, “and the frame’s got no shadow.” olen sat with his pen ready, drawing upside down whale bellies and rows of exotic shelving. olen ragnarsson was famous for freehand, impromptu genius. whatever was drawn on his pad at the moment was mondrian. tamar could see the workings of his pen from the corner of her eye. she pinched his thigh. he didn’t react. under a gray sky, with little traffic passing the site, the samurai, minus their mcqueen, strode single file, almost in step, to the base of the bomb shelter. hard hat men waited with tools.

    “rick pince, caught you sexting.” shit grin dent pointed his index at rick pince, auctioneer, bent at the waist checking his blackberry behind the podium. dent sat with right leg crossed left, held #13 on his lap. he wore no socks, a tactic he found to throw the straight-laced, and make him seem a confident don johnson. “been a year, still soaking cork? mortgage market got that jaw sore?”, as dent stuck his tongue in and out of cheek. black dick humor came to michael p. dent before he’d used his own, a savant of insult throwing cock talk. “mike you still roll fly down commando, or did that teen rap back in ought four get you jail time?” pince’s ping pong had no effect on dent, who popped another nico and chewed cud. “get going you mouth,” dent raised his #13, “fifty to start for the shithole.” pince looked down at his info, spoke through the feedback in the mic. “property bid at fifty.” pince held up his own #11. “two pricks won’t get you pussy pince. put those dick digits down. one fifty.” pince wagged his number over his head, “two twenty. raise me miami vice.” dent clicked twice on a nextel. suddenly a car door popped outside, and a shirtless mcclure in balaclava & bike shorts stormed the near empty room, plucking a chair from the back. dent ducked, the chair flew over his head, hit the podium, followed by a baboon hoot, and some glasgow filth talking, unintelligible. game on.

    ifa heard the two nextel clicks, waved to the contractors, grabbed olen by the scruff. “ok mr. o, you’re on, get down there in boots and direct traffic.” she followed the pasty to the site, gaping mouth of whale sixty-five feet wide, twenty high. arc welders and torches lit, the teeth of the beast burned white under the flame. olen donned a headlamp, snuck inside. the beast, a 60’s mod bomb shelter for the richardson clan, local rockefellers of the plastics racket as seen in the graduate, stretched in a convex dome from it’s twenty-foot high mouth, to a lip at the back. inside, unbeknownst to every realtor, auction clown, and kicking richardson, the shelter was stacked head high with piles of vintage 60’s fournir. culled from the richardson’s california prop, a take in the adirondacks, & an upper-west pent, the shelter was less intended for protection, and more for dementia. somebody in the fam had pack-rat’d their way to an abject fortune of leather, suede, and crack plastic. michael p. dent, the prick of bowery, the knob of new haven, was a swing or swig away from the furniture equivalent of walter raleigh’s pussy hunt, stolen under the nose of every archivist south of albany. smoke cleared from the torches, olen stepped deeper into the darkness. a beam of remaining graylight struck the chrome frame of a corbusier chaise, covered in white cotton, finger deep in dust. “oi oil,” remarked a squinting olen, “well, we won’t need to furnish.”

    as the podium shattered dent leap to his feet, pounced with a knee on a whimpering rick pince, who said in vibrato, “aye aye, dent take the shithole, just don’t bust my seats. the estate’s main house gets razed monday. title keeps the can.” dent stood without a wrinkle on his thieves single button. “richard pince your puss can first void that bank check in your name, then hand the title to mr. bike shorts over there.” darby was straightening the chairs, a butler in balaclava. pince knelt, touched his balls, as if they’d been chopped, and handed a file to darby, “we’re off mikey, car’s waiting.” dent gave pince a pat on the cheek, refilled his coffee by the door, spit his nicorette wad in the basket. “nice bin, i love puking monday in mine.” pince rolled onto his back stared at the lacquered drop ceiling panels, custom job from montreal. his auction house intact, cheap podium dashed to pieces, richard b. pince survived a rout by darby mcclure without blood loss, the first in five years to do so. he’d not learn about the hidden furniture for weeks. a manila folder under his office door, glossy photo, showing a naked quomodo crew seated in seven panton chairs, signed in white, quomodo: minimalist twatcock.

    one to go, onearchists. quomodo closes its doors tomorrow. dent’s soliloquy, darby’s lament, olen’s giclee, renee’s complaint, ifa’s wet dream, cloris’ countdown. quomodo, you’ll miss the fuck out of us, or just miss the fucking.

    December 2, 2009

    quo 12

    episode 12: pullman coach, franklin face

    grand central rendezvous, swelling crowds for the early commute back to the pastures. dent stood, fresh zenga shirt, off-rose, three buttons loose, grey thick as thieves custom suit. he’d come with game, even in his posture, half-akimbo, cloris at his back, hand on shoulder, any fool at mars a week previous wouldn’t have recognized him. renee perked up over cup coffee, “cloris you must have sucked all night for the man to look like that.” cloris removed her hand from dent’s shoulder, reached around to renee’s high behind, gave it a double pat. darby’s leica caught this, and then his jaw caught a shopping bag from ms. du lac. “is everything keepable to you, even the rubbers?” “you, my lady, are the only thing i’m not keepin’ on this trip,” said darby, pushing back the bag from his face. olen and tamar returned from a newsstand, the times and two coffees, splitting the copy between, not making eye contact. something was amiss in the house of o.

    dent hypothesized, “hey o, you butter her brains after your drinky last night or what?” olen looked over steamed glasses, “awoke naked in her roommate’s bed, my behind sore, groin abraded.” “abraded? you mean she braided your curlies, or am i just plain stupid before my coffee?”, dent remarked with incredulity. big dick, small vocab was michael dent’s rep. olen turned away, two steps with dent. “the ladies tied me down, blindfolded. i think one of them put something in my ass. i might have licked, erm liked it.” dent spun on a heel to pull faces with cloris. “tamar, pick your lids up from behind that paper. did you bugger my star architect?” ms. naser held fast to her times, leaned around the metro section, “prostate is a lovely thing, isn’t it o?”. ifa added a line, “you mean you let her stick…aw hell, that’s the shit, boy. straight men are cowards for their ass.” the samurai were spending too much time discussing mr. ragnarsson’s anal, and then the call came out metro north 330, hudson line boarding at gate four. dent lead the way, his heels ticking time for the crew to follow. everyone present, accounted for.

    “tamar, tamar…”, cloris was curling a short finger at ms. naser. “tell me this, did he like it, or was it a gay kind of like it? i’ve done the same to mike and he screams murder.” tamar turned her head, looked down at the paper, “he was receptive, especially once the lights went out. not gay, we think.” olen sat alone by the bathroom, taking short trips every ten minutes to the john. nobody knew what he was doing, that is, until mr. mcclure stepped in quickly behind him. they’d not ever spoken. “girl do you like a dog?”, asked an eyebrow up darby. “her roommate put a vibrator by my ass, not in it, i think. what’s a yay-gur? we did a lot of yay-gur?” olen rubbed his temples, leaning on the john sink. “jagermeister is lucifer’s gift to the not yet gay,” remarked a shit grin darby mcclure, enjoying his position as big brother. olen bent over at the waist a bit, “i’m not close to gay, but maybe my arse is. tamar had her, well, they both were, and the lights were off. i couldn’t move.” darby stood back as far as he could step, put his hands on olen’s shoulders, lifted him up to standing. “keep at it, boy. keep that tiny arse going if it gets you red. know why my ink is red,” darby pointed at his forearm, ” ’cause I love the puss. red on pink, the queen’s colors. a true queen, that is.” none of the jabber had olen any better with himself. his holes felt stretched, his eyes ached. something of a sense of accomplishment sat at the back of his mouth. he put a hand into his pocket, came out with a strange piece of paper. the train slowed and rocked. on the paper, a crude grid, y axis labeled holes, x axis labeled dicks. darby snatched the info, hooted like a baboon, “mr. o, their three holes to your one. you won. guess the arse only made it fair.” olen left the paper with darby, who followed him out into the aisle. “ms naser,” olen murmured, “i’d like to see you in my orifice,” a line stolen from lethal weapon. she stood, took his hand, and the john door closed.

    ifa sat beside dent, fingers up. “two is that we get the gut going immediately, before any talking. i’ve got men ready five minutes out.” dent nodded and spoke, “i’ve got to swing by the auctioneer’s and then hit the bank. dad’s box, the cash, and the keys. the family is in bermuda. we are go green on this.” ifa wanted to make clear that the crew needed to see the site in progress. reason being, the police would show at some point and appearances, well, they’re everything. some yellow tape, which was bound to appear under the hands of mcclure, is discouraging for most average design folks. ifa had it so the project looked and smelled legal. the deets they’d sort out once the auction closed, an auction nobody but michael p. dent would be attending, that is, if darby mcclure had his way. dent replied in spearmint tones, “sweet ass ifa, just a sweet ass all week.” “skippy, mike. if mr. o can catch his druthers, and keep that dill out of his behind, we’ve got green from here to friday.” ifa knew that the property was closed to onlookers, the listing dropped, the keys to be picked up. it wouldn’t take much to tear this hunk of steel beam and plaster down to the ribs, but in time for what, that was the question. ifa was drawing timetables in her mind, red pen, red memories. cloris handed renee a note. it read, “remember, darby is a tool not a weapon.” renee put the paper between her thighs, squeezed, and stuffed it in darby’s talking mouth. message understood.

    the 330 arrived in peekskill without incident. the samurai disembarked, no luggage. weather held at overcast, with green trees leaning on each other as friends would waiting for a bus. michael p. dent knelt in a semi-circle of shoes, spoke up. “today my family fortune gets a new mouth below the chin. you each have a part to play. see cloris for cash. i’ll meet you at the site, half five.” dent strode off into the station, out the door, and into a waiting town car. the mission got heavy and velvet immediately following his exit. renee clutched darby’s ink, dug nails. olen was at last relaxed, knowing that his dick did some good work for once. he was ready, pen & paper. ifa whispered into the left ear of a perky cloris archangeli, who still sported the burberry, yet with yellow chiffon underneath. they smoked, those who did smoke. some chatted under breath. nobody had a goddamned clue.

    touch me and i’ll sue, quomodo returns tomorrow! dent disappears like jolly roger. ifa opens the playbook. cloris doles franklin’s face. renee leashes her painted treat. mr. o gathers steam amongst the kindling. it’s to be an affair. quomodo, cockney slang for quomodo.

    December 1, 2009

    quo 11

    episode 11: shaggin’ thru everybody’s morning

    hoboken bars, to queens progeny, rolled like sighs from a tax pusher, shallow breaths. the path flushes the river like a turd, stepping out onto wash and 5, out the ass of manhattan and into jersey trash. hoboken was a new location for ms. okereke, but she had her beeline all set, 9 p.m., mario’s on park street. no-?-asked adult friend finder hookups were a specialty of the oughts, ifa had moved away from craigslist connects as their hermetic seals busted. this meet was a double dutch of sorts, both a fuck find and a finance shake. the woman she’s to meet has her neck deep into the north jersey avalon jet set, housing market crash had money in neat sativa pinches, and even though business mixed with pleasure, ifa kept a clear eye on the six ball. stepping from the hackney at washington, mario’s slouched under blue and red striped awnings, like a single uncle, like a champ. staccato aromas of stetson, long soaked into clothes, of bar fruit and dried booze, hit customers on the schnoz upon entering. ifa dipped into the shit like a surfer, nose down arms back. beyond the first empty chairs two legs stretched from a work skirt, the bird itself, rosy, ginger locks coming down from what once was a bun. terry maculane nipped a whiskey smash, chatted up by the company. an attache sat under her pins, and the best thing ifa could think to say was “nice gams,” turn of heads.

    parking lot, sheet music. dent had a hundred & one names for blow. pushing out six lines, the ritual always reminded him of jersey diners, doing the same with sweet n’ low when he was a kid. “who knew bomb shelters were chic?”, dent posited as he built rails. “i mean, we could cover with sod, gut the place to the girders, and cut an entrance through the rear, right?” cloris pulled her shrink wrap shirt over her head, lit a parliament, and sat in dent’s lap. back to paces. “it’s…smooch…going to be…smooch…up to olen, yes?”, cloris passed on deliberating. “phiffiz!…i’ve seen olen’s schematic, we’ll need contract to work on the doorway…phiffiz!” blowing & planning was jenga for the two, cloris going topless when mike needed inspirato, it also felt good to get the girls some fresh air. cloris headed for the kitchen, dent stood, pants off. quomodo’s walls had been done with rust-oleum dry erase paint. dent popped a red expo, had at the blank. “understated integration w education ideal / direct lines fr library 2 schools / work projects, food chain, paper making / neutra glass.” michael p. dent was raised drawing on walls, making the scene of his kid room a pollock of crayola red. his mother gave up at five, and had his walls routinely papered in white. natural born brainstormer, not many had it like he did. a longways half-watermelon shape fell from the line of dent’s pen, “like a whale mouth, a ball dome,” he said into the office’s dark, empty air. “what was that?”, said a curious cloris, mixing tomato juice, tobasco. “i said whale mouth. this is perfect.” ms. archangeli thought of whales, recent discovery shows, gaping holes in the earth. tomorrow she’d clean up good, take to the rails with the crew, and cut some serious teeth in peekskill.

    “i’m naw goo in bed,” a fumbling drunk olen struck convo, “itz naw dhat…” shush, shush, tamar stuck long finger to his mouth. “finish up, and let’s get home. no negatives.” olen tippied the highball to his lips, thought of that scene in catcher where holden watches a couple drink highballs. he looked at tamar’s chest, then at her ears, where hung a pressed lace of gold in each. tamar had pushed one drink too many down the noble maw of olen ragnarsson, and now she had to get him to a toilet. it was written on his brow, which sweat bullets, remained pasty. his cheeks had reddened. “you’re certainly a boy,” she said into his shoulder as he stood on a foot, “i’d hate to see you naked, but it looks like that’s in the cards, maybe a shower.” tab paid, 3 a.m., tamar naser lifted her architect and savior into a cab, pushing his behind with her bare foot as a shoe fell off. she enjoyed this sensation, stored it. “i just love your behind, mr. olen,” as she sat in the cab. “years of biathlon training gone to good use…vurrp.” at least his sense of humor stood erect, yet the rest of his body would fall into question. tamar had a plan for this, it involved her roommate, and a very large bed. “58th & 10th,” the yellow pulled out into traffic, the city beginning to rest, brooms at the doors.

    finger pointing, curses had finished darby & renee’s night at blue ribbon. darby himself making threats in an english not even he understood. renee’s legs shook under the aftershock of darby’s work. mr. mcclure seemed to have passed on the glow, opting instead for rancor to fill his larder. “…and i dinni’nt find a pearl, you swine!”, said a red-faced darby naked to the waist. “doll that’s oysters not sushi, and not much of a come back,” a flushed renee pushed him into a yellow. touching his cold back, done with red ink chains stretching around the torso, reminded renee of her cousin, mowing the lawn when she was six, shirtless, cursing the machine. snapping out of this dream, pressure in her pants, the cab pulled out, “chelsea hotel”, she said, and they were off, 11 p.m. “i’ve got a room, a hotel room. you and i are gonna burn it down, turn in early.” her quomodo proposition sweetened as the night lengthened. thoughts of employment somehow made their way in between darby’s two cold fingers. pressure, release, pressure. renee’s back arched, her foot pressing against the cab door. “how many pieces will you leave me in?”, she asked the man from glasgow. “eleven, one for every hour. that’s a promise, spitfire girl of a gori.” pushing into the hotel with arms slung under one another, the two breezed by the desk, making for the lift. a voice from the lobby posterior said, “welcome back ms. du lac.”, to which she quickly replied, “isn’t heeee marveluss?!?”

    “the foundation fronts 400,” terry offered her hand to ifa out of a cab. “we can match that with two-fif, that is, if dent can liquidate what’s necessary.” the ladies didn’t touch other than hands, walking up the sandstone steps to terry’s flat, talked more business. “estate offers book donations from their coffers and a revenue stream from tours. you should be set for the fiscal.” ifa reached for terry’s hem, tucked a ring finger behind a seam, breathed deeply. “two minutes talk, then I begin pulling.” terry could be seen blushing under the yellow hallway lights, “i’m done with numbers. give me that.” in updike’s worst sex scenes the protag always cups something supple. in contrast, these two bodies, tempered under tri-state realty rackets, merged roughly into one another, each to each a muscle for bone, a mouth for a mouth. it wasn’t much for ms. okereke, but terry had spin class legs. tomorrow morning, ifa’d be pants up and out the door by six. terry’d lie naked, still awake. heading back to bowery with a crick in her neck, ifa okereke would smell of whiskey & new business.

    bon weekend? quomodo comes back from vacay with a postcards. the samurai mount an offensive from grand central. everybody got some. darby’s sketching copy on a menu. renee just holds that muscle. dent & cloris build bullet points. olen ropes some dog hair for his hangover while tamar considers her roommate lucky. ms. okereke returns to rouse the lot, stops by a bodega for smokes. quomodo, it’s fallout shelter fabulous.

    November 27, 2009

    quo10

    episode 10: subterfuge, quomodo, subterfuge

    dent’s ferragamo hit the table, “peekskill new york. tomorrow at three.” olen and tamar looked up, and saw mike dent pulling off his shirt. “an estate. fixer-upper old bomb shelter.” his belly exposed, out of shape. darby stood, “breaking ground, pre-fab?”, he said through a mouthful of whitefish. “the structure needs guts, bones intact. i’ve got the contracts.” dent’s left wrist was pulled down by cloris, he pulled back. “mike sit down, sit.” dent reached for a sake bottle, poured the wine around in all boxes. “tonight we drink to ifa okereke and olen ragnarsson, our new quomodo principals.” the two of them, olen & ifa, gaped mouths, pushed back in their seats, embarrassed, thrilled. dent continued, the joint’s staff at his elbows, guiding him down. “kudos to mcclure for his sabotage of my arden proposal. he brought you here together.” tamar boiled to high kelvin in an instant, making fists. “his…swig…magnificent dismissal of our strategic partner was top-grade agency hooliganism. you may not know…swig…but this was a get-go setup, a straight ruse.” tamar & renee stood, walked out of the joint. ifa and olen looked at each other, he shrugged with one shoulder, and she reached out with her right hand, shook. “partners at last,” she said to the pasty boy, to which he replied, “rough start, but the plan’s coming together.” ifa followed the ladies out to the sidewalk. they had cigarettes going, sitting on a nearby stoop. ifa bummed and they burned.

    “not cooperating,” tamar flicked her parliament into the gutter. “not with him, not after that.” weeks of planning had gone south under the ceiling of arden partners. the meet was her connect, quomodo to arden, her gosling rep on the line. darby mcclure razed her outpost to the masonry. humiliation was not a peril from which ms. naser easily returned. she had two system functions, like a sub, dive, ascend. “dent has nothing left, nothing, not after arden. i’m not in on this.” renee nodded in agreement, though not knowing why, and lit another cig. ifa responded through an exhale, “i’m running the op, not mike. got the finance, you’re on the team.” renee shook her head, with one hand running through her hair. she stood, “i’m not job hunting, just here for the dick.” in retort ifa offered a concession, “i need your tight ass to keep darby on point. do that, you’ve got at least a ref, maybe a job.” “i don’t hold hands,” replied a gruff ms. du lac. the vagaries of this prop had equal effect on both young ladies. they wanted no part of this gig. it reeked of bad mortgage, of overdubbing. however, tied to the men, olen and mcclure, they couldn’t so much as budge for a break.

    olen finished his fugu. he’d been sitting quietly while dent and cloris kibitz’d under breath at the end of the table. darby headed out to hook renee. renee intercepted, spun him towards the washroom. olen spoke up, “we’re heading back to the offices, no? i’ve not arranged a hotel.” dent looked up from his convo, shook his head yep. “you’re on the poltrona until we sort out the deets of your stay. cloris canceled your ticket home.” olen had no place in his life for couch surfing, impromptu orders from a drunk, and airline surcharges. “you’re mad, dent, truly. i’m not working by your leave. settle-up with me first.” dent looked at cloris, up to the ceiling, then back at olen. “well played. fine, shack with tamar. you’ll feel better in the ay-em.” the jab caught olen off guard, he hadn’t considered tamar as a door prize, nor did he dig that this op was guerrilla art in progress. details escaped him, but his manhood filled the spaces. “you look like you could use a lay, take it while we’re amongst the ramparts. tomorrow you go live.” cloris buttoned up the top two on dent’s thomas pink. “do we call the bank in the morning, mike, or can we wait until we get out of town?” “the wire won’t come through for a day,” mike said while standing, “we’ll need to hit the safe deposit & the auction house before heading to peekskill.” cloris grinned, she loved talking money, other people’s money. mike’s plan to loot the dent family continued in earnest, a post-mod barrow gang as his players.

    choosing johns wasn’t the hard part. the men’s is always best for a hump, but in this case two chatty dudes filled the stalls, discussing something filthy over squats. to the ladies they went. darby’s knees shook, renee squeezed his ink with her nails, a spot on her lumbar sweat. the door popped open and two blondes filtered out, leaving the room empty. locking the knob, darby turned to a fist coming at his nose, dodged it. renee struck the door, even though she’d pulled the punch. “fuck, take the punch, you lump.” darby, with a right palm, struck ms. du lac with a victorian swipe, making contact with her left cheek. “touche, you tart. can we get on past the fists?” without flinching from the blow, renee tweaked his buckle, pulled at her own waist with the other hand. the reverb could be heard by a young takuya yamomoto behind the sushi bar. without knowing the source, he closed his eyes, shook his head, resumed his butchering. the staff in the joint rushed to the washroom doors, began knocking, hollering.

    olen trailed bonnie & clyde quomodo out the door. tamar blushed like a stoplight, he saw this, didn’t feel a thing. this would take some effort, getting down to her business. for now, to the back burner. “jump in the van everyone, drop-offs where necessary,” dent ordered, hugging the waist of ms. archangeli. approaching the smoky jordanian, mr. ragnarsson took a look at his shoe shine. “may we extend the evening, on my tab?”, he mumbled in a half-norwegian accent, letting the brit side of his accent go. “can you drink more than i’ve seen you drink?”, tamar said through her blush. “i’ve had three manly drinks in my life, two of them tonight. bound to keep it up.” olen’s first drink had been in zurich, and it was a fey toddie with the genius bar girl. furthermore, he never took more than a whack, then put it down. olen ragnarsson had no idea how gone this night would get under the wing of ms. naser. for a jordanian woman, she’d done some drinking in her life. a year in hamburg, a year in london for school. there was nothing between her bad habits and the behind of olen ragnarsson. the night offered a hand to the two of them, and they took it, walking out into the dark towards bleecker.

    turning the corner, the quomodo crew spent the rest of the night going separate ways. dent lost darby & renee in the scuffle, ifa poached shotgun, chatting-up the driver in french. cloris whispered into mike’s ear, to which he replied, out loud, “every fucking penny.” pulling away from blue ribbon, three of seven samurai sat immersed in their thoughts. the day began with an abject plan, found most likely in the bottom of an ikea waste basket, amongst the sick of mike dent. and as it began with questions, it ended with questions. none of the crew had a sense of tomorrow, not even the prescient, plan-heavy ifa okereke, stepping out of the van without a word, entering the subway at 34th and 7th, not so much as waving, head down, focused on the swarm of bodies heading underground, heading to dc, jersey, and the east hampton.

    stick to your squirt guns, quomodo returns after the sabbath. ifa crosses state lines, finance on her mind. dent goes blow, draws on a white board into the a.m. renee finally drops darby mcclure, sophism to solar plexus. olen & tamar find themselves quite naked, in separate rooms. for the sake of the op, repeat, for the sake of the op. quomodo, it still checks hats.

    November 25, 2009

    quo 9

    episode 09: fugu, what doen’t kill you

    “japanese bollocks,” darby reiterated in between slugs on the carlsberg. it was high time in soho, such that folks paid no mind to a brown-bag swilling caricature of puck, but not late enough for the man himself to be railing in the streets against the minimalism of muji. “ooh wants a house of cardboard, knickers of re’propriated rubbish? i sure’d like to…glug…meet the man who’s sporting a coat like that,” giving tamar a long look in the ass. dent & ifa waved-off a radio cop, suspicious of their driver, who’d held the same persian conversation, in between parking, negotiating rates, and being harassed by the blue. ifa knew the driver from queens, when he’d helped her company move offices from astoria to greenpoint. he was a refugee from tajikistan, back when it had a brand name under the soviets. the astro van filled with bags and bodies, each member of the crew checking the receipt for purchase, nervous that they’d lifted the items under dent’s guise of “treating them.” the quomodo group wasn’t low enough for thievery. they were coalescing, looking over shoulders at each other, olen even breaking his whiskey haze to smile at ifa as she strapped in. what a difference a little shopping can make in new york. “blue ribbon sushi. nobody goes home hungry,” dent said over his left shoulder from shotgun. “tuna is cruel, and you’re dropping me off on park & 20,” quip’d ms. du lac, bitter enough that she was being given orders, even more acerbic because she was truly famished. the astro pulled ahead of a blue, navigated away from the horns, and the seven fell silent under the jib-jab of the driver’s continuing diatribe.

    dent had tokyo gut, digging into his asian fetish for understated textiles, simple, sparse labels. a trip to kyoto & tokyo three years back had cemented the unstable portions of mike dent into a place, that place being the consumerist environs of japanese home design. unbeknownst to even close cloris, dent had a thing for rice paper calligraphy, cherry tree lineages, and sweet wine. japan evoked the odd, deliberate side of mike dent, which seems to be a cheap plug at minimalist zen bento culture, but this was a genuine affectation for mr. dent. his journey to muji with his newly formed cabal had been in essence an understated gesture in and of itself. rarely did the peanut gallery see mike dent extending anything but a glass of ice towards others in kind. cloris never saw the bottom of a shopping bag, maybe a dime bag, a ziplock, but never retail. she’d picked up dent on a night when he’d bought an entire bach-ette posse a round of padron silver, about two years to the month. his affable, inebriated patter was something to be admired in the oughts, when most men had given into paranoid excuses for losing their tie after five. “after nine one one i stopped wearing ties, you know, the stress,” they’d say over esquire rec’d sazeracs, some zinc bar with a painted barmaid. prigs, dirigibles of inflated manhood, found in the aisles of borders near penn browsing the taschen collections, or criterion dvds. “enough of these punks,” thought cloris often before meeting dent, who himself was a paragon of rhett butlers strung out on glib women and pills. like rauschenberg had instead taken his eraser to glengarry, and all that remained was the furrow’d brows. dent was decent.

    sushi & sake brought out the good girl in ifa, calmed her the fuck down. the small portions, swift service, offered perspective. tonight’s japanese theme painted over her rye and chinese, a nice fill to a very, salaciously empty glass. her mid-noon drinks had drifted out the lungs and through her brown pallor. it was time for some fish and dry, gentle liquor. “this joint’s high on my list of places to visit after fucking,” ifa remarked, tossing her ice ball maker like an apple. “i’d come here with girls, stuff ourselves, and then we’d hook dudes at balthazar, oysters, nicking pockets.” ifa wasn’t anecdotally gifted, and this little dirge on her past life was enough for the ride. the rest remained quiet, obedient students on an off-key field trip with a toothless creative d and his plastique ego. “give us a couple hours, ring the joint when it hits nine. we’ll come out,” dent threw the driver a jackson, and broke a smile. the grin made his face hurt on one side, he felt a laceration inside a cheek where teeth met flesh, ifa being the cause. the raw pain and discomfort was a strong antidote to his usual demeanor.

    magnificent things were being done with knives behind the sushi bar. cloris had already seen her share of fugu for the night. “shit, we left poor andy at the office. the cleaners are going to find him asleep. mike, call them off for the night.” cloris was still at work. in fact, she never really stopped taking or making calls. her mother raised her on the phone, working away from home at night, calling in between tables, as she’d left her kid alone. a natural exec assistant, and we mean that as a compliment, cloris archangeli stuck with dick mike dent because he too, was raised at a distance, by proxy, through various caretakers, and abject guardians. the two of them made terrible lovers, but in the office, when dent wasn’t sporting a week’s worth of drinking damage, they dealt hands which favored the house every time. quomodo wasn’t in the business of turning profit. it was a work of dismissal, an art-house attempt at bringing cassavetes close ups to design altruism, operated always at a loss to the hosts. cloris was a recovering punk herself, holes in her right ear where once were safety pins. at home she still had a box of cordovan docs, red suspenders, taped shut marked “for the kids.” as she pondered over a box of house sake, cloris looked around at her silent, indulging company. “two point oh,” she said under her breath, “we’ve got an upgrade.”

    lock in phasers, geeks, quomodo returns after the traffic settles. dent stands on the table, gets removed mid-speech. ifa applauds this. darby does the miso shuffle with renee in the john. olen and tamar check each other’s knees under the table. cloris wonders if this is a sign, or will tomorrow bring another topless run from behind a desk. quomodo, you’re neck deep.

    November 24, 2009

    quomodo 8

    episode 08: selections, convection

    “mamma,” the slap summoned memories. dent’s head rose into clarity, colors flooded the room. ifa had him by the top three buttons. he could smell the soup spice from her food, the gas from her rye. he usually kissed women this close, but his mouth stung from the blow, and the fuck lobe of his brain was reaching for a weaning breast. ifa’s voice came through like charlie brown adults, mwah mwah, dent couldn’t make out a word. the windows allowed emanations from the abutting units, filling the rear of the room with white incandescent. he came to, eyes focused on her forehead scar, which ran from between her brow, to the left center of her forehead. what menance cut that, chain link fence, furious mother? her words made phrases, which begot sentences, and then thoughts. slow process. “i’ve been sitting in the same puke bar, waiting for your popcorn shrimp jock to wander through. eddy said it’d happen, as you’d left your pants there the night before.” dent’s life was a set-up, this adding to the parade. what was ifa okereke doing hanging ten at mars the day after mike dent blew a grand on his brother’s platinum? it had nothing to do with fate. the ripple of his week had been felt from penn to battery, and even over into hoboken. this was mike dent’s last week in his own shoes. he was a kidney away from bankruptcy, his family cutting, burning his line of credit, white out on the will, attorney messages. ifa okereke was the pass where in westerns the hero heads them off. she brought with her a folio of straight tricks, learned in queens, refined at fordham. it was her turn.

    renee gazed out the window, across the street to the neighboring offices, lights out, reflections from street traffic. her thighs read the court report from her insides, turned the language of her powder into something akin to memory, but not as precise. she’d begun, years ago, to clock fucks with numbers, letters, like a college outline. darby’d gone 1a, ii. was there need for another line? it’d been five hours since his head cracked the plastic of the phone booth. she had nothing to show for this time. it was unlike her to waste this kind of sexual, emotional energy on anyone but herself. she wasn’t generous, and never would be. generosity, she found, came with an agenda. she turned to olen, who’d sat back on the chaise, his glass up on his chest. “are you some sort of smart ass scandaknave in the wrong joint or what?” olen translated her sentence, built a slow answer, and spoke through his scotch. “my project is cratered in the office. the library, i was to direct building and materials. dent called me late, and left me for dead…vurrp, the airport. “looks like he’s fucked. you should get on home, stop following ’round that curly girl. she’s not a clue what you’re into.” ms. du lac part-time’d as a shrink, especially to strangers who had their shit together. olen was a soft target. he replied through a sip, “i’m compelled to remain, as i’ve yet to be paid, and it seems there’s plenty left. i’ve struck a vein. my ticket sends me off in three days.” renee hadn’t heard his response, for darby’d entered the room, back from shooting photos on the roof. “clear night, i say we hit it.” dent and ifa returned behind the painted man. dent called the shots, “we’re getting a car and heading to soho, all of us. i’m buying” this was an insincere directive, he had no money, his brother’s amex cut off this morning. that was the call he never answered, with his head in the basket. the desk phone rang in the other room, ifa drew an oval in the air with her jade pointed. “in the van, everyone.” renee pushed her left hip to say “fuck off” but ifa slapped her ass, and threw a look into her eyes that said “don’t make me tell them what I did with you did last summer.”

    the astro van was below how renee traveled, and she pushed heels into to the cobbles like a mule. “i don’t take the airport shuttle. get me a cab.” ifa grabbed renee’s right cheek with her left, “move it, baby.” darby took notice of this coercion, and made a note somewhere to be forgotten, ifa/renee, threez’um. the remaining bodies ducked head and headed into the white van, buckled up. dent rode gun and threw some cash at the driver, who was yapping persian into his bluetooth. “muji soho, double park out front.”

    10 minutes later:

    olen ragnarsson: no items purchased. spent time browsing this on his iphone.

    darby mcclure: historic city view handkerchief london comment: “for grazing my arsehole”

    tamar naser: welder raincoat freecut comment: “raining men, so you say. suburbs?”

    renee marianne du lac: beech brentwood chair brown comment: “sapporo underground burlesque mainstay”

    cloris archangeli: shrink wrap t shirt comment: “mother’s model keep it simple stupid”

    ifa okereke: silicon ice ball maker comment: “best whiskey accoutrement”

    mike dent: city in a bag tokyo comment: “today i lost a son, tonight i gain’d a brother”

    dumpling van, white van: the process, a homework assignment from ms. okereke, proved bountiful. thirty min in, thirty min out. small items, good for meeting discussion. tomorrow’s ifa’s ball, and she’s sending the crew topside to pull sail.

    quomodo does jerry lee lewis, shaking nerves, rattling brains. up on that piano stool dent reigns the crew into one via japanese centralist design. cloris finally covers her rack proper. olen prepares his metaphor. dent’s glad to have some macro-tecture in his hizzo, as he’d say it. darby and renee play it safe with opposites, yet weapons of the like. tamar thinks naked-side the box. quomodo, it’s post-organic.

    November 20, 2009

    episode7111909

    episode 07: off to muji, two live crew

    “take the boy, which he’s not, and get him back on the plane,” cloris dictated, changing andy’s ice, pulling a shirt over his head. “quomodo is nothing but ruse, stuffed inside a prank, dressed as a girl.” tamar had seen two cocks in a night, and cloris was making this quomodo gig seem to be the third. three dicks in a room is a bathhouse, and this op was far from clean. i’m not here for quomodo, whatever a quo-mow-do is, olen’s got my eye, and i’m playing it out to the end. you’ve been kind to let us use your office. “subject change, let’s get him to a couch and in some clothes.” tamar and cloris lifted andy denemark to his feet, he didn’t speak, but took a long look at his red ryder, and frowned to his shoulders. “i my i why, did you do, i my, this?”, finding his words. “honey you’re wrong,” cloris said while pushing his rear into the sitting room, “you had a bad reaction to the blowfish.” dent and olen took the sight with silence, looking up from their glasses only to gaze at their catches, one a burberry’d 34c, the other, that repressed back-seat bj sort of bird. neither man had a clue what to do with either woman, and did like most men do when faced with such situations, tilted the bottle of balvenie to forty five.

    darby turned from the amazon, while she put her drawers together. the tryst had bruised his ribs, reswollen his eye, and his business couldn’t take another grind. marciano he was. “‘ ’bout time i tend to these wounds, so charming, and deserved.” renee gave a shit, patted him on the ass, and shoved him aside, needed a drink. “we’re square. you’ll have nothing more from this minx.” renee marianne du lac lied often, mostly to herself. this instance’s fib would reach two hours deep, nearing a record. she couldn’t be bothered by conscience to keep a ride like that off the rails for long. she was inspired, much like she was during that richardson shoot for vice when a street kid put his thumb in her ass, a first, come to think of it. the boy’d escaped a boston kitchen, brazilian, sported sharkskin and six rounded muscles under a tattoo of his mother dressed as v.mary. intense boy, dangling boy. she had him over plastic trash barrels outside his temp job washing dish. that was a long week. “darby,” she said, “you weren’t so good.” darby mcclure knew the sound of rocks at the glass, escaping from primary school in the same fashion. renee was throwing stones, and he’d climb the ramparts of her challenge, but first, “how about that drink?”

    only ifa, feet up, was missing from the sitting room pow-wow that’d mistakenly materialized over the jock of andy denemark. down to the bottom of her rice box, still nipping the rye, ifa took the rolodex, (seriously), and pulled the d section clean out, stuff’d the five cards into her strapless. standing, she cracked her neck in an ellipse, put her shoes on, left foot right foot, and made her way to the rest of them. she found it strikingly odd that there was no conversation coming from the room. it felt tense from a foot outside the door. ms. okereke was a blue ribbon ice breaker, “enough cock tasting tonight for y’all? it’s like a parking lot after an a.a meeting in here. what goes?” tamar spoke up, “that fuck’s darby mcclure. he’s responsible for the fucked library model you were keeping company. he also happens to be responsible for me destroying my viviennes, running from a ceiling. once i get done with this drink, he’s had it.” tamar had no intention of pushing mr. mcclure around that evening, but she figured that the beating he’d already received was enough punishment, that he’d get the message with only her words. she was wrong. “there’s enough jim in these jeans for you too, mizz,” darby spit while talking. “don’t think it was all me putting that meeting down. dent himself set it up. this whole herring has bugger’d itself. ask’im.” dent didn’t flinch, standing, unzipped his pants hung his business out to a reasonably shocked audience. “we’re all gonna, at some point, be gripping my balls for what i’ve done. so why not now?” ifa threw her glass spot-on at his jock. the glass made impact, the ice and whiskey falling on tamar. “put that misery back in the pen and get the fuck into your office. i have a proposal. you and your dick, no more excuses.”

    olen hadn’t seen an actual adult male present himself since his neighbor’s suit came off at the lagoon two years previous, the same moment he thought he was gay. olen was relieved that this episode hadn’t reflected that night in reykjavik. he was also relieved that he felt relieved, which wasn’t the case nearly four hours previous, when he sat sipping his doppio at jfk. if there’s ever a place for a norwegian, an optimist, it was right there, in the stolen quomodo sitting room. olen ragnarsson would soon transform this crew into a working unit, albeit with more intermittent head, some snorting, and a series of micro-demolitions. he watched ifa drag dent by the ear into his office, closing the door, and then the sound of meat on meat. the resulting silence let the rest know that business was being done. olen imagined ifa holding a snapped chopstick to dent’s jug, maybe his balls. tamar, stood wet, pouring herself a drink, staring down mcclure who didn’t bother making eye contact. cloris took a wrinkled v-neck from renee’s handbag, as she’d come back from her car in the lot wearing only the burberry, this before getting busted. poor andy, asleep in an old cross-colours shirt used mostly by the cleaning people, smelled of endust and champagne, surprisingly a nice combination. the quomodo offices slept soundly under the demands and finger-wagging of ifa okereke, knowing well that they’d soon be used, maybe even the conference room, for creation.

    in helvetica neue, the sign on the door read

    quomodo – the method of doing something

    work for that weekend, friends. quomodo returns tuesday, guest starring ice cube, we wish. next episode: the a-team rents a van, and heads for muji soho. dent puts it on his platinum. tamar admires renee’s ensemble sense. olen searches for a mug with his face on it. darby, well, he’s out in the van, a carlsberg, leica, and brown bag. dude deserves a break. quomodo, 404 error.