by Sarah R. Stockton
Sarah R. Stockton writes, teaches, and works in Los Angeles. She is a creative writing MFA candidate at CalArts.
an ekphrasis after Hammer Projects: Max Hooper Schneider
After we broke the passenger-side mirror for the third time, having
brushed it against the matching protuberance on a local’s sedan, we
ceased our efforts of taking it to Seng Auto Body on Sunset, and
decided to reattach it ourselves. We blinkered over to Target to buy
epoxy, insidious in the lightweight auto aisle, and the mixture adhered to my
fingers in the carport. But it worked! And we kept the syringe in the
gully between the front seats, in case the mirror came undone from the
hill breezes. Well, predictably, it sprung a leak, and our lives’ debris
(itemized receipts, Hot Cheeto nubs, tear/snot stains) formed a
jelly that then formed a laminate, and preserves our junk in
kilny gloss to this very day. The smell: petrol and its progeny,
lubricant, machine memory. And today we walk parallel,
meandering through fumes in a gallery box, a contained
nature under plastic, baked to iridescent in New Mexico sun.
Oh look look look—you pssting behind me—fiddlehead fern-
person, elephant-trunk phallus, crushed-up Red Sox watch.
Quavering on the speaker: whale songs and SONAR pings,
rending human howls, a synth auto-consuming. Is there always
so much screaming? I ask the museum guard. Like, are you good?
There are other exhibits without screaming, he says. He doesn’t
understand. You come alongside, show me your photos, not
violated by the sounds. And I too am solidifying under the
waxy residue of your body fluids, becoming preserved, exact and
exquisite. We are covered in trinkets and cloth, flesh leaking carbon and
yielding to touch, awaiting the great
zap of the actual.