249 Readings | 4 Ratings

These Words Came to Me Late Friday/Early Saturday

(co-written with Kenneth Goldsmith)

Art week? Oh, we can take it over. It’s no big deal. It’s 
like magic! (If we had no language.) It’s—Google this!—
it’s “mediated by the tape medium.” (I can’t believe I’m
the secretary!) 

I want to give you a demonstration (and if there is no
language, I’m making the most ridiculous argument!):

How can you say you’re self-conscious when you’re like
the nude—the nude artist
of the century? I mean, is that a joke? (It’s pretty close!)

We’re just playing; I’m not mad. It was a joke. Wasn’t
that cute? I can’t say everything that I know 
we’re thinking, but if you were taping, that’d be a relief.

“Sorry, there’s no language”? You’re, like, giving me a
hard time about my art project? Nobody will ever hear
these tapes? Fuck it, Cheryl! I’m gonna go clean up,
because we’re the same person. Especially you. If you
were Harpo, you’d have five times as many tapes as me.


hate sex. Why? We repeat everything. Remember
the time we buried the dog? No? Why don
’t you say
that? Because I’m talking now? Oh. Yeah.

Instead of saying, “I don’t want that,” speak…!

“Is it time already for another laundry?”
“This might be the last wash for the winter…”
“No, it was a joke.”
“Go to bed.”


Do you have the highest voice ever? Call me. Because
you’re—I’m—the secretary. (We’re the same people, see?)

You have the highest voice (and head)
of anyone on the tape—these tapes. (“Of course I did!”)

I said it because I’m talking. We see with two—


“No. Yeah. No. I will. Because this will—…what? I don’t.
Just one week. And—…good night.”


This red light is simulated.

Look, the recorder will stay on.

Now watch this:

Posted 02/22/14
Statement of Concept: Retrieved Friday, 2.21.14, 11:45PM CST to Saturday, 2.22.14, 1.20AM CST. This poem was co-written with Kenneth Goldsmith.
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