some thoughts on spacetimemattering by James Barickman

some thoughts on spacetimemattering…

“How unfathomable is the task of taking account not only of mattering but of its inseparability
from the void, including the infinite abundance that inhabits and surrounds all being?”
Karen Barad, On Touching—The Inhuman That Therefore I Am

“In the course of the last millennium, planting obviously became more technical, because the
theoretical distance to it increased. Planting is done mechanically, fertilizing chemically,
alteration of plants biologically, and the rhythm of ripening (waiting) is controlled artificially”

Vilém Flusser, The Gesture of Planting

“The only way I think is imagining having conversations with friends”
Laura Henriksen, week 4 of the Friends & Lovers Feminist Reading Group

anna’s been encouraging me to get on twitter _ she has an anonymous “diary” account where
she posts whatever; confessions _ bad jokes _ hopes of exes dying in car crashes… anna says it
feels good to put those thoughts out there _ wherever there is

i’ve been looking for a psychiatrist online _ one site takes my insurance info then instantly
connects me to a number of licensed professionals in my area _ the process is as easy as
anything else on the internet & _ save for the thumbnails _ virtually indistinct

ashanti dreams ______________ my mother & i pick her up
from work ___________________ in a bright pink suv
_____________________________________________________________________ though she’s
_________________________________________________ never met
_______________________________________________________ my mother _ before

cori uses an app to track messages from the stars; jokes, how else will she know what to do?

anna has two followers _ one is her roommate, asprey _ when asprey likes a tweet, i watch anna
thank her in person _ her other follower is a corporate account _ whose bio reads “Best Vape
Website in the [globe emoji]”

i pick a doctor whose office is a 10-minute bike ride away _ an appointment is made with a
resident operating out of her practice _ & not with the doctor, herself _ the nice lady
whose picture i clicked on

today, cori’s phone suggests she practice holding onto 2 opposing ideas _ advises she “claim
[her] place in the void” _ & attaches a grainy black-and-white photo of what looks _ to me
like a tower _ some sort of spire…

while filling out paperwork in the lobby, i grow uneasy overhearing another patient schedule a
test for his adhd _ to prove he really has it _ one form asks i agree to take a mandatory drug test
every month, before each session _ silently, i leave the clipboard on my chair

the planets say i should quit smoking _ they send photos of a spider _ the profile of a topless
woman touching her toes _ & one of a bruised pear _ the skin of which _ is not unlike the
surface of the moon

i text ashanti _ what does your subconscious
______________________________________________ think my mom looks like ?

the moon highlights parts of my horoscope similar to cori’s _ it grants me subtle access into
the folds of her day _ her slight _ starry mechanics _ it all seems a little invasive, honestly

a friend refers me to her own psychiatrist _ i leave a message with my name & number & over a
week later, i get a call back _ unfortunately, this practice is not taking on new patients at this
time _ in turn, they give me two new referrals _ one doctor is a balding man who specializes in
child psychiatry & has a creepy headshot _ the other’s in midtown

i dream i’m staying in a house filled with people my age
(though ____________________________________ no one i know)
the cops come __________________ & arrest everybody ____ but i escape
because the officer watching the back is busy
________________________________________________________________ nursing a baby

like cori, i’m informed, “restlessness will always accompany [my] attempts to be present” _ like
her, i “serve others as a way to avoid true vulnerability” _ picture of a walnut _ picture of a
sharp gem _ picture of a cactus _ of a feather _ of a different feather _ picture of a halved
pomegranate _ its color soaked out

i leave a message for the doctor in midtown _ that same day, someone from her office gets back
to me _ unfortunately, this practice does not accept insurance

by the time the cop spies me drifting
______________________________________________________________& safely returns the infant to her crib
i’ve made a break for the beach, _____ it’s a beach house
(i don’t know _________________________________ where
the money’s coming from)

James Barickman

James Barickman is a bookseller, mover, & sound tech; he co-hosts the Mascot reading series with Cori Hutchinson.