Tape of “Katie Lazzaro Walking Home, Binghamton, NY, 1976”
“What if all that humans have ever created
ceased to exist, and I was left to recreate it all?
How to build a house,
a city of houses, houses underground and overflowing
into the streets? The streets, what about streets,
where to put them, how much tar, how much stone,
how to drive machines that mix, dispense, and roll out streets,
how to make machines? How do I organize a postal service
to number mailboxes, and to deliver mail to those numbers,
how do I make mailboxes, how do I tell people
what a mailbox is for, how do I get people to fall in love
and send mail? And how do I advertise love, who can advertise love,
what other goods and services can be advertised, who owns
billboards, who owns the ground of billboards,
who owns that Ogden Nash poem about billboards
and trees disappearing, who owns my thought
that references Ogden Nash, and can I make
all these messages of desire work better,
more transient, with sidewalks or fireworks? Dear God,
how do I get people to play baseball, to play it in their yards,
for sons to play fathers, is baseball related to love,
what about lawn chairs, places to buy lawn chairs,
pink flamingos, cigarette butts placed just so,
car windows left open, gardens, seed packets,
the world is amazing.”
Tape of “Carissa Golevik’s Instructions for a Job Interview”
“I suggest beginning with something personal,
perhaps that story about your childhood cat or dog
you found dying on the side of the road. Show them
you can learn. Then wait for the interviewer
to offer water before bringing up that magazine article
about water being the new oil, which was
the new water. Laugh. Tell them you read books
to sound intelligent. Tell them the difference between
crazy bad and crazy like the horse who cracked
Nietzsche. Now that was one crazy horse! Laugh.
Always reference philosophical anecdotes
as if they are your own. That was mine. Tell the interviewer
you listen to NPR, not because you’re a radical,
ha, far from it, not actually even political, I just vote
Win, Win, Win! Laugh. Restart the NPR story,
say you listen to it because breakfast is the loneliest meal of the day.
Don’t laugh. Show them the artwork of your uncombed hair.
Front and back. In profile. In and out of pose. Play your theme song
on a harmonica as you enter and exit the room. Remember repetition.
Remember alliteration. Tell them you read biographies
to sound wise. Maps to sound brave. Watertown
to Potsdam, what is that, like two hours? Ask them about religion.
Laugh. Explain how your concept of God began
that day your cat or dog refused to die. Show them
you can learn. You can adapt. If you’re more attractive,
look at their body. If they’re more, their eyes. If it’s too close to tell,
yawn and be beautiful. Stretch. Wink. Laugh. Tell them
you two crazy horses look like your ancestors
must’ve been related. Explain evolution. Revolution.
Or mention how the universal theory of physics might
involve the elimination of distance. Kiss the interviewer. Tell them
you love them. Say it twice. Have children together. Take photographs.
Be happy. Only happy. Then, finally, write your name and address
on the back of their hand.”