Mark Cunningham


I was arrested for standing in front of one of Barnett Newman’s “zip” paintings with my pants undone. “For those with short attention spans, television shows that use short skits can help restore an interest in TV.” The eyes of the Antarctic Penguins looked painted on. Scientists Proclaim Invention of Invisibility Cloak in Sight. The room was designed for study, and it was so quiet that any incidental noise—rustling paper, a cough—was deafening.


At one time, Renoir’s Boating Party was the most famous painting in the world; now it’s famous for having been at one time the most famous painting in the world. That’s the closest, if you can call it close, it’s not that close at all. I kept saying, “I mean, I mean,” until I had no idea what I meant. It’s the pilot light—but you have to light it. Somebody tell that kid to stop calling the stuffed dog.


Giddy from the experimental drug, we stopped asking, “What does it mean?” and started questioning, “What does it signify?” I didn’t realize until way too late the downside of body-gliding over the falls “like a baby otter.” Blind cave-dwelling species often have vestige eyes. I have current eyes but vestige dreams. I try to pick my scabs until they’re in the outline of my home state. Our grant proposal was turned down because no one wrote a comment card after going through the anti-matter exhibit.


We started to read an essay titled “Association by Contiguity,” but then we saw the comics lying on the table and said the hell with it. An adult relationship with your parents, ha, ha, ha. You’re not thinking of your left knee, are you? The personality test is the one you want to score low on. In praise of boredom: permanently dilated pupils indicate permanent brain damage.


Nurse novels—feminist or not? It’s called a skin bank for a reason. I’ll just be riding an escalator and I’ll realize I’ve been wearing underwear all day. We were told the star of the team couldn’t play because he damaged a groin. Someone might be making plans through you. It was right in front of him, so he had a bird’s-eye view of it. She said the eyeless sockets blurred in the photograph still formed a gestalt. He has the Fijian ability to create space. Tomorrow night: let your mind wander.

In addition to his 80 Beetles which Otoliths published last year, Mark Cunningham has two other books out: Body Language from Tarpaulin Sky Press, and 71 Leaves, an ebook from BlazeVox. Right Hand Pointing has just put out a chapbook titled nightlightnight with nifty photographs by Mel Nichols, and later in the year Lamination Colony will be putting out a chapbook titled Georgic, with Eclogues for Interrogators.

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