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after Bernadette Mayer

A partial account

In her words, first: "In July 1971, Mayer began experimenting with her memory. She shot a roll of 35mm film each day, and kept a rigorous daily journal. The project resulted in a staggering total of 1,100 photographs and nearly six hours of recorded poetry." In homage and upon the Siglio release of the project compiled into a book, I mimicked Mayer's exhaustive process according to some rules of my own: each day (for me, it was February), I read aloud + recorded the day's entry; marked my favorite spots with yellow tape and then typed them up; took photos of the photos in the book, moving more and more "in situ," remnants of my own life framing Mayer's. I recorded some fragments of my day in a grid reserved for this purpose. A few times I took 20 photos a day of my own, though on my smart phone. 

July 1

Sometimes memory is just noise (22)


i love you you are deer we dont hear images from you

anymore what else can you remember nothing something else

parents, come to the hurricane, it’s on the first floor (23)

July 2

took a shower we exchange identities again (29)


frances on the street, I knew we would meet here converging

irresistible, I’m on my way home no we are (29)


in front of lights turns green & tracks all around in the middle

of the forest we light the interiors with generators we light

the forest with generators, and to set it straight if everybody thinks life is shit but me then isn’t this writing shit & old (33) 


In front of the city where the silver moon always shines & someone’s always up, like the late show replaced by stars coming in thru your window (34)

July 3

a place with an old reputation every day or at least every saturday or at least every july 3 & after that we came home

& I went up on the roof to take some pictures. It was still a

clear day. (39)


smoothly into focus comes foods notes sounds taken in the

car taken while every one & every thing goes on moving in

some experiment with isolation (39)


new york post & put it down in case we die tomatoes from

italy are good. I have no way of remembering a day. (40)


a movie is only the result of two to three months exploration 

of something, i tried to find a picture of karl marx when he 

was young but i found it only afterwards (43)


nice little place you got here, i’ve got a great idea, let’s you

i be honest with each other this isnt a nice little place &

you know it, well it is kinda, yeah it is (44)

July 4

country, drinking three cups of coffee to talk about anarchy, to write a letter to anne about an old worn out subject, the destruction of the tapes, feel the breeze the generation gap,

think about about watching another person, then creating one

for people to watch, understanding the desire to watch other people to understand them or just to watch them, to finding

any place to set things down then save this for later

& wait. (48)


I washed at least 3 blue shirts to take to massachusetts & overexposed them on the fire escape. (52)


& I thought it would be easier to write a letter to no on, a

letter to you in particular, but to wake up on a hot morning, have nothing really to do but everything & no money & no

very little sleep & very scared in the morning & to start doing things, you better start doing thing, like, the diary as a book--“the lowest form.” Everything’s high or low (55)


it’s sort of near the lower west village you know/great looking street/unbelievable i couldn’t believe it (59)

July 5

so you forget to see blue was morning was light on

whatever was light was new but you return (60)


get to see the trees moving like listening to them: what was

that, I can hear it in my head as you begin to repeat...let’s go back to that tree, that one, cross the divider, turn around, is

that the one? Is that the one that moved to listen? & what are

you listening to is it the line of the highway rising you hear it mark X on the sun (60)


If we continue fixating, this patch will vanish, then return

only to vanish once more (67)