Midtown Skin Essay Series with Parts 1-5
1. Happy Hour
The sound from exhaling smoke is everywhere. People breathe with their hearts as rain clouds come from New Jersey. But they do not fall. The sky is gray and empty of a future. Women cruise through revolving doors into catalogs of private romance. Men linger with their fantasies for a moment, on the curb, outside of the brokerage firm. The bosses wait together for their car service, placing bets on who will fuck at the VP afterlounge. Lincolns in line stretch down the blocks past marble stairs and hedges. These cars are thick and black and they do not forgive. At this hour, corporate art can sneak into our souls. The markets change over to Asia. All through Manhattan, the people are killing their day lives. Captains of Industry are embracing their moment of blindness, at the intersection of work and sex. Everyone follows a different path to the gratification called home.
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Since I’m only 23, it’s hard for me to understand love without the Internet. Probably all the times I’ve been in love, the Internet has been involved. Let’s consider some poems from the 1990s and early 2000s that feature love.
From a design standpoint, many of these poems suffer and thrive within the limitations of early web design utilities. There are strange boarders, floral .gifs, and extensive breaking with conventional wisdom on fonts.
In terms of how these poems make me feel, there is a note of desperation and of severe emotion in these works. They seem spiritual – and often are explicitly religious. They are from a time before online dating was common. They are from a time before Facebook. Electronic detachment was fresh.
i remember my father crying at the dinner table during thanksgiving in the year 2006. he was telling me the world was fucked, telling me i had to sell my soul to make money. it was the only way, he said.