"[Gaga Stigmata has] very modern, edgy photography to free flowing, urban narratives without censure to analytical essays, et cetera—like Gaga, imagination without ... limits. And the beauty is that anyone can submit work to the site, so artists and writers from all over the [world] have joined this experiment." -The Declaration.org

"Since March 2010, [Gaga Stigmata] has churned out the most intense ongoing critical conversation on [Lady Gaga]."
-Yale's The American Scholar

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Violent Blossoming Cities Ask How to Hear the Song

By Amy King

           --As if the land of Gagah could happen here.

Infected in the language with feet on the flesh-
colored linoleum floor, white tulips growl to hold
our crisp momentous maker
fully cocked and loaded,
a crash-test monument to the lion’s handshake
that resembles people of a showcase persuasion:
any trauma is an order for us to come to terms with
immanence or some tuxedo of divorcing action
that can test the bound limbs of a diffuse-but-mercurial-present.
That is why death has been cancelled:
there is no legitimate innocent event. Hear,
her claw tooth vibrates off the dust of your wig
and voice bends into your ear.

Doubt colored our economy thus,
a certain dance style lighting echo-chamber feet
to an end akin
to cruise missiles launched at Belgrade,
refugees at unknown purpose,
with impacts improving the songs of the 40s
but no further out, casting
a backward glance into pillars of swaying salt and tinsel.
Few wish the light wouldn’t hide there alone.

From a post-perspective, the leather lashes teach us
at the same time we now know
that just as the first world roots in the third,
the third world robots the first
with fecund glitter and fool’s rival gold.

Tribalism will not mouth us apart any time soon.
Centrifuge yourself. Rather, inescapable
will play backwards again, conjure Lady Self
and turn trapped transparent
at the behest of the foggy tongue soon enough.
If easy listening, then inescapable sounds.
Either the artist argues or consequence wins.
On occasion, death is a diagnosis,
if this loss will take us anywhere
towards an uncomfortable truth or
some version of performance.
Nausea-with-flask recuperates a cast-iron skin
in pearly grays and smoky thin
as we move through the human heyday
of feeling superior to long-shadowed sirens.
My how her reach has grown.
Like gunpowder aches in the calyx’ eardrum.
The mothball prisons cannot locate the necessary funds
to acquire leisure-time or the ability to walk
for everyone with balding canes across dance-hall
floors with coccyx love to ride around on.
We could be climbing the vines of a Bonaventure Inn,
eyelashes laden with postwar resistance.
It is here, then, that the transition condition
re-sounds the remnants of adolescent
power pains in instant cities like Baghdad.
Hip, disposable and pure off-muteness default
an architecture of hairs-on-end, suicides-beyond,
heads-up-Daddy, phones-on-top, how bleach and guns
rub the cells clean off, chainsaws smelling
of blood-based colognes and an urban land of people-into-disco-
sticks, engines of their streets closing down
unemployment: expensive shots of ageless whiskey
and single-slot meals pour down the franchise gowns
whose stories tell, “No one aids the spider in Teflon.”
Not one dress, for or against, not one town.

Shock and still inspires protective rigor mortis
of another star-is-born, who so earnestly believes
the sacred springs greener envy and the dolls of youth
turning brittle as the doves of war
melt onto the shield of pleasure versus method—
all based on the fountain’s goblet full
of a wild colt’s dissolving ink,
sheathed in a nest of sequins. The architecture of how
things come to be proves mostly unable
to escape the marketplace, so why then would you
want to be like everyone else? What then is else?
A cape of laughter howls at character culture.
An irrepressible diary veers toward omniscience.
The hermit bands join the highways’ abyss.
And cultivation of react and resist births a snake
in the theater of Joshua tree, moving certainly among us,
whipping her lasso and smoking her apple
full of happy gashes, delivers her crepe of music-
pocked silence, until the lasting breaks
the horizon’s egg into oxygen-blue, our saddle full of excess.

Author Bio: Amy King's latest book is Slaves to Do These Things (Blazevox) and forthcoming I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press). King moderates the Poetics List (SUNY-Buffalo/University of Pennsylvania) and the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO). She also teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. She is currently preparing a book of interviews with the poet, Ron Padgett. She co-edits two magazines: Esque and Poets for Living Waters.  For more, visit http://amyking.org.


  1. Holy merde, I think I will sit down and shut up now! This is an AMAZING piece of work. Thank you.

  2. This is absolutely GORGEOUS.

  3. c'est beau! gaga in a landscape = still life?


  4. A great piece that reminds us that swallowing is not easy when you've not been fed. Rimbaud said, "Suffering is sure." Amy reminds us,

    "On occasion, death is a diagnosis,
    if this loss will take us anywhere
    towards an uncomfortable truth or
    some version of performance."

    this version will undoubtedly reach its conclusion in chaos. Or as Rimbaud wrote, "..the voice of a woman coming from the depths of the volcanoes and arctic grottoes."


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