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from Full House 2



In the greatest scenes

It is fairly common

—which is to say

We are usually unaware

Of an exact moment

Like this one—when

The actor repeats himself

In error—tho this is felt exactly

As particularized embodiment

And it is at this and for this

The crowd starts laughing its loudest









Its loudest thing is history

I lie beneath

So much writhing

In the air

The performativity of insects

I admire in lines

The yellow-green

Spoils of the newest trees

I have yet to name the

Characters or give them bells’

The golden tolling

Of apples

“Heaped up”

In their necks

Which means—containment  

It means masculine

If I could particularize

Or “You make me happy,”

Or “No, you make me unhappy, actually,”









Something is happening

What seems plausible on the page

Until one of the actors speaks it

Then unfolds falsely—and this was not the feeling

This set of words had

Meant to mean—even suggesting

The area around non-numbers

Or the adding up of voices—this one

To this one—in a long chain

A false song—

The trouble is—

Instead of acting

The actor stands in front of a mirror

Instead of standing the actor admires

What is so beautiful

Is so perfect









Establishing shot

There is a wind gathering in front of the building

Where the emergency takes place

All day

Inside me. Just the night before

I was in Del Ray

Fighting with Jesse.

Presumably it was about nothing

Though I stood outside the motel

As he cut across the courtyard

And pool—and could I focus all my attention

Now on this empty pool

And lights built into the concrete sides

Illuminating the water from within

Or perhaps the shadows travel upward

The terrazzo walls to the parking lot behind the motel

And those streetlights I remember

How empty those spaces seemed

Though filled with water










I associate

I associate the death of Mom

With the only landscape

My observation changed

When the camera pulls away

To reveal

The king is Elvis and everything is passionate

And still alive. And my dream is dumb

That I am speaking to you

Though you have my arm

Twisted behind my back

I can’t say Uncle.

But. Mom

Uncle Jesse



My parents.

Are missing.










There is the feeling that nothing can mitigate this feeling

Of a pulling away

Into space—a string

Which we could inhabit

Like a pin-head

I think this means


Music—in theory

What happens to us—

Happens in slow motion—

The head feels itself coming undone

So limpidly, in chunks and ribbons

For as long as we have

This idea, we come into being

Fresh, out of the shower, when you look

At the cleaned kitchen. The expensive living room

Rug. And what became of the other people

Who suffered us

Relative to the annual drop or rise in temperature?

What became

Of us? It is true

Nothing? Or it is not true? And everything.

That’s really what this is about.

At least, I think

That’s what this says.









Origins 3

And does this surface

Signal like a flag

Ripple in an airless breeze

Does it mean a symbol

Of our invention of the symbolic

Does it mean

The meaningless

Fluttering across the true and permanent dark

Of space—what binds our boundless

Plural—at midnight—as we’re walking

From the applause in our head

In love with the orange of streetlights

And Tic Tacs

And bird eggs

And these new birds

in our vocab

Which have hitherto been nonexistent

A thin river threaded a throne

Of soil, crumbles, light, like earths

Like Mothers, is a kind of dark

We will never meet with again

Or that we worship badly

As our grammars allow

A person posing

Near a window, just short of breaking

Off the view, or as good

Any new idea to become

Something we saw far off

Once, so will come to mean one thing

Later, when it’s closer

A family in total adherence to

Scale, a demented image of images

Changing size relative to theme music


The Milkman, The Paperboy, The Evening TV









My Full House

There are TV shows which absolutely conform to the collective’s idea of a TV show—

which willingly accept their place within the tradition—and so refuse to differentiate themselves whatsoever    

Full House is the most exemplary of these shows

it is clearly one of the least innovative of the family sitcoms   on the Big 3 & throughout its run its sole purpose was seemingly to confirm basically everything we, as the audience, had come to believe as denoting “our culture” 

which amounted to an understanding of genre, and our complete subservience to, and dominance of—genre

As the audience of Full House we wanted Full House to be nothing short of a cultural artifact we would one day hold up as “exemplary” of this need

as we watched we were comforted in our collective understanding of ourselves as the audience of Full House

as being in collective possession of an artifact as conforming as Full House

Full House is brutally effective in its ability to comfort without ever elaborating on or identifying this process of collective conformity—in comfort

Perhaps we want to believe ourselves part of a culture as interesting as anything Germany has produced—

after all, do we not have culture? after all, are we not culture?—





perhaps here it is Jeff Franklin the show’s producer and creator where we must look—for irony and questioning of sitcom custom

Franklin in the 80s was a wealthy producer for Warner Bros, and something of a bad boy, he eagerly courted tabloids, controversy, and enjoyed exercising his power in the industry ruthlessly. His drug use was notorious. He had at least two documented breakdowns. He was said to enjoy Roman themed parties

ranklin is on the record as stating his father was abusive –their relationship fraught, frayed—ultimately frayed

what does this say about the triad of widowed males who comprise Full House’s patriarchal structure?

Mark Warner, a critic, writes—“we don’t stay glued to the normative family—but to the supreme attempt to patch one together. We who are not queer or perverts or rebels or artists ourselves have no reason to pledge allegiance to the alterior. The demographic pledges allegiance to their culture—it says yes, we are The Milk Man, The Paper Boy, The Evening TV

Franklin’s life; his gender, his money, his status, his high powered education—all these bear out over the show; condition the plots which occur almost always without drama 





If we are to be honest with ourselves

our only mortality is being off screen

and this is why Full House more than Family Matters –this is why the family of blonde daughters raised by 3 men—has such a hold

we chose to shut ourselves inside this immortal familial constellation—to raise one another like blinds—to fill our interiors and to be made immortal by

the sacrifice of the obviously absent mother





as the show went on, attention turned to the youngest of the daughters—who, by merely being before the camera—from the earliest stage of consciousness to adult consciousness—became a cipher, through which we explored the implications of life in the surveillance state

the constant gaze

and the limits of Self

the Self which is and is not itself at any given time, on camera, before the camera

we as an audience experienced the youngest daughter as an actual and prescient event of doubling, and haunting—the one always being the twin she is not





One of the daughters became a religious zealot, shaved her head

Another bloated up, became addicted to drugs, saw ghosts

The twins refused to eat, became artists, and withered away

One of the dads elaborated on the very dirty nature of being a dad, became depressed, and literally stopped bathing

Another of the dads went into pornography, reached inside, to release the coils of his ancient Attic lust

Another of the dads tried to tell jokes that no one would laugh at. Or could laugh at. This humorless void would eventually defeat irony and usher in the age of sincerity once and for all









An ecstasy of beginnings

these violently
culled coils these bright flowers these in a collision of
or collapse
of lines—these flaming
relics of poems these the difference this time extends
through the other richer difference
of contracting
around or with or into or on

these a capitalized term for blondes
these flowers
in their mouths like a glass
rain their mouths are always breaking
like a wind
through my head
a bough breaks and I am clean
minus the times when I am not always









A modern invention

Joey beams as though Uncle Jesse were his invention

The Greek man

The Greek worker

The Greek debt

“I am finished,” Joey says, with the flourish of a magician









The new art

Many attempts were made to cast Michelle

Into a large steel beam

In gallery space. They suspended

Her from wire—there, she was described as floating

“Like an exchange rate”




In that margin

Between viewer and object

A face

Assumes itself like a definition

Through repeated error—it looks back at itself

It is terrifying?

Error of the gaze—

It is cool?


Where were you when you first heard the word stagflation?




Happy blonde curls

Whimpering, I’m so

Not straight—or I’m not so happy


Cast as a large steel beam

In her mouth

A cow’s tongue


Let us recognize then this moment


Of dairy—beaming

In her mouth

Her words—“Having a cow”




In gallery space, the word white space

Passes for the first time as a sort of plural

For darkness through which

A mind cries. This is not unlike wind

The anal phase

Through which a consciousness

Embedded in our feelings—passes  

As a thought—and these thoughts are gas

Attendants to our shared sense of being here

Together, like walls—and have in them

Artifacts of faces—tho the vanished kind

Which belong to fabulations

Errors of translation in the ancient texts







Randy Lee Maitland

Randy Lee Maitland is a teacher in Brooklyn, where he also lives and gets along.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2016

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