going west, I look down from my Delta flight to California below, the territory

of the imaginary in which clouds ring out utopias of the golden earth, rivers of milk,

rivers of excess that flow to “Baby” by Justin Bieber, ringleader of the virgins

encased in remote adulthood, he wears chastity like a veil to re-enforce tween

sex appeal, which of course would be violated were you to touch him, oh oh oh,

I cannot die, I cannot be killed, I can only fly across the waters of the oceans

below, landscapes of undying splendor and adoring peoples who shuffle en masse

to see me, everywhere, at once, hemorrhaging category of the straight male,

starstruck by the excess of disruptive totalities, bodies in a gym or smiling on a jet,

out of which, oof, their structuring comes in a wave, or as Paul Virilio writes

in The Information Bomb, “the smaller the world becomes as a result of the

relativistic effect of telecommunications,” meaning Justin Bieber’s Instagram

feed, “the more violently situations become concertinaed, with the risk of economic

and social crash that would merely be the extension of the visual crash of this

‘market of the visible,’ in which the virtual bubble of the ‘interconnected’ financial

markets is never any other than the invisible consequence of the visible bubble

of a politics which has become panoptical and cybernetic,” i.e., in the bringing

of it all together, disarray of the field of particulars that bucks at the subjective field

in which a holographic Bieber moves, ensconced in his private jet, or more to the point,

the murder plot unravels but ends to reverse expectation and defer death across

the event horizon, into evening, where the oldest man with a Justin Bieber tattoo

meets co-conspirator to finalize his plan to castrate and murder the pop star,

in a bunker where we meet to arrange powers of attorney, flowers climbing up

the walls, my fingers close around the rail as I deplane at SFO, which is not

difficult though with an eye on the long view it will eventually become impossible,

if not submerged in water, going about for days, then in my advanced age,

in and out of feeling and deciding that, truly, the most beautiful place name

in the United States is Embarcadero, Spanish for wharf or place of departure,

I remember renting a van and driving around San Francisco at night, powerful

force of country music registering within its coordinates the activity of memory,

the split second at which I enjoyed seeing the word Divisadaro on a sign,

wondering also what exactly Justin Bieber will remember of his travels, his name

which I almost wrote here as Justine, like the character in the famous porno

fantasy of the Marquis de Sade, prisoner of unsplit will, masculinity reinscribed

as the supple dictator’s body around which non-male-assigned bodies cavort

until twisted into the chainlink fence that surrounds him, the Marquis, writing

on toilet paper, Justine Bieber writing on his iPhone, a hundred wonders

that ought to be forgotten but not the alleged nude photos that prevail online

and his balls at the tip of a knife, such a different implosion of particulars that

makes up a night in San Francisco vs. a night at the Kids Choice Awards,

on stage, splashed by slime as is the custom of Nickelodeon, and to think,

even green goo, the texture of semen, became a corporate signifier,

Justine, Justine, I want to call out, as I watch him drenched—in what?—DNA

encoded in its sacred material, churning inside, spunk among “the spared,”

the purple sky above me untouched by the fog of the Bay, so atypical I suppose,

but everything is not misfortune and with enough drive the speed to escape

vantage point of the unholy world is enough to propel you beyond, into the

nonspace of air travel, globalized bodies of pop stardom, Therese beset

by misfortune, brought to the mud to make it holy again, the Madame

de Lorsogne cleared of any crime and Therese struck, not by lightning but by

the moralistic literary device of a culture about to be wiped off the map,

but I’m not criticizing de Sade I’m only suggesting this might be his critique,

and I head up north to the Redwoods, where by the end of the twentieth century,

95% of the forest was sawed down no matter to create a forest of the dead,

a ghost wood, the encompassing home of the lost brought together by

the crisp air of another day, my feet firmly on the springy earth, I walk

with a friend to a tree where people like to photograph themselves, likely

the most photographed tree in the park, into which I carve Justine, name

of our roseate exegesis and a totem, worthy of violation of custom to be written

into one of the members of the 5% as permanent fixture, the lonely forest,

the place I wish I knew best, where I cannot pass through with the speed

necessary to forget it was ever such a roaming territory, endless once

a world of giants in which the living prevailed alone among the branches