John Bradley & Giorgia Pavlidou
Collaborative Corona Text:
An Exercise in Automatic Writing
Thirteen Simple Remedies to Vanquish the Virus
Avoid crowds, coughs, and cowards, but fear neither germs nor Germans!
–from “How to Fight Spanish Flu,” 1918
- Vibrate your sternum until the unwanted furniture in your nasal passages begins to shift and turn.
- Read Autobiography of a Violet Ray Ozone Generator to your goldfish while stirring a pot of chicken noodle soup with your big toe.
- Wash your hair with garlic, malt, gunpowder, cod liver oil, iron, wild cherry bark, and a piece of red thread. Because the Devil cannot tolerate red.
- Listen again to Billie Holiday and Doc Holliday singing, in a subliminal frequency, “I’m Just a Spinning Spiral Vortex.”
- Make a replica of Chicago, Babylon, Persepolis, and Ur. Use salt or sugar crystals soaked in the urine of a camel rubbed with buffalo dung.
- Place all your belongings on a diving board and call the crows with a pennywhistle. Do this until only chicken bones remain.
- Dance on the table of a Contaminated Culinary Studies Historian with your feet wrapped in leaves of coffee, tobacco, aloe, and jalap.
- Immerse yourself in a vat of conjugating kombucha while repeating: Sleep, ask me if I’m asleep.
- That pulsing hole just behind you—once enjoined it shall remove all traces of you, your lamentations, and the hole just behind you.
- Purify your aura with sonic waves after making sloppy, unsanitary love with your partner(s).
- Spontaneously gargle with a May-apple and powdered glass detoxifier to cleanse the throat while reading text that breaks into predatory particles that float off the screen.
Repeat, this time using the granulated text as a laxative.
- Release your fleas into the shoe-box desert at the back of your closet behind the tambourine, miniature anti-aircraft battery, and the transparent falcon.
- Paint, with colloidal silver, your lips, your buoyant lips, and let them fly along the long night roads.
Giorgia Pavlidou’s Thirteen Automatic Responses:
1. Reshuffle thought-furniture in your head. Hearing voices could be your next hobby. Convince your head to listen carefully when your brain’s talking to your mind.
2. Twist and shout with a loan shark in a fishbowl, and it’ll rain US dollars in your living room. While trying to void yourself, you’ll find Georgette Washington staring at you from a wet one-dollar bill.
3. Replace your wig with actual Fakahatchee Grass. Allow garlic infused lizards living under your wig, to mosh to speed metal when you take a shower. Don’t forget to use biodegradable shampoo.
4. Baudelaire confuses Billy Holiday for Jeanne Duval. She tells him, In Haiti people have Spinning Spiral Vortices for breakfast, but John Bradley doesn’t know it yet.
5. Drink a cup of old piss in the early morning. Eat camel-falafel in the evening. Soak the whole of Chicago in white paint. I promise: after that, your darkest desires will turn into rubber.
6. Crows are thugs. Never do business with a righteous man. Eat a human hand instead. Bon appetite!
7. Amputate your legs and dance jumping up and down with your hands on an operating theater. If flatulence happens to be your main problem, try singing the national anthem of Flathuania.
8. Hatch your egg but eat the shell first. It’s never a good idea to boil two verbs at the same time: when one gargles the other one spits.
9. Cuts, bruises and wounds: don’t trust them. I’m sure they’ll stab you in the back when you look them in the eye.
10. Stroke the orifices of your dream. Listen to what the night tells you: its wisdom is growing under your skin. Pluck a black thought.
11. Name your son Adolf, but make sure he mutilates his genitals when he’s 51. A new war must be prevented at all costs.
12. In Haiti ants wear suits. In Japan and Germany germs wear feathers. At home, the half-blind wear pants. And that only when Whiskey is served instead of yesterday’s licorice tea.
13. In Athens you realize that the Acropolis was turned into a Mosque for
Lesbian Presbyterians. You don’t care, yet you finish your housekeeping singing pre-Ottoman folk-songs.