Poets Online Talking About Coffee: Greg Bem

I’ve just been reading about D2 in Retro Gamer magazine. They say:

Survival horror has been done better on the Dreamcast, but D2‘s mix of gameplay styles and outstanding visuals make it an adventure worth tracking down.

Will you be tracking it down?

Great question–thanks for the question (I’m rarely asked about anything these days). So despite what the word on your mind streets might be, I don’t have experience with the D-Series–I never have, really. But I got the gold in the eyes and, after having sought out with a great white foam fountain of a mouth some pertinent background information on this sequel, it clearly will be a game I do not under any circumstances track down. The short: it’s too personally intrusive, that subject matter. The long: They gutted the pregnancy demon abortion plot line for something a little bit more tolerable due to some hardware shift? What kind of world are we living in, and don’t they know what the masses wanted? Also, what’s wrong with all this Dreamcast hipster retrograde, anyway? And how does that tie into horror, and what’s true horror, and isn’t most horror about some kind of survival? And when survival meets bad gameplay and potential waste of time, I remember just how frail my physical form is and how soon my demise will arrive. Speaking of slow, clock-ticking gameplay, I just finished watching a YouTube recording of Silent Hill 2. Survival Horror to me? What happens when my narrating friend goes away at the end of the series of videos? Also, remember that pizza guy, and the young girl, and the footsteps, and there’s something mystically un-Freudian about pizza-pyramid cultural mashups.

Thanks for your answer. Great answer. I remember jumping when the wall of TVs in the shopping centre (mall) in the original Silent Hill all turned on at once.

Now, we’ve all seen you and Rauan Klassnik swimming in this video:

But what is a Chattahoochee?

I’m surprised that video still exists, though should I be? I remember Rauan held someone at metaphorical knifepoint a few days ago arguing something about blood this and copyright that and everything is on the hands of those who record it. I stayed silent, as usual. He had me on a Skype call in his pocket so all I saw was black but I felt that heat, that warmth emanating from his thigh, and the slight padding of the texture. Occasionally light, probably coming through from the floodlights Rauan keeps in his closet that he uses during his interrogations and intellectual property pursuits, would dash across the screen, creating a spark of pixels against the fabric. It was corduroy if I remember correctly, a rough tan mesh of softness, which is a rarity. I remember the heavenly, thick gentleness of corduroy as a glimmering things. Like gems being pushed out through borders in Myanmar.

As far as your questions goes, I’m going to have to defer the question the same way I defer my loans: indefinitely. I will, however, attempt to reference some groundbreaking new poem by some groundbreaking new poet out of some groundbreaking new neighborhood as my direct influence for knowing that “Chattahoochee” must mean something important to someone within 7 degrees of both you, dear editor, and myself.

How was Cambodia?

Re-entering the pineapple, feeling the whispers directed toward me but through me, blazing sun before the drop of cloud tear. You sit, you drink, and then you do. The now-ex-partner N. Marin who came to perform The Stones Are Awake with Scott Bywater, Warren Daly, and myself, where blood-red paint formed bands around our blind spots. A visit to a jungle of seized motos, captured from meth-stoned Cambodian teenagers working for lumber tycoons on the edge of Vietnam, pipes smoldered next to the morning calls of endangered gibbons. A moon walk and reprieve from chaos and psychosis on a remote beach of the ever-intoxicated Koh Rong, island of lost souls since found and turned drunken, loved to live, loved to love, the moon forcing us to become superhuman, soaked in adrenaline. Bong Tram. Soaked Brother. Street vendors selling frog, catfish, beef, egg, pork, and all other manner of greasy protein. The journey into the decayed French ruins of seaside Kep, where golden wings turned us and our lives into outsider fluctuation careful and tiptoe. Sighs and the ocean. The quiet like an American quiet, but always the zone of the moto rumble. In Russian Market there was always meat, and filth, and stench, and beauty. The brightest colors. The truest stares. No stairs. Further along, away from the heart of a beating metropolis, the wood carvers from Vietnam transformed into artisans of the machine. Later, poets Hailey Higdon and Tanya Holtland, spending their holiday following me into remote Koh Kong province, filled with dusty roads, sweating bellies, green sodas, cascading water, and howls of dog packs through the night but for what? And later: being carried along by older men on motor bikes, gently, like paintbrush stroking a forever unfinished landscape. Kirirom as the last outlet, the cold amidst the thick blanket of monsoon stick, cloud line netting us and picking us up to the surface, the lowest level of sky, and it was there the mushrooms ruptured and the monks showed no face, and I felt the bandanna loosen and slip into my pocket.

DSC_0003 (Seima) DSC_0026 (Koh Rong) DSC_0029 (Phnom Penh) DSC_0032 (Kep) DSC_0070 (Koh Rong) DSC_0074 (Russian Market, Phnom Penh) DSC_0187 (Boeung Trabek, Phnom Penh) DSC_0194 (Chi Phat) DSC_0220 (Kep) DSC_0221a (Chi Phat) DSC_0252 (Koh Kong) DSC_0279 (Kirirom) DSC_4428 (Phnom Penh)

What are your top ten alternatives to coffee and poetry?

One, if you put chilies on everything, you forget what your world was and what it currently is, a sort of singularity for the tongue. Second, let me remind you that dumb video games were created around the time universities started teaching lang-po to its students and this fact is not a coincidence and it is also directly related to coffee. Third, northern Mexico, and I don’t mean it’s a good alternative. Fourth, solar-powered cell-phone chargers are both made to make you look sexier as geek chic accessory and made to enamor you with a endless spool of possibilities because, just think of it, now you only have to worry about being near the sun, so cave-dwellers need not apply. Fifth, when was the last time you wanted to drink a cup of brown or pen a villanelle while enduring the sterile wrath of a swig of mouthwash? Sixth, and this one’s simple, heat–just a dash of unbearably hot climate and you’re out for the count, and not even iced poems and iced coffee will bring a smile to your face. Seventh, LSD, without explanation, as we’ve been saying for decades. Eighth, fueling a campfire alone with back issues of Berfrois magazine. Ninth, volunteering at morgues. Tenth, attempting to sleep to and tempting sleep with a Merzbow album. Thank you for asking me these important questions.

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