Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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Neolithic Woman
Part 2

I had not yet quit smoking then, and Angela and I stepped outside to share a cigarette.

"If you could have a billion dollars, would you want it?" I asked her.

"Sure," she said, her eyes lighting up.

"What would you do with it?"

* * * *

The East, which has moved in so many ways steadily more West, was in the 1960s as feminism was exploding seen as the frontier of interior knowledge. Is it still that way, and was it ever? I ask because this is our most immediate science fiction: our science is rewriting the lives of our children, not with genetic therapies or hybrid cars or missions to Mars, though there is all of that too, but in gender relations.

We have already moved past equality, though no one I know admits this. No matter how much a woman may value physical pliability in a man, and no matter how much a man may value physical strength in a woman, our genes will quite stubbornly continue to insist on a different story: the spear-chucker, who earned his deer, or the warrior, returning home with his shield, and the woman who knows she is the reward.

It must be peculiar to be a strong feminist woman, totally aware that you have thrown off bondage, that you are not chattel but an independent sexual and economic force in the world, able now to reduce men to the status of genetic seed, as you need no food. And having gained this, as I agree, perfectly fair equality, product of our bold and still-recent Enlightenment, you no longer find men as attractive. For what else do you need them?

The subtext of every conversation I hear now in Los Angeles (and you may dismiss it as Angelino phenomenon but I think you know better), is this newly unequal social structure. The women need the alphas now more than ever, and so they are even harder to find, as the upper classes eagerly shut their gates. The CEOs luxuriate in this sea of female availability: for them, feminism is outrageously wonderful. As long as they are mature enough to accept women as nominal co-equals in the workplace, and behave themselves while in the office, they don't even have to work as hard for pussy as their counterparts in 1960s America did.

Think about it: a mistress in 1968, or even 1972, had a very ancient power. She had the power of shame. She could get pregnant with her CEO's seed, and then, like the concubines of kings from time immemorial, she could, if she so desired, live comfortably for another 20 years or so while the child was raised. Too, the unequal economic powers wielded by this 1972 mistress and this 1972 CEO resulted in other power dynamics familiar to the intelligent woman of 9,000 B.C.E.: by any reasonable measure, she was the conquered, she was the spoils. Like our richly-remembered Sabines, or the blonder-haired women of the Northumberland coast, she could talk women's lib if she wanted, while all the while her eyes sparkled at the sight of fresh young Vikings in their longboats.

In 2012, this would-be-mistress must now be a Viking with her own longboat. Will the CEO still want to seduce her? Will she instead keep her own stable of lower-testosterone men, and accept those long-term consequences?

* * * *

Of course, like Ayla, and like her lovers, all is not lost. Co-equals is the hardest of all power dynamics to manage: it is that rare sought-after moment when the two bucks are of roughly equal power, and they fight not for minutes but days, and the result is not injury but death. Like Sparta with her two co-equal kings, it is a delicious and for a time unstoppable madness. Some women and men have the imagination to negotiate this enormous social change without losing sight of the wisdom of their ancestors, either masking the disingenuousness of the conquered/ conquee, or moving more fluidly between those two roles.

In this respect perhaps Los Angeles is an unfair example, as many of its social relations are amplified because of cinema/television: so many young women are waiting for their big break, after which all will be changed.

* * * *

We know the thought experiment, of course: all people find it easier to kill by pushing a button than by pushing someone off a bridge. The first act has no primeval antecedent to warn us: the button appears harmless as far as the limbic system is concerned. But imagine your hands moving towards a brother or sister's back by a cliff's edge, and the limbic system knows that one well.

In this respect guns are no exception: though we are not spared the grisly immediacy of bloody wounds as we are with cliff-shoving, the small force involved in trigger-pulling can still be successfully divorced from the generational limbic knowledge of murder. The trigger is only a little thing.

What I am trying to say is: I killed her with a rock. I felt it was more honest.

* * * *

Easy now to dismiss my confession, my manifesto. But I am more justified than Raskolnikov ever was: I do not seek freedom but the bondage of mutual understanding.

In terms of sexual violence, of course, women have always been prepared, but this new motivation has to be something they are willing to try to understand.

Of course, I murdered Angela in part for the same reason men often kill women: hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but men know that fury pretty well too. Again, a tribal awareness and a modern awareness are hard to reconcile in this and I start to feel like Lenin weeping at Beethoven, because a murder in Neolithic society was unspeakably horrible; every body was needed. With 7 billion bodies on Earth, can't we afford the loss of one bitch who could never have seen her own mistake?

Testosterone, leading to aggression: as Cronenberg knows well, women need it so badly, and live in fear of it. It is that trangressional force, motivating world wars, sexual conquest, and empire-building. Even as the border to her own body is crossed by a strong aggressive man, she knows too he will be unafraid to cross other boundaries that she needs and wants him to, joined in their mutual quest for oligarchy that is our simian heritage.

But my blow to Angela's skull was equally a political act. Not only a savage compensation for her sexual refusal as has been done for millennia but a political act against a rival, on this new global stage. This is what both men and women are imperfectly prepared for.

In a strange way, by insisting on their co-equal economic value, women have also made themselves more disposable. I am as much against the logic as you are, no doubt. But my murder was spurred by what I saw in her eyes: I knew she lacked the necessary degree of self-awareness that would allow her to jettison millennia of learned genetic behavior and so still her unconscious quest for CEO-only seed. How did I know? I can only admit my own evil: like Saddam Hussein, I judged her on her eyes alone, and decided she was unwilling to learn.

Again, women are prepared for the more ancient strategies: rape, and kidnapping. As objects of value, baby-makers, women and their ancestresses knew these events were always possible and understood their logic. For this reason true genocide is very difficult to muster: men are more accustomed to killing the men, raping the women, and taking some of the women away with them, or perhaps sticking around and being the new men, etc. More difficult to convince men to undertake wholesale slaughter.

I know this is a pathetic and unwelcome confession, that the logic of my act is the same as the jihadi who escapes economic slavery into the (not coincidentally written by polygamists) heaven of a hundred willing virgins. The logic of my act is the same as the young man in China who spends his few coppers on foreign whores he can legally humiliate, since women of his own nation have become statistically fewer.

Perhaps, like those manakin birds, we men are always ready to accommodate the situation of fewer women than men, knowing that our rivals may die or be killed and we can take their place. The situation where there are more women than men and you are still refused, for political reasons, is harder to understand as a mammal. When you are viable genetically but not politically, violence may be the only answer.

I buried her body in the woods. Will her sisters mourn her loss? Or will they, in the logic of the modern woman-warrior, see only the welcome new absence of a rival?

Robin Wyatt DunnRobin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park. He is 33 years old.

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