Abri de Swardt
Twink Lighthouse

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"Twink Lighthouse" deploys Frank O'Hara's "Personism: A Manifesto" (1959) – in which he dwells on a poem which exists "between two persons instead of two pages", invoking the speculative "death of literature as we know it” – to address ‘Darling MB’ through cellular recordings as transmitted signs, a WhatsApp Personism. Abri de Swardt approaches the epistolary canon as detoxifying lubricant peppered by meteorological lacunae: as narrator he is situated in waiting, poised on a balcony above a city, and MB is elsewhere, incapacitated in a fictionalised double passivity and distancing. Epigrammatic vignettes of passenger seat POV videos of car washes videoed off Youtube, a band of wigged Rastafari who lose their noses, hibiscus pollen applied as mascara, a blob of spit trickling over a photograph of a studio prototype of a satyr in Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 7, and a voguish light fitting that has split in two, punctuate the narrator’s sprawling recollections of “how we could’ve been salty dogs”. Here an untethering from locality is relayed in vagaries and anecdotes on settler colonial history and queer genealogies, amidst half-mast hankerings and luncheon rebuttals, through a tone at once jeremiad, acerbic and camp, redolent of the self-involvement and fantasied agency only possible in an audience of one other. Like a foghorn to a surfed up somnambulist De Swardt mimes Sartre on Genet whom “writes in a state of dream and, in order to consolidate his dreams, dreams that he writes, then writes that he dreams, and the act of writing awakens him.” 

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