“Web Scraping” & “Ex Waif[u]” by Julie Chen

Abstract art piece/graphic score. 3 music staves with a treble clef in the middle of the page. The first staff has groupings of white and black notes with flat and sharp symbols, some on backgrounds of pink watercolor splashes. There are two crescendo markings and 3 pianissimo markings. The second staff has a watercolor and colored pencil green and yellow ginkgo leaf, a red-brown watercolor splash, yellow splatter, two pianissimo markings and an "ooo" marking, the text "Heeheeheehee haaahaaahaahaa hoo hoo!" and a staccato marking near the yellow splatter. The third staff has a pianissimo and pedal marking, a black and grey layering with sprinkled colors, and a Jackson Pollock-like swirling of colors and splatters with white splatters on top.

Web Scraping

Each of my shitposts
I intend from the bottom
Of my vowels 

Heeheeheehee haaaahaaahaahaaa hoo! hoo!

I have most of what I need
It’s what I deserve

If I touched my friends, I’d be in love

My life is fairly ordinary but
There is much I could write
In the blink of an I,

Cobwebs for the Web
To spin from my fractal fingers

You do not read me
But there are more writers than readers
And institutions to validate them, by which I mean

Glitched attics
Gloves under gloves

is a bug’s life communist
Asks the collective unconscious,

Which too often tweets “we” when it means “I”
as it’s less lonely to be a collection of data

By “I” I mean
An empty rocking chair

Ants march in a line on the counter: 
ppp           ppp           ppp           ppp           ooo           ppp           ppp

(One of them is sitting)

Ex Waif[u]

says “good morning” to the world


power line eyelashes matted with asphalt  yawns like a toaster & fans her neck  with gingko leaves autumn spat yellow  on the street wet with yearning no my dear, the butler demurs


it hasn’t snowed just a confidential rain shredded paper anonymous plastic the birds choke & the leaf blower growls the squirrels fuck ing everywhere


listen, my darling menagerie as you dress me head to toe in rei kawakubo: i used to hate my body back when it barely existed now i’m someone’s ex! next year swimming pools and sinkhole galaxies but today it’s too cold for it to be this bright my sundresses tease my hot & lonely selfies tease climate change teases someday palm trees in the lot by my apartment  the orthodox jews use for outdoor shabbat i used to reuse grocery bags & takeout cutlery back when my fork fingers were someone else’s implements now i pay for coffee i’m still white as a watermelon and i don’t leave the house but by the crust in my nipples  the skin between my toes i believe in online shopping the world is big and there’s so much to learn every rejection i face I'm like well that was a first this winter is sodden with previous ones a freezer burnt ice cream cake have i felt everything there is to feel already? (except motherhood) i used to try for moral consistency but the single stream recycling gets shipped to china and back now i am i am i am i am  a splatter of impulses  jackson pollock cumshot! a garbage bag of leaves split at the seams i couldn’t keep from ripping if i wanted to not paper not plastic just a lady decomposing (a violinical depression) ship me to china too  on a magnificent steamer the opalescent pearl the attention-seeking whore i’m not teensy tiny cutie baby no more


accountable for my actions i am ready ready ready for a beautiful goodbye

Tags: ,

Julie Chen is from San Jose, CA, and lives in Brooklyn. Her poetry and prose is published in Catapult, The Margins, Hobart, X-R-A-Y, and Peach Magazine. She also makes pop music as Slime Queen. Her website is juliechen.neocities.org.

Amar Lal is a Canadian musician and sound engineer living in Oakland, CA. He spent 10 years in the New York City music scene performing in bands such as Big Ups, Montes Rook, and the Electric Eel Multimedia Ensemble. Amar currently releases music under his own name and runs MACRO, a mastering and post-production studio. You can find him @ummm_r or at www.amarlal.info.