artwork for Danielle DuBois' writing

Tender Problems
Danielle DuBois (@petfurniture)

All content written by Danielle DuBois (@petfurniture). Tweets (from 2012) chosen and arranged by Russel Swensen (@scribblymouse).

I Only Want To Read Books With Yr Handwriting In Them


When I was seven I sincerely believed I was a reincarnated Egyptian pharaoh for several months (I Was An Only Child). Reminder that you are a beautiful bag of flesh stuffed with ghost filling. fav < follow < retweet < creative reply to tweet < DM < standing outside yr window with gasoline & a lit match.

may your haters be swallowed by the outer darkness
DETENTION

an enormous yarn painting of the girl you love throwing her crown into the dust. a dress so light you can see my heart through it. glittery little eyes devouring you all day long

RT @scribblymouse *stares at the alphabet till it black kaleidoscopes: H  A  T  E  R  S  H  A  T  E  R  S  H  A  T  E  R  S

glittery little eyes


~


Love (n.) Wanting To Cover Someone’s Real Life Face In Lisa Frank Stickers


I love metaphors because they’re like making two dissimilar things kiss each other on the mouth.

PALINDROME: in girumimus nocte et consumimurigni (we go wandering at night & are consumed by fire) @poetrytower i do often feel that I belong in a poetic torture tower, yes. i’m in: I am inside the magician’s box and i have already disappeared: @poetrytower i do often feel that I belong in a poetic torture tower, yes. i’m in.

*chiefly horror.


PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION


~


PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION

PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION
PLEASE GIVE ME A DETENTION

Kawaii Problems. Keep rubbing my mouth with the back of my hand and getting disco lips from my glitter tattoo, awesome.


~


RAP GAME RAMONA QUIMBY RAP GAME RAPUNZEL YOKO ONO DOLORES HAZE RAP GAME MONICA VITTI RAP GAME DJUNA BARNES RAP GAME ANAIS NIN RAP GAME GERTRUDE STEIN RAP GAME MAYA DEREN RT @scribblymouse RAP GAME OSKAR KOKOSCHKA’S ALMA MAHLER DOLL RAP GAME SAINT MARIA GORETTI RAP GAME KIRTANANDA SWAMI RAP GAME H E   S T   E R   P      R Y N N E  RAP GAME marriage license RAP GAME CADDIE COMPSON RAP GAME PATRICIA FRANCHINI RAP GAME ALICE HARGREAVES RAP GAME FOG ON WINDOWS RAP GAME YAWNING SHIVA, THE UNIVERSE ON HER TONGUE



p much every time I talk to my best friend she reminds me that Napoleon used to ask Josephine not to wash before he came home from war. i whisper ‘why are you yelling at me’ at least 3x a day and often to inanimate objects


~


Imagine The Mind Bending Stillness Of The 19th Century


church substitutes for Sundays: writing until your hand freezes painfully into The Claw, whispering “I’m Sorry” to everything you touch, white-tablecloths, a large tree, a long drive, a piece of lace, a kiss on the forehead from a sad girl, whispering “I’m Sorry” to everything you touch, a tiny hissing kitten in a girl costume.

*chiefly horror.


~


A Girl Made Of Incense Ash: She Has Just One Trick: She Blows Away (((Fragrantl      y


7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 lumbar vertebrae, sacrum - curl me up and play ’em like a xylophone. kick me in the heart like a sound collage ((nam daed, no em nrut)). Write me something I can knot around my neck.

REMINDER that I still have the BDSM rope Penguin sent me. REMINDER just ate AN ENTIRE HEAD OF LETTUCE, come at me currently microwaving three (3) indian dinners, plz come at me HATERS, I Am Ready For You


PARDON ME WHILE I HAVE A COMPLEX SYMPHONY OF EMOTIONS,
CHIEFLY HORROR
CHIEFLY HORROR
COMPLEX SYMPHONY HATERS
AN ENTIRE HEAD
REMINDER

      while I



jr high: that special time in girls’ lives when they’re so desperate to touch boys that they draw all over them with ballpoint pens. ‘patriarchy …’ i whisper, slowly deleting every email in my inbox, I Am Ready For


~


Summer D  usk       L  ike   A Ha  nd  O        n  Y  ou  r  C  h  e         st



when i was fifteen i did makeup for the school play. the king & i. i held boys’ faces in my hands & lined their eyes with black. pure bliss.


*blushes furiously,


next time someone asks too much of me I’m going to prick my fingers and paint The Giving Tree on the wall behind them in BLOOD
in DETENTION
I LIKE TO SCREAM WITH YOU ON TWITTER DOT COM


LOL if you don’t pretend to be ophelia every time you wash your hair in the bathtub LOL if you don’t pretend you are a knight of faith/i am a knight of infinite resignation/i guess this is the part where we joust


*BLUSHES FURIOUSLY, TWISTS HANDS TOGETHER
pure bliss:


… terrified of fire drills as a child so the principal of my school let me push the button that set them off for a solid school yr entire body covered in moth tattoos for an entire year
          let’s all take a moment to consider how WEIRD and UNLIKELY kissing is


DELETE ALL RECORD OF REALNESS
I am ready
GIVE ME

an elaborate tibetan sand painting of yr getaway plan, I spilled curry on my skirt,
pure bliss:

Hometown: Deceased.


~


The Theme Of My Twitter Is


“if you turned on one of those csi blacklights you’d see specks of unicorn blood and boy tears EVERYWHERE” @scribblymouse the theme of my twitter is SEXTS SUPERPOWERS: day glo retinal map of United States, can eat colors, hair braiding. SUPERPOWERS: boxed wine, MEGA FETAL POSITION, standing for full minutes at a time in dumb ecstasy while rubbing my eyes until the patterns come.



sext: I am at the center of the storm with my arms out wide.



Danielle DuBois’ Comments

When I first began using Twitter in the way I do today, it was as if something were pushing its way out of me against my will. I needed to say something, and it seemed that I needed to say it to the entire Internet. This all came as something a shock. I was raised to believe in the importance of appearances. I’d begun my Twitter account, innocently enough, as an extension of my professional life, so it was to my immense embarrassment that I began subconsciously moving away from updates on My Real Life and instead took to spouting what at first felt like total nonsense. I thought several times about deactivating my account during this time, but the chance to say something, and to say it LOUD, was suddenly incredibly exciting to me. For a variety of reasons, I was in deep need of a loud-speaker. I don’t feel that my experience is uncommon among my peers.

I wouldn’t have had the courage to move in this direction were it not for Russel’s encouragement. I’ve known Russel for many years and have long admired his wounded, brutal honesty on Twitter, his proud refusal to silence himself for anyone. Although I’m not sure that Russel’s need to Scream The Truth has made him many friends in the real world, Twitter seems to be the one place open enough to appreciate his daring. Russel was also the first person who suggested that what I was writing online was poetry. Although I’d been writing fiction for several years when I began my Twitter account, I hadn’t written a poem since college, and I certainly didn’t “identify” as a poet. Poetry never seemed to me to be a living, muscular art until I began seeing it used in Twitter’s interactive context. I could never have imagined how brilliantly language could burn until I saw it being used as material to be appreciated, remixed, collected, and improvised upon digitally.

I take great stock in the freedom that Twitter provides me, and additionally I think it important that the work I do there remain free for borrowing, sharing, and reinterpretation. I do somewhat obliquely communicate intimate details of my life on my account, but I don’t ever want my work to feel isolated or situated outside of a much larger conversation. The questions I raise through my tweets—about relationships, about representation, about power and control—are meant to provoke. My account is therefore necessarily something of a performance, so Russel’s concerns about the legitimacy of sculpting my tweets into a new form here seems like something of a moot point. The form the poem has taken is, in my opinion, the best possible way to communicate what it contains.


Russel Swensen’s Comments

Danielle’s work had my eyes cobwebbed red and: awesome. Was just exhausted by it and by failing to get at it. In part this is because although I’ve gotten to know Kimmy a little while doing this, Danielle is someone I’ve known for years: I was closer to the work and sometimes that obscures it. Initial efforts resembled something closer to the infantry action that I used to “build” my own piece: adding bunches of text to achieve a kind of muscularity, punctuated by other voices. My default setting: nightmare, trench warfare, heavily outnumbered, do you want to play. But this wasn’t working. The form bucked: my “drafts” seethed. Every time I added, say, a comma I felt like I’d injured the work. Danielle’s work was changing even as I collected it: so there was also that. Not the moments but the movement. Because here too I come first as a fan and second as an artist, curator, rap game scientist.

What I decided I needed to do was listen. Like, really listen. I mean, we joke about our twitters having themes (me rn: “Disconnection Notice”) but it’s not nec untrue. See and all I was doing was looking. Which means I saw beauty and insouciance but I did not know what they were in service to. Which made my arrangements random as rolled bones. Beautiful hollow bird bones polished to a sheen but: bones. D told me today: “Hieronymous Bosch Was So In Love He Invented Hot Pink.” Bones.

What I heard, with my ear to the crystalline tracks, was pain. Like Adrienne Rich smothered in a house pain. Like, “I am showing you this prison in the most beautiful KAWAII FUCKING WAY I can imagine but that is because it is a prison WILL YOU PLEASE NOTICE THIS BEAUTIFUL PRISON I HAVE MADE A BEAUTIFL PRISON WITHIN THE PRISON YOU HAVE MADE FOR ME PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME AND THE UNDERLYING NECESSITY. This creative act [prison making] is the only essential freedom that remains to me and even that is fraught, freaked, threatened constantly with interference.”

Having understood a theme and having recognized that I was creating a theme and feeling uber uncomfortable with it, I also realized that this was poetry. Unapologetic, unabashed. And that it was daring. That it wanted more than anything the specific freedom to say A N Y T H I N G. So we have screaming requests for detention and language that is alternately lyrical and combat booted, stomp stomp stomp. It’s about restrain and freedom at all times: being pulled apart by the storm and you are the storm. Danielle: “A Rave Designed To The Last Detail By The Ghost Of Hieronymus Bosch.”

THROWING A TANRUM. But not a tantrum sans reason. I worried—a lot—about representation. Like, it’s kawaii and it’s furious but can we please not infantilize it? A tantrum w/reason is anger. How’s that for a theme. Of course, I was still being awfully presumptuous, right? And here we have the Male Gaze coming back in a big way. Writing and rewriting female expression and by this point I’d even done a lot of it and Felt Pretty Weird About It. I had a tweet today: RAP GAME ENLIGHTENED PYGMAILION REALIZES SHE’S NOT REALLY HIS SCULPTURE TO GIVE LIFE TO OR CONTROL. Danielle: “please perform unethical and morally questionable psychological experiments on me.” I think of her work depicted visually as a silent movie that slowly fills yr screen crimson.

Except here I am with clay all over my hands, right? Do they make statues out of clay? IS THE INTERNET GOOD FOR NOTHING? DON’T THINK BTW THAT I DON’T HAVE EGO OR THAT SOME PART OF ME HASN’T BEEN MOUTHING ROBERT LOWELL LINES AS I WRITE THIS CUZ GUESS WHAT.

End of the day: I think the work speaks for itself. I am telling you what I tried to do bc why not? If I’m faulted for it, I am faulted for something I in fact did. I fail to see what gain there is in pretending I had no motive or that the intent of the piece simply emerged organically or is ever-present in Danielle’s work.

The errors are mine. But the work is hers. It is my favorite work. And if you have a problem with that H A T E R, I am ready for you.

(Editor’s note: Re: H A T E R: He might be addressing me there. I told Russel I thought his and Kimmy’s pieces were just as good as this one. Am I wrong??)

Table of Contents




FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | The Twitter Issue | Issue 37 | Summer 2012