You're charging your black chinos to the credit card.
Black cigarette on discount, 20 dollars in the black for rebate tread.
The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

The entire reason for the meeting was so he could return pants he had bought earlier that day to Urban Outfitters, which he correctly sensed would be a challenge. But he talked his way through it quite deftly in a manner that impressed me and seemed to like that the clerk liked my joke about her complaining that teh (computer) system was down (“I thought UO was all about bringing down the system”). But it was very late at night, and I had a party to go to, so he questioned my decision to go out of my way to him. I told him I was worried I otherwise wouldn’t see him again for several months. Turned out he was in town for several days! That was uncanny because I had a friend in college a decade ago who was mortified when I caught him returning UO pants. And this guy wanted to change my impression of that.

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But you are orange and do orange things. The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

We made up a trip to a grocery store to spend more time together, probably at my suggestion (time) but I like to think it was mutual because he specifically suggested fruit, which seemed loaded in light of the poison idea. My friend bought several groceries at a market practically next door to Columbia University, one some tween bloggers believe to have been the inspiration for “Taxi Cab” based on a blog photo they found, but who knows?! When we got in the checkout line, he pointed out to me that all the items he bought were orange—and on purpose. I was almost convulsing I was laughing so hard because he had seemed very aimless in the store. He then pretended to buy a chocolate bar with a purple wrapper to diversify his holdings. When he realized I had distracted the cashier sufficiently to weasel out of the purchase of two, he did so, then offered me half of the one he bought as well as a Clementine. It struck me as a romantic offhand gesture until I realized all of his gestures are offhanded and you can’t take one to mean anything more than the other — that’s the new uncanny!

While writing I had thought I remembered that orange and purple were complementary in color theory, which he mentions on his Instagram account, but they’re not. That’s yellow. But yellow already has a song. More than one, actually.

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Ghettoized Polacks The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

There was a long thread about the Warsaw ghetto that would recur every few beats of this hours-long conversation. Think it tied into the feeling of being out of one’s body.

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The future was supposed to be uptown shakes.
The future was supposed to be No Fear and no quitters.
The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

Reference to delirium tremens, a “toxidrome.” As I understood them until the Baauer “Harlem shake” YouTube meme, the DTs are the same thing as the “Harlem shakes,” like name of the band my friend was in. In an interview that friend made a joke about No Fear t-shirts as an organizing principle of the band, which I always thought was funny as the songs were about social and spiritual anxiety. No quitters refers to quitting drugs. The use of “uptown” here is to modify google-ability (sp?) and evoke Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” for the class associations and themes of indecisiveness in a new romance. And me having to let go of fixations on guys like these guys to love somebody new.

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Necromancer The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

Was supposed to be “neuromancer,” as pun on “new romance,” and for William Gibson cyberpunk scifi he’s probably read and I haven’t, but then autocorrected. The new word works better thematically.

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I thought I heard you say, "Baby, we don't speak of that." The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

From Vampire Weekend’s “Taxi Cab”

You were standing so close to me
Like the future was supposed to be
In the aisles of the grocery
And the blocks uptown
I remember, remember well
But if I’d forgotten, could you tell?
In the shadow of your first attack
I was questioning and looking back
She said ‘Baby, we don’t speak of that'
Like a real aristocrat

“Taxi Cab” is one of my least favorite Vampire Weekend songs but was most germane to the neighborhood where we were. The actual reference, as I’d hoped the song’s was, is to Travis and Betsy’s courtship in Taxi Driver, one of my favorite sequences in American film. I was pretty pleased with myself in 2007 when I compared Ezra Koenig’s narrative persona to preppy Travis Bickle but felt I couldn’t share that perspective with anyone sane.

The subject of the poem and I were talking about the UWS and class and family for hours over a consecutive evening and morning after a snowstorm. He was giving me a hard time for hailing a cab back to Midtown East instead of toughing out the subway. Then I told him about one of the perhaps three or four times I’ve met Koenig, when he offered to take me home in his cab very late at night and I refused. That night was hyperreal, and so was mine with this new guy.

By seeming coincidence, we ended up at a number of Morningside Heights storefronts and intersections explicitly mentioned in Vampire Weekend love songs. It would’ve been something I’d have blamed myself for, but he knows GIRLS creator Lena Dunham from college, who writes in a similar vein about the same spaces. So it felt like the most wonderful intellectual narrative gamesmanship imaginable. It was unclear for hours where we ended and the characters who were about our age and interacted in the same places, first as real people then as consumer products, began. And I could never tell whether this new guy and I steered the conversation that way to satisfy our own strong free associations with the neighborhood or because we would’ve otherwise. Dunham’s godfather, Jerry Saltz, called some version of (not) this, meaning post-Empire fame, “the new uncanny.”

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1. ABSORPTION The New Uncanny by MoMilli 25

ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) is a framework for discussing the pharmacokinetics of a drug, like its lifecourse in the body. My writing requires artificial suprastructures to retain chronology and logic. I used ADME because I do environmental research and plan to subspecialize in pediatric toxicology, and because it has four letters like love.

I asked the subject of the poem, who also asked me to write the poem, to go with me to an exhibit at New York’s Museum of Natural History called “The Power of Poison.” So you could think like Roxy Music “Love is the Drug.” Or about the relationship of a poisoner to a victim, not so much that of the poisoner to the victim as that of the poison to the molecular constitution and tissue (i.e. “insult”). It is important to keep in mind here that the day prior I saw Beautiful, a musical of the songs of the Brill Building, which included a rendition of “Love Potion no. 9.” It was one of my earliest experiences with song exegesis as a child.

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It came upon a Miller clear Poem for Pudge Knuckles by MoMilli 18

Messiah arrival at Advent. My family had once joked about sending a Christmas letter parody called “It came upon a Miller clear.” Around the same time — was 12 or 13, I think — I suggested a cerebral bent, sending different rhymes to different families with an accompanying explanatory photo in the theme (e.g. Merry Listless, not like no Christmas wish list but with the three flopped siblings playing dead over a piano with a Liszt score, and based on a game I used to initiate in the pool as a child called “Listless” in which I’d make my sister “rescue” my flaccid body from the deep end, based on me almost drowning drowned in a YMCA pool at age 3). So!

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My boots are damp from the waterfront and dirtied by bodegas and cobbled by Bottega. Poem for Pudge Knuckles by MoMilli 18

Bottega references both my commute to Pudge from Midtown Manhattan in Bottega boots and a member of the Rap Genius staff ALLEGEDLY shoplifting from a Bottega during college

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Making your way today takes everything you've blogged. Poem for Pudge Knuckles by MoMilli 18

Following a series of conversations with Rap Genius staff, I felt Pudge Knuckles deserved a Frank O'Hara Lunch Poems style pudge (poem). Pudge Knuckles is the Rap Genius office haunt, sort of like Cheers in that it’s self-mythologized. The idea of Pudge as a democratic institution comes back in the last stanza as the notion of Pudge as liberation theology comes into the picture. Are all our troubles the same under the righteous hand of an awesome Pudge?

Recently I’d been in a long series of conversations with a friend of RG about how we should do a web series about watching Cheers. He was critical, for example, of the show’s attempt in later seasons to sync the caricatures up with actors who represented the caricatures, whereas in early seasons they just listed the names and didn’t make any effort to say the doofus was Woody (because he wasn’t even ON yet, even).

So, new Gilded Age parody. Like that hasn’t been done to #death.

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