night modePlaylist by Caelan Ernest
"To read Caelan Ernest's iconic debut 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦, is to enter the pool at Le Bain’s ON TOP with Arca & Sophie playing b2b on the decks in shadows of the fog machine. On the screen, on the dancefloor, Ernest imagines the delightful consequences of a trans terror in public when 'all the forms our bodies might be capable of taking' manifest into all possible selves. Each line cuts through the perspective-pleasure axis between screen and horizon, gesture and code. Ernest ascribes body parts to phones and technology, transforms those parts—machine, flesh—entirely for queer pleasure. The process of relation may be transformative, but the poetic relative with selves past, present, & future is utterly trans/formative. 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦 is Ernest's hyperpop, hyperpoetic, trans cyborg manifesto on love & of course–lust." — Andrea Abi-Karam
let’s say u came into being like a text on a phone. ur name, a flashy alert popping in or out of screen. u, the digital. ur code, a bunch of numbers. the numbers off the mouth like something dirty or censored. what’s autonomous about being seen. u should kno.
every man these hands touch becomes an archive.
let’s say u be ‘til u been, ur body bent over on its neck. the phone’s light hovers like a geist—a polter suspended, disguising its shadow as another body in the bed. erotic, me think. me think ‘til me not. stubborn, u. still glaring at the phone ‘til time broke or a man subdues u w/ a pocketful of emojis. digital schism, u. a holograph, its projection.
don’t u remember.
let’s say the phone dank in night mode. u linger around on screen ‘til a past iteration of u disseminates into a blur. is this what’s been leaky. the grind’s grind; all code for ‘fuck me.’ until me a pile of numbers that replicate urs.
until me take ur form.
>> when i meet u off the grid in this techy epoch
it is digital deviancy : :
when i see u at the party
a bolt !! a smokescreen backdropping
the room in thick clouds of chemistry
// we exchange fine particles
&& i wear this skin like the very first time
when u take me by my hardware
on the dancefloor our algorithms rumble
matching the synthetized rhythms that surround us
my code : : our make up >> a mutation occurs in my body
// i do not make myself small
[input structure] ++ [displacea warning]
to a former ‘self’ GET IN LINE or face
analog walls broadcasting this message
a little too loudly
(u feel the possibility as it becomes palpable)
xx (all fictions come surging to the surface)
This topia begins its story as a gloss.
You encase yourself in it until you are swollen. Coded.
You feel the stick of the numbers as they permeate through the skin. An old you would have tried desperately to memorize their shapes.
An old you.
The system takes the form of a benevolent
graphic. Behind it, a dark sky with no moon.
Wipe any remaining sticky from your code. You can’t afford to be glitched.
This topia is not a fiction, but there are many untruths.
You’re sure you can detect them now.
You scan the orgy of naked bodies crooning underneath the pseudo-light of the screen, coming together to make shape movement out of ligament & belly.
Nothing concealed in the spaces between.
You’re hungry, though you don’t know what for.
You sit & watch the flesh pool as it folds apart like waves.
We head back to his after it got too late to be drinking at the.
(Sorry, it’s a—) Mess. There’s a splash of water on the floor of his bedroom, maybe a rain spot or a spill. A pink dot pokes out from the middle, the size and shape of an egg yolk.
I glance at the ceiling, but no sign of leakage. He remains quiet as he takes me to the bed. As we walk past the strange water and the pink spot, the glitchy sound from the bar returns in my ear, like switching on the radio to a broken station. As a kid, I’d always let the static play to fill up the empty space.
But now. On the edge of his. I press my fingertips to my ears to try to stifle the sound, but I know there’s no luck since the glitch seems to be coming from inside. Vibrating out.
As if to keep me present in this moment, he performs an action: the slippage of his body over mine. His hands to uncover, I undress. The song in my ear becomes an orchestra booming. A subsequent terraforming. I trace the salt particles on his skin like stars before sleep.
Inside, another kind of pink yolk is brewing.
Love is dew, you.