Sweat in Another’s Skin

Jordan Elliott Prosser




Jordan Elliott Prosser’s(Familiar)  (2020) Digital Video, 12:24 duration.




I realized that I never really look. To love is to look or loving happens when looking. A glance, its half, curiosity, or intrigue. A sight to be seen is ostentatious not to be loved but gawked. A stare, its double, owning. Staring then, similarly glaring, convicts. Staring selects whereas looking takes account. Even staring doesn’t need vision, even when looked at. Especially when looked at. Because even a stare doesn’t like to be seen fashioned surely by other stares, evenly,

“are you listening?”

Look, you know when it says, “I am a part of you, you’re a part of me”?2 Well the poem wrote it out for you. Or look, “The indoors with the outside becoming part of you, as you found you never left off laughing at death.”3 Look, you can’t say, “Oh, I’m excused, etc.”4 No, the humidity makes it so. And look, the garden is wet without us. And, it’s Christmas again so best to stay in like dogs and sweat in another’s skin. And, maybe it started with “you will always be my baby.”5 And, yes quotes come from the outside, it’s nature, like looking at a word for too long,

“familiar”6

Look, “The Cat
I
Along my brain there walks,
As though in its own home, 
A lovely, strong and sweet and charming cat.
When it mews, one hardly hears,

So tender and discreet its tone;
Appeasing or complaining its voice
Is always rich and deep:
Therein is its charm and secret.

This voice, which glistens and strains
Through the darkest soils of my being,
Satiates me like an harmonious line,
Delights me like a philter.

It lulls to sleep most cruel ills
And holds all ecstasy;
To tell the longest phrase,
It has no need of words.

No, there is no bow that gnaws
On my heart, perfect instrument,
To make more regally sing
The most vibrant string,

Than your voice, mysterious,
Seraphic, strange cat,
In whom all is, like an angel,
As subtle as harmonious!

II

From its fair and dark fur
Comes a scent so gentle, that one night
I was caught in its balm, by having
Caressed it once, only once.

It is the familiar spirit of the place;
It judges, presides, inspires
Everything in its empire;
It is perhaps a fairy or a god?

When my eyes, drawn like a magnet
To this cat that I love,
Come meekly back again
And I look inside myself,

I see with amazement
The fire of its pale pupils,
Clear beacons, living opals,
Looking at me fixedly.”7

Look, “All I have has been given me and is mine
If I have it, I must have been given it
Therefore it is mine.
I haven’t it
but I can get it
therefore,
    because I have been given the capacity
to get it
it is mine.
It is not mine
but it has been given me and I have it
therefore I am grateful for what I have,
    or have been given.
But I resent being grateful
because if I have been given it, it has not
always been mine.
therefore, if I don’t feel grateful
    I won’t have been given it
therefore, it is (past, present, future)
eternally mine.


But,
                if it is mine
                it is not me .....1
                and if it is not me
                it is not mine .....3
Therefore,
                if,
                if it is not me
                it is not mine .....3
                and if,

                if it is not mine
                it is not me .....2
                and if,
                if mine
                it is not me .....1
then,
                if it’s not me
                it’s mine .....5
        If it’s not me it’s mine .....5 poco a
        If it’s mine it’s not me .....1 poco
        If it’s mine it’s not me .....1 accelerando
al fine
           If it’s not me
           It’s not mine .....3
           if it’s not mine
           it’s not me .....2
           if it’s not me
           it’s mine .....5
If, if it’s mine
            it is not me .....1

            if it is not me
            it’s not mine .....3
then,
        If it’s mine, it’s not mine .....6
If, if it’s mine, it’s not mine .....6
if (1 2 3 4/1 3/3 2 1 5/5 1 1 3 2 5 1 3)


then,

        If it’s mine
        it’s me .....7

if, if it’s mine
        it’s me ….7
        if (1 2 3 4 1 3 3 2 1 5 5 1 1 3 2 5 1 3 6
6 2 5 1 3 5)
    if it’s me, it’s mine .....4
    if it’s mine it’s not me .....1
    then if it’s not me it’s not mine .....3
hence,
    If it’s not mine it’s me .....8
    If it’s not mine it’s me .....8
    if (1..... 5 7 7 4 1 3)
    if it’s me
    it’s mine .....4
    if it’s mine it’s not mine .....6
    if it’s not mine it’s not me .....2
    if it’s not me
    it’s mine .....5
Then,
If it’s not mine it’s mine .....9
If it’s not mine it’s mine .....9

if (1..... 3 8 8 4 6 2 5)



if it’s mine it’s not mine
if it’s not mine it’s mine
    if it’s mine is not me
    if not me is not mine
    if not mine
    is me
    if me is not mine

    if not mine is not me
then, if not me, it is me
if not me, it is me
if it is me, it is not mine
if it is not mine it is not me
if it is not me, it is me
if it is me
    it is not mine
if it is not mine
    it is me
if it is me, it is mine
    if it is mine
    it is not me
therefore if it is not me
it is mine
if it is mine it is mine
if it is mine it is mine
if it is mine it is not mine
if it is not mine it is mine
if it is mine, it is mine

if it is mine, it is not mine
if it is not mine,
    it is me
if it is me it is mine
if it is mine it is not me
if it is not me it is me
if it is me
    it is not me
    if it is not me
    it is me
if it’s me, if it’s not me
if it’s not me, if it’s me
if it’s me if it’s me
if it’s me if it’s not me
if it’s not me if it’s not me
it’s me if it’s not me
if it’s not me, it’s me
if it’s me it’s not me
if it’s not me it’s me
if it’s me,

if it’s not me.
if it’s me
if it’s not me
if it’s me
if it’s not me
if it’s me
if it’s not me, it’s me
if it’s not me it’s not me
it’s not me if it’s me
if it’s me it’s me
it’s me if it’s not me
if it’s not me, it’s not me
if it’s not me, it’s me
it’s me if it’s me
if it’s not me it’s not me
it’s not me if it’s not me
if it’s me, it’s me
if it’s me, it’s me
I am it
if it is not me

if it is not me, I am it, if I am not it, I
am it, if I am it, I am not it

She wants him to want her
He wants her to want him
To get him to want her
she pretends she wants him
To get her to want him
he pretends he wants her
Jack wants Jill wants
Jill’s want of Jack Jack’s want of
Jill

so so
Jack tells Jill Jill tells Jack
Jack wants Jill Jill wants Jack
a perfect contract

Jill and Jack both want to be wanted.
Jill wants Jack because he wants to be
wanted”8






Look, Notes


1 Discussion #1, January 18th, 2020 regarding the dishwasher

2 Mariah Carey, “Always Be My Baby,” in Daydream. (New York: Columbia Records, 1995).

3 John Ashbery, “Forties Flick,” in Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror: Poems. (New York: Penguin Books, 1975), 5.

4 Discussion #2, October 3rd, 1995 regarding “the comment.”

5 Mariah Carey, Ibid. 

“A familiar spirit – (alter ego, doppelganger, personal demon, personal totem, spirit companion) is the double, the alter-ego, of an individual. It does not look like the individual concerned. Even though it may have an independent life of its own, it remains closely linked to the individual. The familiar spirit can be an animal (animal companion).” (Pierre Riffard, “Familiar,” Wikipedia, accessed June 1, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familiar#cite_note-5).

7 Baudelaire, Charles, and Geoffrey Atheling Wagner, “The Cat,” in Selected Poems. (New York: Grove Press, 1974.)

8 R. D. Lang, Knots. (London: Tavistock Publications, 1970), 40-49. “In his famous knot models he described inter- personal closeness as spindles or whirls of intertwined expectations and expectations of expectations—the absurd theater of intimacy.” (Peter Sloterdijk, and Wieland Hoban “The Retreat Within the Mother, Groundwork for a Negative Gynecology,” in Spheres Volume 1: Bubbles. (South Pasadena: Semiotext(e), 2011), 309).