Hum Idols



Who will you ask to style
your conversation?
Dress you in your words?

Sagging in boredom the
Customer agent
Answered with
Trrransactional Distance,
what you call
even though you are not
rich enough
for the shoes you wear.

As if to walk
to be either very cold or very hot
Are all cozzzzzzy impossibilities.

Wouldn’t you rather
Badinage (1) on
Thick carpets, cushioning
Your dissonant whimpers;
The luxuriant little puppy’s
Turned old grey dog

How might your gloveless
tarry a moment longer
In the cold
to witness it’s condition?

I see its impressive grip on
a pretty grippable silicon mass
Shaped so
that glassy surfaces cannot slip
From doing limbs

Never have I said so little
Mouth and hand and back
Curled clockwise like
The boy in Asnières
My wrist my back limp
My mouth limp, I
Gaze at doing limbs
Gone lax and silent,
Written so:

“She came back now. She stepped so to speak from her tense trance-state like a moth from a split chrysalis. She stepped so to speak from her tense mood and laid a hand become suddenly nerveless, lax across the peak (she still half visualized it) of a minute mountain. The hand sank suddenly and she recalled exactly her surroundings. The hand sank down lax, nerveless as the cold of the fresh green spires of the inner un-sunned grasses (weeds of an inner green pool unfolded) it contracted, tense, shocked from its nervelessness to a marble quality of tension. Her hand lay, separated in her consciousness, a marble hand broken, separated. It was as if a heavy marble hand had been broken from the draped body of some exiled Muse or early unfashionable Aphrodite. An archaic hand, heavy, firm-weighted, of priceless texture, lay heavy white stone on the green floor of some tiny tide pool.” (2)

With this low gaze, comes “a
In consideration.” (2)
Actual time in continuity.


When I die
Which we all do,
Don’t embalm me in a giant wax candle
Lying curled around a melted moat
of hot wick centre
Paraffin’s perfume like
my myrrh, my
Kept in suspension

Let my stomach putrefy third
My larynx, my trachea first
My uterus last

My sex is the closest to dirt
Fertilizes cotton

compost my last meal
My final privilege will be
To enjoy it
All by myself

“…to flourish we must absorb more than we exude
Of elements, minerals, and so forth.
We call this food, and it fabricates us
From the inside.
But much does drip and escape
From the corporeal tissues and we use this
Excess to make belief.

It is normal therefore for the body to perish From incessancy of belief.

In the meantime

How about a milky pablum, nutmeats
Quickened with liquor, the iron
Our blood sucks from roots, the delicate
And ingenious bodies we call pastries
Or most intimate aspects of animals
Honey, sap and other lucky seepage
Various salts and the slightly bitter textures of leaves:

From a fortuitous concourse of atoms
Blond foams, dripping vineyards, these curved
Spontaneously out of the pleasurable earth.” (3)

I have knelt to feel the pleasurable earth
And found
A rotten mother
Her tentacles reveal
her offspring
firm and many eyed

And here I plucked in pride
Her children alive as her body fed
The earth with her oozing putrefaction
Her body rendered excess (4)
Used up by proceeding generations.


When I die
Which we all do,
Don’t shatter me with sonic pulses

Let my stomach putrefy third
My larynx, my trachea first
My uterus last

Let my last hummmmmmm
Be the longest expiration…

Tongue, low to the floor
Passing roundly through
Space, fills a
Saliva dark
Cave, its vibrating trapdoor
An incessantly vibrating trapdoor
Communicating ease
Making for humid conditions
Ripe for R&R
With red curtains to
Block out the light

To Block the Windows and Change the Date
Like Camilla said,
“Light is used to divide time flow and as a timeline to preserve from the rush of chaos. Ideas receive their date but the space is in camouflage…” (5)

A pulsing orange curtain glows
veins pulsing this flesh glows
That only knows daylight


In other words
I’ll sit a little longer
In this state

It’s why the chest feels frost
In heavy moments
The way the saffron sheet rustles
Last year’s clothes, dumped
Or chewed
They lie dampening
Catching wet dust called mud
In cold light suspension
“Clots of rubbish washed up on shore became us.
Similar yet unrelated swerves hosted each

Fruit and flouncing pasture, which now with meagre effort
We’re hard pressed to husband.
We use up the cattle and their fields.
We use up iron.
Dirt’s tired of giving.
We sigh at our expired
Work, envious at the luck of our
We walk to the bar again with stooped shoulders.” (6)

This life this
Apogetic thud
Autolytically dripping

I’ve seen excess dribble
From here, here, and here
In little spurts or shuddering flow
No cotton for dabbing.

In fact,
What surfaces absorb excess?
Floorboards or lace.
I will never see “the mucous, that most intimate interior of my flesh, neither the touch of the outside of the skin of my fingers, nor the perception of the inside of these same fingers, but another threshold of the passage from outside to inside, from inside to outside, between inside and outside, between outside and inside.” (7)

In front of us
The flesh folds
In fluid inflection,
Drips in continuity

The flesh who formed the world
A porous body for us to
Dribble out of

mud and mire
Is a limax trail
Sliiiiiide or adhere to continue
Dripping from folds
And oozing on cushions

What is the timing of your liquefaction?
Jell-o liquefaction
Your marrow shudders
A generation of hot lights

Born and died
Reborn and revealed
Emerged from
This slimy excess

Emergent from a red orange glow
Cooled by mucous.


Meanwhile we read
On a bed of rocks
That cackled as the sea exhaled,
We were
Absorbing”, later “exuding
Feeding on
Bread and cheese
Synasthetic” (8) entertainment to a
Nervous little audience
And conspiring gulls

But then you hadn’t reached the part about
Of tipping earth and furrowed brows
Consciously unfolded

I remembered then the hot breath
Glued shut by
Moist layers of
I push a note
Through vibrating flaps
To a smile or a salty brow

And here I hummed
Because this does not suffice
To describe
The messy privilege of happiness


  1.  Badinage meaning “small talk” in French, but also a piece by Marin Marais, which is particularly dissonant in the Baroque style of the time. 
  2.  H.D. “Palimpsest”, p. 42
  3.  Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.34
  4.  Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”
  5.  Camilla Wills, “Block the Windows and Change the Date”, DRIVEN BY THOUGHTS February 19 – March 19, 2017
  6. Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.34
  8. Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.33

Bitsy Knox · Hum Idols (excerpt, 2018)
  • Another iteration of this poem was performed in collaboration with Will Holder on the occasion of And When She Awoke, The Dinosaur Was Still There, curated by Kate Brown and Maurin Dietrich (December 2017).
  • Copyright © 2017 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.