Chock-full like Joyelle Mcsweeney’s Percussion Grenade or Roxanne Carter’s How I Taught My Dress to Act, Vodicka’s Aesthesia Balderdash feels to me like punk rock feels to me: part crass (“a dove beat the shit out of me” / “the groin, the only poetic bone in one’s body” / “smell my rag” / “taught out hearts to finger themselves”), part gothic yell (“the Mohawks are all angels” / “applying mascara to the third eye” / “I was in love once, and I’ve experienced gender dysphoria ever since” / “you focus and fuck us both”). There are a couple of things to say about this. First, I like punk rock. Second, I really really like punk rock. As a rude girl moving around and through the bluffing and trivia of this Balderdash I am covered, cloaked (where once I was naked), protected even, by these heretical sounds (“would you fall from the sky just to lick my wombs?” / “dear sirs: there will be beloved, and there will be bemused” / “only when your wings are clipped in defeat will she let you sleep” / “like a flock of fucking myself I was invited to identify with”). I am being swallowed up in this self-proclaiming “gay heart.”
It is as if Vodicka is articulating pictures not as pictures alone, but as pictures jolting and ramming into other pictures (“the coffee pot menstruates” / “I don’t want to forget remembering you”), words replacing words (“the rain is expected to porn soon” / “clit back in moments of extreme duress” / “I can hear her screaming from the insides of a bird”). There is certainly traffic within AB, but I experience this traffic as a jammy, feminist one. Who would not want to be in that kind of strange traffic? Feels to me like a moist and yeasty recipe for a revelation!
It is as if Vodicka is performing content (“bones bleed psyche” / “avant gardean angels” / “she took her panties off and wept” / “excrementing the sir”) and sounds (“killing two girls with one bone” / “it has never been my thing to be the wing” / “your ribs are all roots” / “rainbow suicide” / “there she goes again killing the lamb” “high and milky credo”) in rough versions of spoken word here. But wait, look closer: there are shards of glass in her mouth.
Like dropping acid, taking LSD or possibly even having a shunt implanted wherein a constant trickle of DMT is being pumped from Vodicka’s pineal gland (“the body goes a long way”) to your own, “the answer is to bark uncontrollably” as we move through the meta-missions of this emitting psychedelic masterpiece.