Keller Easterling

You will not be able to do it. It is a call. And it is something you only know how to do by doing it over and over. Birds practice their musical tunes. Cows practice their "moo" as they stroll through the fields. But persons don’t know how to make a call, and so you will never be able to do it.
"Oh you" is sung. It starts out a little bit lower and ends a little bit higher like the call for a Bob White bird, only slower, or like how Myrna Loy says “thank you.” Except that you hold on to it longer. And like the call of the Bob White bird, you do it over and over and over again. The more you do it, the more you have to do it. And you must think of a 1% solution of W.C. Fields. And then there is a hint of bursting at the last.
“Oh you. Oh you.”
But anyway, you can’t do it. You can’t do it because you hardened your voice around some sounds you heard once. And now you can’t change it.
.....
Sometimes, almost never, but sometimes, you do know how to stare. Sometimes you sit still and stare. You are sitting really still with your hands folded on the table and one of your hands reaches over and touches your other hand. A warm, soft, loose hand reaches over and touches your old nervous cold, hand filled with knobby bones.
Sometimes, your tongue gets longer and lighter and floats up to the roof of your mouth and the lips become fat. And the salt water evens out on either side of all of the membranes of all of your cells.
Then you smell then like seltzer water and a Bandaid. And the taste of the wooden stick inside the ice cream bar. You lift up off the ground and bob above the floor.
And you begin growing a little taller again. And the hips get a little plumper and the belly swells. And a new tooth cuts in through the gum. And you could love the music that doesn’t repeat. And you could smell the cake mix smell of rare spores of a mildew that grow in the lobbies of incandescently lit bank buildings and department stores.
You can lie on your back with your paws bent over your wrists and your big lips sagging into a puddle on the floor. And somewhere from a faraway canyon of your bowels sails a long high-pitched meow.
At that moment you could lift your head and round your whiskered quivering jowls and sing “Oh You. Oh You.”

Blueprint Award for Critical Thinking

Blueprint Award for Critical Thinking

2019

“Global Entry: John Harwood on Keller Easterling’s Extrastatecraft,” <em>Artforum,</em> March

“Global Entry: John Harwood on Keller Easterling’s Extrastatecraft,” Artforum, March

2015