Dear Chris Kraus

By PRIYANKA VORUGANTI

 

 

To be in love with someone means believing that to be in someone else’s presence is the only means of being, completely, yourself.

 – Chris Kraus

 

 

1.

 

while you ode to Dick, Chris

Kraus, i’ll pine after 

 

your theory: the long-held conviction

the female ‘affliction’

 

desire, 

grotesque.

 

us girls can’t run away from those pheromones!

He was a Kerouac-type cowboy, she, 

 

a “Dumb Cunt”

and thus, the making

 

of a crush.

Chris, 

 

you call it “Lonely Girl Phenomenology”

and until then, I never knew I had a name

 

is this the most natural form of a woman?

desperate, wild, teary-eyed, wide-eyed, vagina-wide open —

 

I, a Lonely Girl, he,

a barely legal, semi-attractive, slightly psychopathic, scarily charming New York actor.

 

 

2.

 

Sheila Heti has a chapter in her book where she prays to God

except this one’s phallic all over and squirts juice

 

but if Dick is God

then he never really existed &

 

Chris, you said it yourself:

it’s more legitimate if it’s not real

 

we actualize him just by getting down on our knees…

 ( We Created You / We Made You / We Are You )

 

Dick, you were never just Dick

you’re Dick and dick and Warhol and Wayne and Rama and

 

if I drink God’s Kool-Aid will I be immortal?

suicide is a funny way of saying ‘I love you’

 

 

3.

 

Why is female vulnerability still only acceptable when it’s neuroticized and personal; when it feeds back on itself? Why do people still not get it when we handle vulnerability like philosophy, at some remove?

– Alice Notley

 

if you menstruate then you are always concerned with the psychological

or so my mom tells me

 

when I cried over you, my already-stained bedsheets stained once more

I toyed with the possibility that I might be a masochist,

 

Like you,

Like Kraus.

 

& Proust & Freud & Rousseau

but then why does my heart feel decapitated?

 

Chris, your mid-life crisis a 

“perverse longing for rejection,”

 

a return

to hopeless adolescence 

 

 

while I 

am stuck

 

in this trope

& sadly, 

 

my personhood is not a case study.

you said you felt “teenage”

 

or alive,

but I, I have never felt more dead.