JOSEPH CULLIER

EXCERPTS FROM THE SENSITIVE BOY SLUMBER PARTY MANIFESTO (THE OPERATING SYSTEM, 2015)

 

WHERE DO I GO?

14,000,000,000
4,600,000,000 – 4,500,000,000
199,600,000 – 145,500,000
500,000 BC – 100,000 BC
1500s – 1800s
1500 – Present
1775 – 1783
1776
1830 – Present
1861 – 1865
1861 – 1865
1862
1864
1865
1866
1867

1881 – 1965
1896
1909
1910 – 1920
1914 – 1918
1914
1919
1930
1932 – 1972
1939 – 1945
1942
1954
1955
1955 – 1968
1955
1955 – 1975
1957
1957
1960
1961
1962
1963
1963
1963
1963
1963
1964
1964
1965
1965
1965
1965
1966 – 1975
1966
1968
1969
1969 – 1974
1981 – 1989
1981 – 2011
1984 – 1993
1992
1995
1996
1999
2001 – Present
2003 – 2011
2006
2009
2009 – 2016
2010
2012
2012
2013
2013
2014
2014
2014
2015
2015
2015
2015

BC Big Bang
BC Planet Earth
Jurassic Period
Start of Homo sapiens
Slaves Imported to Americas
African American Genocide
American Revolution
Declaration of Independence
Native American Genocide
Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
American Civil War
Emancipation Proclamation
Slavery Abolished
Abraham Lincoln Assassinated
Ku Klux Klan Founded
Five Black Colleges Founded: Howard University, Morgan State College,
Talladega College, St. Augustine’s College, and Johnson C. Smith College.
Jim Crow Laws
Plessy v. Ferguson
NAACP Founded
The Great Migration
World War I
Universal Negro Improvement Founded by Marcus Garvey
Red Summer
Nation of Islam Founded
Tuskegee Experiment
World War II
Congress of Racial Equality Founded
Brown v. Board of Education
Emmett Till Murdered
Civil Rights Movement
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Vietnam War
Southern Christian Leadership Conference Founded
Little Rock Nine
Four Black college students held sit-in
Freedom Rides
Malcolm X appointed national minister of the Nation of Islam
March on Washington; “I Have a Dream” Speech
16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Medgar Evers Assassinated
John F. Kennedy Assassinated
Freedom Summer
Civil Rights Act
Malcolm X Assassinated
Selma to Montgomery March
Voting Rights Act
Watts Riots
Black Power Movement
Black Panther Party Founded
Martin Luther King Assassinated
Fred Hampton Assassinated
Presidency of Richard Nixon
Presidency of Ronald Reagan
AIDS Epidemic
Crack Epidemic
LA Riots
Million Man March
40 African American Churches Burned in American South
Amadou Diallo Murdered
War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
Sean Bell Murdered
Oscar Grant Murdered
Presidency of Barack Obama
Aiyana Stanley-Jones Murdered
Trayvon Martin Murdered
Rekia Boyd Murdered
Kimani Gray Murdered
Renisha McBride Murdered
Eric Garner Murdered
Michael Brown Murdered
Tamir Rice Murdered
Walter Scott Murdered
Freddie Gray Murdered
Sandra Bland Murdered
Laquan McDonald Murdered


Texas is the newest self-help craze. Everyone keeps asking about the cowboys. Before I was born someone wrote a bible about something. God always calls collect.

I know nothing.

We bump into each other during rush hour just so we can feel the touch of another human’s body. Sharing all the things we don’t want. I hope you like your new nation, the great dream that was to become America turned nightmare. If we could we would trade it all for something more portable.

I don’t have hair or teeth.

Where do I go?

 

 

THE SENSITIVE BOY SLUMBER PARTY MANIFESTO
This is a poem of inciting subversion of the state.

I.

America,

You’re breaking my heart.
George Bush doesn’t care about black people
And I’m in hell.
I am the scholar with his truth.

America,

What if someone killed your son?
The White Army killed another unarmed Black man today.
Do I protest by not dancing?
Do I sing like a sad James?

America,

I’m sorry.
Sometimes I forget that I’m scary.
I don’t want you to be afraid of me
Because it’s scaring me.

America,

I want my deliverance now,
While I’m here.
I walked up to heaven’s gate and White Jesus asked me,
“Wha yo black ass doin here?”

 

 

II.

America,

What if the police killed your son?
After being away for a while I went home
And saw my parents in a new light.
My father and I share more than just our name.

America,

What if the police murdered your son?
Teach your daughters
The way they wear their hair is a political statement.
We are throwing pebbles at an unjust institution.

America,

You did such a good job marketing that gun fight.
It was such a success.
Everyone showed up and died.
It is revolutionary for a country to put itself on trial.

America,

Unleash your psychopaths on your own children for a change
They’re getting bored with the taste of my flesh.
I want to feel like a child right now
And that’s not a bad thing

 

III.

America,

If the police murdered your son,
What would you do?
When you get older you realize how often adults are wrong
And God’s on no one’s side.

America,

Your love won’t be safe with me
And your narcissism won’t keep you warm.
My dog eats better than my neighbor
Kill the poor and renovate their homes.

America,

How many times do I have to tell you?
I am not on your side.
Sit me with the degenerates who can’t get to work on time.
I am a serial killer in a nursery.

America,

I don’t believe what you believe and I am right.
If you don’t do this you won’t be beautiful
But skin creams won’t make you any younger
And those diet pills just don’t work

 

IV.

America,

Someone killed your son.
Everyone says they want to be free,
But we really just want to be social.
Evangelical Christians believe empathy is too left wing

America,

How much is it costing you to keep us poor?
Only radical gestures dissolve cynicism
But everybody’s just trying to find new ways to do nothing.
Nostalgia is a trick

America,

Now we’re building freedom schools in the ghetto
And teaching radicals.
“The philosophy of the school in one generation
Will be the philosophy of government in the next.”

America,

You stand in my way
And get annoyed when I ask “Excuse me sir, will you step aside?”
You must be America.
I think I’ll call you America from now on.

 

V.

America,

We are killing our sons.
We’re establishing resistant groups, armed militias, underground presses, and subversive newspapers.
To be labeled “America” is a sharp sentence for a heinous crime.
We are children with rich interior lives

America,

Every empire has it’s place in history.
This empire will fall because it is irrational.
A classroom full of eager students
Scars on their faces and toothless smiles

America,

If I’m so dumb how did I outsmart you?
It’s easy for me to say what I will not eat when I am not hungry.
Let’s celebrate our sickness
But do not resist the White Army.

America,

When I was a boy I thought a gun was a toy
But now I am a man.
Ferguson is a synecdoche.
We are on the other side of the American flag.

 

 

JOSEPH A. CUILLIER III (1988, US) IS A BROOKLYN BASED DESIGNER, ARTIST, POET, AND EDUCATOR FROM NEW ORLEANS, LA AND HOUSTON, TX, DEEPLY DEDICATED TO ART’S CAPACITY TO CONNECT INDIVIDUALS, COMMUNITIES, AND CAUSES. HE RECEIVED A MFA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN FROM PRATT INSTITUTE IN 2013, WHERE HIS THESIS RESEARCH FOCUSED ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GRAPHIC DESIGN, LINGUISTIC THEORY, AND SOCIAL CRITICISM.

HIS WORK, LARGELY, FOCUSES ON HUMAN-CENTERED, SOCIALLY ENGAGED, PROACTIVE PRACTICE THROUGH THE USE OF POETRY, STREET ART, ARTISTS’ BOOKS, GRAPHIC DESIGN, AND PERFORMANCE. HIS WORK HAS BEEN INCLUDED IN TRANSFORM-ACTION: ADVENTURES IN THE REALM OF TRANSFORMATION DESIGN, FIVE CONVERSATIONSON GRAPHIC DESIGN AND CREATIVE WRITING, HXH QUARTERLY: “OUT OF RULES TO BREAK ISSUE”, AND EXTRA—MURAL: “MISTAKES ISSUE”, AND SHOWCASED AT NAROPA UNIVERSITY AND PRATT INSTITUTE, AMONG OTHERS. JOSEPH IS CURRENTLY AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT PURCHASE COLLEGE SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN. HIS FIRST POETRY CHAPBOOK, THE SENSITIVE BOY SLUMBER PARTY MANIFESTO, WAS PUBLISHED IN 2015 BY THE INDEPENDENT BROOKLYN BASED PRESS THE OPERATING SYSTEM. HE WAS ALSO ONE OF FIVE ARTISTS PARTICIPATING IN THE CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS 2015 ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM. IN 2016, THUS FAR, HE WAS A POET IN RESIDENCE AT NEW MEXICO POETICS SEMINAR AND HIS TEXT BASED VISUAL ART WAS FEATURED IN THE BRONXARTSPACE SPEAK OUT EXHIBITION.

JOSEPH IS THE FOUNDER OF THE NEWLY CREATED THE BLACK SCHOOL, AN ART AND EDUCATION INITIATIVE BASED IN BROOKLYN, NY. THE BLACK SCHOOL SEEKS TO ESTABLISH AN ALTERNATIVE MODEL FOR THE SCHOOL BY EDUCATING STUDENTS TO BE AGENTS OF SOCIAL CHANGE.

GestureJOSEPH CULLIER