What do I look like to you? Don’t be shy. Do you find me attractive? Repulsive? Charming? Scary? How about determined? 
                      Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brainard Bullion and I am a certifiable creativity coach, a conduit to the sacred hermaphroditical muse, CYN.  I reside in a Long Beach, New York rental unit that offers a partial oceanfront view. My passions include somersaulting in the nude and doing unusual things with eggs. As a devoted disciple of CYN, I praxis and teach reasonable and sound enchanted thinking that invariably leads to the achievement of affirmative outcomes. 
                      Let me offer you an example of the positive power of my sacred CYN praxis that occurred just last week.  I was riding the F line subway train to Neptune Avenue when a foul smelling young man of great height boarded the train and pushed his way to the center of the car. He wore a white baseball cap with the words EAT THE RICH stitched in large lavender letters.  As the young man cleared his throat, I expected him to either spit or begin an agonized plea for money. 
                      He did neither. 
                      Instead, he pulled out a pistol and ordered an attractive woman in Tanzanite heels to pull the emergency stop chord.  After the train pummeled to a stop he began to rage how humans have become lactose intolerant because we stopped ingesting mother’s milk and replaced it with the cow milk that has made American women look like heifers and American men look like castrated bulls. “You fools! Your last glass of milk actually came from a bull,” he screamed.
                      When a trio of teenagers tried to rush him from behind, he shot the ringleader. He then punctuated each sentence of his memorized dairy manifesto by pointing his gun at a different rider and yelling, “Pow Cow!”  While transit riders cowered and many wept, I remained calm and silently invoked the healing power of CYN. Much to my surprise, these words leapt from my throat:
                      “Coughing milk through your nose is one of the seven cleansing rituals of dairy yoga.”     
                      “Milkshakes are the gift from heaven that come in different flavors.” 
                      “Life happens, honey. What are you going to do? Cry into a bowl of milk?”
                      Upon hearing this, the gunman shot himself.  
                      They called me a hero, responsible for saving many lives on that train.  But it wasn’t me. What saved us was CYN’s oral response to my silent desperate plea for guidance. My mouth was just used as Its vehicle of protection.
                      There are many creative consultants who live to milk the bank accounts of the anxious and insecure. Not me.  I live to share this sacred praxis of CYN with you. I, Brainard Bullion of Long Beach, specialize in the reclamation of frustrated, disillusioned, humiliated and blocked artists suffering within all branches of the humanities. My post-graduate work in the fields of Scatology and Sanitation are the perfect precursors for my present avocation as a creative conduit to aesthetic satisfaction and artistic fulfillment. 
                      My consultations are done exclusively through house calls because creativity must engender movement and momentum in order to succeed.  Skeptics have accused me of using house calls to avoid office overhead while living off the pipedreams of others. I abhor pipedreams. I make a virtuous living as a pipefitter.  I install, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair artistic ambitions by helping artists secure airtight connections to their creative process and products.  I work with an array of national and international non-profit/commercial art networks. 
                      To begin with, I never submit an artist’s work. To submit means to be judged unfavorably as a possible non-equal.  Submission is the acceptance of creative surrender. An artist must never submit to any authority except to that of CYN.  I offer up a client’s work to prospective dealers, curators, producers and publishers in the same spirit one offers up a gift –as an enticement for pleasure, prosperity and affable enlightenment. 
                      I first came to understand the unique powers of CYN’s gift of individualized creativity when I was a young child who still believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. A CYN inspired epiphany occurred one Christmas Eve while I was playing a Wise Man in our Church’s annual Christmas pageant.  While in bearded costume bowing and presenting a gift to the baby Jesus in the manger, tears suddenly spilled down my face and I wept so loudly Pastor Weber had to pull me off stage.  After the church service ended I was brought to the sacristy and given cookies and coco while the pastor, my parents and the Sunday School teachers who supervised the pageant tried to calm me and discover why I was so upset.
                      In between sobs I told them I could no longer believe a wise man could ever be joyous over Jesus’ birth and that anyone who says Merry Christmas, throws parties, decorates trees, strings lights and exchanges gifts all in celebration of this infant must be a cruel liar. Why is everyone so jubilant to see this baby born? Just three months later comes Easter and this baby is a grown man who is mocked, betrayed, tortured and murdered in a most excruciatingly sadistic manner that ends with his broken body tossed into a stranger’s grave. Ho! Ho! Ho! 
                      Instead of acknowledging my precocious Yuletide insight into raw truth they became upset and told me it all had to do with sin. My sin. And then I was slapped into a decade of psychotherapy.  But unbeknownst to my parents, one of my shrinks practiced Reiki therapy, which means "spiritually guided life force energy." Reiki involves the passing of energy from a trained Reiki practitioner's body to the client's body as a method of healing. This Reiki practitioner used a series of established hand positions as a means for allowing energy to move freely between her body and mine.  That’s when CYN first formally introduced themself to me and I learned how most people corrupted CYN’s name because of their fear of visionary thinking and so chose to misspell it and interpret it as sin in order to obliterate Its healing, mystical properties of unique contemplative thought always turns into affirmative action.  
                      I’m currently working with a client who is a prolific and accomplished fine arts photographer.  Not too many years ago she was a widely exhibited and published winner of multiple N.E.A. artist grants as well as a recipient of highly competitive residencies at both Yaddo and MACDOWELL artist colonies. However, for more than a decade her work has been completely ignored and she’s become dangerously despondent.  When we met she presented me with a shocking proposal.    
                      My client is a purist who refuses to succumb to digital photography and give up the excitement of her darkroom discoveries. However, film and chemicals are just too expensive and spatially she can’t afford the extra room in which to develop her photographs. Her last two agents dropped her when they insisted she needed to create art videos based on her images in order to revive her photographic career.  She abhors video art, claiming they are mostly repetitive, appropriated images and soundtracks sans the fingerprints of a personal humanity. Her proposition was for me to help her complete her first and final art video that will chronicle the soul crushing loss of her artistic voice.  She engaged me to help her conceptualize and create the world’s first artistic suicide snuff film, a final ironic protest against the cruel indignity of her cultural neglect. She was determined to kill herself on camera in a most powerfully imaginative manner.  Her expectation was that her video would be her swan song that would fly into international galleries and museums, thus avenging her neglected and rejected late period artist life. 
                      Upon hearing her goal, some may call me crass as I always accept checks and credit cards, but I amended this policy and insisted she pay me cash up front.  I thought her project cutting edge and I immediately came up with a conceptual title for her terminal performance video, Sentenced to Death by the Muse. She loved it, but a few days later my conscience got the better of me, as well as fear of the legal implications of assisting a suicide. 
                      When I tried to talk her out of filming her suicide and change course for her first and final art video, she was defiantly adamant that the reason for her taking such a drastic, innovational lethal action was “the lost echo of my uniquely artistic voice.” 
                      Hmmmm. The loss of her artistic voice?  She claimed not being able to afford print photography supplies, a dark room and the total lack of art world attention to her work the loss of her Artistic Voice?  That kind of thinking is irrational and is most certainly not to die for.
                       Thanks to the intervention of CYN, I was able to explain to her the scientific conceit developed by physicists that sound waves never disappear. Sound waves spread out and get weaker and weaker until they just about disappear and that’s when they transform into thermal energy units that are eternal.  According to this highly respected theory, we are surrounded by the voices of every word that’s ever been spoken by both the living and the dead, but we can’t hear them because the ultimate sensitive listening device has yet to be invented. Thankfully, after much debate she finally accepted my proposition.  
                      Using this concept, I sketched out a new video I called Babel On And Off White to be shot within Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery’s kinetic landscape of funereal monuments and sculptural ossuary patinas. 
                      The goal of this new artwork is to have the viewer experience what I call a seduction from the graveyard dead who are excited and impatient to recruit mortals into their powerful and extremely vocal eternal community choir. This terminal seduction will be achieved by inducing a kind of video viewer trance rooted in an escalating aural and visual cemetery cacophony. This rising dissonance approximates an ethereal heart attack by allowing her viewers to pass over into the world of the dead when the jarring crescendo of flashing funereal sculptural images and the humming, hissing, screeching garble of overlapping voices abruptly ends when the screen is suddenly filled with a silent, blazing white. There are dead in this art video but in my updated version, thank CYN it isn’t the artist herself.   
                       We were recently notified that Babel On And Off White has been short listed as a finalist for the prestigious and lucrative Alfred B. Sloan Foundation Grant, awarded to artists who seek to build bridges between the two cultures of science and the humanities in order to develop a common language to better understand and speak to one another. 
                      So, how may I be of service to you?
Mark Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center He is the author of Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press), Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes from the Underground (Moira Books) and the forthcoming text based art book, Dream Streams (Clare Songbirds Publishing). His video, Widow's Peek: The Kiss of Death, was selected to the 2018 International Experimental Film Festival in Bilbao, Spain. He is a 2018 Audie Award Finalist for his contribution to the original audio book, Nevertheless We Persisted. 
Dario Saraceno originally hails from Ripacandia, Italy and is a professional musician, actor and author of the guitar method book, The Shape Remains the Same. His band, Dario and the Clear, have opened for John Enthwhistle, Leslie West, The Alarm, Pat Travers and Warren Zevon. Favorite acting roles include a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live playing Judge Samuel Alito to Kate McKinnon’s RBG, and as an Egyptian soldier in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida. Dario will appear in Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming film, The Dead Don't Die and is currently working on a photo essay series, Descent From Duchess County: An Upward Journey.
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