Ryan Tarr

the spiral is the object

the tight squeeze of chains wrapping me
pulled out of muck or dust
my origin feels damp
and I can hear a hiss or a whisper peaking through
is this the feeling of the mind trying to upload itself?

sweating under my dog skin
i’ll pretend the grooves in my teeth are stone carvings:
Artifact from an Ancient Occupant
(put it on the side, not the lid)
but they never see it in that context, different from here
The Primary Context
chains are the id
chains are the soil


there’s a word
or texture
that i’ve been exposed to
about the purification of bones
that i can’t remember
my body feels uncomfortable
as i feel undesired
the sweat
the sense of dread
when i see my own
body in the mirror


looking at myself and thinking
is this body a corpse?
are its parts held together through necromancy?
in the bathroom i let my body collapse
in on itself like a dying star
i want reality to follow
it’s not stable anyway
and if i was the force that caused it to fully collapse
i’d be self-satisfied


desolation and community
uncertain visions in dystopic landscapes
fingers grappling with chains, links counted like hail mary’s
the sound of shovels turning soil
sharp and dull, foreboding changes
gardens planted and fruits harvested under desert sun

let’s intersperse the calm and the frenzied

water runs over rocks
a chain glimpsed under sediment
patterns like snake skin

runes drawn in sand
writing to focus thoughts, like straightening blades

shot through substrate
how do i hold up under scrutiny?
thinking of cyber realities, of abstracted visions


i’m vanilla, stagnant and unsexed
these cysts on my thumb are from misuse
the stains on my skin are from soaking in my own mess
a result of repeated inattentiveness

would it make it easier if i felt bad about it?
my body, stationary, investigated by wasps

The Spiral is the object
Remember that at the center of my person is a spiral

i’m not sure where i am
i’ve become metaphysically avoidant
are you expecting me to reveal some truth about these objects?

maybe i’m so nervous because we talk about the way things are at their core
and there is no core

i can see the oil on the surface
and i can feel it on my lips

ryan tarr is a white non-binary artist from michigan, relocating to california. you can reach them @g0r3_g1rl or at rwt1515@gmail

these pieces were all composed in 2018 in Austin TX – starting as scattered fragments written from anxiety, then wove together. my asexuality, body dysphoria and the weight of contemporary dystopia keep converging and asking ‘what is this body for?’ I waver between trying to answer that, and trying to escape to a reality where I don’t have to.