SICK HISTORY                works in progress, summer 2022  

1941 : Drawing from the work of early invalid pioneer Sandra Field, Carolyn Duvier develops the electronic fever instrument prototype.


according to family legend, my great grandmother Alice wasn’t that interested in the electronic instruments at the hospital when she was dying with lupus, she just preferred the acoustic ones. i have just a small scrap of a bed song from her, that my grandma also used when she stayed there, off and on in her 40s.


i want [need?] a device that is two little foam arm rests to lift my arms  so i can type  in bed .

so i order one from the horizontal division of the ergonomic office chair supply company, i get mine in yellow but there are 5 colors available, and it is delivered by a tired amazon worker.

so  i receive one in my welcomebox from the sick people coop in my neighborhood, delivered slowly and we meet each other in between so we each only have to walk 2.5 blocks.

so i inherit one, from my friend carmen, the one she got from her great aunt, and used in the two years of the pain flares but her back is calmer right now so she sends it UPS and the postal worker drops it off on the first floor and my roommate brings it up in the afternoon.

and so i make one for now, make shift, out of two folded tshirts.


a pile of unfulfilled requests.
A dispatcher, dispatching, from the sick center.
The requests, fulfilled, are pushed, like receipts, on a spike next to her desk, somehow the spike and the pile are endless.


request :

milo, in central crown heights, 940 prospect place.
this afternoon
anytime before 5:30 :

3rd floor balcony,
small ensemble or soloist
warm tones
or something shimmery
maybe something from the 20th century Window Rep?
or else, shirley farber’s visit concerto?


it is rare to perform these days, the ones at the conservatory next to the sick center, pursuing what they were calling stage music, kept getting stranger and stranger looks

what a marvel, to wait for a rare kind of room to put your sounds in


ON TOUR THIS FALL : on the bed theater circuit : britney spears



do you know how ashamed i was, in the world we are in, that i was ashamed, that i kept hearing myself say : i was doing nothing, in that first year ?

in my body, leaned in closer, tried to listen, couldn't, sounds too hidden to hear or i am not practiced yet

so instead imagined all the noises in there, all the circulation motion all the traffic all the messages, all the sound i am
i in my body am sent to specialists by specialists, theirs is a certain way, they zoom in close and have poor peripheral perception
they want to get an image capture find the atom of the cause to find the cure, a cure as in an end as in get well soon, as in a result as in we cannot get comfortable in this lasting, as in  become sound already




in the world we are in, you are talking to me about what you think we would want an instrument for
you think this is about a quick getaway
you did not consider staying here
But i do not want a way out, not the way you’re thinking
but i would rather wonder, how luscious could it be, here?
this place is always occupied.
what will you want, when you arrive? To get more comfortable.


the congressional staffers chat as they make their way, slowly, from the senate to the sick center for the weekly legislative review.

someone comes to my door, in the summer of 2020 when i got a name from someone else about my condition. they wear a green uniform and they are gentle and they bring me a box with the instrument and on the stoop and they show me how to play it and they tell me, welcome.


if help only comes from friendship

if friendship is often found in the time spent

if there is no bed where you spend that

how can i get help

if help only comes from exchange

if exchange means i work hard for you

if i cannot work hard, if i cannot work

how can i get help

if help only comes if you like me

if my tired makes me grumpy

if you are tired of listening to the lists of things so ableist

how can i get help

the fever instrument

the wobble organ for the

horizontal player !

the fever instrument was developed in 19

the first electronic instrument for beds was developed in 1931, by maryanne clark, an engineer for a sick person commune in central wales

a horizontal stradivarius was recently au

this is both about training the musicians

and offering something to the listeners.

the hunger got so bad, we started sending pictures our bodies to each other, and our faces

how fast the thought locked in, in an empty room, of not seeing enough faces in 2 years

i only have been in the same room as my dear friend, one time

i remember she said i was taller than she imagined and we laughed

i imagined making a wall of small oval paintings with the faces of my friends on it, for those moments.


there never were any “greats” of the fever instrument in the way that you might want to think about someone grappling mastery over their instrument through force of will and the simple fact of time and energy


i began to need to flip things since i culd not flip myself.

so here a garden of ordinary delights like the matter of fact quality in the relationship between the blind runner and her guide.

and that we all deserve an instrument made with our body in mind.

special like special education like it isn’t expected like it’s rare.

special like all the influencers showing us how youtube took care of them like queens at coachella