Viscera in the spillway: a china-box elongated,
or italicized by antennae, search lights heliotropic
with smooth-tongued, fraternal flumes
for the low-flying, forgetful of what would be no more
important than drinking tap water in a floodlit room,
a nearly offensive, comatose flux
a split-level fracturewarned-against, rolling
in a science teacher’s open hand.
Coiled liquid in a drain halving, haphazard splashing out,
glass thermometers split for their mercury,
a simplex wickerwork
a silver-fox flush boiled at dawn drowned in vapor lamps and batteries:
They weighed her down with the number eighty, ultraviolet
and a crystalline light.
Euthanasia, they said, it’s more in the taking,
1. something of the pond she could never give back.
2. ticking quanta of buttons in a jar, wing-rush or
3. a third unnamable
4. “a third unnamable,” 2
5. “or Worm, old Worm…won’t be able to bear” 3
6. my skeleton-bride or Alameda on Sunday
7. another wry belated ladle in a player’s hand
8. soon as written the code kept cracking
9. batteries, batteries, batteries flapping signage above the greasy bays
10. and the smell of butter wafting, wafting.
12. steel axles, analog tape, and double exposures.
13. Gilded limbs heft the porcelain heavenward.
14. 14) And the wind turns into an emblem
Or current. If fish be farthest from fowl, consider
starry slots in nethers. The jar’s lip opens to the idea
of night sky, cattle tank, snagged sumac on the power line.
Both hunt like this. (He sweeps a hand over his face.)
Over his hand he sweeps his face, and in August, hunters
squint through the idea of light, not light itself.
An undressed moment snagged in moon-jars
will be depleted by dawn; this is what we will call
aesthetics, or at least, its memory.
Or neither of the two.
Fold the taxonomy of bough and shallow in half; hold it not to the idea of light, but light itself. Squint into their doubling: a hint of starry ether somewhere out-of-hand. Consider the old map’s nostalgia, the jaundiced and flaking bits of avenues bisected by interstates and industrial parks. Run a finger down the length of it: No quedaban palabras en mi memoria. A su fiel prisionero, then you sign your name. Not a half inch below this,
all we could bear. As soon as she put an equal sign after the word, the naked welter of the town silenced the arrows’ neon, dark among the horseshoe of oleanders, spilling luck onto rutty Yucaipa. You’d have to dig pretty deep to find its foundation. We still own it: the felt-marker frown we redrew in hours we never knew we’d miss. Of course I remember:
“Thinking involves not only movement of thoughts but their zero-hour. Where thinking suddenly halts in a constellation overflowing with tensions, there it yields a shock to the same, through which it crystallizes.” 4
So, instead of writing “They weighed her down with the number eighty, ultraviolet/ and a crystalline light,” we could instead write “Deep in ultraviolet, they weighed her among memory and oleanders: an attempt to silence steel-hymns amid fields of industrialized parks.” Perhaps this shock, the tension doubling back upon and through itself, is a different way of becoming:
bones in her
“In so far as exchange is a process, by which commodities are transferred from hands, it is a social circulation. The product of one form of useful labour replaces that of another. When once a commodity has found a resting-place, it falls out of the sphere of exchange into that of consumption. But the former sphere alone interests us.” 5
This is what we will call the channel’s lacing: an unlasting gate that drops the absent frequencies we breathe. Or. Breathing, breathing: absent frequencies unloosen aesthetics: dim the idea of light, not light itself: drowned vapors: we sink to the bottom to see what it’s like: our labour replaced with a resting-place.
* * *
1 From Jacques Derrida’s “Signature, Event, and Context”
2 From Megan Gannon, Miles Waggener and Joshua Ware’s “This essential drifting”
3 From Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable
4 From Walter Benjamin’s “On the Concept of History”
5 From Karl Marx’s Captial