after xx of yy6
i heard talk of graves
yet i waited for the day
ever ever evermore
water for a little little grave
i keep playing dominos7
tongue plucked and hasty
i keep playing dominos i
forgot14 the fingers of clocks
my mother sent a letter
deep with tomato sauce and
i keep it on my dresser
spray it with perfume
quiet22 though unopened
i keep, it there; n, i— keep it there/ n i, keep (it) there…23
1. none of these words belong to me— none of them are my own. my tongue2 has no name, no home. my language4 lacks clause, or cause. my language thrives on dissolution while I eat the petals. i grow the salt and eat the petals and try to call myself a poet. my language has no name but poet. my language has no shape but wonder.
2. my tongue is gone. i kept eating glass, and now, it is gone3.
3. maybe, one day, my tongue will return.
4. a tangible, collapsible creation; as in— unchanging. as in fluid. my language, here, breaks. Hopefully. it shatters, but it continues. hopefully. what did you say? something about it works, despite my disobedient5 employees.
5. i employ my language, i make it work. and like all bosses and all workers, my words and i resent each other. we wrestle, and we fight— it gets bloody. everyone averts their eyes. but there’s only ever one winner. only one of us walks away valiant.
6. none nothing no one, begins to wonder alone. no one begins to wonder alone.
7. “Oops,” I mumbled, barely hiding my laughter, “can’t keep a thing8 straight13.”
8. nothing v thing v logic9 v reason— a lack of a thing is nearly always understood be feminine; as if the void is what defines the state of being which is constantly subjected, pushed aside, defined by others, and determined inadequate; as if the void itself were perhaps not the momentum, the creator of the urge to go forward; i reject that i am listless and empty10; i reject that i am inadequate and must be instructed to be otherwise; i am fine with the mess i have made, thank you.
- Virtue is possible
- Lack of virtue not is possible
- If lack of virtue is possible, then so is goodness
- Lack of virtue against lack of compassion
- Compassion, and, (virtue versus goodness)
- Deception if and only if [(vengeance versus lack of virtue) against ferocity]
- [if (virtue and compassion) then deception] if and only if [deception —> (lack virtue and compassion]
is true, then why didn’t Xanthippe say so? Did she apologize? Did she bite her tongue? Was her tongue, also, bitten off?
10. The words I speak are too big for my mouth— they tear it. The load of destiny I bear for is too heavy for my youth and has shattered it11.
12. What else can a lover of Beauvoir tell us?
13. This one is simply too obvious.
14. arendt15 says it is the process of memory which crystallizes thinking into practices; practices become norms; and in this way, thoughts determine cultural practices. thoughts make history. there is no privacy— we’re here, together.
15. Arendt taught me how to love16 footnotes.
16. hooks taught17 me how to love.
17. many18 have left an imprint of their minds on mine, and still i stand a fool19.
18. Boysen, Trinter, King, Johnson, Alper, Thomas, Wendy, Casey, Goldblatt, Goguen, Milsky, Poll, Sherman, and every song on the radio.
19. my language is foolish— playfulness can be weaponized. determinized. not kept. we all have our shields.
20. no, you can’t always get what you want. but if you can, in fact, try sometimes to get what you need21.
21. what do i need? who am i? where, in what book and how, do i find the answer? is it in the footnotes? what question, what frame, what paint will tell the story that needs to get out?
22. some things should be hard to read. some things should be hard to say.
23. the last word— lingers…