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2/15/99

Dear Nada,

                    Take off that ridiculous fraise, those feathers
                    & be here
                    I can't wait in my head forever, a cufflink
                    instead of the person I was when we were alive
                    remember? You crossed out the word "human" in my notebook
                    & wrote the word "human" above it, like
                    " Fuck Spicer!"
                    ... well, isn't that love? O, what a lot of water you are
                    I'm filled not with indecision, but
                    these wet leaves layered in no light, maybe just a candle
                    or blown conch, you make me so
                    so sinewy
                    hey, "as if to piss on furs again," "above
                    the personal horizon," but I was going to say something
                    about the planetary curve, about
                    all the bricks in Brooklyn, o where did I put my head?

* * *

After the first avowal has been made, "my head"
has no meaning whatsoever; it merely repeats
in an enigmatic mode--[blank]--
the old message. "My head,"
                              "my head." Pink. Broken by table lamp's beam.
                              I guess I'll never know.

* * *

                              So.

What's poetry but the world's ruin? Aimless
as a red-hot iron bar. I think
I love you. Phenomenon? Redaction? Suddenly, I feel uneasy
& open books one after the other:

               "Then this will still be here,
               Here, here, the proved not-here"

               "In Sudan, the operation consists in the complete removal
               of all the external genital organs; they cut off the clitoris,
               the two major outer lips (labia majora) and the two minor
               inner lips (labia minora). Then the wound is repaired. The
               outer opening of the vagina is the only portion left intact,
               not however without having ensured that, during the pro-
               cess of repairing, some narrowing of the opening is
               carried out with a few extra stitches. The result is that on
               the marriage night it is necessary to widen the external
               opening by slitting one or both ends with a sharp scalpel
               or razor so that the male organ can be introduced ..."

There is no place
I can go
from here. Love
is too much
like other stories.

* * *

Now, I'm really frustrated. "Salt in the syringe." My wrist is so
thin, but at least I'm not ashamed of it
that's something, like Who is here? as tho voices are speaking
as tho I intend--finally!--to be understood
that's worth something, isn't it, as much as any other
terrifying threshold. It's not impossible
to write poems after Auschwitz, nor to love, it's crucial
to be made one body not dying of loneliness or empty heart
(I like that heart is the anagram of earth
at least it's something I feel I can make peace with)

* * *

If the world exists, I'm not sure continuity can, can
the space between incidents be described?
These clothes? I'm in them
will pencil myself in for you, I'm becoming used to writing
& reading, "perpetual mutability," because
the water here's supposedly undrinkable, it comes from
the earth.
                         Tonight, all I want is to be
able to
go on. I've lost (temporarily?) my petulance, what verve
I had when I first sat down
to write to you. Sinking, I feel I'm sinking
as the late light crawls from the floor to the window
I should eat
I should have eaten
Life goes on in the dark. Trouble gave me back my head, that's
the only thing
it's good for. I don't want to win you over
I want to love you, as I do
love you
tho I'm tired now, too many voices in my head. Where's
yours?
          You should be happy, "as a rained-on leaf"
are leaves happy? am
I? are you? What, Nada, in this world, would make you happy?

* * *

It's one a.m., traffic should stand still, but doesn't
it all goes on, the nullifying world
maybe not even contrary to nature. Before, when I said "I love you"
I meant "my head"
I meant "I love you." Maybe I'm just too clumsy to mourn.

                                                                                                              Love,

                                                                                                                        Gary

 

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