Friday, January 19, 2007

Imaging her Autotelos*

*image courtesy Eliza Newman-Saul (2005)

The juridicizing of all human relations...

The juridicizing of all human relations in their entirety, the confusion between what we may believe, hope, and love, and what we are supposed to do and not supposed to do, what we are supposed to know and not know, not only signal the crisis of religion but also, and above all, the crisis of law. The messianic is the instance, in religion and equally in law, of an exigency of fulfillment which—in putting origin and end in a tension with each other—restores the two halves of prelaw in unison. At this same moment, it shows the impossibility of their ever coinciding. (This is why the actual opposition between secular States, founded uniquely on law, and fundamentalist States, founded uniquely on religion, is only a seeming opposition that hides a similar political decline.) But in this, it points, beyond prelaw, toward an experience of the word, which—without tying itself denotatively to things, or taking itself as a thing, without being infinitely suspended in its openness or fastening itself up in dogma—manifests itself as a pure and common potentiality of saying, open to a free and gratuitous use of time and the world.
~ Giorgio Agamben

Are We Still Married?*

Like Eyes that looked on Wastes ~
Incredulous of Ought
But Blank ~ and steady Wilderness ~
Diversified by Night ~

Just Infinities of Nought ~
As far as it could see ~
So looked the face I looked upon ~
So looked itself ~ on Me ~

--Emily Dickinson

Signs scar everything—presentiments of sight.

We drove on reproachful roads
and prepared everything
but who we are.

The stars are closer now than ever before

but I don’t
want their correspondence.

How can we remember what we recollect first?

The bomb’s always set. And eyes not always ours. And ears eclipse somewhere else.
Bearing messages to our future dead.

Tongue it has been a crescent. Now it longs for obfuscation. To cleave what was said and what is left. To make telling its gleek.

To believe what world is and what is should have been. To pin this sudden clearing in the mind might uncure sin.

In recordings of my dreams I’ve pressed that lack. Blinking to traverse when.

Why in love have we stalked?

We can’t see the animal’s trapped.

The cage door flickers and swings open—and opens

Singing, *Are we still married? Are we still?...*

Who foresees a wound when it is here?

This blue screen we seldom recognized
And slides of places we never were,
Our terrific coverage—a ruse.

Why is the flower an unequal thing?

Difference contacts difference.

Everywhere I look I see ruins.

Somehow we shouldn’t be...
but we must be for

To commit semblance.

To augur remiss tains.

Sweeping our names into this grave

Developing *tracelessness*.

Residues of drum precedents
speed and slow in these lines.

Intervals rise.

*A little time in the pure state.*
A little spot in the eye.

Where *don’t* became *battle*
silos push the air around.

Distant lands suddenly sing
being made of the same thing.

Recall what it means to be unique.
Contraction from critique.

Kill a hole preciously! Correct a capital!

Ransom our will.

Nothing could love Life more.

Why shouldn’t one hate the catalyst
forcing us to reflect
as such on essential stains.

I would prefer to forget
except when you continue your killing spree.

I would prefer to forgive
except only eternity is really just.

While the candlelight is particular
I’ve survived to destroy.

Is there a light that is still not for yes?

Skip town mammal. Don’t confront
the seen eventual.

I know when
it isn’t my turn to breathe.

When we donated dust
hushed by frame.

Could there have been *great discoveries* any other way

then to be reported
by guns
or skinned by flame?

Your love smothers to soar.

If *image of love*
were only image of love and not more.

We might do each other
the courtesy to discern

powder from the keg. Spirit
from its folios.

Your eyes swear
by night-light:
*No more logos!*

No revolution no ratiocination

Lingering in wings.
Flinging this sight.

The hunter has never
wholly seen the deer.

The Open claws a minute
when we’re not here.

I have lived
for rinsing
sty sometimes.

I have died
to widen
the floor.

without eyes
or ears to save—

blimps of this rave.

This instance swears
I’m *darkest space*
becoming darker sky.

Never having known me
these letters turn holy.

Holy to be and holy to see!
I propose blindness a historical event

--the world not an entire friendship.

I presuppose possession a
privilege of the personality

who seldom knew flourish, who couldn’t tell
fire from flour.

I provide a grave and everything it conceives
confiding qualities subtended from loss.

You would seem a savage except you’re so pretty.

I’d be a mantle
if not for these tears.

*composed 2003-present.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Pale of Settlement (Revision)

~ for Louise Nevelson

A colorless guilt
This self-fashioned light

Of the shipyards shore grey
Beardless presence

Of an after

Math after

An aftermath

Wood assumes
Number to not forget

This distance

Beyond the pale of settlement
& into

The arms of this shadow now
We sing a world uncolored

Of those pograms
A more immediate Kiev

They destroy destroy again
For the 29th

Time to ruin
Ruins affix stack

This not world

Variations on seen things seen

Words and wood
What definition of the present

To measure slivers
Through the city scraping

The eye

Fresh it seemed pure conscience, pure

Sense pirched on rocks for thousands
Of years we stand

In this night-
mare counting shadows

as they fall from earth.