Sunday, May 15, 2005


Here's a little something based on an idea I've been tossing around in my head lately.

    Sofa and toes curl together
    As unimaginable horrors destroy countless lives
    In high-definition with digital sound.

    Late at night, like shuffling cards,
    Glimpses of those hungry faces
    As I half-awake walk to the bathroom.

    Rather than turn away from the horror
    Seeking on my own terms and facing again
    The endless redefinition of nicht-zu-Hause.
Comments welcome.

1 comment:

Roger Whitson said...

so, J, is the beginning and ending lines apart of the poem? If so, it's wierd meta-commentary on the tossing of ideas and the sort of evil house you seem to live in. Almost as if you were tossing the house in your head as you also walk in the house--the house is you and the little hungry faces are you as you walk upon them and, simultaneously, not realize that you are gazing at yourself killing little selves that may or may not be there. The question, I suppose is what do you refuse to turn away from, especially if you are all three personas simultaneously? Who turns from whom and for what? and what does this have to do with the horrors of the unimaginable? Perhaps the horrors are unimaginable because you don't see them, or you don't see that you are imagining their unimaginableness...that what you can't imagine is your own self killing your own hungry face and then killing that self by writing about it, and tossing the poem about in your head. The funny thing, and this is something that Maurice Merleau-Ponty writes about, is that our "self" as it were is perceived as this unity. But we only seem to perceive this unity because we have become so comfortable with the manifolds of flesh and bone and cells and neurons that collectively, make "us." These multiple elements cohere only because I have forgotten (whether through some kind of social process, or through Lacan's mirror stage, or whatever) that I am not a single thing, but rather all of these little things coming together into one. It's rather like getting so used to doing something that you don't even really think about the procedure of doing it (riding a bike, for instance, or driving a car). In those instances, the outer machine becomes apart of us, almost to the degree that when we come close to something on the outside of the car, we react almost like the car were our own body. The body is also like this. The flesh is forgotten and it merely becomes apart of us because it has been around us for so long.

Anyway, your poem seems like a return of this repressed situation. I see static, for some reason, and I hear these muffled voices of multiplicity that have been silenced because you or I or we have forgotten them, and they return and you face them and they impose themselves upon you. But perhaps you could only do this because you have un-imagined the horrors in the first place?