language, you/ me
It allows a certain pleasure
in having without appropriating.
you wish to inscribe your self
i’m supposed to
write something about flowers here, I think,
onto my (soul) (life)
and in so doing present a detailed image for
the reader to grasp
(eradicate) all other being(s);
perhaps a fractured bit of ice shimmering up
from a spring-winded lake,
a wilted King Alfred white-on-white dafodil,
crinkled and translucent parchment above the vase-water
but you are not (one) (self).
Neither am I and we
or seek another image, the
crumbling cement sidewalk that ants build on— but this does not fulfill my
needs, only the act of speech
(cannot) live in this rarefied,
serving as image and content,
nor can we live pressed
between the images of
poetry— where I place carefully picked impatiens from your garden to make a
bouquet of dried, flat, dead cellulose which crumbles into dust when you throw
the papiere-mache statue of our love into the air and attack me for thinking
too much of it
image condensed like soup, just add water and your mind dissolves all senses
demolished from dilution by the plethora of prosaic flies skimming over the
rotted remains of a young couple who did not know how to grow (up)
I look out the window into black night, not even my
reflection returns the favor, your reflection of me deserting us both as I hear
you breathe deeper and deeper, at last content with night.
I am a vampire sucking, your teeth
have pierced my neck to drain me.
Now you’ve made your point: I’m a beast—
another useless shadow prancing around the edge of the frivolous garden-hedge
on some moonless romance-novel evening.
I do not believe there is
reprieve from this daily grind of image(-less) writing, of dance(-less) music,
of (battle) (fatigue) and hate; so leave me behind on the way to a moral for
the same as today, full of sorrow—
turned gray as you are with your fear of being too
to change, to love, to going
on longer walks with more friends.
Across this limited range, the escaping
rerun of soap-operatic fun a play in your mind from which this all has
99 out of 100 can’t be
and thus ends our disco(u)r(se)d
By choice, Cixous…insists that the other be
loved, not in any maudlin way, but by respecting difference. Those looking at
the world as an eternal power struggle will see in this no more than lofty
Conley, Verena Andermatt.
with Clarice Lispector, Verena
Andermatt Conley, ed., transl.
Univ. of MN Press: Minneapolis, 1990.xiv