Three poems


Making due preparations to be atomized, and then for my rescheduling: the assembly - as with that of a solar system, say - is engaged with timing as much as with placement. A physiology of both - timing carried off as arrangement in space, sourced by these fundings of memory, to anchor the dynamic with the approaching program - one that can maintain enough strength of identity to relate to events other than itself, and not crumble. And when, every so often, shedding its name, the body is reduced to stark existence by the perennially requisite market crisis (I.N.R.I.), intimations of a chance escaping all the dramas of knowing or not knowing or having known flicker up, and I experience all of whatsoever it is I may be as an accident that intends itself as the accident - as if the accident itself were a will to life, and I its medium (“…take me to pieces and put me together again, o Beloved…”). Soon enough I’m back on my feet, and back in production - a game fabricating me again as a citizen with freshly minted parts, reprogrammed, minus the will to collapse, which had before facilitated anterior disasters of awakening. However the memory of that peristalsis - death trance inciting the wish for self-expenditure and zeroing ecstasy - can never be fully erased from the cells - any more than one who has been alive can ever come to forget it: having been or being alive, whether one is alive or dead - though, after a time, the cells are for the most part trained to behave in deference to a fiction of the “greater good,” and I with them. Learning to enjoy this correction, only insofar as it feeds the possibility (fantasy of the probable) for a making of myself, augmented and disguised, a new danger… to nothing if not my assumptions - as usual followed up with further plans for a schedule.

And so today, I spent the afternoon painting my bed white. My place takes on a quality that removes itself from the character of my day to day life, due to the security barrier I’ve constructed around my desk and library. It looks O.K.. It too I painted white. It stands there like a firewall in real time and space, a sectioned-off corner behind which my thoughts can remain secluded, my books safe, guarded away from the curious, greedy fingertips of the strangers who will pay to enjoy this privacy I’ve always detested and, knowing no other way to live, always needed. All I really want, in fact, is to feel this vulnerability of my own touch becoming authorized, even as it is betrayed by its own forms of public speech. I expect my apartment to be ready for service by next week. By then I’ll be gone. I’ve collected all the maps and brochures for the cities I’d like to visit - those cities which only exist in a time that will have departed already with the harbor and its ships, even before I have set off on my way. To be done once and for all with this Lifestyles Reportage and its display of choices - to put both myself and my Tourism at the mercy of change - these durations of time that mutate with it as living images of life - I will have to cover myself with forgetting again: play the part, socialize, automate manners and speech around the phase-less protocols of dinner. But when we wake up, oh my friend whom I have never known, and who has always been there, right by my side, o my Dictator!: Recording Angel who does not flinch, and does not waver - mirror that watches everything it thinks, my first technology: The Fantastic - when we wake up, you shall address me as “Captain,” or else not call


she wraps the animal with her chamomile sweater -
one seated with the flame befriending the world,
becalmed as a monster uncovers a human beauty - to take
the monster by the hand, and pass with a leap
that gathers the years into these spaces that detach
themselves from time: to incarnate her
whose parts are not material, but whose body you may touch -
whole mechanism manifesting flesh from ideas
as she develops Hell’s image-rhythm: an altar of permissions -
Hell’s shapeliness and the clay thrown as parties -
whose intelligence is a sound that diagrams itself -
smoke that erupts into water, the North Star fallen
into these Tropics where its demise will greet its birth and end
forever - her sex upholding dominion as it teaches
with confidence the passage
from weakness to a strength without violence -
bubbling life of a past you’ve fashioned after the imaging
voyage - to surrender and so triumph,
a creation of the fate you’ve offered up -
a method of learning to conquer
the times I will produce and the future that will follow after


Gravity which begets levity, and levity
that draws together
worlds - aren’t these just abstractions?
the touch
to establish this freedom: friend
whose tact
relieves a face of
its name: the surface
that reflects you with the waking
glance it will have become
again - “every time you look at me” -
pierces the image:
one does not see because one has looked
for the first time
after many years the rose markets peaked
this month,
but no profits were generated.
Even so there’s been much about the exchanges,
since it’s been raining
for a number of days now as the train delivers me
to her lap’s instruction,
weaponizing me for my own good.
She has begun to salivate -
pharmacy garden refusing to think,
mind whose preference
is to feel and sense, exhaling alterations of speed
with the perfumes
that arrange this atmosphere -
emerald phenomenon to drown out these capitols
we don’t want -
times that foreshorten
into the spaces -
audiences firing off units of agency -
when the imagination captures
all of the actors,
ocean foreground nothing escapes: a painting
whose flatness
will soon overtake the world and its characters.

Thus these calculations have begun to collapse
all bodies
into the violence they were made
to help understand:
there is but one
possibility that has presented itself
so far as all
reality can allow for,
with its facility
for creating a realm wherein the bodies
take costume:
but this is a falsehood, promoted
by those who would study not the dream
that wants to be brought
to life, but instead the etiquette
by which that wish
has already been expressed -
and which can now be ensnared
by an entrenchment of
the law it has established as formula
for privatizing speech,
chastening desire with what appears
to be its empowerment,
but is in fact only its taming
and placation.
And so if we are to continue with this issue
of desire - an acorn
teetering upon a beam
of the light from which it was formed
as an original,
with particles each
carrying their own chapter
and story -
something must happen,
not because events must follow
from what has taken
place, but because the movement also - as if a time
that produces -
gives materials
for a style of translation resembling
warfare: the friction
that generates life, these continents
crawling across themselves
in space -
as languages will not agree, and no music
satisfy love,
the way only conflict
can - a poem I thought
to say
cannot state
its lack of ability to mend the situation
by which it is
afflicted, and be done. No,
the actions that feed
the words -
as a mentality, or attitude taking on affects
of expression -
must produce a catalyst
for the choreography that patterns
among friends to remember itself,
and so return
to life - a sort of recording that produces realms of
potency for this host
of the events
it may or may not come to reflect

Roger van Voorhees is a Poet.

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