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Friday, April 7, 2017

Components

To read poems is to follow another line to the afterlife. This is how my book begins. In this book, I attempt to show an internalization of violence. I don’t know what this line is doing there, what I mean when I say “afterlife” or “poems.” I read a permutation of this somewhere at a point (because language is murky when voluble, when glib, when potentially ongoing, like the vague ethics surrounding war despite a strong stance in politics normal), that poetry is driven by a void toward a heavenly object. But this is programmatic and false. The best poems out there involve vibrators and tampax, a void toward a heavenly object. I find out in this very moment in time that a truck has driven through a crowd in Stockholm. I know this because a friend there marked herself safe. The men at the neighboring table talk about bottoming out capital, cohort finances, revenue streams. Seventy million dollars to launch fifty to sixty tomahawk missiles to the Al-Shayrat air base. Two men talk about investing and future obligations at a neighboring table. Two people are dead in Sweden. Four hundred thousand in Syria, a number not incomprehensible, because to be incomprehensible is that which cannot be seized or appreciated. This word, seized, to take possession of, by force, or else to put in possession of, to bestow. Atrocity and its complicity, folded neatly by a semicolon. And yet I speak of a figurative afterlife, a poem’s golden tampax threaded from a shedding wall to a world outside that is yet more world with less configurations, conjecture; as in, con (“with,” “together”), jet (“to throw”), from the Latin, -iectare. A jet, as verb, “to sprout” or “spurt forth”, “shoot out”; cognates from Greek: iami, ienai “to send”, “throw,” from Hittite ijame, “I make.” My Word processor adds a red line under “shoot out,” suggests it should be a noun and not a verb, to shoot out. A shootout is a gun battle between armed groups. I make my own red line, together I shoot out, I sprout, I throw. A word constructs its own grammar, is the history itself of grammar, but chronology, as I say in my book, is filthy. Seize too might mean to seek, another act of violation. I imagine hands arranged the morphemes, placed a root next to an affix. Components of a word like an ant assembled from alien parts—and ants understand warfare, they never sleep. A hand outfits black plastic of insomnia over the insect. They go to war. Afterlife, two free roots, never a portmanteau, because humans have always affected another planet, some sublime post-sentence. They drive a hard red line into the earth and without meaning to, there they find an afterlife.

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