II. Photographs Refuse to Lie

II. Photographs Refuse to Lie

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“Empty Words”*

 

 

I. language of hysteria—womb

 

zero in on your face

remember we met, slowly approaching train

blur

 

I

Think

I’m Be-ing

 

Marked.

 

 

 

 

“The works and the workings of these representations, in picture and text, in ideologies and discourses, mark or inflect precise configurations of her personal markings” (DuPlessis 161).

 

 

Dear Puppets,

I don’t want your mouths to move

I’ll sew stitches to keep the sound shut

no button holes

dull all the

Razor blades

so you cannot bleed out…black, white, something in between.

 

 

 

II. photographs refuse to lie

 

I still have memories that lie outside

I check to see if they still bleed

I still say “I love you”

I still hear the other line

an electric stretch of

Silence

 

say it back

 

I

Think

I’m

Be-ing

 

Watch(ed)

 

pigeons.

 

Before I knew you…

We ran around the piazza

in Venezia

sono caduto

Pigeons scurry like rats

then: up up and away.

 

“Eye see you”

underground travel

leaving

this human

corpse

only

dead air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III. if loneliness ensues…

 

Magpie flies to Raven

“You are not my loneliness.”

 

Ask terror

about rot

Who collects Magpie and Raven feathers

underneath the surface

frozen pond?

 

Direct death scenes:

a gun shot in the distance

and the sound of the progression of the dying

 

I ordered loneliness to lie still

until the connective tissue

bruised particles

 

jump out of your skin

look down, keep walking past

guilt

and shame

the deep well of silence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV. puppet speak

 

to expose your                                    palabras vacias*

fear of reciprocity

 

this chronic

happened

because the rage                                 palabras vacias

boiled over the skin’s surface

 

Scratching                                          palabras vacias

I bruise

break

spread

cluster

The maddening itch

cooled with                                         palabras vacias

ice over the heart

 

Please stick the needles

in my eyes

to release                                            palabras vacias

the heat that invades

the skin

 

It’s almost winter.

 

There is a fear

of leaving

an end

that may bend

an already broken                               palabras vacias

 

the knots in the back

body form a shell

cover the heart

drums

but I cannot hear                                palabras vacias

 

If you (don’t want)

are afraid

love

 

don’t say, “love, my dear.”

 

Your                                                    palabras vacias

silent excuse

another swollen

raw

“no, no”

“honeyed”                                           palabras vacias

 

sticky, sweet lick off

my fingertips

scratch

scratch

wake my sleep

scratch

scratch

burn, bruise, sore                                palabras vacias

 

numb the itch, the heat

with ice again

 

I watch out of the corner of my

sight of you

touching

massaging                                           palabras vacias

the back body

and we are

no longer

when you cover                                  palabras vacias

 

I look the other way

keep walking

past

as you move

together

on the same path

momentarily

If you’re afraid

and I’m afraid

and he’s afraid

and she’s afraid

 

how will we move between               palabras vacias

pendulum vortices

and will we seek the other side:

safety

extensions of what we call

“detours”

witness behind glass

poverty, growth,

suffering

alongside                                            palabras vacias

 

My notebooks gather dust

spread the ashes

and inhale                                           palabras vacias

Dead bodies

threaten to haunt

and live again

through spoken                                  palabras vacias

Screams:                                              palabras vacias

release

the throat

knots and the rest

will follow

unwinding                                          palabras vacias

all the pretty bows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Palabras vacias: empty words (Translation from Spanish to English)

What-Where-Who Response: Joanna Ruocco, Eric Baus, Lydia Yuknavich

Nothing sounds                       different                                               here:

 

“I could not find tension in the stones…”

 

Only the past lives, the living lives

watching me,               laugh

 

***

 

I.

Eyes wide watch                                             leaves sun-bathe: goldenrod

windblown—blood orange brown

 

the Hunter Moon calls the flood

                                                                        to the east

While the Rocky Mountains’

moonshine wakes the blood flow

 

I follow the sounds of the sea:

 

 

Float up on the urn’s surface

                                                                        until the darkness of the ocean swallows

                                                                                    the white snow

                                                                        lit by the sun

                                                                        the devoted clouds

                                                                                                could not

 

 

 

 

 

II.

And when the train screams past

the water pipes rumble

fly lands on its back,

                                                            legs      in the air

                                               

                                                                        The dust cries

                                                                                    at the loss

                                                                                                there are no words for

 

Bare window pain

dust storm

The smoky room froze

The silent cricket

 

creeps away

                                                                       

 

 

III.

Before sunrise

turning to the right darkness

a light outside

open the window

watch the “stupid moon”

begin again                              cycle through this fall(en heart)

 

If I ran across the road

                        over the fence

                        that divides us

                                                                        I’d walk through flowing source

                                                                                                no matter how icy

                                                                                                I could not slip

 

I’d chase the moon

                                    up the hill before it

dipped

below

 

I’d hold the moon in place

                                   

As the

sun warms

the valley                     pink and sky-baby-blue

 

 

The crisp morning magpies land                                  the dog’s heart beat my feet to the ground

 

 

IV.

From this awareness:

                                                           

Open wide                                                       the mouth forms an “o”

 

A woman marks the fun in lyric                     

A woman marks the wall         with all the things

stuck

 

Swallows the pen

 

This time                    

two-in-one represent the space of “maternal creation”

 

And while there are cry-baby corners

And butcher shops

                                                                                   

“The Tranquilized Tongue”

                                                                                                            marks:  He in She

 

A sound (She) emits from the blank page

                                               

Others

claim to hear

even when the book’s shut

 

                                                                        I bite the throat shut

                                                                                    the black mouth

                                                                                                swallows white noise

                                    “…inflect[s] precise configurations of her personal markings” (DuPlessis)

to transmute grief

Plant telepathy: It’s time to go

 

Are you shivering?

because you’re green

and soon

you’ll be covered in white

 

Are you losing or gaining ground

changing : Because it’s time to go

to be reborn

And how are you

when you go?

How are you

in-between?

 

And are your ashes

merely the stuff of leaves

                                                                                                                        dust…

 

dances in sunlit sunday wind tunnels                                                             

 

And why leave?

 

fuzzy texture

a comforting hand

the little hairs on a hand

As though

I’m holding your hand

As though

leaves are your hands

As though

the petals that you drop

drop

drop

drop

 

are tears

catch the rain and snow

falls

only to be reborn in the spring

 

 

and open up again

 

 

The fall

drop

drop

drop

drop

The winter leaves

you naked

shivering green stem

Is that what you are?

 

roots

Growing Up

shivering cold

extending your hand

to hold

 

Is that what you offer

to me?

A hand to hold

To comfort

The pollen falls on your leaves

I hold your hand,

fall into my hand

 

The bees will come to you

 

“You are a flower”

 

You don’t reach out

with your hand

only petals’

scent

catch the bee

Scent is your way to be

And the pink petals that remain

is your flesh

 

 

wrinkles, sags

itchy, crumble

leaves are blown away

 

 

 

Away

Ode to No

We can

Place one foot in front of the other

Appear happy

Smiling fun house mirror

Don’t tell me

I’m happy
as though you know

The breakdown of this body

Can feel

Edgy prick your finger

Fall faint

Play dead

Yes

The body

Aint nobody

like you

hold

trauma-tic memories

 

the mouth forms an “o”

when I said,

 no, no

 

stop the violation

of holes

feel tight shut

swollen raw

white

 

                                                dear mother,

           

                                                plant fallen seeds

to restore strength in the body

                                                after: more trauma-tics

 

itch

 

                                                olive oil

                                                deep sleep

 

fill a broken heart

                                                so many times

                                                                                                we try to make what happened:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    disappear,

as though

erasure                                                                                                                                                                                    takes care

                                                            of the  root

                                                            from Sprouting Up

 

 

 

clichés

            accented

                                    excuses

                                                            cannot hear

                                                                                    no

 

after all this time

                                                it happened

 

and then gone

                                                another fuck

 

                                                                                                            as though

as though

                                                                                                ghosts live on in

                                                                                                this body feels

 

 

 

foreign

 

“I’m not open, don’t touch me”

 

The merri-go-round bust

 

                                               

***

 

We live out single longer

Push through free

Align with mothers’

Embrace

Roots

Listen to trauma-tic

Storylines

Feed the roots

Knots block the spark stream

                                               

Touch

rainbow light dancing

                                    in never ever

                                                            Stop loving

                       

even though

                                    Never ever

                                                            Shadows

 

Open arms

 

                                    remember to walk

                                                                        straight

                                                                        spine

                                                                       

                                                                                                Stop                                        

                                                                                                                        hovering above

 

 

Eyes closed