Stephanie Anderson is the author of three books of poetry, most recently If You
Love Error So Love Zero (Trembling Pillow Press), from which the poem below
has been taken (this poem has also previously been featured in Bling That Sings).
Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Boston
Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Guernica, LIT: Literature Interpretation
Theory, nonsite.org, Posit, the tiny, and elsewhere. She co-edits the micropress
Projective Industries and currently lives in Singapore.
One could make out the grain, the millions of
little dots that constitute the diva, the waves,
the hotel. This weight hangs round my neck.
You look at me askew.
I'm taking too many showers. A lens hangs
from the neck. In the dream, it's all sex in
public. I'd be a walking, mort. The day,
thankfully, elongates; but enough.
Why a pain in the middle of your foot? This
history is like a monogram. You look at me
anew. In authentic fairy tales, the imagination
has intuitively deposited typical
monograms. I'll be your doxie if you'll be my
patricoe. In a photograph a person's history is
buried as if under a layer of gas light. In the
dream, I was so angry with you.
I decide that I'll need Hansard's Guide to
Refreshing Sleep. As many volumes as
possible. The double light is indeed violent.
Not forty yet! I've got knuckles and two
kinds of old. The pseudolustre of the herbarium
for these and other investigations.
They're all inhabited with a demonic
ambiguity. Oh won't you be my jarkman?
In the dream, he knows the first little wrinkles
on her face and has noted every date. Then
I'll be a demander for glimmer, for you. Why
this pain in the middles
of our feet? After sitting on the sofa, illness
kept me captive. In order for history to
present itself the mere surface coherence
offered by photography must be destroyed.
I was working on unexpecting. But then
we acquired Le Creuset. Similarly,
rhythmical gymnastics wants to incorporate
the soul about which it knows nothing.
It will be peculiar like a submarine octopus.
We opened the windows and put out the
irises. I'm fairly sure you'll be my bawdy
basket. The back of the map says Searies;
small circle. It registers an exterior. The
photograph is the sediment that has settled
from the monogram. The curtains came with
the apartment. I wasn't an abram, but you
might be a whipjack. A town called Byron. In
the dream, I had a Dell. You muffled the
porch in broken birdseed. That the last image
of a person is that person's actual
history—I'm not sure I agree. I misread it as
a town called Burning. Even the landscape
and all other concrete objects become
costumes. Your laugh in the other room:
I do not like the idea of opossums in my
pastries. Thus, the world has become a
photographable present. I ask about your day.
The recent past that claims to be alive is
more outdated than that which existed long
ago and whose meaning has changed. So
earthquakes take place in distant lands, and
yesterday there was snow. The blizzard of
photographs betrays an indifference; the
schematization is crude. Or: it annihilates a
person by portraying him or her. The shadow
of an iris on the door. Then we co-
habitated the cats. I would be a drunken
tinker. One has to take it on faith that the
optical inventories belong together. In the
dream, I can't believe you brought me
flowers. It makes me feel pretty. What I'm
wearing is not an albatross. This game
indicates that a valid organization of things is
not known. I had some need of sentences.
The photographic archive assembles in
effigy. When I asked, you said Alaska. This
ghostlike reality is unredeemed. Occasionally
I respond badly. I suspect
that sentences are inherently derivative. All
spatial configurations are incorporated into
the central archive in unusual combinations
that distance them from human proximity.
For instance, we inherited the handles
wrought with brass, the bed-frame, and
decanter. We watched the gas lights color like
the sun. In the dream, photography
does not preserve the transparent aspects of
an object but instead captures it as a spatial
continuum from any one of a number of
positions. I ask about your day.
You would be a fresh-water mariner. I tell you
that's okay. The turn to photography is
the go-for-broke game of history. When I
asked, you said Montana.
Then the branches budded. The game that
film plays with the pieces of disjointed nature
is reminiscent of dreams. Where do you want
to go tonight?
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