Saturday, August 14, 2010

"all this language is floating"
Beverly Dahlen

the anchor torn away dust
flies rampant
spinning blades inevitably
the landscape
against august lull
floating away from
words entirely
five years turns
a choice between
every option
including the places
(rugged, slanting, wet)
where one is named
outside of chronological
go on ahead
i will meet you there
climb back down
where the trail begins
with stones

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

from A Reading 1-7 by Beverly Dahlen

a moon, the Rockies, the mountains in which you were. crestfallen. I came out on a high place looking back. there was where I had come from. here among stars, Olduvai, the canyon, the oldest bones. I was thinking of that line, of that longest line. a river and its tributaries. it doesn’t look like that, this is a map. (108)

your teeth, a tongue. gondola. teeth, a tongue, a dark. putting his finger in her mouth. in her mouth. the weird way in which the world gets in the way. rattle, rattle. getting into it, filthy marriage. opal. a silver drawn out dark, the new moon. a halo. finding food, water, there in the desert. she said that too, that desert was a nature. (114)

from A Reading 1-7 by Beverly Dahlen

terror, the first word lighted, brushed across my eye, my eye, mother said, in that version. a chain of tears, one tear for every year, how summing up a year in that single painted drop. (87)

a white space intervening.

a white space intervening, white, white. that white light, static. questioning the first draft. this is not a literary work, I told him, this is not fussy. this is not my mother dusting the daisies. this is not domestic duty. this is not the idea. a preconception. this is it. the baby. the corpse. you can take that body and cut it up forever. this is a metaphor. a something. a meaning carried over. from one thing to the next. these are my leg hairs. the short hair that grows at the edge of my lips. lips, teeth. this is my little bow mouth. here it is. you will never know what I mean. when I say you I mean me. erasing all the I’s and using instead the third person. it alternates. an alternation, or alteration of generations. it changes. in other words. i.e., it changes. that is to say, it changes. it alters. it becomes something else, though its original form is still visible. one can trace that. he put a mark over it, a cross, but the word could still be read beneath it. ‘the effacement of the trace.’ to deface it, to cross it out, with a knife, to scar her face, his legs, that gesture, to whip the knife out, to scar it, the sign, these words do not match the thought. we will put an end to that longing. what thought there was we do not know. we will never discover it. it is not there. it is gone, or it never existed. impure. a fig leaf, someone said, of my imagination. covering it. (89-90)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

from A Reading 1-7 by Beverly Dahlen

wishing someone would give a talk against psychoanalysis in order to test, what, faith, embarrassing word, what is the ground of what you believe. how come it’s easier to write her, that third person. how come saying I means I. a confession. the I is never identical with the fictional character being written. ‘the moment of writing.’ but what I that is not a fiction, there isn’t one, me from moment to moment, I think I know where I am. ‘where you are there arises a place.’ a theory of relativity. (72)

endlessly in that place. Foucault: ‘Henceforth, language was to grow with no point of departure, no end, and no promise. It is the traversal of this futile yet fundamental space that the text of literature traces from day to day.’

I could cry salty tears. (74)

what this yes means. the binary. symmetry. open-ended. the limist of yes. the limits of no. (76)

anything may mean its opposite, green may mean red, you can’t tell an omen when you see one. reading it. must we go on reading as if we lived in the sixteenth century.

(All this language is floating. The men make statements. They use the forms of the verb ‘to be’ with confidence. What I write is provisional. It depends. It is subject to constant modification. It depends.)


(They are so sure this equals that. Reading their sums.)

on the other hand. all dark. blank. the blank wall waiting. in it. waiting for something. The Other. (76)

wonderful, the critique of wit. the critique of reason. a woman on the bus, demented, talking about another woman who had eight children. old mother Hubbard. getting the bone. saith Gertrude Stein: my little dog knows me. Lucky Pierre, Lynn’s dog, knows her, is getting older, grayer with each passing year. this is wonderful. lying in bed I would never have thought these things. (77)

the reading of the writing goes on, this is for you because you are not here. you are always not here. you are never here. I make you up, I wonder how you look. and now it is so much easier to write than to speak. an other is so much an hallucination it’s scary. I don’t know what I speak to. (78)

that X which was laid over it ages ago. no wonder I am a woman. now. impossible. woman, that impossibility. that it takes place at all in any of us. “takes place.” take it. there’s a word for you. by god, it makes me angry to think that “take” appears here so easily, or any word, upon the ‘mystic writing pad.”

the reading of the writing goes on, this is for you because you are not here. you are always not here. you are never here. I make you up, I wonder how you look. and now it is so much easier to write than to speak. an other is so much an hallucination it’s scary. I don’t know what I speak to. (80)

all that flash in the pan, fly by night. it is heartless. I had
a still uncertain distancing of the mother, by the simple fact of naming…”


found but claimed as loss. to say it. (81)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

gathering light shadows naked

on peaks born into clouds

how we have arrived

pale anxious determination

walking downhill

for once

the flexible comfort

breathtaking curves of gravel

converse lightly around wildflowers

covering thick and spreading

fragile petals

low to the ground

and calming

Monday, August 02, 2010

from "To Autumn" by Keats

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.