PART AND PARCEL
There is something vital, honest, even apocalyptic about clinging to the capacities of ambivalence. Bricoleur amidst the rubble, I sift.
Morphic thrust is a version of futurity to which I may deign ascription. Not just the economy of desire but its currency and credits—locate the crash downchart, am I at a loss. Cozy on up to what were once without face, redistribute the preconditions or unground them entirely—this is an earnest question about the limits of this day, this hour, this well-oiled machine.
One must be more particular and encompassing when locating the carnage.
Sans serif figurined the form of seduction, in unending iterability, to know to make to want. Recognized with and against myself, the struggle to blame because even that is not redemption. Instead, I landscape dreamed the day away, knowing full well of landscape’s impossibility as just dirt, without gravity. Every day the decision to or not to brush away the shrouds of autonomous excision. These piss poor excuses, drink every last drop.
As a huddled group, we could not identify where the electricity came from—not in some romantic sense but deadly literally. To mine, was the question. Ouch, there I go again, unable to escape the over-determination of the metaphoric, the material constantly evades my tepid attempts to pin it down. Show me the tenuous links we build to survive, and I will show you a nutrient-rich ghost. Firmament found in tidal-wake of a mucous membrane bravado, encore.
Oh, my zone!
Let me move, prepositional thrust. Little lick of, oh, well then. Indecisive agitator—my superheroic itch! Tractable and spreading, contagion. Expansive notion of social consent grounded in proliferative plaisir, oh la la. Hey sailor, fleet week is always just around the bend, recourse recourse, cap’n, chart a path in defiance to precedent, a shift that is the pirating transgress.
Prime shipping stops for no one, can you see an eye peer out from behind the quarks—is precision that impossible a mark? Boy are these hit men fantasy. Accumulation never rests but these bones. Meanwhile, vanity determines nothing but sure is one way to pass the time.
IS IT RIGHT TO CALL IT A CORPSE I
Bound, and bound again. It is a question of if, today, the sidewalk would be so able hold me up. Nonetheless some, fallen by the wayside, for better or for worse. The discard, the discharge, the muck of body or bodies having been cast, and the scent of the rot. Or the assumption of the scent of the rot. From the look of it alone, and there is mortal folly. Lactic acid: a colorless syrupy organic acid formed in sour milk, and produced in the muscle tissues during strenuous exercise. Or so they say. After hearing this I was in pain, sharp and to the point. Definitionally I played my part. And now having been made aware is this commitment. Limit, a circumscription, a stage, and no word can be uttered out of fear and longing. An exceeding or an exception, some distinction made and it cannot be on the nose. Noise and static. In the summer, things go bad quicker. Exposure to sunlight and heat and humidity. Handle the heat, unhand the humidity. Thick wintery coat of mold how unseasonal and stewing. On the subway there is a leg. On the subway there are many legs but then there is a leg and now the car is both comedy and tragedy. They took a picture even though—how could you forget? In the summer, things go bad quicker and time passes slower like halfway melted butter. First as melt, and to repeat is farce. Tomorrow’s leftovers. Shat out lube. I am comfortable. I am uncomfortable. Some piece of me, a small piece, that perfectly fits somewhere else. Know the limit of the fit. This, too, is a skill set. Specialized knowledge and her scuttering ants. My love stomped twice on the ground, an unexpected home-burrow and ants coated her leg like hair, to state this a statement. Over the past few decades, a mossy association built up between the general and the playful. Both have something to do with sanitized desire and what we know to have forgotten. Domos, dear, I overflow and for that I will consider apology. There is no one I can or won’t try to defend depending on the room. She wasn’t home or at least she didn’t answer and what meaning I made of this proliferated with abandon. Something smelled like death but not like in the dreams. And later, to nightly nest myself inside something other but not particularly larger. Felt enlarging happen, worked up through both time and questions I never had a chance to ask. Even a gesture will do. Punch or rock, with polymers made of organic and inorganic monomers. Scoot toward and or scoot away—that is the ethics of the subway. To every rule there is an exception and to that, an eroticism. As a rule, is this something one could or ought believe? Teetering on the cusp of shame and shamelessness something gave way. Astroturf playing fields add the dimension of static and silent attraction, rubber pellets get stuck. Indulge, divulge, withhold. I pull and put out my hand. The grime is evident either way. I keep scraping the surface and all I get is more surface. Very uncomposed…
RITUALS OF THE SEASON
The rituals of the season. Humoral, I ease aloe into my back, some sort of response to
temperature and direct exposure. Gobsmacked in or by the sunlight, webs extend from a speck of dust and
everything was coordinates all along. Mere? Who’s to say. I’ve worked long and hard to unstuck
myself from the grease of my pan. Not for fear of the burn but mobility instead. To make something
so slick that it is portable. Which does not mean autonomous. The hardest part is to make a
relaxed grip and learning to shirk. To what end is the wrong question. All I know is that, no matter what
room I’m in, let infinite sprawling narratives blossom and always know where the exit is. How
often have I been in the apartments of strangers. How dyke takes different shape across the space
and consonant. I am sincere with my questions. But the smacking of my lips on the predictable
unfold. The bed unmade. Some treats I tell others I will keep to myself, but I am generous and
selfish in unhelpful ways so my intent is entirely unclear even to myself. I hope to god that I
never have to ask directly, never really cared about the facts. I leave crumbs wherever I go and that isn’t
a reference but it could be a fact. Child’s babble and a sense of a small community of belonging.
The brief, sexy afterglow. Reactionary, perhaps, in the flame. What it means is just a certain play,
a certain place, and a certain time. Happening. Yes, they were my friends. It was a day, as any
other but not quite. That day, or, those days. To accept with open arms, to listen, is upheaval. But
here’s to hoping her word is good, she offered me to be her secretary. On the train back, her
spittle didn’t bother me, this stranger in sequined hat. I was messed up and could see so clearly the way
the light reflected off each sequin so I felt the least I owed her was a pair of ears. I didn’t know
what quite to do so I just smiled and laughed and laughed. She said many things and it was
incredible the way she moved through thought. It well may be that none of it was true. To offer
to give me an object of pleasure handmade, talking faster than I could think, and then onto the next
thing. Something about her sister or spreading. Right before she left she said she was pregnant
and had a pack of cigarettes. I do not mean that symbolically but certainly I could. To not let facts
interfere with the telling. You know, I tried to make my face kind to receive her words, and in
turn she grew protective. But what text avoids self-defeat. Here we are with our hands in the air a white
flag waving. Here I am, naked and feral in my kitchen, about. Use the tongs, they are my hands,
to grab from the oven, and then to feed my cat. We are both ravished and wild and these are my
responsibilities. I can list them out but things slip through my cracks, so slick is my memory. We
dance. Beasts on the tiles. I love to microwave is that a crime. It is times like this that I can begin
to imagine what a future might look like, when I feel my most unleashed or at least make plans
to be so. There is something rustling in the language over there. The man of simple house mysteries.
Pawing his boyhands at the dirt to ask from where that sting came. Solved by dusk. It was the
ruckus, it was the beehive, it was fateful collision and we have only begun to draw out cohesion.
Are these enough. Is that the right question. I want to kill off every noun and speak only in
prepositions because I hold myself to a higher standard. Sometimes it is as simple was wanting to
talk and be heard and sufficiency is blown out the window. Sometimes superstition of any speech
at all renders me mute as a donkey.
A Proposition: To speak any possibility into language is to foreclose the meat of future, and therefore is to foreclose the possibility of that language happening. Do not express your hopes and dreams.
Another Proposition: To speak any possibility into language is to produce an unrepeatable reality. Do not express your hopes and dreams.
Rebecca Teich is a poet, editor, and teacher based in New York City. She is a co-editor for Roof Books and curated the Fall 2018 Segue Reading Series with Gia Gonzales. She is Artists Space’s teaching artist-in-residence for poetry at P.S. 140. Her work has been featured in Talking Writing, poets.org, Souvenir Lit Journal, and elsewhere. She organizes readings and performs as part of The Anchoress Syndicate, a poetry and performance collective. During a brief stint as a lexicographer, she added ‘no wave,’ ‘ghey,’ and ‘cuckservative’ to the dictionary.