Monday, 20 July 2009

Juliana Spahr's Response (Sun and Moon, 1996)

something encloses the impossible in a fable

an unreal world called real because it is so heavily metaphoric

we can't keep our fingers of connection out of it


while the end of lunacy in art was explicit in [name of major historical figure]'s rhetoric

while when the nation turns to art, art loses its divergence


some co-opt this language and paint a series of meticulous and beautifully colored monumental images of people imprisoned and alone at the edge of a tedious despair


rewritten, the goal of the artist is to prevent reality in a true and concrete manner


the poverty of image among the people of [name of nation]

the continual increase in the amount of image a viewer can tolerate


a voice stutters in the background of our waking mind

[generic possessive pronoun] stutter is our stutter

or is it the way we define our difference?

stutter is nation


NOTE This poem draws from an Oprah episode on the case of Ruth Finley, a woman who, because of "dissociative personality disorder," was stalked by a male persona of herself.


this is true
a woman calls her stalker The Poet

this is true
a woman describes a stalker in terms that describe herself

this is true
a woman stalked herself to kill herself

this is true
a woman is at times a man

"thrashing seems crazy"

this is about the role of testimony
the claims of truth in the age of cover-up and misinformation


attempts at comfort from those without the vocabulary of comfort


when terrible things happen they must be witnesses


how much self can be removed and the self remain?


the anger is to draw attention to the way anger is a just response to how they will be angry until just witness is begun


the futility of screaming at the assistant well represents the futile necessity of anger


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