oval glasses held with metal frames longwise perpendicular to the ground most
of the time which is to say when he stands or sits straight but a memory of a
face from the morning bus ride does not capture a conversation about the
theoretical implications of a subject matter studied by the one with the
glasses those oval glasses with metal frames which might not be oval at all and
not not oval when not on his face and not not oval when other glasses but not
oval perhaps because the memory and its inaccuracies speak a playful language
of continuity like the continuity of the glass in those glasses oval or not
oval we must assume that they help him see when he studies and see when in
conversation on the bus talking about the perfect high paid low hour work
schedule enabling a series of bachelor’s degrees to be pursued but surprised
then who would be that he still is that qualifying force of those degrees and
last night I dreamt of moving to some outskirt of Jerusalem whose apartment had
a backdoor that led to a whole bustling part of the city I’ve never been to and
how surprising it is not to be surprised in the moment of discovery that calls
forth exploration as action over epithet just as I’ve waited my whole life for
this moment and here we are
improvisation improvisation like words without poetry stuck in the head of an
unattractive man but by in the head thus at the base of the tongue and by the
base of the tongue thus reverberating in every single taste bud bearing a
metallic flavor rising up from deeper in the body so unlike waiting in line for
coffee in a mall with the man who told me as a friend that he loves me as the
same man who is braver than most people will ever be and the man who is so
wildly out of control in a playful way that everyone is afraid to tell him any
command commanding the way that I had to push him to the ground when that sharp
shooter was pointing the gun upwards between him and me and more towards his
face a long barrel and light military uniform on that woman shooter looking up
where we didn’t look because I pulled us down crawling across the floor to ride
the escalator on our bellies and again to crawl until riding another escalator
on our bellies and then standing up in the basement garage because we knew
where to go where we wanted to go where we should have needed to didn’t plan on
I say sky I mean square because the square is painted on the page as many
squares lined up but not lined up too symmetrically and each square is a
different color and most of them are actually rectangles so different than the
challah shaped cauliflower that I showed a friend how to cut up in the shuk
thus losing the two women who were with us and which woman to go for is like a
gamble and I when I say gamble I mean those secrets that people know they need
eventually to tell someone about but choose not to because instead of life
filled with horror inducing repetitions of memories is no different than a
challah shaped cauliflower flying through a sky which I’ve heard contains more
sky because rectangles sometimes become squares and all of those hard edges can
cut people causing tears and when I say tears I mean zero because when I say
zero I’m indirectly trying to talk about the passing of all this counting which
leads us into meaning that and this meaning changes as a wish to follow one
another into the the capturing of sublime
for the woods or the woods for the trees as if anyone has ever really seen a
tree or seen woods as if the way people spoke about leaves would help us grow
accustomed to the continual disposal of finger nails and hair falling off
whether cut or not falling off like nuts and falling off the roof like I hope
that that soldier wouldn’t when I handed over my gun as an extra gun for him
because I know that the second I decide to use my weapon I'm a target and
survival kicks in so much faster than any premonition could have prepared us
for the fact that on those 9-11 planes the passengers should have rushed the
men overcoming predictable patterns of behavior no different than any
conspiracy theory as a ball of yarn with a secret thread factory hidden at its
core but unraveling the way the left over hairs wet in the drain after I shower
are not unraveled as I gather them and wonder for so short a time about whether
they come from my chest or my head before throwing them in the toilet where
alone I live they will not be found except when I have guests and the woods and
the trees and the guests and the roommates and if the confusing avenues of
abstraction could be constructed so as not to allow automobile traffic then
some Israeli motor cyclist would still mess everything up just as I hid in the
room after handing over the gun hiding in a closet as if after the enemy passes
I could go live in the wilderness though there doesn't seem to be much
wilderness left so I guess I would need to seek out the woods but the woods is
a concept for the many trees I’ve heard about and I wouldn't know what to do
with trees anymore because I’ve been dreaming about Mars and interplanetary
colonisation in my waking hours where the desert expands as a sandy horizon
where I’m afraid of being boring as much as being bored needing to plant the
seeds of my future forrest
ask me about my dreams because I will tell you about the dreams that I
shouldn’t tell you about and I will think of those images that express the
secrets of my body that should remain secrets but all I want is for them to be
exposed like the edges of every orifice and whatever enters every orifice and
whatever exits every orifice like a sewing machine stitching objects that
belong together to be together because otherwise they wouldn’t be together like
the material used in 3-d printers printing scanned objects like the tight curls
of man growing long and the spiraling printed plastic exposing a kind of
tightly wound tube but not hollow so do not fill the tube wound to form curls
of a man which in their growing have become scanned by nobody in a dream and I
already expressed my warning against dreams like I would express warnings
against a turd in the middle of a path leading up a mountain that is still soft
and exudes such a smell that nobody needs to talk about what everyone feels in
their nose but craves with their tongue in a kind of negative tasting what we
want not to taste which reflects none of my dreams and their film of fog that
all day I carry wishing to stop wishing to want what I can’t have but truth
dreams and all of what we want to tell each other is so much sewn material that
can’t be but will be printed
surrealist game in an art class is like the way that people think that they are
not interpreting the window cutting off the purson cutting of the mirrored
image of meaning as in the one two three don’t think why would anyone instruct
people to instruct them not to follow the instructions like a bard in the
street with bandaids crossing out his yes and the eyes are crossed like a high
school daft punk pleasure fest feeling its way through the grime of suburban
definitely is a pipe properly broken in with a layer of resin allowing whatever
you want to pack inside and smoke the way daily ladies are smoking but never
say but unless you want to see a reverse mermaid’s butt not fish not woman
hiding everything we do from the neighboring onlooking eyes that elicit
censorship as self-censorship because the internet catches pleasure principles
extracted for future use the same way that the future will never come for me
baby the way that you like not having remembered dreams most of your life in
the fact of the end of the imagistic lack of symbology caught in the net of the
black the intersexual phantasmagoric lack of meaning in your interpretation of
resin like the holes in a fish lip or the holes in the lip of a sad suburban
boy who doesn’t want attention from his parents as if the whole sky blue sky
clouds and all were stuck in a single eye inside us all looking at us all
looking being watched because the same infinite sets of discrete objects are
talked about so too is the wholehearted mixing of lovers’ hair the face of
faces because the hair is a trail of the past stronger than any one eye that
eye which when it isn’t looking though its always looking but when its not
looking at least we can say that it is eyeing us all
many generation back can the pain be like how many generations back can the
source of today’s troubles just as how many generations back have each of us
been forgetting the maze that we travel through because it’s not a maze but a
labyrinth and all labyrinths are mazes like this maze that is not a maze and
instead of remembering any dreams instead of what we are supposed to do and
instead of telling about the we of the we inside of us all all there is to
offer is a sore body full of muscles growing strong shortly in the midst of
muscles growing strong in the long arc though arc like no rainbow and an arc
arcing from your eyes to mine in which we all miss the mark that marks the
marking like the specific locations wherein the creative spirit grows
dissipates fluctuates flatulates no differently than looking for the few women
that were few because they were women in a time when winking was not what today
are puzzled, pointing to smoking cigarettes.
flirt with eyes: nobler than conversation.
look shut up in heaps of sleep.
Voyage Out Sonnet 36
vividly grasp years, unconscious
loneliness. Dreams in the open room
exclaim in the glass doorways.
ran casually after a flying man, roared the page with a wave.
flush eccentric meat with canary-coloured disapproval.
pictures will become beautiful tomorrow.
electric water smiles pick
without any teeth. Fast pits
smoke in the road, break
in shaken hands. Massacres light moths in shut night.
faces lay undertone, faded
figure of speech. Eyebrows intervene
mission-smooth wishes. Orange cigarettes depart legs out, a series
beautiful hints flushing rose.
Voyage Out Sonnet 37
shade of stone smiles. A chronic end.
floats too hot to climb satisfied people.
made thinking ugly. Bodies
squirming on the flat future.
conversation pounces, inclined to bitter answer. Beastly
awfully soothing. Blush limited interest in morality.
escape, to hold in embroidery, a great decision: unformed,
feeling. Vague colours wanting
silently watch a needle.
abyss sounded as if a dark pyramid
by sewing. Smoky men gave thought without reason. Rumpled
bush the patches of white flowers, full of thought.
flamingo edges sunk between bells
swept round the seas, across mountains, dropping.
Voyage Out Sonnet 38
ago, dolphins extended in the dipping of sun-dried sea. Chequered
turned the clouds against the roots of water.
remained broken with body, obeying peace.
ceased a pebble concentrated upon blue hollows.
parted watching for swim-red hands. Arms
grey off faces, repeat. Shifted
scratch shakes of air with ragged ease.
visualize absurd pianos afraid of heaven.
meditate upon life. The piano leaks
up to the play. Oblong photographs roused the neck of a lamb.
dogs go out the eighteenth of April, walk along
factory chimneys in a mist. Pale yellow Spring barks
the streets. People hugged to death by light
lost under streets where people consider silent worship.
Voyage Out Sonnet 39
describe the world less splendid but more natural than atoms.
building unconscious habits called vivid eyes to laughter.
describe flamingo red nonsense.
eyes look to breathe. Lips mercy-mood
which gazed out to sea.
pain vanished. An elbow arranging stones
the cry of an owl. Delight widened blue, replaced the olive trees.
figures piano into music in the thin white gate.
pleasure split life. A pause
vowing to silence. A curious
The theory of chaos crushed forth wildest
of mud. Depression ran
quick waterfalls, water-racing shaped,
pressed downwards by the wind.
poems are from a longer work titled The Voyage Out Sonnets, a
page by page erasure of Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out. During the process of erasure, I moved
chapter by chapter and then formed what I had into 50 experimental sonnets.
Solmaz Sharif has convincingly linked poetic erasure to government censorship,
which every erasure project certainly risks replicating. Woolf herself had to
censor herself in her novel in order to get published. Since the intent of this
project is to celebrate rather than censor, I was careful and mindful not to
redact but to highlight Woolf’s words. Rather than physically blackening out words
during my process, I left Woolf’s original text clean and instead circled words
that I believed revealed the multiple possibilities in the original text. I
highlighted language over narrative and provided agency and voice to animals
and inanimate objects, which Virginia Woolf often does herself in her later
work, such as “Kew Gardens.” For the most part, I did not add anything to the
text, with the exception of the rare addition of an "s" at the end of
a word. I also occasionally cobbled together a word from individual letters.
That said, Woolf's individual language remains mostly intact and unadulterated
in these poems, which intend to pay homage to Woolf's original text.