One unblessed being

One unblessed being
Came forward to make an offering.
There were even subtler,
Almost unguessable fractures.
Everything went up in flames.

Nothing, however, emerged.
Eventually, everyone became
Acclimated to the dim light.
Of the many attempts
Few examples survive.

The attribution was controversial,
But we were fascinated by the coincidences.
The method of construction
Was well-suited to the impairment,
But sought a convincing explanation.

Finally the shrine was dismantled,
Reluctantly, but without regret.
Some thought it was a failure
Of the imagination; others
Turned out to be free.


Funny you ask

Funny you ask.
I am through
With penances.
The face in the lens
Is sea salt dark.
From France?

Figments from the
Fragile precedent
You are here if
Not entirely with me
At least

Entirely yourself
Needy, defiant, undone.
There is so
Little needed
To make it so.
Instead of losing

We’re encapsulated,
Reported to be
Fast approaching
Petulant endings,
Blown across
Streets, fields.

Content enough

I must hurry this to a conclusion, but there is one last issue we should consider.
I was content enough the last time I didn’t exist.
I wasn’t there but I saw everything.
Extraordinary efforts were being made, but I was not authorized to speak.
There is not as much to understand as we once thought.
The machine gun in the lobby does not feel a need to be admired.
The carpenters in Africa do not understand a right angle.
What is the right density of abandonment?
I may better know you if I only remember you.
It is history that separates me from you.
You are the reference, and I am astonished.
I can say nothing in proportion to your certainty.
All the authors concur:
These things must be looked at when we are alone.
What I see is not a memory.
Nothing can be added to it.

Civilization and its discontents

It was a case of something happening that everybody expected to happen.
This battle of the giants is what our nurse-maids seek to mitigate with their lullaby about heaven.
Of course the real gravity of the situation has passed, but we are still under the spell of this idea.
Future research and reflection will undoubtedly bring the decisive clarification.
We sought to break down those units and restore them to their primordial inorganic state.
We want a simple answer that neither neglects nor does violence to the facts.
Even today this does not sound like a long-discarded error.
For all the effort invested in it, this cultural endeavor has so far not achieved very much.
The rift seems unavoidable, but its cause is not at once discernible.
This may have disturbed the structure of the study, but accords entirely with its intention.
It is nevertheless given to a few human beings to produce the most profound insights from the maelstrom of their feelings.

Whether one has killed one’s father or refrained from doing so is not really decisive.

What it reveals

It animates me: this is what creates every adventure,
An erotic or lacerating value buried in myself.
Such evidence can be a sibling of madness.
It requires a secondary action of knowledge or of reflection.

These functions are: to inform, to represent, to surprise,
to cause to signify, to provoke desire.
All these surprises obey the principle of defiance.
No one is ever anything but a copy of a copy.

What I can name cannot really prick me.
The erotic is a pornographic that has been disturbed, fissured.
What it reveals is a certain persistence of the species.
At the end of this first death, my own death is inscribed.

Formally blameless results

Life consists of these little touches of solitude.
As is always the case, the rejection was mutual.
It was immediately clear that our efforts would not be sufficient.
We diligently totted up those so obviously suspicious but formally blameless results.

They beat us up a bit, warned us not to do anything ill-advised.
Our resistance at the time was passive and limited to rejection, isolation, and avoiding contamination.
She spoke in a veiled, distracted voice, as if she were definitely tired of living.
If I am not mistaken we were all writing poetry, except for Ettore, who said it was undignified for an engineer.

She forbade herself marriage in a refined and merciless manner, that is, by getting married.
Bortolasso performed with extreme negligence the job of gardener.
We must be more astute.
But there is trouble in store for anyone who surrenders to the temptation of mistaking an elegant hypothesis for a certainty.

Tests on a small scale gave promising results.
Quantitative analysis, so devoid of emotion, heavy as granite, came alive, true, useful.
She watched my neophyte’s enthusiasms without sharing them.
And yet this story does not end here.

Too carefully put away

He had become so comfortable with absurdity, he could live freely.
The problem from this time on became more definite.
Decoration and efflorescence had been banished as immoral.
They were not scientists and could not figure out whom or what to blame.

The row of open balconies gave the feeling of the coolness of a river bank.
Tourism combined with colonialism concocted a lethal stew.
His ability to startle, though, had not deserted him.
Such candor is occasionally flirtatious, as candor is nearly always so.

The photograph has edges; the world does not.
The establishment of fact without method was the true horror.

It didn’t any longer depend on romance.
All theory is most inventive when ascribed in retrospect.

“I’m afraid I will leave behind only things I’m ashamed of.”
It was a vague, casual, even cynical phenomenology.
“You took a bath, so it’s not the least bit salty.”
It was subsequently lost, like all things too carefully put away.