from Fantasies in Permeable Structures
There’s a seditious joy in a thronging crowd.
So much that even when convened in crisis
a mildly subdued terror boiling just
beneath the surface, there races a surging power
felt anew. Almost remembered, this power to
create, in short, in spite of this destruction
a new normality. (Not malady) a breathing life
through city’s buildings on our terms terms
of life fashioned by us not imposed and by
so scant a percentage. Among the numbers
I walked. The streets open-veined and tossing
swelling information towards the seas
of Union Square, where every face was sweating
in the summer heat thrown out into a meeting
with our substance. We were the stuff
that animates every structure bearing down
its granite orders. This horror glimpsed, in eyes
then verged euphoric in a brass of song
All codified exchanges dropped away
hysterico-historical time new-measured by
this civic animality. The walls, though standing,
seemed a mere screen we overran, a screen
we’d seeped through meekly out of habit
now deposed. Great writhing arteries
tossed over rivers, our cost-bits flowing
neither singly nor in pairs but as one
variegated whole I am not a soloist
but hermaphradous a porous cell completely
uncontainable overflowing homes
Throngs in the property of blocks it
thinks—somewhat on its own—outside
its bursting parts—presage to (revolution)
Like receiving a photo of oneself with a rifle—
crosshairs drawn over the face. Like your
head’s a sack labeled with numbers. Like
a deck of playing cards, and you’re the two
or the three. Or maybe a neighbor.
Like a uniform you never take off is supposedly
‘yours.’ A blacked-out space, the same
length as your name, or YOUR NAME
on a purged intelligence file.
Like a medal of honor. Or choosing to jump
so as not to burn. Having the evidence
but losing the case like being a target or
‘not being the intended target.’ Lists
circulate, how many lists how many
neighbors. If you turn up dead, then we’ll
investigate. If the economy improves, then
you’ll be treated. If you work if
you save if you lose weight. If you learn
or you pray. If you spend if you practice.
If you drive march or publish. If you disagree
or agree. Operation Ivy Serpent—Plan
for Permanent Preeminence—Future
Imagery Architecture—Full Spectrum
Dominance. “The human being should
be the priority objective in a political war.
Once his (sic) mind has been reached
the political animal has been defeated
without receiving any bullets…”
A school. Or a trip to India. A film
or a fashionable magazine. A talk show
a web page a book. a song.
Laura Elrick's book Fantasies in Permeable Structures is recently out from Factory School (2005) in Vol. 1 of the Heretical Texts series. She is also the author of sKincerity (Krupskaya, 2003) and is one of the featured writers on Women In the Avant Garde, an audio CD produced by Narrow House Recordings in 2004.
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