from Security Theater (confessions)
Scene: I keep no record of what I wrote. The poem is squandered language. I remember
only the fact of confession: that I stood at my desk and wrote unbearable things. Things
beyond which I bend into confusion. I fold the paper and put it in the box. Now I intend to
Scene: in the park, I gather spent coals and stuff them into a plastic bag. I do it quickly,
even furtively. This is a performance that no one can see. I perform alone, in the solitude
of a rented space. I stand in the kitchen and bury my poem in trash. I cut dry flowers from
a bouquet I bought my wife last summer. They are still purple and crisp. I would like
them to decay. I would like to poison the poem with charcoal briquettes and vegetative
waste. I would like the poem to happen without me.
Scene: after I’ve buried the poem in coal and flower and coal, I carry it out on the porch and
leave it there. Finally, the poem can begin. The poem lives in the manner of a corpse. That is,
its substance is decay: the casual damage inflicted by being in the space. The poem teaches
me how to be diminishment, the site of ongoing loss. I experience this as a kind of theater.
The stage continuously recedes. All winter, it is busy unbecoming. In the spring, I’ll excavate
it from its cradle in the trash. I guess we’ll see what lasts.