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Melissa Buzzeo



from The Devastation

Against stone what is caught there
In the absence of water
In the everything to demand

Fish caught and heavy
We traded our organs for stones
Our want for entry
Our mouths for the pleasure of the default paint.

What is buried in the other body.
I want to be built there.


How a book looks left
How a finger looks caught
How a book sags left

After three years of non address
After partition
Size and matter
All the hearts beating in different states away
All the paint privately addressed
The nudity set to fall
The frigidity set to free.

I wanted to collect that which was not there
The size of the park
The ocean in a hand, yours
The teacup in your stomach

The four soggy books barricading the drain.
Eradicating the drain
Coming to claim it caught.

Variations of this of that of the house on fire or the lawn. Or the heart the entry.

Variations of vandalism
And the park
The night
The creeping out of Serbia, Albany night
From wire to wire from pole to pole
What can be made that isn’t caught.

And you break it you build it you break it in half store the halves
The seismic met.

The coming undone of the knot
The feeling that you are bound to close
The coming undone of the boundary
And then a small path
And then stone by stone
You follow the stones out the unbearable stones
The stone that are irregularly shaped
Pattered pleasure
She wears a bag around her head
The air is clenched
The necklace is given
The disc is taken
The foreign is met
In someone else’s body

And then the black out which satisfies everybody.

Our want for entry
To be so tired of one’s own language
To haul the jug the bundle to not drink this other water.

Our when for want
Our name for treaty
The word for fall

In the well.

After the blackout everything was given. There were no lights but still we repeated thus. There are no lights. There is clench and seize. Size. There is the rolled up bed the rolled up wall. The splattered paint. The carpet that won’t unfold. Pockets of water that won’t fold that breathe their own water season size. Water to water earth to earth the globe arranged as falling aching untied. In the matter there was water but not here.

In the ocean there was swimming but not then.

Ragged and rubble and lingering doubts: rebuild.
The immensity of the cost
The failure to calculate
The drainage of the rest

Still we repeated: thus.

In the well there was build in the room there was rest. A stripped bed. A body naked no longer young pulsing or read. A stacked book.

A staid life. Ragged and free.

Still we repeated: thus
When language no longer multiple
Leave come door when
How to say what happened to you.

Your want was big
Your season was tried
Your life was balloon parachute and tie.
Parachute tie silk
You punctured the air
You would not drain being
It was expensive.

You slept on the floor
You wove your pockets into memory.
You stayed on the floor
The floor did not fit
It was a long day a long night that continued as just one letter
And then stopped.

It must have been on the next to last day I slept on the bed.
Restless heated forced out
To force your body through a chain
A circle a body.

On the last day where the books had been. Heated waste.
August and all undone.
August and all arranged

There is no heart that beats like that.

Narrative swollen punctured vandalized huge. What the letter could miss.
How to say waste
How to say garbage how to say I grabbed your throat and tore the globe.
In the water there was waste
Did I drain it.

What will not be punctured what stayed to close.

You get on an airplane to nothing to nowhere. You touch sky you touch down. You wander in the blank air. On the book you write the sky. In the sky you read address. The air catches the plane forces. Stages of Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Pages 1- 58. Airplane.

You touch down. You return. You repeat
I came here to learn to breathe. You breathe you repeat. You die repeating.

In the air there is a sign in the water such waste.

The lavender in that throat the oil in that hair the arms in that entry
Our names signed ready.
What was the fault line
Whose was it.
What left what buried what tried to close.

How to speak about something that contains nothing.
You force your start
You lie on the floor the fountain the water the waste.
You are pressed and stretched, stoned in.
Many visions as it is said an airplane to no where and then a pause and then some magic and then some rubbing oil and the story entire.

You get back on the plane. With your umbrella your jugs of water. Your writing your when. Curtains instead of the wall instead of the page.

It is now that I was leaving.

You are cried at
Meaning is offered
You are hugged at
Meaning is taken.

Without an umbrella what stands to close.

The fault line was always ready. You heave. Breath to breath and line.

You follow the line

One narrow vision
One forlorn tunnel

One jagged curve

One could say a dump but no it’s the library
The throat closing filling in its own line.

You are bruised at you are bothered at.
For a while you try tent
For a mouth offering
For a body.

I was wrapped in oils. In my head down my sternum as I lay blank page.
I was doused in shade

It was so soft in that vapor

The plane the phone the jagged line.
The mirror broke
The placement broke
The walls are very thin
Your body did not fit between the cracks the walls the when.

Heavy body
Bloated mirror
Parqueted floor.

How to speak about stop without ruining your eyes.
There was newspaper.
A mosaic in speech but how to catch it touch it.
There was limit which you slept with
There was silence which you slept with
In the bed no longer a book
It became too big
It became too small
It became listed
As someone else’s article.

The phone rang the vapor salted the mirror ran the ground shifted the pages flew a cliché you say again and again. The desire books drained their tears. Tennis started and an election and a rain a soft rain. A soft and desperate rain rung in chemicals.

How to speak of something that contains nothing.

An empty body
A snow walk
An empty shoe
A licensed body
A stolen shoe.

Did you drain the plane here. Here to here.
Did you draw it in a notebook.
Its bound flight its other, lit lantern, its limit its flight.

Arms are raised.
Force is taken
Rain is saved. Arms are ridden the sky desecrated the sky forsaken the loss of intelligence everywhere everywhere the vibration in the hands that could not be raised.

A drawing and a paper and a match
A close up on the drawing.
Music in its last moments.

I saved this to write about. I gave my arms my voicebox my lectern for spine
I gave my books for a tongue
All the walls smeared stolen charged.
Disconnected in their sheer visibility.

To walk out onto a stage like that



The Devastation is based on the fallibility of a single image: a sea-wreck in language. If water is desire, connectivity, the possibility of current, language itself, what happens when that water is emptied out, when nothing is left but the basin of retrieval, the properties of the body and the memory of matter, addressed.

At the bottom of the sea, unidentified lovers have survived The Devastation, the water as it violently emptied, the pronouns as they disappeared into the marine biology of the ocean floor. Covered in decayed matter, that of the floor, that of themselves, what was once human skin, reeking of a terrible stench, the lovers repeat this one gesture: Reaching and pulling off from the other the clotted elements of the sea. The once animals, plants-this matted reach. All that is left of language in an alternate system of life. They reach and they recoil in a gesture of extreme eroticism. Extreme because it is all that is left, because it combines what is left and pushes against limit. Erotic because it is the ultimate reach: through nothing, back to one self: the other body at the limit of self.

This excerpt comes from later in time. A whole time later. The image folded the gesture pervasive the acts of language mirrored at large. In the return of the shallow water; the debris that is found there.




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