Linggo, Marso 18, 2012

Intermission in Four Acts

The thing in play (Act l)
A world outside this plot prevents our intermission from being
uninvolved—a present, its past in the queue outside the toilet,
in each drink dulling the room. Hence our overwhelming desire
to forgive some, forget others. Even so, we are here and, as yet,
I cannot release us to here, cannot know and still go on as if all
the world were staged. Who believes, "Not a big mess but rather
an unfortunate accident arrived us here." Our plot assumes
presence. It stays awkward, clumping in the mouth: I shall so
want. And this is necessary time. Only now do we respect
(or is it forget) the depths of our mistakes. There often rises
from the fatigue of the surface a great affection for order. Plot,
its grammar, is the linen no one disgorges into. Excuse me.
From that which is systemic we try to detach ourselves; we cling to,
cellophane ourselves into man-made regulations, so neatly
educated, so nearly laid: He maketh me to die down. But some
of us have drowned and coughed ourselves up. The deep
morning lifts its swollen legs high upon the stage. Some wanting
amnesia float personified abstractions. Some wash ashore, but
not into the audience, not able to look on. Help me if who you
are now helps you to know the world differently; if who you are
wants not to live life so.

Still in play (Act II)
On the street where children now reside, the speed limit is 25.
Green owns the season and will be God. A rain, that was, put
a chill in every leaf, every blade of grass. The red brick, the
asphalt, cold, cold. The front step, the doorknob, the banister,
the knife, the fork. A faucet opens and the woman, Liv, arrives
as debris formed in the sea's intestine, floating in to be washed
ashore and perfumed. In time she opens her mouth and out
rushes, "Why is the feeling this? Am I offal? Has an unfortunate
accident arrived me here? Does anyone whisper Stay awhile, or
the blasphemous Resemble me, resemble me"? Those watching
say with their silence, That is Liv, she has styes on her eyes,
or she needs to forget the why of some moment. She doesn't
look right. She is pulling the red plastic handle toward her,
checking around her. She's washing, then watching hands, feet
and shouting Assemble me. Assemble me. She is wearing shoes
and avoiding electrical wires, others, steep drops, forgotten
luggage. Those are her dangers. She cannot regret. A hook out of
its eye, she's the underside of a turtle shell. Riveted, and riven,
the others stare, contemplating the proximity of prison to person
before realizing the quickest route away from is to wave her on.
They are waving her on. Liv is waved on. Everything remains
but the shouting. A cake is cooling on a rack. Someone is
squeezing out excess water. Another is seasoning with salt. The
blacker cat is in heat. A man sucks the mint in his mouth. The
minutes are letting go. A hose is invisible on the darkened lawn.

Musical interlude (act 111)
A certain type of life is plot-driven. A certain slant in life. A man
sucking his mint lozenge. He is waiting for the other foot to
drop: his own, mind you. In a wide second he will be center

His song will be the congregation of hope. He will drain his
voice to let Liv know she cannot move toward birth without
trespassing on here: To succumb to life is to be gummed to
the reverberating scum seemingly arrested.

Erland knows Liv is as if in a sling, broken in the disappeared
essence, the spirit perhaps: catfoot in a moist soil, at the lowest
altitude or simply streamside, though seeming fine.

He knows he too, sometimes, is as if below, pained, non-
circulatory, in an interval, the spirit perhaps in an interval.
But then frictionized, rubbed hard—

sweet-life-everlasting, he is singing softly beneath his meaning
in the sediment of connotation where everyone's nervously
missing, so missed. His melody is vertical, surrendering
suddenly to outcome, affording a heart,

recalling, after all, another sort of knowing because some
remainder, some ladder leftover, is biddy-bop, biddy-bop, and
again. His voice catches. It feels like tenderness beckoning and
it is into her voice, rejoicing.

In mortal theater (Act 1V)
                                           blessedly the absolute miscarries
and in its release this birth pulls me toward that which is without
comparison. in the still water. of green pasture. Lord and Lamb
and Shepherd in all circumstances. daylight in increase. always
the floating clouds. ceaseless the bustling leaves. we exist as if
conceived by our whole lives—the upsurge. its insides. in all
our yesterdays. moreover

asking and borne into residence. the life that fills fills in a world
without synonym. I labor. this is the applause. This—mercy
grown within complexity. and in truth these lies cannot be
separated out: I see as deep as the deep flows. I am as willing
as is recognized.

                                           I am.
                                           am almost to be touching

by Claudia Rankine

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