CL Young

from LANGUAGE OBJECT

   

FORMAL APPROACH
   

The spiral of human history is moved by destruction and hope and power and not in any sort of linear manner. In order to continue I force myself to believe that the spiral does expand. I must believe that it becomes ever-stronger with justice before its height is brought again to bottom.

I would prefer to give you no language at all; what I would most like is to waste away until I am very near death.

I would drain as many liquids from my body as I could until I knew for sure that the end was just moments away. Then, in a place silent and dark, I would present you with a sharp and beautiful knife. You would cut me down the center. You would bore into my brain. Listen for the light to leave.

   
     
     
     

   

     

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I will try a translation.
   
     
     
     

   

     

etc

the
a

let me hear you let me hear you any kind of
let me hear you let’s hear what kind of
let me hear you let you hear any kind of
let me hear you let you hear any kind of
let me hear you Let hear any kind of


Let me hear you allow to hear any kind of
Let me hear you name that you hear any kind of
Let me hear you Say to hear any kind of
Let me hear you hear of any kind of
Let me hear you can hear any kind of
Let me hear that you hear any kind of
Allow me to name you hear any kind of
Let me as you hear any kind of
A. Let me hear any kind of
Let me hear what kind of
A. Let me hear any kind of
Let me hear any kind of
Let’s hear what kind of
Allow to hear any kind of
Let hear any kind of
Allow to hear any kind of
Name to hear any kind of
S to hear any kind of
A can hear any kind of
To hear any kind of
To hear any kind
To hear any new
To hear any n
To hear any
To hear a
To hear
That characterize
Should invest
You
That
a

Any type okay go
Any type of fine
Any type of a fine
Any type of fine
Any type b
what kind
Any new
Where
Which
a

The is
that is thesis
that is
a gun

Find me told me I
Find me I was told that
Find me told a
Find me told
Find’s me told
Find me valuable
Find me s
Find me
hair
Find me
Find
Chaos
A thousand
The a

Shelf fine Ok a love
Shelf fine Ok a biology
Shelf fine Ok a
Shelf okay Oak
Shelf fine or
A shelf fine
Shelf fine
Shelf
Wall
The
a

Can be just
It can be Hungry
It can be held
It can be m
Maybe
Can let go
Can like
Can jump
Maybe
Can a
Can
Eat
Jump

Saw circle and then
Saw circle
Same circle
Broken circle
Circle
Revolving
Disease
this
of the
Doctor

It was
Of
Light
Lights
Light
light
z

Christmas
Touch
Pain
The
a

a

Let me land my ears
Let’s ears earth
Let the Earth’s ears
Allow the Earth’s ears
Earth aural name
Earth ears S
A ground ears
Earth’s ears
Earth authorized
Earth as
A land
Earth
Land
Except
The
a

[Me, I do
[However
[Baby, does A
[Baby, Does
[Me,
[Baby
[Baby
]

However

My
Baby
]
   
     
     
     

   

     

I see the idea of an alphabet. A desire to treat it tenderly. What could I do for them and all the letters that come after. Could I hold them in my palm.

Look again at the translation. Open your mouth. Read it in your mother’s voice. Let the letters pass through as you love each one. See the cubic centimeters of pushing out they do. They hold each other up. As you read them, your vocal cords expand and contract. Feel the small wind between your teeth.

Could it start like this. Seeing them small and vulnerable and pointing toward an invisible other—an alphabet unseen—made from the breath each letter lets before being set in thought or ink. The breath before speaking and what exits the lips just as they close.

   
     
     
     

   

     

Do not forget it will take a long time to live. The man while having his body beaten said pace yourself. He said pilot light, not firework.

I would give all my light to you but I am not ready to leave this world the way it is.

   
     
     
     

   

I resisted close reading because it was an invasion

On my voice / Of my privacy

When faced with the possibility of limitless sensation toward another I dropped it

Drop the stick

I became annoyed by the other’s weakness to pain

This due to my lack of malleability

That is, a shield

But it was not evil

Upon which I preferred to fix my gaze

Rather the desire to alter

The quality of perception into a more liquid state
   
     
     
     
   

The only ways to recalibrate my despair were writing and sex

This having to do with an overarching effort to separate body and consciousness

If I could just give my body away

My mind

Body unmediated by language

Mind with no container

A liquid
   
     
     
     
   

I did not read widely because the water was too deep

One begins to read independently

One begins to read for pleasure at around the same time

The body begins to develop into a sexual being

A violation

Altering the interior
   
     
     
     
   

See the afternoon is long in the middle of the country

I got sad

And instead of reading

I wrote

I wished for a period so I could account for what was happening

If I cannot see the evidence am I still alive
   
     
     
     
   

My deepest desire was to remove the self

To see no distinction between reader and writer

I hated repeating myself

I hated the end of love the end of friendship

Failures all

Of communication

I preferred to put my tongue in their mouths
   
     
     
     
   

I could not understand the difference between thinking and acting

There were voids of knowing and I crossed them

I was sure they could see inside my head

I meant well

I apologized often
   
     
     
     
   

I tried to make myself into a big metal filing cabinet

Kept in a garage

A way not to love

Anything larger than myself
   
     
     
     
   

I made a contract with patience

I stole

Air from others as they spoke

The poem was complicit

The container’s membrane thinned
   
     
     
     
   

Everything moved to the present tense

I typed with my face very close to the screen

I forgot my fugue state

My body turned too light
   
     
     
     

   

DELAY OBJECT (click click stop the dance)
   

sad song in my sleep
was just a string sound from the ceiling
sweet it siphoned into sorry sorry
denial of what pasts past hold up
the bed beneath me

I false wake make a list of ways to cry
collection spills old sun on the carpet
I scrape tears from my chin
my cheeks

sink to the bottom of the jar for emergency
they are murky almost mud and they are two

the transfer of grief is from far
to near to far again
I waited six years to break a bowl
the singer waited six years to hold a pen
to a pile of paper towels

as a child dye drops in a cup of water
food coloring unspindling
makes another thing more
by becoming less itself
neither one ever fully the other

try opening your eyes wide and closing your mouth
pull your chin in breathe sharp air through the nose

I thought I’d got out but here’s another
warehouse to brim over
another slow rotation in the Christmas rock polisher
edge against edge maybe someday I’ll pour better
than an ocean could

what I do know is I’ll throw
that jar into the side of a building
see Katy’s skinny body
then I will do it again

almost metal formed a pearl
tossed from gravel beach or plopped
bridge no jump

[d] does not evaporate before [e]
[e] is the drop behind [f]
[C] is older than [K] and supposed to die faster

eleven shots to the torso
every time the glass breaks

from right-center Colorado Amelia is far and the sea
her digestion pushing hard legs
into the ground

despite the infrequency of our looking
each other in the eyes
parents still teach children
not to stare

I was trying not to mix them
heat in my lower left neck
but my blood tore out
candle vigil wax drip under upturned winter dipper
every time the phone buzzed

officer
or lover
tell me
which
is worse

little girl holding stuffed bear
by the hand
how it was made to hang then
head angling

I am supposed to take a salt bath
pound taps into my abdomen
become more fountain than self

this of course is my idea of fun
writhing loud on the floor
vial of funeral perfume
rolling over and over my wrists

one way through is to watch
each driveway:
two uniforms walk to two doors
one knocks the other stays outside

her mother asked to wear white
she asked that I bring milk
back from the dry cleaner’s

clear plastic
balled-up in a corner

his mother wore
lipstick and her hair red on snow

spring takes water
to the gutter
down the hill
and into the river
   
     
     
     

   

DROWNED OBJECT (weeks later a petal in the eggs)
   

I dropped the painted plate from a height
first one foot into steel sink
then four feet onto tile

was I capable of doing anything
without watching

porcelain spray my face swelled only around my mouth
the day was only rain if thunder came
fertilizer adhering to the bottoms of my feet

I left every pink rose on the floor
until the poem was over
made a diorama of my success
measure a fissure
a stress fracture badly healed in an ankle

bicycle pedal I did not ask for
spring shards in the kitchen my grandmother
seeming to have nothing
to do with the news

roses on beige on white
the skin of my big toes grating open
to remind me I have never had to watch
blood pour onto new snow

was I capable of imagining anything
without seeing my name

Cedar said are you struggling
are you greedy for
all the erotic you’re missing

as a remedy I broke as many vessels as possible
before that I studied the human attributes
of cups and pans and pots
of drawers and the keys that let me into my house

I tried so to trace a line around my head
my thumbprint filled in with a layer of chalk
still no animals have come from me

[m] is a hinge
[n] is the loss a picture takes

was I capable of doing anything
without a witness

a letter to my sisters to remind them
they exist that their children exist

[o] is [p] without an anchor
and before [S] asks to go to the hospital
a second time
a third time
a fourth time

there is no such thing as power
I have moved metal and rock
I have moved enough dirt
to make a mountain new

the person I love says things like
look how many moving parts
I do not ask questions I do not say his name
he draws grids across my face
with stolen pollen

with the plate’s blooms still open on the floor
I count the bodies I have kept from burying

I imagine living long enough
to read the paper but not long enough
to let the ink seep in

this is the kind of dream I get to have
sitting atop a lit match
taping a dead man’s book to my face

where every night I choose to sleep
then wake up still breathing

my feet bare

and when I walk into the kitchen
flowers everywhere
   
     
     
     

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