..:: CONTENTS ::..

..:: POETRY ::..
Joanne Kyger
  The Distressed Look
  Sunday in the Storm Era
  San Francisco March Against War on Iraq January 18, 2003
  "Not In Our Name"
  Look! new moon
Forrest Cole
  Poem Seller
Stephen Ratcliffe
  from Cloud/Ridge
Claudio Perinot
Jamie Galgana
  Water Cycle
Christopher Arigo
  Catalogued evidence
Virgil Suarez
  Bone Soup / Sopa de Hueso
  In the House of the Birth of Christ
  When Rain Speaks of War
David Krump

..:: PROSE ::..
Han Quek
Kenneth Pobo

..:: ART ::..
Wes Tilson
  Cycling Mandalas

..:: ETC ::..
  Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..


Catalogued evidence
Christopher Arigo


0. These are the remains of machines-stilled engines that still tic after shutdown, intimations noticed in a dream perhaps
or the scalding awareness of this world that fills you--forced inside--a hypnotic sonata of puns and palindromes
trumpet songs of gods and ghosts in machines that lull your ravaged ears--versions of muzak, of radii conversations assembled
from points on-screen, riddles without answers, ambits riddled with gaps--no radar on defining the circumference we inhabit
that you agree to call world, even concurring about nuances and boundaries: that late fall leaves weighed down by snow
are tragic, that pressure builds in our chests, that tragedy is violence that smiles. What strains within our bodies: what beasts
nose our sternums from the inside with the sensation of a balloon blown taut. What have we taught the children clutching needles
--the children who some day want to be real puppets, who already delight in the wispy threads growing from fingertips
they wave like spider webs, weaving intricate games. Some day they will draw maps of the city, maze-like, mythical--
a so-called new mythology already plays you masked against a jittering stage of space and objects frenetic with secret lives
electric anima revolting against their given names. The sing-song parodies of gods and heroes line up to take your orders.
These myths, these bodies need fuel. We are phototropic and lost, smitten by sun. You settle silt-like into memory's rifts
grateful for solitude, for forgetting, sensing an unrest that is really your own--a muddled proposition the soul--our machines make kingdoms.



1. Cenotaphs imply error, a body located only in memory. A lineage runs the inner mechanisms of our cognitive machines, our hands
machined to hold tools, our destination apparent in every gesture. When returning, air rent cleaves a narrower space than leaving
and for once we are wordless--worldless--longing and inexact. Ladders lead upward and for the dead ladders are made of meat and sinew
and in the ghost-life the living should drift away but you mistake the draft edging under your unsealed window for corpse-whispers that tell
of another way of living, that stiffens your glaucous eyes with ice-crystals and ecstasy. Once you believed in more than this world
as if you could embrace anything more, as if your arms could open that wide, as though you weakened or grew stronger
as though some paradox revealed itself or touched your face, as if ecstasy can substitute happiness, thus relearning what seems so damn obvious.
We are happy until doubt becomes consternation and consternation becomes a steady buzz in our ears. Space becomes oblivion--intransitive-- insubstantial--no action between A and B and a new algebra emerges from perplexity, an equation for imbroglio. Because one
has little to do with the others' well-being--disoriented by in- and output, vision opens and closes as we trace diverging paths
to their respective ends and beginnings without success and our vision recedes to a camera obscura. Some lenses enable you to see
in the dark objects eerily green-hazed: a candle miles away becomes a radiant star and finally there you are: a galactic explosion, ecstatic like never before.



2. Half-lit slits gummy with disuse, our eyes adjust to half-light again and instruments demarcate shadows to prolong--in memory--
their inevitable collapses. Waking to an incessant buzzing we wonder if we are the lost. Sibilations and sighs comprise a chorus
for eyes to adapt--maybe half-light is enough light if only to see shades and outlines. But amber is the color of your waking.
Mine is a blue-hued cartography of cranial shadows moths kept in a jar among many jars: these are dreams. You must dig to know
what I keep in the rest and when you brush away each million-year-old layer you find the actual amber of your waking:
once sap now combustible stone, once called electron, god-tears, petrified sun carved that once surpassed slave prices, once mixed
with rose-oil could cure failing eyes, now eyes warm to the touch, burned as incense, burning to remember space that loss occupies--
one evokes the other--fatuous paradox, past tense, depressions left in a mattress or pillows as rough evidence of corporeal needs, as fossils.
The pillows are statistics the bed, a tragedy. And when you dig it is hard to believe the stone was once wood. Its rings now ring
with a finger's flick. No longer ligneous, bark and cambium visible in cross-section. How to believe that gingko leaves leave behind fan-shapes
--veins and chloroplasts almost intact. No xylem left after rain and pressure and layers and layers of sand and relentless lithography.
Knotted sleep drives out the white spaces within my body and only the pressure of this atmosphere keeps you buoyant. Stun me
with the space you call your self. Open my boxes one by one. Implied you devour my face starting with my well-preserved eyes.



3. The world while sleeping can be called TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER. You hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign hoping for a moment of respite.
Sleep thins to mourning doves wooing grief. Apertures--your eyes--lustrous wounds that predictably hurt as they heal.
The body's volume must correspond with some eschatology: the air the lost displaces must be comparable--somehow--to living.
Difficult to deny the correspondence of artifacts and evidence to former body owners. Now remembering is even easier to retrieve
and what is lost cannot age. Object permanence requires faith without a postcard or phone call and optimism manifests as silvered light
or the wretched implosion of unspecified fears, your voice's erratic shifts in tone. The child's handprints in the sidewalk are signed and dated.
Though vestigial desires wane our kingdom is memory. Erotogenesis is relegated space as memory as a Christmas Eve that ended in an attic room
with an approaching car, its headlights casting shadow-puppets of young lovers across the slatted wall. Fill me with the space you call your self
and the stark awareness of a line's terminus, a once-agreed-upon point, bytes of memory and desire culled from sleep that we call dreams--
the rest held in check as excess, hidden, what you notice: pipes banging like prisoners in the walls, traffic murmuring beyond those same
walls, careening sirens that seduce no one else's attention, a chair that notes every curve of your ass. Cognitive dissonance is assigned
a reverberating chamber. The tension between lines in a drawing--the confusion of what is and is not. Your tropic glance surveys the city
and you are ravenous. Both traced lines and spaces delineate a figure or our route through the city. Through the lithic sleep those dreams
are not your problem nor the abstract specter that ligers outside your window like a dream of oceans burnt with dusk.



4. Flight paths disappear long after a plane's passing--ghostly contrails linger and hesitate to dissipate far above us--miles above us
--only the pressure of this atmosphere keeps you--the lyric you and my breath. Shadows returned to your face from whatever aphotic box
contained them. It is night and its is insidious and you are restless and a nascent saint also returns to gather an entourage
and now a no-longer-nascent unrest returns and buttresses doubt. Now you are disaffected as you both must be. And now there is too much rain. Thunderheads clash overhead. There is no way to mend dissonance, doors open to admit too many dreams and jumbled analects. The polis is upset
and pacing around hives in the awnings--wasps gather and swarm around us all because machines cannot decide without emotion:
a list runs the mind, footnoted and annotated, infinitely cross-referenced with the time we made love or stayed in bed past noon or both.
Recollections converge and diverge and eventually exaggerate beyond remembering, beyond the almost excessive adulation of something awry--
of something nearly paradisiacal--close to maniacal. This is the weakness, the soma, the sound crying makes, the sound of malfunctioning machines. The frenetic energy of your worship wanes with night. This is tiring but does not tire. Your eyes have seen all they can today, relics
are inventoried in a count-sheep-like manner. Small slivers of light compose their own muted opus through the blinds and a light
comes on in your neighbor's window--she is nude, marvelous in her awareness of you. This sybarite loves this world, this moment of respite.



5. A thin trickle of water stains the porcelain--the faucet has leaked since you moved in. Leaves are blown loose every other day
when a helicopter lands thrice weekly on the H at the hospital, an umbra in which nothing grows. This water glass with your lip-
and fingerprints, these relics which compose a litany of artifacts seeking reassembly. You are the world. You are the city a thousand times
subways that clatter and smell ozonic and pissy, that pass through our chests. Locked in the ghost-chamber, trains clack and rush the stricken
landscape, a lamentation of clatter and diesel of desire. Our torsos: intricate systems of travel whose subcutaneous routes hide in our limbs.
Peel back enough skin and maps are vascular braille, tunnels intersect our mouths, our words lost in the cacophony. So many moths fly
desperately to the backs of our eyes, so many times that never is used as an epithet for fear. Shadows understand disappearance
without complaint. This is an exercise in memoriam or some obfuscated recollection of something inscribed elsewhere
and to die is different that any one supposed and I imagine it as shutting off a light and becoming darkness or turning on a light
and disappearing into the supernova of the machine's flattered heart, radiating an aftermath of light endlessly tracking
across its interior. This is not the world I requested: muttered skull kisses, encrypted whispers, a shed enlivened by a steady hum
the map's legend articulated in braille, in cipher or unlit, proving the world can fit almost anywhere.



6. There is too much fuss when you cut the threads that tether us to this world, too much trepidation and dissonance when it rains.
Once sunlight composed arresting mosaics among tree canopies. Once the world recognized itself from space but now the intractable distance
between each disorients each. Now the murmurs and shuffling feet. One eye opened to itself in darkly polished glass and now it is insidious.
In the event of a real emergency do not press the red button linked to the locket you wear--contents forgotten, unknowable
and very fragile--myth's fragility pitted against what we call science, silence when you try to recall the contents of both.
The machine in your chest emits an uneven ticking and what is inside barely fits. Our bodies accrete half-dreams and we fear to admit
them--we already possess too many secrets, too many boxes within boxes within rooms within something underlying all insinuations:
pyramids ascend in size and one memory nestles inside the next: this is melancholy, this is anxiety, this one clears the clouds that chill
the voice and makes the compass work. But sleep thins to strophic bytes. These are our stanzas, our house which they divide like memories--
so many potential doors and windows--this is unregistered marginalia for an incomplete opus, eidetic visions erasing pentimenti accumulated
on sketches. Some parapraxes are fortunate, some mistakes necessary and fruitful. These are imperfect catalogues for this world.
I think I must love this world--I fear not engagement with it. I confess: this sybarite loves this world. But to say this is only about love is to neglect
a multitude of hidden machines. Machines that make the sun rise are on the fritz, my regulation machine is on the fritz. The vox of uncertainty
drives gears of stop-and-start clock hands and our hands grip these spaces. And we run and we run like clocks working like clocks working
to remember particulars via repetition or prayer which are really the same.



7. Why complicate the archives, the conflicting chatter with addenda and marginalia--interruptions are welcomed. The book we write
is myth and perhaps some day some one will discover it and brush off the dust. Perhaps they will trim the hedges and allow shreds of light
passage into our yard. Digging and digging we found our way out, bursting through sand in a genie's cave. Yes we have wishes one two three.
We are an archeological trinity of two with one interlocutor. We call this feeling ___________________. And what is left:
epigrams, residual puns, mirthless and stubborn. I remember when you remember when together we remember to breathe.
We are members of a strict order of recall when interregnums multiply and delay responses or punch lines--imagine a mantis praying instead
--even the most minor errors imbue our lives with comedy and word-play, even the slightest feedback distorts our sound perception.
You call me by many endearing non-sequitors. A child's plea tears the pressurized air. And the inflated feeling I have is unrelated to cabin pressure
or altitude and the world as we call it tries to force its way out and we are unsure what to call it. But the child--his mother says it is his first time airborne: his distress and the vibrating plane, the almost-curving sky--he feels gravity or something more significant forcing its way out of his lungs.



8. We resist the violence machines and force ourselves to witness their shrieks and moans: ohgodohgodohgodohgod who has abandoned
us, We will not love them nor bleed for them. We will not advocate cogs and wheels with hate nor become them. We will not love
machines that talk or hover for placation, for a depressed button or flipped switch. We are on a pilgrimage of sorts--you are next to me
and on-screen. How odd that you are in two places at once. I mean: one you: in reverse. One: not you. The confused awe we intuit
we will articulate soon enough as when the lake thawed and fractured sheets of ice collided and splintered--seasonal transitions provide
their own kind of anxiety. The ocean is reliable, never freezing except in hiemal dreams. The story ends with summer and too much rain.
I am glad we breathe the same humid air. The rooms remain empty and your fragmentary note left me wondering how we agree
on anything at all but maybe this is what we mean by faith when we call it parallax. Maybe it is the meaning of our pilgrimage of sorts.
But first I have a surprise for you: I have invented a useful machine, a mnemonic device, a machine for finding the lost and searching.
I may give it to you but I will never reveal its endangering secrets. I am in constant revolt against X. Will you first join the revolution--
this struggle to breathe or move, leaves desiccated by igneous wind, this struggle against being buried alive, this taphophobia.
Let's make the struggle ours, dress it in satin and tinsel. I sent a communiqué yesterday engraved on the head of a pin. Do not look for angels--
you must trust they are there--it was originally engraved in the eye of a needle but we both know we will never get into heaven. But about the machine: here are the password clues: the toy surprise in every box is called eureka! I have lost the blueprints, so let's steal some one else's refrain
some one else's dialogue that terminates with laughter which is synonymous with oblivion.


//   Advance   //