Ari Vargas: October 2016 Poet of the Month
between my broken reflex, constants in my speech, tongue, mouth.
tremoring smells of stops, touches and liquids on our breasts.
who is the force and cause hidden among synonyms and mirrored selves
who refuse to meet or penetrate when looking away.
if these are webs
i've fallen into, then fragments
are the only way to understand my silences.
and these hands, too stressed with and from
time to guide me in
rhythms of the against, not in denial of existences.
my deaths make more sense than my survival.
keep quiet or at least keep someone quiet
the words are already written.
I fit my experience into the page and the words
wait for sense. a secret muttered in my presence
they are birthed from silence.
I speak to him who tells
me I am not born from silence.
is this a conceivable language?
I was taught that violence existed only
if tangible, if proven, if agreed upon by two parties.
violences hide and disappear as quickly as they surface
as they are greeted.
violences are the quiet and quiet
violences are lost and regained and remembered
years, months, days, weeks later.
when violences become synonyms and gestures
order of alternate
Opened air) from the place to the place left with nothing but hunger. Trace my 8 year old hand until it sores, trace my fingers against the dripping pleasured veins of my own intestinal rhythms and thickening desires. Under the verandah, I open my mouth and seek. Pushed out of the familial home
Distant sites) damp untethered hands in recalling hushed rooms. Where have they taken me or him? Unearthed hallways I and you refused to walk into and through; in 40 years we will have learned nothing but that no singular memory exists where there are two bodies. What is the distinction between rape and loss if they both, in written words, come from or mean destruction.
Forces against myself) iris rubbing glass, a wanting of everything seen or touched, possessing, accusing and meeting myself in processes of unweaving tightflesh experiences. Spined silence caress my fingers only to tell me I am wrong again, have to begin again, and my brother doesn’t know. I flew 4514 miles and wanted to crash the plane into the house where you were raised and taken.
Thing that happened) what is the word for the word, what is the substitute for useless speech. How do I view the forces against myself after you tell me how your mouth was spliced, how nothing except touch mattered to you for years. These movements we have made across rooms and countries, these movements and forces I keep losing sight of.
Unnameable strain) of loss, of pointing, of stuttering, of licking, of craving, of substantiation, of catching breaths of moments, of submitting without kneeling, of packing, of deference, of hatred, or a full veined root, of unknowing, of denial, of mundanity, of leaving messes when you were hired to clean, of speaking in a circle of strangers, of pulsed nods, of loving each other between your pains, I was so afraid I do not know how to fear anymore, of framing time without a coveted wall, of abandoning, of boarding before closing, of the knowledge I will never meet her, of selling your childhood home, of articulation, of consumption consumption consumption, aching, I found you.
and I don’t want to say anything, I just want to go inside)*
*from Alejandra Pizarnik’s “A Musical Hell”
Ari Vargas lives in Berkeley, California, where they also study English literature at the University of California, Berkeley. They are open to conversation and dialogue, so feel free to contact them at email@example.com.