Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dan Machlin

Dear Body:

Whether my mind to my knee or a chest as hollow as a creek bed, these are the questions I am always asking, trying to mutter an answer to. If there was one popular tree on my property, it was the dream tree. Arms spread out in full growth, no shading here. But what do I know—I was a city boy raised in the sky. Now I am wandering into the eternal justification some call lethargy.

This body, he said (as if this specific body had a house, a housing). No, we were not just pleasant beings gazing into the sun, slightly tired and not yet hungry, having eaten lunch much too late.

And who is this “we” anyway—I was alone—tabulating the pros and cons of my history, sitting beside the ache in one’s arrogance meets devastation—this non-man, a rupture.

In the beginning, the land tore itself apart in volcanic ebulliences and simultaneously collapsed inward into tectonic concavity.

It was I who was being carried—a saint in a glass box, lord of Liberty Island, rabbi of abandoned parks.

I did not try to curry favor with the locals, though they tied me to the grammar with their hammers.

Insignificance, a pre-populated field whose minor chord inspired complaints about lost wages.

It was as if, here I was in you, my body, waging devastation on a foreign body—deformed bodies of state.