sidebrow

Theater as Sincerity

I liked that I was in the waves. I needed to be just in the waves. Lately it helps me to zoom down into the particulars of a thing. I can be with that thing and be with its qualities. When I look up and all around me, everything empties out. It’s like I’m trying to take in too much, see too much, and all of it is empty and I become scared. I am not scared if I am in the particulars of a thing. In this case, the waves.


The bag written in its wrinkles. It’s strange to think of definition coming from folds. Not the thing but the way it shapes itself, or the way the wind blows it, or just the way it wants to lie, or the way it becomes old.


The waves make pulsing valleys. What’s in the valleys? It seems a licking and whelping all aswirl. Something is happening, something vivid yet easy to pass by.


“A wind’s hooves never prove hollow.” Because of the way the sentence is written hollow is very much a part of it, and yet it is not there. Does the wind have hooves? A horse gallops in the wind, but no horse is present, just the wind, and its hooves are not hollow, it is not hollow, and yet sometimes the wind does seem to be hollow.


The story with the person whose hand gets put in sharp places. It gives me trouble—like a gift—and makes me pose questions in shapes I wouldn’t have. The hollows in the story are the intimacies that are named but never materialize, like fighting or being in someone’s room. The hollows are obstinate like tools one can’t envision the use of.


Meanwhile a wind’s hooves are different from an ambler’s. You can’t tell the in side from the out. And it never shows its ables or doubts. Its shambles are sometimes shone at. Calling that comfort. A wind’s intimacies materialize but are never named.


It was a beautiful summerlike day today and I left my house happy to see anyone but had to go to campus which whittled down people I could want to see sharply until at night when the cold returned there were only a few but then there some were!


I feel a little bit like an actor: everything I’m saying is true. I am in the theater playing myself.


Have you seen My Dinner with Andre? In the film Andre says something like “What is a son? What is a wife? What is that, a wife?”


Dear Amina,

I’d like to see you in some grass.

Justin


Dear Justin,

I got in some grass.

Amina


I remember those shadows and that talking very softly. The need to zoom with the particulars and the way that replaces emptiness makes a lot of sense to me. Attending to this pleasure here or this pain here or this indescribable sensation or this other person’s or creature’s or thing’s presence or motion is I think all that keeps me from just bouncing about in panic all the time.


Yesterday I made a panic hat to insulate me from humans that refuse to zoom into anything at all. It’s made of cardboard and covered in yellow wrapping paper.


I want to know if you dive and slither.


Do you find everyone is panicking now? I panicked just this afternoon and there was an audience for it. I panicked because I was standing on “the great lawn.” I was in front of “a great house.”


My other hat is a fin. When there is nothing close enough to touch I wiggle. I wiggle much.


You can have anything

If you are a diver

You can touch anything

If you’re willing to slither



It is sunny and mild. If I owned a storefront, would you be in a play with me? Amble here, or wherever it is you need to amble. Let the wind carry you along. If you want, don’t think. I don’t see you keeping anything off the floor.


I would be in a play in a storefront with you. Even if you didn’t own it. We don’t know who owns this storefront but it belongs with us. We are trying to play here. We are putting it on. Of course if you put on a play you invite people in. Yet I picture everything behind glass in a window. Would that feel quiet or loud?


If you can imagine me singing it, maybe I should try.


Lately I remember when you lived in Chicago I didn’t know what to say to you, not for any reason but that I became blank in my mind when we tried to talk, except that one night in summer when there were shadows and also the poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. So it’s extra funny that we had what could be considered a talkfest when I was in Philadelphia. It was nourishing, just like you said.


An interesting thing about a panic hat, now that I have some experience wearing it? People think that when you wear the hat you are the one panicking. Not true. Not true.



I got your message that the message was stupid before I got the message. This is because my phone gets in my pocket and the library stays in one place. Now it’s hard to tell what’s stupid in it. Maybe I don’t think anything is. Maybe it’s just a shameover. That can feel like being quiet and behind glass. I think we would feel those things differently in a storefront of ours.


May your bells bring a blessedness

For I hate what this world grows


If our people would be joyful

Our tongues are capable


Pine plough laugh

Awash in whisker waves


Any windy street brings out the goose in me



I think we are sane. I know you are. And I think I am too. It’s the shocks of life that surprise me more than anything. Tonight I thought of them wistfully, though when they have occurred they have been anything but that. I have truffles in the kitchen. My roommate and I have running jokes about “getting into truffle” when we eat them. He is leaving Chicago in one week. How do you feel when you leave a place? I am both exhilarated and shot dead by the shocks. You don’t have to own anything to have it belong to you. I pictured glass too. It would be quiet. Just once, I would like to see you not sane.


Sometimes I abandon the little shocks of contact with a friend.


I think I’ll just keep writing to you. It’s the only collaborative thing I can think of.