ADAM DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHARK AND DOG

A female cardinal has alighted on a limned branch
but her prey is inside with me. Tonight I fought again

with my son’s mother over the phone. She has become
so used to my cruelty that it is simply questioned

and assessed. I used to surprise myself. A friend reads
a story I’ve written, finding the main character “deplorable.”

There are so many things I don’t tell even him. Earlier,
I pass the ostensibly intelligent woman with pock-marked

cheeks, who works at the bookstore down the block, who
has lived here her whole life, so whose only remaining

chances are those who move here, or return after
years away. Out back, sheaves of silverweed and Indian pipe

sink and buckle into mud. During graduate school there was a string
of suicides in the university library. One jumper from the great

atrium landed at the feet of my student. She told me
about his breathing, was nervous about taking some time away

from classes, and came to ask if that might be okay. Yeah,
I said, yeah, that would be okay. I’ve moved and come back so many

times. If I went to the bars I’d be drawn into another empty
conversation. By December the back yard will be a moist cushion

of decay, bits of spider, robin, and mouse carcasses. One day,
I’ll pack up what little I own that’s unbroken and move

somewhere small and white. For now, I put off going home – there is
nothing but the historical moment. The first time my father got

in my face, and for once I came closer, turning away only to throw
an antique desk across the bedroom, before inviting, Hit me, motherfucker,

all he could do was threaten to call the cops. But just drove instead.
I was embarrassed for us. I feel pretty sure I won’t find anyone, now. I’ve settled

into that a bit. Though I am fascinated by the nearly infinite
permutations of the body; find myself attracted more and more

to pregnant women; I’m familiar with their bodies; the solid, outsized stomachs,
and darkened nipples, and maybe I think this time I could get it right.

 

FIGURE 1. MS. BUZIDRAGIS, WINNER OF A U.S. SUPERMARKET SWEEP GAME SHOW, 1965

A comprehensive intellectual biography
of one Ms. Buzidragis. This is not at all

to suggest that the sociology of literature
and literary studies is an unproductive

enterprise. After all, there is anomie
and social fact. By contrast, I have learned

a great deal from scholars working
in this field – lucid explication

and influence. Though Latour’s Science
Studies is not a central concern, there is

overlap. This is a kind of map of white
America, spectral and supernatural, the silent

salesman, a triangulation of desire. A privileged
site from which to think the multiple human

and nonhuman constituents or how to do
things with toys. Their surfaces are distinct

and smooth, intact; organs, dimensions,
senses, neither suspiciously brilliant nor

transparent, like a green-and-cream tile floor. If we
whisper quietly enough we were never here.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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