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A Literary Supplement

Fall 2001


The Theater

Carved from sometimes thick air, appealing as merchandise glimmering in the eyes of our mothers, beautiful like the way lack feels welling up-the second collisions, or third collisions, reminiscent of the first but far far less startling, commanding-not on any plane different from us, instead collected by us, and processed, are the scattered linked passages entangled by the single act, performance. Rained on, ignored, faked: its intricacies are wrapping paper for tearing, as it rips screaming, inanimate agony, from the spinning colorful pinwheel now jumping in sunlight. Chalked are the shapes of our corpses when we're dead, solid is the wooden casket inside which we rest, sleep, and work. And it is certain, pretending or actual, that a market is built along steep bluffs, twenty-or-so yards high, along forest creeks, the pebbles tapping gently on the shore, at the gate, the pebbles the audience, the market the show. We follow each other down thin damp trails into brilliant facades, our fingers dragging upon the ruggedly smoothing brown stone of the rock walls: arrive to collect, remain to endure. A curtain the scar, the inevitable storm pulls us into the sky, out of our ships, or face-first into the dirt, lightning that emerges as a reminder to notice something: the windows are open, the cats are outside, the awnings aren't rolled, pie is cooled. Then it plays, carts are pushed, invented by time and time again invents the courage of natural violence, the history of the pushcart reenacted by the falcons, the turtles and other bright mechanisms. Soon the light is gone, replacements in forms imitating past vastnesses, a second or third collision, see, and our amassing concludes leaving only the chalked shapes of its passion passed. There grows the terminal mutation identified usually with waterfalls: they are always the same, actually. Then we return, passing through the waterfall on our way, into the normal clearing behind all of this which lies, like I said, on the other side of the waterfall.

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