Four

 

THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS


Sickness
is a kind of clarity

It makes you feel afraid
and love to be alive

It interests me
to be afraid

 

My claim is
on the absolute

I never wanted to be free
only to be nothing

And to love
to be alive

Just like the French
my beauty’s nourished
by its own
disgrace, I love
when it’s disgusting

 

Jealously
I wash myself

The sacrament of being
held without affection

 

My only purity
is in my failure
to be satisfied

My long, long nails

 

We will never comprehend this
nor what hinders you

The horror, I confess

I cannot have you
without being
and you know what I’d prefer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KENNETH ANGER


This film is a ritualistic study
on transfiguring of space
I announce
as my arms and legs turn perfectly symmetrical

END

I point to the way forward
with my foot

It is a long way

Women raise their heads to look
as the clarinet sounds
Another woman
squeegeeing the shower door

I climb in the shower stall
and wait

There is no space to lie
Saint Michael said
You cannot see me in the flames
so I wrote what I wanted on a bottle
and I threw it in the street

Branches slide across my neck

Rolling down the window
two boys looking wavy at me
blow up in surprise

it’s days like these
I fathom the pathology
of failure over time

I say
You look like a courtroom drawing

I say
Picture Kenneth at the dentist
Dad’s collapsing face
and dreams of shooting
eagles from the sky

Dogs, when pissing
zone out
humming

Honda Honda Honda Homda Om

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO THE DEATH OF FORESTS


Trees are insufferable
Their giant leaves
Sad
Showy

Their relentless introspection
and their clarity

They know how to stand there

In the absence of anything splendid

In the limited season
of my voice

Devoted
to an antiquated predicament

Trees rise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU DID NOT ASSIMILATE, WHICH IS THE PRIVILEGE OF A KING
or
I REGRET HAVING TO ABANDON YOU BUT I MAY NEVER ABANDON MYSELF
or
IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION?


Your objections
are less passionate
than my desires

All my drives
are baseless
and therefore
indisputable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributor

Elaine Kahn

Elaine Kahn is an artist currently based in Los Angeles. She is co-founder of the P.Splash Artist Collective and author of Women in Public (City Lights Books, 2015). Writing has been published in Art Papers, Open Space, The Poetry Foundation, Jubilat, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, West Branch, and elsewhere. A new chapbook I Told You I Was Sick is forthcoming from After Hours, Ltd., and a poetry cassette collaboration with Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta will soon be available on Practical Records.

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