The First World

Linked to indescribable power, to its shadow

analyzed by minorities who have, in my lifetime,

refused to remain anonymous—



"Until the missing story of ourselves is told,

nothing besides told can suffice us;

we shall go on quietly craving it."



Until now I read Laura Riding’s statement as referring to

something I did not know how to disclose to myself about

my life. Tonight, "ourselves" rings communal.

What is missing: the rock against which

I might place my shoulder



Allen Ginsberg’s "queer shoulder to the wheel"



Aimé Césaire’s task may be Sisyphean,

but to be able to push for a people, that in and of

itself is significant resistance—



To write the disappearance of what I am?



Pushing my void as the comestible of ghosts to come.





Clayton Eshleman

Song





Cecilia Bartoli seems to taste her voice,

one moment a jowly barber, the next a gleeful coquette



As her neck muscles stretched

screwing her face up into a castle grotesque,

I saw a napalmed Vietnamese girl’s face—



showing through voice as speeded-up waterfall,

voice as jewelfall,

the frozen O hole



Scream strewn smile



In each scream

the screwdriver of early mind attempting to loosen

the bolt God sank into the rippling cuttable cords by which

song

spurts

dying



almost fuse.

Contributor

Clayton Eshleman

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