To suppose, to lay down tentatively, to hold, to have a position of, to say I did it for the fantasy, & for the memory, & for the viewers across the screen (the viewers out there), there are certain faces
There are certain moments in the underground
There are certain expressions I’d like to see in the underground, on the faces of the passengers moving through me just as I am moving
Through the city, for pleasure & for passage, & for the inevitable pause within a station’s stop, the rasping announcement (a moment
In which I am forced to stop composing, so as to get off, unless I delay
My own arc, to stay on & ride another) Not to be The bullet but the shot--
The city, the boredom, the beautiful body of being at the same time
Over & under everything
(I stay on & keep
Moving; I even Repeat myself, once More turning Fantasy into memory into a view To a kill: it is my only True dependency)
What I wouldn’t do to re-live the last moment from the tomorrow of today, to see the face at the height of climax, an expression of shock & disgust & sure silence; an empty expression; a face emptied-out of all thought & feeling, to be filled in or up again later, saying softly it is what it is I am what I am & you remember hope of a new feeling strange flesh the mouth & lips dim room pants rip quick & silent coming another scene in the shallow end where I am still waiting, I am still waiting, I am still waiting to
Descend becoming what it was I would Never be some unspoken Satisfaction where there is a pause, hold The pause I would like you To keep going
First thing I look for is my own face in the mirror of others for want is said & want is said in so many ways
2:45PM Saturday, January 27
[PART SECOND] I am trying to explain to you the difference between a bullet and a shot: it’s not the velocity, but the impact of one body striking the other. A tear at the edge of the tablecloth is the first sign that violence also lives in this set of rooms, its presence made visible in the ( ) that appear in each of your textbooks, the faces of dead presidents filled with light. Which to say: there are men who overuse the word pleasure & they are easy to pick out in a crowd—
Of course, when we started making the film, we didn’t know. The audience was smaller then. & no one had taken their first steps into the underground, let alone a walk to the train station at night, stuttering in the empty street.
Now the script goes on & on. What comes first, the feature film in the mind or the film outside of it. Take your time answering. Remember to bring a bouquet for that woman who assembled each of your elaborate two-story sets.
& I shouldn’t have to remind you: When plucking a flower, no one keeps the thorn.
3:25PM Saturday, January 27
-- Chris Campanioni'snew book, the Internet is for real (C&R Press), re-enacts the language of the Internet as literary installations. His selected poetry was awarded an Academy of American Poets College Prize in 2013, his novel Going Down was named Best First Book at the 2014 International Latino Book Awards, and his hybrid piece “This body’s long (& I’m still loading)” was adapted as an official selection of the Canadian International Film Festival in 2017.
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of thirty-two books, including Look to Your Left: The Poetics of Spectacle (Akron Poetry Series, forthcoming in 2020) and DARK HORSE: Poems (C&R Press, 2018). She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly, an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Review of Books, a staff blogger at The Kenyon Review, a contributing writer at Publishers Weekly, and a freelance book critic at The New York Times Book Review.