Monday, March 7, 2011

Catching Trains 2: After Blindness

That part of us
That has no name

Is who we are.


After the dogs
Take over.

After the dogs
Have taken shelter
Inside our skin.
Inside our skin, they eat

A vaulted darkness.
The roof is smooth, the
Marrow inside bones
A stucco arch.

The dogs they say
Can smell the after

--Math of crisis.


Sacks hang light
What lanterns
That we are

And are read from.

The grammar of death
Makes our names

Turn pink
In snowdrifts  [I didn't do nothing. I watched hir hang from the stars. I watched them hoist hir up. I sat on the steps of the old railyard where in the time of other wars

a Wobblie lay draped like a rag. A book says he had his throat slit there, and that the cause was. Infectious

For us.]


(No huddled
Forms us.)


Xe is powerlines someone said. Xe is the undertow of the Detroit. After this time of dogs I will walk to the river for you. But not nothing. A necessary condition of doing nothing

is the realization of utopia.


Who would have known
The rain would make us

Weep, wander into dead
Streets, into dead
Houses, into washed


The pulse they say
Has no heat. "Come in. Come in!  This is your home now! Come in. Come. I can hear the dogs. They're getting closer. I can hear them in the absence of cars. In the mono-rail's function as a wrecking ball. I can hear them in cyclone fences. I can hear them on the news. In the groundwater. Come."


  1. The skeleton is pink, David Wolach. Love your texts before they are texts: here. Not text-text. Like this. Above. Hello. The grammar as pink. Love it.

  2. Bhanu, hello! Hi. Thank you. Text-texts are fine. But kindness, thank you.

    & for your gorgeous & loving letters (blog) on the somatics symposium. Olympia by way of New York, New York by way of Detroit, Detroit by way of the ether... so, Michigan. I miss my family. Who include so many at the symposium too. The skeleton is pink! Yes! Your image reminds me that bones are both inside and outside the body and the bones that cut through this porous border, nails, they are abjected by us. Mine, pink lately, frayed and striated. Like the future history of the Detroit I write thru, they need nourishment.

    Since the inside is also out. Then if the skeleton is pink, grammar is the skeleton. In me but not mine, like breath. I am in Detroit in meditation last night, so not here or there, doing Conrad's somatic, then late in the morn as this body--nothing--writes this above, doing Rob's somatic. In Michigan. The Amtrak station, now abandoned, is where dogs come at night. It is a monument. But alive too. I wonder if you saw it. Grief is a tunnel for trains, which can be empty, but also full. The organ Rob gave me was my mouth and vocal chords, and the hyoid bone, the motors of syntax and grammar, at least in speech and song, at least these. Dogs went inside and pulled out memories and read my bones (Achilles). I am more complicit every day to what has happened to us. The war-torn limb was from Detroit, a war-torn place too that I can't see, that is defined in sight by its absence as one flies overhead. For many of us, especially for us deviants. And a lover. And a person I never met. Your pink bones you write of sear like your pure tone you mention, the prosody is healing (to use Eleni S's term). They are solid and yet move languidly and bend, watery and on fire, calcified and kinetic, contiguous and continuous. And so grammar as a skeleton is pink then, shapes names that it can otherwise resist, the skeleton for the language muscles (brain ontop of the head, tongue outside the lips, conversation inside the lungs)--.

    As you mention, grammar being the space for the body: does marrow speak? I wonder in what ways your skeleton is pink.

    Bhanu. I will send something to you by mail. So a small cry in this box for comments for now: I have been contemplating grief this year, inhabiting it, but meditating on the grief of others especially this week: so many of my friends and people I do not know are grieving, and celebrating, as I think too of your beautiful recollections and thoughts of Akilah Oliver. Losing--and also gaining somehow--someone very close to me this year, I wish you for you what others have wished for me: a continued space for your grief and love and joy. In Solidarity, Bhanu,


  3. David Wolach: WOW. Thank you. I place something here for you. A little smear of silver cells. For an organism. A prediction. For you. Can you feel that slight wetness when you open and close your palm? Or walking outside. The rain. I wish it was raining as I was writing these words to you, but it is Monday. And I am writing these words from Colorado, which is high desert and mountains all the way through. Nevertheless, I look forward to meeting you one day, on the verge of something: where, it is clear, you belong. My address is: Bhanu Kapil, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder CO 80302. Marrow speaks. I would like to introduce you to Sarah Roder. I return your cry. In Michigan, it was a person I had not met before, who danced on the arm of Neil Marcus's wheelchair one day, Stefanie Cohen: who said: "The skeleton is pink." We traced the bones. As we did this, she said those words. Sending you bone-joy too, David. And: I look forward to going beneath the water with you in another place. Yours: BK

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Sarah Roder and your bone-joy. Sarah Roder I find from your blog and online is an amazing human: all this bodywork and art and and. And that moment of tracing bones, thank you... going back today on your blog to find Sarah Roder I also read your quoting (if I remember correctly) Travis Nichols and the idea, which was the impetus of my starting a blog when moving way out here, of the lateral blog--writing to people, friends, strangers, lovers, elliptically and across virtual enclosures, which open those enclosures and, it seems to me, has potential to de-prioritize a kind of naming, i.e., maybe promotes a kind of communal notion of the self and of the name as the sounds one makes to call that self, and so less myopic, perhaps more uplifting notions of self, name, community -- insofar as community can ever exist outside its representations... online. But at worst it speaks to the idea of pulling fragmented evidence of lives lived together--after flying apart in the initial moments of explosion, as with these pieces in different internet crannies discussing or writing thru the symposium... And I read in the same breath (or same im-pulse) that you will hiatus from the blog. Despite our enjoyments reading it, kudos. I've been doing similar lately but like my smoking, I can only muster a cessation yet, using this space really only to announce events and to communicate half-thoughts as form of atopic correspondence these days... but I'm tired of being online, and this is part of that. Were I not afraid of the telephone I'd call people more. Were I not in this small town I'd see people more. Alas... thank you, last, for the invitation to feel the rain. Since as I read your note it was raining here in this very rainy place and so went out instead of taking it for granted as I usually do... now I keep opening and closing my palm. Well.
    Till the water. good night,
    and safe travels, d