as if / more like

this piece was written out in long lines on pieces of paper. i created a loop that i could carry around, a paper tape that wound from one spool to another, the words disappearing as i wrote. i had two constraints: the first being that each time i began to write, i begin with the joining phrase “as if”, or “more like,” the second being that i could not write about, but intstead write in gestural strokes, as if circling inward, more like approaching.

(from the archive, 2012)

as if slices in the wood left after the onion skins are gone
as if below the surface of sound
as if a plaster cast of a torso and cut into the cavern: a book
as if gingerly
as if a hand resting to the small of your back
as if a closed cavern mouth and letting the words collect there
as if we were all just emerging from the ground
as if map as autobiography
as if someone else as a map of your torso
as if a book could be balanced between the shoulder blades the shaking at the core that means that something is off, how the smell of unspeakable yous are some what call memory
as if you could be anywhere
as if anywhere your faces weren’t melting from the bone somewhere
as if it wasn’t enough to just take because the voices would not stop and you wanted them to
as if had not come awed and cracking when open
as if strings, tapes, webs,
as if thousands missing
as if a flight, leaving some of yourself in everyone you meet there must be thousands left inside you
as if settled somewhere closer to the spine, yellow, drained,
as if slightly parted,
as if thoughts, a thing we all moved on from,
as though not yet left the soil
as if charred exoskeletons: the frames of cars in hollow forests
as if clearing or clotted lines where you have walked you are learning to trust your hands
as if laughter or the shrieks of children who live only in the wind
as if conveyed or strung up by the talons and shrieking in protest to the closening death
as if a head in the hands and the weight of it
as if eight pounds twelve ounces your tether not yet clipped
as if hope for the blue translucency of skin
as if plotting courses on the highways of skeleton leaves, pointing at veins
as if the blue handed highways of your grandmother,
as if pointing at
as if squinteyed and spinning and saying there
as if we could, como si esta complicado, como si soy yo, solo yo
as if you were not yourself comes up from the creek bed to collect your hands and feet they are swarming, snakes, underneath the blue-shuttered playhouse,
as if a sign you would not play there anymore,
as if low lit hallways as if dim mornings
as if footsteps recede as if never there in the first place
as if your day is almost over, your day is almost over,
as if you are almost home
as if day is a word for work and home, well, home
as if a hard mass in the throat where
as if the softness behind the ear at the hip’s smile lines, the buttercup chin,
as if now stories just pour out of you
as if up to your knees in them makes walking around difficult like waking up is difficult
as if the bleary eyed world would not accept you

more like something kept in the basement or kept in the lower back
more like hands and how they form letters through memory and the movements of muscles
more like imagining
more like when you said i love you all
more like saying i have imagined your disembowelment many times
more like the sad fact of leaving
more like the weight of your whole body suddenly upon or
more like sleeping more like a tangle of your own two legs
more like a body seen bony through the sheet,
more like wading, the long dew drenched grasses
more like up to the knees in wind
more like sky that crawls across the skin raising gooseflesh
more like a real hand or like delight
more like your own real hand suddenly unrecognizable as
more like over there
more like the vast stretching out before you
more like the more parts touching other parts touching other parts
more like you before voices
more like submersion
more like yours or your voice from the elevator the smell of the generation next to die
more like the in breath as you close
more like the planned for thing more like with your back pressed against knowing
more like the palm of a girl
more like a girl or just below the surface of the skin
more like woe or the roaring of feet pushing the city
more like everything left in a desk drawer
more like these overworn gestures wringing out
more like the pasts within you, we stumble on the edges of these unfamiliar days


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