poetry >>  cover >>    
spacer

James Belflower

Finalist
MadHat Press
2011 Wild and Wyrd Poetry Chapbook Contest

 

excerpts from
The Posture of Contour
A Public Primer

 

I was learning to shave with a straight razor when I realized.

It’s touching…

Surprise, The blade needs burrs to slit smoothly.

 

Though Luhmann suggests that language slits the world upon its introduction through the mouth, the straight razor is a lousy metaphor for this and its impress on material. Its only system of touch is poised between a wound and an absence.

To think of wounds as speaking is to consider them intimate with death. Not that I disagree, but that in beginning with death, and its luscious temptation, is to begin at absence. Yet it does appear that in speech and writing there is exposure of some sort. An introduction, wouldn’t you say? At the round tip there is a tangy memory being opened. As Blaser would say, “The blood is light, zero enacts it.”

Or would you say: “There is more nuance if those burrs nip properly…”

Or “Rather the iconic razor slitting across the surrealist eye…”

Or “Anne this is Mike, he runs an online T-Shirt shop that is doing very well.”

 

James Belflower, Fig II
Fig. II

But I think shaving it is good, and when done properly fails to open most of the customary veins.

Perhaps this is hair, or observation. If you’re like me I always think of the audience as the spectator. However, for this work, I thought of myself, the performer as the observer. I was watching you, each one of you, sometimes through café windows, sometimes passing on the street, sometimes in your bedrooms, sometimes when you slept, sometimes when you went to readings, or were taking a shower, sometimes when there were many, or eating, or poop’n…

And we watched you, because we are exposed, and those burrs are no longer stable but emancipation, an unnoticed stare at any instant whatever. Not that this suggests vulnerability, though that may emanate, but that we refuse to spot.

Some things are only possible when watching…

Purely open of the whole…

As mindsticker…

 

I’m tempted to consider the milk that glops from that eye as globe,

the fluid of a mental ecology

oral capitalism is quite a temptation

moon pull

 

 

 

And to consider it further, simply asking “that is a division of that sight of that razor, what that eye of that image of that film that occurs.”

Now a part of this body is egg-smooth from the impress of sharing…

opening the contours of face, or legs, or any part, even those…

…ooooooooooooooo…

To Virtuoso: continue “shhh” sound for 5 seconds using the common gesture, slowly becoming quieter. Speak final lines of this page quietly.

…shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

To Virtuoso: Make “ooo” sound as if you are mocking another student in your 5th grade class who has just been reprimanded for saying something about shaving unmentionables.

we are now mulling…

Cool Hand Luke sucked down so many eggs in an hour that his belly became distinguishable. Everyone cheered.

              certain publics are near impossible to capitalize…

 

I’m passing around a Montgomery Wards movie camera from somewhere in the 60’s or 70’s…

To Virtuoso: Pass around a Montgomery Wards film camera from the 60’-70’s through the audience. It should have a faux wood grain grip. If you do not have one you can use a picture.

I don’t know what year it’s from precisely, or the best way to use it, but I like it. There is a weight to it that implies a size it is not...

It is not so much that there is an irreducible difference between this camera and the mathematical formulas I am claiming to speak about, but that this difference is irresistible.

If we thought for enough time, with enough force, could we imagine to ourselves that this camera is these formulas. Perhaps more importantly, could we resist its difference, its weight, its single vinyl grip and faux wood-grain. It seems irresistible. It seems that there is an incredible attraction assembled as this camera, a lure to not only touch our mathematical formulas but at the same time to touch them. The more you film the heavier the camera becomes. To imagine to others, to exhibit a weight, a vision, a ghost no longer in a shell…

…not so much an issue of superimposing two different objects, but rather the expansive privacy of the intermediate act…

              The agora of film

and orality…

 

 

 

James Belflower is the author of Commuter (Instance Press), Bird Leaves the Cornice, winner of the 2011 Spring Gun Press Chapbook Prize, and And Also a Fountain, (NeOpepper Press). His work appears, or is forthcoming in: New American Writing, 1913, Jacket, EOAGH, Denver Quarterly, Apostrophe Cast, LIT, First Intensity, Konundrum Engine and O&S, among others. He co-curates the Yes! Reading Series in Albany NY, and is pursuing a PhD in poetics at Suny Albany. Contact author.

to top

spacer