Marije Bouduin

 

A film in which a character evokes Plato and the theory of the hermaphrodites:
Turns out everyone knows the story of the two halves trying to join themselves back together again.

In tiny afternoons your shadow looms and catches my attention. It distracts me from reading. It prevents me from reading. It reminds me of Plato and the theory of the Hermaphrodites.

I dwell on the bodies of the two halves.
I spend an entire afternoon drawing them by description.

I dwell on the body of the Other half.

The way your hips move impulses an orchestra to form.
I hide my head in your hands but refuse to give in another inch onto your skin. There were times I begged for you in empty bedrooms until your name was written along my jawline. Some men admire with great sadness the borders of my skin. I admire with great sadness that it’s mine alone.

Listen, I’m not asking much. I’m asking to reframe me because I think your knuckles bruised and shaven. I’m asking for two digits. I’m asking for the corners of my mouth back. I’m asking because sometime around your birthday you stopped messaging and I have no use for Skype any more now.

You’re costing Microsoft a great deal.
It was a pleasure doing business with you.

—italicized text from A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes

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You made me tie up my hair as to alter my silhouette. There are things that you desire more. Isn’t it over yet? No. There’s a spot where I felt something. I’m scraping the gum off my teeth now. I whisper your name but you don’t answer. You’ve finally fallen asleep. I’ll spare the notion of planned obsolescence. It’s what a market wants.
Let’s play a game of poem string by string.

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I asked him about the poem with the hands and he said, “I like hands.” You’re always looking, don’t forego the artwork for the sole purpose of judging its sublimity. If you’re always searching, how will you ever allow it to surprise? Should it? Reprieve or refuge? I don’t know, I never thought of it in those terms. Sometimes we should allow a poem to just be a poem. We don’t have to draw the lines around seven corners to derive meaning, there’s no compulsion there. We apply stress to the structure and see what follows. This is how geological processes are simplified, and I confess I have yet to find profundity in ice cores. Can a million layers of snow be sublime? No, the presence of realism prohibits that, but you can note it down as an approximation.

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it’s always already spring
I can show you a symbiosis in red
I’m asking you to tear down the wall to expand the room first

ad absurdum, I’m an animal
I confused your shadow for a sign
when I dream I have your fingers in my mouth

this is a collective economy of variables and adverbs
and that is me trying to describe a number

I’ll draw you a blueprint of a seaside
my words don’t account for how it works
I’m abstracting here
in truth I think of you in verbs

Marije Bouduin is a Belgian native living in Germany with her daughter. Her work has not been previously published. She believes in Jacques Derrida and the filmography of Andy Warhol.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.