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   h u e    a n d    c r y

--- S T U A R T   L I S H A N

"Sizzling."  "Brass."  "Sizzling brass."  What you
heard last night at the club.  "With a club,
an East Timorese man hits one of his
countrymen against the side of his face."
"Face it, whose side are you on, or against?"
		i.e.,	how does one have
			the means to say what
			one means to say

and not just that

what lies in the feel of words what gestures what colors for example tone through

the shiny notes of "ah" "ch" and "oo" as they rise above goldenrod to germinate

pollinate meaning so that those who can resonate back listen to what you say

replying to say bless you bless you

II but still...."

"New Mexican butte, still, table flat, as day succumbs and a young jeune fille of an in- evitable, shivering evening fills the mesas"

"The mesa, si, me saw, Senior Gringo, though I grow in grin weeping that I see Another scene for eyes you much rich buy."

words as social entities, as- sociate wit- h one another, hone meanings with their fellows, bump, rub against each other like boxers sparring in ferocious intimacy, their tones, bones grappling in a ring... *

(And sometimes the same words and letters mix up, down, meaning to mean in different ways:

Allen: In other words, we would never have a thought in the first place without the words or letters we have, as well. Nella: Huh? Allen: I.e., It is only the way we expect words, reliable as a light switch, to go when we use these words, expectations based on nothing but "true" experiences we've had before, which determines what (if?) we mean to say in a sentence (one like, "The words' a sword, you wet-eared, buttered ass!"), say. A term, "frames of references," can serve our purposes to get across what we mean by word's circumscribed meanings "of" (or is it "to"?) intentions. Nella: But our words "other" in you, as well, without a "what" of intention. Like, is it only a [the?] word's way, reliable as light, to go get the experiences we've had? I.e., before the words, have we nothing to expect, to mean? When we use words to assay, what is it which determines? Allen: Huh? Nella: True, we serve a term circumscribed by a word's meaning[s], but if we switch words or letters in a sentence ("we teared"/"wet eared," sword"/"words," say), can these expectations, based on one's "frames of references," cross purposes or mean a thought[s] we never would have in the first place?)


Their story, our story, a word, Yahweh, say. How its goes through/about/in/with/to us, [t][b]urning each of our "my's" into an "our," an "us" without reference. Has that been planned before we uttered the world of that word?

III And hard bellied ab- stractions given tractions by words, concrete is- lands of objects repressed- scented, wordy representations sentenced to sentences, mingle with memememememory, habits of usage, and contexts, deterred, mined by cultural praxis and all like that: I.e., She-it! And be yond words, place and shape deter- mines meaning, too, so that different sun- and subsets of nuances become relative (new aunts, say) ac- cording to where the rope of syntax is looped, strewn about, like, for example; "At bat, he drove me bats the way he fidgeted on the mound, like a bat swooping, moving every which way"; or "which witch did you eat a sandwich with in the sand at Playa del Rey?"; or "for ample ex-words ('sword,' for example) lunged at us, and punctured each of our longed, lunged breath, until death."

IV "I was a young tuft of stamen." "I yearned and longed to yearn." "I struggled into womanhood." "The dogs bark, as if tied up with bent up misery." "There were fibroids in my uterus." "The woods dark, trying out their pent up mystery." "The contour of a bee in your heart." "Fibroids in the universe. A word's sculpted shape." "The aroma of your eyes, your gaze, your loveliness."

Nella: "I've lots to tell you," Allen: "Let me just screw this into place, O.K.?" Nella: "And if we could only cuddle now, facing each other, on either side of the bed, I would."

© crossconnect 1995-2001 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |