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Area Sneaks: Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace

from Party in My Body


Funny that I couldn’t have expected to be here. All these modern urban things! Characterizing one’s own life can leave little time for anything else. What should we do with feelings of vastness in little windowless rooms? Does the slow accumulation of unpaid accounts lead to people becoming loose change? Divide yourself successfully? A party of specific advantages exposes itself to the language of fairness. Sounded against the finger or tongue, poetry also must never win. Get up, sit down, get up, sit down. The striking contradiction of hands.

*

Ghosts leer in the most ridiculous corners, official standard compartments. To have a fate so that something’s to blame. We’ve gathered here to stumble efficiently. The mistakes of otherwise ordinary people raise unknown lives to the status of myth. The sun goes down while we walk in the park; who carved these hidden gravestones? Who spread this labored assembly line aura? Perhaps this thumping in my chest tells me I love you more than absence. The impersonality of portraits! Once again the pedantic day when workers learn how to be shelved.

*

Why should silence have a shape? Stuck inside the terms, I’ve pulled back slowly, fearing betrayal on the face of nothing. Listen to the atomic hum. Reject what doesn’t translate? There are days when we walk together, but so many less than there might be. If I forget that a touch can scare, will I forget the reason it thrills? Dredging up childhood feelings! How much can be said about goodbye? The deep dark of this hillside and the things that get thrown in the water. No one comes to the complex, no one casts the stone.

*

I need more cash for my mistakes. What street do you care about most? A voting booth in a hidden alley. These people’s painted faces make them seem more realistic. These antennas and windows sit so still in the rain. What connection has not been refused in the name of greater efficiency? We could be more together alone. Men hitting men in organized sports! What an excellent wall they’ve built around the quarantined zone. Is it things that I remember, or former reflections on them?

*

Among cries for change, I walk again to the local store. At the crossroads, a bargain is struck on a rock. Which way does the weaponry turn? Who could pay an invisible debt or see a fall in the dark? The trick is trying to estimate. Grab an easily destructible dynamo and imitate illusion. Old gods never hear. Haphazard interconnected mechanics! The precision of a song turns cryptic in a basement, and skin is also made elusive. We might say how faces are lost but who can claim to be sure?

*

How much is explained by opposable thumbs? Grass, trees, buildings, but not a sign of time. If you can’t be there, that gives us a chance to talk more about you. The line as the musical phrase etc. Next year I’ll try to be more flattering. Cut off from tenuous acceptance, a worker stares at a black iron statue. Do restless nomads offer hope to those who hate being stuck at home? The mystery of seeing people walk by every day of my life! Why another assertion of absence? Why does a narrowed stare feel cold?

*

Sometimes people go away, come back again in pieces. Theft and mutilation: the most common words at the corner store. Squeeze any unacceptable doubles back into bottles that never will hold them. To be unknown in an open air plaza! Can we escape didactic fleecing? Here on the Gorgon’s peninsula, many unexpected thrills. A little surprise and loss, money in a shoe. Perhaps I’ll succeed in leaving early. In order to match prepared statistics, throw yourself away. Impersonate a floating lack that enters a conversation.

*

Lights in these apartments suggest what no one knows about anyone. Who would want to gain the air, hold back against a wounded hand? There’s no safety in numbers. Let a walk unfold, devoted to a bend. Unavoidable reluctance! I went her way and she went mine. Portions of these videotapes were edited for proper neglect. Captions rearrange the picture. Drink unruly ecstasy, legs against the undertow. Nothing means what you think it means or else there’d be nothing at all.

*

Not given. These buildings house the world’s business. The spark of our fingers strikes on a wall. For the aggressive, industrious engineer, cycles can be predicted. If you ask the listed dermatologists to recommend shampoo, does anything happen to the life of the mind? Whose back is turned to some small progress? Drifting between impertinent channels, perhaps one hears forgotten sounds dwindle in the night. How long has it been? The justice of false arrest! This little low budget horror satire really raises goosebumps.

*

Against the glare of afternoon, people walk lost to the air. Isolation webbed against bricks, a young woman smokes a cigarette, vanishes into her own hunched shoulders. How could anything be internal? Interruptions mean I can start again. A noisy group of competing models floated through the room. Making virtues of limitations! The person who could most use help has already not shown up. It’s hard to find my way around a restless search for fantasy. All these people and absences jostled together in one small room. Any moment now, something important won’t get said.

*

Intellectual debates often directly relate to funding. These are the characters and this is what happened. Grand cliched heroic passions huddled at the foot of daily chores. Comedy, history, starvation, gluttony. Arrange a more self-critical showcase? All this restless motion! Sudden flutter against the rib cage, nerves for every discernable reason. We speak the same language but don’t know where to begin. What is it now, a sneak attack? Choose your own slow burning fuse.

*

Brief snaps of conversation reach me under the rush of jets which might be headed anywhere. Children love the sound of words and so do a few adults. Trying to slip away from purpose, I still got everywhere on time. Poetry happens often here; you just need to know where to look. Speaking a shared institutional language but not hearing much of what anyone says. Sitting outside in the sun, my body has different interests than the arrangements I made beforehand. Varieties of take out food! Conscious contradictory intentions bring me into your aura today. Who looks at the film that goes in those cameras? Confess now, and receive updated streamlined results.

*

From the library beside the highway, I can see Bagel Bakery clearly, only the sign is old and the place sells seafood. Five close friends, one murder. I don’t want to be the fly in the ointment, but I don’t want to be the ointment either. Never mind, there are always other ways to get lost. Traffic is heavy where Middlebrook Road crosses Route 128. If poetry provided escape from the practical, would I keep noting the color of bricks? Passion might lead to true love or pure terror, the latest number of Sweet Valley High. The dreams of the lost to become CEOs! Betty began to suspect Theresa wasn’t happy being cashier. Lacerations are plenty available; all you’ve got to do is ask.

*

A world of beautiful hair! Transparent to everyone, opaque to myself. Out on the town, seeking psychic protection, I stop holding back and touch a stop sign. Drugs and a rush of youth can make the night open out, and faces could any moment come close. Have you ever whistled while being abandoned? What will happen next? Talk can bring people beside us and talk can push them away. Surprised again by loathing, or how a body aches for bodies. Can’t you tell I’m king of the universe? Can’t you see I’m ruined by glory?