Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tuesday poem #281 : MC Hyland : Thank You for Typing

Who said in this room
a printer is a person, not
a machine. Typographic
deixis: a finger points.
While your eyes watched
the screen what happened
behind the wall. What
behind the camera.
A lover’s smile, perhaps.
Some police barriers
remain, certain laws
and possibilities of the breath.                              
I place my hand upon
the object bearing
my body into day.

In history the eye contains
a world in miniature
or attaches each item
through sensate chords.
As the technology
[typewriter] might require
the technology [wife],
the breathing of the man
who writes as well as his
listenings. Meanwhile                                       
the screen manufactured
new desires, each trailing
temporalities and a set of
erotic positions. Such heaving
at the seam of capital.
As the skyline narrates
bedrock, night places
each worker gently
in a velvet-lined box.

I turned to poetry as
a technology of vision
and was in this way
deceived. Wanting to see
where this light came
& wanting to see it
extinguished. In The Battle
of Algiers, I imagine I see
my grandmother in
a Pied-Noir café.
The café resembles
her preferred wedding
photo: gray background,
good light. Who stepped
from the crowd to gain
some human face. Who
threw the first grenade.
Come smoothly from the
typist’s hand to pierce
each delicate organ.

 All my Muse’s poetry
has been harmless: / American
and diplomatic: a learned
helplessness. In a flash                                      
a summer dress
blinds its wearer and
three men nearby. We
call this beauty. A street
or maybe a garden
to direct the eye from
each abjection. Held in
the onscreen glance,
warmth spreads through
the viewing body; language
craves and expels. How
the mechanical is sexual
or the other way around:
lips pout and drop, or
maybe this is a piston
pumping. What pulled away
from the strings
we called necessity.

Fossilized acts of some
dead mouth arriving
through every orifice.
Each night the eye climbs
to impossible heights to
behold these golden
globes of lamplight:
Every girl who reads
is already a lost girl                                            
in the market’s vast
periphery. We nodded off
as the plot unlaced,
a little moisture rising
to join the room’s
atmospheric dim. And thus
mine eye is made the gate                         
& each complacency
passes through making
no kind of speech.

Or rather, lying down
into language, I find
willpower and the ability
to concentrate are not
[our] strong points. Each            
body in the snow-hushed                                
city a complex of labor
& dust. Again your
face deserts into
some proximate
touch; ô toi que j’eusse
aimée in the chanting                                       
crowd. Ô toi in the
message boards, where
many deskilled hands
practice set repertoires
of intimate maneuvers.
I lift each one gently
into a cave of breath.

This motion a marker
of both separation &
proximity, as in: we longed
to be some radiant bridge
slung between texts. As you
place your cheek against
the cool window, leaving
a smudge of moisturizer
on the glass. Just so we
dwelled in the site, These
lines, this page—perhaps/
A blank to other men. To                                   
materialize the sounds
of production: here
typewriter keys jam
while the baby sleeps
in the next room. I place
your bedrest inside
the poem, another body’s
economic & contingent
chemistries. Before sleep
I tidy away the life
of the mind, placing
these papers in a
neat white stack.

MC Hyland is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a poetry micropress, as well as the author of several poetry chapbooks (most recently THE END PART ONE, Magic Helicopter Press 2017) and the poetry collections Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press 2010) and THE END (Sidebrow 2019). She is currently finishing a PhD in English Literature at New York University, and holds MFAs in Poetry and Book Arts from the University of Alabama. From her research, she produces scholarly and poetic texts, artists’ books, and public art projects.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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