Homeless
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Callaloo 30.2 (2007) 460-470

Cartography I

cultivation at sea
is a devouring
: with each movement

of the schooner
a piece of fruit is eaten away
to intuit

the business that directs
that field
it must tilled

from the marrow
to the surface—
the rough draft of each crash

reveals so much &
so little about the hell
submerged

the sonar-word
brings to the surface
property, which

on a body-day,
crossed its own
meridian

: for that
oblivion and thirst
as signs

       or names
configured in
another syntax [End Page 460]

Morning

: before the barbed hook
announces the turtle, we react
to the demands of the ship

one can still hear
the cracking of the mother-tree, falling
to the axes

—we were blind with cold
and frightened
by aggression from gods

exploding from mud

in the distance, however, the ship was coming
not the fungi
and the warehouse of insects

we attacked
knowing that the tree
would give back
our iron
of hindering the hunt

the spiked trunk dragged
meditations of flora
splinters
that unbalance the prow

and then the war to pull
the barbed hook
bring the men onto the beach
and not die on the turtle
we killed

—we were blind, says
the helmsman
we were of the earth that day

now the sea
hardened our livers [End Page 461]

Collision

the keen interest shows signs of an island
where human will
reaches port only for separation

: the machine
dismembers the high spirits
what we carved
on the tree
abdicated its success

(weren't we captured
for money by spies?)
but a certain language
redeemed us

the ship that imposed itself
on the swaying orchid
before losing heart

does not know
if the sea
and the continent die within it

      : the machine
does not differentiate mutilations
it whips the turtle and the femur
of the person who kidnapped it

the silent whirlpool of the factory
also the different trades
      & profits
      the rules
      & commodities
      the contracts
      & words

the machine does not get stuck in the port
or accept the convention
of letters

a territory in and of itself
it no longer devours
scalps [End Page 462]

      : the machine
in its new politics, administers

Ship

: there are several machines

like their names
alliances
& calculations
: the one that introduces itself now
is an inside out uterus

a fetus exchanged
for tobacco and liquor
someone else's

meal at the market

there is someone destined for the plantation
someone excited
by the thought of escaping

in the machine's hold
someone vegetates
contrary to what once was

the machine itself
reveals so little of itself

—through what premiums does it sail,
is its journey
worth the pain?

the more it's washed
the greater the cost
it generates in profits

       : the machine
expands
with beatings and colic [End Page 463]

at every angle
a zero
drying up the shores

       a piercing
that accuses ideas

the machine illustrates itself
with amphibians
but does not explain
its divergences

      (womb
      of death,
      country
      of many
      tongues)

exile is a leftover sum
in language
what remains from the sea
is mixed with saliva

on deck everything
communicates
a partial landing

      (once
      en route
      reaching port
      is the cost of the passage)

those who were
on the machine bring it
in pieces of puzzles

: there are many of them

and on the page they split
migration
      from syntax [End Page 464]

Linguae

the world seems like another figure
if we accept
the word without adversary

      but what if
the lives that are lived launch
the missile
of questions?

do we fit
in the language
to which the country of humus
never conforms?

that language
traveling through the ankles
of what
we speak?

: eu memo é cariocanga
(i circle
the nameless
body)

: eu memo é capicovite
(glasses are shining
      i know
      nothing
      catch
      nothing)

: eu memo é candandumba serena
(but it is silence
offered up
the ring)

la pierre de notre
origine [End Page 465]

s'aniquile
mais

je suis un autre
avec
ma parfaite
hallucination

to...


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