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58 the minnesota review Barrett Watten from "Frame" I A chain link fence around a vacant lot filled with trash. As if a ______ were inside them . . . A beam of sunlight refracted by a prism makes a display. Until language is only relation—and we are being spoken in a dream. II Then she enters the room and coats fuse in a mass of neutral gray. Ill Man in a tuxedo holds onto his erect penis (seen through an open door). Index of redundancy of our progress that it occurs in time. Arrives as a kind of challenge or shock. As if the point of departure were a key . . . Operating with major credit cards within territorial limits of the United States. IV Multicolored piles of gravel on black asphalt behind rows of aluminum sheds. We put frames around anything we wish. In one version, wild dogs go for each other's throats (they assume the optimal to exist). 59 Unoccupied territory between opposing sides. Matter of interest unfolds as a story. Conflicts put on the table for debate. The edge beckons . . . but there's no escape. We build shopping plazas and tract homes in excess of need. The center from which auxiliary parts are subordinated is replaced. Behind me is a dramatic persona. How to write: go to your country and strive. VI Under a cloudy sky, a hearse leads a column of mourners to an open grave. Then they are forced into mass transit and onward to their fates. VII Many small circumferences spread out on the pavement and disappear. "Of this story will survive only a trace." Then we hired a competitor to get rid of toxic waste. VIII I make a correction by running testimony through the machine again. Each carries the weight of darkness that is given in customary use. 60 the minnesota review Sobs swept at intervals through her shaking frame. (Then they singled him out with a curse.) IX Under the widest possible sky, a bridge upheld by concrete. I reconsider best how to state my claim. We admire perfection disinterestedly, with the assurance of passing time. In a large and dimensionless economy, a window that opens only once. A blind woman with her back against a mirror. A dream of money he can never become. X You are absolutely master as long as any test of adequacy is postponed. Language withholds communication from those who speak it unmanned. As if the need for a series of equivalent signs were a statement. "A no-hit game in baseball." A pure dream of total resistance the body renews every day. In the irony of an abstract speech quoted in his meditation on error. But this is the language everyone needs to survive. XI Monks awake from ashes to find their meal has turned to sleep. 61 We position ourselves against an opponent and redefine. Utopia works ... no need to resist. "Have you had difficulty submitting your claim?" "We have our procedures," they say, "if nothing else is the same." XII An empty museum with blank pictures, panels, walls, ceilings, and floor. All traffic exists right to the terminal. Cranes poised in mid-air on an off day. Christ carries the cross as an interior frame. (Then I return to the page.) Note "Frame" was previously published in Everyday Life, special issue on "The Unspeakable," edited by George Tysh and Chris Tysh (Detroit, 1988). ...


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