In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Intervention 1, and: Intervention 2
  • Alicia Salvadeo (bio)

Intervention 1

Today in history Buffy Summers blinks atop a fire tower and meaning quivers, crystallizes

a desert’s forewarning: Death is your gift. How the field is set for premise-as-intervention and vice

versa. Fifteen years tally lovers and almosts and hell portals until the future arrives

and this moment fans memorialize: On the one hand, the heroine commits her

final selfless act, leaping saves a thankless California spring night; and this, to the witness of no one

save a small few, save me, satisfies the archetypal tenet that the girl who triumphs must utterly negate herself;

and yet another reading might honor a scenario in which the heroine permits herself

the selfishness of actually saving herself: the negation of everything else. The hardest thing

in this worldis to live in it. Head by head the purple rhododendrons explode [End Page 110]

in the yard. Without warning however expected. I pluck corollas limp off tongues extending from ovary to

distal stigma. A single appendage encloses it all as a form that performs a survival resembling

failure. The petals stick to my fingers. I clip back each to the signs of budding offshoots. I try to promote

upward movement. Every leaf has a hole or half moon missing where a cutter bee was reminded of

the labor of her nest. The labor of my nest sometimes tricks me into looking past everything

is falling apart. I am told it’s a gift or a dream. Harold Bissonette arrives at his black & white plot, determined to see

orange groves where they could not possibly grow. It’s supposed to be funny: Privilege permits the hypothesis

that one could feel at home and profit from structures certain to collapse, resigned to its magic from the inside: [End Page 111]

One must preserve appearances as best one can. You’ll be crazy for the rest of your life

he teased & this is why I think, sipping tea and clutching our overcoats in the basement of the Big Idea,

we joke about joking about suicide. This, too, a gift: finding other bodies, shrouded in shared comic grief

and subverting the stony seriousness of surviving, in an anarchist bookstore on an avenue called Liberty,

its artery carving through what some resign to name the “most liveable city”—but the fact of one’s living body does not

substantiate liveable, not when there is no room within the parameters of liveable to recognize struggle.

The true gift we give to each other is that within the parameters of struggle, there are different

ways of being able to move: yes [End Page 112] yes yes. Last night it was not

Stephie who took Stephie’s life but a circus-trained lion, & together they fell

in a ball of animal over a waterfall’s edge, surrounded by bleachers and bursting jungle greenery. Amidst the horror

of the living her spirit floated back briefly to the imaginary center of a ring to urge those in the audience

looking on to feel sorry for the lion emerging sodden and alive—living? able to live?—from the pool below.

Is this what was meant: a sigh of heart

& mind & spirit, compassion beyond our capability, what the portal

torn into the universe resembled: a nest more like a rabbit hole of light one leaps into, hoping for nothing

but to reach [End Page 113] a gentler darkness beneath it, made possible only by leaving the body behind:

at once a gift: “temporalities that move backward and sideways rather

than just forward” [End Page 114]

Intervention 2

Where “forward” means state-sanctioned future. How it took Odysseus so long to return home,

a master of charades. Gossip comes easy, especially when one’s own pain quietly lives at the center.

I register little during the drive east on the interstate. Fields and road sign philosophies blur into imagined

panoramas of world’s-end fire. Except the day is sunny gorgeous, an eleventh commandment

in sneaky italics along the side of the truck in the right lane: Be a warrior family/Be an American. I forget

how to  /Check all that apply: yard sign...


Additional Information

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pp. 110-117
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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