Based upon Lyn Hejinian’s “A pause, a rose, something on paper” in My Life

A curried dream, like the moment of opening a jar that has been sitting in the refrigerator too long—the taste remains in the space behind my eyeballs. Over there, by the lampshade, that is where the feathers like to collect. The clock stops when time’s up. In most circumstances, the tendency to overcompensate comes with the compulsion to bite my finger-flesh. The piece of paper served as my mind’s tissue. The guitar remained clothed in the corner of the basement where the flood water pools. I speak of blindness, the inward turn of one’s eyesight. Thus, freedom, wearing an expensive dress-suit. The sound of the cat’s tail brushing the wood floor, she said, was too slight. The magazine cover needs to be acid-treated. When she writes a letter, she pays no attention to time differences. A drop of blood on the tissue paper now and then. A miniature charm-bracelet is jingling, constantly. If only you could hear, or even, taste the way the silver bell rings in my tongue. I was in love with my cousin with my grandmother’s chin, or with the idea that I might be normal, and I was afraid of my cousin with the curly red hair who was also my chin-cousin’s cousin and who glared at anyone who came near. Dollhouse furniture. At the first sign of indigestion, take an antacid. Frequently, as it were. There is a bag of marbles attached to every thought and that bag is slowly breaking. The sun hides, like in the game, but this time, no one seeks. Stir, she instructed. Her eyes pricking me like a nurse’s blood test and now I sit emptied and pale, nauseous and uncomfortable. Don’t worry, you can climb into the well for water. One day, the spring erupted, and the fields sank under the weight of sentences the size of hailstones. In April when the sun re-emerges, the clouds start raining syllables instead of acid. When the holidays arrive, we remember the days of ocean-travel. Sleep slammed the door shut, like the mailman when he’s in a hurry. Sticky fingers on sticky keyboards. A pinch of pepper to having taste. Every decade, we try to capture the sound of feet stomping dry leaves, to catch the last sand of grain before it drops and keep it in a locket around our neck. But how do we know that one day our fingernails won’t stop growing. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” says Degas, but he doesn’t consider that there may be no others. Pain is loyal. Maybe later, when one has no memory of self, the difference between flesh and silk will become meaningless. Locate a working vacuum and hand it to me. That we eat makes repetition necessary. The pen’s ink evaporated into the ozone layer. I was counting the wrinkles on my knuckle, preparing for my interview. As they lay, they feel themselves sink into the mattress, press gravity into the sheets in the shape of bones. Space is boundless and yet growing. I think about a miniature box within a giant box. A “stream of consciousness” with some navigation. Now yesterday. I talk about milliseconds only because I wear a stopwatch. The furniture holds the space for you until you return, like a bookmark in a doll house, and we are dolls made of people-colored cloth, which is what I had in mind when I wrote, “the room held me in place.”