Toward Lethargy: A Solo for One Voice
The frontier opens onto an eye. This means there will be danger
mixed with minimalism.
did not always want the obvious
but just a corner in the world, a small one with soft lighting
and a bowl of grapes.
whole thing was weak.
The way you kept saying those same few words.
After the floor is swept, the spices bottled and filed,
and the wood chips carefully gathered. Once, in passing,
you told me all dreams are site-specific installations.
The throat machines are humming and the structures
are painstakingly notated. The audience's departure
will occur in thirds.
document was stamped classified
which in my mind permitted a nap.
Once, specifically, you told me how to install
a dream into the sleep of a prospective lover. It was the dream
of the wound with nine holes.
names were unfamiliar
but they were clearly printed on a list and the list
was clearly of some importance in my life
and my life was clear in its existence
and existence was out of the context
and the context was meant to be real
but more and more, what was real
became a phobia that left me buried
and barred from entering such thresholds.
windows are covered
with wool blankets to prevent the drafts
in cracks hidden and suspected.
note ignites or
wicks, like the nature of the snowflake, will each be
voice talks on and on about position
and where the orchestra should be hung. It is important
for the notes to float for as long as each breath allows. And the
slung crookedly are the only emotion.
each spice should be emptied into a pot. It is very upsetting
The onion powder loses the effect of the onion.
Tears are important to any show.
The words are always the same. Even when
embroidered on a pillow in a fine stitch and a color
everyone can agree is quite favorable.
could not sleep
because of it, how they entered and exited, like horrible
guests who do not wipe their feet or ask permission
to touch a book in a delicately fine dust jacket.
I wear my jacket inside to avoid the dust from coming too close.
I button all the wise holes. Please, stay your distance.
—Brett Fletcher Lauer
Originally Published in October/November
2001 issue of Boston Review