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Deportations (mix no. 1)
A vanishing text by NoPassport


[This text was composed by core members of the virtual performance collective No Passport: Sheila Callaghan, Lisa D'Amour, Dan Dietz, Christine Evans, Michael Gladis, Vanessa Gilbert, Deborah Stein and Caridad Svich. It was written as part of a four month project subtitled "vanishing texts." This mix is intended as an experiment in cyber performance to be viewed one time, one day only, and then to be erased. The text that remains in the reader/viewer's memory is the only trace of its existence.]

The secretary is sitting very still at the bar at Houlihan's.
Happy Hour is long over. She is holding a glass with the remains of a martini and trying to erase everything from her mind except for the image of a fire hydrant.

the suitcase empties sand
and bananas
and rich green leaves

i am tempted to eat
but know if i do
there will be nothing left
of me

Everything reflects everything
The wriggling woodstick
The 13 Points

Stick my arm
Under the words
To see what I can grab.
Is there a body there?
Or a piece of trash?

Something's dropping in there. Perpetually. Don't ask me how I know, I'm not a doctor. I'm not a doctor, I'm not an engineer, I'm not a prosecutor or defender or court reporter. I'm not a stenographer or snowboarder or anaesthesiologist. Though I suspect that each of these people, in their own small way, could be of comfort right now. To me.

I pretend i am someone else
another body in space
firmly planted
on her ambiguous coordinate

lady's got my tongue
and the snake's got hair;
it's time to talk up or get out

Bitter taste in the soft mouth
worn down by

i serenade like a snake
and cry to a boil

I am alone tonight and you are not here. There is a pindrop sound in my heart. I have never heard a pin actually drop. But there it is now, in my heart. It says

(empty room simmers)

and I must recommend
the thinker Anne Carson
and her book
Men in the Off Hours
especially the poem she writes about
and Metaphor.

(empty room quivers)

and the cat's tongue is on one side, her tail on the other
Like degrees of celsius.

A few drops of rain
on the market floor:
sustenance for one
in low times.

Like degrees of celsius. Ticking down way past what's comfortable. I am alone tonight and you are not here. The wind off the ocean blows.
It says ssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhsssssss

(the door shutting behind)

I can hear the sunlight under my eyelids.
The sky tastes like salt.
The river unwinds
Eventually, before.

lady chimes in with ancient wartime boogaloo
Dear Father,
Something's dropping in there.

the howling yelp of AH
and the world

(just waiting till all is shed)

Given freedom, one who is used to constraints creates
her own boundaries
Given freedom, exile breeds
in her blood
Given a home, she will always see
the world in two parts

for it is of what i am made
i am told
and i believe this
so i

look close,
I wait with eyes open
to place an arm
between another
and not ask why

And it is way too cold with the wind on the water to be alone tonight out here where you are not but here I am like the suicidal heroine of a high school novel designed to fit perfectly within semesters, in the gap between easter and valentine's day, nestled and caught in a syllabus. Perfectly caught. Designed that way.
I believe I am designed that way too. To be perfectly caught.
I am practically begging for it.

for it is how i am made
i am told
and i believe this
so I let

constant noise infect
my body

machine noise
pushes silence
al fondo de todo

i hold out
hold on
waiting to see

there is end to
the wreckage

(In the post office, between two postal workers:

-That's human remains, you know.

- Oh yeah, we had two of those come through yesterday. (to customer) You want that first class or priority?)

waiting to see

there is end to
this wreckage

where water meets fire in
a death match

el fondo
su huella
en mis senos

i hold out
between my teeth

and that's when he puts the bottle in his back pocket and sits down
That's when
The epileptic strobe lights flirt
The night sky
And breaking into verse
is dangerous

I hold out,
hold on but
I am a little empty
on the fifteenth of May
a little snapped
in two

cuando fue?
como fue?

You see, this weekend I realized that
riding tall in Eleanor's big truck
makes me feel like singing
loud and off key.
Also thought a lot about my Grandfather
who brought me such joy with phrases like
Amen Brother Ben Shot a Goose and Killed a Hen
and who was also a racist
and tried to reconcile the two
the joy and the racism
the love and the fear
in my head.

You see, this weekend
I lost you

when did i
how did I?
When was it that I
took the blue sky silver…?

Blue, the bluest blue
they haven't made this color yet
The color of my sleep
I place it on the floor
And it grows and grows
My arms open to it
My neck arches to it
My chest braces against its curve
Yellow breath caught and it rises
I am inside

when did i
take this blue sky silver -
outside my hand
and let the burnt coal

and then, somehow,
After small, fragmented belief
in small, mean, rootless worlds
A reverie
a coming toward abundance
the sheer drunken spirit
of plenty,

with sheer breath
the line is drawn
taut, exact, and teeming

(What strange richness we are given should we rise to it
and when we rise...)

Today I set foot on sand
and think of nothing else
but the plentifulness
saving us from the blue dark
that scatters darts where least needed

I hear Whisper me Jesus in the wind
spoken by a voice leaning not toward religion's organized body
and smile
at the thought of faith
in the mouth of an unsuspecting one.

Heed now the spark
the stark blend of voices
from a loft I think

look at her
the wee girl
the stubborn girl
with thick lashes

how brave she'll be
in life's journey
if her hunger abates

and in the end
we just got drunk every night
and hoped we could pretend
like we still loved each other
in the dark.

and in the end
to know
this body
is to surrender


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