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May 022010
 

by

Sally Allen McNall


 

1.  Non-words


 

One kind of a sentence       is a scar

and of that kind       most kinds


 

sentences left deep in the belly

                        most     are    most

are “the politics of the latest atrocity”

detonating    in the kitchen                       in the crowded street


 

keloid scars, impermeable            


 

scab    picking at the scab

bedsores        ritualized display of the running bedsores


 

Shields:  wood, bone, hide, bronze, leather, mail, plates or scales, polycarbonate Lexan®

riot shield (available on eBay), eggshell, womb, “bubble boy disease,” fragmentation Kevlar® blanket, tattoo, piercing


 

One kind of non-sentence              

is a non-sentence non-spoken to a Persian/African etc.


 

In Scar, a whole sentence: You could go home to Tehran/Khartoum if those madmen had/were not


 

(I have read that humans invented belief so that they would know whom not to believe.)


 


 

2.  The end of origins


 

We have backed off and

                                                backed off

until there is

nowhere else

                        to go


 

all the while imagining

                                    we went forward


 

If we turn around


 

―have patience here, I am trying to unbuild Rome—


 


 

all we can see resembles

murder boards in stalled homicide investigations


 

a thickening collage of roughly square shapes:


 

photos in Kodak black and white, pain, knowledge, lists of numbers in Sharpie red, timetables on pale blue paper, order, city maps, disorder, notes, pain, messages, order,  thumbtacks, photos in Kodak vericolor, pain, pencil marks, disorder, ink, death

with somewhere

                                    under the center,

the image

                                    of an innocent human face


 

go on

  2 Responses to “Problems of Representation”

  1. What a wonderful poem! so sad —

  2. In the springing originality of this painful, beautiful poem is the blooming promise of a young girl I knew 50 years ago . . . and am so pleased to have re-found.