Journal » Trout 13 » They: 1 [Juliana Spahr]
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They: 1

Juliana Spahr

When they—there were three of them—had met in a bar and agreed to move to an island in the middle of the Pacific together, they had agreed to attempt a transformation of some sort. They did not know the result of the transformation or what to call the transformation but they had agreed to it nonetheless. They agreed then to be enthralled with each other. They agreed to let the story they told about themselves as individuals be interrupted by others. They agreed to let their speech be filled with signs of each other and their enthrallment and their undoing. They agreed to falter over pronouns. They agreed to let them undo their speech and language. They pressed themselves upon them and impinged upon them and were impinged upon in ways that were not in their control.

At that moment, each of them agreed to a third, Sapphic point. And because of this third Sapphic point, they did not look into each others eyes with the assumption of a direct return that would then let them forget the world around them. They agreed to no longer see relationship as a feedback loop of face to face desire. Instead they had to deal with a sort of shimmering, a fracturing of all their looks and glances going on. And it was because of this third Sapphic point that they implicated themselves in they.

At times when they spoke of them and also to them they were not clear about when they were doing which or what they was what, but still they gave themselves over to they. And they talked to each other as if they were they. As if they each had brain stems of their own but the brain stems were connected to each other and if they all took the same drug they would all arrive together on the other side of the blood brain barrier and be there in some other space, just there, talking about nothing. They just wanted to talk to each other the way that humans talk to each other when they go on long car trips in the country and they have nothing really to say after the first hour in the car but sometimes in the hours that follow they might point something out or talk some about what thoughts came to them as they drove along, mesmerized by the blur of space passing by them. They wanted to be they the way that humans might be they with a dog and a dog they with humans. They wanted to be they like blood cells are compelled to be a they. They wanted to be they like milkweed might be they. It was as if there was an impingement, an attachment that grew out of them which scattered bits of them outwards into the wind and they fluttered in the wind, moving and scattering with the wind. As if they not only sent seeds out into the wind but they also had pistil heads, shrouded by fused anthers, which served as landing platforms for pollinators who would come over to suck nectar from their filament hoods. They wanted to be they as the milkweed and also as the butterfly that might arrive and move about, let its leg slips into a groove between the anthers of the milkweed where a saddlebag-like packet of pollen might be waiting. Then when they, the butterfly they, visited the next flower, the saddlebag would be deposited into a receptive stigmatic slit on the side of the pistil head and the pollen they carried would burst out of its bags. What they meant was that they were other than completely autonomous but they were not one thing with no edges, with no boundary lines.


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© Copyright 2006 Juliana Spahr & Trout.