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Anne Tardos It Changes

The flesh is sad, alas, and I’ve read all the books.—Mallarmé

The concept of an “invaded authorship,” a writing influenced by others, points to the unconscious of a text.

The strangeness of forever being here and elsewhere: Ever here as elsewhere: Elsewhere as here.

I and the other: I as the other—Cixous.

Foggy, incommunicable truth, where sometimes nothing is less true than the truth.

What is it that makes me live so well and so badly?

It is my own self that I am painting.

Flexible and fluid as life itself.

The question is: Where do I place myself, where do I go?

I see everything and I see nothing at all.

As in physics, where matter cannot exist without interaction.

Can life exist without perturbation or agitation and unease?

Science speaks of perturbation theory, in which, for example, when two fermions engage in interaction with bosons: that exchange will have altered both fermions.

And the Buddha said “it changes.”

It was dark then, ten minutes to eleven, the sky covered all over with stars.
The following Sunday, it had been raining too heavily to stroll around.
The next morning was just as gray as the last had been.

Some of those who steal things, steal love, psychiatrists say: those who have inside their lives an empty space, need to fill it with love, if they can, and they need to please others in order that others may give them love.

So they call each other darling more often than could be sincere.

                                                        Everything is literal.

What time is the train? I don’t know: if we go to the station, a train will come—they always do.

I don’t have anything special to do, so I turn the corner.
I know so many other places.
I was doing fine, I thought.
I was standing there, very still, across the street, a number of years ago—a newcomer, a stranger.

An old armchair in an old abandoned town, a faded sign that reads “coming,” an old friendship that lasts a lifetime, coffee, smell of decay, an oceanic experience, unity with all things, no holding back, snowcapped mountains, dark situations, suspense, and far away green forests marked on a map.

Continuing on the path of what could be but is not yet.

The present as passing, or rather as having passed.

Friendly faces sparkling water skin graft.

Sparkling water effervescence glittery nemesis cable.

Glittery, sparkling, never-ending life-span, keeping it clean.

Sparkling water, barking dogs, sparkling water, far-gone heat source, escalating honesty.

Barking elephant, barking water, an elegant element deeply calming.

Tranquility water deeply warming suddenly warning.
Waning taming tanning disappearing waving back, waving at me.

Your head-in-the-sand composition sparkling water bug.

Buggy opposition water-stain; imagine a structure in front of you, composed of all you’ve ever seen, heard, or otherwise experienced, I mean the enormity of the accumulation . . .

All the sparkling details representing the complete totality of cumulative elements of a human life and the sum of unrelated experiences.

Watch the glittery water drizzle down Lizzie’s neck, her hips and toes.

Our interconnectedness, unification, seamlessly interrelated here, and all the computers, and the forging of mass awareness, all of us knowing everything.

Baby doctor filibuster, quarreling is human.

Yet truth is false, it’s divided.

Division between inside and outside, where you cannot decide which is which.

I was trying to go inside the world, the garden, inside others, I was outside.

“I was young enough—it was very difficult to be young enough.”

The unity of the self, obviously an abstract concept.

Born many times through many ancestors, so I never know where I was born, there and then and there and here.

Memory as an intangible treasure creates the fragile ground we walk on.

I am a book—I have been written, and I am reading.

If you lose somebody who is it, it’s yourself.

Emotions are the result of fleeting familiarizations with new ways of thinking.

The new poem cannot be really new, yet its newness is what we strive for and ultimately imagine.

It was a sultry August day, the earth was invaded by lifeforms from another planet.
It took some time for the whole strange image to sink in: a species not indigenous to earth, and I tremble remembering it even now, vague chills assail me as I try to picture their eyes.

Softly hissing at her reptile companion, Peyote, the mouse, as she was called, took a nap lying down on the little nest she had built for herself.

Who is this mouse, and who is this reptile companion, and shouldn’t I relate, at least to myself, who I am?

I could also ask myself who will I be tomorrow, which would depend on what is happening now.

The internal storm that leaves me in search of any old port.

Constant refusal, denial, what am I searching for, what do I want?

What needs to be done will be done: time is never wasted.

Sales at Christmas capital bonus sales at capital fog.
Physical therapy post-op ritual, skinny foggy purchase capitalized.
Ritual bone break capital capital capital capital after shave.
Reaching the end of time, the bend of time.
Nothing is forbidden, nothing’s allowed, authority nothing and nowhere to be found.

Projected reflection standpoint and echo are necessarily divided.
Division and beauty clash in the face of congruence.

You can’t tell me what to do because I can’t hear you.

This is where the break occurs.

The illusory sense of belonging—you can’t really belong to even a particular moment, since you and the moment pass as soon as formulated.

No future and no past, only instants ticking through an infinite present.

We float in space and space floats inside us.
This is where the dictionary comes in.

Nine toddlers dawdle down the River Nile, in their rowboat filled with Siamese cats, amulets, scarabs, burial figures for the dead, these little toddlers sitting among their Ptolemaic coins, mummy wrappings, papyrus scrolls, and small glazed faience statues of Thoth, the ibis-headed moon god, the god of wisdom, justice, and writing, patron of the sciences, and messenger of the sun god Ra—gently down the river the toddlers row.


Just then the black cat reappeared on the roof, he crouched while I bribed him to love me.
The little beast did not want to be loved.

Safe and relaxed like a stone.

Cooking is passion. Bloom walks around Dublin with kidneys in his pockets.

Give me the trusting mind: No doubts or delusions.
Let me mingle perfection with non-perfection.

Meaning and meaninglessness: the effort to differentiate fills me with a certain sense of obligation.

Mutilated languages, ways to fix them, ways to repair.

The dualistic state I am in, static and stalling and idle, prevents all possible progress.

What I need is a point of departure—any point, any departure.

Begin somewhere, no need to wait, just begin anywhere.

I begin by remembering the smell of the ocean and relive the sense of being full of hope.

I’m ready and willing to play below my dignity.

I could be the mountain, the earth, the sky, or a little toad, or a little mouse, or the tip of its tiny nose.

My own death, the one I’m so afraid of: Imagining specific scenarios.
Restless anxious envious confused orphaned fearing frightful loneliness during such a transition.

The ways of seduction, suction, and abduction, the excitement at being rescued.

Silence and fundamental quietness, can be the result of thought.
The intellect expands into language independently of the unanswerable metaphysical questions.

Then we have the ultimate nature of all things, the true state of things, expressed in phenomena but inexpressible in language.

Describe suchness and the nature of all things.

And then let things be.

Anne Tardos, French-born American poet, is the author of ten books of poetry and several multimedia performance works. Among her recent books of poetry are I Am You [first US edition] (BlazeVOX, 2016]; NINE (BlazeVOX, 2015); Both Poems (Roof, 2011); I Am You (Salt, UK, 2008); and The Dik-dik's Solitude (Granary, 2003). She is the editor of Jackson Mac Low's Thing of Beauty (California, 2008), 154 Forties (Counterpath, 2012); and The Complete Light Poems (Chax, 2015). A Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Tardos lives in New York.
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