what we must not do to go along with any fucking thing at all

both of us are inside. our hands do not remember. how they know each other.
i will never go inside again. the day i arrived inside, i found my breasts naked in a room.
a color kissed my breasts. i said are you blind? the color said already this morning i
meditated the world

i would need permission from my innermost experience if i wanted to go inside again. yet
another test, and how will i know that i re-found consciousness? how to judge it is mine
and not just borrowed, the way e14 borrowed my sunglasses did you really need them?

what would the inside say about responsibility? it’s a habit, go into it totally, it will drop
by itself, like sex. sex is nothing here. something becomes nothing when its supply
becomes infinite. then it comes for free. love, for example:


            i don’t want to stay here           
            i want to stay forever


the plumber finally arrives. the plumber brings an official certificate to prove he is the
officially employed plumber of the world. certificates are condoms. colors are the
wounds of light. certificates do not protect against being lit


the color who asked is the color who had told my boyfriend some thing about me. to me
he had introduced himself as a film maker who wanted my help with a script he was
working on. he wrote me love notes on yellow-paper-napkins about birds and a lovely
tree. the birds were nesting in the lovely tree. the birds were shitting on the lovely tree.
the lovely tree was me. he was the bird who would never ever shit on me


            the consequences of shitting


one time, he, over the phone and drunk, said they told me some thing about you. the
filmmaker instead of owning his nesting failure, shit on me. shitting is the same inside or
outside. it perfumes


            i don’t want to stay here
            i want to stay forever


the plumber sees my 15-inch-powerbook. now he knows: he is going to come back or
send someone to borrow it. showing too much            showing        off. offending
through reckless generosity, like Baby Suggs, in Beloved, with berry pie. too many cakes
create fear-nests on the inside



the plumber is not up to the task. he has been in my bathroom for hours, he has left e17
many times to bring in more t o o l s


            Madam, five minutes!


i went inside to free myself from the outside. the social/sex-worker is sitting on her
terrace, her thin beige hair looks like a huge umbrella with holes, a golden sieve worn
upside down. it feels gluey to see her. her outside sticks to other’s insides. holes bind.
warm holes bind faster, with a glow


            pipes no good, Madam!


i am not going inside again because of the swings: a person on a swing experiences
moving in two opposite directions. swings are very very hard to give up;
the plumber needs me


            you married?  three rooms?            
            me milkman!  17 buffaloes near airport.



            we are not equal            [to be equal, it’s the worst]


                                                                  equality is an illusion    SEX   is   an
                                                                                                               love is
                                                                                                    the Biggest


i still wear the wristbands he made for me. ne c k l a c  e.  why not test for bloody
feelings, fear-nests, falling stars: no intercourse needed to experience enclosure

            the thing about love  is  to know enough


            more than enough is  too much

            we feel the opposite of hunger


you don’t deserve me i said after his fist found the place between [rosebone] you don’t
deserve me i said. his fist. the place between my breasts. found. clavicle.  it was
surprising. we weren’t inside. we were in a public place, and i wondered. if he
understood. the word. the color of deserving. whether golden sieve had taught him that
wound too, like the words


            credit card



the plumber is clapping his hands.                                   water is running.                        
it’s still leaking i say.
all acts of leakage produce colors


            no problem, Madam!
            tomorrow again coming


ridiculous all of this.
you really think so?
for our hunger we
a prize.
for the hungry,  love means giving up some thing                                   that
has been inside  forever


            ginger is a root plant


i write in English  to feel  words            clavicle

i bought the word in India, in English,
to make fresh ginger lemon tea.             i said  drain
the shopkeeper understood. later,          i googled the word  drain. the
differences between draining,  sieving,  grating.


            ginger, for example

            if you peel ginger
            and don’t like what you see
            don’t put it in your mouth




instead located her imagination in zones like submission, self-abandonment, objectification

i first listened to him in Australia, in a small house near the beach in Newport shared by three surfers. i checked in on Rose from Paris, who had come to visit Lorenzo, the surfer from Peru, she met in India. she woke up to you. it was cold. she pulled a woolen cap over her hair, wrapped her body in a blanket and kneeled down before the stereo, revealing her face against the music as if in a latex forest. the surfer was busy in the open kitchen cooking lentils in brown rice. the rice had light in it           



i worry about Rose.             she told me about kicking out her boyfriend’s string of electric lights from its home of two years, a green trunk; how the lights were always on            before falling asleep together, he switched them to yellow. in Paris            i watch Rose dream  with the lights on. auburn hair, completely perpetuated unaware of the tourists, hand-washed. but glows.         i have been called a tragic street lamp long before Rose was born. i am one of the most recognizable structures in the world



i broke up with myself  for good in a hospital room the year my grandmother died. it had to do with skin and love and it involved my mother. gloved rubber hands opened my grandmother and closed her. leaving everything as it was. too late. too far gone. her rose cheeks did not come home. the twin bed next to mine, without. i built roofs with my hands, pressed my palms and forearms against each other, knocked my elbow bones into each other, and sometimes against the wall. and sometimes against the wall. often i spoke to god. words. i had lied. i never forgave god for forgiving me. i never forgave my grandmother for believing me. in my dreams my grandmother smelled of roses. in my dreams i opened her heart. in my dreams i Ate it, and then i Ate my arms, and then i Ate my mother




[Christine Herzer is a poet and visual artist. Recent publications include Realpoetik, Inertia, BlazeVOX, nth position, Upstairs at Duroc [France]. An e-chapbook is forthcoming with H_NGM_N BOOKS. Christine is a graduate [M.F.A.] of the Bennington Writing Seminars. In 2011 she designed and led the 2week-Poetry-Workshop 'We die and become architecture' for the National Institute of Design [NID] in Ahmedabad, India.]

Copyright © 2011 by Christine Herzer, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.