It’s Not Derrida

In the Hollow

Through a heavy eucalyptus evening
past a woman who clucks over places
where aphids have made lace of her roses

Some holes you can see: a child burying
her sister’s Barbie in a sandbox
or a ’78 Monte Carlo with Mad Max
pockmarks left by a Tec-9
or places where asphalt is backhoed
into chunks

None of these are the kind of absence
that has presence
like the acid of other peoples’ happiness
the kind of absence like cheesecloth
stretched to catch dust from the furnace
in winter


Notes dated 8.13.98 about kinds of holes (foxholes, burials, the shape of a fist in the wall, a pane of glass in the kitchen, my mother crying in the dark)
Early draft, Berkeley, summer 1998, workshopped SAIC Fall 1998
“Cavities” draft 8 December 1999


There is a lot going on in this one and it needs more work. If I’m going to get into deconstruction, there’s more I can do to play with the backhoe. More play with “hollow”–feeling hollowed out by grief, by anger, by pain, by time. That sense that there *was* something there, once, but it’s gone now. What was it? I can’t remember.

I’m so glad that I kept paper copies of things. I would never have seen this again if I wasn’t such a packrat.

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