Self-Legislation Can Be Creative


I have arrived
here for our stupid meeting.

I have no concepts
that I know of—

I am trying to invent
a way to look for something

I once lost. My love:
a series of unblinking numbers.

Technology protects
our death

from shit and mystery.
I’m pointing towards what

these things lack. A world
shifts out

and into focus,
reorganizing light

red bougainvillea.
Credits roll

in absence. Pleasure
fills me in the past.

It takes a lot of energy to lose
touch of what is real.

The stillness in my chest,
a bending sequence. I will never stop

writing the book. My private life
is made out of my speech acts,

I said. I walked here
and I looked at every tree.

Elaine Kahn is the author of Women in Public (City Lights Books) and Romance or The End (Soft Skull). She teaches at Poetry Field School.