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This article is taken from PN Review 200, Volume 37 Number 6, June - July 2011.

Touches bloquées Marsha Pomerantz
Opening the door of his chest he shows, painted inside, the body of
his soul ... 'Here is the place,' he says, 'here.'
            
Dennis Silk, on Cesare the Somnambulist, a marionette

Felicity or not
I had a large doll with a gauzy dress and bonnet, maybe called Felicity, maybe called nothing at all. She was made of rubber, which eventually cracked: the palms of her hands parched with drought, and the wads of felt offal inside her came out. There was no rhyme to it at the time. I cried. Gradually the voice box in her stomach, too, wore out: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to ... keep ... I couldn't remember: what comes next?


Waiting shapes
You can invest your emotions in an object and retrieve them, identical or evolved, at will. You can see yourself as kind, loving, and lovable to the degree that your heart is pulled toward Felicity or a plush frog. But what about the other objects with which we share space? Anthropomorphic, biomorphic, geometric solids, metamorphic liquids: assemblages of molecules that are distinctly not us and have no need of our patronage.

Better that objects not speak, that they be only spoken to, that voices be thrown toward their waiting shapes. Yet objects, by their silence, amplify the plaint and whinny of our horse-trading with truth. For the sake of assonance, I toss off ...


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