Poetry: Erica Weitzman

from “Studies”


As if I’d signed a peace with forgetting
all my abandoned fetishes are returning to make their claims:
Avenue des Limites—all that weird suburban Euro-stucco
means it’s time to turn around now, go back to that domestic
cognitive dead end from whence you came. A silence filling up
with dead leaves; and in the kernel of each leaf, a silence. Otherwise
stalk the exotic in moldy drainpipes, tamed incest, eroticized
motes of dust. Study three: if trying to find a way out is the way out,
we are left toying with our quietude, like a shiny penny
or map of the village, folded and refolded, as if the creases gave
unto our new life some softly cordoned-off road to have come.


Let’s get that anger started, ooh, that’s it, purring like a kitten,
and suddenly you’re God again, just like in childhood. Snake oil
playdates for the innocent among us, and for the rest of you, you cynics,
go and bear down harder on your pens. Funny how things volunteer themselves
when you’re not thinking too clearly, the autoerotic fantasies
we don’t share by definition, or shouldn’t. Shoulder to shoulder
in front of the abyss: that’s politics for you, steaming mineral bath fragrant
with methane and ammonium under a riot of gold leaf and
grinning cherubim. The trick is how to keep on hating
when everything is designed to seduce. Study four: God
doesn’t love the world. He lusts after it. All the difference.


Neither platform nor praise. Yellow-orange crepe
of the squash blossoms, fanned open over their leather fruit
in the cool of early morning. So this is what is called a
formal experiment, or, psychology as idiom, or, I swear to God
I am not here anymore to sponge the sweat from your existence,
justify your sex, or crank the rusty motor of meaning. I remember
summer hail, hard BBs of ice in the eye of heat, miraculous as a plague.
Study five: because you have to begin by loving your lies, say, red leaves
and the commonweal, welterweight, or two-by-six detail
with assorted enjambments. Why not. Why ever not.
O friend, go with me at least on this one.

ERICA WEITZMAN received her M.A. in poetry from Boston University in 1999. Her writing has appeared in 6×6, The Brooklyn Rail, Ars, and the anthology Cabin Fever; a chapbook of translations of Albanian poetry is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse. Erica is currently a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at NYU. She lives in Brooklyn.

(c) Copyright 2006, Erica Weitzman; author retains all rights.