Poetry/Essay: LM Rivera




The strategies of children or the childlike are not yet seized by abstraction.

Economies have yet to course through their veins and what is scarce is often what gathers for them.

The lovers, on the contrary, create a commerce of quiet, as if for the first time.

In K.’s A Country Doctor, for example, the child gives his wound over to the elder but we are reasonably convinced that the spot has shown an estimation of reflection (or, perhaps, projection).

Their senses rush without looking away like the permanent entrance of an authorial sign and unlike the discreet arrival of petite involvements.

This is preliminary being:

Thin, without fever, not cold, not warm, with empty eyes, without a shirt, the young man under the stuffed quilt heaves himself up, hangs around my throat and whispers in my ear, “Doctor, let me die.”1

Then, preliminary being has openly encountered a minor method, a desert method ending in questionable ways.

And of lost time—since we turn our backs to ruin—a disordered shape encounters a new language by way of syntax, sentence, and fragment.

That is why I am writing this in a Gothic script, with a figurative hand, almost resembling speech.

Yet, I cannot, for the life of me, make this speech, as rigorously as I might.

The persistent need is unbearably decadent.

The badge of cruelty drives the word senseless.

Have we altered the fundament to folklore?

Have we assumed complexity?

We want the all-consuming hearth without lavishness, without urge, without coition.

But the obscure man is also a woman-in-the-world.

And our metaphors do not include her yield:

I’ve forgotten the words with which to tell you. 2

The want to ignore is requisite recollection…

1. F. Kafka

2. M. Duras

unnamedLM Rivera lives in Santa Fe, NM. He co-edits Called Back Books w/ his partner and poet Sharon Zetter. His work has appeared in various places and his chapbook Two Tiny Books (or wild phenomenologies) is forthcoming from Spooky Actions Books.