Friday, February 10, 2017

The Question of Duets

(a new show germinates)

The question of duets today occurs to me
less cursorily than it has before – now that
I’ve scavenged such a lot of creatures from
their chests of drawers to press them into couples
on my floor – to see who softens just enough
to adumbrate some willingness to enter a relation,
to seem at least to want to brush another fate with
theirs. No compunction to find mates: just the hope

that they can bear the likelihood of being seen
by others as blind dates. They won’t, I know,
forgo a show of great dismay if I subject them
to the barest sentimental whiff, or wish that they
convey affectionate regard in any way: they’re
a caustically resistant bunch, by dint of their
insistent unassailable autonomy: one therefore
guardedly proceeds on hint and hunch to dare

to pair them into duos. The tenor of our tacitly
agreed-to pacts far from unnaturally breeds
a range of sadomasochistic pleasures (among
which bleeds excruciating désespoir, as, du matin
au soir, they mutter to me en français) 
but I’m the despot, you conniving sneaky lot!
I shoot the final shot. And all of it, of course,
as surely is foregone, is play. Wouldn’t you say?

So here are they, dueting. The not-so-secret
secret is they crave the promise of exposure
this display prophetically suggests, indeed one day
(they pray) materially will beget. Gazing into
middle distances, as is their fashion – performing
thoughtfulness with sensitive dispassion, not
regretting being showcased in a sort of wedding,
this at least is clear: no one here is fretting.

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