WE

Jorie Graham

lost all the wars. By definition. Had small desires and fundamental fear. Gave our
children for them, paid in full, from the start of time, standard time and standard
space, with and without suspension of disbelief, hungry for the everyday, wide
awake, able to bring about a state of affairs by bodily movement, not even gradually,
not hesitating, not ever, gave brothers fathers sisters mothers. Lost every war.
Will lose the ones to come. By definition. That woman. That
ocean. Careful how you fool around. There is form and it knows the difference. Go
alone. Hold back. Transfigure. Promise. Go alone. Transfigure. Keep promise. All this
is what the wind knows. It has never lost a war. It has a notion to be almost
wordless. It has need. But not like ours. No sir it knows acceptance – strange isn’t
it – so does the stream – it has a hillside – knows acquiescence – does not lose,
has no lips, does not love, does not carry-on – or maybe it does, yes – but not as we
do – no generations, no forgetting – no eyes desiring what they see too
much – the blossom – the bluebird – the crease in the hillside – no too much, no
thankfulness, nothing to do, or that has to be done, nothing to forget – please let me
forget – I did not do that – it could not have been me – where shall I hide now – I
shall be found – no one can find them, the stream, the bones in the culvert,
the pigeons hovering near the steam shaft – no one can find them they need not
hide – the stones, the steel, the galaxies – shrinking or in-

                                                               creasing, no war –
nothing – nothing can see itself – nothing can think – there is no prevailing – nor
lack – just as it should be – death yes but as a gathering, energy done – not a lost
war – just a merging with what comes – with what has come before – it does not
turn around – it is not looking over its shoulder – nerveless – were we needed – as
wind was – lost all wars – even the one with time – all of the time – all of the

times. Looked for all the intersections. Time and fiction. Asked can it be

true? Time and history. Asked can it really be true? This is happening. But is

not what the real feels like. The past? Is senseless. Collapse the it-has-been

says the wind. Look but not back. Any wind will tell you. You have not been there.

In the strictest sense. Are on display. There is no private space. Nothing is taking

place. It will not stick. Also

                                 what more shall we do to others. To otherness. No,
to others. We are in some strange wind says the wind. Are in the enigma of
pastness. It is shedding its aircraft, its radar, it has its back against a
bodiless sorrow, the bodies are all gone from it, the purchases have all been made,
it is so extreme this taking-the-place-of, this standing-in-for, this disappearing of all
the witnesses – this is inconceivable – conceive it – the floating faces which carried
themselves as bodies through all the eras – they say nothing – nothing
that you will ever see – you are so blind – in each instant blind – the problem is
insoluble – also senseless – there is no real to which you can refer – and yet the
bodies are all in it – whatever remains – the observable witnesses to the past – this
debt – the relation of this to absolute silence – listen – it is absolutely silent back

there – from here nothing ever is to have happened – no one made you – the
streets the imperial cities the cord from father to daughter certain butterflies
certain kinds of armour plate the great highways the grease the model sitting for the
sculptor the woman she is the clay she is the destinations of the steel and oil, the
signatures, the millions of signatories to the past, the launching and relaunching of
boys men ships craft from land to sea from sea to land to air to sea to land the birds
the hidden fox the rabbits in the field as the highway is being cut the deer going
deeper into the brush the pyramids the broken columns the mice that have dug a
nest beneath – oh analogy – apprehension strikes me vastly down – we are way
past

intimation friend – the pastness of → you can only think about it→it won’t
be there for you→you can talk about it→they are gone who came before→left us
nothing but ourselves→on our tiny axis of blood→surrounded by all the broken
columns→ the marble which will itself surrender→to time→to radioactivity→to
→we are all we ever were→necessary because of breeding→weak→dying→and
then there are clocks→ butterflies cyclamens geometrical patterns lacerations of
space where galaxies grow→a bottle of whiskey deep in the soil no one found→it
descended→ cloth with serial numbers→one says made in the USA→underneath
death it says made in→where shall we put the theory of reading→there never
was metaphor→ action unfolded in no temporality→ anticipation floods us but we
never were able – not for one instant – to inhabit time→listen→the last step is this
feeling you have here→just as long as we keep doing this→I write you read→a
with-time-ness→an unexpected nobility→ above and below flow by, cold as they
are→ the universals keep→ solar ghosts flare→turn to cash→on this small fire the
earth keep reading→I say to myself keep on→it will not be the end→not yet→my
children sleep→not yet→a friend who’s dead said this to me→it is not dead→