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ROSMARIE WALDROP

Intentionalities

What did I mean by my hand moving along your thigh? When we describe intentions, is the ventriloquist taken over by the dummy? Or pretending to be a ghost?

Instead of "I meant you" I could say, "we walked through wet streets, toward a dark well." But could I speak of you this way? And why does it sound wrong to say "I meant you by pulling away?" Like lovers caught in headlights?

If I talk of you it connects me to you. By an infinite of betweens, not by touching you in the dark. Touch is the sense I place outside myself for you to ride.

When I mean you I may show it -- if we stand close -- by putting my head on your shoulder. You can show that you understand by describing the well underneath the trap door. What will you say? You thought I was frightened.

The feeling I have when I mean you draws an arc of strength between my hips and the small of my back. But it doesn't follow that "meaning you" is being exhilarated by terror. Of course not, you say: We need a thread to run through, but it's entangled with space, form, future and difficult to pick out. Is this true?

It would be wrong to say that meaning you stands for the forgotten part of myself, a treatise on labyrinths, a path leading nowhere. I am living in a shell where the sea comes in with its sound. And drowns us?

"I was speaking of you" because I wanted people to think about you. But "I wanted" does not describe a general before battle, nor, on the other hand, a ship heading for shipwreck. There is no way to decide whether this is autobiography or a manifesto.

 

 

 


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    Last modified: Monday, 10-JAN-2001 01:33:11 EDT