David Wolach

Excerpt of Of Some Velocity (Subway Poems – written between stops, to be performed between stops: stage directions in brackets, “+” indicates “make spontaneous mouth sound”)

You will be absolutely amazed by our holiday lights. The Tanakh couldn’t hold a candle to our party. Or eight! Is it crude of me to remind you that, though chosen, many of us adore houses temporarily valorized with flashing colors? What I would like to know is what happened to the veranda [your I is a veranda, it does not move unless someone trains their eyes on it]. One night I was sitting outside and it was gone. But things happen. I snuck out without so much as putting my finger to my lips. Last week I returned as an unknown assailant and euthanized the world. All it took was a Bed Lounge Pillow and the force fear of omission brings. Maybe I was never there. After a week of tucking I’m back to the red line. Brother in Detroit scrubbing the floors. Is he? Sister I’ve never met now calls at ridiculous hours. We adjust. People are like that under the ugliest circumstances. There’s always Christmas. So why should I complain? [+]

I am sorry for our illness. I am sorry to both of you. The long legs of legacy do not dismiss your tempered sprint from our defaulted estate. Combining both of you would approximate your sister. By the way: you both have a sister [a performance of sisterhood partially hidden by unconventional bodily use of narrative recursion].

Let’s rethink our rethinking of the matter so that we’re thinking again. If you think about it, we’ve been rethinking thoughts so thoughtfully we’re having thoughts we had (come to think of it) so long ago that in the interim (while we were sleeping) those thoughts have been rethought by other thinkers thinking in other languages. What’s so hip about English? If I could speak Pashtun [+] I’d rethink my way right out of there, move here, [place is a sound and a quick, dissolving self-touching using only the finger tips] and begin a budding career as a translator of rethought thoughts imported via high-end purchase by a university literary journal with the term “cultural” in its title for at least the price of a fancy internship. But that’s thinking ahead. Without a head. Without an f-1 visa. Fighter plane. Same difference. Do not pass between cars. Likely pastimes won’t be progressive like diseases. Liberalism falsifies even the best paternalist intentions. The tyranny of our thoughtlessness!

We are [+] Richard Pryor.

Modes of outreach. Sixty different campuses. It's totally above board to swipe someone else’s metro card, but it’s downright illegal to hawk yours for the price of admission. The authorities are out tonight. Rumors have raged since the weather changed that something foul is afoot [a foot is a foot plus a tapping plus a covering of the groin with a declamation-as-narrative re-telling]. Odor-eaters will not be of service. Checking every bag for cold plasmas did not seem a wise business decision on or about July 2006. Fly in style! The potential for new enforcements is always enough for you to take what you can while you can. Saves money. No question. Ask no question. Questions asked.

Apologies are so flat they might as well be eaten [the mouth is forbidden, as are the hands]. The tendency of the Jewish mother some would say [how would your left side say this, yet horizontally, or: inaudibly?]. The non-kosher smooth-as-ice cake frosting of apology-as-eulogy. How did we ever live in a place where everyone eyes you with suspicion? My cooking lived up to categorical expectation. Why, then, would one child fly off to New York and the other operate as caretaker of an empty house in a city that shall be renamed The Era of Late Capital? Don't feel bad. Remember that we are all caricatures and gods. This separation stands as long as language fails to caulk the bathroom tiles. But they whip us here each time we fail to summon the ineffable. What’s left other than apology? Placeholders for that which we must pass over in silence?

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