Tom Beckett

from Exposures (work in progress)

When I once wrote about holiness as "becoming-orifice" I was writing my impossible desire to be entirely open, completely receptive. My one sexual experience with a man, decades ago, didn't keep me from going on loving women and living a putatively "normal" life. That sexual encounter was relatively unimportant in terms of its immediate consequences but has had a profound effect on my affective and imaginative life. It has also, over time, left me feeling unresolved as a sexual being. Sexual completion is the god I yearn for. To paraphrase something in a story I wrote—a story which I wrote to throw away—I feel like an outlined figure in a coloring book that is waiting to be filled in. I want for one transcendent, scary moment to be possessed. I want the moment to arrive unbidden and for my ego to be overridden as I become a hole being entered and filled.

I want the experience of being fucked into consciousness.

I ache for the experience of sexual surrender. It's not something I seek—it's something which, if offered, I won't be able to refuse.

The Subject is hiding in plain sight.

Mistaken identity continues to be an important concern. A poem, for example, can be confused with a prayer.


I made myself
Many in order
To receive You,

In order to
Become a hole
For You to
Dig in me,

A hole to
Root around in
And therein find
Relief, maybe joy.

Where are You?
Who are You?
Please come soon.

The Subject exists as repeated paraphrases of itself. The Subject wants to be fallen into. The Subject wants to overflow itself too. The Subject wants to be explored, looked into. Perhaps even broken into. The Subject wants to be a destination, not a journey.

I might well be a flawed copy of something/someone I don't understand. I was and still am an Other, a stranger to myself.

The Subject is an interruption. I only write outtakes.

Desire is madness. Madness is something else. Something else might be Certainty's little sister: the one who speaks only through questions.

The Subject is a known associate of ventriloquists, hypnotists, projectionists, and bad actors. What speaks is always a matter of conjecture. What speaks is context.

All kinds of connectivity problems. Online and offline.

Poetry isn't writing.

Negation is.

There is no such thing as a complete sentence/complete thought.

The Subject is looking at sex dolls in a catalogue.

If one dresses like a woman will that create one? If one is assigned a particular voice is that it? Is identity only attributes?

If the Subject kissed me, would I return the kiss? Tropes are entropic. The moment always decays.

I repeat myself until I go away. Association is rarely free.

The taped outline of a body was left at a crime scene. The Subject used it as a template to write a poem in chalk. Which S(he) knew would be erased. Poetry isn't nonfiction. It is realism.

The Visitor is faceless. He only comes during the night. He leaves when I open my eyes. I think the Subject quietly spies on us during these visitations.

S(he) craves connection.

Within the context of surveillance, if one says he "made her," it means he recognized her. The Subject wants to be made.

The Subject watches an internet cock thrust in and out of an internet ass. One could watch it all day. It is an advertisement for _____.

Presence and absence are everything, everywhere. Assertion and insertion are often confused.

I love you, dear Shadow. Where have you been? Do we share an essential emptiness?

What might it mean to be becoming-hole?

There's a tender scene in the movie WR: Mysteries of the Organism where a young woman makes a mold of a young man's erection. From the mold she creates a brightly colored latex dildo.

What is the role of fantasy in a life? How often I mistype life as file!

Writing is waiting. Waiting is wanting. Wanting is wondering.

His correspondent states that she writes the body while he writes desire.

Tom Beckett is the author, most recently, of This Poem/What Speaks?/A Day (Otoliths). He curated the three volumes of E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S interviews (also available from Otoliths). Beckett and Geof Huth are currently at the halfway point (170 manuscript pages thus far) of a year-long conversation-in-writing about their work and lives.

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