As the summer days get longer, the leaf canopy fills out and the woods darken. In the silence, purple flowers nod.
I can’t recall the sensation of pleasure, only the context, which I would have to tell as a story. Would it turn you on?
Here’s a story. Antoine Saint-Just rises before the Assembly and makes a dizzying argument. Even though King Louis XVI may now call himself Citizen Louis Capet, and say he is a friend of the revolution, he still must be executed, because of what he represents. There is no need for a trial, because the monarch is above the law. For me, I see no middle ground. This man must reign, or die.
Another. Walking in the woods, I find a flower, all white, pink-tinted, glowing in the shadows. Indian Pipe, or the Corpse Flower: Monotropa uniflora.
Another. They walk the King to the scaffolding on January 21, 1793. He says something, but the drums are so loud, no one hears. Something about innocence. The blade flashes, a muted thud. The end of feudalism.
This flower doesn’t need light, because it’s parasitic. I touch it, and it’s slick. Its head hangs pendulous.
Another. I remember a corner of the park, the windows rolled down, cool air pouring in so we are shivering, and she whispered, come inside of me.
It’s supposed to be that the will of the people gives the state sovereignty. It seems also that the state comes into being to push past people’s innumerable, inconvenient objections.
Saint-Just: He must die to assure the repose of the people.
If the state is an argument, one of its presuppositions is the people’s restlessness.
You see, the flower takes what it needs from a host, a nearby plant, often a tree. Also, its entire body is one inflorescence.
An act of violence, when it’s staged, is so satisfying. I think of protesters and cops arrayed, encircled by others with smartphone cameras.
Alice Notley says Death to all evangels / death to the head of state…. death to your pitiful salary. I read it in a photograph of the page, on-screen.
Saint-Just: One cannot rule innocently: the folly of that is too evident.
Forms of state policing: to imprison, discourage, employ.
I am walking with a neighbor, and she says, I can always tell when someone isn’t from here. How so? Just, you know… high hopes!
I overhear: you were measured as having been away from your desk for on average thirty minutes. As far as going to the bathroom, you just need to be mindful, and take care of that before your shift starts.
Here, I offer you 1,000 Monotropa uniflora, one for each humiliation.
Each head hangs pendulous in the quiet.
I strain to hear while I’m doing the dishes: the market, democracy, accumulation, stagnation, rent economy, neofeudalism.
Saint-Just: The folly is too evident!
Roque Dalton: It seems to me the dead have started to realize they’re becoming the majority!
In the end, it is a body like mine. One inflorescence. They put him in the hole, rested his head by his feet, and sprinkled quicklime.