CONCERNING THE HEART
To be a filmic convulsion of the discrete.
To be a voluptuous and radical specificity.
To be live seawater sucked into a barnacle
Burdening its plurality of tongues, shifting
The self into the load of its digestion.
Running the body’s lard energy around
A vascular system that has no true heart.
I read Descartes’ appropriation of Harvey.
I read they both attributed the heart’s pumps
To muscle power. To be electric. To be wound,
Like a toy hammered into a thousand thousand
Eclectic, vibrating parts. To be the organelle
Within the organ within the cell. To be
The reification and rarefaction of substance.
To be matter even in thought. So, when I write
I read Descartes, I write with fingers and bones
And eye substances that read with tendrils
Upon tendrils of body. I read and understand
Through fat as it moves as an orgy as a tide
Sliming into the body hole of the barnacle.
Sliming the seawall with the green material
Of algae, its chloroform a chorus of death imps.
I am not a special instance of crystalline ice refracting its form against an impinging nature.
I am not a snowflake individuated in a prismatic mode radial like a polis, like a fleshless eye.
I am dissolving into thick putrid spit, transbodily bacterial in a flesh forest of magenta tastebuds.
I am an intersexually transmitted disease, a fire on the tongue, unfolding into trash as toasted petals.
I write I to explode I into fat cells that can’t multiply but that can burst out into other fat cells.
I write I to say that material contains multitudes of globs sluicing about, thick into oyster sputum.
I write I to say that there are blisters within blisters hawking their contacts past opaque obstructions.
I write I to say that fat is a totality of slime on the globe but not a closed system, not an ouroboros.
I write I to chant how I pop zits in my abject crevices so the oil leaks, defining its putrid absence.
I write I to howl at the industrial refuse collecting in pimples with bacteria an engulfing immunities.
I write I to declare that I am as much immunities and bacteria as I am a face cycling through masks.
Souvenirs are everywhere, so much so that it is a little insane, so much so that the archive of them overwhelms me. Candy wrappers, mechanical dolls, limbs, books of lyrical poetry, inhumanly yellow mustard, used tissues, photographs of wounds, and all of this dead and forgotten material are all kinds of souvenirs. Who is to say who will remember what? Who is to say any of this tactile matter matters?
Aaron Apps is a PhD student in English Literature at Brown University. He also holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. His first book of poetry Compos(t) Mentis came out from Blazevox [Books] in 2012, and his second book of hybrid-genre prose, Intersex, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press in 2014. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in LIT, Washington Square Review, Verse, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, PANK, Caketrain, and elsewhere. He is also currently co-editing An Anthology of Posthuman Poetry with Feng Sun Chen.