An Hispanic Identity Meaning Switches and False Twos

By Roberto Harrison b. 1962 Roberto Harrison
There’s a dispute as to whether a name can be given to mills or not. If
an essential root is given to one arm, they might be revolvers in insect’s
casings, winding down a river of dirt in giving you, America, too small
a thimble, the carcass of instruction and wavy, diminutive hand signals.
From a cracked stone mouthing, to an unplayed game (still wrapped),
to the skin of my plastic voice. There is a slow moving, not fast like
the static form of urban frames. If you want (and here is IF, again,
with indecision) to describe misdirected outcroppings from a battery
of daylight shells, I mean light, I mean dark colored turtles, one map
giving birth to another, this, flown heavy with rupture and landed after
a piece was found. Not enough. There is a simple solution to your
house, and my wooden block. One politic NOT on top of an Other, as
one’s head is wrapped in a box, in a hole. Spittle looms swim, bide time
clicks, made queues on an S, connected to separate one from a ONE,
towels, in seeing an ocean first and making Balboan curves, you know
there are all kinds of sticks. A brick, painted with soft hair, builds up
questions to age and blacken linings, whip tailed lizards, their eyes are
what implants carbonized blinking, placed alongside letters, the hold
on becoming an END. Chips give sound to fingers, the Oh returning
in flowing error, twice committed. Flood. Not a zero or a one, as if
cornered with prostituted faces leaning outward, an Escape weighing
about an army of lip collectors and fused hands and their whispers of
Xs as in 2 again or more. There is the border of skin there is the
border of membrane there is the border of number. Tongues firing the
burned and buried. 2 and on, and THEN its disappearance. Invisibility
solidified, a welt on a willow. You know a letter, a cache in a person.
Memory management errors undone. Fluid as blood. Blood as a
turning through time.

Roberto Harrison, “An Hispanic Identity Meaning Switches and False Twos” from Os, published by Subpress. Copyright © 2006 by Roberto Harrison.  Reprinted by permission of Roberto Harrison.

Source: Os (Sub Press, 2006)

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Poet Roberto Harrison b. 1962

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Roberto  Harrison

Biography

Poet Roberto Harrison was born in Oregon to Panamanian parents; he and his family moved to Panama when he was a year old, and then to Delaware in 1969. Harrison pursued studies in mathematics and computer science as an undergraduate; after a year of graduate work in mathematics at Indiana University in Bloomington, he traveled in the United States, Europe, and North Africa. His collections of poetry are Counter Daemons (2006) . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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