The Book of Non-Writing 

By Daniel Borzutzky Daniel Borzutzky

There should be a writing of non-writing. Someday it will come.                                      
       A brief writing, without grammar, a writing of words alone.                                            
         Words without supporting grammar. Lost. Written, there.                                                                                        
                                                  And immediately left behind.                                                                                                       

                                                                —Marguerite Duras                                                                                    
                                                               (translated by Mark Pollizzotti) 

It came. Words smashed out of the sky and from the mouths and off the pages and from the flesh and blood of the bodies and the words hit the readers and were destroyed like more bodies and the fields of the nation were littered with bodies and dead. Carcass love, they called it. Carcass economy, they called it. And the readers found the carcasses strewn across the pages and the readers came and stripped their innards and twirled intestines above their heads like lassos. The carcasses fell onto the pages and were taken away in wagons and trucks and they were replaced with new carcasses that were sold for words before the flies laid eggs and the wounds had time to fester. FALSE CARCASS ECONOMY! Will the souls of the carcasses miss themselves when they die? Will the bodies whose lips slurp out the souls of the carcasses miss themselves when they die? Will the words from the bodies who slurp out the souls of the carcasses cease to exist when the bodies themselves die? The readers grovel in the pages and find themselves in ditches with the carcasses but they do not know the rules of the false carcass economy. In this book the readers can feel their feet being removed. In this book the readers can feel the splash of the abattoir blood that sprinkles the page with poems. How do you know if the poems have too many bubbles? That is, how do you know if the blood of the poems has too many bubbles? When we speak of our own lives, says the collective voice of the readers, we certainly don’t mean human life. On the page the readers find themselves crawling around like quadrupeds with hands full of grass and earth uprooting plants and trees setting out for home and not getting far counting corpses on the fields to hell with animals there is God grinding his teeth with joy forging his way through the ruins of failing flesh there is the machine that has annihilated the bulk of humanity is it semen or is it a carburetor that makes us unrecognizable we know who we are through decay and in someone else’s story this is a lot worse than knocking your own brains out with good results then drinking tea with sugar and milk and suddenly feeling revived then exploding with words and speaking with animals and sinking in mud and being found by peasants who clean turds and who are like silent gods with holes in their shoes it is horrible to eat horrible to bulge in the belly with food horrible to blink when so many can’t blink oh to ruminate once more on the air polluted with liability on the hair singed from pollution the eyes burning fingers shrivelling the exact moment of ending will not come for many millennia we will not be able to document it it will document us it’s okay to kill some bodies speak of nothing and you’re lucky to make friends flank kidney liver swollen body on the sand who are you now that I am speaking with a mouth full of words that do not belong to me I crawl across the page and I don’t know if I’m dying or dead.

Daniel Borzutzky, "The Book of Non-Writing" from The Book of Interfering Bodies. Copyright © 2011 by Daniel Borzutzky.  Reprinted by permission of Nightboat Books, www.nightboat.org.

Source: The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat Books, 2011)

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Poet Daniel Borzutzky

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, The Body, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

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 Daniel  Borzutzky

Biography

Daniel Borzutzky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of Chilean heritage. He has published a collection of fiction, Arbitrary Tales (2005), a poetry chapbook, Failure in the Imagination (2007), and two full-length volumes of poetry, The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007), and The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011).

Borzutzky’s work is often humorous and satirizes political figures and contemporary culture. Amy Groshek, reviewing . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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