Franz Wright
Jenn Morea
Ted Pelton
Susan M. Schultz
Amanda Nadelberg
Standard Schaefer
Matthew Cooperman
Ed Taylor
Coralie Reed
Gretchen Mattox
Mark Rudman
Ales Debeljak
Simon Perchik
Bendall on Wagner
Schroeder on Mullen
Thompson on Gibson
Minor on Tran
Rippey on Hannah

SUSAN M. SCHULTZ : theories are but one night's shelter

The Philosophy Student

She gave her theories names because she wanted to love them.  There was the theory of linguistic feeling, which insisted that words come before sense, seismic flutters in a museum case.  And there was the theory of inverse forgetting, where the future would be set aside like highway projects for later funding.  Yet she wanted them more concise, these names, so she referred to them as her favorite hurricanes.  The greatest of them had been women: Camille, Betsy, Audrey.  Then Andrew scattered lampshades across half of Florida.  Diogenes and his lamp could make no more light than that.  Could not arrange what was meant to be set aside.  As the Stoics said, you take your lumps because they’re all you’re given.

She gave her theories names because she wanted their love, too.  Might the words she fed her screen sit in her lap like orange cats?  "The one I cling to is but a word in my mind when he's away.  The word I cling to is his, though he cannot hear me say it.  The one who hears it, lives it.  The one who lives floats like words on a flood-plain, erupting not from levees, but from my syntax."  She would put these words to paper, as words to love.

Her theories come back to us as persons stranded on roof-tops, engorged in mud, holding signs like Help us or like 4 persons and a dog inside or like Fuck Bush.  The sign means something is needed.  The sign tells you how to get it, if only they will come.  I post my sign here, where theories are but one night’s shelter (from the storm, from the darkness, from each other) and I pray (my sign to an illiterate god).  Come, give us what we lack.
for Bill Lavender



(c) 2005 Slope. Slope is ISSN # 1536-0164.