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
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.