from Oh, Nowhere
by Scott Abels

       Printer-friendly version

According to a newspaper article on the origin of his business,
(the only surviving copy fragmented by water damage)

[…] his determination to [          ] business came to him early in life, depriving him of much in the way of higher learning, and of the benefit of a college educatio[

                  ]eft New York City at the age of 15 to pursue busi[

                                         ]ield began within
the paper business[

cable conveyed the thought, and so it would not vanish in thin air, paper provided the medium to make the transmitted thought a matter of record for all time. [

             ] was the umbilical cord with which the old world is reunited to its transatlantic offsprin[

            ]riters hinted the cable was a hoax, others [        ] it was a stock exchange speculatio[

      ]but he was looking to news from the east.  [ 

                           ] long cables had already been submerged in the Mediterranean and Red Se[

                               ] which is where most of the money was to come from […]

Author unknown, 1861.

from Field’s Journal, [p]age 17

[I’ve found that translations will always vary.  For instance, this

begins with] when I was young
                                                   [alt] last night
I had this dream.  My lover loved to suck
on a frayed cable.
[alt]  You’d chew through the roots.

I slept and saw the cable as a snake.
[alt] The ocean was a garden, and low on
snakes.  A man could relax.
[alt]  admire

their ability to sink and flee
responsibility.  We were more buoyant.
We had language.
                             [alt] I could make a snake speak.

This is out of control.  [alt] I fear [my] wire
has lent itself to singular desire.


Field has a real dream

See him—Field—eyeing the other side for
the first time, crying, dreaming, dally now,
please, see him, these are the images:

His frame was tough.

The parakeet with dirty feet
refused to wear dad’s shoes.
           He was reciting lines
         from the fibers of his shirt:

a bus,    something
about a white goat
                raised on a reed,     eyes

           behind ears, and light

has never been faster than
sound.  Placed nowhere.
Nothing was natural—
the tallest man
                       on the planet,
          real fear,
         and something to give
                                  all your love
that if we do
not achieve
we last forever


and as the last clear voice:
       not much exists that isn’t born of choice.

And the wire sent a message from New York:

Oh and to have arrived
on time and showed
up[ ]on the dot
or the don’t
apunon and
so so and so
dashed away with
the impatience
of the made
and made this this far
without saying the word
American, or even
in America ringing
and ranging
in size and time
do we do or do you make
what needs more words



In wondering what to do with the dream,
as in response and service to the dream
what came next
was business
ambition, not imagination.
The ensemble
(the line had yet to be unbundled)
said economy
over emotion,
                        said send
your whole devotion
over to the wire. 
                            Said go
make company with others.

Love’s Reply

My life has been divided by iambs.
We could say this is a general old age
and that I’ve become the soul of the song.
It was my own heart that gave me the grave--
both malnutrition and of having heart. 
Did you just bring me up to hurt yourself?
If you had kept yourself out of this mess
then this thing would be easier to read.
What thou lovest well was only of use.
Would I were of value.  Thy hope ends here.
If the risk of heaven is risk in pride
then calm always goes with down.  Tempers rise.

This is just what a song from love should be.
Listen dick      don’t fuck     with my history.           


Initial vision of the attack: Notes to a Cuckold

  1.  That the attack took place on November 28th. 
  2.  First penetration of the hostile position, 7:10 p.m.
  3.  A feint landing by pleasure paddle-streamers near the bathing-machines on Beach V.
  4.  A flank attack in an E.N-E. direction.
  5.  A main frontal attack.
  6.  [What’s the use of counting them now?]

We suspect the system is inherently reductive.  The effect of the enemy is to introduce inert velocities into the system.  We know the most common violation is by variety. 

An abstract enthusiasm of things related and not.  A lion lying down with a lamb.
Signs of an enemy letter.


Dear B., this is the way we touched each other.  Often I act as if I like surrealism, but it isn’t what turns me on.  Can we agree an erection isn’t a fist with violent intentions?  Have you ever tried to translate Heraclitus?  Do you really believe she can receive the same erection twice?  Must  muscle be the only political agency?  No more questions of intentions.  This is not a dialogue.  This is my country the minute of my love.  The first time I tried to sleep (no one slept.  This is difficult without euphemism) with your wife I got nervous and went limp.  The next time, communication was easier.  I just dropped her last name.

Dear B and the Lie

Dear B., sincere sorry is not always apology.  Now is the time you should say something like why should I listen to this?  Everything I know is filtered through my wife.  This is why you should listen.  Because everything I know is filtered through her.  Through your wife’s words.  This is twice removed.  It is in the least a constant translation.  Living diction.  Though the size of the field is incomprehensible, there are limits to sympathy and language.  We need the speech we keep from truth.  This is the place I could and can’t say this is so postmodern.  Right where we swear our lie.


Love Songs

Cyrus, I’m finally paralyzed.
You were an egg in a case of grapes. 
Cyrus, my eyes have gone missing.

I thought I had left them

next to my jaw
                 behind the lashes

                            do you know how much I love you?
            High ceilings,                             
            huge rooms.