Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jess Wigent, review: Greenfield's "Tracer"

Jess Wigent

What is discovered by the tracer is a duck-taped vacancy:
A ‘review’ of Richard Greenfield’s “Tracer”


by Richard Greenfield
Omnidawn, 2009
ISBN: 9781890650384

What is discovered by the tracer is “not the fist stopped / in the mouth.”

What is not said can be traced.

A voice can be what is not said.

What is traced marks the location of the voice that is a trace: “this voice speaks only to itself, makes decisions without / considering others, / and some decisions cost.” This cost becomes the origin to be newly tracked. Because it is what survives that becomes. The sketch of what was.

(“blast shields” “patriot noise” “unapologetic power”)

A trace of something that no longer is.

This is what the trace becomes: the voice without a mouth, the landscape that is all edge and no record, the fruit without a core.

Does the tracer tracing the voice, the horizon, the event, destroy the voice, the horizon the event?

“For every new notion, the detonation of the old.”

It does.

What survives is the location of what’s missing. (A location is not an event.)

But a location can be traced. In the dips off roadsides, in the detritus to be removed from the rims of driveways, in the forms of debris on shores.

(But the trace of an event is not an event.)

The beginning of the event to be traced. What is not found. What is does not leave an outline. The origin is the absence that the outline becomes.

This could be a small amount of precipitation.
“Terror has its imitations.”
This could be the footprint of an absence.
The sketch of the event to be.

Even if absence can become, even if “the lack was the vest pocket charm,” there are omissions once were paths in voices, in bodies, to be traced.

Is the origin of the “I” an absence?
If the ancestors of the “I”, if their “bones have been the hoax of blood.” If the origin of the “I” is an absence untrue?

Can the “We” not trace itself back to the “I”?

Or “Is decay behind the answer, a lasting epiphany?”

The answer of what became the “I” is what’s been decayed, not the trace of what’s left.

The “I” become “We.”

Because the trace is the outline of an absence.

To make a frame. Capital could be needed. To mark the path of an absence.
This is why the flower “turned financial.”
This is why “The acre became an acre only in the moment of its purchase.”
This is why the “I” could become what it buys is only absence is not an outline.

Or the “I” and its body become the capital, “here to / add episode in the soil record.”

This record the outlined the absence of civilians the “I” survived. The tracer discovers their voices cannot be said. (The trace of an event is not an event.)

It is a very small quantity, a surviving mark, the body in the soil becomes a cost that becomes a trace. A signal.

The “We’ that is “Already I” is no longer. The “We” that will “turn the noon into an archived document of torture.” A signal. Of memory signals what will not survive.

A voice can be what is not said. To dissent.

It is what is not said “which demarks the elsewhere” which needs a future which “needs a signature signed out of strife” which needs what capital brings to make a not absence, to make an event, not a location, so the trace could prove what has been.

It’s no different when “loud nailholes in the drywall leak autobiography.”

The body. The soil. The “I.” The voice. The “We.” The future. “The history of the block before detonation will be abbreviated into the name of its replacement.” The body. The soil. The “I.” The voice. The “We.” The future replaced by its trace.

This is sometimes to be lamented.

Because “We can’t tell ourselves / from those whose loss is actual.”

What’s been replaced by its trace “would be absorbed into background.” Reabsorbed into absence.

This is sometimes to be lamented.

Where it is not to be is in the event that is the inbetween where the “I” becomes. The event that cannot be traced. Where the “I” becomes “nothing I do is witnessed, nothing I build lasts, I am happy.”

The becoming the event the location of the event that is the origin that cannot be outlined.

What was discovered by the tracer was.

“(one such thought turns once only)”

Jess Wigent
lives in Colorado where she teaches poetry to elementary school students and organizes public art/writing projects. She won the Memoir(and) Grand Prize in non-fiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poetry. She is currently a PhD student in the Creative Writing program at the University of Denver.

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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