Paul Cava, Listrum Vulgare
by GEORGE HUNKA
Pressed between the pages of a yellowed book, its thick red leather cover oxidising with age, or a palimpsest under glass: our vision overlaid upon a translucent writing, etched upon flesh, flesh upon flesh between wooden bedposts (antiqued, whether present or past), and all laid atop the seeds contained in berries hanging from the pulsing vine. An openness, her body a blossom, rooted upon his. A finger reached to touch, to disturb, and the page crumbles: sere and flaked, ink, flesh and leaf easy fuel for a wooden match. The intent of the disturbance to participate, but the couple is beyond us, too fragile for our participation. Their pleasure operates from within the veined green, behind the unreadable text, the foolscap of their history and inscription of their coupling. Legs intertwined to weave and thread through the crumbling textures of history, drawing them all to their root, his deep penetration into her, both arched in criminal desire. (See her limbs, fetished in a caressing silk.) She settles on him, full body surrendered, his body a bed for her that surrounds, into which she sinks, as the layers settle upon a tender page, inside a tender book. Under a glass that protects them, from us.
This could remain in light, as torn as a Schwitters collage, but Schwitters you could drive a truck into, you could laugh at the tickets and the numbers, the only travel here is towards the center, the self, not detritus of railroads, instead things themselves. These handwritten words, besides, not torn but fading: ink disappearing in light; dancing letters and figures in retreat from present torture.
In anger and envy you shatter the glass that protects them, holds them safe in the confines of the curling leaf, the arms that embrace her. If you were to set a match to the sere linen page, this architecture of the dry surface, it would burn quickly, explode, set them free, in eternal memory of each other.
Sunday, 21 May 2006