Connor Grogan


Cull//hollow cusp, congress of metal & reef.
Couple the coral & the hallowed hul(l)king
body, bury the body in the reef beleaguered, leagues
across articulated cartographies. Clasped cable-
ship sunk, shoreline spectacle that forms the floor.
Cathodic currents pass through a body with
the same salinity, through carpal/tarsal extremities
strenuous, tendons straining for sensation. Hands &
fingers thrush & tread the skin-soft, arc-angled flesh-
canvass, the naked back backed by a billion nerve
endings. Spine-embankment entangled. Nervous
tissues, strained axons & dendritic arborization.






Organs ought to offer up ample
opportunity for micro-metamorphoses
from flora to fauna & back again. Start
by secreting tree sap & fruit. Then,
shed wings & collapse on supplesoft
kneecaps, grow thick keratin
protrusions fossorial. Furrow brow
& burrow down in dirt. Disturb the worms
& worm your way past your own roots.

I finger my ribs, & small the bulge comprising my stomach.                                                      






I see, I read, I
world, I am, I
articulate, I
incorporate my
Self, I sing
the "I," single
unmoored line
across whole
swaths of text.






The Body is when I have no distinct passages
in my mind. My body is a constellation
of organs. Fleshy circuit sensorial that assembles
the synaesthetic self, suspended in the empty.

Wall of data. World of raw sensation.
Common text of the world we all read.
I receive flashes of past filters,
post-semantic feeling, the fleeting

scent or sense of something bubbling
beneath the surface. Unable to cast
the net quick enough to catch that
batch or un-language the moment.






What a difference being sensate makes!

I'm not equipped
to describe this:

I've been Blond since the beginning.

You must be fed & no faster than this.

I am full-to-bursting with opinions!

I split & box away the self.






I can split from myself as
many times as I want
in a day, I know
three different ways:

         a)      BIRDS,         BIRDS,         BIRDS

                   I lift my hands up to eye-level
                   & allow my fingers to shake.

                   Extremities, knuckle-knobbed,
                   become birds bursting out my skin.


                   Ever since I trained my
                   writer's eye it's been

                   nothing but           birds,
                   birds,      birds,      birds…


         b)      ORGANS || ARCHITECTURE

                   I get off the highway past a copse
                   of organs in the air. Transubstantiate.
                   The landscape is my body, so why not
                   give it pairs of lungs for leaves? I am trying
                   to become a Body Without Organs.


                   I sit at the waterfront, tiny human
                   figures dawdle on the roof of the
                   hollow, brick, abandoned building
                   across the street, with its plastic sheet
                   windows; flapping, selfsame eyelids.


         c)      THE FUTURE || MACHINES

                   I walk myself to a set of big double doors.
                   In a post-singularity world, even our own
                   brains become portals. As if they weren't al-
                   ready. I approach the apparatus. Diagnostic/
                   holographic/stasis chamber; escape pod.                  






I wanted to have a well developed coherence relational analysis. I wanted to have a well developed sense of self. I've seen three installments of the self. I have three distinct passages in my mind. Everybody is writing about their body & I am no exception. The only way I know to cope with being in a body is to stare at bodies & imagine that they know the same isolation. I cease to exist at least every time a flock blots out some swath of sky. A tremendous weight has been lifted. I cultivate my concentration but it breaks in the face of the feather-rustle flutter— bird-clutter— in the branches: the gospel of no-self, of swarm.


I have found myself lifted


                                                                           , sufficiently lifted.




This piece was written in conjunction with a chapbook that was a part of my undergraduate thesis. All the poems in the chapbook included footnotes that made reference to different sections of the Appendix in an attempt to experiment with fractured, associative engagements with text. I approached it with a concern for sound, association, lyric logic, & the role of language in the construction of senses of self.