I presented myself as a bird to the structure which also presented itself as a bird. The structure sang, unfolded itself, and I thought There is something about architecture which moves, twisting, sunk deep into earth with steel rods and stakes but still unfurling winged, awake. And I asked myself whether I was winged or awake and I could not say yes because I seem to be sleeping. The bird is hung with banners and the bird unfurls, raises its head, its delicate bones, tender filaments, the skeleton that is hung with banners and is tenuous but is sunk into the ground with steel rods and stakes. And I thought Any moment now this structure will move up and out and suspend itself as though in water because here water and air are the same, and any moment now I too will suspend myself and perhaps dissipate as I have wished to do for a very long time. But then I thought this is impossible, I am fixed by stakes into the earth. I want to be hung with banners, to dissipate, to be erased, to be without.



“This is the Lord God, Holy Father. I am currently rather busy but I shall squander several moments here aggravating your dampness with my breath and my voice.”

Moments ago this entire room was flooded with water and I nearly drowned but the water receded.

“Do you know where you are?”

I appear to be in a room with an occulous, or rather a room with walls of black obsidian, or some surface which looks like black obsidian and a roof that is not a roof but rather a perfect and Euclidian shape or photograph of something I once dreamt, maybe it was about black obsidian that I dreamt, maybe it was about studies of clouds that I dreamt, I cannot recall exactly.

“You are in North Malden. I have placed you in a room with walls of black obsidian in North Malden, in the center of the arterial thoroughfare. The traffic blockage has the citizens of North Malden quite chagrined.”

North Malden.

“The decision was an arbitrary one, but I suppose it has something to do with me not caring for you particularly.”

Have I done something to offend you?

“Not really.”

Will you let me go home?

“I’ll do as I wish. I shall keep you here and look at you sometimes and think of you occasionally, but not often. You shall stay and wait until I have thought about other things and then maybe I shall think of you more often.”

The room is filling with water again.

“Yes, I have decided that it shall do that intermittently.”



Night we sat above the sea, or night
the sea sat with us, and neither of us
wanted to be a part of it
for different reasons

Dark things recede, I know, I read
in Newton’s Opticks
I think
or saw on the television a dark thing receding
a dark wall maybe, gliding out
or a window maybe
into unfolding hours,
itself stayed

But this dark came
I mean
it arrived, it approached
it spread its thick legs and pointed its thick toes at me
this dark came into me
and it felt, it felt
its breath at my throat
it spread my thick legs, stinging
the hand at my throat, the itch
at my ear, mouth pulled wide pulled
shut, shit knees, not breathing really or too much
breathing, too much of the heart or
too little, and it was waiting, waiting
to happen.



0. ENDELL we have very few pretty things that is tones of pretty things of music pure like a door a door a formal thing meaning nothing as a door is nothing is pure and affects us directly and the tone means nothing at all in nature in pure form in simple things in pretty lines and we have very few things and very few pretty lines but we at least have a few lines surrounded with nothing as music surrounding us is reducing the forms of nature to simple lines that are avoiding the windows and the naked things though windows are little but a few pretty lines windows windows are nothing but ornament and pretty lines and divisions and nakedness and nothing. 

1. BLOCH we we hear only ourselves and tremble and throw off our coats becoming the sound the sound flares out out out and we stand close to it hovering and strange and dark and warm and incorporeal and gradually a flame surrounds me being only by myself strange roots sound small and the sound hovering and strange and dark the sound of a forest nameless shafts of light and surround us and the roots of the sound tremble becominginward moss and roots and we hear only ourselves blind and warm and strange we walk we walk and whatever it is heard the becominginward vibrating air dark and warm and strange and we walk and we begin to tremble because we hear only ourselves and we stand close to the forest dark and warm and nameless a flame surrounds us and we throw we throw off our coats and begin to tremble and the sound of the forest is small and imperceptible and hovering the sound is hovering is not heard and we hear only ourselves. 

2. SPEER the empire that stood to transmit the time and the spirit when he wanted to he wanted to speak and spoke of his buildings or prosperity or men he spoke of rome of the heroic spirit of the anonymous history of empires of future generations of argument and the argument for value for a durable ruin more of stone and not iron stone not iron anonymous iron when he wanted to iron grew anonymous men were anonymous and the value of ruin was the lust of men men that lust for stone and ruin and rome with an empire of stone and not iron he wanted to transmit and to speak of his buildings and of great empires master and god he spoke when he wanted to he spoke like a roman building in fire in harmony with itself and he spoke when he wanted to he spoke with god he spoke when he wanted to he spoke of stone and he spoke of iron and he spoke of lust when he wanted to. 



stupid girl, goes into it at arm’s length, goes into it with a face like people wore when the taking of photographs was set into minutes, not the moments we have now, now with everything in rapid phantasmagoria, now, when there are only stunted pauses between the phantasmagoria to draw breath rapidly into the cavity of the chest, not like when people had to hold their breath for photographs, antique photographs, where they wore the faces they wore, taut, a little blue, scalines like cello strings, because they were theoretically holding their breath. And you know, I only know theory, I only know how to do things theoretically, I theoretically know to extend my arm its full length and hold you there, when I can feel your breath, theoretically, at the face of my open palm, yes, I think that is all I know, rhetorically plucking feathers from the broken bird in the backyard, or on the lawn, making mistakes, theoretically, because I don’t know what I am doing, I don’t know what to do besides pull things out, hold things at arm’s length, hold my breath, hold my mouth shut or open when holding my mouth shut or open is precisely, theoretically, the wrong thing to do.



this is what I have to tell you, what I have had you over to tell you even though it is christmas eve and we are both obligated to be with our families. That is what normal people do on christmas eve, decent people, but I am setting that aside, see, I have brought you here even though it is indecent and you had to walk in the cold along the wire fence and the tundra which this evening looks like russia, like the russia that lines the volga river, and not at all like the neva, the neva is lined with the sherbet Italianate stones that peter put there in the 1700s, when peter wanted russia to be french.

listen. you keep looking out the window but it is dark, too dark to see anything and you are not listening.

yesterday I licked the source of the woods. The source of the woods is a deep pit of churned earth and rose-colored quartz, maybe it is marble, I am not a connoisseur of stones, you know this.

at the source of the woods I found the relics of my childhood blanketed in dust and soot, the soot is a mysterious substance, it do not know where the soot came from. It appeared to me that the relics of my childhood were there to be incinerated, or that previous attempts to incinerate the relics of my childhood had already been made. But who would do this? Is this something I would do?


DAYCARE/Christopher Columbus

some morning all the river will swell up and overflow into the daycare center and wash all the children out to sea.

(I have been walking all day I have been overturning stones looking for you I have been walking quietly because the soil is damp and even with peat and absorbs the sounds of my looking for you)

I found:
I found a red cardigan sweater
I found a spoon, I found a watch that someone forgot
I found a single baby sock that smelled of wet bark.

I feel sad (do not feel sad
it was not your idea to build
the daycare center on the silt on the riverbank.
What a terrible idea)

peat has filled the damp footprints of children who tread here years ago and now
the earth is flat i mean
the soil, the soil is even. The earth is
not flat.



- where are we? Is this the Wood of Suicides again?


- huh. looks just like it.

well, it’s not. we’re actually not in Hell anymore.

- you’re kidding. when did we get out?

after the ice part.

- oh. so where are we? Purgatory?

we finished Purgatory. and Paradise. apparently you have not been paying attention.

- that’s so weird. it all looks the same.

you haven’t been paying attention at all.

- hey, do you have a sandwich or anything on you?


- i asked if you had a sandwich or something. starving over here.


- what? you aren't hungry?


- so you’re saying you don’t have a sandwich or anything?


- crackers?

....oh wait, I do have a sandwich.

- really?? what kind?

tusked boar.

- ....oh.

is that a problem?

- you don’t have pheasant or anything?

no. just boar.

- is it on that weird bread?

which bread?

- the bread with all the clumps and the dark crust.

yeah, it’s that bread.

- ....oh.

do you want the sandwich or not?

- ....no, it’s okay.....

suit yourself.

- hey, I have a question.


- is Error a construct of Man or of Nature?


- oh, hold on a second. you got your cloak-thing stuck on this pointy rock.



I am trying, trying to say to you, I am trying to say, it is lovely, so irrefutably lovely, and open, I am trying to say that there is no end, no silence, that silence – impossible! - ever outward as cobalt into cerulean into dawn, her florid headdress, rises, as all things continue, understand me, all things, the oscillation, the fluttering, cavernous murmuring, the cantus firmus, lingering, low grasses and cobbled grouting, so irrefutably lovely, understand, I will remind you, this dissonance in the low octave, in the left hand, uncertain but so irrefutably lovely, the oscillation, moves through you to graze the skin of others, maybe, maybe they are sleeping while you wake, but breath just moves upwards and out, and that is why the sky is colored the way it is, with breath, like a moth, barely audible in flight, I have nestled you between two dark folds to better hear the ricochet, nestled you between the blind arcade the braided columns and the singing, because the architect built this cathedral to shift with voice, to turn, jeweled, the space of the head the breast and belly, I have written you a vessel that shivers. I have written you a moth in flight, see.



flattening cheek I crush
the wall flattened
cheek expands
as a
fat child.

sleeping ((i am)
somebody holding their breath))
against my
necks nape

TO SAY TO YOU he says he says I HAVE

(you are angry and
you do not
you do not ask i do
not ask
you to stop
my hair
in fistfulls)

You please Yourself Your image/my spitwet face
it pleases You You are pleased You are angry and You do not ask You
do not (please please please) anymore

with my face
your fists 

he says he says YOU DESERVE

((so then (come
come and
sieze my jaw
come and
trace my gums
with the thick fingers you
would use for


a ricochet of gaze:



Dear H. John Greenaius,

I would like to register a complaint regarding the iconic catalogue of Nabisco snack foods. As Nabisco has monopolized the snack food market, effectively “evicting” the Keebler Elves from their treehouse/cookie factory, so to speak, I have no choice but to partake of Oreos and Chips Ahoy Extra Chunk snack foods when I crave such snack foods - which is never. In fact, I have not tasted an Oreo cookie intentionally for years, but I recall that such snack foods generally spread a strange astringency across the palate that is not unlike kitchen cleaning product; a malignant, carcinogenic tanginess which can only be described as the taste of my unappealing future: obesity, loss of vision to glaucoma, and, ultimately, slow paralysis and death. One might say that Oreos taste of the clumped, saccharine earth of my wet grave, the sedimentary layer beneath a Jello chocolate pudding mud writhing with strewn Gummi Worms – as in those dessert parfaits children are so fond of at birthday parties when colon atrophy and its complications are not mentioned for propriety’s sake.

Ostensibly, the most benign of your sundry items is the new 100 Calorie Pack, marketed towards the health-conscious consumer who fears obesity and therefore welcomes a tea-bag-sized packet of fifteen depressed octagonal cardboard wafers guaranteed to promote profound and almost Kierkegaardian loneliness and dissatisfaction. With consumption, one’s inner walls contract with longing, sucking blindly at the black residue of the fraudulent Oreo substitute forever engrained in the intestinal folds like mold in the tile grouting of the bath. I will state that, were one to construct a pie chart and title it “The Psychological and Physical collapse of Kristin M. Hayter in the Years 2007 and 2008,” approximately one-third would be devoted to 100-Calorie Packs, with the other two thirds equally apportioned, respectively, to My Incapacity to Exist as a Normal Human Creature and The Czech Republic, or Former Czechoslovakia.

I partook of an expensive student trip to the Former Czechoslovakia in January of 2007 - a student trip organized around a busy schedule of heavy drinking, clubbing, and eating. This was unfortunate: I could not partake of heavy drinking due to the vast quantities of benzodiazepenes I consume daily to assuage Panic, I could not partake of clubbing due to my general disdain for most people, particularly dancing people and particularly dancing people conflated with palpitation-inducing eastern european House music, I could not partake of eating due to generally odious nature of Czech cuisine and lack of nutritional information on the packaging of consumables. For two weeks I subsisted on nothing but apples, and I left the former Czechoslovakia weighing XX* pounds, completely and utterly constipated, my third-world belly bloated with ribbons of undigested apple skins.**

The flight back to the United States took nearly twenty-four hours in total, a period during which I consumed approximately seven apples for a total of around four hundred and twenty calories. The eighth apple I had packed was inexplicably seized at customs, which was greatly distressing, as I was painfully aware of my fragility and was entirely convinced that this eighth apple would save me from cardiac arrest or nervous collapse.

But I have failed to mention that there had been hope: my flight on Southwest Airlines included a box of Nabisco snack foods, appropriately labeled with caloric content, and the snack food I chose out of desperation to replace the apple was the 100 Calorie Snack Pack. I consumed the fifteen wafers with an attitude I can only describe as woeful voracity. Alas, due to the nutritionally void content of the 100 Calorie Pack, my condition did not improve, and I stepped off the plane at O’Hare Airport unaware of the year, time, date, or my approximate location pin-pointed on the globe. In my delirium I had the vague impression that I had been jettisoned on board a floating vessel, to play a marginal role on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Clutching my failing chest, heaving for breath, I stumbled along with the masses toward Baggage Claim, searching the faces for a shiny Patrick Stewart in his Enterprise captain’s uniform; he would take my hand gently and smile, disarming me with his sonorous British baritone:

“Welcome to Space, Kristin.”

“Thank you,” I would respond, “Do you guys have apples out here? I really need an apple.”

And he would smile again, gripping the flesh of my inner arm, and lead me to The Place Where They Keep Apples In Space, which I imagined as an enormous, titanium-lined granary of sorts simply brimming with Pink Ladies and Fujis and Macintoshes. And I would think that perhaps I had died and entered the utopia of my afterlife. Amen.

With Gracious Resolution,

Kristin M. Hayter

* omitted for the sake of propriety.

**An unpleasant effect of anorexia nervosa is gastro paresis (ironically common in diabetics), also known as delayed gastric emptying. Foods that are fibrous or fatty in content - or large quantities of food, or foods that the body is unaccustomed to - are subjected to the damaged nerves of the stomach and cannot break down in a timely fashion. Waste accumulates, sometimes forming potentially fatal obstructions called benzoars, of which I am perpetually afraid and for which my laxative abuse can be partially blamed. An excellent method to discern whether you suffer from gastro paresis is to vomit and observe whether the contents of your vomit are recognizable as half-masticated smorgasbord – like a thick, stewy borscht of the week’s leftovers. When the southwest salad you ate on Tuesday still tastes like a southwest salad when purged on Thursday, gastro paresis is a likely culprit.



i drank myself down(ward) 
made deeper the sea with my
drowning my
slant(y)eyed sweat
and sputtering 
and with
the smoke of my veins the sea was
spread dark(ly)

 where did you go yesterday?

( to the sea.  )

no, you didn’t. i was there. i would have seen you.

( i was hiding.  )

what? where were you hiding?

( in the reef.  )

oh. well, the reef has good hiding places.

( i dressed as a clownfish.  )

clownfish all look alike.

( i know. that’s why i dressed as a clownfish.  )

were you there all day? what did you eat?

(  a clownfish.  )

that’s awful.

( yes, i know.  )

i awoke (shore)sprawled
Orphic singing
stinging, salt(frost)ed –
sputter, Body, shuffle
the letters of your 

 and where are you now?


The Incident of the Pedialyte Popsicles was later published in the records under the "Accidents" log.  There was simply no possibility that it could be otherwise.  An infant, his little brain constricted by the very beginning stages of Piaget's Development, was categorically incapable of ingesting each of the thirty-two Pedialyte Popsicles with purposeful intent to induce radical electrolyte imbalance and seizure.  Surely Billious was taken with a sudden euphoria, the effects of the medicines which were being so assiduously applied, and the appetite for food and for life was restored and revived like an electrical charge.  The Incident of the Pedialyte Popsicles signified, according to the records, a renewed vigor - a quashing of the melancholia with which Billious was so terribly afflicted. 
It was the cook who discovered Billious slumped opposite the icebox in the Room of Refrigerated Things.  Billious was slumped beneath the hanging racks of meat.  The cook screamed when she saw the face between the lamb loins, the cook thought the crimson stains sloppily lining the lips and dripping down the chin and neck to be the child's own Life-Juice.  Billious' eyes were loosely closed, his heavy head pendulous on the neck's string (so often we forget that the head of an infant is grotesquely and disproportionately large by comparison to other species of head.)  The slate floor of the Room of Refrigerated Things was littered carelessly with naked Popsicle sticks and their corresponding plastics, the slate floor reflected the tableau - the unconscious infant in his lace bonnet, the detritus of the Pedialyte Popsicles, the swinging racks of meat, the icebox - in sticky crimson pools.  

The cook screamed and lapsed into silence.

 The cook screamed again, and then ran from the Room of Refrigerated Things, and returned shortly with a white linen cloth to  cover the corpse.  When it was ascertained that Billious was not quite dead, the cook ran from the Room of Refrigerated Things and returned shortly with Smelling Salts to revive the not-quite corpse.  Once revived, Billious emitted a quiet gurgling utterance, which in the records is documented as an utterance of "affirmation - a celebratory affirmation of Life and of exquisite and unique nuance."