AMY MCCAULEY

Libido Fever

do you love me enough to ruin my life & / or lay me out
sparingly I / my desire only increases not mine you said I had to
grieve so I will do my best but / I want to happen like there’s no
such thing as repetition or / [did we really love without asking
whether we knew how not to hurt / who hurt / who knows each
other & / or oneself who / knows] // pause // but tell me why do
you dance & who are you dancing for [shut up you sleaze
okay / okay / okay] // pause // I took care , you see , to fill my
life with such miserable intimacies I didn’t feel what / well /
appalled at what / [who] / how I did but did I ever know desire
until now [look , it’s only grief dressed up in gladrags & how it
parades its stench of meats & spills the double-backed bedbeast
verily steaming down its plinth! I / I should really send you a
long way away you poor incendiary thing o , a thing to hold on
to like pleasure] // pause // now I shhh tread softly to the
downbelow devices & trawl your extant hungry smudges in the
bawled-all-over & trembling [o , the traps you set for my
cheapness / such is the failure of sincerity o , & the parapet of
your affect!] // pause // now / now / now the curtain rises & all
your dreams go public on a million infamous nobodies [you
must not cry / it is forbidden to cry] & may this wanting you
stop / never stop but Christ how lonely the living are in the
early faces dawn talking god / soaps / war & all privacy is
theft / against your will / my will / nothing like life // pause //
why won’t you come home & give me your love-diseases


without which not

the time I let my mouth out was a very bad time & in some
things Ma had a point but god knows she made that point with
an aggregate rage like / rage was a matter of fact thing or the
raft she clung to or the ultimate state of existence & / yes
according to her I had no business with things like feelings & in
that respect hers was a hit & run love or a bloody oil & knuckle
affair or // pause // a wound yes if anything Ma was a wound
the kind I was going to say that “keeps on giving” but can a
wound give / well if it gives I suppose it secretes which is
another way of saying displays & conceals for what is a Ma but
an impeccable mystery or allegory or // pause // the perpetual
suggestion of some unmentionable thing & its simultaneous
withholding or the answer to a question she devises under her
film which discharges / seeps / expels / oozes & if only this
weren’t the morning after the lifetime before & if only
the mouth weren’t a very bad time but it gives o yes it / gives but
when I say gives do I really mean takes & when I say wound do
I really mean // pause // & it helps to know what things are like
if only to feel the gap in the middle like // pause // simile were
an infinite generator of wounds / secretions / rages & the more
she takes the more she gives & what is a wound but that which
cannot wound itself



Amy McCauley works as Editor of Creative Response for the feminist visual arts website MAI Journal. She is interested in trans-genre writing, auto-frictions and feminisms. Amy’s first collection of poetry ‘Oedipa’ will be published by Guillemot Press in 2018.

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