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The New Boys


He says problems in Israel will be solved by extraterrestrials, and I admit he can overplay the artist thing, but I like his paint-dripped pants and raggedy parka.

“People won’t remember what they fought about.”

What’s unformed, by lack of reflection, is for him an object of desire, provoking it to become actual.

I’m trying to stabilize what he says with respect to a line of meaning, one word after another, but he’s sensitive and the words are turbulent.

Another poet says he belittles the suffering of war torn peoples.

His thoughts dissolve back into mistiness, because of her descriptions.

Suffering becomes a kind of attractor or inhibition, turning into a causality.

He has no need to make extraterrestrials concrete.

“It’s moment to moment with them, it’s local.”

His comprehension is more like a situation where sand placed on a vibrating plate settles  into dead zones delineated by energy flowing all around.

Going over what the poet said, he tries to open to his chaotic feeling, and he relates his feeling of compassion to disorganization, leaving the cafe for a multitude of tiny phenomena, glints from his shoe, pigeon wings, the changing silhouette of a small dog, parabolas of its leash, hues of darkness, and phenomena not perceived.

I mean this as the world, a potential of matter and light, but I speak of it obliquely as young men and possibilities I imagine for romance. 


As they enter along the colonnaded facade, I marvel at the reduced affect of boys.

In triple layers of jackets, they look so slender. 

I half expect to find one of them sitting under a peach tree, reciting Wallace Stevens to Delphine Seyrig.

There’s sex, creativity, with the surrealist insight of a young faun, prone to sudden shifts, with complications. 

These boys internalize chaos, like children riding their impulses, circulating nonidentity as themselves.

Are there desires running through an impulse, deeper than its source?

My overall impression of him is composed of moment to moment sensation as connection.

A group of boy ravens explains to me how they relate shape-shifting with communication, and they encourage me to keep extending the connections. 

As he writes on his blog: moment to moment, environmental uncertainty acts as imagination for the group. 

Content is everyone agreeing to communicate online, as when coming out of illness, you break into multiple reflections. 

Breaks take place when you want proof you exist; style arises from that.

Remember that club where the musicians stood on cubes of bundled soda cans? 

Tonight is like that, but more sophisticated, the personae more diffuse.

I like when his sweater hangs below his jacket like a tunic or a dress, retaining shades of masculinity.


I may not buy his rationale about exploring concrete reality via wilderness camping or car repair. 

The young men at night seem hardly to exist, to linger as fluidity, relation, the tendency to actualize out of a set of potentials.

My date with him seems more like probability, a slow intensification of suspended lunar beauty, apparent stillness, the illusion of transparency.

If it weren’t for their shadows, these lightheads, boys, would have trouble staying on the planet.

Meanwhile, their connoisseurship allows us girls to explore the dark without being sucked under.

I met Soko online even before he signed to a label, then I read about his friends.  

His apartment is decorated like a broken down seaside carnival, a wind machine blowing scraps of paper into our painted faces.

A dingy white feather cravat spills down the front of his black jacket

He’s not homeless.

It’s an appearance of renunciation as settling one’s boundaries within the nonphysical illumination of a painting, dream or motif.

I’m thinking of Leonardo’s Annunciation.

We sit around a table, close, and look into the dark until we see it flow like lava, vibrational flows.    

Shadows in the apartment, as in the movies are real places, but outside my perceptual  range.

I glance into a shadow, and it seems vast

But the boys live on a thin screen, more like the shadow of an angel in the day.

The next morning, I’m covering my stocking feet in booties before walking across his hand-stenciled hyacinth floor.  

“Why can’t I do this in my heels?”


Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's book about stars is forthcoming from New Directions.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2008

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