Applause, Applause, or, I Talk with Terry Gross from the Lonely Studio in my Head

chest of drawersI was reading Wolf Hall at the time—

Well, I love Springsteen because he’s obsessed with that vanishing point—

I thought, again, I’m getting there, I’m getting there–

when people asked me what I loved about it, I couldn’t tell them—

of course, Thomas Cromwell can tell you surely that the history you thought was a true thing, a valid thing that happened, was long ago put to bed is, in fact, a creation of language—

it’s like great sex, or the desire to have great sex, which is so often better than the sex, and the thing is, you can’t live like that all the time, you know, getting yourself into a state—

except that it seemed to me that Thomas Cromwell (who is not, who long ago lost his broad-skulled head by the hand that for so long fed it—

Well, Thomas Cromwell was a living creature, a system, like a spectacular, perfectly orchestrated symphony that delights the ear and lies, lies, lies alongside the pretend queen he helped get there and by there, I mean, yes, the throne of England, and yes, also, headless on the underside of the floorboards)—

and too, that compression, and because so often his music is just bad, wretchedly bad—

For so long I was obsessed with being finished, after something, some ultimate, final knowledge, a kind of philosopher’s stone, a memory trick, beneath the floor boards at St. Peter ad Vincula, slipping in and out of tapestries and prehistory, unnoticed, and–

it was like everything had to end in a “t” sound, try it, do, say eight and let your tongue bounce off your top teeth

and in this way he became obsessed with keeping track–

and I’ll probably have to leave the state when this airs—

as such, the truth is there, either hiding in the notes or just out beyond it, that vanishing point, so much dust with great chests of drawers and each one carefully marked—

feel it, you’re done, saying words that end otherwise is anguish, but when it’s good, god, a quivering mess, like neuropathy of language—

who has for so long been, and as I read, I thought, but Springsteen says it’s possible

but now, take heart: you’ve identified the system, again, for what it is, and, but it’s true, so to speak, that drum roll in “Thunder Road”, little ants have skittered on your tongue just before the instrumental, but nothing’s there—

All of this is possible, let’s go up in flames—


About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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One Response to Applause, Applause, or, I Talk with Terry Gross from the Lonely Studio in my Head

  1. dailypaisley says:

    If we had someone who could impersonate Terry Gross, adding a few snippets of questions, we could turn this into a podcast poem… I know, I’m way too into this new media thing.

    Guess who.

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