009.1: Andrew Zawacki:: are & collider 009

My partner and I were walking through one of those nature preserves a little while ago. The weather had just changed in Louisiana and there was only about a month until the place became wet and oppressive. It had been a lovely day until we got into a fight about the naturalness of this nature. My basic thrust was that this thing – albeit beautiful with its dense marsh transitioning to swamp – was wholly unnatural and that we were fooling ourselves if we thought that this was nature – the cement walkway, the trail cut back by teens in Affliction t-shirts… I felt we were somehow corrupting this, when, perhaps, it was only me who was corrupted/corrupting.

In “are,” we begin in the midst of a domestic scene, something familiar and pedestrian – a kitchen, a dishwasher, soap. Through Zawacki’s pressure on the line and use of the page, what we are familiar with becomes unfamiliar, ominous – this dishwasher “biffing & chaffing the bone / china plates.” All has become displaced. It is this unfamiliarity that leads to the speaker’s anxiety of self and space, a crisis so to speak of mortal isolation, one that we share. Like “are”, “collider” collapses the space between self and other, interior and exterior, and as the title implies, this collapse takes place through violence – through collision. Zawacki’s work here, and elsewhere, counterintuitively proves to us that our connection to others and our environment is what makes us realize our true singularity, and when we employ the first person plural “we,” we mean something else entirely. Nik De Dominic


we in an en
vironment—nowhere we can
        be & not be there—or are we
                                               of it:

dried yarrow
& piccolo basil, flaking
                  from a vase on the sill,
                               the dishwasher

hydraulic falsetto,
             biffing & chafing the bone
                                    china plates,

soap on stainless
on stick-proof Tefal & I’m
              scared to hell of the fuck if
                                             I know,

that something will
take you, before I can go,
                 & drag me with it while

me behind:
a man can unbuckle at
        nothing, at night, like ripples
                                 from a blade,

at an mp3 of birdsong in the Bois


Verona inside
the body, the
veins, & Venice
dissolved in the mind,
spooling at speeds
of incommensurate order:
a bullet
train crossing a backgammon
board, or the metro
to fit inside a metro
-nome: help me,
someone says,
take off my face