Hun 11, 2015

Transmissions of Violence II

by Cid Corman

Terror—Ed—is not
Sitting in one's piss.
I know—I've sat there—

I've slept there and did
Most of my childhood.
That was warmth—in fact—

And comfort—in spite
Of the unconsealed

Smell. Terror? That was
And always will be
Mother cursing Dad

And there there I am
Alone in that night
Hearing that door slam.


DE— The word “enuresis” works very well with the sounds of the first stanza. Also, it has an onomatopoeic quality.

DE— Thanks for this poem. Like him a lot as well. What I’ve heard of him, what I’ve read from his hands. I appreciate the poems where his layers are hidden, almost denied, like in his shorter haiku-type poems. The layers in this one’s more explicit, there are already (at least) two terrors, and they seem to increase the more you give to / take from the reading.

The first time I read it, I thought terror came from the punishment of the parents (door slam) but now it seems to me that we also behold the terror of the parents’ fight, the possibility of breaking up the family, abandonment. The pain blooms here, I think, as the poem confuses me (and maybe the child) if his enuresis was effect or cause of the parents heated argument, the door slamming not only between the child and his parents but also between the parents, and thus pressed, the child’s internal system finds a way, a small (unconsealable) way out.

AN— yes to all points! except maybe to that guilt part. So much time and possibility in the here and now for us and I’m glad to be here “as long as you are” with or without any buzz

DE— Bedwetting seems to move the focus away from what’s inside. The effect is emphasized. For me, “enuresis” works better to preserve that mystery, the struggle between child and adult, waking and dreaming, control and freedom.

DE—A bit more on the title. I find a sense of detachment in it. It’s an adult word, something he earned (or at least, looked up, looked into) and applied to the state of a younger self who would not have known the word at the time. Maybe an effort (futile?) to seal off or seal away the unconsealable.