Open House

by Brian Blanchfield

We came in here to pretend. Or, rather, they suffer a run on
faith who predicate their commission on windfall,
and that’s us. We saw an opening in situ.
The realtor was already inside the document we opened
and encouraged us to roam the levels, helping us to
imagine a family outgrew the rooms. Motivated,
she allowed. On spring days, a wind picking up, homosexuality
blows right into the sale of synthesis, and impresses, as if
we could explain. She entrusted herself exclusively
to the parlor floor, so we could call out, wherever we were
in the square footage, our running queries, like a family,
meanwhile prowling, meanwhile fitting our practices to
the built- ins —concrete slabs and formatting palettes at the wall
and window —meeting eyes in the walk- in until the term radiant
heating could flare, following by texture and temperature instinct
dimly understood, onto the balcony and into on- demand
water control panels, a room of them. To return respectively
where Wanda waited for candor going forward. We are two men
who can agree in murmurs there is no purchase
any more in Hart Crane, but we’d keep a room for him
called Eileen Myles. What is it about the pretense we belong here
that requires an agent? Or, is that the trouble, Wanda? To whom
to speak at the bank and about what not yet are we
prepared to say. We blew in notional. Somewhere in here
I once wrote some poems Eileen liked that Nijinsky could send
to his remote beloved and they demanded Diaghilev,
his signatory, the management, misunderstand the love
on tour at hotel intervals, the suite if not the marquee ever
in his name, remember, an imprimatur that effaces. One man,
another, and an other. Stamps his foot. Rigid valences
over the bayview, remember, in the same print as the drapes:
I drew them, then took that down and put it in
storage. Here, against the reclaimed material the builders
appropriated, and other disenfranchised phrases, it makes
a statement. Wanda, we weren’t faking exactly. Is it better to say
the cyclone fencing traffics in the paper trash the wind
found overnight or to have the wrappers spirited up against it?
We were merely on a walk we had predicated on commotion,
copyists no less than Bouvard and Pecuchet, no less prudential,
who needed only first to agree to fail in turn at every venture
except lifelong life together. In the follow- up,
I’ll need to admit my credit is better off undisturbed.
Apologist, archivist, agent, eminence, front, Wanda
there’s no room to call you muse. In the variorum, I had
this idea, upstairs and to the left. After dinner you’re welcome
to stay for coffee. Not far from here, strewn broadly,
we found a board game, and the penalty cards were prettiest.
What we do is turn them, escalating the damage
a player’d encounter, as a poem builds, or a bid, until his turns
are mortal, a chill Belle Islander, the thinkable tertium quid.
To reside, to inhabit, to dwell: did you know they’re all cognate
with staying? Wanda, together we have six thousand dollars.
Which, if it blew away, you might call some six thousand dollars.
Listen, pianissimo, the love of things irreconcilable.
That’s not us, not any more. But, we keep a room for it.

Last updated December 10, 2022