Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 20, August 2012)

Rob Halpern
Whither Porn?, or The Soldier As Allegory
from Music for Porn

The million animiculae that graze upon this planet were created and endowed with organs and sense solely to enable them to contemplate the soldier.

—Charles Baudelaire, “Some French Caricaturists”

I’ve been told it can take years before one is able to grasp what one has written. I still don’t understand a book I wrote called Rumored Place, so unresolved and in flight from itself. That work concludes with a blank or a bar [ — ] placeholder for all we can’t perceive haunting all we can like the mark of something withdrawn from sense, which had migrated thru my book, a floating caesura separating visible and invisible logic of porn audible and inaudible aesthetic of state secrets. Music for Porn emerged rather feebly in that blank as my writing began to seek the shape of what could not be felt there, the content of that form like the plenitude of a void.

The poems whose music issues from this fault in perception constant interruption were seeking groping a figure, any shape or hieroglyph that might animate the contradictions near perfect correspondence between personal life and the regimes of representation property and selfhood that mediate my intimacies, be it to the bodies I love or the countless others withdrawn in scenes of conflict and catastrophe and to which my body is joined thru flows of arms and money, bodies I’ll never see but whose lack of being over there has been contracted to my well being here.