Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 21, September 2012)

Daniel Borzutzky
(from In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, a new manuscript)

for and after Marguerite Duras


“If there weren’t things like this,” writes Marguerite Duras in “The Death of the Young British Pilot,” “writing would never take place. But even if writing is there, always ready to scream, to cry, one does not write it. Emotions of that order, very subtle, very profound, very carnal, and essential, and completely unpredictable, can hatch entire lives in a body. That’s what writing is. It’s the pace of the written word passing through your body. Crossing it. That’s where one starts to talk about those emotions that are hard to say, that are so foreign, and yet that suddenly grab hold of you.”

“If there weren’t things like this,” writes Duras, and by things she means anonymous bodies that fall out of airplanes.

He was an orphan and had no family and was found dead in a tiny village in France. One of his school teachers would come from England every year to put flowers on his grave.

“He’s a corpse, a twenty-year old corpse who will go on to the end of time.”

“If there weren’t things like this,” writes Duras.

A writing of ghostliness, of anonymous corpses, of anonymous love.

A writing of love, anonymity and attention.