Sharon Venezio


talking to Sartre in the shower,
I forget to wash my hair.  this is the first of my mistakes.

if hell is other people, then heaven must be solitude.
and nothing is an atheist’s paradise.

perhaps Descartes was right:
even bodies are not properly known by the senses

I thought of myself first as having a face     hands     arms
which I designated by the name of body.

a body occupies space
in such a way
that every other body
is excluded from it.

remember: I am.  I exist.
thought is an attribute that belongs to me.

I am not a wind, a flame, a breath, a vapor,
or anything at all. 

sometimes Picasso’s Bird Woman is all I can see.
wings flapping in my eyes.      

a chorus of voices
                  suspended in the spine.



and another day spent inside,
infinitely removed from every kind of perfection.

each thought demanding its own location.  
a streetsign.  an interstate. 

anguish is evident even when it conceals itself.

all the untying and untying for a brief moment of flight. 

oh Jean-Paul how you’ve ruined me  

Location: San Francisco, California
Publications: Transfer 88, Transfer 86, Shampoo 22, The Literati
Other: MA candidate at San Francisco State University

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