has its own delay—
as when the individual denies herself the right to shower
or even use the toilet
(speaking hypothetically of course)
she has completed some distasteful task.
way, denial or withholding is the form of invocation par excellence.
the act of showering turns out to be so onerous.
one has to select and put on one’s clothes, and dressing itself
an act of invocation to the world
to take on.
wonders if invocation is therefore the craft of delayed gratification.
creamed mushrooms before you get any dessert.”
leave the table until you finish your mushrooms.”
sits in the shadowy dining room alone with a gelatinous mess of mushrooms
chilling on her plate.
go to bed.”
the process of making a poem an invocation to
and invocation to, after a fashion,
the mother’s art of teaching delayed gratification in fact
and prolonged practice of delayed gratification?
of slamming one’s fingers in the door:
requires a body to jump up and down just to
the body inclines forward over its pain,
it living toward?
this writer keeps a 1967 Random House Dictionary of the English Language
it to locate “invocation,” the page falls to the “K”s and
for with earnest desire
to, as for confirmation
formula used to conjure up a spirit.
that brings forth
is circuitous and indirect, like the mapquest directions
the driver stopping at a gas station anyway to get help.
wants to ask for help.
wants the magical formula to conjure up what can’t be understood or
gets us back to withholding.
all of this fits, obscurely, together.
the nature of the calling out.
the nature of addressing all this language to a person whom the author
has met only once in the crowded entry of a bookstore, and that only
for a few moments.
the nature of the holding it in
as we have already established, is
truth of calling out.
the nature of one author addressing another.
example seems apropos.
records the incident of a younger child biting his older sibling.
a flesh-eater,” his uncle remarked.)
preschool teacher suggested that for a pre-verbal child, biting
way that frustration gets exteriorized.
about it: to bite another, to take a piece of their self into one’s
not yet able to speak—
isn’t that to invoke speech of a different order?
that also to cause the aforementioned “invocational pain” that must
withholding and invocation and delayed gratification—
seem a bit of a stretch—
texts suggest that in many cosmogonies a trope of “secretion” recurs.
create worlds or other creatures by way of bodily secretion: spitting,
shitting, weeping, bleeding.
are we to make of this in light of Freud’s theory of anal retention?
it in until she could hold it no more.
(N.B. Virginia Woolf noted in letter to a friend that she found the
having a bowel movement pleasureably analogous to engaging
conclusion is that certain kinds of retentive behaviors are also richly
conclusion is that we humans are made up of divine waste.
this poem to you.”
and withholding are indirectly invocational:
this poem to you while trying to avoid the use of personal pronouns.”
the use of magical formulas meant to invoke,
waste that we are,
should not come as any surprise, and in truth is entirely predictable
showered before commencing this poem, I slowly got dressed
as I wrote