Online Edition: Fall 2001

The Weather

Lisa Robertson

New Star Books ($12)

by Jen Hofer

It felt like dense fog. What is fact is not necessarily human. Memory
anticipates. Authority flows into us like a gel. We cross the border to confront
the ideal. Streaky cloudy at the top of the sky.

The weather is a condition, an atmosphere, a reflector, a manner of addressing the space. Language chasing language chasing thought. Through variegated fields in smooth trips, tripping agile acrobatics as trapeze, lovely ease with some catch. As readers of the weather we are caught in the syntax of broken cloud movement, in the desire for accuracy of description, emotion, perception, belief, in the space outside our bodies, within which our bodies occupy an inquisitive niche. Figures, objects, forms, bodies: the space between or formed by, the space along the edge of, occupied by, held open for: shifting elements in an expanse. The weather is an evaporating theory, tide-like frontal recession advancing in subtle maneuvers, negotiated minutae reportage tinged with largesse....

we excavate a non-existent era of the human. Everything is being lifted into
place. Everything is illuminated; we prove inexhaustibility. Far into the night
an infinite sweetness; beyond can be our model.

As a model, diffuse: as a sky. As a model, an antecedent diffuses roughly or refuses. In words the weather corrects itself cumulatively, meanings more placed than replaced in a text ribboning out--jutting forth, doubling back--beyond itself. "Pattern undercuts the slamming heat; we speak into the dark and make corrections: Shadow for Hour. Tantrum for Lyre. Lure for LightŠCurious for Lucid. Door for BridgeŠWhen accuracy comes it is not annihilated; we're economical with our sensation." The accuracy of the weather: not static. As a model, as a mode, as a mutant spiral doubling back into rigorously formless patterning: "Every system's torn or roughened. Every surface discontinuous. Everywhere we are tipping our throats back, streaming and sifting." The weather a form of praise, a form of forming, a form of sincerity, a forum for noticing within the confines of time and place: the days of the week, a residency, inhabiting time and tone, logic's lodging and longitude under cover or consideration, a porch, some verse, perseverence.

Sometimes, just what I praise, I believe. Words
take a verity to paradise.

The paradise of veracity tilts, flickers, stutters like snapshots in sequence. Description feeds: voracious nourishment in repeated attempts, belief the casualty, belief the cause, belief the hinge, no ease in paradise. "Not for whom do we speak but in whom. Umpteenth agony. We rest on the uncertain depth. Speak to us non-responders. Where can a lady embrace something free blithe and social. By our own elasticity." The weather is on and in and through the world: the social adorns, the social pokes through, the social a discussion before belief. Experience filtered through the weather or the weather a window through which to read experience: the weather a log, the weather an incident, the weather an insistence, the weather the attempt the description the nourishment the beyond.

Sometimes I want a corset like
to harden me or garnish. I
think of this stricture--rain
language, building--as a corset: an
outer ideal mould, I feel
the ideal moulding me the ideal
is now my surface just so very
perfect I know where to buy it and I
take it off. I take it off.

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Fall 2001 Table of Contents