Issue 25: Anne Lesley Selcer


An impression against the sea is the word for girl.

This is pure light cast off the revelry of record.

Time seethes forward. A wave crawls over a rock.

I’ll make a history by the day I’m done.

I’m casting rocks across pavement. I use my wrist.

A sentence of birds crosses the sun.

Your crime becomes my decoration

Inside the crooked time of work

I binge on infinity

I am caught in an ascending trap

I comport toward the enemy

Projected into extinction

But not yet dead

I cannot achieve generality

I ride myself into the sunset.

Ghost Story

The front of the dream

is blown off

leaving the picture like a giant sunspot,

at the back of the dream,

I reach into language, and I find nothing,

a new building, an empty swimming pool.

I crouch in this privacy,

this generalized infinity,

entrained in the rhythm of the monthly rent,

sovereign as a mother.

The gold and pink butterfly of my sex

is the second rate infinity

at the back of this scene,

wood, bamboo, parchment,

pear tree, apple tree, apple,

metal, diamond, horsehair, milk,

a murmur, not a grammar,

not the singular story of the sun,

an enchantment, a rejoinder.

Solar Rejoinder

The continuous and favoring ocean has nothing whatever to do with gender. More like sleep, it stretches, gauzes, waves and flaps, dissolves and pops. I awake from dreams, suddenly a mermaid there on the bed. The birds laugh, touch down, dive for a meal.

They raise their voices: Largess my sweet, I hunker on your rose a while, my gigantic balloon, my toy, my slow slow darling comeuppance to me. Freedom is growing, my sweetly, my trestle, my thorn, my pea.

They sing: The sun, who reared you to be loved by the deathless gods, supersaturates the fruits that fingers, boy like, love like, rising and crying, dawning and fanning, pluck from the waving and washing gold sea of fruit; they clasp the edge of the thousand gold trinket sea, to pull, in sugar sounding tintinnabulation, thousand fold, over thee. You lay in the dark brought to day by ludic sun.  

Dear Sun: Do not fall as golden change into my mouth. Do not establish yourself in paint, a red impasto travelling left. Do not lacquer my eyes. Do not glamour my skin, bright afternoon. Do not speak in cloud, cloud form, nor precipitation gathering. Do not look askance. Do not lewd profusion of stars. Do not throw me in a bath of gold. Do not ludic loop. Do not blandy and obscure. Do not a thousand flames. Do not flesh of sky. Do not silken rope. Do not marbled and blue. Do not destroy the night.

The birds flip direction: In liolet light, in lumened blue light, the moon, the stars, the algorithm, the monthly rent check, the missile of day. A psychic violet surrounded by green, the child urinates in a flower, can you see me? Moonlit beach light. A bugbite. A blue light. Look how far we’ve rolled. Locomotive, flipping, rhythm translucent, a dandelion seed exploding. Floating. The mother is the king of vernacular life. Several people taking pictures of light. In lumened blue light, in liolet light, lunation and river, roller and cuts.

The Sun responds: An additive practice stretches light. A descriptive practice freezes light. Lunation and river, rollers and cuts; the continuous and favoring sexes of ocean stretch, gauze, wave and flap, dissolve and pop. Melancholia airbrushed in Floridian color palettes, several ambivalent births, a conveyor belt of flowers, glittering inactivity, a handful of bright coin, bells, a key, birthing, stop.

Anne Lesley Selcer is the author of Sun Cycle and Blank Sign Book. She also makes writing-based video, sound and performance work, most recently presenting a series of collaborations. Her art writing has been supported widely by galleries and museums, and includes Banlieusard and Untitled (A Treatise on Form). She has a new essay called ‘The Houses are Murmuring’ forthcoming with Ma Bibliothèque.

Copyright © 2021 by Anne Lesley Selcer, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.