O Two

What is the inside, what is the outside?

What is censoring?
What is being censored?

Leslie Scalapino, Editor

1991 • 192 pp. • $10.50
ISBN: 9781882022090
Poetry, Prose, Essays

Purchase from Small Press Distribution

A collection of 31 poets, and the artist Richard Tuttle, who are writing the individual and the communal awareness, in the words of Bernadette Mayer, a “Plural Dream of Social Life.” 

“Then a tip of air moves to fill the space moving a leg apart from a leg. Slightly apart, the leg will promise a little breeze to the part. A seamless song stays the tip of an invective against the child’s mother. One can’t see the mirror on the tip of a flower.”
—Carla Harryman


Leslie Scalapino (1944 – 2010) is the author of thirty books of poetry, prose inter-genre-fiction, plays, and essays. Granary Book just published a collaborative book by artist Kiki Smith and Leslie Scalapino, titled The Animal is in the World like Water in Water. Scalapino’s It’s go in horizontal/Selected Poems, 1974-2006 was published by University of California Press at Berkeley in 2008. Other books of Scalapino’s poetry include Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night (Green Integer), a collection of eight years; Zither & Autobiography (Wesleyan University Press), The Tango (Granary Press), Orchid Jetsam(Tuumba), Dahlia’s Iris—Secret Autobiography and Fiction (FC2 Publishers); a reprint of the prose work Defoe (Green Integer); and It’s Go In Quiet Illumined Grass Land (The Post-Apollo Press).


Steve Benson
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
Clark Coolidge
Victor Hernandez Cruz
Tina Darragh
Alan Davies
Lynne Dreyer
Carla Harryman
Fanny Howe
Laura Moriarty
Harryette Mullen
Kit Robinson
Richard Tuttle
Anne Waldman
Hannah Weiner

and many more…


Carla Harryman, FROM: THE WORDS, Chapter 3

A child touches a flower.

Then a tip of air moves to fill the space moving a leg apart from a leg. Slightly apart, the legs will promise a little breeze to the part. A seamless song stays the tip of an invective a against the child’s mother. One can’t see the mirror on the tip of a flower.

The cool child is father to the man.

The hard child is mother to the man

The quiet child is mother to the woman

The burning child is father to the woman

is sung and the singing goes on while the mother arranges a bouquet with irritation. Even so, this mother would make a better congress person than the X man. This is written on one of the spools All-the-Loss-That-Ever-Was one day dropped off at the museum where there had been a group of pressmen and presswomen dropping in on Boltanski.

In defiance of the mother’s flower estate, the legs part a little farther in the song, and the mother’s body’s gold mountainside and baby pragmatism collide. You can not, says the strange doctrine, written with this mother’s clash.

But defeat will be remade into rapture.

Or myriad seeds when struck by passing war machines will give birth to comedy.

Is that so, thinks the Chair, or the nihilist, the Romanticized-Hell-Grabbers, or even the man lurking around the magazines at the drugstore when they encounter such slogans. Is it so that defeat will be remade into rapture, or that machines will give birth to comedy, or that one can not when a mother says it, they think with the same thought as if all of them were the same person.

It was so that a chair was a chair in a room. Shadows curved in the room. A warm blue flew up our backs in the morning when morning was a seam stitched up by birds. Night had fallen into an abandoned trough halfway down the dune over which the nihilist traveled in his incubus by day and by night. Sometimes we would speculate from our bed that he was bolted down by blankets and that’s why he could speak freely on any subject. We were convinced that his claims became our own thoughts, and we would lay in bed thinking this and other things such as a machine is superior to a prop. Parroting the nihilist’s formula (there is a standard of measurement and value for anything, since there are as many possible standards of measurement and value as there are combinations of things in words) I would name all the things that were superior and what they were superior to.

The word glove is superior to the object glove. A hand is superior to a glove. A puppet glove is superior to a puppet hand. A puppet is superior to a doll. A doll is superior to a combat unit. A soldier in a combat unit is superior to a combat unit. A uniform is inferior to doll clothes. A tray is as low as a floor. But a floor is vastly superior to stockings. And then there is an assemblage of track records, which fall to the bottom of this verticality, though they’re buoyed up by a hardy variety of sewing spools.

Above the secular slide and gauzy strip we see through even babies know it is not possible to read someone’s mind. The slip shutter of pressmen and presswomen reaching for dots of Boltanski’s thinking to turn into ink is as innocent as reading someone’s mind, in spite of the spools of words floating overhead that contradict speech by turning it into objects. Boltanski says there is a dead child in each of us and the newspaper says it tomorrow. Flying babies write on spools floating above the exhibition’s landscape as if they themselves were an exhibit of daydreams and what they write are the missing words that predate an artist’s epiphany.

Laura Moriarty, From: Spicer’s City

When like palms with life
lines crossed as if memory
also didn’t last
you along the street seen
dripping with trees
the mind bright
We talked so long it burned my back. We never talk. My throat is bare. The sun. Never there. Day or night.
or white but not
like this stone ball
or like this record
The world in your town drenched as they say. Speaking about absence.
There is a register. A blur. A child tearing through the street. Not like you either.
high afternoon haze
your day to be home
In your day
is language strangely. You ask yourself what it will take. That taken. In the same words. A boy feels along the walls as if he were blind.
they take him
they taste him
The street is torn apart. That old street hidden and changed and hidden again. The new material. We don’t sing. Our steps thrown back. The pavement as white as the sky. Hell with the women these flyboys.
but you are no pilot
we sit in Gino & Carlo’s
at midday
The livid tables green as the child I mean what I say “We are not alone here.” The music is identical. The pipes moan. There is less water than before. There is no rain at all

Victor Hernandez Cruz, GOOD WATERS

We do not claim to be of the fallen
The tradition of Aqueybana was not
Just within the material
It was not just in the people of the physical
In rhythm it was what still dances
In gene Plazas
Orbiters of extraction
Luminers of the messages in songs
The laws of travel
The events of trajectory
How we formed in the interior
The round bohios
Which became the shape of our
Transmitting dance
Back home-shakers of maracas
Do not talk of things that do not
The presence is the presence
Claim for good the good of the good
Now claim you the delicious of the
Delight you gain
From the lost of the good to the
Out of step
And what out of goodness it was
That now the horizon vegetation
Chokes and the coming progression
Has no water or air
The tradition wanted more good for
The good to distribute throughout
Without finishing the spot–
It knew that beyond the needs there
Was no need to progress into that
Uptempo pace impossible to dance
That’s the “one voice to call back
the good of the good we have lost”
Even such that comes to your tongue
That too is there
No matter what or where
Aca or Alla
For conflict nuts
Say : Adjuntas and Chicago
We do not claim to be of the fallen
We are still delivering sound in red packages
Upon this there was only an attempt
At something happening
At the edge of realization
We are still waiting
We have not fallen.