Exquisite Corpse - Issue 4
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Purity and Danger
by Jen Hofer

Day 27

It became     experienced.
Organs, or
     limits of


a competitive situation unlike any previous
flexibility of behavior and a living
substance become capable of
language and these,
the basis of the latest deployment of life.
27     Elasticity

     The unseen competitor is that
intangible "competency" which must be achieved
and every hour, life seems to have no other wish than to prove
there is no time or space ... And I would still adore you,
     again and again. Whatever it is, bad weather or

good, the loss of a friend, sickness, slander, the failure of some letter
to arrive, the spraining of an ankle, a glance into a shop, a counter-
argument, the opening of a book, a dream, a fraud-
mism naturally does not stand without an ultimate disavowal.
27     The last step in biological progress

This combination of handling and seeing was necessary and
capable of performing fine discrimination of form and is where
worlds when considered in general and still more as the best of all
possible worlds when considered in particular and even if considered
capable and famous now ... And perfectly content ... And ...
                                                  This reduction of
the ability to accommodate is most noticeable
27     A woman's impurity

It would be a misinterpretation to read in these lines the expression of
an ultimate disenchantment, of a disillusion in the "moral."
Nor should we conceive too high an opinion of dexterity
or leprosy of persons, houses, and textiles or skins
incapable of use as hands, and

hands were a prerequisite for further progress.

The phrase itself, however, is ambiguous. Since
they also use their hands for manipulating
27     Plans

                                                       If the
evaluation reveals a deficiency or fault in the
knowledge or performances on which the
present lesson is predicated, it must be cor-
rected before a new lesson can begin.

On the other hand,

the craving for a strong faith is no proof of a strong faith.

If deficiencies or faults not associated with the
present lesson are           revealed, they should
be carefully noted and pointed out. Such
corrective measures as are practicable within
the limitations of the situation should be
taken immediately, but more thorough reme-
dial actions must be included in the future.

If, then, the consequences are not what you expected, you,
by being half-drowned,
made possible the freeing of the hands for the sole job manipulation.
27     California

phenomenon of bringing near objects into focus
by increasing the curvature of the lens is called
"accommodation." The ability to accommodate
gradually diminishes
                                                   and the wisest providence
could not think up a more beautiful music than that which our
foolish hand produces then.

Jen Hofer is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Mexico City where she is editing and translating an anthology of contemporary poetry by Mexican women, which will be published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2001. Her translations, essays and poems can be found in recent or shortly forthcoming issues of Explosive, Lipstick Eleven, Rhizome, Skanky Possum, Tripwire and in the a+bend press chapbook "as far as." Duration Press will be publishing a chapbook with her translations of the Chilean poet Soledad Fariža later this year. Jen's work can be found online at www.durationpress.com, www.morningred.com/friend, www.articlemagazine.com, and www.poetryproject.com/aplus.html.

Email: jenho@mindspring.com

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