Jennifer Tamayo Responds to Marcella Durand’s “Traffic & Weather”

Dear Marcella Durand,

Your book is concrete.   Your book breathes like concrete. Gasping in bubbles and bristling against.

Marcella Durand, this is a project of your project. Sight specific. I see your dust, your doorway, your  SLECOs, your grayings, your curve. a coming in and out of focus at gloam. a gentle curve takes over me &

I am bent.

I have questions for you, Marcella Durand. How are your bones.  Mainly, how are your elbows. You are up to your elbows in city & ash. & it seeps into you like light through membrane. Ecstatic. Now,  you contain siding, & CD, & shadow.  We contain siding & CD & shadow together.  I became city and city became me.  A cube of compacted metals or a scattering of compacted metals, you might say.  I absorbed even when I was not attending. (Your glass of water.)  Is this what you wanted, Marcella Durand. Absorption.

Before anything can take place, it must be cleaned.

Sorry. I will clean.

I sympathize with your cleaning. The need for space for the laying out of more space. A sight upon a site. A cleansing of wound.

But Marcella Durand, your books is concrete.  I read it at the laundromat between loads. Wanting to gasp between stanzas. Sometimes, you’d let me. Moments of rupturing. Time for breaking. But my clothes are still drenched. Your book gave me no real time for stopping. Even as I walked home, it followed.  Your lines repeating &  running into me again & again. Either the friend on the other side of the subway track. Or the person I hoped to avoid for the rest of my life. You made me tilt my head (a curving) and view. Gaze and gaze.

Your books is concrete. Designed to accommodate four people walking abreast. I am not sure this is true.

I am almost ending. So I have to say something. On page 58, Marcella Durand, you say:  wreckage. The word sliding into the text smooth and knifelike. You must have held back. Page 58.  To use this word when you knew  it lived on the air of the site.  I can hardly utter it now. Can you. The sadness lives in avoidance. While I would like to believe I am not here in the split-second between absorbing and transferring/ I am. You exhaust me, Marcella Durand. Your concrete’s exhausting.

Marcella Durand,  I was and was not there. There meaning there. That day.  The city shivered and became many others. You guide me elegantly through its ruins. Imitating gleam & promising nothing. My last question: What kind of guide are you. It was me, Marcella Durand, who thought concrete was impervious.

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