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Sarah Tourjee

from Sam Says, Sam

Except for Sam, in acceptance of Sam, space blocks itself off as used space, as breathed air, as absence. Sam might begin another way, with space created out of Sam’s own body, with eggs of breathing room where an infinite number of Sam’s new beginnings might develop within Sam, and lay without Sam. 

Sam might say, SAM, into the hair of another body. Sam, Sam might say, again and again, a sound round and empty of Sam, Sam says. Sam lacks moisture where Sam tears at the fruit, a stiff point lost to Sam’s annunciations and the escaping juice. Sam says, are you thirsty, Sam, not because the seeds are stuck and unmoving on Sam’s dry tongue, but in order that an image of liquid may exist in Sam’s speech, and so also in the space around Sam, and in all space. Sam, Sam says. Sam again says, SAM. 


Sam says, I am awakened to a possibility of future movement, to the possibility of greased joints, a forward intention, hands planted like saplings against a floor, a followed and felt wood grain, a trail of pulled roots and floor boards in the wake of Sam’s hand-stand turned walk. Sam says, to move this way—a true determination, true meditated intention of motion— this is not the only mode (the more obvious is aviation), but this is how Sam means it when Sam moves. 

Sam, the movement is painful, says Sam, and counter to Sam’s aim. But in it Sam finds that what exists in Sam also does not exist. Sam suffers but also does not suffer, Sam is in pain but also is not in pain. 

In Sam all definitions of every word, all synonyms and points, in Sam all wonderings and sleepless nights, in Sam anonymity where a face distorts itself in view, in Sam all journeys to every source and spout, a spigot turned open, a body closed, in Sam all bones bleached by sun or wet with blood, in Sam a voiceless phone call, a howl upon the click. In Sam trees are rooted and grow upward as well as out. In Sam prayers are spoken into the material of Sam’s body, in Sam they flow unobstructed, and are collected like minerals for Sam’s later use.  





Sam says, come here, Sam, says come as close as you can and stay there until it changes, until what burns becomes what warms you, Sam. Sam emerges from the ground as an artifact of former life. Sam says, I existed, Sam, says, even now I have existed now, I am existing still, Sam, still Sam, be still, Sam. 

Sam, unrepentant, still hungry, a precipice of form, says Sam, a dissection of Sam. Sam says, inside Sam’s body are smaller Sams, former Sams, formerly Sam, but now a ledge of content, now an end where Sam, in acknowledgement of Sam’s incarnates, says, it’s not something you get, Sam, it’s just what’s left over. 

Sam, balled up into Sam, balled into a pellet of Sam. Sam, emerging from a pellet formed by Sam, once hungry Sam, now full Sam, discards Sam, says, Sam discards the excess. 


Oh Sam, in the night, Sam, in terms of insomnia in the lonely night. Oh Sam, in terms of company during the lonely night—a witness, a comparison, a mirror to this plight overwhelms what is otherwise held together. Oh Sam, to remember, to see firsthand, that others sleep soundly and well and soon, until they are woken. Oh Sam, to remember, you are left where you are, alone to face what should be slept through, when otherwise you might forget. Oh Sam. 

SAM, bird, sandstorm, unearthed, unfurled, unkempt or kept, SAM, calling, and rocked and rocks, SAM, sand, sand, space, sunlight. Sam, what was it like to see someone die? Sam says, the body collapses like a deflating, one last gasp, the death rattle rattles, the spirit leaves if a spirit is there, and the face loses light, the skin falls in where there is no life to inflate it, the hair droops at the roots, the shoulders slump as finally relaxed, and the whole body flattens. Then nothing, says Sam, there’s just nothing after that. Oh Sam, but Sam says, it’s comforting to know, to see it, that the body can be left. 

In another life, Sam says, Sam was a bird and lived to be 100 years old, and fell off of perches when startled and spoke to those who spoke. 





But to aggregate as Sam collects (Sam finding Sam everywhere) the pieces missed and molted, but when combining Sam is cautious, and was not always. Now Sam hesitates before touching another form. Sam says, the last few things were counted thusly, as bread and bread and bone, and if Sam dreamed of other parts—Sam’s body held by arms or legs—Sam remembers crying out all of Sam’s lost pain, and Sam, when Sam was mated, fell away. 

Sam master of sand of Sam master of Sam says, what is metaphor, Sam? What is truth? Sam curls, a quiet whistle, lonely Sam, but Sam recovers like a verb. 

Sam now cut in parts of artifice, for clarity’s wish Sam says, 

a body loved

a body ill

Sam says, reverb and stop. 





Sam hears, Sam hears Sam’s breath, Sam hears eight different callings of eight different birds, then Sam hears a ninth. Sam hears traffic, hears a door close, a thump somewhere, Sam hears insects, hears air, hears blinds fall back against the windowpane, Sam hears Sam’s heart, hears feathers, hears a thin buzz, a current of what can only be Sam. Sam hears Sam.

Sam calls into yearning, says yearning is something that can’t be sated if unstated, Sam, can be stated and then called to, can be called and sated in one emptying of the term. So Sam says, yearn.

Sam says, if language could be spoken uniquely and not in mimicry, Sam, if this were possible, we would speak directly and not in words, not in symbols, so that what is mediated, Sam, would instead be felt and channeled without reflection, without concept, Sam, and Sam would cease to be Sam—Sam would be merely called Sam— and Sam who says, I love you, would exist unnecessarily, and separately, from a being called Sam who channels love.

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