In Praise of Unknowing


Leah Souffrant

a.               Trouble is.


l.     I remember certain bits.


a.               The trouble is.


l.     I remember.


a.               I don’t.


L.                              For instance, she said her mother was making a sandwich.


l.     There were times when we’d both pass columns, white square columns under a
       low ceiling with art hanging on all sides.


a.               I don’t know.


l.     It was not great. It was amateurish.


a.               I know I don’t know.


L.                              It seems to matter what kind, but it will be whatever kind my
                                mother makes, except I don’t recall my mother making
                                sandwiches. This is the dilemma.


l.     All color or all feeling, or worse, all technique. The thing was the way we passed
       between, the way he passed between them.


a.               I don’t know what?


l.     At some distance, and going in the opposite direction.


a.               I don’t know what the trouble is.


L.                              It becomes everyone’s, the everyman’s, the insider’s creation.


l.     Not like that lulling look, that lowering, that lust.


a.               That’s what trouble is.


l.      What I remember is the distance, closing. An unseen exchange of seeing. Then
       the static of interruption: the colorful figure drawing dangling from a nail, not
       quite shifted, not quite moved by our passing.


a.               I don’t know what trouble is.


L.                              Is it that I can’t see the mother, the hands spreading the
                                mayonnaise? That I’ve never tasted mayonnaise? That there is
                                some great difference between peanut butter and jelly and ham
                                and cheese? Some great unknowing of liverwurst? Baloney. Is
                                it the sandwich, or the hands making it, or the interference of
                                the observation, voyeur of intimacy? Does the mother hum or
                                hiss? Exist?


l.      He blurs, but the motion of almost seeing almost being remains, and its flip, its
       longing.


       There is this: erotics of non-connection, un-connection. Disconnection assumes
       a prior connection: Dis.