The LIBRARY houses various original texts written by ZOË DARLING, except where indicated otherwise. Included are poetry, performance scripts and excerpts from artist's books, images of which can be viewed within the GALLERY. No content can be used without written consent.

 

Daily Souvenirs / Holy Souvenirs (for Allen)

 

dirty dishes
morning breath
cigarette butts
kitty litter box gifts
kitty gifts without box
that blood drop
(360 mg/dl)
(120 mg/dl)
(178 mg/dl)

empty insulin bottles
beautiful
without labels

a souvenir of the day they emptied

blood drops
dried on folded paper towel
kept til too tattered
a record of the day retired

a souvenir of each finger pricked

fingernail
toenail
clippings
tree rings
dead hair protectors
chopped

and a souvenir of the action of chopping

today’s socks
yesterday’s socks
jeans worn
just one more day
holding thousands of micro souvenirs
before washed

temporal souvenirs

blood glucose test strips
pocketed
at a rate of handfuls a-day
then moved to storage
when accumulation is just too much to keep
carrying to daily engagements
(56 mg/dl)
(240 mg/dl)
(385 mg/dl)

daily souvenirs of daily interruptions of daily doings

invisible numbers
soft numbers
how many milligrams per deciliter
of glucose exist?
at that exact moment?
after dropping drop of blood
that that strip sucks in?
that that machine then reports
with a beep?
(165 mg/dl)
(195 mg/dl)
(205 mg/dl)

all numbers dried and saved and stored
within each plastic
micro-chipped
factory-made
test strip
(73 mg/dl)
(64 mg/dl)
(52 mg/dl)

each daily souvenirs of time stopped
time interrupted

puddle of rain to walk in
to walk over?

a souvenir

each interruption
a souvenir

each summer thunderstorm
interrupting SOMETHING

each item eaten
must be balanced by
each dose of insulin administered

each new start
stopped
then checked
then each new start
started again

each interruption
a daily souvenir

Amaranta

The below text was used in a limited edition artist book.  It was taken from A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


“Death did not tell her when she was going to die
or whether her hour was assigned before that of Rebeca,
but ordered her to begin sewing her own shroud on
the next sixth of April.

She was authorized to make it as complicated and as
fine as she wanted, but just as honesty executed as
Rebeca’s, and she was told that she would die without
pain, fear, or bitterness at dusk on the day that she
finished it.  Trying to waste the most time possible,

Amaranta ordered some rough flax spun the thread
herself.  She did it so carefully that the work alone took
four years.  Then she started the sewing.  As she got closer
to the unavoidable end she began to understand that only
a miracle would allow her to prolong the work past Rebeca’s

death, but the very concentration gave her the calmness
that she needed to accept the idea of frustration.  It was then
that she understood the vicious circle of Colonel Aureliano
Buendia’s little gold fishes.  The world was reduced to the
surface of her skin and her inner self was safe from all bitterness.

It pained her not to have had that revelation many years
before when it had still been possible to purify memories
and reconstruct the universe under a new light and evoke
without trembling Pietro Crespi’s smell of lavender at dusk and
rescue Rebeca from her slough of misery, not out of hatred

or out of love but because of the measureless understanding
of solitude.  The hatred that she noticed one night in Meme’s
words did not upset her because it was directed at her, but
she felt the repetition of another adolescence that seemed as
clean as hers must have seemed and that, however, was ready

tainted with rancor,  but by then her acceptance of her
fate was so deep that she was not even upset by the certainty
that all possibilities of rectification were closed to her.  Her
only objective was to  finish the shroud.  Instead of slowing
it down with useless detail as  she had done in the

beginning, she speeded up the work.  One week before
she calculated that she would take the last stitch on the night
of February 4, and without revealing the motives, she suggested
to Meme that she move up a clavichord concert that she had
arranged for the day after, but the girl paid no attention to her.

Amaranta then looked for a way  to delay for forty-eight hours,
and she even thought that death was giving her her way
because on the night of February fourth a storm caused a
breakdown at the power plant,  but on the following day,
at eight in the morning, she took the last stitch in the most

beautiful piece of work that any woman had ever
finished, and she announced without the least bit of dramatics
that she was going to die at dusk.  She not only told the
family but the whole town, because Amaranta had conceived

of the idea that she could make up for a life of meanness
with one last favor to the world, and she thought no one
was in a better position to take letters to the dead.”

More Below, for Alice Notley 1999/2000

i do not like what men do
i do not
what women

my head is
bald
my legs are
veined
all my blue is
down below
just shiny and
smooth above
but
i shutter
when i leave
the house
the
walls

i walk with
a tilt
i walk
as if there’s
something a
gilt

they gock
at
my big black
leather shoes
as if
my walk
did this


as if i caused
their deformity
i think
it’s the shoes

somewhere
in between
forty
65
i move slow
they think
that
i think
methodical

my hands
(big black thick)
they’re from
work
but
they
work
but

fear
when i leave the walls
they hold
but
protect
but
then there’s them
they have eyes
they look

smooth pink red
baby flesh
my father says
there’s something wrong
with a man
like me
living alone

gorilla (handed)

fat fleshy feet

but it’s the way
if you go slow
slow enough
you don’t forget
things
don’t forget
but repeating
repeat


repeating
is what helps
it stay

but
don’t want to be
like my father
too close
can’t stand myself
like that
for too long

my mother died
i was older
than my brother
he wasn’t
doing well
now
better than me

it’s my state
at this stage

i don’t want to
have to
anything
that’s unnecessary
i want to go
without
but he
even he
might yet
convince
can’t go on
like this
like he used to

help
help
i don’t like help
trying to explain
what is
as if
that would
help
them to
but it doesn’t
would rather stay
inside

within my walls
the telephone
hardly bothers
i change its voice


often to
confuse
them they are
nothing i need

my music box
my five favorite books
my bottled water
bread
cardboard
i collect
the one thing
i don’t have to pay for
for my money isn’t much
to me yet
for them
a constant push

their cars push me
not hit yet
not quite waiting
yet
know it’s always there
even where i love
love walking
east
away from land
closer to the lake
water
it cools off
my forehead

only thing
to unblur
my eyeglasses
my eyes
otherwise
it’s really unfair
that they
get to see
more
than me
but with my head
bulbing

in

out of
water
cold of lake
reduces the glare
opens retinas’ iris
clarifies iridescent
fish
for me


besides my walls
it’s the water
i love

but getting from
walls
to
water
i don’t

i couldn’t
understand
him
when i was
little
brother not born
and when i was
still a help
then he was
born and
father hated leaving
walls coffee books
such an ordeal
even locating
bus fare lots of coins
yes
but
never understand

what went go
after i nudged
him
trying to awake
but then
i
my hands
attached still to
my connected
arms
were allowed to lift push shove
controllably

i pushed shoulder
lift right palm
let drop
time to get up
5 more minutes
but by then
it was too
late
past 10
past noon
supper time

i didn’t like
how the days
went
didn’t want
waste

yet what

now from walls
to water
my arm still
attaches to
my body
socket
hand still
to my
wrist
but not much
move
a long lump
as if planted
inside
my index pinky thumb
there are
small
barely small
magnets
pulling
for me
what i can’t

that of just
unscrewing
from sockets
my formlessness
i’ve thought of
but there would be
bleeding
can’t stand
the thought
but they look
even as i’m
not
at them
i don’t care
what they are
like
for
i’m not
that
defined

it’s hot today
drooling
loosing


my own
water
from my mouth
not too efficient
my collecting
it all
out at once
like i see
other other
men do
neat efficient
i don’t
and miss
sewer
get shoe
she saw
me
from the window
of cafe
instead

when she walks
with me
even her
my mom looks
at them
as if
asking
please don’t stare
at him
don’t change
your face
when it’s
hot
and
his left arm
when it begins
and does
droop as if
the bones
have been
completely
sucked out

but usually
she’s at home
doesn’t usually
leave
and this in blood
yes
perhaps some
truth
but mine
i make


made
by myself

bring keys
2 dollars
in
right pant pocket
folded in half and
half again and
2 keys to
my walls
when i
set out
to walk
water in head
folded in
right pant
pocket
out
down same street
each day

today too hot
melting
labored
my slow
four blocks
east

down
small dirt worn
track
made
by myself
leaves down
grasses tickle
up
and
even on
rainy days
when i’m wetter
then
water i’m walking to
when they see me and
from car windows
air conditioned
shake their
heads
funny looking
at me
i don’t
worry
wonder
where they’re
going


i’m
from walls
and i know
i’m here

my filled feet
soft with
growing blood
level
themselves
safely
in the soft sand
one of only
accommodating things
that i have
but not really
for
they could
as well
give up
other other
things
and walk down here

today
a too hot day
i reach tide
and am
very glad
they don’t see
me

joying

today i don’t
want to do
return trip
am forgetting
walls
even my
walls
am enjoying
too much
the cool of
the water and
don’t want to
melt
with them
watching

joying

i remember
my dad


sitting at top of
oakland steps
freshly bathed and
clipped and shaven
and one foot
crossed
propped over
on top
the other
taking fresh socks
and
wiping
lint dust
rug debris
off of
clean foot

for

he said
even the smallest
piece of
something
even
semi-soft
could sit
inside sock
and if all day
could rub and
rub and
even if they
can’t see
when you’re
walking could
cause
great pain
later a
blister
a bruise if
you
forget if
you
really did
know