Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Nachträglichkeit-After Kaja Silverman

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Nachträglichkeit-After Kaja Silverman

Article excerpt

On having slashed myself from throat to instep

in one unbroken line,

I suppose it was a reenactment, Freud's Nachträglichkeit:

the second act. The past presses so hard

on the present, the present is badly bruised,

blood brims under the skin.

That was the situation I was in. Wearing a jacket of blood

from an earlier crime,

which was also mine. A curving zipper with misaligned

teeth, open to show red lipstick,

meat. And a stage smile, have a seat! Normally I'm much

more careful, naturally something

like this would only ever happen in a dream,

but even dreams have their dreams

of finding their dreamer awake, silent within earshot,

carving knife in hand.

Did you know that anguish thins the blood and thickens

the vessel? It was like cutting

a rare steak. A minotaur, glittering with rubies

and pink candles. My hands hung

like electrical wires off a building on the edge of collapse,

every one of my gestures symbolic,

ruined of magic. For there is no miraculous beast,

and there never was, standing

on the golden field of frozen honey clover,

each leaf strong enough to bend

under everything's weight. …

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