‘As Noted: Language is Migrant’ by Alexei Perry Cox

As noted: Language is Migrant

I had written down
————————————————-The
surprising evolution of the Spanish word querer
reflects very well the nature of this quest; querer
comes from the Latin quarere (to search, to inquire)
but in Spanish the meaning soon changed, and
the word came to mean desire, to love.Querer
: a passionate, amorous quest.————-A quest
whose goal lies neither in the future nor in the past,
but at that point of convergence that is
simultaneously the beginning and the end
of all time: the time before the beginning and after the end.

I was beside
the dynamic young woman next to me
who was either busier with her notes

When Cecilia Vicuña describes her experience of asking passersby
the repeated question of “What is poetry to you?”
while in exile in Bogotá in 1980
she reveals that her favourite answer was “Que prosiga,”
“That it may go on.”

or would occasionally glance up
from beneath her eyelashes
as if somewhat indifferent
while her loose hair
and armpits diffused in the air
conquering

Measures of Historia

AA:You need to fix the world in some way
——-necesita arreglar el mundo de algún modo
——-as if everything was measurable.
VE:I was surprised my new body
——-was more necessary than the woman
——-trying to measure it to the man measured.

AA:I look at your face como un desconocido
——-as a stranger before our fingers begin
——-the work of love as a futile crime.
VE:I was surprised as a woman
——-when he didn’t lie to me
——-como si estuviera delante de un jurado as if in front of a jury.

AA:Perhaps a mouth begins to open
——-then closes on your left breast
——-where the bullet spoke its one clipped syllable.
VE:I was surprised my body fit so cleanly
——-into the sea en las paredes navega el barco
——-on the waves of ships the sails.

AA:I watch you die too early to see
——-what you have done arreglar el mundo de algún modo
——-to fix the world in some way.
VE:I was surprised I was him looking at the ocean. Inside the head I’ve placed above
——-his torso, one thought turns over and over and won’t go away, the wave curling
——-indifferently a precise distance from the gun on the table a ruler carved into its
——-surface, inch by inch, as if everything was measurable: death, time, intent, excepto
——-amor
.

Alexei Perry Cox is the author of the poetry collection Under Her and a short fiction collection entitled To Utter a Life’s Sentence. Her short stories and poetry and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as the The Puritan, Fiddlehead, carte-blanche, CV2, Hart House Review, Vallum Contemporary Poetry Magazine, Makhzin / مخزن, Matrix Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Rusted Radishes, Journal Safar (جورنال سفر) The Beijinger, Lemonhound and elsewhere. She is working on two new manuscripts provisionally titled The Uses of Uselessness and Finding Places to Make Places, and raising her wee babes named Ilham and Isla. She is a current fellowship holder of The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship (SSHRC), The Fonds de Recherche Societe et culture Quebec Fellowship (FRQSC) as well as the NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement Award, The Blue Metropolis Future of Arabic Poetry Award, The Concordia Mobility Award, and a Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Quebec (CALQ) Literature Research and Creation grant for these new works.