**this poem is a collaborative effort between Conversely and T. Azimuth Schwitters. It also marks the end of the main poetry sequence of the Paterson Project. Both the music and song-writing portions of the project are still active (although mostly unrecorded!), as are our hopes for beginning another poetry project, which we will share with you shortly. Lastly, if you were to look at the "Listing" page, you might notice we never wrote a poem for "The Bitch and the Man from the Sea." We suggest you simply do not look at the "Listing" page. Signing off, T. Az.**
Ends (Oh, Passaic!)
These ends are always so redundant, what with their gymnastics and linguistic representations of pictorial representations of mathematic representations of an impossibly simple natural phenomenon.
Your path explodes, vomits, if we’re that kind of poet—which, truth be told, we are, because we all are; otherwise, we say again (though in a slightly different context), why bother?—out and away from silk and graffiti and awkward, painful teenage fucking in the ruins of the somewhat less than pure products of America but nonetheless products, and ones Hamilton would have swooned over at that.
We’d hoped, oh
And for this reason we find ourselves thoroughly discouraged. Oh,
And each time we hope for a monument, that for once what we seek will not be fixed in decay, and will not spread out into the brackish waters and rust away. It seemed so solid, once, this history.
We had carefully cut new pieces with a dull and rusty blade to fill in those missing from our jigsaw puzzle memories, a box mostly empty but from which we were compelled to use all that’s there. Oh, you God damned Passaic and I mean God damned Passaic we shuffled along your floor, scooping your muck and molding it and squeezing it flat, holding it out in our hands, cutting palms to shreds with these wretched old blades, and carefully—so carefully—carving new puzzle pieces from your bed that fit perfectly—so perfectly—with the old ones.
This thing, this thing, it is the only thing. We will not find, at the end of our days a monument or memory, but instead this thing, floating briefly, just visible in the current, one among so many, dissolving quickly in the sticky film at the ocean’s surface. What has moved? What has moved us, lost, but to the memory which too is lost.
Do not pull us apart, oh,
But here, our present, we’re tossed out to sea and our work, our careful work, is destroyed, ripped apart in a spiral of Passaic and Atlantic, and we somersault out onto the shore, weeping anew our hands are healed but separated from the others and the sea is sleeping a tired mother and we are weeping and hungry and we drag ourselves away from it all only to find we are young and full of energy and so tired and our slates are wiped clean except for all these used puzzle pieces and we strive and strive for the more that we can have the more monuments we can make the rot that will not rot the drivel that will grow into the monument that we can flow through and in and live on and on without the pain of our own birth, shredded and squeezed from the ocean.
To be one—to simply, perfectly, be one, is all we’ve asked, oh
A thousand choruses. Spreading out, a thousand verses. At once, a thousand voices, a thousand more.
An iron bridge stands over the