Adrian Lurssen
from ANGOLA: A Dictionary of Names, Forms, and Actions


[Teeth: A Methodology]


“Absolute north” is to “guerilla outpost” as “love” and “antelope” are to the bush they occupy: uniform urgency as overt as names on a skirt. The range is an exercise, tame as a vase, and to talk is to occupy. In time, the range is a plain without end, an envelope of light unable to injure itself. Or an ostrich, and light becomes the uniform –lips, a skirmish between what’s open and what is tapping to loosen time.

The plan to explain is absolute, but only an entrance.





A band around what’s open. The rational digression from “entrance” without rhyme, like an angle without a plan or the animal interested only in the net. It is a harp sounding like a gun, or the exit that comes from tampering. It is the group without a trace, their yellow dam built with nests of insects. As a response to reason, it becomes the story of the mountain and ostrich: an exercise that turns “antelope” into “envelope” and “North” into a system of names and actions.

Eventually it becomes a way to suppose that creases of light are the enemy.






To see beyond the uniformity of sand to a new home and an old exit. Or, the way “nation” rhymes with “option” and “yell” really means insect quietness. It is the notion and the mountain – overt as fire – but, dismantled, it simply becomes an ending for names. It is the ostrich at the door, like a river without a message.





A close amplification of mountain and persona, or the way lips move to the overt entry of an open palm. The roundness of sand and loam. A national sand, an exit. The insect on the table, the open floor: really, just an angle: a noun, like "yam". But the insect alone: not an angle. No, that's a notion.





When grass is absolute as a mountain, or when the excuse passes for the reason. When the box holds the option, and the x-ray shows the anthem left unsung. When the unit closing in from the south is just as much an opening from the north. When unified sound lasts without trying, and “skirmish” is understood as the antelope not the enemy. Expression is a form of training. Injury, a form of expression. Neither requires a name.





The knife and uniform always at the door. The urgency held in a name. A notion to occupy or to range decided by the difference between insect and inspect. Or, when “ostrich” is a game and “front” a feather without reason. The inversion of exit and entrance. A form of overt nationalism, like the roundness of time beneath a mountain.





The moment the antelope enters the poem. That opening, neither nuance nor observation. The moment to treat the enemy as an exit. That enemy, no longer a mountain. The nation and its last team of overt personae.

That envelope, the one without the letter.





What the antelope recalls of heat. Or, how names serve at an entrance as accent, and tracks always lead away from camp. How tools become the entrance, like absolution. But the look of leaves, the ostrich, a single leaf:

This is the plan to exit without sound.