The American efforts had been insufficient, it was stated
                                                         —David McCullough

by Emily Vizzo 

The United States is a balloon
I barely grasp

made mainly from rubber
& air. It gets smaller

after celebrating. You say things
that are too simple, balloon.

You arrived w/ all your twins
& good times.

Fly away, tied thing.
Fly away, pet country.

I was soft & empty
when you found me,

national being.
I palmed your crown.

The ceiling couldn’t keep you
but I could.

A blind woman
turns to the man beside her.

How big is this plane?
He does his best.

I fear it less
my size

when I am smaller
I mean the world.


Philippe Buneau-Varillas had to go most of the way by canoe and wrote afterward of gliding past half-drowned trees the tops of which were black with millions of tarantulas  
                                                                            —David McCullough

by Emily Vizzo

Plus d’une. The future has already
happened, but “it may end later.”

Filling all space, then banished.
Physics has always been spooked.

A ghostly matter. The stage itself
a givenness. A container called space.

Hauntology. There is no conspiracy at
“work.” The past is not closed.

The past is not present. Every being
made killable. And not only human

ghosts. The ethical questions are
surely not about innocence.

A play that knows more than its author.
Or rather, the world is its memory.

There is no erasure finally. Time
can’t be fixed. To speak with ghosts, risk oneself.

Note: This is a found poem. The original text: Karen Barad’s “Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Relations of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come.”


He had an astonishing plan to create an inland sea in the Sahara by breaking though a low-lying ridge on Tunisia’s Gulf of Gabès and flooding a depression the size of Spain
                                                                                 —David McCullough

by Emily Vizzo

The world is becoming. Light
is a wave, we know that.

But a wave is also a disturbance,
a togetherness of place.

Interference & togetherness

Light might not only be
a wave but particulate:

one thing in one place
at one time.

The light & waves have

you know that.
Boundaries do not sit still.

Note: This is a found poem. The original texts, both by Karen Barad, include Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” 

Emily Vizzo is a writer and educator whose work has appeared in FIELDBlackbirdjubilatNorth American ReviewThe Los Angeles TimesNext American City, and other publications. Her essay, "A Personal History of Dirt," was honored as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2013, and she was selected for inclusion within Best New Poets 2015. Poems have been in nominated for Best of the Net in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Her chapbook, GIANTESS, is forthcoming in 2018 from YesYes Books and her novel is represented by Frances Goldin Agency in New York.