Máiréad Delaney

Ex tracts

(25 of 70 - the full work will be featured in the publication (im)possible performances)

Ex tracts
Intervals/intervening in

160-ish yr old structure

The Embers,
a public house
Abandoned
(Matrilineal)

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Before I sleep
I bike down the peninsula

to the water

Two places: power wires, a cow barn.
I stop under the wire towers and hear them spitting

Outside the barn where bats roost
I make the same spit with my lips and teeth

Electricity
animals wing out, diving me.
Curious

The cable swings down
flung eel
flying wire
Tangles with me and the bike.
The cycle’s forward motion, the wind,

put me in the knot before I see

I’m wrapped, unwrapped, yards down the road

With no understanding

 

Look back, up

search grey sky, the wind,

for cause, explanation

light fades

In minutes

I discern the slim black cord

a line moving, looping, in dim air

Lightbulbs burst when I kick the ceiling down from above

Sometimes, when lightning strikes

Breathing stops but the heart keeps beating

whole body shocks

Introduced at the inner thigh

To hop a fence.

wheel a leg

over

wire runs through—

A jolt
meted out
a pulse
the other leg

touches down

Lichtenberg figures: In skin.

lighting busts in,

explodes blood vessels,

leaving pattern: a fern.

Of course
there is difference

Between heartbeat

and electricity


The first warp-spasm

unheard of

every knuckle, angle, organ—

a tree in flood

a reed in stream

body

Makes a furious twist

inside skin

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A crowd

 

Dances

 

Or it__

Fields

Where once

No more

There used to be

dancing here

There used to be

dancing plagues

Collective

somatic

release

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forgiveness

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When I arrive

Vaporous second ceilings drop

The house pulls apart under my hands.

Woodworms have pulverized the furniture

Chair legs appearing solid crumble at a touch

I walk rooms

Turn everything to dust

pads on my fingers

pulse

each easy touch

a final push

disintegration

cobwebs let go

Detaching

yet intact

Corrective drives wreak their own harm

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This summer I missed—

a framing nail—

the tip of my index finger, 

pneumatic force, 

FAST

I touch tunneled things with the tunnel in my fingertip

digit: perforate instantly

worm: gnaw
footstep: split the ceiling

To cleanly cut or break a fragile thing

requires moving

FAST

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Pulling up the wood floor

to find a horse’s skull

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This is normal

Placing a capacious head under the boards of a dancing floor

so dancers’ feet sound a hollow boom

The road in front of the house slopes to the river

The ground

Has begun

Open water

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In the corner: hump of the piano.

larger furniture resists crumbling

Every time I break something down,

Every time I slam the floor,

To every dissembling blow,

The piano extends

a drone

interior neck of flower

Shaking ladder
sky, bone socket

unaccompanied

Socket sounds 

seeing blue—

steel bathtub
strapped on a speeding car

drain hole in the wind

Doppler effect:
bathtub passing you
You, standing in a field.

3

Empty the mouth made tiny by the field.

The opposite of causality

Reverberation

Foramina

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Building:
full of woodworm

Infestation:

live

Their fine dust:

frass

Grown beetles click

a mating call

a click is not a call

It is—

At night

The clicks— impacts— turn up

tick time

remaining

with the watching

vigil

anticipating

A wake

the beetles seek

desire-tapping the walls—

more life

more teardown

Extermination:

Poison

high-pressure spray

Electrocution

attract and zap (incomplete)

Freeing the house, 2-3 weeks

(structural damage)

Oxygen starvation. 8 weeks.

house hypoxic

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When I see buildings collapse

whatever the final demolishing thrust,

however weakened by biting machines,

it seems they decide
In one moment:
to give way

Surrender

go diffuse

The little creatures

Burrow wood
leave dust
click their bodies:

raise, hit their heads

on tunnel walls

Slam! Love me— Slam! Love me

the building softens

Teaching the body to spasm—

The theory being
small tremors

 (thaw)
Prevent a larger freeze, crack

Galvanism:
Innervate
Configure

And yet, of course,

Heartbeat

Legs and hips work easily,
dance, fuck— heels drum.
The common face: flickers eyelids,

caverning jaw. Neck twists.
rarest: torso— arms
numb (no fighting)
spasms force Preparatory Position:

Frog. legs crooked/bowed

Melt!
They demand it

What I have done

What have I done

building _______

Twists inside skin

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1. Kinsella, Thomas, and Le Louis Brocquy. The Tain. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.

2. Ó Súilleabháin, Seán. “Foundation Sacrifices.” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 75, no. 1, 1945, pp. 45–52. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25510484.

3. Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Penguin Books, 2014.