Freudian Tenderness by Mark Scott

Freud liked to collapse distinctions:
masochism is the continuation
of sadism (“nothing but”), in which
one’s own person takes the place

of the sexual object; so looking
is analogous to touching; is based
on touching, is base in so far forth;
but neither the lingering at the touching

nor the lingering at the looking
satisfies the libido, the lust;
not the hunger, not the seeking,
not the loss, not the original

impulse or itch; here, there is no
base to touch, however corporate
the large series of factors may be
(conscience, castration complex),

however hard it is to believe
that a man who doesn’t recognize you
two hours after meeting you
will recognize himself forty-three

years ago, tugging at his mother,
a charming woman ‘with no clothes on.
There are all kinds of ways
to get into, and stay in, touch,

and the best excuse for not touching
is owning a person-which isn’t
as easy as you might think. Many
are trying hard to come up with

original names, to achieve granularity,
to become dedicated paths on which
no noise conserves or returns
whatever is infantile and hurts.

Tenderness becomes hostility
(“We are all somewhat hysterical”)licking
of feces, violation of cadavers,
the anatomical transgression itself

(body piercing body, cloning)highest
and lowest everywhere
hanging together intimately
(no danger, here, of hanging separately);

shame, loathing, pain, fear;
anything bundling on or near
mouth, cell wall, anus;
but we cannot touch the fact.

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