notes in origin index ellie epp

what will we know




everyone was a long time in a womb

what was it like there



was there mathematics yes

geometry, trigonometry, yes

differential calculus yes

the movement of the water taught us math

our own growth was teaching us the progressions

the placenta taught us kindness the attentive tree

the placenta taught us listening & the companion's face

uterus taught us room & house

the membrane taught us window

cervix taught us door

if the penis visited it taught us to knock

oviducts taught us small corridors, ante-rooms, outhouses

cell by cell taught us city

our hands in front of our faces taught us elephants & dogs on leashes

the cord taught us snake

the cord taught us stem we were the plant or its shadow

substances through the cord taught us drugs

the body around us taught us hugging

the body around us taught us all the directions & up & down:

it taught us the cube of location

womb and its oviducts taught us to feel for horned animals

labour taught us sternness it brought itself to bear

coming out taught us diving falling hallucination

coming out taught us doubt

the stupidity of those who met us taught us fear & loneliness

the ignorance of those who met us taught us to be strangers

the joy & ignorance of those who met us taught us

the hurry of those who met us made us forget


-- guessing to remember


the cord taught river

the growth of the bloodstreams taught us watercourse geology

the growth of the nerve net taught us learning

it sent back its advances

the body around us taught us hills & mountains

amnion taught us sky

the stars themselves taught us stars they were always felt

the sun taught us itself

the moon taught us itself but the placenta taught it too


the sun taught radiance & thus optics & thus logic

the sun taught us straight lines pressure & penetration

the moon taught us swelling-toward & thus wanting

the stars taught us straight lines, convergence

the water taught us curves

our hands in the water taught us fish

our feet were quick-moving


coming out taught us weather

coming through taught us fire

the air in our lungs combusted them

the smell in the air was assault


forgetting makes us interested in dreams we think the

dream is in us like a baby

forgetting makes us want to believe in ghosts

forgetting taught us suicide: forgetting again (to remember)

forgetting makes us tell stories


the water taught us ocean abut it was coming out taught us abyss

from one cell to two to four cells we learned engineering

our growth taught us the eons

coming out taught us zero

implantation taught us earth seeding & burial

fertilization taught us the sequence for romance -- taught

us to lie down together and exchange knowledge through

from belly to belly

the water taught us tears

placenta & water together taught the mother

rough catching taught the other


the movement of the water taught thinking

sound coming through the water taught words to ride on thinking


it is not that we come from the Mother : there is no mother

until we are born

we come equally from the two travelers in a landscape

they teach us mother & father but they are not

the one teaches moving slowly with many provisions,

the other teaches moving fast

what they do when they join is marriage there is a different

marriage in every child

is there any teaching before they meet i don't know

when they join they teach joining


it is not that we come from the Mother : the mother is

one of those who meet us

she teaches resemblance metaphor she is something like ..

from each of the travelers we learn arriving

from coming out we learn dying

from coming out we learn coming

from coming out we learn the flower

from the way we fall we learn fruit & vegetables

from labour we learn massage massacre mass

from labour we learn violence and war excitement

from the light in the body we love twilight

from the legs we fall through we learn post & beam construction

at the perineum we learn lintel limen limit

it threshes and it holds


coming out taught us abandoning our beloved

coming out teaches us being abandoned

all along we are learning space

loss & increase are teaching us time


what we are before we are born teaches us universe

what we are after we are born teaches us what?