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I am gagging. I am stupid with sin and regret and the snow hangs damp, beautiful, and deep from the trees outside. I am in sorrow, unkempt and the puppy chews happily on his leg behind me. Praying to my headache, leveling the floor, unable to catch up with my own mind and capable, capable, capable of driving fast cars, motorcycles, and flying into the red scorched eyes of death, I am tired, sweaty, and blind by choice, because I cannot wait for the real thing. And my children are gliding gracefully to school on a soft carpet of snow.
I can't hammer the keys fast enough this morning. I can't grit my teeth hard enough. My brain is a sinking boat wallowing in mud, and hidden in a place I can't see, behind a lattice of imaginary bars is the sun. I don't know why I can't lift my head. I know I am rage for it. I stumble around the room, smashing things, breaking myself, trying to make it go away. But it's me, painted on my skin, staining my hands. It has seeped like industrial poison into my cells, like cancer into the center of my bones.
There was something started here before I left. But that doesn't matter. There was something I left here before going to look at the truck my son wanted to buy, but I lost it. That is not important. It was a six hundred dollar truck. It had a "new" motor and transmission from another truck that rolled. That explained the mud packed in the engine, and perhaps the need to double-clutch to get it into second gear. Yes, it was worth six hundred dollars, but I had decided that morning to give him the no-school-no-car talk. I think that mattered.
Snow this morning. Wet, hanging from tress and piled on the deck rail. Amanda banging on my door, frantic, waking me up saying I had overslept. Downstairs, I woke Michael with the same energy. He had the presence of mind to argue with me that it was 6 AM and not 7 AM. I insisted his clock was wrong. And so on. But it was 6 AM. I realized that all the clocks read 6 AM. Amanda had been wrong. She went back to bed. Michael went back to bed. I still haven't gotten back to sleep. Are you there?
I'm emotionally exhausted from trying to stretch myself in too many directions at once. My spirit is tired. Perhaps I drink too much coffee and my body can no longer cope with the artificial stimulation. I hear the gurgling signifying another pot is done, and I get up to pour myself a cup. I just got a rejection slip on two very fine poems. But I know how this works. If I am not mistaken, someone else picked up the same two poems this morning—so perhaps it is just as well the second magazine turned them down this afternoon.
I'm looking at one of Henry Miller's watercolors. Henry was, fortunately, much more noted for books that made him notorious in my parent's time. For years he has been one of my favorite writers. I've read much of his stuff, all the way from the early unpublished-until-recently books through the later, old-man novels. He retired to Southern California, Big Sur. I drove past a Henry Miller museum down there once. I still wish I had stopped, but I was not on my own. I had the priorities of others to consider. One must be considerate of the priorities of others.
Running my palm over my hair, I feel it wet and soft. My body aches, and I think it's the weather. I want to fall back into sleep, to embrace sleep, to take it as my lover for a week. I had a lover for a week once. It was a date that just didn't stop. A one-nighter that turned into a one-weeker. And we never dated again. She asked me once later, but I was solid with someone else by then. As solid as any of us ever get. There is always that lonely difference, that silence between words.
It's a long day.
I'm cold to the bone.
A dull knife is scraping the
Ivory coating away.
Just stop with me,
Or just stop me, and
I'll tell you stories about these
Just know the thing
And I will carry you
In a sling of hemp
Is a wind singing
Behind an old TV.
It goes Whirrr.
It's a longer day,
And I am warmed.
The knifepoint is entering
The Ivory bat
I'll tell you what
You already know
And you will carry with me
Behind a rotting barn
I'm missing something here. I can feel it in my arms and legs and my head. It may be a cup of coffee, a cigarette, or sleep. I'm not sure what it is. My body's telling me something. Having knocked at the door it is standing patiently on the porch, fingers tracing the chain on the swing out there. It is nudging me, saying, "Give me this. Give me this chemical, this jolt, this fuel." It is saying adjust me, adjust my chemistry and I will make you better. I will make you feel better. I won't bother you anymore
And compelled in the darkest place,
In the heavy palm of my hand.
It is my hand.
I can feel the crisp wings
Tearing at the skin behind my hand,
Where the powder is wearing its way out.
Her gentle wing laced with bone
And stiff web,
Locked in joints of chitinous armor,
Rowing the summer air.
Remembering the worm
Crawling into the velvet padded cockpit
Of some sailing machine,
Whispering the drive train to life,
Laden with sun jewels
And acres of fabric,
In the heavy palm of my hand
I'm doing well this morning, at peace. I hope I won't go back into the darkness. They are cleaning the windows, and I can hear the long ropes banging against mine as the tall young men wrap themselves around the building with their buckets, mops, and squeegees. The sun presses them there against the building. All ropes in a life are woven together, intricate and holding us 400 feet in the air like mother on a windy day. Sometimes it helps to pull on more than one. Or does puling on the one give you access to all of them?
We got the snow dump last night and over the years I have become somewhat tired of writing the snow thing, somewhat tired of taking snow pictures, but still not tired of the snow experience even though it involves acid rain, dog shit, and the road/street grease-packed ice crap thrown up against the curb, the berm, and the ends of the grocery store parking lot.
I wanted to mention the trees this morning, how the limbs were defined by white stripes shooting into the sky against the backdrop of black locust. But I ran out of space. 100 words yanno.
The rest of the family, with their attendant friends, noise, breadcrumbs, and echoes down the hall have left to support my daughter in her test for a green belt. I am left to pick flowers off the wall, in the relative silence of undisturbed air, trying to keep my face turned away from the task at hand, from the thing I meant to be writing about. Circling it like an animal trying to evade its predator even before the chase has started. This thing is dark, and hidden in the thick end of my skull. It won't come out quietly.
I've intent every day. I intend to do a number of things, but I'm always unable to achieve the goal. I run out of me before I run out of things. I would start with a smaller list, but I already reduct the list to only those things w hich abwsolutely have to be done. ‘m thinking now. A cu rious thing. I want to submit to the atomotist in me, to the transcendent. There is never enough energy but I write With or without energy and I curse myseopf for not starting earler for the writing thing is sacrosanct.
W h a t I s a w o r d ? A word is what my dumbdumbdumb com puter says is a &%*$. It is really noe grate feet to strng to gather one hun dred of them. The trick is 2 sae some thing while duing the stringing. Oryou may stgrangle the stgranger if you please. Anangry rangre stranger will noe doubt cum along and unstrangel him when youarenaughtlooking. Where was I? I mean, where I was while strangling the stranger? All the kings horses write to show their breiding. B ut easy writing makes damn hard reeding?
I'm feeling numbness in my leg. I'm feeling the edge of the chair against my legs as I write for several hours a day. I know what this means. I have been to blood clot land before. It means I am spending too much time in this chair. I should go find the old oak chair that came with this desk and use it. I could go borrow my wife's chair. I might have to change the settings, and arouse a sea of troubles, but then I might also save a blood clot in my leg, which could kill me.
My grandfather dug three graves the day he died. He dug by hand and by himself. Neat rectangular holes in the dark cool earth with vertical sides. I have done it myself before, but with help, and the work is hard, even for one grave. When you are done you realize you have dug a hole deeper than you are tall, and you have to get out. I remember my first time crawling out of a grave, into the fresh air. It is hard to get out of a grave after you have dug it, and my grandfather was short.
My coffee is cold and it has crawled down into the mug to hide from me. It swims there in milky white residue while exotic amphibians croak out love songs to one another. They are hidden in quiet coves separated by the long brown turbulent waters. To them the curl of the handle would lean inconceivable, both in size and structure. But they are inside, shielded by the thick warm walls of baked clay and glaze. They are inside where the plants grow tropical, where the mist rises from the moss as the earth gives up her heat and rain.
Inside and beyond, the hardened grey skin of this boulder is feeling the longing tensile in its skin. The heartbeat falls, the sledge fist floats, one low dipping curve per eon. Hundreds of generations of white-coated technicians cannot measure a single beat. It's too slow to be heard, too slow to be felt except by the low grinding earth itself. She hears each one, as a trillion chattering children, running across her parks, slipping down her mountains, awash in her seas. The respiration glides, the ritual kundalini breath blossoms in slow rock power, drinking the night, drinking the sun.
In this world a non-dominant species requires three partners for mating. They are highly intelligent and emotional. They couple for life and are fiercely jealous of their mates. They are hermaphroditic in that any one can play any of the three roles. They have an untouchable caste of persons required to be fully robed and masked at all times. The robes of these people however are extremely ornate and colorful, with many sexually suggestive pictures. It is these who provide the third party for a reproductive union. It is they who initiate the union by picking a suitable couple.
Moving like lover's lips, shaking the soul of air, steel, and bone, she is a particle of music, a moist quiver, a touch of delight. Her home is hollow and sleek, and she defines the purpose of life. We can only approach this soul of beauty with timid mathematical ave and alphabet stars. She rains from the horn bell with her brothers and sisters, a gush of children breaking free from school. A gasp of joy from a hammered string, a flash, a chaotic birthing, swaying in precise sonic dance, a startled cry: the vibration of a painted wing.
The most delicate fairies live inside the human eye. They move in the tiniest swarms of color carrying light and image across the great dome into the horizon. Following nerve highways up against the sun, in constant motion, like the heart they never give out. Yet playful, darting sometimes at random, dancing across the great jelly cushion of their world, tripping over rods and laughing as they suddenly sit embarrassed. Changing color chameleon-like they hide behind the iris, holding hands, kissing, and glimpsing an outer world through this stained-glass arch. A universe is there, too big, inconceivable, too irresistible.
100worlds-6 The mailbox is cold lonely metal along the side of the road. An inch of ice and snow covers his roof, and a solitary dent from the bats of summer has crushed his side. He was lucky this summer. Many did not live to see the fall. He knows that from the wandering messages that flicker in and out, across the world, and back again. The mail web He waits, aching in that dark empty cavity for the purr of the boxy little car, for her, for her touch, her fingers stretching long into his loneliness, his only love.
The spoon started as a molten living bubble of steel, pure, flowing yellow and red, bursting with life, sparks flying, alloys mixing, muscles flexing, the full metal spine stiffening, and purified magma breathing the thin air scorched by the fires of hell. Cells are forming, swarming, and replicating. Each boiling formation is more complicated than before.
And the rod begins to cool. Ash falls and the life slows down, lower and lower states of energy as the glow gently winks out. The entire event is captured, frozen in the hollow bell of the spoon. Drop it, and it rings.
Inside the corked and grooved bark, you feel startled at the wound low on your flank. It is clean, down to the wood, and causes that entire side to feel open and weak, reaching eighty feet into the air. Amber bleeder, fingers stove deep into the earth, knuckles cracking rocks and clay shoved up under your nails, you are branches in slow circuitous sweep tickling the belly of the sky and shredding the clouds. There is a rising buzz, a flowing, and a hard pressure in your veins. And the sun feels so good, so bright, and so warm.
This hand is movement, curved, creased, both worn, and new. The fingers naturally close, seeking the shape of the rake, of the rock, and of the claw. He twists, faces the body, and knows himself. He finds his way touching damp walls in the dark. Covered in supple skin, he stretches in the morning, feeling his strong back and the glow caught in this palm. He is the birth and instrument of love, its home. The bones glow; the muscles stretch, and the tendons pull over immaculate pulleys and rods. He climbs, dances, and smiles at poetry in flight.
This tiny muscle is twisting in perpetual reflex, in the dark. She feels the brush of dark and doesn't know the day. The fist clenches and holds in clock-like syncopation. Covered in thin mottled skin and home to blood she tastes salt, and she shoves against the memory that won't forget. And she aches. She aches at pain and she aches when confronted with beauty. Confronted with beauty, she can hear the rush of air, the closing of space, and the dancing symbols that order the march, and she cries. She moves, she dances, and she never can stop.
So much of this life, is just perception. It is what people think you are. It is what you think you are. Little else matters. I don't mean that in a negative sense. I mean that you need to seriously consider how you feel about yourself. You need to think about how you feel about what you are doing. It may mean, that whoever you are, you need to consider the perceptions of others about you. It may also mean that sometimes you have to look beyond your perceptions of others into whatever it may be they are really about.
Starting here with a clean slate. The words, the wounds, the world, the holiday, the time of the stars spinning spitting splayed across the mirror of the sky is too busted, too tried, crawling up my leg and into my lap like a wild and spoiled puppy.
I'm starting with a clean slate and it's not even New Year's Day with the happy horns and ribbons falling through the sky like cloned, broken, and happy strands of DNA. Starting because there is no desire to find the larger jobs in my mind, and because sometimes the brain needs to wander.
She stands all night in angular and colorful poise, the white crust of yesterday dried on her cheeks. In the morning she wakes up stretching, slender long and brittle, bearing long rows of spiny teeth. Decked in delicate froth, she crawls into the inviting mouth like a plover into a crocodile. Feeding there in symbiotic glee, she consumes the leftovers and grunge from the day before. She slides happily across the rough tongue muscle, into familiar soft tissue of the palate. This is her other home, the one of purpose, the dark moist cavernous odiferous and warm breathed mouth.
Grace is a state of matter, a room in an organic mansion, a world spinning its own light. Grace is striding ten feet above the ground and breathing cool air with tall trees. Grace sees everything at once with soothed eyes and everything flows through her absorbed, digested, unharmed. Her smile, her dowry is promised, ordered, desired, but rarely received. She lives in a bunker inside, festooned with maps, video screens and uniforms, defining muscle, bone, and nerve, and the harder you try to find her, the deeper she recedes. She is a dissolving awareness of holy tangential slope.
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