material encoded. Bitemarks light the evening sky within temporal
skin, as if not mentioned butt held and firm. The sensory layer
between the definition and what follows it into the other room,
like a covering between you and doubt, like a smooth anchor where
you held it down. Between definition and repose, there is a silence
entertaining the eyeball in your hand. As if you'd spent the day
At home on
the Lanker Dee, he spoils the air with his breath, words formed
alongside mental disturbations, the Judge sat in the chair before
her and masturbated. In some newer avenue, there was a quickening
from the interior of the lingo itself, another orange disk in memory's
late skies. This was where you left off and smoothed aside another
empty moon. Crawlspace from the nether depths, oozing animations
clear the air and huck bowls of light against the door. It opens.
Would you call me another day?
lightweight scrawn, linked from offal rites the length of which
return some fathom pothole, screen, links to smoother asides. Your
own musk of fleeting poems hole the day into sinking feelings, smothering,
a fleet dream of having been there against your will in quicksand
memory the liners remote and sensated from aisle reaps toward monkey
shit falling ceiling-wise, inert waves reascend making sentences
turn upsideways down at the end of the day.
rasp of wooden dongs, smoke rising from your empty ears, this vacuum
in your heart is not healing slowly but enlarging into the continent,
as if Now were the solitary clue. I'm a farmer. The clasp holds
her hair away from her face, it bleeds green and purple songs into
the firmament where there are no havens, no palls. Lineations of
out, the smoother angle decorates basically simple emotions within
their own areas, as if there were something to decide beyond the
easier assumptions. It'd skate.
harvest must come," he said at the gate. Upstairs, the old
people were shrinking daily, moving around the rooms at night in
gradually smaller circles, heaving memories over the balcony along
with unwanted relatives, to what? Relative to what. In blue movies,
they always hold you long enough to matter, not long enough to believe.
What's the due, what's the air, what's the poison reference in the
letter left on the credenza with familiar bits of pottery and glass
arranged in somewhat mysterious patterns.
carry their insolence before them like the unencoded manuscript
you hold before you, as if no other. Here in the weakening gloom,
where the sun might not rise again, refuse and offal smoking on
the horizontal penetration, names left on the night moves would
not include you in their declinations to the opposite. It's the
Non. Welcome to the Non. Here where there is a message on the floor
you can't quite read, it's somewhat out of focus, a photograph which
was a mistake, or was it? Get at the raspy dude, hold his anchors
out of sight on the morning after what. What described your day
along the curving road through the mountains down into the sloping
valleys rolling their peachfuzz ocean floors from long ago, long
enough that no one remembers when it was, giant trucks rolling around
the tiny blacktop roads to nowhere, this is the air we were.
The air begins
to clog into beachside parking lots with wooden boats on their sides;
it's the image of a nostalgia for what never was, for the mystery
in its agony of repetition and disuse, in its finality of indifference
from the skies which open into darkness and their own readiness
to receive the incoming signals, a psychic enterprise which is less
an image than it is a tendency to refuse use or pity as the days
climb into their own particular nothingness. Here is a sign. A post
driven into the ground with huge hammers, split at the top and furry
on the edges from the dull saw which reduced it from a tree into
this blunted anchor for the heavens.
No darker than
not, the Non is its own record of history, it's own determination
to be real. A solipsist dream of floating in the darkness without
any ropes or shelves to put your clothes onto, an empty ark of covenance
and disrepair; too busy to look back, you ramble in your discourse
like someone who's just learned the language and doesn't know what
to say with it. Like, "duh." Go on, you think, this is
only the beginning and you might eventually be surprised, at least
you hope so.
in the putty tate"
goes the reggae voice in the other room. Boom-boom on the bass floor,
a guy playing a fish with gaping scales. "Wah in the putty
tate," and comes right back on you in its own manner, measured
by the length of the time between silences, rhythm and the slinking
asides you'd hold onto again and again, gasping for air, tie your
rope to the stars, sly in the pooti-wah, cool in the putty tate.
Fool in the remiss outer, school in the heading against which the
foot ramble upwards in a new kick to your ass, blam! Hears the single
tone realigns the stars their own waves begin and end in your fingertips,
as if your skin separated you from anything at all, least of which
impinges on your finality.
no single doubt but classed and plussed within schemers, at their
own agenda wrapt and fallen, in skein forms the lingering tides
rushing again and again at the fordune, held down by the sticky
beachgrass into mountains of sand piled against the continent, as
if holding it together by the balls and fountains, clean wisps of
delight remembered darkness in the ether room encoded again you
hear the word bleep-bleep on the wand of your own fingers
remember," he cries, forgetting even the question at hand.
Doorstop wrinkles, no slacks on the floor, putative strength heals
the hearer longer now than not. Playing attention has them standing
stiff and rude at their tangled-wire barriers to thought which is
this, this agony and passitude you'd invented to get around the
farmers. Drought in the anchoring dunes, a flat on the sinking repetitions
of the day after tomorrow, "I do not know," and goes on
into the later sections of the psalter, horse and rider clinging
together to the song, ca-ching, symbol and clang, platter and bong
the looser claims for inattention recall you to doubt itself into
which you plunge ceaselessly a punter in the mists of the game-ball
thrown against the door, hearing heaving this singular dusk as it
rises riding outward the nomenclature of the song itself is no meter
but the clamor of the holding tanks and spasms, loose to the night
you called it now and then, but cleared the door easily leaping
over all the furniture into the skin, into the now and then the
Non at its own destiny remembering all the words you know at once.
my wooden, replicant heart splits again; "oh, this again."
Like a dickwad spent on too many summer afternoons in the city where
the lights go on and off like lights. Your own movies have crept
aside into the clay and then moved too far to say stop and spin.
I'd been at the longer scenes no patriot moons are called like the
surface of your smile when you think I'm not wasting my time writing
on the back of my hand until it's full of scripts and sentences.
And when Pip falls out of the boat as it makes its way back to the
mother ship after the heroic fight with the white whale, he is left
floating on the blue ocean under a cloudless, blue sky, and loses
the horizon line, goes mad, floating in the midst of blue nothingness.
We need that line across the empty mind, a fathom or two to the
left and sends no other. No less a baby in the womb, but a seed
in the winds across a vacant planetal spin and sag.
too, the gloss of skin in the mind is a barrier against what we
do not know, & since what we know is everything, the shiny surface
of the paint on the floor is what gives it its depth, as if the
flat, grainy surface of the photograph competes with the image (whatever
that is) made up of its molecules and terms for what we define as
solid in the mists of plenty, in the midst of suspicion about grids
and screens defying the very flatness over which they superimpose
themselves. You skated on the surface. You walked upon the ground.
There was a you to walk with along the way so there was no
loneliness. In the dream, recall figured among the trees along the
road. Everything is you in the dream.
In the surficial,
silence reigns its usual head and shoulders above every other facet
of indignation. Silents rain unusual beads and boulders among never
mother faces of obligation. Your angry tools are featherd on the
board in the garage where the bent wires poke from holes on the
beadboard façade which is painted with little faces smiling
sly intonations of doubt you'd imagined received and plotted from
the hours remaining in your life to fill with some substances drawn
from the so-called 'natural world' as it comes to you in dreams
which are not.
The music from
the other room covers the football sounds to my right and the confuser-hum
at the tower in between. No cats live here any more. The garden
has gone into winter's remission, leaning into the sporadic wind
and rain from off the ocean further on the right hand side of the
picture. We are in the middle of it all, smoothing the covers on
the bed with right and left hands. The dog now has the chair all
to herself, now that I am engaged here at the keyboard. At least
there is location. Scan-dew. Fonterama from the skanking
I'd seek no
plento in the ark of shame; hear this lingo and slight the offers
one dune at a time, with a sack of spuds containing two bombs, left
at the airport without a shipping tag. It is that uncertain now,
and a massive paranoia becomes the realer real in between moments
of panic and superstition. Surely, an ignorance subscribes to the
sense that everything is out of control, even in the sentence, even
in the moving hand that writes and then moves on. Even as love makes
you lonely. How'd your ship run aground?
a sly dimension that marks your spot in silent disregard, nor evenings
on the harker spud and plento, no mister in the monks and seasons
where you'd cleaved her sudden wasps in senses muff'd and spun at
showers held below the arms and snug. Park a due, loot a spider's
nests are stuck up under the overhang on the purple boards you painted
not too long ago, an ark of stolen moments in the daily flame to
mark the days and nights again you sing too loudly in the dark,
staving off sensations of struggle and gasping for air as you march
slowly slower stopped at the intersection of wait and walk.
has no surface even in memory, even in time, as it were, not declared
a definition nor a state's estate for reclamation and fervor--yours
in the unmentionable aspect derided into pressure or stance or humanity
in errors of its own regard made impenetrable and indefinite, now
fathom that. Like six feet under; and yet the glow of the
mask lies between you and the reflection of your own face in the
very mirror which makes the room seem twice as large as it is, even
in the fading hours of the century which has only now begun to be
borne among us, furious clatter of ignorant missives thrown around
like lard, like broken, rubber hands holding hackeysack eyeballs
to kick and spin around the room in another empty game.
in your loogie, the sheen of inattention recalls the form of the
question in the back of your mind as if no other. The house rocks.
The moon slides between you and me. Shiny and profound, a good idea
only masks the questions which gave it rise in the mind's eye and
song with simplicity, with grandiose proportions which allow it
distinction and implicit definitions on yr facet. Or are you reminded
of something circular-ouroboric and distinct in competition with
release and renewal. This would be it in the here and now of asking
where you are tonight, sweet Marie. I played the record and sang
the same words in the spaces between the words coming from the speaker,
a duality and duet with the hidden singer in the electronic box.
No one listened again. It was another day in another town, long
ago and hopeless in retrospect to unleash the terms for relief you'd
imagined somewhere out of town and up into the mountains now covered
with ticky-tack housing and tip-up mall walls covering the valley
with anonymous faces in the crowd, soot stained storefronts, smarmy
longhair hippies stroking and holding onto each other at the end
of the age, cozy in their victory over the forces they deride from
thesafety of their own empty lives, at least they're together, you
think, and drive out of town.
domain of surficial penetration of the gloss and the sheen, driven
upward into view by the nothingness beneath it, shit floating to
the top of the soup, if there's a disease, you've got it. Behind
the screen, the President strangles his generals and their children,
smiling and stuttering in a language which makes you only laugh
and gurgle in your own spastic fury at the denial it all represents
for the hope that would have made it all bearable, beneficient,
a future without fury or dread. Even that is denied you, even as
it is sold at the mall in small doses and packages of convenient,
So the hour
declines you and refuses to be interviewed without a witness present,
not a lawyer but a savior. 'Hah,' you stutter and slide away into
the shadows of a life you've retrieved from the machine at hand,
in hand, out of hand, out of mind and off the page.
A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
News at eleven.
The man accused as a sniper in many recent killings is acting as
his own defense, apparently with the court's blessing and with a
somewhat distant relationship with his court-appointed attorneys.
Now, he is denied the opportunity of introducing evidence about
his own mental competency because of his refusal to submit to a
psychological evaluation immediately after his capture and subsequent
imprisonment. How would he question himself on the matter of his
sanity, and would there not be some kind of ironic resonance to
the questioning as he moved from the position of question to the
status of answering questions from himself about whether or not
he is mad. Would he seek to prove or disprove his sanity and in
either case what would be the outcome if he were judged by his own
questioning to be mad. Would his madness discredit the questioner?
Reverend John Mann, a kind of everyman in his name, a retiree in
the stages of Alzheimer's deterioration, has died suddenly. I painted
their house two months ago, and he was an energetic man, not the
least incompetent in his immediacy to the task, although his wife
seemed irritable with his condition over which she had been witness
and caretaker during this time. He know where the ladder was and
helped me retrieve it from the pegs on the wall in the garage, although
he had some difficulty covering the windows with the masking tape
which would not stick to old newspapers. Who wouldn't? She spoke
of how he asked the same questions over and over, but since I was
there only two weeks I barely noticed. He did ask me several times
if I read mysteries, since he had many volumes to share, but unfortunately
I don't read such material. Somehow the death of "the man"
sits in my craw uneasily, another irony.
the story persists in my memory of the Carribbean sorceress who
invited all of her friends to her wake. They were confused as she
was still breathing walking talking and all the rest, yet they all
showed up on the appointed evening to celebrate her live-in death,
or something like that. Oddly enough, her coffin rested on the floor
in the middle of her living room. They all partied long into the
night, and as the evening drew to a close, she gathered everyone
together and in some manner announced that now she would leave them.
She got into the coffin, lay back, crossed her arms across her chest
and then died. End of story.
am reminded of Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities, with
its parallel plots of the madman in the neighborhood killing people
at the same time as its somewhat generic hero himself descends into
some kind of synchronist reprise of his own situation; as well as
the unhappy moment at the end of Herman Hesse's The Bead Game
when our narrator and hero comes to a mountain pool of water
as the book ends with the statement, "He dove in." Period,
end of story.
All of which
sticks us on the quick and the dead, the living and the dying and
the moment of capture where we evaporate into our own solipsistic
nothingness, our personal 'passing beyond' beyond which, you might
say, there is no passage and hardly any beyond to be shared, unless
the vagaries of the various books of the dead incline you to imagine
a passage into the anteroom of a John Edwards show on television
so that you can whistle to your dog through the vanes in the ceiling
where the cool air from the other world navigates itself onto the
television screen in your house at eleven p.m. on the SciFi channel
between commercials for organic erectile fertilizer or opportunities
to refinance your home, betting against your own passing, which
hardly seems to be a good bet at all. Yet the synchronists insist
that the white cloud streams upward into some destiny and passage
at the end of your day.
Not that I
doubt that at all. If you haven't been to the game you can't report
the score. Beyond these questions, the nagging insistence on messages
from outer space becomes a gigantic folklore in the medium of the
message, and the fictions from stage screen and radio as they used
to say, seem to perpetuate a vast and dynamic cargo cult of bamboo
airplanes, tonalities from the top of the devil's watch tower, an
aptly named erection of stone in the middle of the flat screen of
the northern plains. Surely the perpetrators of these empty saddles
in the old corral are selling ten pounds of shit in a three pound
bag, for in the absence of any messages from outer space, as they
call it, there is surely no evidence for perpetrating these frauds
which only encourage us, deus ex machina, that whatever we
do, the skyhook will descend from above with a bag of donuts and
a hot latte. I'm not laughing.
A more responsible
attitude would not cave in to the absence of any proof that becomes
the proof that is not there at all. We might have some respect for
the fragility of the atmosphere we breathe, a fragility which becomes
more apparent as we learn more of its bare reckoning. Nor would
science with its statistical probabilities usurp so easily the evidence
of the eye and the mind, if there is any mind there at all. The
coincidence of our sacred unity might become more respected if we
accepted the fact that although we've been going to western union
for as long as we can remember that no one has answered the call
at all. At all. Thank you very much.
we have taken photographs of invisible material (?) and found evidence
for whatever we've sought to invent for the comfort of our brief
spin at the controls. Everyone writes a poem in moments of abject
despair, as if that were the solace at the end of the tunnel. People
are even known to have read poems in moments of what is called 'spiritual
crisis.' But to engender a life out of poetry or to dedicate one's
self to poetry is once again a state of complete depravity and waste.
The rubber hand on my desk holding the hackeysack with an eyeball
painted on it nonetheless becomes a leitmotif for my own doubt in
some archaic resonance which I cannot escape, though I photograph
it as if it were a real hand, severed from the body of the world's
poet, designed by my ten-year-old grandson as a respectfully inspired
yet somewhat mischievious imitation of my own strange preoccupation
with hands and eyes in my own work. The moving hand writes and then
moves on, another poet wrote. And the eye that sees is the I that
seize, if you get my drift. And so I drift onto the plane of inattention
to catch what's in the space between the words, the wind blowing
between my eyes where a hole in my head to let it in is.