prosetry

Soon

Why do I keep counting all the ways you might not count on me, says the mouse inside, all the ways this “I” might fail, stuck on gelastic fantasies drawn off sheer fear and memorial disquiet of the sort that blood breeds, cut through with equal parts darkness and light, one might say in a nod toward fairness, or something like it, something balanced and even, even

darkness and light, even understanding and uncertainty—whatever poles you choose so long as the central action is vacillation swinging swaying in a fine dialectical tangle to encircle the central impression that memories and dreams of any scope or variety add up to anything, let alone the present,

let alone the precise number of years and thoughts and mistakes and misperceptions and lessons and attempts and fuck ups and small fucking nothing victories it takes a mouse to grow into something other than the man he tried to make anyone believe he was all along, almost anyone, really, someone more than greater than, though just other than would’ve sufficed, just so long as he lost the tail they all stepped on as he tried to flee,

because it seems that’s how the best laid plans tend when you’ve been borrowing troubles from pasts and futures imagined as tales and real as genes, finally coming to understand how the present is made from knowing but not just any knowing, not just the KNOWING they all talk about as though it’s self-explanatory, but knowing which things to remember and which to forget, knowing that not all thoughts are feelings and the biggest feelings aren’t even thoughts at all

and yet there she is as she’s always been, thought and felt, the sweet antagonist in the fable the man will later write from the mouse’s point of view of the most beautiful girl in the village, just village, not city, not world, because those don’t matter and can’t, the same way before and after don’t matter compared to now, a lesson in scale and uniqueness, that’s what it’ll be,

this man’s tale of scale and uniqueness with an oblique moral fresh-squeezed from the notion of the universal’s small town locality, squeezed into a puddle pool reflecting all the ways the large evens out and trivializes, how it eschews our propensity to compare unknowns, how we see the world in what’s within reach, a moral of presence inverted with the mouse by the puddle pool’s edge looking in and wondering how deep and if he’ll be as upside down as the sky and horizon he sees if he wades in to catch the one and only girl he sees there standing on the other side—or falls,

but that’s all as yet unwritten, though it might’ve by now been said as many times as it takes this fablemouse to see singularity in his multitudes, here-ness in the midst of his preternatural orbits, dreaming expecting each nightmare to be different when it’s all the fucking same

till one day it’s ok, till one day he wakes up and learns to swim from watching the birds fly through a sky shone on the water’s surface and for the first time thinks if they can so can “I,” right here, and so will the story go, a simple tale with convenient anthropomorphism and elementary principle, ending but just beginning with the man the teller within his own tale dreaming

for the first time that night of the story’s completion of laughing all the way to the bank or the stratosphere or the grave—or wherever a man might go—at the thought of all this self-construction, at the mouse he had to create in order to destroy, trusting in a buoyancy he had only to acknowledge as simply and easily and presently as her beauty.

Advertisements
Standard
life

Misgivings

You know most of this already.

In the car with them, sitting in the back seat with her up front passenger-wise and turned back to me the two of us and talking fast like always like she had something to sell that she knew we hadn’t the cash or care to buy and the rain pelted the windshield and the wipers swung right back and the dark was outside full of unfocused and flickering points of light, streetlamps and headlights and incidental bokeh, while some vague figure in shadow form all the while drove us on.

Afterspiel, when she’d used up all her words and most of the air in the vehicle, I told her in fact no, our problem is we try to do too much too fast, all force and no finesse, just blind dumb vigor and ataxia and too little brains, like these wipers here, perhaps, I felt, reaching for a metaphor, sweeping dismissive overreliance on artificial intelligences built up around sleights perceived and true and entitlements seemingly due, ungrounded emotion and mechanical philistinism with an inarticulable mission like the goons who forcibly removed that doctor from a plane in Chicago and probably went home that night and had the nerve to believe in civil society though in their idiomatics it’s hard to believe any such nerve is needed, they haven’t even the proper vocab for the fact that kids in the same city kill with AK-47s and five people died last Wednesday just because, nothing happening, nothing going on, just a Wednesday in the city and what do you make of that, if you were to stop and sit still and be quiet for a minute.

The other there with us in the back seat with me was compelled to agree with me and I wondered what keywords in her repertoire of principled social consciousness I tapped, knowing for sure she wasn’t packing even the slightest hint of directional allegory, as oblivious to irony as those goons and maybe just as gullible, just as crowdsourced, giving a mere simple pacific piggybacking mhmm and nod of head, pleased that someone had done the thing and spoken out because somewhere along the straight and narrow well-meaning way she acquired the notion that speaking out said something but it at the very least for the moment changed our atmosphere.

And with that, nevertheless, just her up front stillness and quiet and that slight sound and musculoskeletal gesture in the back beside me within the still-floating presence of my words, I’ll be damned if a faint fellowship did not for a moment shine upon us all four road-weary travelers like the immediate aftermath of a photograph flash, a fraction of assent trying its best to be illumination and hanging in the air and draping us in what I can only think to call our common humanity, common and shared and base, and for that instant it felt not as if we were two against her brazen, impudent one, not as if the three of us outshined and consumed his resolute nothing drive-along indifference and better-knowing onlooker’s bemusement, but as if we were actual, and in that actuality a forward step might be taken, an honest word might be uttered, some responsibility assumed, a tide turned, a leaf flipped, a change made.

But it swiftly turned to dust as always tends to seems to happen with everything with vocal chords and no backbone and all was once again rain and shadows and distorted glows and she just looked at me through streaks of darkness and light and a sort of crazed eye blaze on par with Colonel Kurtz and I wished I hadn’t said a thing, wished I could vanish along with the dust of our fleeting fellowship, right along with it be turned to dust myself and taken away by wind and washed away by rain,

but all I could do was shrink from the terrible inordinacy of the space she occupied up front in that fractured darkness, already shaking off my rejoinder like a dog fresh out of water while I began inwardly apologizing by proxy and diminished presence for others’ misdeeds, her misnomers, our great misanthropy, daymare dreaming in my passive defense a wishful little thesis about going beyond thought as if awareness were something cartographical lying somewhere off the edge of the world, somewhere where I might forever sever ties to the false freedom of staying small amongst the throngs and the safety sense that silence might be the way to say what life’s about, beating myself into a backseat submission that like a deep bruise I felt lacked his up front strength and dignity, and yet

And yet there is hope, he said, and stopped us all.

Standard
life, photography

Lost Into Darkness

abstract_015

I was up early this morning, or maybe I never made it to bed – either way, I wrote a ‘thing’ for the first time in a month. It looked good, read well. It had a start, a middle and an end – you, know, all that jazz. I was ecstatic at the output. Maybe I will let you read it one day.

I left the house for work, walking a familiar path to the Underground. I was thinking of what I had written, smiling at how clever I had been with my twisting sentences, the slick characterisation, the clever call-back at the climax that referenced the beginning. In my mind I began to edit, adding fresh pieces – to refine the start, to plump the middle, to polish the end.

Then the happiness faded. I started to see the gaps, the cracks, the fractures; the long-winded wordiness, ridiculous choices of my protagonist, the clichéd fait accompli of the antagonist. The weaknesses within my prose emboldened ink-black against the pure-white canvass.

In an instant this familiar path, along which I had been skipping, came to the downhill slope section where you will find the ruts and bumps. I stumbled and fell heavy to my knees, pitching forward onto my hands and left skin from my palms and knuckles upon the bitumen. That is when it came loose and tumbled away from me towards the storm drain. I watched it slip between the thick metal fingers – confidence in my words lost into darkness, and it was gone

Standard