Sunday, March 31, 2013

paschalis

VI.

In the beginning the stories had not been written. In the beginning the stories had not been told. In the beginning the stories were not yet memories. In the beginning the stories had not happened.

In the beginning it was dawn and I held my pen and I watched the sun rise and it was good. So I wrote that down. Nothing else had happened and so there were no metaphors to draw from. There was no way to describe the feeling of a soul scrubbed clean from all the emotion and anger and disappointment that had passed before, for I did not know of the soul, I had never experienced emotion. That was all: the sun rose and it was good and I wrote it down, and in the writing it became anchored in place and time and it became memory.

In the beginning the sun rose and it was good and I wrote this down, it was my first, my only memory. As the day grew long shadows formed, shadows distinct from their shapes, for the shadows were unaware that they were expected to remain anchored to their forms. The shadows separated from their forms and there were two worlds at play: the separated shadows moved, formed alliances, danced, murdered. The evening grew close, chasing the heels of the afternoon, and as evening arrived shadows sought out the nests of their forms, returning home to roost and sleep in silence during the night. The two worlds were reunited and I watched the sun set and it was good, and I wrote this down as well. My second memory.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

numerological

 I want to find my words, my dictionary, my thesaurus, my encyclopedia, my glossary, and I want my words to draw an atlas unlike any other, a map that shows a land never explored, a wilderness never breached, a place that previously was only an absence, here sketched out and illuminated. I want the key of language to open the charts to sail to this land, and I fear I've lost my compass, my sextant, my spyglass, for what I can see is without form, lingering in the shadows of my mind.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

juxtapositional





image descriptions:
New Orleans
New Orleans
Bear Fest, summer
Bear Fest, winter

Friday, March 15, 2013

follow-the-leader

Well, everybody started cheering and hollering and then soccer practice kinda ended. I could tell coach was snake-spitting angry and I didn't want him yelling at me, because when coach yelled, wow, he yelled loud. Coach used words that I was pretty sure we weren't supposed to even know about and once he was so angry I saw him punch a car. It seemed like maybe a dumb idea at the time and he was just as angry after he hit the car as he had been before, then he had a funny splint from the hospital for a month. I never saw him hit a car again, but that's how he looked after the creature made that amazing goal.

So the creature and I, we moved fast to the other end of the practice field, and I didn't even help clean up the gear, we just ran all the way back home. Maybe coach would call Mom and yell at her, but Mom would just ignore him and everything would be okay. When we were about a block away from home, and it was just starting to get dark enough to turn on the street lamps, I stopped running and looked at the creature. It still didn't look like a dog. It didn't move like a dog and it wasn't shaped like a dog. People just kept thinking it was a dog because everybody has dogs and so that's what they expect to see. I knew it wasn't a dog. I just didn't know what it was, or why it was following me, or what it wanted.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

round booth in the corner; coffee, jello salad

B: What do you remember about when Uncle moved in?
A: Ain't nothin' to remember. Old lady who own the house died, it was on the market for a while, then this fellow and his wife move in. Happened like that all the time.
B: You know the old lady?
A: Everyone knew old Mrs. Ellis. She made it her business to know everyone. She had a bridge game once a week in her living room, and all the ladies had to attend. Just like the Queen on TV, wore jewelry and hats and Mrs. Ellis made sure they were all kept in line.
B: Did you ever join the bridge group?
A: Just the ladies. Never invited. Don't play bridge, anyhow.
B: But you went over to Mrs. Ellis' house at other times?
A: Nah. Saw her sometimes in town, but only the women were invited over. This about Mrs. Ellis or Uncle? I know even less about Mrs. Ellis than I do about Uncle.
B: How'd she die, again?
A: Dunno. She died of being an old woman. Maybe doctors have another word for it.
B: Anyone upset when she died?
A: What type of a question is that?
B: Was anyone upset when she died?
A: We had a decent funeral for her. Graveside, sent some type of flower.
B: Did lots of people look at the house, or just Uncle?
A: I dunno. I wasn't that interested. Not my business.
B: But was there an estate sale, an auction, was the house sold furnished?
A: How the hell would I know? That's just nosy, not anybody's business.
B: Maybe you should make it your business.
A: What, all out of the blue, me go around asking about a mint green velvet couch from a woman dead thirty years ago?
B: So you remember the couch.
A: I don't know. I made that up. Or I guessed. Every old lady had a mint green couch.
B: So you're going to find out for us?
A: How the hell do you expect me to do that?
B: You're an old-timer. You'll figure it out, ask some questions.
A: What is this about? I don't want to get involved, this is none of my business. This is none of your business, either.
B: We'll let you think about it and we'll be back in touch. You can find your own way back?
A: You leave me alone. I can't help you.

He leaves.

C: You think he's bluffing?
B: I think this coffee is watered-down asphalt.
C: Yeah, but does it fit?
B: Of course it fits. It's got to.
C: You gonna tail him?
B: Nah, nowhere for him to go. He's kept his secrets this long, he won't crack easy.
C: How'd you think of Mrs. Ellis?
B: Shot in the dark, kiddo, shot in the dark.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ready or not ready or not

This night the fire cracked and the dog, restless, ran out into the orchard, and the mice in the walls ran and ran and ran, preparing their nests for winter, and I was awake. There was no reason for me to be awake, but in the cold light of the moon I could hear the mice in the walls and I could hear the dog in the orchard and I could hear the ashes of the woodstove settling and I saw the ghost sleeping in my bed. She was very old, very, very old. This surprised me the most, for I did not know anyone as old as the woman sleeping in my bed. She had grey hair braided in two braids, neat long braids, and she slept in a pointy hat which I thought might be red, the moon was so bright it looked like a red hat, and grey braids, and hands wrinkled, wrinkled, skin so translucent and papery white that it glowed in the moonlight.

It was her glowing that made me wonder if maybe she was a ghost, and then I looked at my hands in the white white moonlight and saw that they glowed, too, except my hands didn't have wrinkles, they had cuts and scratches and dirt under the nails that I was supposed to wash away but always forgot to. Then I wondered if the old woman was maybe a ghost because she glowed so bright, and if I also glowed so bright, was I a ghost, too? I didn't want to be a ghost.  I didn't want to be a child, and I didn't want to be a grown-up, but there were lots of things I wanted to do that ghosts couldn't do, like jump in piles of leaves and swing up higher than the roof of the house and turn somersaults underwater in the lake and raise tadpoles into baby frogs in jars in my bedroom and watch their tails disappear and eat chocolate cake. I was pretty sure ghosts didn't eat chocolate cake, although maybe I was wrong. I didn't really know, it wasn't the type of question grown-ups liked me asking and I hadn't met any other ghosts before.