Monday, June 30, 2008

On the preference of dark over light, the obscure over the clearly visible, and the dangerous over the prudent...

There was, from the start, a sort of playing-with-fire aspect of all this, you know. I knew it, too.
Returning to the beginning... returning...

I woke with a start last night. A sharp wind, arising suddenly, billowed my sheer curtains and swept into my bedchamber seeming to howl more aggressively than possible.

My window had been open, of course, because of the recent balmy weather, which encourages me to overcome my ever-present paranoia and leave the windows and doors thus in order to permit the penetration of the moving (and usually gentle) currents of air that bring my discomfort its only relief (other than the cool compresses I have the new maid lay in my head--but I despise her bubbly nature and the sight of her... 'effervescent' physicality makes me want to retch), even though these communicating points also allows entry to the spectres and haints that torment my feverish rest. Thus, I toss and turn in the throes of a hideous nightmare, rather than in the sweaty embrace of the sweltering heat of a closed chamber's stagnant air,where I would be further tormented by the constant presence of the over-perfumed body of my young housemaid, the discomfort of which I can generally avoid by exposing myself to the cooling influence of the night's graces.

As I stated, this unseasonal wind woke me suddenly, though I was momentarily unaware whether I had, indeed, woken, or whether this was a maddeningly real nightmare that mimicked my waking life down to the merest detail (had I found the book of my life, or an alternate one placed next to it on the shelf?). Ultimately, I determined that I had woken, if only because this determination was the least confusing and ended speculation on the issue. Still, despite my definitively being awake, decidedly dreamy things took place.

A horde of spiders pored over the sill and onto the floor, carpeting it with a silent flood of black bodies and innumerable arms. They as quickly receded into the cracks and crevices of my aging manor, never to be seen again, and no trace to be found, and no sooner had they disappeared, than a man in a dark cloak slipped in gracefully through the open window, his face sheathed in shadow by the gleaming moon over his shoulder. I cried out for my only attendant, despicable though I find her, only to discover, again, unexpectedly, but fortunately, for once, the Noble Ghost of Panza standing over me instead of a nubile and precocious village girl.

In a moment, I was desperately wrapping what protection my sheets and blankets offered about my scantily-clad body while the invading presence battled Sancho to their mutual death in a hail of spectral clashes of steel that was cataclysmic in its violence. Their paired corpses, entwined in the strange passions of battle and too-quick departure from it, then evaporated in a puff of sweet-smelling grace, and exited through the window, pulling closed the drapes again.

So tired from the assault and my fortuitous escape from it, I found I was again asleep within a few minutes and did not wake to report the incident to my housemaid until the morning was already late and the dew of the previous night had evaporated. She was skeptical, of course, because she suffers from that mental density common to her class, the dominant aesthetics of which prize generousness of body over commodiousness of intellect. I dismissed her with a wave and immediately sat at my table to pen my notes on the encounter on a scrap of paper laying out on my pupitre, which quickly developed into this letter to you (forgive the hasty scrawl and rough edges of this found papel), which leads me to wonder if my subconscious impulses are telling me more than my conscious mind has yet allowed to cross the green pastures of its fertile valley. Where were you last night?

I ask in humble suggestion without brazen accusation,
Don Quixote de la Mancha
Now in Possession of the Scroll of Power, the Wand of Capability, and still questing nightly for the Parchment of Insight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

refigured in language

I have, in this long radio silence, continued to be obsessed with death and dying.
C'est au cause d'un souvenir, pas-invitee, qui m'approcha d'une nuit noir. Un souvenir d'un ami, qui s'appelle quelque chose... je ne peux pas me souvenir, ironiquement. Il est quelquefois mort, cet ami.

It's not the one you think, another in that long sentence of three objects (3 actually written, the others assumed, always present in their absence), of which one does not belong, and into which you read the correspondence I bid you not (to).

It's another friend. I think you've met his ghost, often found in the space between pages 143 and 144. He lurks there, activated in death, forceless in life. And before buying his summer home on the far shore, he watched his many friends and colleagues make the same investment, and always said "maybe next year" until it was too late.

And now it's next year, or we're on the banks of it, you and I. And summer homes with glistening porches and silly fetes with banal conversation we imagine to be earth-shattering dazzle us through our binoculars because we can only see and not hear. And, disappointed with the slim-to-none(xistent) portfolios our brokers oversee, we meander back and send letters among those of us that are never dead, relishing the time we spend in the hoary places and whitewashed rooms (and panelled ceilings and theaters with the little swiveling desks on the chairs) with those who are only sometimes it.

Then again, your sister. Send her my regards, pick something for her, she likes blue, they remind her of another prince (neither of us). Dump them overboard with my wishes.

I had the value meal, filet-o-fish.

Elsewhere (not to say, "nowhere")
Don Quixote d.l.m.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fair Weather Friend

Rain again today. The weather patterns have reversed. I'm inclined to read into it.
I don't think your second gunman was mine. At least, not of my knoll. Mine was unarmed. As are we all, I suppose... I indicated as much with that comment about hiding and cathexes (and fruit, or something...)

--But, don't let that stop you from posting the remains of the incident. Even if it won't help you avoid the scandal, I always like a good body. I'm something of a necrophiliac and a scientist. And anyway, it's awfully lonely around here. Only spectres and ghouls and myself (don't make undue conclusions from the organization of that sentence). And those revenants are less than talkative now that I've dispatched their hero, S.P. with my silver trowel.

I suppose, in thinking more about it (that's all I have time for these days, though I have loads of time for it), I'm glad you executed him. It was the greatest kindness you could have rendered him. I thank you for your courtesy to him on my behalf. Maybe one day I'll impose on you to mete out the same gentleness on another messenger, myself in disguise, bearing missives of misfortune I can never rid myself of--wrong zip code--no such name--insufficient postage--the bureacratic thumb screws of a whittled-down personality.

Listen, there's another matter.
I... saw your sister yesterday. Afterwards, I thought it chivalrous to take her to the opera (she wore a charming shift of pale blue with not much form to it--gauzy, limpid). We saw Giovanni, of course... beautiful as always.
I'm not sure how much to tell you of the encounter. This last sentence and markers in the ones that preceded it indicate less-than-full disclosure. A titillating mode used under the guise of modesty.

Take me at my word
Don Quixote de la Mancha

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Pepper Grinder Full of Mashed Potatoes

The last time I saw the White Cliffs, the king of france was bald and the glass was where. I relish your letters but loathe their distraction from the real issue at hand. I think that when you put on the cardboard helmet and don your pretenses, I forget who it is you're hiding and why he can't be out in the open. I mean, sure it may be a matter of sufficiently cathecting all these bombarding energies, but let me tell you something, meister, sufficient cathexes are a fairy tale, like Greek olives, terse billy-goats, American imperialism, and sand-bottom reservoirs.
A Wednesday morning is the most flavorful fruit. I suckle it as I reluctantly awaken, allow the juice to trickle through the coarse hairs on my chin. Mites drown in ambrosia. A man comes to collect tickets and I avoid him, slink down below the covers until he leaves. His breath smells like the dining car. The ghost of Sancho Panza takes pleasure in disrupting these perfect moments of mine, and he takes this opportunity to stroke his delight.

"How long since you made that promise to me, Don?"
"How long, indeed, cur."

Fortunately, Elias, the groundskeeper, has left his trowel on the nightstand and I am able to excavate the wicked heart of Panza before he can strangle me.
I had to have a special messenger deliver it, please tip him well, he's my brother's brother, a sad old man with watery eyes, or one, at least. I trust you'll put it on the shelf with the others in the room you're preparing me. I trust you're preparing it. Certainly it won't be long now. I'm certain to get out of bed one of these Wednesdays. Now that I have thrust the Heart of Panza far from me, tying another knot in that silver chord. Sancho follows after it disentangling, never deciphering.

Listen, can you send me a Pepsi? I mix it with arrowroot to quell the tremors, but it's getting harder to find them here.

Then, after a long silence, the drummer beats four, and the guitars erupt:
Don Quixote de la Mancha

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Aswan High Damn

"Ohh...," he (I) lets (let) the last few "h's" suffer out and expand until they are several and none: a long drawled sigh indicating his (my) exhaustion.
It was always a slow day. Now, barefoot, I read the veins, now vericose, on those fleshy paddles on which I walk. They tell me imagined stories written there. They tell me fables, but in the garden of memory, now wilted, they offer up only the folklore of blood travelling from toes back to heart. It is a textbook now. It is a pied-ual. The second volume erupts from my forearms, but I refuse to study further. I don't like what I'm learning.
Instead, I return to the letter I write, a cartographic experiment in directing you to my heart. I worry that those same circulatory labyrinths hide not even a minotaur. I am less than beast at bottom. I am only maze.
But then, I run around away from you, building; I lay the bricks in the walls in spirals so that I never have to erect stories. I prefer to remain close to the foundation, one floor high, a distance from which I hope to be able to fall more than once.
"Ohh...," he (I) lets (let) the last few "h's" suffer out and expand through winding passageways until they are several and one: a long scrawled sigh indicating his (my) exhaustion.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

On Tuesdays, the clock reads 6, on other days, I see 5

wake up wake up wake up. it's time to get up.
wake up wake up wake up.
Is it Thursday already. jeez, the time really flies when you're sleeping perchance to be dreaming.
I had a wonderful that where things fell up, apart, a wonderful picture where things were declared not to be things.
I had a wonderful.
And now it's time to wake up wake up wake up.

Breakfast in the morning, resetting the gastro clock for a day of doing dueling, doing doing, doing doo. Cleaning the clocks of the ghastly beasts who roam these parts, who flee when I sleep and leave me be. The inverted nightmare, a terror upon waking. (The light I am attempting to bring here? Maybe this strikes close to the heart).

And that leaves us in a pickle. A pickle of responsibility--how I loathe it. All of those prepositions and objects: for whom?, to whom?, about what? and anyway, isn't everything a contradiction, so why am I bound not to contradict myself when I contradict it. The simple fact is that there are no simple facts. My kingdom for the head of the next preposition who walks through--
--aha! guards!.
"My kingdom for the head of the next preposition who walks -xough that door." Ahh.

When you get back from wherever it is you went, find me well.

Good night.
Don Quixote De La Mancha

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Which a Stiff Wind Blows and Uproots the New Growth in the Garden.

"See about writing you more"?!
This is some kind of crack about my new blindness, isn't it? As if I could write with my eyes even if they were still around for my use. The thought of it (and your insolence) drives me to rend my garments and gnash my teeth. If I weren't already doing it because of the betrayal of that louse, Sancho, that is.
Last night I could hear him stealing into my room to pour poison in my ear. I think he wants to marry my wife.

But I got the better of him. I had cut off my ears the night before and covered the holes with leaves and spider webs. I have a man in Omaha who can stitch them back on. I'm enclosing a letter for him, perhaps you can forward it to him on your way to Cal-fortress.

I am also preparing to venture out again. I'm hearing the calls of Dulcinea in the holes in my head, which seem even more sensitive to her voice than the old fleshy ones I had until the day before yesterday (maybe I won't have them reattached).

Anyway, I have really to prepare my beast and my burden and my self. I embark shortly. Perhaps in the night.

In the mean time, I sip brandy from the decanter, and chew ginger root I had brought in from the Orient. I know it will boost my strength. And freshen my breath.

Don Quixote De La Mancha
In Festive Attire, I remain undaunted.