Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Rushed Hush.

There is a rushed hush to half-lit mornings when no one is up and about but those who have to be, who were dragged from warmth and dreams and home by calamitous clattering of a clocks demands. We stare at each other blankly on roads, in doorways, and on elevators, unable to believe that our agony is shared. It is too early in the morning to do anything but nod and I can barely manage a grumbled, "Hello." I am not alive. I am always stunned that other people can see me before ten o'clock in the morning.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Think in This Sleep.

We think of illness as a temporary thing, a brief time spent before returning to some ideal of physical well-being. But I realize as I write through this swollen grogginess, struggling to hear my thoughts in the thick wetness of my aching feverish brain, that life forever veers from the ideal. When I am no longer sick, I may be tired or hungry, sleepy or depressed. I wait to be something that I will never be and think that only then will I be what I am. My body cries out to deaden itself to its own existence, but I sit awake and write because I fear that if I give in to the impossibility of living while ill, I must give in to the impossibility of living. Whence come our ideals if we have no experience of them? I think we glimpse them briefly. Perfection is not separate from reality; it is an element of it. The beautiful mingles daily with the shabby and the low. I think I have seen perfection. I think I have heard it, tasted it. I think in this sleep which overtakes me now in the depth of my fatigue there is something of the ideal.

The Crane.

The crane was on the water again today. His elegant neck stretched out into the sky whence he came. He's like me, always wings, ready to fly away at any moment. I look for him every morning. He's always alone amongst the ducks, bending his legs this way or that. I love to watch the way the water flows past his tiny skinny legs as if they weren't even there. The water flows beneath the bridge on which I stand. I like to ignore all of the street happening, the sound of hurried horns and engines revving their way to work. I stare at the crane, at the rocks, and the water and I forget for what seems like forever that I am headed nowhere on this road, that this bridge will take me someplace I have no reason to be. So, I pay attention to the leaves on the trees and they way they fall and I watch the swallows leap about and chirp. It is in these things, all at once, that I am truly alive and that I truly forget.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another From Anna.

Again Fernando-

A mother is only what you make of her, my dear, and you clearly sucked your own mother dry until she, with bare and parched nipples, had to tear you away from her breast. I wonder what it is you think you taught me, you in your infinite arrogance, your false closeness. If you believe what you say you do, that each one is only another and no one can be mine nor yours, why do you continue to spill over onto me? I have ended that which we once knew. I forgot about that night we stood so close in the crowded bar, breathing each others breath as if it was smoke.
What do you know of words, Fernando, when you cannot even make them into something solid, something self-sufficient. I waited years for you to turn me into something, to write me outside of myself, but you never did. What is it you think you've taught me, darling? To live the opposite of my ideals, to make people purpousfully into marble, so they can't even blink you away?

I do not seek immortality through this pulse in my womb. I only seek to feel a movement, a change. Perhaps, I'll believe in something bigger, even. A God of something. The echo of a child's lonely voice in the street at night, piercing the darkness with the emptiness of innocence. I feel her inside of me as I could never feel you. You think that I have made her to sheild me from the inevitability of my own demise but, in fact, I have made her out of an attempt to put something beautiful on this earth. It is the very same reason that you, with a beggars eyes and hands, scribble your soul so passionately, so strongly. But I am not like you. I will not toss what I have made into the arms of another.

How can you speak of "another" and all the while push everything you make into the barren hearts of lonely women and girls who don't know any better. Do you not recall Claudia and how she had a husband, how she had Andrew and yet you still pressed her, pleaded, pleased that she blessed you with what precious little time she had. You scold me for making another to fill my lack but you simply steal those already living to fill yourself with a longing for what you know you can never maintain.

You knew that night, that very first night that I was not the type to change. That I would not leap into your arms with words and with wide eyes at the wonder of them. I simply looked at you when you recited Shelley or Joyce. I don't know anything about the tapping of blind men. I only know the way they, unseeing, grab at walls and railings. I only know the way they press their hands to things, making them with their fingers. One can live without eyes, without a nose, and it really is no different. You still feel the rain steading streaming down your face when you walk home at night, beneath the crooked outline of the sky. You still feel the ground beneath your feet and the air as it brushes your neck and tickles cheeks. This is what I live for Fernando, things you can only feel: a gentle kicking, babysoft against my belly, the pain of setting something loose into the world (my womb come alive), a heavy hand wrapped around my own. Perhaps you too should learn to feel.

Thusly Another,

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

To Withstand the Blows.

I have exiled myself from life because I have felt that I do not deserve it. And though I sit and long for involvement and tell myself that I must risk some part of myself and become a part of things, I know that I do not deserve to be involved because I will never risk what others risk. I have thought that I have felt things more strongly than another only because I have been more aware of my feelings. But my awareness lends me control and others are lost in what they feel and so are more affected by it. I know I have too often hurt more deeply than I have been hurt and told myself all along that I cannot affect others because I have not wanted to take responsibility for the damage I have done. When I stub my toe I howl, I curse, I spin around the room with my foot in my hand and then I laugh at the spectacle I myself have made. But I have seen those whose eyes darken in silence when they feel pain. They take it into themselves and life picks slowly away at their ability to live with each splinter and thoughtless, angry word. When I express a thing I make it mine, but I also fling it into the world that I might experience it as an outsider and with an outsider's perspective of my exact relationship to life. I peer down at my mad shouting dance around the room and the movement and the noise become as important as the dull throbbing within me. What is written, far more even than what is said (since most people do not listen even to themselves when they speak), is understood and so no longer a part of those dark, unapprehended reaches of the brain that sink us in our miseries and drive us to our deaths. And I think sometimes that I do not have the strength to withstand the blows of an unconscious life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

To Think in Words.

To think in words- purely- so that the words anticipate the thought is to know that something can be said, that the full weight of realization can be held up on precise points of understanding. I saw a painting once of a girl at a window gazing out into an ocean which creeps right up to her windowsill. And everything in the painting, the curtains and her dress and the rag on the windowsill folds and flows like the ocean which blends into the sky. But the girl is just leaning there for a moment, resting from her work, caught up in infinity but indifferent to it. I see this painting and I think of the painter, the dreamer, chained to infinity, dragged away from the simplicity of that girl's humanity by his need to express it. He confuses her with the ocean, with the window, with everything that is not himself. I spin out words to tie myself to other things and I believe those words are real, more real than I am.

From Anna.


I will write to you now because I've finally discovered something, buried beneath years of your weighty words. I too have had words all along but I put them in the closet for you. Do you not remember all the times we spoke and I kept tight lips and only looked at you, your own lips wagging away at whatever? You get so wrapped up in your own speech that you don't see anything around. What do you think it means to be a genius anyway? What do you even do but scribble some odd fragment every day or so. They don't even begin to build up to anything. They don't even have any way of ever being anything but exactly what they are and that's why you keep writing them, isn't it? That's why you push them out by two's and by four's and you dislodge them from wherever they seem loose. It's not as though you work on them even. You just dump them out and live by your rereading. This was who I was. You think that if you can be accountable for each day of the life you've lived, if you can look at each day closely, beneath the microscope, remember it in words, than each single day will be distinct if even just for sentences. But that's not the way it is Fernando. Things just happen and you can't record them because they move too quickly by you and they suck you up into them. It's so evident in your expression, too. It's one thing to be something, to know that's what you are, but it's quite another to lose yourself in that, to live for what you will be when it's all over for you. What's the use of living and making when no one looks at what you make? How can you continue this wandering and undirected gaze? How can you look at me with that eye that says, "I will make you something you never could make yourself. Immortal." and then not do it.

You always told me that you'd draw me but I knew you didn't know how to draw. And anyway you'd already made me in words. What would pictures do? You just imagined what those pictures would look like. You just drew them in your mind, only looking at what they'd become but never knowing how they'd get that way.

Some people don't make things Fernando. Why can't you understand that? Why do you want to teach everyone to make something? Some people just don't have it inside them to come out. I stared inside myself when you touched me, and tried to find something to match your words. I remembered being a kid in art class. The way I'd always search for something, always try to think of something when all the other kids just jumped into it. I always tried to be so calculated and could never do anything naturally.

You forced me to take a long hard look at my own mortality, that I would die one day without anything ever escaping from me. I lay beneath you and stared up into your full lips and half-shaven face and I knew that you would be remembered, even for those few words. I knew that you would be remembered for the letters you write to me and to everyone else you've ever walked past on the street. I needed to make something. And now I have. I'll tell her that you say hello.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Nor Find Myself In Its Lack.

Others have stated what I wish to, and done it so perfectly that if I were an eternal pessimist I would stop writing for fear of frenzied repetition. I have seen so many turn their heads in blank stares and avoid what it is they could easily see. I know not if it is fear or complacency; I know not if it is apathy or pity which drives their necks toward the ground as they look down only at their feet and scramble past. I've been to the bottom of that which I see but not found the courage to seek farther. I wake up in the morning to gaze out my window and I dread the walk to work which isn't to come for hours. I sit and write these fragments, uncovering all I might have thought or felt, and then I return to them the next day, out of curiosity and forgetfulness. I should be writing epics, novels, something outside of myself, but I cannot find the perspective to be someone else, to know someone else. I must invent the people who understand me and I must make them into fiction but each time I take this pen to paper I end up drowned in nothing but a slow unveiling of what I never was and never could be. Books are stacked all over my small room and often I cannot choose one. I do not read a great deal of poetry; it is too abstract and distant. It defies real language by leaving jilted lines and jaded cadences. I cannot make poetry of my own nor find myself in its lack.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Time Spent Senseless.

One can't get past the emptiness of lost days. Time spent senseless, without thought or feeling, carves out a hole in the consciousness which no amount of forward motion can fill. We attempt to escape time when we deaden ourselves to its passage and slip into routine or simple blankness. But in this manner, life is lost and we find ourselves more than ever time's victims, having moved forward without having lived and lacking the self we might have gained had we fully experienced those days. The human faculty of imagination is forever driving us to attempt to escape the inescapable--time, death, our very selves. I have left many cities in search of some relief only to find, in some new place, that everything in my surroundings that I had hoped to leave was something I myself had put there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Forget I Am Myself.

At work, I forget that I am myself and a thousand things slip by unrealized. Papers are moved and words are spoken and brief looks exchanged, yet none of it bears the imprint of my doing. Time passes over me; I am involved in things without my knowing. I do not know who I am forced to become in my absence. I do not know what person is left behind in my co-workers awareness'. They react to me. I remember their eyes, their faces. I do not know who they are reacting to. I am indifferent. I am bewildered. I stare past the edge of my desk to the window and the sky. Time lurches and falls. I come home with my shoulders weary to collapse under the weight of my failures.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

But She Never Does.

I write as who I wish I were and then, so as not to be left with the evidence of my
dishonest wishfulness, I toss the paper in someone else's direction. It seems that despite my awkward and always reticent attempts to rid myself of my words, I put them somewhere that they will solidify at least in someone else's mind. Those whom I see at work, those whom I pass by on the street, only know me as a physical body, an image of a man who is to them a silent mystery and who (as a result of being physically nill and void) does not even rile up their curiosity to look up from their newspapers or coffee mugs long enough to see me. I am aware, though, that I give myself away in my stride: ranging from a confident one (on the rare mornings where I have forgotten about myself all together) to a mere dragging of myself behind me. I give myself away in my lunch or my lack of it and in the way I gaze out the office windows at other mysteries below. I always feel I know them, by their tight lips or sharply clutched bags. But I know I never do know anything so my impressions of people fade and leave and as they do I am left with nothing but a faint hint of wishing I were someone as well. If the woman whose desk was nearest to the window would look up at me during these episodes, I would be real because she would really see me. But she never does.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Each Word I Realize.

The most difficult thing to do is write. You have only yourself to draw from and you have to watch the pictures you draw so closely and even then, sometimes, you can't figure out what they mean. So often I will start to write something which isn't wholly inspired but only fueled by my own fear of death and disappearance. I see each word as it forms the sentence and I feel the weight of imminence upon me. I feel myself so strongly and have no idea how to feel the world the same way. Each word I write I realize more and more that I write only to form myself in my own head and with the vain hope that one day, after my physical body rots and ferments, that self will somehow be known.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Upon Waking.

Upon waking, the morning slips into me like the last bits of sand slipping through an hour glass. I lay in bed for as long as I can stand to listen to myself think things which I have no control over. It is the morning that determines the rest of my day; I judge myself by my dreams as I let scenes replay over and over again, never fully aware of the judgment but always aware of the emotion the judgment induces. I contemplate the day which cracks wide open in front of me and wonder if tomorrow I'll wake up fulfilled or at least content to have achieved something.