3


I feel excitement.  I feel gloomy.  I feel jealousy.  I feel rage.  I feel . . . excitement.  My body trembles slightly.  My eyes look eager, but for something they do not see.  The brain knows it is coming.  My brain is familiar with this particular thing – there is no apprehension, just a belief that the time will soon be when some pleasure will be . . . having.  Heartbreakingly tenuous philosophically speaking, this belief made of a measuring of probabilities and finding faith in the outcome.  Fragile, perilous:  you are no more than a child here.  And I feel gloomy.  I sink into the marshlands under a grey sky cracked with lightning, but dry – there is no rain.  The marshlands are mud.  I sink into a slithery darkness, its pressure is all around me.  This is how it feels.  My back is bowed.  My head hangs low.  It's not that I see nothing, it's that I don't see.  that I don't see.  My eyes float up on yellow strings, they're above my head floating, bouncing up and down, from side to side, as I do not move an inch curled inside me yet take in the entirety of an inner terrain.  Rocky it is, a land full of boulders and heaps of slag, barren of life.  A cloud, if there was one, might be the nearest thing to it.  The sky is far, far away.  The sun a mere haze of light brushed against the bluish-grey.  This is what it looks like.  I feel jealousy.  Why not me?  Why not me?  Every thought, every action, comes down to this.  Not just, Why am I not chosen? but, Why can't I possess?  Someone else did:  you weren't that hard a get.  Now you have possessed me.  You make me shake as if I were sick, you make me pant, you make me pace.  You make me fume and burn and choke with smoke.  Everything burns.  But you, you are stupid, you are cheap.  You are caught in a web of your own making, you are yourself a part of the web.  Sticky web, you dare try catch me!  I should consume you like fire should already have consumed you, instead I tried to break free, to loose myself from you and I couldn't, I can't.  I feel a hand on my leg:  it is mine.  I imagine your hands stroking my calves, my thighs, feel them pressing my legs open wide.  Now your lips are murmuring their way across my skin – you are willing, I require.  We are together, we are one, we are neither.  I am alone, and I despise you for it.  You make me want to puke (I feel rage).  It flares, I glare, trembling with this sudden violence, this blossoming shock.  It's fight or flight time, but my fear is for you, and for what I might do.  For you are small and putrid.  You defile logic, have made a study of hypocrisy:  you lie.  And you never really die.

A shadow lumbers towards me through the thin smoke hovering over the rocky terrain.  The shadow is squat and flat and though curved along its shoulders its head is squat and flat as well.  It's as solid as a tombstone, and as thick and cold.  It has massive arms and giant, puffy hands rocking at its sides as it lumbers, lumbering towards me, and it must have eyes too, for I know that it sees.  What will it see.  What will it see.

The spring moon's a golden boy, a child, growing now into a man.  His sideways grin as it stretches wider stretches open becomes first knowing, then cheerfully leering.  Slowly, night by night, I watch that mouth gaping, gaping, lips parting as if with raucous laughter, pulling me sucking me into that dark hole at the center of light.  But not yet, not yet.  Shadows still remain, flitting across that winking face:   hints of mountains, valleys, perhaps a canyon cutting a ragged scar, crested by plateaus of barren rock.  There are places I can go to there.  I can dream there, I can remember.  I can walk, alone and happy, in the dust.





4


Access to an escape route.  Ok, don't be cornered by the mind.  My but this tabletop is hard.

The thickness of a forearm.  Skin covered with coarse black hairs, a crinkly surprise to the fingertips, or fine brown hairs, a delight to pet.  Mine or his or his.  Underneath, the muscle, grown large with heavy use.  Blood punched through veins in slow, methodic pulses, cells buoyed in fluid moving like leaves through a windstream, zooming by like flying saucers, cavorting like fish.  Tendons, tensile, stretchy, white and hard, but not like bone, no, booone, baby, that's at the core of it all, and inside the bone more cells, the birthplace of life.  Into the life.  Shoulders loose, wrists rigid, and the palm a soft pad, the palm calloused and stained, the palm a paw – but fingers made for interlacing.

Maybe later.  Curled fists around bars of steel now lift, lift, liiift.  Holy shit – it feels good to feel the blood pumping, pushing, nosing its way through tunnels, swelling with need.  Lift, lift, liiift.  Work with it.  Work the weight.  Muscles remember.  They know their place exactly, they function without guile.  When tamed.  When taught.  When commanded.  When told.

Tell it then.

Tell me what you know, I say to one of my cats, a fat old tabby, staring intently into his eyes.  He shifts uneasily.  He takes the directness of my gaze as a threat.

He is not there.

Indirection is the great gift of language.  And style counts for everything.








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