Thursday, October 18, 2007

Summing Up

again. By chance I came across this old thing, from last January. October is an odd month for me. I love the mood and the weather, but a thick vein of poison twists through my soul from this time, a few years ago. I don't think I had a crisis this year. Maybe that's progress. Ah yes ... here is an example of what I mean -- a dire comet that returns every fall.

Driving home tonight I wept like it was raining. Not all my tears are for myself, though.

So here's another of my occasional clip shows. Look at it this way -- I've done most of the work for you. All you have to do is read it.


I wasn't going to write anything tonight. But I'm in a mellow and contemplative mood. Almost content. The vast throng that hangs upon my every word here at the fabulous Forgotten Prophets Blog and Dating Service Website ("Fulfilling all your intellectual and sensual needs for over thirteen months!" [that would be 22 months, now]) may have noticed a change in theme, in the past week. It won't last, of course, but it is significant.

Dealing openly, confronting directly the still raw subject of last Monday's Jason post did me some good. It was a small step toward light. You know how it is. We do scurry back into the shadows -- but we've pierced the darkness, a bit. It brought me, after a few days, something like the beginning of peace. I dealt with grief when I wrote about Joey. I dealt with rage when I wrote about Jason. Isn't emotion interesting?

But we can't always be intense.

I suspect that has been the entire secret motivation for my efforts here. I barely care at all about the islamists. Kill them and be done with it. I don't live in a perpetual state of outrage at the thought that those of a different political affiliation are what I consider to be damaging or disloyal to this nation. All higher organisms have an anus, after all. Nations need anuses too. I'm not opinionated so much as clear in what I believe. So what's all this fulminating been about? Well, it's fun for me. The more personal, and more cryptic stuff has had a deeper motivation. I don't suppose I often go back and read it, but when I do I'm generally quite pleased. Tone poems and mood pieces, but that kind of lofty and over-ripe prose has always been easy for me. It's nice to sing in that voice, once in a while -- the Gregorian chant of my Baroque soul.

How about this, from after the rout of the Nov 06 elections: "And I, I, soulful poet coasting the currents of the cyber seaways, ancient mariner burdened with that body of death called conscience, no sleek and predatory figure but a gaunt and hollow-eyed seer into the abyss -- well, I weep like Jeremiah and rage like Jonah and all to no avail. What, then? Shall I wander from room to room, shutting off lights and mourning the emptiness of my once full home? Shall I watch the brief autumnal sunset and see in it some silent portent of colder and briefer sunsets to come? No. I will throw open the windows and invite the world to a vespertine masqued ball. We'll dance a frenzied tarantella with frantic abandon until exhaustion pulls us down and heaving in each other's arms, and then we'll roil like a knot of vipers in languid undulations on the floor. And I will grow petulant and irrational, and scream like a madwoman in a closet. "I'm sick to death," I'll screech, "of brittle small talk, of arid liaisons with frigid coquettes, of pouring out my heart to incomprehending stares." I'll spit it out with a bitter laugh. Well, not so much spit as vomit. And the laughter will be more hysterical than bitter. And all who hear shall be amazed, and bob their heads and quake with wonderment at the spectacle of my flashing eyes and slack lips. For Jack, Jack H, who is wise and steadfast, so tender and so stern, shall have gone mad."

I like that paragraph. I think about it sometimes. It's melodramatic and wonderfully narcissistic, and when it flows out whole like it did I make no apologies for any of it.

Or this, from the comments of what I wrote when I competed one Saturday morning: "You interest me strangely. I feel a disturbing disquiet, as of some dim sacral instinct stirring, pulling from below my viscera, urging me to I know not what. But tell me, N, these "signature harvest pies" as you term them -- they are commercially available? Not that *I* would ever so indulge mind you. Why, it would be unthinkable. I scoff at the very idea. It's laughable, that's all. Just laughable. But, um, like I was saying, just anyone could go into one of these "coco's restaurants" and purchase them? There's no membership or anything? And maybe someone could buy some of these "pies" and take them home and eat them in private so that no one would see? Maybe they'd come in an unmarked box or something, or in a plain brown bag, so that no one could ever guess. And I'd relish each delectable bite, its tang tickling my tongue like butterflies knocking against orchids, the sweet tart paste trailing down my throat like an amber serpent of delight. Mmmm. And the sausages, oh the sausages, their salt and savor suffusing my every sense, a riot of sweetbreads and organ flesh and offals, snouts and ears and exquisite anuses minced and braised and spiced, thick with grease, transporting me sensuous and writhing, my thick fast tongue flicking over my heavy lips, lips, my lips, my tongue lapping up the hot wet fluids, the juices, the bile and gall pouring and squirting between my grinding teeth, every sensation exploding like a bomb, hot and hard and soft and cool, a searing flash of fats and nitrates and no not nutrition not at all but oh I feel so dirty and so vile and so free!"

The clueless and unintentional self-revelation. Just tickles me.

I like the cruelty, the vicious egotism and insecurity of Another Reason I'm Smarter Than You: "I got it. Right away. It was so easy. I'm so smart. I'm amazed that you can't see it. Pathetic. Just pitiful. Don't worry, little monkey, I'll tell you. But first you have to beg. Beg for the man, Bobo, beg so prettily. Now dance. Hop up and down on one foot, and sing me a song. Good. Yeah, that's right. You know the way it is. But don't you feel dirty? Begging like that, and making such a fool of yourself. No dignity at all. Like an animal. Just pathetic. I wish I'd never married you."

I like the madness of some of my absurd pieces. I like the angry turn into the poetry of loneliness that some of the absurdity takes: "Sometimes my hands grow heavy and stiff, and drag on the ground behind me, bending my back curved as old mountains. Sometimes I stare through a haze of pain out of a face like a stone mask. Sometimes darkness leaks from my lungs and puddles at my feet and rises like surf into a sinking vessel, and words cannot contain the cold I would feel, if I could feel. Sometimes I fall into the hollowness that displaces my organs and the receding cavern of my skull expands away in every direction so fast that even vacuum hasn't time to fill it.

"Sometimes God is so far away he can hardly see me, and I can't see him at all.

"I know there are miracles. I know that somewhere in the boundless universe there is a flawless mosaic of unspeakable beauty. I know that somewhere there is a balm that will soothe every ache, and a hand that will wipe away every tear, and that the wretchedness that suffuses some man's heart need not last forever. Somewhere weariness will end in fulfillment, and darkness will represent a time of peace and satisfaction. Someday I will settle into ease and happiness, the way a mountain slides into the sea."

I like my honesty and my weakness: "I’ve been bleeding all day, today. Tore open an old wound and just can’t get it to stop leaking. What was I thinking? It was covered over with a scabrous and gnarled plug. Seems it never healed properly. Like Lancelot and his wound that would not heal. Underneath, in the fresh or newly uncovered lesion I found a festering necrosis, creeping with worms like a battlefield amputation. The stench was overpowering. Did I think I could be whole again by digging deeper into the flesh? How deep does the poison run? Shall I hope that the sphacelic tissue might regenerate?"

Or this, more vulnerable than you can know: "Have I said it before? -- that I'd be dead now if I hadn't started running? I'd have found a way. Something noble of course ... that's just how I am, so very noble. Nobility -- it is my curse. Who is there as noble as me? Not possible to exceed my nobleness, that's what I say. Saving a little flop-eared puppy from a burning building maybe. Something like that. I'd have a good excuse. God would never know. 'Oh Jack!' -- He'd say. 'You tried to save that little floppy eared puppy from that burning building! Well done, good and faithful servant!' And in my secret heart I would finally breathe easy. My really secret heart, that even God doesn't know about. Just you.

"I have thousands and thousands of dollars worth of uncashed, stale checks sitting in my desk, from years ago now. What the hell is my problem."

I like myself, when I write. I like what I write. I'm proud of it, and pleased, and I think more people should read it. I think I have a gift, largely wasted. I know, because I've been told, that some several people have found something worthwhile in these pages. It's good to hear that. But they come, and they go. I am as much as I can be, to them. Just a guy on the internet. That's fine. I was only kidding about that "Dating Service Website" thing. None of our needs for meaningful connections can be met, on the internet. It's a conversation without eye contact. No matter how true, it can't be anything other than safe. Have you ever fallen into someone's eyes?


It's almost like I have no shame, recycling a recycled piece. And constantly exposing myself in public like this. What do you suppose it means? Aside from all the insulting meanings, I mean. I guess there are no non-insulting meanings. Weakness is for attacking. You haven't done it, that I know of. But you know how the world is.

Maybe this is how I'm dealing with my bi-annual crisis this year. Not by reliving it, but just by looking at it. That is definitely progress. Break out the Champale. As for the tears, I apologize for none of them. Men cry. Just ask Jesus.


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