Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ghost Of An Adjective

The ghost of an adjective chews a noun into supple ambiguity. My skin eats the sun. A man wandering the streets of San José in search of an apartment sits on a curb to read William Carlos Williams. A giant crocodile is found in the Philippines. Some men try to make the creature vomit so that a man can find his brother.

We are all searching. Fire feeds on straw. Straw feeds on dirt. 40 years later, the corn still grows, the fire still burns. It has become a nebulous form sparkling in the fog. Some call it the hammer of justice. Some call it a monster. Some call it syntax, others an allegory in search of a theme.

Words cry continually for the nourishment of eyes. Curious eyes. Interested eyes. Absorbed and brooding and searching eyes.

My cuticles gleam pink. The universe fizzes like a root beer. Robins in a state of confusion. The gleam of the limousine compensates for the drabness of the garage. One thing balances another. There is deliverance in a guitar, and breath to fill a song. Coffee answers the need for hardware. The wind confers the scent of clover. Even the rungs in the refrigerator shelving ring when I shut the refrigerator door, thus proving that there are common essences naturally apt to be present in and predicated of many similar individuals.

For example, people are rarely the people that we think they are. The alchemist searches for gold in the chaos of existence and discovers that words create their own safari, their own savannah, their own sense of freedom. I love the scene in the movie where King Kong breaks loose of his chains and sends the audience fleeing into the streets.

The mind is a climate. We live in a language of paint and light. This is how oblivion was born. This is how nothingness becomes somethingness. Rungs in a refrigerator. A spoon. A fork. A thousand regrets.

One day in October I discover the true meaning of doughnuts. That a doughnut has a hole, and in that hole is a world, and that a doughnut without a hole has red jelly inside, and a thick skin of powdered sugar, and the less we just stare at the doughnut, and the more we seize hold of it and eat it, the more primordial does our relationship to it become, and that the involvement has a distinctive phenomenological signature, until the doughnut is gone, and we debate within ourselves whether to have another, so that a great moral is shaped, and a corresponding transformation in the mode of one's being.

Did you know that winter is written in the wind? That space dangles from a string?

And twirls. Ever so slightly. Twirls.

I hear a helicopter. I can feel the pulse of a painting. Spectral ponies on a hill in Wyoming. The sky exploding into orange and gold. Cheyenne tepees in a valley of white dogwood and weeping cherry.

The dishwasher is noisy. But it works. It gets the plates and silverware clean. The telephone rings. It’s Roberta. She wonders if she should get a box of oranges at Costco. I tell her that’s a lot of oranges to invest in. I ask her to pick one up and weigh it. If it’s heavy, that means it’s got a lot of moisture in it. She tells me it’s not that heavy. We decide to pass on the oranges.

What is light? It is a landscape spreading into flax. Opium eyes opium thumbs. Photons and scones. A bell hanging from an easel. An alphabet glowing in a riot of color.

Here comes Moses with a Geiger counter. We welcome him with mirrors. I tell him there is a cat sleeping in my dictionary. He tells me this is natural. The Sun King sneezes. Gesundheit, says Moses.

Life is often difficult. One requires so many things. Food. Shelter. Lingerie.

As for me, I enjoy sunlight, friendly dogs, and cleavage. The accordion is not a problem. But there is no remedy for poetry. I’m afraid not. My advice is to buy a motorcycle and visit Australia. Do push-ups. Awaken the words that are sleeping in a book. Show them around your head. Stir them. Churn them. Tumble them in thought.

I sometimes read Finnegans Wake in the bathtub. I am forging a new conscience for our race. There will be scones for everyone. Darkness illumined by a contagion of chandeliers.

I’ve been behind bars at least once in my life. This is where one learns how to sew clouds to the sky. How to visit a slice of toast with cinnamon. Imagine tidepools stirring with life. Note how the silhouettes on the wall mimic the beginning of time.

Time is a monstrosity. But so is space. Together, they make silverware shine in the sunlight, marriage and divorce, sticky fingers and rubber. The butter does handsprings. Words squirt from a bad headache. A man dives in the Rhone searching for Caesar. He finds the head of Caesar in the muck at the bottom and brings it up with the aid of a crane and a highly skilled crane operator. The life-sized bust is believed to be the oldest of the Roman emperor ever discovered. It portrays the Roman ruler at an advanced age, with wrinkles and hollows in his face. Not surprising. It had been in conversation with the Rhone river a long time.

Structure wanders through the poem looking for invisible entities to flesh out into meaning. An elf sits down to breakfast and notices how the whole thing turns delicate and strange, three arms holding three margaritas in a gesture of farewell.

Did I mention the pliers? They, too, have their importance in the scheme of things. Evergreen. Turquoise. The kimono the sky wears in late summer, early autumn. Somewhere between appearance and reality there is a wealth of entanglement. The enfoldment of lips. Brass doorknobs in an old Norwegian house. Silent operas of dripping fish. Soft fur on a kitten’s belly.

The ghost of an adjective goes around dressed in the lost scarves of an ancient rhetoric. Reading becomes honey. A soft translucence, like twilight. A fetus of thought turning syntax in jelly.

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