Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Out In The Open

I love the way bubbles float and drift in a room catching the light and sparkling and popping never to exist again. The hands of the clock jerk forward dragging time across a landscape of glass and cats and rumbling dishwasher afternoons. There are hooks for our clothes and pegs for our capes and hats. Symmetry both fascinates and repels me. I look for redemption wherever I can find it. I get up in the morning and drink coffee and listen to news from France and scribble my way into sweet oblivion. Life is an enigma. Insoluble. Animals seem to have a better grasp of it. Yet nothing alters perception like altering one’s consciousness with philosophy or enthusiasm for books.

Doorknobs darken over time into that color they call verdigris. You can find the word in the dictionary, burning and oceanic. I don’t like dressing up in a gaudy manner especially if I am dragging a heavy load of garbage to the bin in back of our apartment building. Hinduism has a certain appeal though my feelings about religion are erratic and vague. I wouldn’t want to be trapped in a belief. I would rather leap from inquiry to inquiry in a novel from the late 19th century. A time when C├ęzanne would leave his cottage to go paint a mountain. His brush and eye and movements so powerfully focused on sensations of shape and space and color.

Beauty is so elusive but I’m bent on finding it and pushing and squeezing and wrestling it into words. That sounds pretentious I know but that’s art anyone who sets out to make art is making an assumption about their capacity to make something beautiful or so astoundingly ugly it becomes beautiful and that smells of pretense. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most, if not all, enterprises involve pretense. Sea coasts are beautiful by default. There is so much complexity complexity of shape complexity of color complexity of organic and inorganic complexity of debris washed ashore complexity of birds complexity of mollusks complexity of shells complexity of fins and mouths and gills and sand and reflections on the sand when the waves move in and crash and slide over the sand and recede leaving that special shine. The puzzle of waves alone is fascinating. Hypnotic. The way they move what is a wave it is neither an object nor pure energy. It is momentum made visible. The energy of a wave moving is water moving the wave itself does not exist in the manner that a mirror or pillow or handsaw exists. Blood is real. I remember that scene in Castaway the one movie with Tom Hanks that I truly enjoy in which Hanks unsuccessfully puts himself to sea and capsizes and wades back and cuts himself on the coral. Ribbons of blood swirl out from his leg trailing behind him and I immediately thought: sharks. But he made it back and tended his wound and went on to construct another more workable raft, using the plastic siding of a porta-potty for a sail. Brilliant.

Construction is a mode of culmination. One begins with nails and wood and a spirit level and blueprint and bags of cement and a hose with access to water and one digs a hole and fills it with cement and birds fly overhead and there is sometimes a little friction a little confusion but one way or another the job gets done. Later some men enter a lobby and fall into conversation. Conversation is another form of construction. The nerves are alert to someone’s words and then one makes one’s own words and the emission creates another emission and sometimes there is deceit and sometimes there is honesty and most often there is a little of both. And someone always exclaims oh my god that’s true.

A mongrel barks at a shadow. The organic is made of the inorganic. Insults mean very little. Greed drives too much human behavior. We endeavor to be kind. We endeavor to further human understanding. We scrounge for food and shelter. We carve images of people and animals out of wood and stone and air. That which we carve out of air we call words. Nothing is impenetrable. Except, perhaps, the universe itself considered in its entirety.

I am, improbably, a collar stud. I hate anything vague. Sometimes there is a parable with a dachshund in it. Sometimes something thick like a word slaps my lip. It indicates alphabetical tinfoil, a collosal black quatrain beginning a mind of umbilical wax.

An expectation ignites the urge to write. But an expectation of what I cannot say. It is an enigma.

I vividly remember the jar full of thinner and paint brushes in my father’s studio in North Dakota, a bouquet of slender wooden handles and a fragrance of sharp acrid thinner. His brushes were always ready to paint. He’d pull one out, wipe the bristles with a rag, dip it in paint, and make a smear that he worked into a shape, an identity. It would happen so fast that I wondered if it didn’t have an existence before he gave it an existence.

Hair comes out of my head thread by thread but I can’t hear it as it does that. I smack my face with warm water in the bathroom sink. I would describe it as warm and wet. How else?

The bone at the center of my chest is a sternum. The center at the sternum of my chest is a bone. The chest at the sternum of my bone is a center. A center is always wide and steady. A center is always a bone.

One must garnish one’s spinning with the science of accentuation. There is a sheen on my shoes that jugs the strain of walking. A thought churns in my head until becomes many different thoughts. I am glossing nothing but the autonomy of shoes. I am Parisian. My shoes are insoluble and surly. My shoes are burnished structures in the dust of elopement. My shoes are violins. My legs are Apache. My feet are airplanes.

Will it rain today I don’t know. I live in a city where the flavor of mud is arranged by water rounded into sideboards and given virtuosity by the sheer magnitude of its prodigality. The heart is slippery with its attentions. Water generates so many shapes. So many shapes. So many shapes.

A tiger burns out of my mouth whenever I am in England and I lift my knife to get a pat of butter on it and bring it back and see that it is teeming with cod. Soft gentle meat of cod. All things in motion. All things straining to mean something. Meaning is the meat of the imagination. Meaning gives muscle to the brain. Meaning is hard to find. Meaning exists in multiple form. There is meaning in entertainment and meaning in rapiers and meaning out in the open. Out in the open. The world is a pumpernickel basketball. The sun burns down on it and erratic forms go into meaning in soft gentle abstraction. Dog rose in twilight gold.

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