Consciousness is haunted by the prospect of eternal life. Paper swans milked in the heat of a window. Heavenly dots slammed into decoration. The sand sags by an open fire. Name your favorite emotion. Mine is snow falling on a river. I like that feeling. It makes me feel clean and graceful like a hat. What I see in the sidewalk is gum and time. The concentration of a moment falling into big fat words and creating a sentence that clashes with reality. But in a good way. Like dreaming a conversation with a guitar. There is an open dynamic in music that drips with the silk of intuition. Surely the whole thing is more than a brightness crawling out of the neck. I have a great respect for mint. But the cabbage mistakes our digestion for Ohio. This is not Ohio. This is vapor. Rain on an antenna. Symmetry carries other obligations. Even the way a serape is folded bears certain implications. Secrets spun into the yarn like water. Like tears, or warts. Similes are always so eager to be fulfilled. Metaphors are different. They just sit around and moo. Coins slosh around in my pockets like the symbolism we find in anthologies of French symbolism. Which is to say their metal is not of this world. And so I wander around in my head until I fall asleep. I herd wildebeests. I open doors to other worlds. I bring opinions to the wind. The wind doesn’t care. The wind has its own opinions. I can smell them. They smell like headlights and mustard. And when Mick Jagger asked me to join the Rolling Stones I didn’t tell him I couldn’t sing or play a guitar. No siree. I just got up on the stage and wiggled. Everything changed when André Breton arrived. He lost some buttons and was trying to find some sand for a fable he was writing. I helped with his allegory and he helped me find that moment of the day when there’s nothing to do but explode into light. If reality is as real as it thinks it is, well then, all I have to say is get on with it. But does reality think? Reality is an abstraction. Abstractions don’t think. What would happen if I reached up and touched the moon? I’ll tell you: absolutely nothing. It’s gravity that juggles the stars. Perceptions are there to flatter consciousness into believing that England is punctuated by time and that time itself is a paradigm bursting with pickles and incendiary nouns. Crisis carves its horrors out of the air, not the clock. The clock just sits on the shelf ticking and tocking the way a clock is supposed to. The hands move, the hours follow. And at three o’clock in the afternoon the Hunchback of Notre Dame arrives whispering of bells and waterfalls. Feeling, he says, is one way to feel a feeling. Another is to hop from bell to bell in a glorious hysteria of sound. This is how the rain gets nailed to the stationary and words evoke everything there is in the world except how to be silent. And that takes guts. There is nothing in the mind but shadows, and the mind itself is nothing. We swim in the sounds below our life and when we agree to remember the cabbage it jellies into concentration.
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