I consider everything a stimulus, a conversation with earth, an endless translation. A flock of geese fly overhead. Honk, honk. A lot of conversation there. I pluck the raw sentiment of morning out of the air and put it down on paper where it assumes the declensions of nebulas and twine. This is the longitude of a sip of the syrup of life crowded with apprehension. I say it and it becomes it. At least on paper. In ink. In letters. In syllables. In vowels. In jabber and groans and shoots of sparkling effacement.
Everything in life is literal. It becomes metaphorical as soon as Spinoza gets back from the hardware store. Metaphors are the distortions that we harness to bone to animate the dead. I examine each feeling, each perception, for the energy of resurrection. The taste of salt. The syntax of lightning. If I sense the agitations of injury, I move toward the pain until I can see it more clearly.
President Obama leans his head back to avoid the feathers of the headdress worn by Joseph Medicine Crow, the last surviving warrior chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana, as he drapes the Presidential Medal of Freedom around the old man’s neck. Joseph passed away yesterday at age 102. This is his obituary. It attracted my attention while playing with our cat, Athena. She likes to chase a peacock feather whenever I slide it under a sheet of newspaper. Obama squints his eyes. Joe wears a pair of glasses. His grandmother’s brother, White Man Runs Him, was a scout for Lt. Col. George Armstrong. “I always told people when you meet Joe Medicine Crow, you’re shaking hands with the 19th century,” said Herman Viola, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Indians.
“The Mirage of Needles” is a poem by René Char. I get lost there for a moment. Daylight hangs from spars of amber. The day sails into biography. I bring a limestone piano and an old Scrabble game discovered in the closet of a deserted Kansas motel to the augmentation of this paragraph. Bouillon cures adjectives. I feel ultramarine. Simultaneity sweetens hieroglyphs of coffee. An exhibition of thunder drinks itself in mid-air. I don’t have time for doctrine. I walk on the laughter of banks. Each time that I think of money an ox comes alive on my tongue. There is no punishment but the sun.
Syzygy sizzles in zyzzyva. Ninety five points.
I study a waterfall. The roar of white water haloed by mist floating at its outer edges. I’m fascinated by the margin between mass and energy. There also exists an intersection between consciousness and language.
When an ocean wave recedes, it leaves behind it traces of its agitations in the sand. This is called writing. There’s a bump that confirms the incident of cleavage and a robin that sings and weather and acceleration. Later in life, we discover that time writes its chronicles and epitaphs on our faces and the bananas are good and rubber is rational and the emotions that people leave behind are ghosts of pathos hungry for our understanding.
The savor of twilight sleeps in the somersaults of a king. My thoughts unfold like rolls of canvas. I feel the grace of assemblage in the headlights of necessity. I’ve had a number of jobs over the years and been fired from most of them, but one thing I’ve learned is that a cup of coffee never smells as good as when a herd of buffalo stampede through the unconscious of a dictionary.
I never stand on ceremony. I always clatter when I walk. I bring in another haul of anatomies to examine. Daffodils, opinions, sensations. Everything in the world has a structure. This includes experience and candy. Yesterday I had a sensation that weighed 173 pounds and bristled with spoons. It was red and impersonal and too variegated to represent in pastels and so I wrapped it in tinfoil and sent it to the British Museum. It went on exhibit as a grizzly bear and that was that.
I have feelings that are too large and nebulous for description. Most of my feelings are too large and nebulous for description. This is why I feel such an affinity for zippers. The specificity of the zipper is comforting. So are smears and cemeteries.
The highway arrives a little damaged but without any clear objective in sight. We can hear someone laughing in an upturned car at the side of the road. Pain has a way of harnessing itself to the sparkle of stimulation. You can see it in the eyes of the dying.
Emotional pain is itself a form of stimulation. An incitement, a spur. People glitter to play the guitar and when they do auroras of sound make the air turn spectral. It takes a lot of sweat and nerve to build a behavior that works for you. You cannot mimic desire. But you can take it into the clouds and break it into words.
And what is reality?
Any friendly energy stirring the blood into odor. Any energy at all. Negative energy is good too. I don’t mean to be orange. I just like velvet. I like to express myself with arms. In writing. In gallantry. In gulps. In oak and exhalation. Like saws or flies. A place to put your wrinkles. Old temptations. The hospitality of silver. The serious hurry of a lucidity whistling dimes of stepladder lime.