What divides the organic from the inorganic? Is it a mysterious Vital Force? Is it a chemical process? Is it Philadelphia?
Everything is a process. Moods are a process. Pressure is a process. Eyes are a process. Processions are a process.
The Fleetwood Mac of 1972 is vastly different from the Fleetwood Mac of 1977. Future Games is a very different album than Rumours. Clearly, a process was involved, an evolution including divorce and conflict and diamonds of sound. Romantic entanglement, emotional tumult and mountains of cocaine. Band members quit. Band members joined. Danny Kirwan’s pre-Raphaelite reveries opened the way for Bob Welch’s silky otherworldliness which blossomed into Stevie Nick’s gypsy scarves. The band morphed from a serious blues band in the late 60s to a pop music salvo in the latter half of the 70s. You can’t step into the same river twice. And the banks are muddy. Very, very muddy.
The organic is inherently messy. It’s in a state of continuous transformation. Life is unceasing creation. Ergo, it’s continuous variations are polymerizations of the long chain of being, accommodations to the humors of arousal and the warp of disproportion. We live in a volatile universe. The birth of stars. The death of stars. If you’re alive, you’re going to be wary. Living is easy, but staying alive is dicey. There is always worry. Apprehension. Unease.
Lately I’ve been subsisting on a steady diet of westerns, hypothesis, and cortisol. It all gets easier when you learn to let go. Letting go is half of the solution. The other half is getting it back.
We live on the edge of chaos, a region of bounded instability that engenders a constant dynamic interplay between order and disorder. If you don’t believe me, just look under our bed.
Modification roars at the incubation of worry. The walls mediate the long slow odors of ceremony. The sculptor stands in his workshop caressing the transcendent form of the chisel.
There was a time I wanted to sound like Bob Dylan. It was an impetus. And then it became a puzzle. And then it became a mermaid. I learned how to make things go horizontally across the page rather than imperially like a physician’s assistant. I was not in the business of taking anyone’s pulse. I just wanted to break the sound barrier and create a phantasmagoria of breasts.
On Monday, we went for hamburgers. I noticed a painting on the wall above our booth, a mural by Myrna Yoder, who does all the murals for McMenamins.
Which is where we were: McMenamins.
There was a bowl of water with a goldfish in it. The water was non-existent. No attempt had been made to paint water. How to you paint water? The goldfish implied water. There was water by implication. That’s all it took, a single goldfish to create the miracle that is water.
Which is also a miracle.
The hamburgers, incidentally, were really good. Moist and flavorful.
The human mind is a compliment. You have to think of it as an epiphenomenon, a compilation of knotty pine and the exuberance of thingness. If the depiction of a goldfish is enough to suggest water, the human mind must be a category of gas, tending to expand indefinitely until the meal arrives.
Nothing soothes anxiety like food.
Or Xanax. That works pretty good, too.
Opium breaks Chicago in half.
Do you ever have feelings so powerful you can’t share them with anyone? Anxiety is to fear what steam is to steel. One is vapory and moist and the other is a parable of heat and casting. Sparks fly. This is a process known as smelting, which is a form of extractive metallurgy, heating out impurities. Poetry does the same thing, but with less overhead. A man comes out and dissolves in a pool of emotion. The resulting extract hisses like a thousand snakes. Ropes of glowing metal create a ring of luminescence.
The mouth is a vagina in reverse.
I know you’re out there somewhere. I can feel it. I can feel the way the dirt explains squash and the idea of roots finds expression in cotton and rhododendron. I can feel the way clothing forgets the body and becomes a whistle. I can feel the way a hot woman lingers by a piano in a dark room in Miami, fanning herself with a real estate brochure.
I raise my eyes and experience a sudden sharp sense of depth. The stars are stupefying. The mathematical order of things possesses a positive reality. If the shoe doesn’t fit, I throw it at the president. This is how life repairs and rejuvenates itself. Climb into yourself and pepper your heart with the debris of heartache. Things viewed from a distance become pyrotechnic. I’m a little bit powder, a little bit water: shake me. I’ve always wanted to write a rock and roll of words. Philosophy borrows it from every day life. The energy of chaos, the beating of wings.
I apologize for the geometry. Let’s boil these sounds into paradise. The spoon displays a distortion of trees. The air is an engine of liberation. I hold the sun in my hand. You can’t film a feeling, but you can wander the Louvre in search of beauty. You can relax the tension in your body until the sense that is buried in the sounds becomes material. Becomes cartilage and bone.
Until then, there is process. There is gauze and hay. The horses describe the hills. The trails feed our imagination. Our education is unearthed from candlelight. It is time that puts a stick in the wheels. Living matter presents enough plasticity to take in turn such different forms as those of a fish, a reptile and a bird. The embryo of a bird or reptile is not initially that different from an elephant or human. It is in its development that it becomes a bird or a snake or a human.
A single cell accomplishes this by dividing. In this privileged case, what is the precise meaning of ‘exist’? I pass from state to state. Sensations, volitions, feelings, ideas are the changes into which my existence is divided and which colors it in turns. Nothing is permanent. Everything is flux. I need a thousand wild horses to say a single meaningful thing. Something like the seed of a sequoia catching a little rain, or the quality of light in the skeleton of a whale on the beach. Something like this, like words, like the creak of bedsprings, like the resolution of a worry rattling around in my brain.
Reading fills the canvas of words with wind. I drift through life like a ghost.