The draped firmament, closing down, divesting itself, slowly seeps begrayened wintry night out of the early spring heavens toward the horizon. The faint outlines of the roofscape remain lightly hovering beneath the dusk. Those enclosures and the characters they retain are descending into a medium being of silhouettes trimmed and filled with leaden night, sitting just before the dark, almost crowned in further punctures by the shadows they cast upon the sky. She could hook her fingertips around their falseness, peel them away to the secret deviations therein, and there find only continuous dusk. Sockets of apartment windows sink all day in burnt white walls only to beam and summon after the sun crumbles.

Gone in napping, gone, whilst sunlight falls in parallel lines, brown and blue on a yellow kitchen table atop which sits a plain bone colored mug with thick walls and a pronounced rim; the handle is thick and flat with a small hole and an outsweeping thumbrest. It is untouched in a chamber of absence inexorable. In the vessel is a dry scaly pale lavender skin. The napping body lays still in the sunlight. Objects left fixed, untouched, alone for so long, become their settings, their original forms willed to implode into the spot where they have rested and they, within the voids they cradle outside their shapes become soaked in the monolithic landscape of their setting; left for so long, the tiny vessel floats in a kitchen sea of sun golden solitude, drifts away.

At this moment the lights flutter slowly into cycle across the empty ceiling, their shivering captured in the frail glass cylinder is tangible enough to rattle the dust on my painted metal table, settled into waxy oils, and my empty chair casts a dark shadow under the table on the worn terrazzo. I was in bed. I didn’t see people, only their names. I had given up on neighbors, populations. Sorting through all of the names, fearing the numbers in the addresses, the fixity of their existence in the world, made me want my room to be empty enough to run away from. I didn’t want it to fit me. It couldn’t anyway, so I wouldn’t let it try. At this moment my station was empty, I was absent from the whole world. I couldn’t even see myself, my legs, my chest, my room, my day. I saw an unbroken horizon.

In the machine, although repeating, the harbingers of each station differ. Second station, first body. Although systematized, the translatory movement of the rasping knee, drawing the calf to penetrate the two press’d thighs until they are separated by its diameter, is unfamiliar in the conditional cloud of this instant; it is a native accident. Condensate of the refrigerant night air in tenuous patterns of beadlet and woven rivulet, lubricates the continuous movement of the calf. The widest diameter of the calf passes through the thighs, full splay, then the thighs draw back together. The space of the skin against the skin is sealed by the damp and by pressure from the groin which squeezes the thighs to resist the company of the calf, without anticipation or intent.

She is behind the chink in the blinds. She pulls it shut and withdraws the spear of light, the probing scrutiny condemning your face flat in a black puddle, your socks thorny with dried sweat and salt, your dress filled with memos from other days, your hesitant sleep in the thin dirty sand. The heavy copper salts return to the sea through your burning nose. The spears of light, the eye, the fiery haze, roll back across your empty body. They wear slowly, an intangible erosion at the edges of you, where you stop and the air starts, until even that distinction is filled with the contact of her scrutiny and the window light, insinuating themselves across your neck and beneath your bound collar. It is not their inevitability, but their inconsistency that keeps you alert. You wait; you are smothered.

If you are awake then this has begun. The world doesn’t form for dreams. If you are awake, time isn’t yet passing. Beginnings are limbos that wander through the unscuttled twilight moments, stretching themselves into bright hours when you still hide, dull paralyzed breeze asides and naps, the long afternoon burning your nose and souring your body, perpetually in a series of beginnings each stopping short of fruition, each tiding to each, until it is dark again or still dark. The darkness is immeasurable; you are an endless, ineffectual, limp forever. You need the sun to cast a shadow, to put things behind you, to change, to divorce, to co-opt, to happen, accidentally, and then forget, and lose yourself when you are real, lost again.

In the flagrance of day, sunset is never an expectation. Desperation accompanies the final moments when she sees the sun racing away loathe to receive supplications, leaving the homes scattered with ash from its flaming last caress whose dinge is visible briefly in the afterlight of dusk; the train of light is drawn over the rooftops. She entreats it to step back out of the sea enough to throw senescent lines of wavering steel across her grog for a moment more. Bent in expectation of full night it makes no gestures to stand out of its half mourning pose, where beneath the hulking fold of the distant sea she desires to sink and repent to the sun, a lukewarm and low collection of limbs spat out of dusk with stock movements; she is made to look away.

Your senses are lukewarm. The afternoon apartment is still. Lowering sunlight hits west windows at forever angles buffeting them with deepening hues impossible to shut out. Blinds are pulled completely to. Plastic slats soften the edges of the brown rays which still penetrate and fall on the carpet in stripes of blended light and shadow. Dust is frozen breathless haunting the room and deeply drifts in the crooks of walls lacking molding. The carpet is covered with spots gummy and dried; the walls are cold glossy, running with condensate drips that ran and were painted over. In the far back room above the tussled pallet through the window blinds chink, east, across the intersection a fence holds back tall unkempt beige grass. Your hands are chapped.

I felt the sheets whose cold open window dew declared a life apart, nobody would let me live this way, awake in the cold, when the fabric dried for a twinkling, and turned warm and pasty with my sweat. My old breath filled the cavern of pillows. I see the morning in bits. I didnt try to live straight through them. They belonged in different places, at the same time all around the city. I see bits while they happen. I wouldnt notice, but I see the voids in the dust, the crescents of emptiness around cups and jars, fingerprints in the sand. I need to drop each bit into the sequence. If it happened yesterday, it was a separate compartment. If it happens this afternoon I want to happen with it. I need to be sure before I fall out of bed. Some one morning I will run through it all in order.

At ease. Third station, first body. Involuntary movement is a thing, not an action. The movements of the machine, conspicuous, incongruous, isolate it into a thing to be observed and registered. Action is when there was or is to be anticipation and intent, a contextual course of events. Movement, is a thing, is blind, fidgety. The thighs are cleared by the fullness of the calf and waver upright, at ease. Glossy moisture, coruscating in beadlets about the calf, wavers in the pregnant sigh when there is no fore and is no aft momentum. Symmetrical about the knee, the thigh and the calf, themselves in full splay, waver at 30º above level. The faded end of the thigh describes a housing with its arc within which the thing is taking place. The returning knee sinks, and drags across the rug.

Your consciousness flutters in a fine period. The symmetries of the city appear to you in the confluence of objects, atmosphere, and light to play back through your lost walking hours in a carnival of assumed memories. Reminiscent rebuses of morning moments cobbled together in piecemeal mosaics begin to shake out of the failing darkness, pulses of fluorescent light, sunlit cigarette butts in the sand, stained tissues folded into quarters on a window sill in milky light, the slick surfaces that shine cold against your warm wet hair. You are weighed upon by the repetition. Again the freshly bathed dusk grog begins the night without the day ending and you swim into the detritus of the day in reverse, floating to the surface in the dark alcove on the moisture borne lights from the courtyard.

You will try to see things where there is nothing and things will float past you, before your shrugging eyes, undetected. The blocks that hem this void are paper thin. They dont shut things out, they hold them in to keep them from connecting to the greater composition. Your tendency is to see occurrences only for what they prefigure, leading you in sequence to the next. You look for things to be whole and continuous. This cant happen that way. This is not for you. But this is the end already, or the fork to it, the last attempt, with so much already gone by you already know things you shouldnt know, you look for things you shouldnt see but that you know are there, you remember things that have yet to happen. In this mess it wont help you.

previous page – 3 of 39 – next page