(Published in Calliope, Fall 2012)
Vacant. Form. Here, is, form. Here was form, here is form, here will be. Comforting? It’s similar to what was previously known, but contrary. That’s it, that’s all. That is all there ever is, negation of previous notion. It is far beyond malignant or benign, apathy to say the least, vested at most. Its manner timid and relaxed, its shape dull, acute, it will not accept advances for it can only serve as passive. Passion? Spare it. We waited, we wait, and shall continue as before, as now, as will again, without registering movement, progress. Well, at least we perceive none. Those who were forced, by the nature of common circumstance, to remain patient, did so, in vain vacuum. Others stretched their arms in a V crying, “I have come home now,” as if their creation would extract them from the vile vainness of their own manner, prepared to tell it, “Never lived a lie.” Forever unaware of veracity, “vile” they accused, accuse, will accuse skeptics. Patient hands are never ready to receive, gifts of all kinds, new shapes gather, accumulate, create new form, but identity is lost, traded for the ideal, gained by savage visions, vexed are now those once open palms. They are proud, and they telegraph, vehemently, various incarnations, but always the same name nmae eman. Consistency is, apparently, credibility instead of redundant inescapable vice. Valiant is the dialect, soaring in the face of all others. Its vernacular veils contradiction for fear instead of, instead of, instead…for fear of an embrace, no. No. For fear. Fear. If you must, fear. Fear. Violence. Villains.
Yet, some how, we said, “And so, here it is.” Form. Thy will be done. Forever, and ev…oh, there it is again! Noise, always the noise! Fucking noise! Do they not rest? There are places for these things, pricey yes, but it’s your responsibility, that’s why they’re your progeny! West wall, hurry, south, takes a moment, east, faster quick, north, just a second, finally, tip toes! Come on, come on, higher! Just a bit high…Window. Blinds. Peek. Cul-de-sac, below. For fuck sake, they’ve multiplied! Vermin. They don’t even count as full fledged citizens, why allow them to wander the streets as if they were? It’s very simple: you let one loose, you train it to stay in its cage, where it belongs. Agile, things. Bodies in motion. Agile minds, too…squandered on the vacuum of youth. I squander plenty, too. But at least I’m aware of it. And one of them has found the asshole of the street, manhole, unplugged. Yes, please lose yourself in there. I should hurry to pinch one, let it rain in that swamp while it’s inhabited. Belongs down there. My progeny. Oh, shut up? You have back yards. No one speeds through a cul-de-sac, no where to go, no chance hitting a few. Funny, that’d be: one engraved into a grill, another flies, bowling pin. Awful mess it’d be. Fish fry must hide at birth, else a maternal meal, we think nothing of it. Monstrous if it’s our own species. Weep even for still-borns. Why not? Unparalleled substitute for veal. Cheaper, too. Modest thing.
Shut up shut up!
Oh…no. What awful things to consider. Mind wanders to so many uninhabitable venues. Drop blind. Dwell on it. Composure, composure. Quiet first. Awful things. It’s partial to the ages as they go by. Tk, tk, tk, tk, on and on, tk, tick, tisck, tissck, tsisssssvvck, tsssssssssvvvvvvvvvvvv. Quiet. Take stalk, all that there ever was, is, will be; take stalk. Room, twelve by twelve. Thirteen? Not square anyhow, thirteen by eleven and two fifths, east wall, blank, south wall, door, east corner, we’ll get to that, west wall, closet, holds a shrine, porcelain god, many hours praying, closed, been since, well I forget, north wall, window, six up, high, but I have a system of teetering, tippy-toes, let’s say, four across, wooden blinds, drawn tight, ceiling blank, floor, wooden slats, no furnishings, only get in the way of my path. My path! Oh, there is my path! It’ mine. Now there was, is, will be comfort as I traveled, travel, will continue to travel, shoulder always whisked, whisk, will continue to whisk the wall. Yes this robe has worn, is worn, will ware through to the skin through to the flesh through to the muscle. I once painted the wall, shoulder height, was red for a time, is brown now, will be white again. It’s not that bad. Only a little macaroon-white-green, nor does it reek as it used to…or will. But that the wall was red for a time, curious. Where did that come from?
That’s right! I have memories. What? Things. Things, catalogs, catalogs of things. Things like eggs, eating eggs, cracking one open and sucking it clean. Things like sniffing leather, intoxicating. Things, you know. Like reading, words, describing potted men, crutched men, dead men. Things like sewers, bad place on a rainy day, safe on a clear one. This is what memories are for! A sewer, something about a gaping hole, mid circle, dead-end street, looks like, a tit, tee-hee, suck it dry. Wonder if any of the other kids, little Veronica, Vilhelm, Vince, and Vicky…oh, Vicky, she was so… Well, wonder if they thought to go in. They saw it too. I knew I shouldn’t have been there, I shouldn’t be here, apparently it’s dangerous. But, pick a day of doom, and defy it, what I always say, what I will say. Someone left the cover off, just for me, makes sense, or it doesn’t…either way, I’ll do it. I’ll pretend. I am the Riverside Ghost. Never have I ever exited out through the gift shop, the unkempt winter ready New York sludge pot, gray peach, hairy bog. Here it goes…so this is what it’s like? Go figure, just another disappointment. Inviting, warm, inside it’s damp, sticky, getting colder the further I go. Hold on, make sure, peek outside, make sure no one sees. Good. Vince, looking the other way, he’s a tattle-tale, we all know the type. Okay, the coast is…no, wait. That creep. Old man, up there on the third floor. Him again. Does he have nothing better to do? He’ll tell, he will. No? Even if he does, that’s it! If he does, who will listen? No one listens to those who have nothing to say. Voyeur…It’s flattering. Back in, slowly. Like that, huh? Anyway, back in. Colder further in, strange, tighter too. Well, here I’ll be seated, if only to, oh, here it comes, a separation. Half of me goes on, further, and further, becomes situated, the other half tailspins, sucked out through helmet tube. That’s it, end, so quick.
Is that the way it happened? Is my memory defective? Does it serve me right? Don’t know. Won’t depend on it. What is dependable? Path! That’s right, the path! It’s my path. It’s a long path, journey, an odyssey, been at it forty-six years, or something like. Is that right, forty-six? Could it be two? Tk, tk. And these scabs, I can depend on these scabs. Tasty. I’ve been picking at them, tk, tk. Just has to be something underneath. Like I am, beneath this ceiling, some kind of vault. And there must be some inner chamber where ghostly bug-eyed Marvins planted their seed. In my death, they will see life. Cruel joke. That’s the nature of all things, an anecdote, which all existence seems to cling to, as I cling to this wall. All I’ve got, all I can be sure of any more, my wall. But the cycled, cycle, coming revolution…if only I could be removed. So, I dig. One day, soon, I will find their vestibule, remove it, like so many burrowing ticks, parasites, I’ll rid of it, and my freedom, freedom from that, which I have no connection to, in any form…or will the form be another memory. Please don’t let it be that. Horrible things, memories. If it be memory, and I recall it at will, I control it. Can I then destroy it, and so, escape it? That’s it! I’ll call, at will, a memory, any memory, like a servant, a peon to tremble before me. I’ll entertain it for a bit, if only for a few humored inquisitive moments, but when the little tyke is going on about its merry fashion, I’ll strike. And then to the next, and after that, another, and another, until all memory is slaughtered…I’ll be free. Forty-six and two, digging, always digging, will become forty-six and two ahead of me. Freedom. That is the plan. Though, remember the path. There is always the path, it must continue in tandem. Fine, but I should be careful I’m not overtaken by the dual task, memories and the path, at once. Only one way to find out. The path, was a go, is a go, will be a go. Now, memory.
At will. At will is a bit shaky. Just rusty at it. In complete command. It’s what they always say, you learn to ride a bike with crutches you never forget. Memory, a building…see that’s it, done and done…a building. Prestigious building, or so its occupants assume. More like an aquarium, broad windows for superior beings to gaze, ponder their own essence, relating themselves to simple animals. There are desks, four rows, chairs facing empty white plaque. There were a handful of others here, they are hodgepodge, variance of all kinds. One fella, white-haired, glasses, rules them. Has fashionable taste. Can’t agree more, dress the part, what I say. Mostly, this group has been, is, will be young ladies…the better to think with, apparently. But who keeps track of these trivial things? Serve more, memory, serve! Papers, they are fixed, staring at a stack of papers, stapled, pages folded back. Pens in their hands, they scribble, scribble away, all of you, scribble I say! Pretentious. One speaks, an address, the others listen. His face has a certain, similarity, to, mine. Oh, is this one pathetic. He tries, but he’s been here before, never learns, always the same mess of stories. Puh, stories! Bastards of memory, what I say. Thinks he’s soooo clever. Tisk, tisk. He’s nothing new. Now! Spring! Put a stop to it, whole debacle! I grab a copy of his vile anecdote, crumple it up and toss it at him to knock a blow at his fragile ego, it shatters like so much coconut jism and pelts the other occupants in the room. Now! As some are fixed on their own copies, still scribbling, and others decide to watch, voyeurs, I lunge at this fool. He’s down! We are down! A hodgepodge of fists, teeth, nails. There goes a shirt, and shoes, more shoes perhaps, punk kid, now it’s all gone, like the Greek ancients did it, rumbling around, blood, sweat, and the bare flesh, ripping and clawing, I pick at his scabs, reach deeper, third leg sword fight, memories die hard, the whole bundle rolling around the room while others look on, filthy voyeurs, like that? My member, he bites down hard, takes it all in, holds on, no use anymore anyway. But this must end. Must be an end to the source! Open wide, your precious backside! With the whole of my crown I stop it up, plug it up, so no more of this shit can ever again soil the landscapes of consciousness. End!
No. No! Memory remains. It wouldn’t be that easy. Memories are only repressed. I’ll hold out hope, puh, hope, there’s a joke, the hope that I destroyed, destroy, can destroy memory. Repression, key for now. No more, horrible things, memories. For now, all there was, is, will be, my path. And scabs to pick, yes, I continue to search, deeper. Looking for some form or another to make sense of, sense of anything. But form is empty as memory, vacant. Now there’s a thought, the vacancy of memory. Vacancy of form.