Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Color Fastness

The snow is thick with footprints. I snowshoe through the deep
snow to the side of the broken trail. The preserved cross-country
ski trail runs next to me. Sun reflects off a thin film of ice left
by the parallel runners. I'm trying to visit the impressions of a family
snowshoe outing in Estes Park, Colorado. Dad wears a light brown
jacket. The colors of our clan our light brown, green, and purple.
I am getting closer to a barn. A few red jackets are gathered together
in a hay wagon ride that is about to start. A ranger in a winter brown
suit stands above two brindled blond horses. A man in yellow
with sunglasses riding a chestnut horse approaches. Beyond him
a photographer turns and sizes up his subject. A few minutes later
I stop while the hay wagon rolls past. On the bench a man stares
through me. He holds a case that certainly contains something
valuable. The ranger wears earflaps. I smell the pasture mixed
with burning leaves. A white horse is drawing closer to me.
I wave at the rider and the color fastness of her red riding blanket.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Skeleton Man

I flip through the library's many books of black and white
photographs of playgrounds. It's a provision of picture references
to draw from. I lose myself who might later sketch any of these
playgrounds into a border for an architecture composite. I lie down.
The first wave of voices brings blog obsession. I'm three weeks
ahead of my posts. Yesterday and today don't exist in my blog.
There is nothing for me outside the blog. I drew myself into
an inclusive circle. It is too big a risk. I'm running the symptom
of this massive uneasiness I have now through every entry.
If I stopped, gave up on the blog, there would be no diminishing
in symptom. My mind is screaming blog. Praying to calm down,
I take my Zyprexa. I release the blog to artistb. He and I are a team.
Is he bringing out the Proust in me?

I always like the drawing - green - because it amounts to destruction.
It is an organic destruction in which it is difficult to distinguish
drawing from collapse. Green gothic gives me permission to go on
to find the third theme. The fugue reverses complexity.
Its struggle with teacher builds the machinery of a collapsing
chamber. A chorus of voices repeats at play. My involuntary
memory spots an unplanned rebel who jeers at the chorus,
a chorus of harmony masters. Although they are accused
of standarization, they are also the best at evoking a chaotic silence.
It is more sin than the rebel is worth. The rebel and I must
collaborate in a search for adaptation to what Samuel Beckett
called in his essay Proust "boredom of living replaced
by the suffering of being." A counterpoint between building
and collapse is my slight.

Dreams never really happen. The waiting brings me down.
My struggle with the chorus constitutes the rebel's wish
to stand out in lack of melody. The crowd assembled
on the risers is a drug for the speechless daring of the melee.
I would rather champion cacophony and innuendo.
The shanty images, pushed together in village,
overrun path. Thumbnail innards of plants are left to stock
monkey mind. The nothing of a sharp report has the looming
quality of a fish bowl. I swim in a bell curved world of sound.

I put on headphones. Relax with the radio. If there's any
sensibility in my blog, then these songs on the year's best
of the big beat have hit it on the money. I listen to a recording
of me reading my journal. There is something at the edge
of my voice that is more intrinsic than any account I'm able to give.

I wrestle for the means to the ends of frying words
in a wordless frying pan. There are two frying pans one may
travel in. The first is Frytuck's pan. It ends at frying pan level.
A wordless level. I have triumphed. I skate the slope
of the frying pan, ranging across its surface. I turn on the radio.

I am not alone in this park, this second frying pan. The skeleton
is here somewhere. I pass the torch to the hens of the porch poets.
A fast moving hen joins the poets on the porch. Lawless thorns
puncture my poor feet. I seek a center tile meek lost down
by the creek. Perfection is a heavy race. I will quit the procession
before Frytuck takes up the anthem. Stab at me ghost.
Find me defined. Take my guts, ghost, and cast them into verse.
Ghost be thy concealed in the skeleton's ribs,
waiting to bloom in the nighttime phosphorescence.
The skeleton is beautiful. He holds sway in my conscious.
He is a naval captain of a lost battle who returns
with refreshed officers. The skeleton's fleet boards enemy decks
scrubbed clean by censurable years. In the middle of the night
his crew glides and glows. Many stray through the fence.
The skeleton waves them on.

The skeleton sits in a chair of twisted wire, grooming his glow.
On the deck, in the midst of the naval battle, he orchestrates
the boarding glow. I sense no division in the glow, only
thankfulness. Bring me water if it is known to your upkeep.
I am no machine, almost glow like you. Celery and I paddle
alongside the tugboat.

"Look at the mime specters it hauls," he says.

I return to the mud of the riverbank. Once again I am lost
in the gravel of the late night radio announcer. We are lost
in the annunciation of his favorite haunts. Soon I will follow
with my carriage in the flight circle. Celery has crossed.
He executes a neat side roll and greets the official
on the other side. We used to steal bits of chocolate
that the old man kept here and there convincingly
in wheelbarrows on our sledding hill in summer. We ran
with them to the closest shores of our forbidden town.
I am looking forward to meeting Celery on the porch.

It is the eve of Frytuck's nightmare. The river is dark at the edge
of the park. I lost a toy skeleton here. I wait for him here these
nights to bring me the magic that glowed from his tiny ribs.
The magic I feared once is now in a breath, the light still
to be drawn. I've been busy this week with the installation
of another deck in the cargo bay of my carriage.
Once I get it together, I will join the circle of flights.
I may not have a chance to visit the riverbank again.

I look forward to meeting Gabby. He is the only one of us
whose name remains the same now as in childhood.
Gabby meets us one day tugging a raft.

"Let perfectionism break me before Frytuck takes up the anthem,"
he shouts.

Frytuck suggests to Gabby they might use aphorisms to cross
the river. What rasp would my voice sound should I speak
in aphorisms? The keys to the porch are out by the creek.
A tortoise inlays a center tile meek. The hens to the tortoise
pass the torch. A fast moving hen joins the poets on the porch.
I run the tablets through one of the machines I manage.
I lift the carriage panels into place. The carriage belongs to me now.
It always has.

On more than one occasion the official had words with Gabby
that caused him to reconsider his ambition. The official dressed
for exactness, as an umpire would. Gabby admired
his resourcefulness in the upkeep of the backyard.
He attempted deeds laying in his path, and in those he succeeded
without dislodging much dust.
The house held no particular call to Gabby, yet it lay in his path.
The skeleton held little interest for Gabby - of that I am sure.
Each of us suffered with the great house in his turn.
Moving swiftly over the rocks, Celery's greenness eclipses
the shimmering glow of the skeleton. I desire in him no destiny
on these muddy banks. Celery moves with an economy of grace
across the creek. He stands on the edge of the park, deliberating
which direction to take. There is no choice. We all proceed
to the house on the hill.

Frytuck, I hear you whispering in the soot.
Fold the soot into your hair. Tuck in your hair Frytuck.
Climb the hill. Vindicate your story. I am perfect. I am tough.
I grow weaker to cross these stones. Formless suffering
is the fire that supercedes reason. I watch the passage of glow,
distractions in the night. I mope and take sail with these ghosts.
Perfection is a heavy race. The fence is farther away now.
There is a meadow to cross and then the fence. Henry laughs,
letting the skeleton fall through his fingers. He joins the ghosts
in their skeleton madness. Green glow, passage of labor carved
in relief on a stone wall, glide, accelerate with my thin thorns.
I yell not. I whisper not. What rasp would my voice sound
should I call? I am no machine. I am almost glow like you.

My carapace is complete. I dice and knock the earth cubes away.
Mist settles into the gaping space between my bones.
I am the skeleton man! I cross the meadow. I crawl through
the hole in the fence and walk into the yard. I find the official.

"I could only see you thus," I say.
"You are the last of the ones who have returned to address me,"
he says.
"How many have returned?"
"Many, many have returned."

Frytuck stays late in the alchemy of his science to precipitate voice
out of a sample of gravel he keeps since his childhood.
His friends talk about anything but their turn in the line-up
when they will have the mighty god in their grasp with which to turn
their idle lives into something of summer. I pass Gabby in the halls,
but he does not recognize me. So it is me Celery crafting what I will
begin to craft in this notebook. My anxiety is here neatly between
the lines of my notebook. Celery sits in his drawing room.
His greenness whelms him. Frytuck begins to appear in the margins.
The porch poets talk about this.

It was as if I had been writing for a while in a voice I thought
was exceptional. Then the exclusiveness both elevated me
and saddened me. Then I was distraught because I believed
I had been singled out for the poor ridge and outline of this voice.
Then in one setting, perhaps an hour, I had the pleasure of reading
a poet very much alive. S. does not accept the abyss between prose
and poetry. I felt whatever name I gave my writings would be
unremarkable. Her tone bound the poems through and through.