Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sort Of A _________ Craquelure

Magnetism by fire. Seams chewed free from the afternoon. Skyscrapers. Long nights with a great friend.

Light steams out my old window face, clears the crucible city and runs home in a rush. Some sonic landscape. A declination of magic makes its own magic. They (those ones with arms and loss) ripple an entire beach, redo spasms of new memory, travel further in. Glinting metal everywhere, surprise meat shudders away, plays the uncomfortable witness.

We made machines. Then machines made time for us. Substantial as knuckles or national will. But the city is a device of time, home to all the souls that ever were--catch them in photographs, a headstone, that mossy old tenement brick. All those nouns squirting reticules of memory.

Who is the sheriff of time: fundament or frangible thing? Pauses, expectation of an event. We got caught peering out of a loophole in luck's curtain. Something crenelated, something drawn. Stand next to words, fake or freak meaning, hamper every permanence.

Shin guard, chin guard. We look away, but always bend back around to original seeing.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Auroch And The E

Upon moving into my new apartment I discovered under the floorboards the remains of a perfectly preserved auroch, which had died suddenly but not violently, some forty thousand years ago. It still had its pair of piercing horns and a musky leather smell emanating from its impressive hide. I ran my hand across the body, marveling at what was once a great musculature, the kind that inspired earlier persons to paint its likeness upon the walls of their caves, in and out of trance. I found myself riveted by the large gaping holes where its eyes had been, and the hooves seemed as if they had just come from some magnificent thundering plain, bits of rock and ancient brown moss clung to the shaggy hair at the end of the forelegs.

I felt that the correct and most effective way to do this marvel justice would be to turn it into a piano-forte or harpsichord and invite all my old friends and lovers to come and appreciate this beast as well as my own appetite for curiosity and endless innovation. Besides, it is not every day that you have an auroch with which to theorize over a glass of soda with fresh lime.

I began my preparations in earnest, wringing my hands daily, deliberating over whether to have the creature embalmed straightaway and then install a keyboard over the top of the form of the great animal; or, to carefully cut into its hide, open its prehistoric innards and coat the ribs with several layers of a fine shellac, and then build my instrument within its dried guts. This seemed to me a grand question: Should I support an art that forces itself beyond the boundaries of occasion and setting, or should it complement and accompany the unfoldings of its immediate environs?

I was at an impasse.

To this end, I took particular note of the gorgeous “e” at the end of the perfectly plausible and temporarily comforting word “impasse.” The letter spun endlessly through mental space, now pulsing hugely and with crackling potential at the start of a word like “erogenous,” now playing a supportive role, yet not imposing its will or ineluctable identity too harshly beyond the boundaries of the scene, as in its second appearance in the word “cathected.”

To be sure, I was caught in a pleasant conundrum. One sunny afternoon, after days of indoor contemplation of “e” while sitting over the carcass of my auroch, I came to an illuminating realization. I decided that I should, for inspiration, wedge the heel of my bare foot into the eye socket of the great auroch, and with my hands build a great “e” out of lucite and place within it a coiled string of blue Christmas lights. I did so, and upon entering homes of friends and old flames, I would plug my creation into the nearest wall socket and proclaim it a momentary bridge between thought and deed, object and action.