Monday, December 27, 2010

Deliver This From Evil

Sometimes I wonder if I was born or merely set aside in another dimension of newspaper grey and was launched into this world because what ever the case was running low on the premium designs. 

It's a habitual thought, a shudder of doubt when staking hands or crossing streets or visiting people who and which are so familiar, 
so complete in intimate nuances and shared knowledge that they seem alien and strange, like specimens under glass in a museum I keep visiting for a lesson that just keeps turning the corner to the next gallery when my hard shoes hit the tile. Everything I look for is just out of focus, short of the designs I see and have drawn. 

Believing the world is seeing beyond the box scores and trusting what it says on the certificate; the biography has already been started, a page of facts that have gotten absurdly complicated, in love their own inventory of details that are pressed now in their uniqueness, creased and pleated, ready for rough waters I imagine await at the end of the map, where boats fall off and drift with sails full of solar wind until I wake up and yawn and scan the items on the table, the newspaper, the dirty bowls, someone else's pack of Marlboro 100s. The universe is reassembled, seamless as death itself. 

Years ago I wondered if there was life on other planets precisely at the time when she left me, or asked me to leave, I wondered who else in this darkness knows this hurt as well as I?, and I stared for hours at her apartment as if trying to make the walls fly away, to lift her off the sofa, away from her meal , and bring her into my arms where I stood in the dark, next to a payphone, with out change to call out far enough to the wilderness where there is only wind and tall grass, maybe houses at the bottom of canyons that you see from jets leaving your home town before you enter the clouds that will drag on the wingspan, I would stare and the walls would stay where the carpenters intended them to remain, there was nothing to see, but I stared harder, right through the building, to the stars I knew were there, receiving radio waves, TV shows, thoughts of strong desire translatable only by action, hear me, hear me, who else shivers in a dark corner in unique misery, genius of articulated regret, who else speaks when no language gets the purity of the idea right, just right, thus forcing one to live in craziness, at the end of the alley, drinking from bottles I've pealed the labels from? 
As usual, the stars don't answer, they don't say a word.

1 comment:

  1. Just about every all-night diner or bar in the 1950s had a little black telephone in the back for all the unsophisticated people who could not sleep. It was a party line but as I recall it was no party just a thick sodden slog through years and years of deep-dyed grumbles, left-handed compliments, lead-footed jokes, old scores unsettled from games nobody played anymore. You would finish your drink, give the counterman that I’ll-be-right-back palsied wink and creep over to the phone between the men’s and ladies’ rooms and pick up the receiver. A stream of gabble would pour into your ear and it felt like a mudbath: dirty but warm and somehow comforting.

    There were more feed stores then, and plenty of service station attendants with tight bow ties and even tighter smiles. There was a reason to move around like a big shot in a Hudson even if one town was more inconsequential than the next – it was like following a sum backwards beyond the decimal point, where the zeros just got ridiculous. The men cropped their hair close because of the War; the women fluffed theirs up as a kind of duck blind. Coffee was cheap, cigarettes were money for midgets and a can of beans didn’t even raise an eyebrow. There was such a thing as a surprise back then, and real punchlines. Howdy Doody just killed us. We would turn on the TV and expect to be electrocuted by Milton Berle.

    Everybody had a gun but no bullets, only aspirin. Formica was a big thing; it made the spoons falling out of the empty coffee cups sound like shrapnel in the Kingdom of Mice. We used Ben-Gay and Vic’s Vapo-Rub and Harvey’s Bristol Crème to coat, sooth, protect and slide as gracefully as you can when you’re hitting the bricks with no pillow strapped to your ass.

    Really, we didn’t know a damn thing about anything which is why we stayed awake all night, listening to the fat box cars on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Claus plowing through the cornfields between some old maid’s legs. We built our lives on the Rock of Ages which was nothing but calcified rumors and your father’s moustache. But we had that phone in the back and a million dog-tired souls to talk to who would give you the shirts off of their backs if they weren’t stark naked under a hole in the roof in the middle of a Nebraska blizzard.


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