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Little Did I Know




Last Images

    Fainter, all the time, each hour of each day, the voice getting fainter all the time, yes, to put this all away now, you’ve better things to do, better things that must be done, and, as though the story had been telepathically transmitted to all who knew me, perhaps even know me still, by sight of course, or by smell, yes that’s it, by smell, no, no longer, someone must have told me, I think that's it, that’s precisely how, the long slow trance of words. But there’s gotta be a better one here, somewhere, in my head filled with silent words, words that no longer need ever be heard, I mean, some things are sometimes, or always, beyond, understanding, so that everything gets turned around, reversed, until it is un-understandable, life is, life, to be alive, and free, is so much easier now, like the #5 rumbling, every morning 5:54, neath us, many meters down in the earth, Metro: Richard Lenoir, her tears wetting the pillows.
   Bonefisted, should the time come, I march toward you, unconcerned, sword unsheathed, yes, it seems clear now, so, what am I supposed to say now, at hearing ascribed to me such pregnant works, is it possible, is that the possible thing at last, the extinction of this black nothing and its impossible shades, the end of the farce of making and the silencing of silence, it wonders, that voice which is silence, or it’s me, there’s no telling, it’s all the same dream, the same silence, it and me and her, her and me, and all our train, and all theirs, but whose, whose dream, whose silence, old questions, last questions, ours who are dream and silence, but it’s ended, we’re ended who never were, soon there will be nothing where there was never anything, last images.
   That’s the demons chorus you hear, opining like a single man, and there are more to come, all the peoples of the earth would not suffice, what a blessing, it’s all down the drain, nothing ever as much as begun, nothing ever but nothing and never, nothing ever but lifeless words, still, I know, with all my words, I’m talking only to myself now, but I need the conversation, for now. Strength, that’s it, that’s what I’ve been searching for, the word, and the sun, the sky opens, the sun breaks through, arrival follows departure, straight from the sky, yes, this is much better, and so unexpected, remember Luxembourg Gardens, the Médici Fountain, at 3:00 in the morning, whispers, confidences, that guard who learned to hate us. Yes, to be hated, hated until impulses can no longer be contained, an act of desperation, an act bringing an unintended consequence.
   I’m getting younger, the blood, the long lazy muscles, the brain broken, or not, play, in a dream. That so still, cool oily-dark water in the fountain softly caressing the lovers, Polyphemus roaring above, it’s hard to believe, its sick twisted irony I mean, hard to believe, Polyphemus, Acis, and Galatea, it’s almost worth, somehow, if only I could, without being discovered, making sure she understands the irony, making sure she, one day at least, reads this, then I’ll tell her the story, with sound effects and fireworks. But I was young then, sitting next to that fountain, that fountain built, when, built when, I read it somewhere, the 1630s, but when, exactly, I need to know the exact age, now I’m old but getting younger each day. The not long risen sun, and all small because of the distance, very pretty really the whole thing. If only she could have been still and let me look at it all. No, for once I wanted to stand and look at something, I couldn’t with her there waving and fluttering and swaying, as though she were doing exercises, and for all I know she may have been, not bothering about me at all, never, really, bothering about me, and still, showing no shame, no guilt, no conscience, she sees only herself, her own likeness reflected in the still cool oily-dark water. Yes, if I’m not mistaken, if I remember correctly, all of a sudden, I saw her in the distance, passing the Médicis Fountain, 1630s I believe, as she gets closer I feel my throat tense, it’s hard to swallow, globus, that’s the correct word, no doubt about it, it’s correct, but I don’t like the looks of it, caution, pause, reason for pause, reason for pause, maybe, but not quite yet, anything’s possible, that’s stupid, there are many, many, countless things that are not possible, we just don’t like to face that reality, like a child being denied a toy or candy, no one says no to her, unless they’re prepared for the punishment, which always follows. Bonefisted, should the time come, I march toward you. No more.
   Weaker still the weak old voice that tried in vain to make me, dying away as much as to say it’s going from here to try elsewhere, or dying down, there’s no telling, as much as to say it’s going to cease, give up trying. Once you’ve spoken of me you can speak of anything, up to the point where, up to the time when, there it dies, it can’t go on, it’s been its death, speaking of me, here or elsewhere, it says, it murmurs. A trace, it wants to leave a trace, yes, sand, it’s with that it would make a life. It wonders should it stop and wonder what pity is doing here and if it’s not hope gleaming, another expression, evilly among the imaginary ashes, the faint hope of a faint being after all, human in kind, tears in its eyes before they’ve had time to open, no, no, more stopping and wondering, about that or anything else, nothing will stop it any more, in its fall, or in its rise, perhaps it will end on a castrato scream, no, that’s ridiculous, I meant to say that’s what they would wish, all on every tongue. And whose the shame, at every mute micromillisyllable, and unslackable infinity of remorse delving ever deeper in its bite, at having to hear, having to say, fainter than the faintest murmur, so many lies, so many times the same lie. What you once told me, do you remember your assessment, of him, of yourself, of not being chosen over a game, but what of now, the obverse, the opposite, yes, believe it, you were, and you always knew it, exactly to me as you first judged, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. You strive for what is next to nothing. You experience next to nothing. Rather than courage, learning, knowledge, you’ve chosen yet another hunt, desperately seeking, hoping for a lion, but finding only yet another puppy, a puppy with a thorn in it’s paw, yet another puppy. There are questions you see and don’t ask yourself.
   But the Bobnigy #5, at 5:54 every morning rumbling neath your floor, that last morning when we laid silently, your tears wetting the pillows, and watched the sun come up painting the street and the buildings with gray-blue light, gun metal blue, and the apartment across the street, where the TV was never, never turned off, and always seemed to be tuned to Télématin, even at night, the time known because of when the 5 starts running and knowing it was that train would much later take me to the station, where we sat alone together, silent, but the last train went at twenty-three thirty, then they closed the station for the night. What thronging memories, I’ve said it a million times. Near where the last train leaves at twelve seventeen, I kept, until just now, yes, I think just now, most likely, waiting for you to come down and speak to me, but all I heard was rage, slurred profanities, and insults. Yes, by all means, time to throw open the doors, sitting in here, silent, by myself solves nothing, at worst a distraction, how many weeks now, how many days has it been, since it coasted to a stop there at the door and I refused to let you off the plane. But I have no more pictures for the moment, save for one, only one this time, because I don’t have anymore, here, yet. And that one I’ll keep to myself, for now, leave it undiscovered, is that enough, yes, control my impulses, even if it’s wildly unlikely to be seen, it would be justified, the retribution, but I have no stomach for such gratuitous harm, and it would be harmful, that I remember, but then what would that make me, I was wandering, my mind was wandering, and I thought of one who would pull the wings off butterflies, just for the pleasure in their pain, like a sick-minded child, gratuitous, thoughtless pain, everything improves each passing moment, until these moments when it’s so laughable, and this too shall quickly pass, a distraction, perhaps, no, a shift of substance and meaning, and words have been my only true loves, with each new desperate act, the smaller she grows, in my eyes and especially in my once broken brain, ah, yes, to let, finally, go of something that never has and never was, given a chance. Come to think of it, I think I will share it, made right there, could've been four hundred years ago, that's when, well, roughly when they started to work on it, and the picture made right there, next to the still, cool, oily-dark water.
   Kindness, logic, reason, intelligence, for the better beauty of the world. That night, that song the Turk played, there in the basement of that building so many hundreds of years old, the building, I mean, until it was time for you to go, remember, I think I remember, and if I never in my life see you again, I never dreamed, imagine my surprise. I’d long ago stopped even speaking of you or telling the story, both in miles as well as time, I’d begun to doubt you’d even existed, to give existence yet another challenge, such was the sadness left there on that bench in Gare de Lyon, I’d stopped even speaking your name. And then a piercing arrow out of the drunken night sky to release me from my bonds. Every situation different, and empty grows every bed. The whole thing has come to bore me, in it’s comic vulgarity, the sturm and drang, the blue melancholy and wasted energy, squandered on the most petty jealousies, anger, and desperation. Time to throw open the doors so the sun might shine, parting the dark clouds, maybe, yes, I’m certain, it’s time to shift focus, reorient, as it were, as it was, enough, I think it’s finally enough, no conscience, no capacity for guilt or shame, no sense of what is entirely inappropriate, unless identifying it in someone else, an act reeking with the stench of desperation, the voice getting fainter all the time, each hour of each day, then the clouds surprisingly parted, the sun broke through and right out of the sky came an unexpected, no, that isn’t nearly strong enough, what now, be simple, like Hemingway, pick the verys, welcome, yes, that will do nicely, welcome respite.
   But one should always, and I’m being thoughtful and kind here, proceed intelligently, engage an enemy with caution and prudence, growing indifference, yes, and what’s that other word, yes, and kindness, a growing kindness, like smoldering embers in a dry forest, could roar up with staggering fury, violent and destructive as like nothing you’ve yet seen, as though it were the very fury of the champion of the world, best to stay out of sight, away from the teeming city streets, otherwise watch, like old Taswell, as the night sky fills with the red, blue, and yellow flames of underestimation, I would light fire to the world, best not to give reason, best to put away childish things, or watch it all burn, leaving only ashes and ruins, ash and ruin, yes, I think this may be the final installment, that may be it, we’ll have to wait and see, for now, I have other, more important things to see to, but now, as they say in boxing, the gloves are off, bonefisted, I walk toward you, I march toward you, unconcerned, oh yes, it seems clear now, you are gone, in more ways than one, the window, with the midnight scent of lazy Jasmine and a song that rings like morning on the ear. Your grey-eyed daughter drinking the honey-hearted wine admiring the well-watered meads along the shore, I should have rest from outrage, and hell’s own crashing rose, these autumn nights are long, ample for story-telling and for sleep, pale forever, think how the daughter of Pandareos, the young one, sings as the nightingale in the new leaves through those long quiet hours of night, your heart is hard as flint and never changes, sending all to where the Dead inhabit wastes of asphodel at the world’s end.


                 San Francisco, November 9, 5:26 a.m.