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Little Did I Know





   Suddenly, no, at last, I couldn’t any more, I couldn’t go on. Someone said, You can’t stay here. I couldn’t stay there and I couldn’t go on. I’ll describe the place, no, that’s unimportant. But the water in hammered lead, and the top, very dry, of a mountain, but not like lead, like blue fire, enough.
   I heard tell, I must have heard tell of the view, the distant sea in hammered lead, the city in its haze, it was all on every tongue. I am down in the hole the centuries have dug, centuries of filthy weather, flat on my face on the dark earth sodden with the creeping saffron water it slowly drinks.
   We’re fond of one another, we’re sorry for one another, but there it is, there’s nothing we can do for one another. The best we can hope for is that your alienation will come to know my alienation. But we walked together, hand in hand, silent, sunk in our worlds, each in our worlds, the hands forgotten in each other.
   There has to be a man, or a woman, feel between your legs, no need of beauty, nor of vigour, a week’s a short stretch, no one’s going to love you, don’t be alarmed. No, not like that, too sudden, I gave myself a start. And to start with, stop palpitating, no one’s going to kill you, no one’s going to love you and no one’s going to kill you, perhaps you’ll emerge to find it’s all a circle.
   It’s to such details the liar pins her hopes. And time devours on, but not me, there we have it, that’s why it’s always evening, to let me have the best to look forward to, the long black night to sleep in, there, I’ve answered, I’ve answered something.
   No. If so the pauses would be longer, between the words, the sentences, the syllables, the tears, I confuse them, words and tears, my words are my tears, my eye my mouth.
   Where am I, to mention only space, and in what semblance, and since when, to mention also time, and till when, in and out of this murmur of memory and dream, having to say, fainter than the faintest murmur, so many lies, so many times the same lie lyingly denied, the screaming silence of no’s knife in yes’s wound, it wonders. Till the echoes die away.
   But, yes, Moonstone. I'll describe the place, yes, that's important. The water, the last of it, what a scene it was. The scene of the crime, as it were, and there was a crime, but who to charge for the offense. Yes, accountability, only one suspect, but, unless I’m mistaken, never, at Moonstone again, that place.
   It must have been on the balcony, to again mention the distant sea, someone must have told me, yes, I’m sure I remember, but I speak only for myself, only for myself wondering if it all might not now be different for all of us, but association of place, memory, such a robbing insidious thing, takes from us so many otherwise daily opportunities, like icons left to torture, but then you’re left, well, I’m left with only the time that follows to look forward to, and I have no idea when it will follow, to mention only time.
   I nightly dreamed of time maybe, a time it was, so, until then what, but that beach, you know, the way certain things become icons of that other life, the brain, that sadistic, unreliable organ, that tyrant, that charlatan, flashing that image, over and over, in my head, and then, the moment outside, after the hammered lead, that predictable absurd gaze at the mountain. Yes, I remember the mountain, and the thought that, were that mountain not there, I’d be easily able to see that far, forty miles to the horizon, and it’s only, how many was it, but less than forty, that I remember too. So, were that mountain not there, I’m sure some landmark would orient me, but now, because the mountain is there, all I can do is estimate, especially out there near the water behind that statue, on the blue-green grass, which is also a kind of Moonstone, but one I pass frequently each week, a week’s short stretch, which isn’t much of a stretch.
   And always the look toward the mountain trying to estimate where, were the crow flying, that destination in mind, what exactly would be the proper course, but never knowing for sure, and Christ, isn't that the perfect metaphor, that, but mostly my sick brain trying to imagine what, exactly, is going on, because, if not for that mountain, how hard would it be to get some sense of what’s going on, to see, with both eyes, but there, I forgot again, that spot only thirty miles from here, there, I remembered, but even that isn’t accurate, because thirty is a drive, but flying, say on the back of some huge, sick monster-bird my sadistic brain keeps creating, if I were flying, it would only be, maybe, eighteen or twenty, or even, maybe, less, miles.
   What I might see, suffer, and learn, perfectly illustrates, to go far back and find the beginning of the metaphor that was just starting with the other that, like some children’s story, the way my brain is, or has, at least for now, been forced to be, because, just yesterday B said the same thing, as for years now, given the majesty of suffering, mine anyway, but those Russian composers, they wrote only in that minor key all those dirges and largos and requiems, and how much more sickly suffering it seems they must’ve been feeling when they wrote all that music. And then, given my choice of vocation, one of them anyway, he suggests, but that isn’t exactly what goes on in there every morning, I should put all that proxy vicarious suffering blood to work on something. What the hell, suddenly, no, at last, it’s worth a try, even though worse as they surely could get.
   But I was talking about my metaphorical mountain, it keeps me from knowing for sure exactly how to orient, so to my imagination, and the things my imagination comes up with are probably so wildly off course that it sends me back to that sadistic feeling about the brain, mine anyway, and that at least, at last, I know how sick it is, so I can always tell myself the thoughts are, most likely, not properly oriented, but, should that mountain be taken away, are things, necessarily, that bad, I’m sure they don’t have to be, but that’s where we are, fond of one another, sorry for one another, but nothing we can do for one another.
   And I don’t know how to get out of the maze and avoid all the demons lurking round each turn wrongly taken, and if it turned out I could see those otherwise obscured miles, in all likelihood, what I’d see would be crushing, no way to tell myself that I hadn’t seen what I saw, especially those things in the sky, up there in the stars, somewhere off the shoulder of Orion, especially up there at night, on the roof, all that would be left is that Largo from that guy, yet another one, from that Eastern world part of the world, even if he isn’t exactly Russian, but then neither am I, and I’m confident they’d let me in their club, how could they refuse, so I keep looking, and especially now that only one of them works, with mine eyes I do not, because they in thee a thousand errors note, with mine eyes, there, I forgot again, so somehow each glance seems important and valuable now, and I keep wasting them looking at that mountain, wondering, wishing, whispering to myself, fortunately erased by the wind, yes, the noise, all those, so important, things that were never revealed, that I don’t believe I ever have, nor is it likely I ever, mountain or not, will, I don’t see the trust, hands forgotten in each other, even the possibility of it, racing over the summit to meet me, so that it becomes, each year, less likely that it ever, that I ever, will, hidden for all time, because she never asked, never sought, never heard, what would finally be revealed, like all the passwords ever thought of, used, stolen, or deciphered, which wouldn’t it have been grand, and weren’t you and I just waiting for just such a thing, hands forgotten in each other, but the gate, like us at Tannhauser Gate, was just not open to me, I mean, to the point of being slammed into or even on my head, so that it felt as though I’d been hit by a train, and left, virtually, alone, flat on my face on the dark earth sodden with the creeping saffron water it slowly drinks.
   We’re fond of one another, sorry for one another, but there’s nothing we can do for one another. We walked together, hand in hand, silent, sunk in our worlds, each in our worlds, the hands forgotten in each other, which speaks to fault, but not mine, even though, ultimately, I’m the only one at fault, for Moonstone and everything that lead up to and followed that infinitesimally short moment in the ultimate history of the planet, meaning that mountain, but I just can’t help wishing I could see through the damn thing, but I’m left here with my fury and my cat-mouthed terror, left in this tiny room, my den, I’ll describe it, no, I can’t. It’s simple, I can do nothing any more, that’s what you think. I say to the body, Up with you now, and I can feel it struggling, like an old hack foundered in the street, struggling on alone, stay quiet, it stops breathing, then pants on worse than ever, but now I’ve forgotten where I was.
   Remember that wall in Chinatown with WHY, because this time I made damn sure it would stick and all of them would feel their fury whenever they might try to look through that mountain, from the other side, just like me, metaphorically, and not just her, that’s how I made certain it’ll be all of them, all on every tongue.
   But what was it, 29 miles I was told, someone must have told me, maybe on the beach, or sitting next to the river, but just as long as things stay on their side of the mountain, especially after the eons it took to build it, and that beach, because I really do not want that view of things. This time it’s going to stick, even though every day I wish it wouldn’t, or didn’t have to, but I’ll stay over here, everything else should stay over there, and each night that I’ve let slip quietly into early morning I’ll think of that Moonstone, that wedding, you at Moonstone, and a fat ridiculous boy. What counts is to be in the world, the posture, even the place, is immaterial, so long as one is on earth.
   But I also remember those things, unnecessary as they were, cruel as they might have been, that caused me to be so Russian this time, and I’m sure the last time, because the street lights keep changing colors as though they have some sort of deep meaning, but Moonstone, there were a few, but too few, moments that were unlike any others, but where now on the other side of that big pile of dirt and rocks, and surely you can see, you can feel, how terribly all of it plays those terrible, sick, dreaming games, but then maybe no, maybe I’m wrong, but I made certain this time, and a fine mess it was, something to be wildly unproud of standing on the roof straining the eye, stories I can nearly, but not quite, guarantee are being shared round the fire, all on every tongue, with wine flowing, drink wine, it's what remains of the harvest of youth, the season of roses and wine and drunken friends, be happy for a moment, that moment is your life.
   Your life, which makes me happy to know that I’m bringing so much joy to so many, because, in spite of what may be said or thought, with mine eyes I do not, and a thousand noted errors in thee, but we never got that far, see what I mean, even though I tried and tried, and I don’t want the other side of that mountain to be painful for any of them. But that’s the opposite of what you get if you naively set down on that spot, regardless of the view, be it hammered lead or a blue-green lawn view, seen to on Tuesdays, or a mountain seen to nearly everyday, but then I’m really talking about me and to me.
   No one feels anything, asks anything, seeks anything, says anything, hears anything, there is only silence. It’s not true, yes, it’s true and it’s not true, there is silence and there is not silence, there is no one and there is someone, nothing prevents anything. And were the voice to cease quite at last, the old ceasing voice, it would not be true, as it is not true that it speaks, it can’t speak, it can’t cease. And were there one day to be here, where there are no days, which is no place, a gleam of light, still all would be silent and empty and dark, as now, as soon now, when all will be ended, all said, it says, it murmurs.

                 Meyers Flat, 30 October