I hate linking. I feel especially profane linking this, which should be, properly, stumbled on. Blog links are often ignored or clicked through in frenzy, opened in the nth tab. It’s like tossing a note into a gasoline-slimed river and expecting someone else to fish it out and read it.
My head feels scrambled. I am in a frenzy or I have worked myself up into one. I can never tell.
But it was good to fill the screen with that poetry for a while.
[They’re sitting there. We’ve read some Mansfield–all of us–Bliss, The Garden Party, Something Childish But Very Natural. I’m listening to their conversation. I have been for days now. The one with the beard is in love with the other one. He is the giggling geek who can’t see that they wouldn’t be any good together. Not even a little bit.]
O, it’s nice the place my folks have up North. You get a body of water in front of you, and you just kind of–you get that body of water in front of you… You’re relaxing at the cottage.
You like that?
Yes–I like having bodies in front of me. Of water…
[I am just going through the day’s events. I am parsing others’s conversations. I am not writing. I am picking the thin bones of bodies that don’t belong to me. There is nothing here that belongs to me. My teeth clack against a dusty white finger, like keys against a typewriter. In the air are clouds of chalk.
What page was that couple on?]
We stood there naked at the party and they didn’t want to talk to us. They weren’t welcome to. But we were naked and different and you could tell we had an aura, like a rare bird of prey that, if approached, might turn on you at any moment.
We wanted to seem dangerous like that.
They went through the rooms arguing. One room after another room, each room was exhausted, in disarray from their frantic stomping down of carpets, banging into tables, kicking up of rugs, tossing of pens and open leaves of paper into the air, hardly waiting for the leaves to flutter their way down to the floor before moving to another room.
Defenses were made, and counter-defenses. The servants understood that a war was going on, one equal to or surpassing the war that was even then unfolding in their country, as armoured companies positioned themselves near the country’s border, and troops arranged themselves strategically in the jungle.
A red scarf coiled boldly on a woman’s neck. Dresses trailed behind legs like sea kelp. Every now and then one of the gentlemen thrust an ivory cane at a portrait, perhaps, or a candle, and smashed the glass pane of one, or knocked the other down from its ledge. The servants, in their thick shoes, rushed in from their purchases and scooped up the burning wicks, the shards of glass, like sparrows darting from the bushes.
There was no end to the rooms. Or, rather, one couldn’t say whether those arguing would ever come to the end of them, because just as a room was made presentable again it was broken into, fiercely, by the combatants. In this way the occupants of the mansion passed their time before the tanks came down from the border and rockets crossed the air in front and behind them, detonating themselves in the field.
At Balfour’s (Moving Sale) I saw the girl from Canzine who brought Blueprint to trade, smiling and trembling. In Balfour’s we both started at each other: she started and I started in response. Then we stalked each other among the bookshelves–more startling, I figured out who she was–growing our acquaintence into a smiling, not a startling one. And then she left.
Coming back triumphant from a quick and steep hill-climb I haven’t done in days on my bicycle I am panting and I tell Keith about the girl and ask him if he remembered her, since he was the only one there the first time. I told him only that I startled her in Balfour’s. He remembered her, but in his memory the event was cemented by her going to speak to some other guy moments afterwards: so her reflexive trembl’g was undermin’d or falsified or shown in a broader context, or something.
Making papaya slush Lisa asks me if I saw anyone today, I said “Yes, kind of,” and she asked “Who?” and I told her she didn’t know who, that I’d tell her later. Lori is lying on the bed Mojito-exhausted and looking meringue-tinged like a golden flapper, and Keith is sitting near me on the couch reading. The windows are open and in the breeze curtains flow like the first scene in the movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby, when Nick goes to meet Daisy and Miss Baker in East Egg.
Sitting on the ledge over the sunk floor in our second kitchen I go to Lisa out of (I think) filial responsibility and tell her about the encounter that I was too shy to shout out from the living room. Though there are people over I feel intimate and casual. Lisa thinks the papaya smells like vomit, and I don’t think so and eat some.
I got eaten by a bear. But it spit me out again sizzling in gastric juices. A wildman came and cut me out. Now I’m being chewed on by carpenter ants. They are everywhere, reproducing exponentially, squeezing themselves like pus out of the wood. Laying in bed tonight I hear the whole apartment unravelling. Ants are crawling all over me. They’re in my teeth, clinging pinchingly to my leg hairs, plucking at sensitive nerve ends as they scamper across my bare skin.
It sounded like someone was coming up the back stairs. I opened the door with caution.
Raccoons are at the bottom of everything. I chased it away in my boxers.
All three of you almost died tonight. Maybe you should drive home through the ditches. There’s almost no traffic there.
So many close calls today. Two, so far, and everything comes in threes. The three acts of a play, for example.
In the final movements, something disastrous.