Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Cannot Be Devoid Of Landscape

One would rather scrub potatoes, lay them on the counter like stones culled from the cemetery, then argue about money. The chipmunk studied me from a nook in the stone wall, his tail curled like a question mark over rain-soaked leaves. The world is useful only to the extent that we can use it to undo our belief in it. Properly understood, the body is only a communication device, no different than a radio, or a program designed to forward email. You cannot build your home on a bridge. Yet kites and seagulls and the memory of a certain dog falling do little to calm the mind intent on obscuring itself. As if bells rang, and having rung, can never cease their echoes. One defines "half tones" in a Protestant light, on a belly full of cheap pretzels and tap water. In a corner, you don't learn who you are, you learn about the limits of geometry. I am saying we are projecting and playing a game that we have always played to our detriment. When I talk this way to you, I sense a wide marsh in the distance, and a single duck rising from its Southernmost edge into a bevy of fast-moving nimbus clouds, and someone - not us - waiting for a gunshot. The longer sentences leave the one who is prone to judgment satisfied. Your gift for silence at last unwrapped. In shadows - and rain sounds - we moved down the trail, taking note of the ferns which seemed to glow, as if anticipating a later moon. The sea is a comfort and mountains a challenge, signifying yet again that one cannot be devoid of landscape. He pulled over somewhere in Utah, pointed to a billboard that looked to be at least twenty years old and said, "now there's a map that leads away from the soul." What then are hand-crafted tea mugs? We crossed burning fields with a sense of urgency that had attended us long before the lick of flames did. It had to do with letters, didn't it? You resurrect before my eyes and I look away and that is why waiting is the story I always want to tell.

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