Monday, January 29, 1996

January 29

Villagers armed with terrible laws gathered around the blaze imagined in that wilderness, the translated faces turned away to take the necessary measurements with increasing conviction, that smell that clings to all catastrophes. Horror of men and fire. Grown men and the word “innocent.”

Intoxicated, the choir increases, in harmony and no longer yelling, more horrible the subject the better, can’t be heard, does not communicate, so it is full, and moral grandeur results. Elates us till we almost weep. The difference between despair and fear. And perish between. The motion of swooning birds. Splendid from a distance. No greater peril than those incautious beauties, fit to break the silence.

The dead, brief story, with living creatures coming and going, advancing from sorrow to sorrow, the usual third-class passengers on a Sunday train, the shuffling, dismal, discontinuous crowd, quivering flesh, jolting from place to place towards an end which is never in sight, more sun and insane trees. An insipid carnival, our destination after so many parched adventures, the corpse there at the gates, the end of all the streets in the world, nothing more in the world to hope for. Along with them like a shadow.

All the streets of that theoretical village of pavement, windows upon windows. The edifice, the generous proportions, the exact measure of nature’s requirements, which always founder, a fallacy which we enter into in the ebb and flow. Sculpture enters, revived and become imperious, as alabaster skulls, dense, plastic, uncommunicative, on the street with such perfect restraint. Cold grey stone as propagator of dangerous notions. Deformed, dwindling, engulfed in those dim countries where they go. Massed, sustained, instructed by anguish, the machines and earth all together, new science of degradation, mere trickery and deceit lying side by side with barbarian notions: cotton-spindles, steam-engines, coal, oil, etc, spilled out onto the wet ground surrounding an easy belief in such miracles, such preferences for disintegration, earth into alabaster cloud. That undrained dream of latitudes that struggles in the snow.

The sky, heavy, muffled, that fleshless chant. The machines and earth all together in the bluish half-light. Steeples drowned in amethyst. A kind of hesitation between stupor and frenzy. Smooth concrete, everything hostile, teeth of frost, this vapour that burns. Phantasms and points of pride, as skeletons, nothings, poverty with all the armoured silence. Bone-dry, ashamed, into the night with insults and brutality, reeking, loving your misery in spite of yourself.

The earth has been too much, stuns by degrees. As if, say, in consequence of the exhaustion of its bodily form the woman had broken all the forms of manifestation, only to disappear again immediately into the bones of the old fossils. Surrender without external sound. An old pleasure in the melody, rowed softer home with many a turn and thorn. Remembered, if outlived. Another night.