Tuesday, January 30, 1996

January 30

A certain apathy in which any work is done, if human at all. All these serious games of the corpse, of thread and rope, from head to heart, however frightening. One might then speculate some sort of ritual division, to make a complete escape, to tear something magnificent, something sublime away from the surface, some sort of romantic inexperience, as if there were no more lies to tell. Absorption, evacuation and a restoration of normal functioning. Playing the piano and singing. To savour a yearning for melancholy on the surface of resignation and drift. To grope after a certain distraction, this exaggerated virtue, this tedious happiness. Swollen as a blacksmith’s bellows. A compulsion to blacken reams of paper. A clever, serious game of privileged idleness, of transitory and ineffectual affection, descended, come loose and floating. An arc of fire around the eddying crowd, hesitant, monotonous under the beech trees. To the shade like swimmers. Pale flowers in the evening.

The fallen world is immaterial, every barbed-wire fence a representation obtained through sight or hearing. Separate pieces incarnate in the daily presence forming the structure of the imaginary ultimate regions. Heavy boots and winter air. An undeniably accurate abstraction armed only to banish differentiation in the vulgar tongue of the inhuman, the mocking laughter and the insulting pity meeting together in the same connection, in the rigid language-shells. Vague, confusing, scientific conclusions and the serious trouble and killing. Destruction gradually extended to everything, land, wind, water, metal, every kind of refuse resulting in the large machine, the hidden organization risen to an excess that would reign in all hearts. The wanton espousal of its images or its dangers pressed against the wall, unfit for an instant’s grace. Dismal, the houses look dismal, dusted over with all occasions for further order, a precondition for those who live by rules. The voice of praise goes right on with its work, penetrates everything and nothing, makes their weapons freeze solid. Horrified spectators dealt with and punished, very carefully, no understanding of what is happening. The challenge now to stand on the street as a layer of organization, to mix human and official relations, barely-maintained scenes to soften them for almost anything to happen. A sweeping gesture directed alternately against heaven and earth. Continually to prevent unpleasant occurrences for a moment in silence, before they can hear.

Sections for use, sections for ornament, see how they disappear, actually prowling the streets, their raging frenzy, their look of the menagerie. The sight of bright clothing is tirelessly repeated. Toys, coachmen, a nurse, draperies, wallpaper, medicine bottles, the very flesh puts on a new uniform, poor fellow, hour by hour, on and on, with such rapt attention. All nonsense, sheer deception. Questions and answers taken in by the speeches of lawyers, neutralizations formed, frenzied and ranting, analogous to simultaneous competition and complicity, united to create diverse forms ignorant of the first principles. As always happens when people get settled within the limits of this relationship. A lance of old, to gleam again. A blanket but no pillow. To finish the tea and lay down. The next morning to reappear like the foolish virgin (such a small one) as a mere congelation worn away in the process, equal to zero. Morning simply familiar, hopeless, not even the whole wheel by any strange act of force having delivered them, ie. “In the heavens would be an end . . . .” Trembling hands having dropped the candle, etc.

No shortage of hazardous labour, in the snow.

One night, our last luck. Sucking survival like a sugar cube.

Like a piece of candy after surgery.

as beautiful as a statue in his gleaming boots and black uniform

when the mind leaves the body. my place to someone else, reeling.

locomotives on roofs. after cutting me open.

after cutting me open

and that all colours are abominable after purification, and that prayer laid down in tribute its blood and gold tolerant of men who enjoy an intimacy free of guilt because they multiply and confirm the parody, are abominations. The same unwavering precision (more than compliance) the guiding force of the weak, more obvious justification difficult to answer free of sentimentality or self-indulgence. The happiness of leave-taking, of self-denial in spite of all justive and thankfulness. Heads bowed down, slavish, ridden up to the whorehouse on a dark horse, down one of those hard-packed dirt roads out behind the brick kilns and the empty lots and the foul sky and to the involutions of the dance. From one and almost to the other, a little-troubled-looking and maybe already aware. At the other end of the dance floor because of the heat and the crowd.

The rusted iron door and a cloud of ash. The wide sky and the river flowing along blindly, dancing with everyone else, astonished at the size of the surprise. Rum and scorched rags stripped of every cent and trinket (scrape some lively numbers on that violin). Scrape some fat from those brick bones. Cut the buttocks off and lock the morgue. Stumble into eternity upon their first arrival, extolling charity and belittling faith. The former plaster and draughtiness of uncertain authorship from internal evidence real yet indescribable. Thunderous noises on all sides, successive crossings, with a glance. A certain percentage praying aloud to have a dry rag and touch the electric breath. Movement, even thoughts, will separate us from the rest, a little more or a little less chaos and plenty of the ambiguity in which no thirst is suffered. As to the treasures of ships, of pirates, of idolaters. Of rivers, of wild beasts and of men.

Beyond the sundial a fig tree and beyond the fig tree a fountain. From place to place on the faith and surface of a dream, making promises into prophesies, promising nothing. Nothing, like everything, is nothing down here.

The way back takes our breath away.