Wednesday, February 21, 1996

February 21

The orthodox, always shovelling an enormous pile of human bones back into the grave, glancing at the frightful sight of the dead in order to develop habits compatible with the study of the human body. Are able to make use of ruins in a wasteland, observations from the antique names on boxes, corpses in a special room, for no other reason than this filthy anatomy, the time-consuming routine with a wide, comprehensive gesture and rather ambiguous substance. Introspection necessitates pauses as a characteristic trait. These long and often dreary reports of no strategic importance. Radios roaring in the dry climate, repeating the relevant passages so as to enhance the expression of uniformity, as with the community within the rushing train on the edge of the final statement. Suspense and distress from the ruins of an old house. Liberty, in the end, unable and at variance with a disinterested poverty, an uncertain future, scarcely broken into day.

Brush off these vapours. Solitude, wide-eyed, gently ascending the scaffold in a cloud of flies. So to the roots of toes and fingers, anything outward, visible, tangible, a lifetime surreptitiously burning pleasure from eternity. Tiptoe on the verge of fire like birds’ wings folded. Bent down with such inordinate loads, such love painfully acquired.

Remote provinces fetched up out of darkness, pale, half-dead in the smoky and intermittent light of torches as the chanting dies away to the point of silence, to the point of childishness, to the point of shame, our places in such an ossuary. That great silence enough to burn any blankness or continuity or wall and turn women and their brooms into flaking plaster on the eyelids of a small girl carried off by the great plague in every individual heart. The insoluble problem of the solitary long accustomed to playing the role, unconsolidated, incapable. World still proof against groundless faith in the light flickering as we sit pen to paper without attempting. Imagine turning over a few inches. Towards the door in a silence possessed, possessed. Earth sky as one. Toil, flesh, the infinitesimal shudder, away from the flowers, infected by their grief. On earth a winter. Earth sky body ruins.

Decay, the shadow, slants down a steep place a little breathless from wheels, bells, the cries of drunkards, violent language that is natural, engaged, something irrevocable. It is the entire congregation scattered, descended, gone back in without hesitation, the hall gaping into more rooms, more different rooms, all these different lights. Lustrous, their eyes burn with white bones and crosses as on earth attached only to the cinders and refuse of something once splendid, anything but again beautiful. Nothing to sweep away. Rain, engraving too much silence where the steep-back hills come down from one language to another, wrapped in a shroud of cloud and a waning moon cracked with the cold.

Violent patches spaced by blank voids. No more raving, no more lightning. Quiet gravity controls something left out from fear. Sunrise the purification of the land from settlement to settlement. Find it in the smallest trace of things foreseen. Yet the apparition that appears lacks bodily grace. Women shuffle to shopping. Weak limbs demanding knowledge, anguish and ambition. Instead of legs and arms. The dead uncertain in dying.

Squatting or recumbent in the middle of the night.

The ransacked world, burnished by innumerable wheels.

Stretch and touch something hard, the distance between the sequence of things, loneliness and silence, men in helmets seeing life through hollow eyes. My world, what death has done.

All those years and now the fullness that would pass for despair born from the feeling, intermittent and muffled, destroying everything, leaving ambiguous motives and ambivalent effects, the continuous labours and worries under the pretence of living like philosophers.

Every conceivable kind of observation would be the same as wanting water. Swollen, but contained. Laced together in isolation, punctually into trams, upon squares, in busses. Lay to rest the incessant newspaper in a glass shelter. A vast inheritance of experience burning up an ocean of petroleum. Ships to the sun fall like snow and are wasted. Into the heterogenous crowd only by blood.

Europe, an autopsy. It begins with machines and the advent of chemical analysis signifying the resurrection of the dead in a world of imaginary terrors. The wilder, darker violence of a century’s accumulation of wealth, enemy to human intercourse, slavery in its most brutal form. Houses guilty with light. Vice allied with a capricious virility humiliates the old compunctions and compassions. Erosion, everywhere. Back to hunger again in an old civilization with a notebook. Its stupid voice in your empty room. Isolation never deceived. The memory dwindling like burnt paper, mediocre but inordinately ambitious. Having been emptied, abandoned in the vicinity. Nothing but smoke, ashes, deceit and shame. All the modern conveniences. Metallurgy and fallacious melancholy become fashionable, staining the page with a coat of imperial paint. Clouds pass over, not involved with this pageantry. The one story to which all these phrases refer. A cart that rattles over cobblestones.