Monday, February 26, 1996

February 26

Lost by all accounts in a scattered dream of the absolute in motion. Poised obliquely, ready for flight, perservering in weightlessness, meaning to continue towards a barely-perceptible stress on the last word. Justice, justice, justice, the thinnest of smiles. To murmur, just before she sank, in league with the floor, striving to expunge what was left, like a garden after a storm.

Begin with the basic positions: meager, without a legal inheritance, something ethereal scattered into alleys between old apartment buildings, the dry remnants of belated profits from war supplies. These worthless objects might find favor in homage to their distinctive language that grew less and less ornate, colors without method in rich houses without tradition. No music necessary in streets bounded by lines of light. Then the spectre of blindness and perhaps the inscrutable taste of guilt.

All this is going on in the open plain between here today and gone tomorrow.

On earth there is winter. Darkness falling on the worn network, the shapes and massive forms of a world, a huge abandoned workshop, any site abandoned, dwindled to leftovers. The shipyard and the railroad-car factory where cattle-dealers and wine-merchants take their meals. These most ambiguous of countries, all torn to bits, nothing but trenches, all the scarecrows dispersing to the vicinity of the hastily-abandoned, and come to nothing, and returned without a word to their daily chores, the thud of falling bodies, cries of fright that have turned to stone and plunged downward, witness to an underground source. Vision, looming earthward, obviously dead. Mathematics going into business with an oak coffin as a guide to statesmanship. Necessary to make one’s way everyday through the array of blind-eyed hovels, clamouring like dead men in the hands of Pharaoh. There is no sound in words buried with full honors. All the world a brothel, corrosive, narcotic and septic, each different variety of paralysis and ulcer penetratingly and inescapably weapons speaking for us all, some propitiation for all these vices and all this life.

Time, enormous, alone, no protection against it. The gravediggers raise their spades and, turning, soldier-fashion, march off to beat against the closed cemetery gates. The relatives of the dead, pushing their little carts down a cheerless, stony highway to register for such work as they (we) are capable of. Living with a vague hope, that we should live well in the intervals we are given, unworthy as we are of living our lives to the end.

To steer the paralytic’s belligerent carriage at random, describing circles, plunging across a ploughed field where no paths lead. A heavy, obscure grief sowed in dry ground. A pallid sun rose over a small wood fire, swept over the petrified and groaning herd. Houses torn apart by shells lay like dead horses in the unspeakably sorrowful road, where faded wreaths lay about. Liturgical texts and phenomenology have left the house of bondage and are now pining away in this desert, uniformed, beflagged, sunlit, world-shattering, still the immature children of the world’s agony, wallowing in business-like bliss, gazes fastened fanatically on some invisible, joyless rules that rule the world. When to work, when to rest, even right into their graves.

Boards for a new coffin, the ruinous and incomprehensible allegories and parables drag us sleeping through the unharvested fields. In the darkness, the orchestra plays the overture to the third act, “goodbye to us all,” without stopping for breath. The stage is far away, frozen in silence, and ineffably beautiful.