Litany

1 August 2010

O well-wishers of the underground, defriend me.

I played with the singularity of time, hounded by the noises my mother made in my ear when I was an infant, pressed close to death.

Once upon a time a child caressed by many like a fiddle grew up into a sullen behemoth.

It’s easy to insert my hand right through the maws of the classic.

There, in that ninth dimension, stand the puttering ghosts, about to break up into ash at the minutest detonation of anger.

Even Picasso had his mystery.

We know these cars, blinded by their speed pattern, have their noses turned inward.

What is that sound of thunder?

I imagine Oxford, Mississippi in the Faulkner days, under a green shadow of not-knowingness so deep even the insects had to advance cautiously.

The moon is heating up.

O my brothers and sisters who believe in the myth of Woodstock, why won’t you let us hear if you have a singing voice?

The news, when it fits the gospels, I trust.

Where do we go after we have paid the toll?

I am passionate about the size and height of my desk, but not so much the coloring. I become blind between ten and two every day.

The cats have their conference, and it is a most pleasant barter.

The child who saw me with one eye, she is named after her father’s dead father.

Windows are conspiring in the assassination, so are the doors, the garbage chutes, the laundry room’s drainage pipes, all the oak pollen falling like a nuisance rain.

Come, let us smuggle eros past grandfatherly canons.

Maybe it was a mistake to be born. Maybe I am the reincarnation of Jesus—or Napoleon. Maybe I was the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. I can taste the blood still.

My father sacrificed me when I was still swaddled, wanting no piece of me, if I wouldn’t have the fortitude of Isaac.

So we hid in the Amazon. Inside the rain bubble you feel no rain. The earth is smoking its way to a new equilibrium. The fish are fried, and the corn tastes of powder. The Mayans feel vanquished.

Cricket is a slow game. So slow you have time to become self-conscious on the field.

I call myself a novelist. I have punctured many a character’s fatuous ego.

The keys to your house tinkle generously in my pocket, but I cannot make up my mind to exit the endless corridor, where I meet up with Cocteau’s demon lovers and greet them from the twenty-first century, a period that in their worst dreams they knew was bound to come one day. It’s just that once it happens no one knows how to phrase it to preserve their innocence.

You, who call yourself savvy, defriend me. I can’t penetrate the cats’ in-joke.

 


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