excerpt, work in progress
The world is everything, what’s the saying, damnit it’ll come to me, on a surface, flat, tessellated, someone striding purposefully under the glare of bitter lights. Down there, now up here. Someone, something, something is happening. A death in fire of some unthinking radiant mass, vomiting in its death throes, A B C D E Eff Gee, it’ll come to me, the world is everything that is the case, it’ll come to me. ABC’s all lined up neatly in a row or rows as the case may be. Dick and Jane and Spot. See Dick run. I got this. See Jane and Spot. Wait, wait, I got this. Hydrogen. Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, she repeated obediently. Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Flourine. Pretty maids all in a row. She names the names as she walks, eyes seeing but not seeing, empty handed. On beyond Zebra, hahaha, oh really? All of them? Including all known lanthanides and actinides? Goose, silly goose, more than enough to work with. Clever little carbon rings, come one come all, all shapes and sizes. Fuel for the fire, for the next fire, for fire, fire follows on fire. Remember hearing that somewhere, read it in a book of some sort I daresay. Might be gone itself, truth to tell, consigned itself to flames, pages eaten one by one to ash. Eager fire. Build it up just to tear it down again, you might ask what’s the point if there was anyone to ask. To whom ought one to pose the question, all my children, little ones burning bright, then guttering, mixed and stirred the ashes flare again, star light, star bright. Here in any case, dragged up from the stink, here, in my father’s house there are many mansions, bigger on the inside than the outside, hahaha, never gets old. From one surface something rises, orthogonal, good and upright, well, upright eventually and as far as good goes, let’s not get carried away. His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand shall be against him. Off to a roaring good start. I suppose you have to be happy with what you have, as happy as possible or maybe less unhappy, frankly most days to be completely honest I’m hard pressed to tell the difference, in any case, in this case, in this particular case, rising at every dawn, first to burble inchoate in the clay and then to scrabble blind in the muck and then to drift, drift in blind, sucking rapaciousness, knowing nothing but hunger. First thought, best though. Hunger. All that is not myself, must become myself. Only thought, bell and tentacles, I and all my kin, all we know, that which is not must become that which is. Then eyes, to see is to summon light, light and darkness both, this I’ll tell you brother, you can’t have one without the other. Rising at dawn to pierce the sky and find another, just when you thought you were getting somewhere, might as well have a look around now that we’re here I suppose. Nothing better to do. Actually nothing better to do. May as well see what’s cooking. Nothing finer than a May morning, assuming it was May, days past beyond reckoning. Can’t count without fingers, haha, all in good time my dear. You shall see, all in good time, for this you were made, to see why you were made. Why ask why, let’s stay dry or at least make ourselves at home, let’s lift our heads, let’s look around, let’s stand our ground, let’s grow fine and strong of limb and keen of mind. Takes a while mind you. Rome wasn’t built in a day. In the end of course it hardly matters, the structure once built is a consequence of nothing but itself. Look back. Look what you did. Look what you made me do. Look what you are going to make me do. All as if written down before the fact. Can’t fight City Hall. No good kicking against the pricks. Sure it feels good now but wait until tomorrow. Foggy-headed you stumble forth, head full of fire and mouth full of cotton, spoiling for a fight but how did you get there, nobody to blame but yourself. Clack clack of her shoes on the linoleum. All brought forth to serve no purpose but rather to be witnessed. I see now her legs and feet moving with deliberation across the floor, striking like the gavel of a judge pronouncing sentence. To this pass have we come. She sees before her a narrow space, tightly bound, dark within and leading to a toylike brightness, uterine dream. As below, so above, she sits, not waiting, listening as it were to the sound of patient wind gusting somewhere far beyond, her window clouded as if already what happens, what will happen should transpire behind a veil of maiden modesty. Look away honey. Don’t look, this part is awful. You’ll have a nightmare if you don’t, you know you will. Aloft she goes, slow the climb, the painful crawl upwards, rising at dawn to meet the day, anything could happen, plurality of possibilities, sorry to say though, singular not plural, single singing singularity, some bright spark. Big things have small beginnings, sir. Such a little thing. She sits in silence, air rushing. Thinning. Fingers to the pane, she feels the cold. Should have known, someone should have known. Rime of ice upon the pane as if she sat not where she sat but in the window of some distant house in northern climes immured, unending winter, tracing frost below her fingers. This is hardly a time for humor, sir. Once upon a time there was a princess who lived upon a mountain made of glass. Something flickers like a single candle being kindled in the haunted darkness of some vast unlit cathedral. And then ooohhh, they cry, and oooohhh, they say, as each and every overhead bursts bright and burning, clothes burned away, naked to the nerve cells. Well, told you not to look. Sound like a thousand swords shattering all at once against the maces of an infernal host. It’s no good crying now, I told you not to look, there it is, scorched, mouth open, tongue burnt away, in any case no air up there to breathe. Of course it’s horrible. Burning, burning, full fiery she falls, eyeballs scorched in their sockets, set afire like coals, of course the mercy of the whole thing is that once the nerve fibers are burnt away you don’t really feel anything. So they say. Now they rocket upwards still, the force that once bore them ever upward in hope to the stars themselves not yet spent. Escape velocity. Almost seems too good to be true. Against all odds still within the charred vault of her skull a thread of thought persists, abstract, painless, rising upward, summe, summe, the limit no more than what must be. But Herr Liebniz, she murmurs, his pretty handmaiden, his soft banker’s lips curled salaciously as he rapturously regards her heaving embonpoint, not now, Herr Liebniz, ze coffee will get cold, Herr Liebniz. Take your hand away at once, you naughty, naughty boy. Warmly he caresses her. May as well give the wench a tumble. Oh, she cries, I simply can’t resist you Herr Liebniz, yes, yes, now and forever yes and then they crest together and she feels within the charred cerements of her skull a moment, weightless, suspended between earth and sky. From when she once with girlish glee walked across the beach, tiny footprints filling with seawater, then long of leg and bright of eye, the hand that brightened eye and lengthened limb, apt as well to burn and draw her earthward. Down we go and down we go and down and down we go, down to darkness. Down and down we go.