Saturday, September 27, 2008

words not intended to console the sad

When I pronounce the word Future,
____the first syllable already belongs to the past.

____from The Three Oddest Words, Wislawa Szymborska

July 14, 2008, Hollis Brown Thornton

i remind myself about snow, that i've seen it, i remind myself in the third person: he reminds himself he's seen snow. that it's real. that it makes a noise underfoot. he reminds himself of the time he saw snow underfoot, and heard it, and all the other things he remembers about snow, apart from the sound and feel of it crunching. he reminds himself about the mix of hope and despair (it felt like being told, here is a garden, take three deep breaths because the next thing you know the rocket on your back is ignited and your flying farther and farther away (from her now it everything was before now after later hope desire her home country time space all everything her also) into a darker and darker space, your little grubby face turning blue like anemones- leaving behind a streak of blue breathless desperation like the names of blue flowers) that he felt then, at that moment, and for a while afterwards; only slowly waking up from it much much later... and then, even still, drifting back into like a suspicious vortex.

i remind about vertigoes, in the third person is sounds like this: he reminds himself about his vertigo, that it can happen. that is does happen. There was a time, on a train from Hamburg to Prague. He wrote a letter. Six pages. He remembers numbering the pages at the end. He wishes he never had. Everything he said in the letter was wrong. Everything he had every said was wrong. Everything had gone wrong. Perhaps the train had been derailed en route, and since he had been staring out at the silhouettes of black tree-branches and power lines and charcoal streets painted white with heavy snow and crying softly to himself because it was so beautiful, and he soo sad, he had missed the train-accident. Perhaps, the truth of the matter was, he was simply dead. Long since. And people only spoke to him, knowing him a harmless ghost, hoping that sooner or later he'd fall asleep into a phantom-sleep and seep back into the mesh of his pillow and disappear into that dream of God's that he'd first come from. All this he reminds himself.

i remind myself about autumn... but in different words. I remind myself like this: he reminds himself about autumn that had started for him on October 10th 2007... the first time in Shanghai, the second in Kyoto, the third in Haifa, before finally colliding headfirst with winter's white-knuckled fist in Prague. (and he fell. and probably never got up again) (and he probably doesn't know that) and...

and a spring in Los Angeles, and a final (fourth) autumn in Adelaide, and summer's glistening teeth are at last upon him.
(and for her you everything, all the places he'd rather be, the only places he'd rather be, the only voice(s) he wants to hear, hear, here, here, all,) Autumn, with its gentle autumnal fingers (no one's... __no one's...__ it just isn't the same) won't be here for him when he most needs it. and he won't be there for her. and she won't know.

and he's long been dead.
(and only just noticed)

(and promises to never speak again)

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