Saturday, October 10, 2009

draft from nocturnal scene where two people discuss ideas for unwritten novel

untitled, no but and or yes

__- goddamit sit still!
__- finefine, sorry
__- what are you doing what do you keep writing?
__- just... when i think of an idea, or remember something, i'm jotting it down.
__- the novel?
__- yeah.
__- what have you got?
__- all sorts of little things. and then... once i have a whole bunch of little things, i'll start stitching them together.
__- what little things?
__- uhm... names. phrases. people i want to write about. places. themes, like... broader themes
__- ok. what have you got?
__- oh. uhm


Q, stillness. remember Gol?, that time i was talking to you on the phone and i said: it feels like i've been running as fast as i can for years, and every time i look back i'm only a foot away from the starting line. __Orestes: motionmotionmotion. __She: doesn't have a name yet, but she looks like this.
___there's an underpass on Ohio St., you walk under it to get to the Starbucks on Pontius and Sepulveda. there was this homeless man who lived under there. i would take the leftover muffins after work and give them to him on my walk home. he would call me the muffin man the muffin man.
______HOUSES - HOMES - home - 24 Glade Cres. Hallett Cove & 8035 Hanna Ave. Lanark Park & 1A Cassie St. Collinswood & 3/7 Clayton Ave Plympton & whatever it was on the corner of Butler and Rochester right in the back there:
___and homes/houses that were(and weren't) homes in other ways: Martha's couch in Seattle, and walking down 3rd St. everyday giving change to every homeless person who asked, sitting in the crumpet shop down by Pike Place where i read Ulysses and wrote and stared out the window at the fluorescent advertising of the strip club across the st. ___Haifa (desertscape). dust, white stone, hieroglyph dreams :: collision course between lost (but not lost enough, not forgotten enough) past and dreamt (hoped) (attempted) (contemplated) (concocted) future!, or, as i wrote once in a poem for Mona:

___Of course there are the photographs,
___Eyes and arms and t-shirts frozen…
___A two dimensional reality, a moment mistaken as the present,
___A strange moment in an afternoon mistaken as an abstraction,
___The endless transparency of words (say something out loud you’ll see what I mean),
___Photographs and their deathly silence. Listen carefully:
___there’s an echo of our laughs.

Los Angeles: blue blue sky. in the evening the swimming pool lit in the courtyard like a rectangular alien block in the late evening when Ashley would drop me home. the napalm in the air stuck on the 405 and screaming all the time, sharing a bathroom so mom sat on the toilet while i showered and we laughed and i slept on the floor breathing carpet fibres and dreaming of my then-recently passed away grandfather:
___(two nights ago, just this very friday, i dreamt they tried to take from me the red sweater he gave me when i was 12 and he visited 24 Glade Cres, my very most favorite sweater - and the tie i took out of his closet, Christian Dior with a small hole in it that makes a shape like a peacock, when i wore it once my mother cried softly: that's my dad's favorite tie. he would wear that, when i was... when he'd pick me up from school, he'd come straight from the bank and take me to lunch and he'd wear that tie that's how i always picture him and she cried. and in this nasty bastard dream people tried to take them away from me and i fought tooth and nail till morning woke me with a headache i took 3 x 5mg dexamphetamine and couldn't feel my peripheries all day)
___my grandfather and the day they knocked on his door with the butts of rifles to take him away. "the whole flight Qdudsu, the whole flight i was sweating, my heart... i cannot explain it to you, thinking, to myself certain when they found out they'd turn the plane around - they did not, they didn't care, they'd turn a plane around midflight and bring it back just to get one person. i didn't breathe for 14 hours till i landed in America" he told me before he died. "not one breath. i tell you this: i was bluer that day than i will be when i die. not a single breath". ___my auntie&uncle with two of my cousins crept through the desert in the middle of the night with flashlights. sounds of dogs and whistles and rifles in the background. someone's baby started crying and had to be smothered. my aunt cries when she tells the story. my uncle looks away until he gets mad. then he swears and looks you straight in the face, confronting history grabbing it by the balls like i were it and i get scared when he gets that way, __and ashamed.
[History. Heritage., that's what i'm talking about. HOME.
___my insane grandmother. ___my sister's night in the crazy house. ___my mother drinks her tea, exhausted, she says to me: i am the proudest mother alive. which confuses me. your daughter's just got out the nuthouse, your son's on more speed than the F1... and i still am she responds having read my mind (because mothers can do that).

[Motion. Stillness. i'm talking about movement. about progress - whatever that looks like, which i can't identify into constituent shapes. which i grapple with and reason with, and which has about as many clues as a pack of cards, and that is to say: too few, my friends, it gives us far too few clues.

(when i worked at Starbucks, waking at 3am, my first day i'd twisted my ankle playing basketball at 2am and then limped home down Santa Monica Blvd. listening to Russian rock songs and Brown Eyed Girl, come limping into Starbucks, leave 9 hours later smelling like coffee and bran muffins my hands curdling from the feel of soo many bills and coins. my teeth rotting from the post hoc of the coffee i'd drank,
___(six weeks in a hospital in Shanghai. the smell of urine. Dr. Li, who loved a recent graduate named Selina. and whose eyes glistened with hope and trust when i asked him about the little red books that got passed around the hospital during the lunch break: it is the report. the report of our People's progress. and i nodded and wanted to hug him and his People, and whisper in their ears that i wished them well :: the fluorescent-eyed Shanghai leviathan awoke in the evening, neon and brutal and spitting whores and poverty and once a cripple with no legs wearing only a loin-cloth crawled (f&cking crawled) dragging himself along the sidewalk with bloody fingertips, his abdomen scratching cement and raw and bleeding howling bastards filth misfortunate fear and loathing, and people walked past him like a sea of suits and briefcases parting to get to Zion at the bottom of a stairwell where the train would evacuate them to their homes, and he: ___stared right at__ me. ___(and i was ashamed).

motion. stillness.

coming home to empty houses. Monday morning therapy sessions. alexithymia: literally "without words for emotions"—to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. the french topless girl by the pool, so young and... smelled fresh, lying brown-skinned and with sunglasses near a tree, a dozen little pink flowers on every branch, the spring buds on every branch like nipples or inchoate hearts or spoonfuls of strawberry icecream. stories about prayers. a sleep with no dreams.

Mona says to me: Q, this is ridiculous you can't do this right now. let's go to Seattle. and so we do. two days on the road i'm asleep the whole time i remember nothing. and Mona says to me: that's fine, we'll get your car, and drives me three times around LA to get the damn thing out of the pound. Benzodiazepines. rooms in Teneriffe by the river with no windows. Martha says over the phone: the way it was always meant to be Q. always. always. (echoing, just like that for a year or two after: always mean to be). nothing to be done Q. you did everything right. (always, always).

Homes. Houses.
here is the shelf i built. here are the floors i put in. this is my retaining wall. this here sliding door i helped install. these walls i painted. you see these fingertips here, yes, these are my fingermarks. nothing in the world is better: no way to talk yourself out of it: this piece doesn't fit. measure again. cut again. try again. there is no rhetoric here. no propaganda. no justification will save you. measure again. cut again. try again. here is the shelf i built. here is the table i sanded and varnished. this here is my idea. this other my design. under the ground here i redid the piping. things flow.

dark brownrimmed glasses. Ashley smiles and says: it doesn't matter, you're always happy when you're with me. and i smile back. the dreams of unplayed pianos. silence is soo patient. sitting around thinking of what to say next. how to say it. ___every so often you see Orestes walk past, waiting for the pedestrian crossing to stop flashing red. the path to Hallett Cove with the daffodils. sleeping under cars. works at a gas station in Nebraska. at a McDonalds in Delhi. sells tourist souvenirs outside the Forbidden City. dreams of Athens. of Troy. drinks rum late into the night, redeyed and blurry mouthed spews hatred about all the women he loathes. if there is a book of love somewhere, someone should be smart about it and burn the bastard where it stands. then he hears a buzzing from behind the credenza and takes off running again, tripping on a plastic coke bottle somewhere near Mermaid Beach, where he eventually collapses and sleeps it off. waking in the morning to a high-pitch squeal he steals a Prius and drives to the airport.

__- wow. that's... alot.
__- yah. then you... structure. stitch.
__- how does it all, uhm, make sense?
__- have you ever met something that made sense?
__- no, but. _it's a story right?
__- it's a lot of stories.
__- so what's the point, why... why read them?
__- because one redeems the other and the other redeems the first.
__- what does that mean?, Q: imagine you were trying to explain what this was all 'about', what you tell me?
__- redemption songs.
__- ok. fine. and what's the theme of these million or so stories that make no sense but make (purported) sense?
__- no matter what, you wake up in the morning.
__- i give up.

[so then i just make her read the poem Martha wrote me instead. when she takes it out of my hands, she says: god, your friend has beautiful handwriting.
__and smiling, i respond: she really does.

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