My Dearest Sly,
Seasons greetings from my family to yours!!! I can’t believe the year has come and gone so quickly!!! I do hope the holidays find you well and happy!!!! We Temporals have had a banner year and look forward to more happy times to come!!! Indeed both Paulie and Polly have big plans for their future as I imagine you are well aware. Aren’t they frightful trying to hurt you?!! Sweet imps. Children do enjoy destruction. Perhaps it is my fault for breastfeeding only the one of them, and for such a long time too: like some kind of big infant I had at me! The doctors did think it would help our twins differentiate a bit from each other if one breastfed and the other watched with a bottle of formula, I don’t know. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice. But no matter, onward and upward!!!! Though do be careful my dear, they intend to destroy much of what you’ve done here and turn what’s left over into some sort of frightful playground of their own. As their parent I won’t be one to stifle their creativity, so perhaps its best to leave that part up to you. So heads up my dear!! I did ground Paulie recently for what appeared to be another attempt to, well, harm his sister. He says it was the other way around, but Polly is such a delightful nymph with a loving and kind heart, especially toward her brother that I just can’t imagine her wishing even to touch a single hair on his sweet lovely little head!! And certainly not during the holidays!!! Oh her burns are coming along quite nicely, by the way. Healing up a treat!! Now don’t take me the wrong way, Paulie is just as loving and kind as his sister, but he does like to play rough. Boys! So charming!! All sticks and snails and puppy dog tails though I do dislike the dog tails, they can be frightfully bloody. Well Sly my dear dear dear dear friend, I would love to invite you over for oranges and lemonade to make you feel nice and watery, but you do understand I am sure. Have a merry merry!! And a safe and vigilant new year!!!!
p.s. I almost forgot, have a lovely end of the world!!!!!!
im going to need very strong wire cutters maybe or something slim and sharp like an oyster knife o maria santisma what was my mother doing there where shed no business gaping at us with her eyes as stupid as ever and polly what a Deceiver i swear after we pull this thing off im going to kill her infect her with a slow fever because she doesnt deserve to be decently shot i hate her pretending of all things like she had just so happened to have been following me up that alley like i couldn’t feel her coming along skulking after me her eyes on my neck and a half turn and theres mother and she hadnt an idea about our mother showing up no let them both go smother themselves for the fat lot I care mother thinking first thing that i wish my sister any harm whatsoever especially with her such a beauty magnificent head of hair on her down to her waist tossing it back like that the lovely new skin too where it peeled off there after the burn its a pity it isn’t all like that well in time all in time though try timing anything to do with either one of them and it never seems to go properly curse them both to the lowest pits mother especially saying i wasn’t being respectful its impossible to be more respectful and i have to wear this kind of a tin thing around me too tight to walk in until i remember my company manners polly being so polite with her smirk saying im afraid were giving you too much trouble mama and extremely sorry mama believe me and shes supposed to be my sister well its all very well a mother but you can’t fool me
Return, my darling, come back. You are a part of me. You are me. Come back my sweet, it’s only natural my baby: I am your source. Every circle comes back to the beginning. Every will be becomes is. You are tired, you try so hard, pointing every moment you can get your hands onto toward will be. East! East! Turn me towards what’s next! Oh honey, turn around, come west with me. That’s it. You are unburdened. Shhh. Tensions gone. Mind free. No responsibilities. No desire. I have you. Shhh. You have me. You have everything. Be the child in my womb, my sweet baby love, you be me. No needs. No time. No time between desire and fulfillment. No distinction between demand and supply. There’s no temporality here. You are atoned with the all at onceness of the everything. You are not conscious. You don’t need to be conscious. You don’t need consciousness: fulfillment comes simultaneously with your need. Consciousness is for temporality, for attending to what’s next. You’re with momma now baby: you have everything so let it all go. No pain. No suffering. No fear. Sleep well my darling. I have you my sweetie love. Shhh. Tomorrow is a new day will be.
A father is a necessary evil, though it’s damn hard to feel necessity for something that might easily be nothing. How would I know anything? Coming into this mess: I’m a baby. I have no need of memory. What do I want with a memory until I have some shot at using it for my own interests? I sure as hell knew who Momma was, but him? Was he even there? And me? I’m a newborn. I’m busy proceeding energetically from the unknown to the known through the incertitude of the void. I’m dealing with the painful character of the ultimate functions of separate existence. Take any other baby born on the day of my birth, take them all: he could have been all their daddies. I can see why the immaculate conception sold so well. I’ll buy one of those and I’ll take a little apostolic succession on the side. But these recurrent frustrations, just when I can see a critical turning point just there, just there, then down we tumble faster than 32 feet per second per second. It’s a battle against hopelessness carrying on like this. He’s my only begetter; I am his only begotten, but disarmed of fatherhood what is he? Who is he to me? All babies have fathers. Some fathers are not fathers. Therefore, some babies have not fathers. Take the imposition of natural law out of the picture and what, does that make life infinitely perfectible? Upward to some great goal. Suppose I am a father. Am I a father? If I were? A father is an unnecessary evil.
Atatos, Eleven, Filippo Tomasso Marinetti, Geometric and Mechanical Splendor and the Numerical Sensibility, James Joyce, Krishna, Mathematical Esoterica, Mother, Octave, Owl, Simultaneity, Steampunk Owl Clock, Temporality, Ulysses
2 hours 10 minutes 54 6/11 seconds ante meridiem
Now watch the clock. Keep your eye on it. There. That was one. Did you blink? I can slow it back down for you if you like, I’ve done it before, but we’d be here forever. Let’s try again. There’s another one coming and there! See it? The longer hand and the shorter hand were at exactly the same angle of inclination. That’s the moment, that’s the way in, you understand. When the longer is the momma and the shorter is the girl, the way to shorter leads through longer and the way to longer leads through shorter. Now pay attention, here it comes again and now! You missed it. Listen. You think this is easy tinkering with time for you? Try to focus. You think it’s everyday a mother and daughter feel simultaneously inclined? Yes it is every day, twenty two times a day, but I’m making a point, you owl, so don’t give me your shit. I can go. You know that, don’t you, I’ll leave. And then when will you be? I thought so. And we just missed another one, so. Yeah. Are we doing this? You ready? You’re not ready. I’m going to have to stop time or I’ll be explaining this until I’m blue in the face. Stop. Now let’s do the math. The hands kiss every hour and five and five elevenths minutes. Get that? Keep up. The daughter moves twelve times as fast as her mother, but that doesn’t mean momma’s not moving too. Frankly I’ll take a woman who understands a good slow rotation any day. But you are young, you like it fast, that’s your deal. So. Just know that momma is moving too, thirty degrees to her girl’s three hundred and sixty, so little miss chica moves fast, but she always plays catch up. Oh so much for her to learn. Do the division, divide little missy’s speed by momma’s endurance. Feel that eleven rising? Right there in your face. And start. And we just missed another one. Right. Right. Kid. Enough mathematics, we need to get scientific now. And musical, let’s try a higher octave. Yes? We can philosophize until the owls come home but that doesn’t get either you or me any nearer either one of them. You ready? Really feel it this time. Now go!
I’ve seen that look before. Rememory. I’m almosting it. Must have been fifteen seventeen years ago. He looked to be about five then, sweet little boy standing on the urn. Held up with hands around the urn. The urn filled with wetted ashes and the Dillon girls and Molly holding him up. Eating cherries. He knew he liked it. He knew his mother would not like him standing on that urn. He looked at her watching, her mother eyes on him to call him down. Reproachful mother eyes speaking him to come down with mute secret words. Sweet boy looking at his silent mother remote with the pain that was not yet the pain of love.
My father had a mirror, it was the most astonishing thing this mirror. My father had a mirror he kept behind a picture of my mother. The picture made no sense because it was blurry and ordinary. Her mouth was open. She could never shut up long enough to smile for a picture. Anyway. it’s the kind of picture you’d delete or not develop or whatever it was they did. Develop and leave in the envelope with the negatives. Anyway, he had it in a thick frame but if you turned it over and pushed the little metal clips to one side and pop the back off, there was a little mirror in there. I didn’t get it. What’s a mirror doing in there? He saw me see him messing with that picture and I knew something was up with it. I figured something was in there. But I was hoping for money or a note or something. Treasure map. A woman’s phone number. Something. Made no sense.
Once when was sitting behind a chair, hiding and pretending to write in my notebook, he either forgot I was there or didn’t notice, and I saw him do it. I saw him close up. He was smoking that pipe of his and then he did it so fast. Picked up the picture of my mother and popped the back off of it. He pulled out something that fit in his hand I didn’t see. And then and then he breathed smoke into his hand. He exhaled into his hand. And for an instant (fiat!) light filled the room. Then that feeling, the vibe of it. I’ll never forget it. I’ll remember it forever. It was like passing from life into eternity. I can’t explain it. But there behind my chair I knew within me the precise age of my soul so immense, but also I knew my soul to be something shriveled, something that dwindled to a tiny speck within the mist. It was horrible. Before all that murky bright could clear away, I got the hell out of there. I was young, and I was utterly blown away.
So I tried it myself. I said I was young. By myself. I got the pipe and my mother’s picture and I looked her straight in the mouth. And then I lit up. I took a lots of short fast puffs and held it in too long while I twisted the metal clips to the side. Then, out it popped: a little mirror. I didn’t pause. Ok, yes I did pause. I coughed up a lung. But I wasn’t scared of anything apart from being caught. So I stared myself in the mouth, and I took another hit. Held it in, not so long this time. Then I exhaled right into my mouth exhaling. Hold. Back. I’m tripping balls. Entwined in the nethermost brightness I was looking at mirrors within mirrors within mirrors and in one of them it was raining and I was with a girl in the rain pinned up to a wall. And in another mirror I was holding a baby and the baby was still. Still and cooling. In another I was typing. I was at a desk typing. And there was my father holding a mirror looking at me, watching the letters appear as I typed them. Under his nose as I type them. He isn’t looking at me; he’s watching the screen. He’s witnessing the letters appear one after the other, left to right and together he and I have a feeling. We have together an obscure feeling that some good has happened to us.
My dream of the night before puzzles me. Remember. I am almosting it. I was walking amongst my subjects in the street of harlots, disguised as a carpet merchant. I found there amongst the tanyard smells a young man, quite lost, dressed in rancid rags illdyed black. He looked near starvation so I offered him a melon, but he would not eat. Instead, he delighted in its smell. I led him to an open hallway and showed him the greatest treasure amongst my wares, a piece of tapestry that transports any who sit upon it in an instant to any person imaginable, without being stopped by any obstacle. He asked who? And I said you shall see. But when we sat together on the red carpet it was as if in that instant of transformation I became not the dreamer but the dreamed. I felt not myself. I was not myself. I had become my dark companion and what was left of me existed only as the name Haroun al Raschid within the memory of his dream, now my dream. I sat on a beach watching an inrushing tide. There were other people, but I could see only dimly, an Egyptian man and woman with hennaed faces, the woman’s hair trailing. There was a dog, dead with a creamfruit smell, and a live one too, lightly kicked by the Egyptian for a transgression I didn’t see. I watched as well as I could, the dog sniffing a rock, then lifting a hind leg and pissing against it. Then the dog repeated himself against an unsmelt rock. I cannot be sure as something was terribly wrong with my vision, but I believe I saw the unhappy beast collapse into painful yelping and as his hind paws scattered the sand his forepaws stretched, altering itself into the paw of a leopard. With a shake, screaming, the entire leopard sprung forth from the sand. It was the offspring of a lion and a panther within whose womb, impatient with the delays of time, he had felt burdened by gestation. He had torn and ripped until he was discharged forth into the world, his birth damaged and scarred his mother’s womb forevermore. Horrible now, upon this beach, he roots and scrapes. Scratching. Stopping to listen. Scratching. His merciless bright eyes hungry, scraping the earth. Salivating now, listening. Scratching, then triumphant as a carrion vulture, revealing the carcass of his dead mother.
Haines, the dog of my enemy, and I just stood pale, silent, bayed about. What do I want from these pretenders then or now. Live their lives. His life to be his and mine to be mine. For this I am pining? He is not fortune, he is fortune’s primrose knave. Smiling at my fear. Mocking me in their house of death. Enough. Nobody wants my medieval abstrusiosities. Tell the truth. He saves men from drowning and I shake at a dog’s bark. Would I save somebody? I’m not a strong swimmer. The water is cold, soft. But spit it out, yes, I would want to. I would try. It’s his eyes, though, a drowning man’s eyes scream the horror of his death. I would drown with him. Together. I could not save her. Lost.
So I came home. I went to Paris, starved, feasted, starved some more. I sent pathetic messages to Nother, persevering self-pity, today I am twenty hours without food, your money was very welcome as I had been without food for 42 (forty-two) hours, spells of fasting are common for me now. And from her position prostrate before the door she would sell furniture, rugs so her suffering boy might eat and buy magazines and a blue condom. Once I missed her money order by two minutes. Encore deux minutes! Ferme. See what I mean see? I had nothing when Dad’s message came and had to pretend to speak broken English to avoid tipping a porter. Inhabit the obsequious manner of a foreigner. O, that’s all only all right. And home. Now I march over the piled stone mamoth skulls. Proud, though it is not a task to take in jest, to show the base of all the universe — nor for a tongue that cries out “Nother.”
Amor Matris: subjective and objective genetive. How does this translate? I’ll try. There is a palace and in it is a stone and in that is a silence and in the silence my heart and sitting in that shrunken muscle: secrets. Tyrants weary of their tyrrany. Willing to be dethroned.
Look at the snail. Lean neck, thick. Ugly. This is one of my students, Sargent. He waited after class for a usual reason. His weak eyes blind to the futility of his academic career. He can copy but not create. Still, somebody had loved him. Had borne him in her womb; two souls in the same body like the Nestorian Jesus. And she had borne him in her heart. This boneless snail, protected by amor matris from being trampled underfoot by the world. Well, all in good time. Still, she had loved his weak watery blood. Is that what Cranley meant? Is what she feels the most real thing in this stinking dunghill of a world? What would we ever know about what she feels? I see a white dove standing on a broken calculator. Beautiful. Horrible it is enlarging. White feathers are turning to fur, changing color, darkening, bristling. Brown. A bear standing on its back legs regarding me, calculating his path. He gives me sight, and he multiplies my bread and my beer. Now he is falling forward and catching himself with his front legs and with an intent I fear to place he moves. His haunches, his breath, he is closer now. He runs. He leaps over a protective female form my mother lying prostrate before the door. She is like the skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire and he is closer. I see his eyes even with mine, yellow now and the fur around them reddening. He strikes. He shrinks. He is shrinking. His largeness, his roundness melts into points, his ears and nose. I see him now small and slender. Merciless. I smell his thievery. The door and walls are gone and he scrapes the earth and listens. The stars wink. Complicit. At least they know why. And he scrapes the earth. I can hear him, I know what he is doing. And I know what he has done. Scrape. Listen.
While she died everybody prayed and the priest came with his recommendation for her departing soul. We all (but one) kneeled, bowed our heads, and listened with pious reverence to her loud rattling breath. Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet: iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat. That breath makes the dream not a dream. I can smell wet ashes still and it tangles into my soul. She comes staring at me, striking me down with her eyes. Speaking and help me I hear nothing. Her agony on me alone. We were all (save me) chewers of corpses.