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26 April 2016 @ 12:24 am
forgive me if it goes astray  
the room is empty or the room is filled with nothing. in the empty room, the room filled with nothing, i set down an empty tin can. i set down a tin can with the store brand cream of mushroom soup label torn off. i set down a tin can taken from a stranger’s recycling bin and filled with orange dirt from the nearby construction site. in the room filled with nothing i hold one end of an incense stick over my lighter and wait for the catch, wait for the flare, wait for the slow smolder. in the room filled with nothing i stick the other end of an incense stick into a tin can filled with orange dirt. i drop the lighter by the can. i lie down on the floor next to the lighter. in the empty room, in the room of empty, i lie on the floor. i close my eyes. i lie on the floor and close my eyes. i bring my knees to my chin. i wait for the moment. i wait for the very next moment. i wait.

so talk to me about longing.

you know the pull and tear of it. the dark tangled hair of it. talk to me about the way another’s eyes turned after you again and again every time you crossed his path and every time another crossed your path and every time and every time another crossed himself temple to shoulder to shoulder, crossed himself en route to your temple, took a new name in desire, took a new shape in the way that desire took him. we all take new shapes in desire. we all make new shapes in desire. so talk to me about longing: as if i don’t already know, as if there is an answer in the way a memory bucks and swells beneath, remembering the thrust of it, remembering the start of it, the shake of it: remembering the way we make our way in an absence of ways to go.

there’s a path to it, you know. there’s a path. just a way from one place to another. just a way that makes one place and then another. you know, once something becomes a destination, it also becomes a place. for a long time, i was not a place yet. i was something. i was a convergence of somethings. i was cruel and unfathomable hunger left unfulfilled. the words jumble together. the letters do not make a shape. sentences do not climb skyward but jumble before us in unseemly tangles. you understand that before you knew my name i did not have a name. what i was called was merely a suggestion, a form i could take. before you spoke my name, my name was a placeholder. a proxy to gain my attentions. a means of summoning me to meals or protecting me from getting struck by a bus. before you spoke my name it was not a name, just a sound that came out of people’s mouths in reference to me. an abstraction, a boundary of infinite options, something to be filled in.

what were you before i spoke your name?

who about you’d always been.

unwitting initiates often do not appreciate the process they are taking on until they have finished that process. and so: i do not appreciate the process of my initiation. sometimes i fall back far enough to see the shape of this and it is frightening. it is frightening because: it is potentially illusory. it is equally frightening: because it is potentially true. i cannot prioritize my fear. i cannot quantify the truth. so instead i rationalize. i deviate. i qualify. i wonder if i am intended to work both sides of every true mysteries in my life: the shadow and the object of it, the illusion and the reality. if i am meant, perhaps, to see the way reality supports illusion and the necessity all illusions have in a basis toward reality.

all told, i may well have methods of mood management that are overdo for some scrutiny.

i wonder if i am meant to love in a way that cannot be satisfied. if i will always long. if i will always hunger. if hunger gradually takes me over and blots me out. if hunger eventually becomes my new name. ghost as hunger. haunted by hunger. haunted by desire, urge, the unknown: the desire to make the unknown known, to find the unknown within the known, and back, and forth, and back, step it up, step back, again.

again i see that the the root of all language is desire. language exists because of desire: desire for connection, for satisfaction, for survival. and perhaps all these energies - connection, satisfaction, survival - go back to desire. because desire is what fuels us as much as it exhausts us, in the end. we pull life up into our bodies with every breath to let it leech away into the earth when our lives are over. we exist because of desire, so to condemn desire might be the origin of evil. but do with that information what you will. i was talking about shadows: not just shadows within my persona, but shadows of ideas - how love is shadowed by anxiety, how love is embodied in hate. how enthusiastic fantasy can become unimaginable with one crucial variable changed. how speech is inevitably married to silence. connection. what is connection shadowed by?

the room is empty or the room is filled with nothing. in the empty room, the room filled with nothing, i set down an empty tin can.

music: peter gabriel - wall of breath
(Anonymous) on April 28th, 2016 12:21 am (UTC)
The first paragraph is a beautiful poem on its own. I blabber about structure so much in your pieces but they are so finely detailed and jointed precisely that you are not aware of the words moving beneath you as you read.
We share a fascination with naming. Most of my remaining friends will not indulge me anymore to talk about naming and the act of creation. I tend to go off the deep end by making wildly unbelievable claims like the tree in my front yard did not exist until it was named. People can't think or talk in the abstract anymore and I can't think or talk about anything else. I like your love poem of naming here, names as placeholders- lovely concept. This one begs to be read aloud and even in my hillbilly nasal it sounds good
Where's Jeremy Irons when you need him?
selva oscuraanonymousblack on April 29th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC)
it sneaked up on me, the naming thing, as things tend to do when you work intuitively. i wasn't aware of it exactly with some of my earliest entries here but it was definitely a thread i'd picked up a ways before i ambitioned to make a livejournal handle (though it clearly fed into the handle i chose.) i can follow the thread of it straight through my time in iowa (my favorite incomplete short story from the period being called "becoming our names") but it feels older than that.

one should always feel free to come to me with weird epiphanies in the abstract. "can't help bein funky, i'm the funky abstract brotha..."
(Anonymous) on April 29th, 2016 09:29 pm (UTC)
If I knowed you had the straight dope from Phife Dog who by the way is still in effect just in a different time zone I wudda knocked my lobes your way
Always looking for wierd epiphanies
Liked your early work
How bout a pod cast on Iowa days?