Saturday, July 30, 1994

Intangible Instructions, version 2 and a half

There is always the desire to return. The tail of a blue fish emerged from her fingers, his arms were fins. Memories floated backwards in time to listen for the vestigial singing river in the dry riverbed.

 I never wanted the plane to land, but the Andes rose like a white dream to punctuate the sky. Faith in miracles. Here, Pizarro slept. There, Blake saw God in an apple tree. Time flowed backward, lined up like the homeless, like the basureños in makeshift houses along the Apurimac, or in Tijuana. Lined up like the locked eyes of death into the burning future on several continents.

Myth: I carried a new gift of life. In the end, memory fails. Conquistador y amor. In Quito, the snake dancer from the selva cursed me. The bridge at San Luis Rey failed me. Coltrane’s sax defines qualities of night but the doors are locked. The six-legged nightmare rides on the smoke. Ask me what this means, I cannot read history written in the smoke of the victor. Say that in Dubrovnik, Darrio City, Bagdhad, Blake’s London, or L.A. burning. Dante’s seventh circle.

The descending fog envelops our feet. A warning call clearing the double-vision down the canyon past temptation. A gorge divides water from water, brings it together again. Except in the L.A. river.

Do you know how to soar down through the dilemma, both following and leading? Counter-clockwise dance. Remembrance, resemblance. Which direction does the vortex choose? What carries us on and on? The child’s face buried in the moon’s path. White ravens wander through the empty streets of Cusco, Moscow, San Francisco. In every voice, in every mirrored face, the bell toils for them. We speak with our hands. The gift of hands offered language to the children.

She stored apples under her bed. Illicit money whispered in the palms, Feel me! The teeth of graveyards are built on this foundation: the tail of the 20th century rendered in the useless orchestrations of Oppenheimer’s regret. The eagle keening. Living art in empty sheets. Riderless horses. Where is Schrödinger’s cat? Pandora? The blind mouse sleeping on the back of a dead bird dreams of angels. Clear the shelves of omnipotent windfalls and quantum malignancy. The marriage hearse reinvents the mother. Death reinvents the mechanics of fear. Open the box. Not.

Fear of the scent of money, fear of poverty. Fear of the phone in the dead of night. Fear of not enough time to read the face inside the eye of night. Fear of repeating the past. I said I stayed in my dreams. Memorized floor patterns, but specific moments never came.

The hunter flame burned celluloid memory. Hopperesque scenes shot in black & white. The desire to return embedded in the fear of fear. Fear of not growing up. Fear of control. Fear of growing up and not being in control. Or of growing up and being in control. What if I ran away and no one stopped me? That moment of star-crossed thresholds.

Not saying, Now I lay me down to sleep. Saying, I see my future as nothing, becoming nothing. Becoming the breathing of the open door. The thrones of angels. Fish with the hearts of men. Each belabored breath blinded by the light, I open my eyes. Looking forward, looking back. My erotic dreams littered with scorpions. Carpe Diem. Descend with eyes open wide, like Beatrice.

Do you remember when we danced face-to-face? The way your mouth opened into my darkness. Blame it on Beltaine. Just a little more time. I wanted him out of my vocabulary and into a room with no walls. We swam to the ceiling. You flew into the light, grew fins.

We needed to rearrange definitions of speech, of forgotten rain. The dance continues. Kiss me while the bones of humanity learn how to sleep in open doorways, and eyes learn not to see.

They bathe in the streets where privacy is closest held, yet farthest away. To suckle memory. Whose tongue in my mouth? Por el loro, he said. Van Gogh’s sunflowers weren’t gold enough in the city of bankers.

I held a namesake lover who cried in front of Vincent’s Self Portrait. But my arms weren’t strong enough to hold back his madness. I thought of Rilke. Raucous words escape the phosphor screen, take flight, flock to the trees. The computer is the 13th muse.

Fear of his thoughts. Origins of a code tracking down my thigh. What I ought to have said. Or, if I said too much. Fear of my thoughts. Fear of the telltale beating of the apple heart. The heart of a stone beats once every 1000 years. Fear of finding the naked dawn descending the fire escape, each step of light defining the canyons of man. Fear of the raven on CúChulainn's shoulder.

Exponential dreams of sirens scream in prime numbers, the mellifluous sax, the real voice of street corners. Notes bleed from the page escaping a shipwreck of blood. Fear of blood enters into it, another equation. Fermat’s theorum the day before his death.What the raven whispered.

Fear the exponential division of prime numbers. The audience dreaming of an audience dreaming. Fear the agony of doors destined to be reduced to numbers. Fear the stairwells destined for darkness, stolen lives, stale smoke. On bulkheads facing the sea, and in stairwells facing dark alleys, fear the semen trapped or not trapped in translucent orbs, a tangible sign on all the continents.

 The bridge becomes a flamenco skirt for the moon. Whose father swam in the Amazon with the piranha? Who wears the moon’s mask?

Learn to describe doves, the twin orbs of a woman’s ass. The lover’s hand under my dress. No mermaid’s tail. Then the cunt. When I said love, I got religious. Learned to walk, then crawl. Desire silences the guitar strings with scissors. Think about post-modern love deconstructing beneath city clocks without hands. Orgasm is closest to art. I didn’t mention syringes or T-cells.

No need for voices from the void flung like arrows. Or the bell tower of the heart’s drum. What are we willing to accept? The clichéd rose asleep on the piano lid. Maxwell’s hammer descending in slo-mo. Kennedy shot again and again. Some are not yet dead. Others were never really alive. Fish trapped in the sheets. The approaching storm delivered in monotone. Or in natural speech.

Bukowski, dead. The TV channel-surfing in an empty room. Think of random blue noise as a way of life. Intangible instructions. Love’s fascism, asleep in a pool of blood, wants touching, stroking, punctuation. The restless sky mounts the moon.

When will blood learn how to become stone? Was it better than anything, walking on the moon? Were we ever in the garden? The endless pit? One thing is certain: Night is neither noble nor sacred; her indifferent legs are open wide.

1994, 2002

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