anonymousblack: ([wenders] marion swings)
we burst with fire, we burn at the seams. we fill the night sky with obfuscating matters. we see, we cannot see. we breathe, we cannot breathe. the smoke is heavy and fades the night's resolution to a smoldering palette of ash.

how long can i hold off on writing about ashes?

there's a story in it, of course there is, but maybe the story has burned through. there's a story in it, of course, but is it my story to tell? in a desperate hour, perhaps. in an hour made strange by the passage of time. in an hour anointed with holy oils and incense smoke, consecrated in a kiss on the crown center, chanted over, sang over, wept over, wailed over.

the clamor of death among the living, the noises it makes, the attentions it gathers. sirens and sirens. sirens and songs. here is another story about the dying. here is another story summoned from the land of the dead. we are witnessed, we are always witnessed. it is the indefinite purgatory of those with unresolved business to witness the dying and the dead, at least for a time. it is the nature of inconclusive terminations. why was this life stopped? why was that heart broken?

if i am a witness, if i am a witness from my own inconclusive termination, if i am here witnessing this stranger's end i can grieve them as one of my own: though i won't know their whole story, i will only know this small part of this one aspect of their conclusion, which is for the best because i will not need to negotiate my grieving around a larger context. it is only: this passage. this transition. this coming into going out of form.

who were you, lost stranger? what did you look like before this moment of your demise, scrubbed of context, of associations, of experience and desire? what did you enjoy reading? what did you like to eat? what had you accomplished in those years since birth, what did you lose out on? what broke your heart, broke your resolve, broke you and broke you again?

these witnesses, these alignments revealed only in death. these holy mysteries anointed over and consecrated through by what cannot be known. the world of the dead is not the world of the living. the world of the dead is not the world of the living. there are no guest rooms for one in the world of the other: only day trips, only nightly rumination; only technical tours with extremely limited access. intermediaries of unattended death. death conveyed in fragments. no one being has the whole story, especially not the one who dies.

this side of infinity's twist, i light a candle and enjoy its burn. i light a candle and shortly become anxious about the candle's impending death. so i witness the flame closely, doing what i can to prolong the burn. i trim the wick. i drop in wax from other candles. i snuff the candle out long before i am ready: and then i do it all over again. i lose my meditation to the tending of candle flames: this is because, long ago, far away, i lost myself on the in between. i let myself slip into a weird atmosphere, seduced bodily by the strangeness of it. i let my candles burn into five inch flames, burn long leaking wounds into each pillar's side; i found perverse satisfaction in the sick wax splatter onto the jeweler's traveling sales case that constituted my first unintentional altar. i laid on the floor. i brought my knees to my chin. i let the candles bleed or i left them anemic, weak, barely a moment left in each flicker, a horrible loop of the end that never quite comes:

and i became entranced. i became ecstatic with the carelessness of it. at last for once certain in my greedy burn. a goddess of willfully unknown variables: and then, the next morning, it became apparent what had happened to someone i cared about that same night while i was off by myself burning candles: it nearly killed me. i wouldn't light candles for a month after. a month became a year, a year became a decade and i still will not give myself over to candle flame, i still only rarely use pillars. at the sound of bleeding wax i go into a panic, i perform surgery, i salvage the wick, i tend, i tend: all this is anymore is tending.

last january, i called the fire. last january, i screamed the fire into form. "burn it," i screamed into a suddenly silent room. did i know what i was doing? do i ever know what i am doing?

oh, holy disconnect. heart performing that ritual the head is not ready to understand. my hardest lesson: sometimes i act in truest harmony with spirit before i even understand what i am doing.

we are
as we've been
as we always will be

(except not.)


anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] kiss)
1.
the broken spell, the spell broken, the broken matter of what was spelled out and smashed to bits then abandoned: to the elements, to the elemental forces, to the shape of things to come that came and did what they did and now they are gone and cold blows the wind, the wind blows cold, cold and sharp around every fractured corner, in through the window cracks, blowing again blowing, whistling through, whispering through: but then again you know but then again you’ve heard, at least you had the opportunity to hear, did you hear?

have you heard?

have you given this information a chance? listen:


2.
we are blown by the wind or we are blown through. we are blown out, wick deprived of purpose, left stiff and blackened in a molten pool of wax. we are, as we are, as we’ve been, as we’ll be, until we are not and then who even knows.

i bring the pen’s tip to the page.

i hover the silence.

i wait and see. i wait and wait.

i wait and listen - listen - listen

but then again. and then again. again, again, again, she screams. o god, she screams. burn it, she screams. take who you were three minutes ago and


3.
the spell is broken. the broken fragments of spells: elemental invocations, bits of string, needle stems of herbs sealed in splattered candle wax: listen, can you listen? do you hear what’s calling, what’s been calling, now that there's a crack, now that crack in everything has let the light in? but you can’t listen to light, can you? not with our factory standard sensory capacities. not with our common sense and this-is-really-for-the-best, you’ll understand one day, you’ll understand someday, what i’m saying is: who’s reading? who’s reading and why? again:

i listen for the light. i listen for certainty. i listen for some subtle change, a telling displacement of the waterline, an unanticipated component in the local bouquet, an unacknowledged frequency moving the needle in strange new ways. one year ago yesterday bowie died. one year ago today i'm a black star, i'm a black star i sat next to ben in the mezzanine, doubled over my notebook, suddenly desperate to describe a miscarriage i’ve never had. bowie's death knocked it out of me. bowie's cancer knocked it out of me. it’s just a story, but i’m twitching with it. it’s only a story, but it’s making the corners of my vision spark. it's a story, but something about it has broken skin. my pregnancy stories do not end well. only one in memory carried to term and technically. technically?


4.
i burned the physical remains of my incomplete first novel in a friend's fire pit. she left me alone for this. she is also a witch, but, moreover, she is also a writer. a fellow witch and a writing fellow, she knows the basic shape of where i am in this moment if not the exact contours. she has also lamented lost creative projects. she did not need to hear my lamentations to know they occurred.

and so the book burns, at last. sixteen years. twenty, really. twenty-one years. the book burns: the printouts, the composition notebook, fifty odd scraps of ingram status reports freehand inked with wistful fragments, beautiful stray lines that got stuck at the shelter for much too long, trying again trying to get me to: write the damn book. but no. and no. and again, no. every time no. fifty odd failed attempts. thousands upon thousands of failed attempts. and then the workshop handouts, my revision notes, my session notes, feedback feeding back on itself until i collapsed at the keyboard with the shakes, all i could ever hear when i reached for the next word. the next word wasn't there. the book blew town. the book never looked back. the book died.

all the same, i carried its corpse with me everywhere: for a year, for two years, i carry this book with me still and it needed to stop: so i burned it.


5.
and i say this like it is accomplished fact, but it is not. right now: it is a story. that's all a ritual really is, in the end: a story told, beginning, middle,to end. a story told with the body instead of words. so here is my ritual, and here is my story: the story of my first miscarriage. the story about a miscarriage that i failed to carry to term. it's a droste effect narrative. the book that died like that on the workshop table: it will happen a few days into the waning moon during the upcoming venus retrograde. i will burn my incomplete first novel. i will put the ashes in a silver flask and drive them to delaware, or i will hold on to them to release off pelee island at the end of may. release them back into the wilderness. release them back into the wilderness they never really left. will that be the end of it? will that finally be the end of it?

probably not, but who could say.


6.
my most significant offering, to be sure. listen: where is my book? and listen: where did my book go? we haven't got all night. we haven't got forever. we do, but we don't. forever doesn't present itself in a way most of us can easily grasp. it's a tease, a shameless flirt, trust forever and find yourself alone at the coffeehouse all night every fucking time. forever doesn't tender in temporary. forever doesn't even follow whatever it is us temporary residents think we are talking about. but that's because forever has that kind of time. forever has all the time in the world.


7.
and the wind whistles, the wind whispers, the wind blows. forgetting and breaking, breaking the shore, breaking the spell, the spell broken: gentle child of words, you didn't deserve this. gentle child of words, i have failed you.

and i'm sorry

i'm so sorry

i'm so fucking sorry.


anonymousblack: (harrison)
out in the miles from it, out in the long-way-home.

the radio station gone abstract in the distance between. the night sky ancient in its visibility. utility poles lining the highway, one's only companion, one's only reminder of modern invention.

it's night and the road could be straighter.

it's night and it's cold and we've got nowhere to be.

it's night and we could be driving faster, i mean if there were any purpose to it, i mean if the place we were going were any better than the place we left behind. it's night and the radio has become a texture. an atmospheric augmentation. an augmentation of the atmosphere: sonic pallet in gray, nothing ventured, nothing gained; nothing offered, little observed. what had been a news report about death on the high seas now crashes in on an indeterminate shore. what had been a song about falling into something the songwriter originally understood to be love turned into avalanching falls of waste water from the nuclear power plant. what had been a traffic report. what had been a preview of all tomorrow's best shows. the story, the signal. the broadcasting tower just barely in sight. i remember. i remember.

the sky is old and getting older. the night is dark and clear. in the old sky, things are remembered. count the stories: the stories about personalities, heroes and villains. the stories about relationships, mothers and daughters, the discoveries of young lovers, the assumptions of old lovers, the hanging ellipsis of lovers that never were. a boy and his cat, a girl and her dog, the mistake and necessity of a hunter catching the eye of that animal he has most recently exiled from the living world, vital essence leaking out the spear's wound. we are all ever always at the whim of another's survival. we are all ever always living on borrowed resources. driving long distances in unfamiliar territory. driving at night under a clear and ancient sky. driving with the radio on, but what's the difference? driving with the radio on, but then again, who could say?

in this story, there is no protagonist. it's a story devoid of earthly structure.

in this story, you are a protagonist, but you might not realize it in time.

you've decided from this moment forward that all your stories will be about the elements of a story that are overshadowed by the devices of narrative: the quality of the light, the flow of one space into the next, the journey at night, alone on an empty highway, a utility pole another utility pole, the radio an experiment in abstraction occasionally stabbed through by incomplete thoughts.

jesus is watching, the radio stabs through each hand, all at once out of an opaque field of static. then: what will she see? maybe somewhere, maybe someone, maybe something will come to light. will she see?

the story, the signal. the broadcasting tower just barely in sight. headlights set every stage they skim over, ever en route to anywhere but. sometimes one cycles the windshield wipers just to give themselves something to do. the path is clear and then it isn't and then the path is clear again: squirt squirt, squeak squeak, all the while driving along, all the while just passing through. it could be about the destination, but tonight it's not even about the journey. it could be about the shape of things, the shape of time, but then again, what do you even know?

in the making of a story there are offerings to be made. people want to know: what is the purpose of this? and people want to know: what's the point? people want to know. isn't that always the way of it? so what's the motivation here? what's this character's end game? why did you construct this image, to what other images does it relate, is the character's reaction consistent with what we already don't really believe?

i used to believe i was driving to someone, when i'd drive alone long distances at night. i used to imagine this as embodying my longing. sometimes i saw it as an offering to my longing, giving it some purpose, giving it somewhere to go. instead as ever it went nowhere. instead as ever it was always a story without real purpose, no protagonist, no plot, the only stage i'd ever set a pair of headlights passing over a landscape i never really saw, a landscape i will not ever see again.


anonymousblack: (labyrinth contrast)
1.
does it matter? the rich and warm of it, the nightly swarm of it, the on and on and on and on again off of it, the are you listening, do you hear me, would you hear me, does anyone hear me at all?

i don't know what it meant or what it could mean. i don't know, and the trip of stumble of that, the hopeless rumble of it, the what would i say if i could say something, the what would it mean if it meant something:

open and shut, or never resolved, no answer to be found, no trail left to follow, a tangential tangle of what wasn't said and what wasn't documented. left undocumented. a ravaging pathway through dense underbrush, and lies, or what could be lies, what might be lies, lie down now and close your eyes, lie down now and hold your tongue:

what am i saying? what the fuck am i even trying to say?

the point of this is that there isn't a point. no single point. no single point of entry, no trodden path through the chaos, no satisfying resolution or manageable solution, no simple way to work out or through. just:

all of a sudden you're here and all at once you are gone. and you arrive in a mess, and you wander around through a mess making a terrible mess as you go and, once gone, leave yet another mess behind. so it is what we are: a mess. we are messy creatures. we are infernal leviathans of god might not even know what. we are enigmas wrapped in riddles stashed somewhere in plain sight that you'll never think to look. and then and then and then.

does it matter? did it matter? will it ever matter?

i don't know, and that lack of knowledge crumples up under my fingertips, rattling, ripping, no matter too serious, no matter it's silly, but then again, you know? but then again. we matter to each other, i think, except when we don't. at least we have that. maybe that's enough, i think, except when it isn't. i haven't written for days. i couldn't tell you why. just that: i don't really have anyone to report back to, no deadlines, lines for the dead, keep it steady keep it sure and keep doing it even when there isn't a purpose even when there's not much of a point, nobody reading, nobody going to read: choke me dead with my own hard line, why don't you?

lose the line again again: to indifference, to social protocol, the letter of the law, the nonnegotiable absolutes of life and death, we're sorry but it's not a good fit, we're sorry but good luck with it, i wanted to love it, i mean, i really wanted to, but i did not. or maybe or maybe or maybe, right? he didn't say one damn thing to me, not at the end, not near it. i keep waiting, i keep hoping, maybe something, some indication, some post-dated email set to drop one day when i'm at my wits end, such a save, such a save! some half formed semblance of a real goodbye

but then again, i can't expect that. but then again,

what have i ever done to deserve that?


2.
"read between the lines," he told me and said to repeat it back.

"write between the lines," i said, and didn't meet anyone in the eye for a week:

because there are too many secrets, too many matters pressed flat and drawn out over themselves and under again. an illustrating example. an unwanted explanation. yet another privileged stranger presuming to tell me my suffering is meaningless in light of their own. perhaps it is. perhaps i am overreacting. i've certainly overreacted before. maybe i am making it all up. i am quite imaginative, you know. aren't we all? except when we aren't, you see, and those are the scenarios where people are shot dead, are dropped between the cracks, are crushed between the cracks, abandoned to the mercy of a culture increasingly demonstrated as psychopathic in its negligence, in its self-serving 'me too,' billions of people ready to kill for even a little bit of what they've been brainwashed into thinking they want; billions of people ready to disown life long connections over facebook memes and hashtags, the hatred, the cruelty, the eternal middle school locker room that has become human relations: for what?

i started out thinking "so we can be heard," so our broadcast signal has someplace to land: but now think it's more like, "so we're never obligated to listen, so we don't feel any responsibility toward what we hear." not only to random internet strangers who, however "astutely," write openly about their heartbreaking experiences with systemic oppression, but our own loved ones, our partners and dearest friends, our children, children we've prayed for and paid for and pay for still: because it's all about getting the most out of my experience, right? if i can have it all, you better believe i better get it. i get to have a childhood a bff a prom date a college dorm room a steady a bff an able body a beautiful face a car designer clothes a soulmate a soul a dog a house a spouse a kid another kid a lawnmower a summer vacation spot a hot tub a home stereo system a gmo free organic diet access to alternative healthcare access to anything resembling healthcare at all a day at the spa handcrafted fair traded ethically appropriated stuff permissive spirituality spiritual boon without suffering the assumption of my ultimate correctness by others power and substance a meditation regime fancy ass yoga pants freedom from negativity the authority to label anyone who pisses me off a narcissist people who agree with me people who call me strong attention and accolades acknowledgement and adoration talent and renown an important voice a voice that gets heard an opinion that matters to somebody somewhere publication designer degrees in higher education a respected internet presence enough numbness to get through today's feed enough numbness to scroll past a love one's pain to explain it away to tell my loved ones that what i am going through is so much worse and feel validated in that everything! everything everything everything we want, taken without so much as a half-hearted examination of what we actually need, and it doesn't matter what we're taking away from the planet, from society, from other people, who, as much as i might claim to love them? are not me.

yet.

that's the thing.

yet.


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