A Man Sits Down and Begins Talking 6

a tragedy in three parts
I have the slightest inkling; it pollutes my brain; I swallow it like a string of slimy greasy snot, like a strand of seaweed covered in crude oil. I help myself to my monkey's brains, and he happily obliges with a grateful scream. Policemen walk along straight endless wharfs during a foggy night, searching for a lost final something. The lights are like underwater lamps, glowing blurrily as a drunkard's eyes. I am in every one of the seagulls' cries, but god! what a cliche! It kills me, it kills me. I swooped in on sleek fallen angel's wings, a burning leather-jacketed time bomb of religious fever. But you never realized how volatile. Horseshit and firecrackers, blind dates and '20s flappers. Visions of a big top reeling, shimmering with stolen mexican gold. I am the ringmaster in sawdust balloon pants screaming to an empty arena and my hat is a top hat larger than my mind, larger than the sky. Things float away into a cherry pie night, full of ice screams. I am among all the things displayed in this museum, even in the armory, where empty clockwork men stand rigidly at watch for a thousand years, not giving in to the temptation to fall apart. I stand with hat slouched on head under streetlamps and practice my humorless smile, which includes a cigarette, in the noir of black and white night. I sleep on park benches under a treelined starblanket. The moon is a popsicle I suck with bloody gums and lifeless clattering gravestone teeth. Ghosts and dying monstrosities haunt us all. Even in alleyways where the moon's light cannot touch us, I cannot trust everything, and refrain from giving into passion and the curve of your white neck.

I avoid Them through avarice only. They do not expect me to escape, which is to my advantage. Of course, I alone can see Them, eating up the scenery with glaring eyes and enormous smiling ivory teeth. They jingle like pianolas in a sad sagging old room where an old fat man approaches a woman who no longer recognizes him and asks for something that has long been gone from that place. The smell of alcohol and stale cigarettes stays in a place forever, the noisome stench of moist living decay. I know in a lake somewhere waits my destiny, a blade, a blade. Which is of course only a tightrope to walk over wild whirling spectators and the space where a net was removed, everything turning. The fabric of space twists around the rock tossed into it until it breaks open and a howling empty something reaches out its oblong biting jaws and pulls me somewhere which even physics cannot explain or predict. I put on my asbestos suit and flew to your rescue. It seemed unlikely, but you liked it. People enjoy being rescued. It's easier than climbing out of a ditch on a WWII road and dragging a bloody stump behind you calling, "Where is Eliza? WHERE? Where did the sun go? Is there a horizon in this world?" Knowing of course that there isn't. Mice swarm and from their tiny mouths comes the buzzing of bees. This points out the possibility of bees somewhere squeaking. Well-oiled springs spell out the material frame of the death machine. Babies and pigs roll in the mud, and both wail with equal stupidity. One group, however, has more potential than the other: The pigs can be bacon. The children will never feed anyone, only take, take, take. Oh lord what a ridiculous non-simile! It makes me smile and die. Writhing eels in dirty almost-pools impress upon me no sympathy. They are, after all, not really edible. Killing is an afterthought I haven't gotten to yet. Dreams often conceal themselves in the undergrowth of my memories and using their sly camouflaged bodies, they disappear. I too am a chameleon of a sort. My tongue, at least, is incredibly long and sticky. I also like dead bugs, but especially when they are behind glass. I stare at them with a detached admiration born of previous repugnance. It is easy to like a dead something, to peer with leisurely interest at its dusty photographs. Alive, things are dirty. But dead, winter, cold, all these are so clean and shiny and metallic, sliding and clicking easily. I always knew you'd be there to call me back from paradise. Apples taste good, but the knowledge was what I always wanted, the cost being paltry beside finding out, and of course realizing you were naked was an added bonus. There is no escape from the tiger.

Blueness inhabits my modest chamber, and the carlights that occasionally slide by are only less blue, and They are of course hidden among the deeper seams. There is no decoration in the room; the left wall is blank white mottled with blue, the right wall is blank, the floor is blank, the ceiling is blank, in the wall behind me stands a crooked misshapen doorway sagging with its own importance, being the only entrance or exit, besides the window which has been cut savagely out of the blank wall that I face, and which does not open, thereby swelling the pride of the door. The floor carries my white bed, also blue with the false color of darkness, and myself on the bed. The floor appears unstable, liquid, as if perhaps it does not carry my bed, but floats it, and I am suddenly a sailor. To undulate. Serpents, waterdemons, harpies. Another vision clouds and fades away as if perhaps an old western wagon has rattled off into a hideous backdrop sunset. There are two possibilities: everything is real but indistinct, or everything is unreal but distinct. I am of the opinion that both are correct, mostly because I don't have an opinion. This is my position on everything. Very little gets done around here. Marketing skills decline rapidly over the third quarter while rubber makes a remarkable gain in the second half. The players take the field, but then forget what they were going to do with it. Rain drops. Keep falling on my head, please. I like the way it feels. Hope disappears in exhaust fumes. Clouds confer, trying to decide in dark groups what the weather will be like. Their decision will kill them, but they courageously do not delay. Only an ending can stop me.

11/2/96, 11/3/96, 11/4/96, 2/17/98

Jim Genzano




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