Edges, Letters From The
Without the sky you have no freedom, yet without freedom, there is still the sky, whether or not you can see it to give it the sweet caress of a name, the longing cast of your eye, the desperate howl of your lips.
This is why wolves howl to the moon. The moon represents their freedom, or perhaps their absence of it, perhaps all they have lost beneath their paws.
Perhaps, if I had something to remember it by.
But you cannot have a lock of the sky like a lock of hair. I do not even have a lock of hair.
I do not even have a locket.
It would do me no good for you cannot put the stars or the sky, night or dawn or midday, moon or sunrise or sun-blaze, into a little circle of carved metal and let it hang around your neck. No rich kings can do this. No poor convict who has grown a beard to hide the shame and misery of his face can do this either.
As I fold my hands in prayer I remember: the lame will enter first. But they will wait the longest time to do so. It is because they will wait so long for entry they are earthly denied that they shall limp through the gates of heaven, heads held high, maybe, maybe looking at the sky. The lame cannot run free beneath the sky. This is why, this is why there is such heaven that awaits them.
No lose limbs, no lopsided limps, will keep them from their destination. They are heaven bound. And the lame have never known. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. At least there was a once upon a time when I knew.
At least, I remember. It was blue as ink.
It is: the smells, you smell yourself, you have grown so accustomed to the scent that it is a stench of familiarity, the one familiar thing, only you are starting to smell all the same as all that is else, you are beginning to meld with the metal and the straw and the rot and the coughs which have a dry smell, the dry rough smell of a cough and sickness, someone else's, not your own, never your own.
It is: you are trying so hard to remember the things that came so easily to you, a part of the way the move spun and did not spin and seemed to stop when you put yourself to bed and start up again when you opened your eyes to the dawn and I remember it, or at least I think, and there is the simplest of ways to remember, and that is to dream.
It is: until you stop dreaming.
It is: just your screams now, only maybe they are someone else's, only maybe it doesn't matter anymore, one collective scream being gathered inside the walls, the empty walls, but they are full, but they are beginning to feel empty, just like the walls of your body, with no memories, with all memories seeped out, gathered into one loud scream and sucked from your mouth in the wretched retching of the air.
It is: outside the moon scythes and fulls.
It is: outside the sun flowing up and sinking down.
It is: outside the sky is there but you do not remember that.
It is: that simplicity of life which taken for granted is unimportant and here such a treasure, more of a treasure than any scream, any rough touch, any rough cough smell you recognize as your own.
It is: the harsh feel of your own cheek.
It is: how sallow your face has become when once so young, so callow, and the lost feeling of the ventricles, four, in your heart pounding and pounding away at the empty blood walls inside of you, you a maze, you a maze you cannot remember your rat's ways out of. The clothes pinned up upon you will fall off you soon.
It is: soon.
It is: I remember sky.
And then it is winter you know from the chill in the air.
I remember snow.
But you remember nothing.
Except in the deep recesses of your numbing mind like an abscess of the tooth of which you have many and you were a child running, snowballing, through the sled-packed snow.
There was laugh in your mouth.
There was flush in your cheeks.
There was all that life in your fingertips, numbed and chill.
There were dead things but all you could think of, fool, was the beauty of the snow!
The dead tree branches broken like you are now.
The dead ground frozen beneath like you are now.
The ponds, water covered over in layers of ice, brittle and harsh and numb as you are now, the fish down beneath with big wide eyes open and gills unsucking in the air they have found in the water, fins flapless, flipless, lifeless, fishless.
And all the birds have gone south to warmer places.
And all the birds have left the beautiful winter snow behind.
And snow is death.
Death soft as feathers.
By the pricking in my thumbs--
Sharp as thumbtacks
--something wicked this way comes.
And here is this sound, this song, wordless and tuneless, the anti
melody, the crisp chill of the wind on a day where you are alone though you do not remember even the crisp chill of the wind, this is it.
And on that day the sky is so gray, and you are standing before the edge of something so deep it is blacker than black, there is no color at all, just endless seas of sorrow and misery and beyond that the promise of nothing, which perhaps is a comfort to the emptiness of all your sorrow, your hollow rage, impotent, impotent.
All you now remember is this hand -- held out to you through the sleeve, bony, almost green, had it color, all its vitality sucked away by time though it is timelessness itself.
This void body a mere shadow, shadows which have no heed of time, shadows that need no sunlight, shadows that take up space but is all just an echo of nothing, a song of nothing, a feeling of nothing so light and so heavy all at once.
It is always moving pendulum farther pendulum closer, face faceless, pretends to be its face but does a poor job of it, is just the place where a face should be and is not, where there is only darkness and shadow and more shadow, darker shadow, and no light behind the hood of that robe, everything gray, gray on more gray upon yet more gray, with that tinge of rotting green.
It is a voice, little whispering songs of smoke and of also bitterness and the staleness of forgetting, and the staleness of knowing nothing, being no one, losing everything but never remembering that you had had anything at all to lose.
It is all that is inside of you, in truth. It is all that makes up your fears.
Until all your self, all your laughter and all your tears, all your joy and all your pain, all your love and all your hate, all your bliss and all your rage, all your dreams and all your despairs, go up in a burst of flame that renders no phoenix, in the end all coming down like lint.
Maybe you are in a ball, maybe you are stretched out.
Maybe you are empty, maybe you are so so full of nothing.
It's really all the same thing isn't it?
In the darkness your eyes have gotten narrow and the world has gotten narrow in turn, you think, because your eyes are narrow the world has gotten narrow, there is nothing outside of that narrowness.
It helps to ease the loss.
You have lost nothing at all.
And it made you squint.
This is stagnant.
This is stagnant, your world.
But oh it is your world and your world is stagnant, so you must live with it, you live with it, acquiesce to its stagnancy, breed mosquitos like murky, lifeless water does, loose those bloodsuckers to the air, mourn no loss, mourn no loss of your colorless and stagnant blood.
Just the lack of sun boiling your waters.
Not shifting your sand.
A desert in a box.
No sandstorms to shift your body to shift your sands.
You are maybe in a ball or maybe stretched out but oh, you are not standing.
Outside you cannot hear it and do not remember it, how it was when the wind would blow.
Winter comes again, the time and the tide of the seasons equal to the time and the tide of the sea which is just a word now, three letters, S, E, A, and they spell out a thing, a lifeless husked thing, a thing that means nothing and says nothing beyond "time and tide wait for no man" and the tide of such seas couple with time and wait for no man.
Certainly not you.
And ice, like vinyl
All things made fuzzy with loss of meaning behind each cluster of letters, clutching together in desperation for warmth, solace, other letter bodies to feel unlonely with.
on the streets
Beneath a London streetlamp which shone light, L, I, G, H, T, through the London smog, S, M, O, G, into your eyes, made you squint.
cold as silver
You kissed a boy beneath a London streetlamp, K, I, S, S, and then B, O, Y, and then S, T, R, E, E, T, L, A, M, P.
You loved a boy beneath a London streetlamp.
L, O, V, E.
white as sheets.
1. It used to rain in London.
2. And you bought a hotelroom.
3. And the sheets were cotton and the room was warm.
4. And the window was big.
5. And you were lazy in the room.
6. And you were all but lazy in the bed.
7. And you made love slow and soft like.
8. And you touched slow and soft like.
9. And you kissed deep and love like.
10. And post coitus you felt hips and thighs and knew things, unspoken things, mournful as the rain, wonderful as the colors that splay out in a rainbow-humid sky.
11. And then you fell asleep in each other's arms, arm over arm, leg tangled in leg, body caught up in body, breathing together, beating together, nose against cheek, lips against chin.
12. And you remember this in the dead of night.
13. And it is not a dream.
14. And outside there is maybe a sound, rain like strings.
15. And you must remember, you think, and find a way of making remembrances all your own, so no one else may partake of them, no one else may touch them, or taste them.
16. And you must let this be your solace, all your comfort, all that keeps it swim over sink.
17. Changing things.
"Just think of it!"
Mommy, tell me a story.
Just one more good night story.
Want to be awake the whole night through.
Don't wanna lose time, precious time, precious youth time.
"Just remember something.
"Whether it is tying your shoelaces for the first time one spring morning, your fingers fumbling and small, not so thin as now, not so long as now, not so desperate as now, not like claws, not having seen what they have seen and done what they have done and been what they have been, poor, poor fingertips, and their calluses, and their loss, and their ache.
"Whether it is your first fag.
"Whether it is your first kiss, sappy and sweet and perfect, a memory that you must, must, must remember, you must, you must, you must, even if it hurts to remember, even if it hurts to rebirth yourself, crawl out of this darkness screaming hot, wet, into the sudden light.
"I am afraid of places that are bigger.
"Whether it is like falling, scraping your knee.
"Like lying on cotton sheets all day long without breakfast save for his lips and the love that was made on those cotton sheets in a place seeming perhaps like home.
"Like home, no place, like home.
"Like when they fell, scraped no knees, leaves, no knees.
"Like all I remember, I remember leaves."
The forests with no name, all blurring together to make a color green as spearmint and this is the shortest memory of them all because it is all just colors and you realize as your bones change from man to beast that herein lies sanity all firm and fur remembrances crisp as paper and through the dog's eyes, warm and dark and seeing things always in black and white anyway so now is no different, a dog's mind firmer than man's, man's best friend, the dog saying with no words and only images, nothing to do with words, the opposite of the husk of a man you have become, I remember trees, and you are an image, you are thinking in an image, all the images you have lost, a wolf image, a forest image, a moon image, a sky image, the little lock of freedom held close to dog sternum, hidden in dog pant, incoherent and untouchable to all save dog hunger, these trees, like this man, bare as coat-racks.
place before you
as you try to remember, staring down at them, eyes unfocused and dizzy
whether they are fingers
what is fur
what is skin
where you can fit in again
spread like broken umbrellas
And parks and bridges
Where we walked along together by the side of the lake, I remember now, hide in my memories and heal with them my wounds, deep wounds, aching wounds, stinging wounds. But I must heal them. I am not separate from myself. To myself, I speak now.
I must heal myself.
Ponds and zoos
Where we fed each other ice cream and kissed each other tasting of ice cream and sat on park benches and watched each other in all the spring that bloomed around us. With this I bandaged my heart, with this I warm my cold, sterilize this fester, feed the soul.
I must also feed myself, as I realize just how hungry I have become.
Ruddy faces, muddy shoes
And then we return home, laughing to each other of nothing, jokes that need no punchlines, laughter that needs no jokes, joy that needs laughter simply to keep you from bursting open with the pleasure of it. And here too we make love. Like dogs in heat, perhaps? Like something else. Threaded of that which has always sewn us together, stitch by careful stitch, ripped out, causing more of these innumerable wounds.
I will heal them up again.
It is a promise I will, must, keep.
Light and noise and bees and boys
That which has made me a shell freezes over like the cold of winter. In the nights I hide myself as a dog and remember. In the days I cry and wait for the nights. In the nights again I plan, calculate bars, taste fear, weigh my own wounds with all that is healing and I will come to the point where one day, I will need no more memories, will savor the taste of more than my own aching breath upon my lips, echoing in my mouth. All stale. But in knowing I am stale I know too there is something else for comparison, that which I have a nose to sniff out, eyes to search out, hands and feet, paws and paws, to crawl, drag, bound my way to.
And the hours pass quickly into days.
I remember days
Twenty four hours but you did not count these hours, I am counting the hours, in three more hours, there will be less to remember and more to live.
Or at least I try
I try, have tried, will need no longer to try, for the sun will rise with the fall of the moon and the moon will rise with the fall of the moon and it will be again, just be, not locked up in a locket that does not exist but right before the squinting of my eyes.
But as years go by
So, so many years now. I should have kept count. Twelve. More than twelve. Twelve. Each notch the days have carved into me keep time and tide and wait for no man. The ebb and flow and the pull of each day. The ebb and flow and the pull of each year. One and the same. Twelve years. Twelve days. Past. It is all past.
They're a sort of haze.
My eyes blur.
And the bluest ink
He said to me, "your eyes are like that sort of sky that moves down upon the circumference of the sun." So I remember color. I remember blue. It is not B, L, U, E. It is the color of my eyes, the sky that moves down upon the circumference of the sun, that depth of night, that sparkle of fire. His voice, the color blue.
Isn't really sky
And at times I think
So this is the man that became the dog to remember the man-ness of himself, to untangle the mess that he had become, a knot all warped up in the twisted insides of him. I give him a name now, 'me,' and will scream it out loud underneath the sky. Howl or cry.
I would gladly die
It doesn't matter what, when, or why.
Just that it is.
And that you step back from all the edges over which you dangle, unwilling to drop that length and risk the freefall, and then throw yourself suddenly, shockingly over it with your eyes closed and your lungs open and the wind in your hair.
For a day of sky.