CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
… The subject is quieted when the object ceases.
In the first act, she will be dressed in faded gardening clothes, a
scarf around her head. She will be a comfortable and lively woman.
She will give a modest tour of her rooms, her art, relating graceful
anecdotes along the way. She will give you a seat by the window
and a nice cup of tea. Together, you’ll look out on the garden and
even see, in the distance, the empty air over the water.
… it explains why I have had unmitigated failure in that one area in which my whole existence might find rest …
In the second act, she’ll find herself alone again in the house.
Loneliness is insufferable to her, though she tries her best to disavow
this feeling. She would like to believe in self-sufficiency, that she can
always, that she must always be vigorous within her own soul. But
she needs people. They distract her from the dark business of living.
… She knows the three poisons are like foams appearing as it so happens to them …
In the third act, her books are the root of her memory. One night, in
a rage of despair, she took upon herself some kind of ritual that
demanded the burning of the most precious of her books and
writings. A small fire in the oven had already claimed three or four
works when, with two more thrown in, she started with fright, and
reached both arms in after the volumes.
“I’m here,” she says sometimes. But here is nothing. Here is nowhere. This is oblivion. Cream and terra cotta oblivion, echoing rattling oblivion, sharks and worms oblivion, porcelain white oblivion, ceiling daylight, ceiling morning light, ceiling night, ceiling darkness, ceiling shadows, ceiling sunset.
And out again.
a rustling of pages catches your attention “David?” < swelling up and down|
David* is a dream in words, little letters and brittle syllables, bubbling strings of protein, broken DNA. From deep in his chest, fumbling around in his ribcage, pulls out a poem.
“But here,“ This David trembles, an oily piece of lined paper in his hand. A poem like a beast of burden.
“Oh, my, thank you. I’m so pleased you are working again.”
“I hope you’ll indulge me and read it back to me a few times—I can’t read a line without
losing my place or forgetting where I started … so—”
“Sure, sure … ” The story gives him back his smile
Perfect recall: From a journal to a book to a poem to a novel. The flesh becoming, The flesh beautiful, the speaking flesh, folded flesh, a word: >
<There to here, an ancestor to itself it disappears and reappears. A character becomes a landscape. A thought becomes an action. An action becomes weather, moisture, a breath.
Fragments of event on the path reveal her difficult journey. Little chips of glass, stray hairs, a torn garment, a drop of dry blood, a crumpled half-written letter, abandoned campsites and disheveled motel rooms, the tangential anecdotes of city-dwellers, small tips left in ancient currency, love stories, philosophical debates, peculiar fictions, broken spines. With ease the story could slip away into any of these, into a lonely housewife’s tired hands, a young woman’s rising shoulders, an old man’s withering elbow, or an image.
“Tell me a story,” something to draw me in, continuing toward it.
smiling, maybe, a shy speculation, like a brief moment of recognition in a dream, this is a dream
unfeathered, breathless bird