Tuesday, February 23, 2016

the plan is go, the guides are your monsters

a flirtation with “it had been planned and there were guides” by jessica lee richardson

This is how I imagine you and I met: I was on the bus carrying a sack of flour like a baby. You came up to me and wordlessly stuck your knife up through the bottom. As the flour spilled quietly into the black rubber rivets, we looked one another straight in the eyes and knew our lives were changed forever. Well, mine, anyway.

You mentioned a vacation and I asked you about it. “Oh, it was scary. My ride on the concrete boat. There is such a thing as a concrete boat, you know. Don’t want you to go down the wrong stream.” I think I’ve heard of concrete boats, but wrong stream? I’m not sure such a thing exists, anymore, since we met. How did you put it? “His penis went soft because I took his rape.” How can there be a wrong stream again after that?

I told you about the song I’m writing that goes like this: Stockholm Syndrome? There’s a sign you’re already in hell/ To think it’s crazy just to love someone you’ve grown to know so fucking well and you answered a story so beautiful that I wished you were whispering it in my ear in pitch blackness so my expression could be private. (I like to cry sometimes.)

How old are you? You exude experience but tenderly, like a child. I’m not even talking your kids Chase and Check, though “he smelled like socks, but he had a point”...(Nods). Or Ko, whose mind you excavate: “Not warm, not sweet, not milk. ‘Not,’ she cries in non-speech. The shapes circling her are the wrong shapes again. The not.” I can almost remember my own babyhood when you cup my toes the way you do.

I’m not even talking about the auctioneer, “Baby,” who seems in some ways the adultest (“She never planned the confessions that became her filler words. She found out what was bothering her and what was beautiful to her by what came out.”) Or the actual baby left on the doorstep, who “cries as if she could write a new world if she is just loud enough.” (Wow, that’s a lot of babies.)

I guess what I’m trying to say lies somewhere between Doctor Who moments like this: “What good is a body paint that is too hot to touch the skin? I won’t bore you with the details. I will just say that there are other ways to keep particles in motion and give you a little wink” (I’ll give YOU a little wink) and this kind of phrasing: “Colin’s job at the factory: Stick enormous metal comb into a deep rectangular tray of paste. Well Colin called it paste.”

Can I say you translucent things? There are babies inside of adults and inside of babies, the things that make adults what they are. The absurd wonder inside the mundane and how to do perfectly the things that I pray inside of the night will never happen.

It’s misleading, for those un-attuned to foreshadowing, that you should reference guides and plans in your name. In your presence I can expect most of what I understand to fly out the window, and then I can expect the window to turn out to be something else. And that something else will be looking at me in a reassuring way though it is shaped like Terror. What guide or plan would send reassuring Terror after me?

Do not assume from this that I will avoid your void. “His mouth frowned but he curled his body into a smile.” Your whimsical dark makes me braver, like “Cruddy” by Lynda Barry. The illuminated shapes of your twisted beasts on the walls teach me the nature of illumination.

You are so fucking zen. The monster is me and the direction is forward, and nothing will be okay, exactly, but there is a crystal pool waiting in the between where “It’s all here for you, blinding love--the way to win.”

1 comment:

Knead2Know said...

Well, I need to go lie down now. Maybe have a dream or two and read this a few more times.

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