somethingelseness

I have confused a retrospective reasoning of a situation,

feeling showered and calm in the morning and eating a grapefruit 

slowly, with a original momentary reason for doing something

adjusting past social exchanges in a parody

of people being perfect for each other

like a goth couple in a sushi restaurant, sitting at a table for four

 

outside the house I saw two squirrels sitting perpendicular

sitting on their hind legs, performing identical actions using front paws and some kind of nut

 

I tried to position myself in relation

as the third point of a trifecta

 

And they looked away, without moving their bodies

I imagined their gray fur shattering

as millions of wooly spiders covering everything

I scared them away 

just by walking a little bit closer

in noise

silence has never heard

after smoking a lot of marijuana

we, I drove a car through the old north end of Burlington

And I didn’t stop for a woman on the crosswalk 

who frowned and stared at the back of our car

as we vanished, mutually

“why didn’t you stop for that woman? She looked mad,” you said

“oops, I forgot the law,” I said

I repeatedly remembered the event as though I had been crossing the crosswalk

until I had been crossing the crosswalk

already, always descending a white stepladder through the holographic

substrate of the earth

holding your slightly cold hand in the

woman in my place in the car’s

municipally policed imagination

things you saw and felt along a bike ride

You are riding a bike on the bike path,  

wincing your eyes in the moving wind, as though at every moment

waking up in the morning,

and it is a hot and goopy, humid day,

and ‘it’ sits between one sun and another

like a forgotten or unacknowledged

concept of beauty

and you make a noise of ‘carried by bees’,

a noise that is accentuated as you ride

over plywood sheets

playing a tablature seemingly arbitrarily laid down on the path

by park maintenance;

and you pass dogs, and you pass an old guy jogging without a shirt, and a game of

little league, and a late-60’s-looking woman

wearing a yellow shirt and walking a mid-sized dog on the wrong side

of the road, and she is behind a parked car as you approach,

and behind centimeter-thick glasses,

is old enough probably to have filtered out low-lying sounds, like the buzz of

mountain bike tires on pavement,

so she can’t see or hear as you approach,

and you are forced to swerve into the road, avoiding her and her unpredictable dog,  

almost getting side-swiped by a ford explorer —

 Closing your eyes for an infinitesimal second’s pause, you begin to wonder, in a serious way, why the pavement, the parked car, the explorer, the sidewalks, the houses, the fences, and the innumerable other partitions laid down by human industry, between one thing and another in nature.

Resuming attention to the road, you consider saying something implicitly accusatory to the old woman in the yellow shirt, while still remaining encouraging, or productive,

something like, ‘For a number of reasons, I recommend you get over to the other side’, an easy concept in a calm,

enlightening tone, as opposed to, ‘you are on the wrong side of the road’, either way very possibly making the

obvious thing an audible thing, though hopefully in an agreeable and

un-patronizing way,

and by the time you are far enough beyond her, you have sort of loosely hinged your inevitable

avoidance of conflict or tension on

the basis of the woman being old, probably poised for death

in less than a decade, if not a few years, and likely un-keen on

spending her time arguing about

municipal precedent, you grimly thought,

then realizing you had patronized her anyway.

You sat in the field at the end of the bike path

and saw wind deflect off of young, open-mouthed faces

and saw wind catch in the wrinkles of old

people with tightly closed and swollen jaws

and you were approached by an elderly woman,

a complex ether of wind holding just above the contours and

sub-contours of

her entire surface area, like a detailed map of a ghostly alternate dimension,

and she asked, “You know anything about fruit, honey?”

holding a watermelon out like a newborn child,

and you were still feeling the marijuana and adderall you had consumed what seemed like a lot longer than an hour ago, and had just been feeling every avocado in the bin before

making a selection, feeling insane and lonely,

the woman, doubtless lonely too,

so without hesitating, you made an assuring face that said,

“Yeah, you know, I pretty much know fruit.”

You felt the blemish of contention, and it was firm,

and you said, in a diagnostic tone,

“It is a firm blemish. My read is you’re o.k.!”

She thanked you with a magnitude you would expect

after you have just resuscitated her infant child,

and you realized that probably she is

a lot more lonely than you are

lonely, and that this type of exchange would

have more likely taken place at a Price Chopper,

or something, and furthermore and not irrelevantly that you have been

living on this Earth longer than

anyone alive, catching wind and weathering out smooth

on your face

over + over

(no, you were lying—the bike path does not end in a field, instead peters out into a causeway over Lake Champlain, about 2/3 of the way across the water, toward South Hero, Vermont, on the other side, stopping dead like the burnt stub

of an amputated arm—and you have to pay for a ferry ride to get any further)

so instead you sat and ran

your eyes along the phantom limb you saw dipping

to the bottom of the water 

in the 30 foot gap between one length of the bike path

and the other

and rain began to fall

drawing it toward you like a liquid-y wall 

of perpendicular ghosts

always in the same fucking rain endlessly

I’ve reached the point in life where I resign myself to the ends of hours typically somewhere around (x):36 (x):37

and albeit that, at the whim of the four sentient walls around me, which, like some kind of quadratic countenance, stare at me with innumerable pupil-less eyes, or one, massive eye-white, riddled with several long, 90 degree angles, whether the sentience really derives from my consciousness’s own projection of itself, or otherwise, every day is like this: first re-fitting myself, then shrinking painfully upon exiting the bedroom—it is an action like Wonka’s door with the password by Rachmaninoff; the music, an analog to the complexity of my compulsory daily re-adjustment to waking life, I find myself ‘happy’.

Excluding the concrete fact of the walls of my bedroom being self-increasing, and that the walls around the hydroelectric apparatus that powers me, or instead is and is the source of my power, or instead simply is me, finally, performs the opposite function, that is, they are both qualitatively, and, in the numerical terms of measurable size, self-decreasing, and self-increasing, respectively, or so it seems in a conflictingly tangible and metaphysical, though above all ‘perceived’ manner, I am a generally contented and affirmed person, aptly aware, in my own way, of the implications of human existence, my existence, my existence as a ‘human being’, however varyingly alienated at different times I feel from that classification,

I find a happiness cautiously, while reserved, in the partial, though adequately proportioned, sense, that everyone really suggests when claiming they are “happy,” as though the feeling is constant, self-perpetuating, and all encompassing, and indestructible; unless, of course, I am the only person alive incapable feeling singularly happy.

Excluding an unnecessary expense of facial muscles, that is, no one is amused with Wonka’s tricks. No one is smiling at a river of chocolate. Though there is something inclusive of an inactive facial expression, like a placid, un-corrugated lake over everyone. A hazy, concurrent feeling of indifference toward or under-awareness of the real and imagined prospect of being eaten.

Curled into the basket in lieu of the load of dirty laundry I have commissioned as my weekend proxy, I have chosen to reserve business hours for myself. I promise until Tuesday (tomorrow), I will only move about the scalene triangular path between my refrigerator, the couch, and my bedroom, all of which will seem like insanely long distances in the vacuum I have created. Entrapped on many levels, on the infinite surfaces of empty space, I think I will try to consummate the thousands of personalities I have scattered, over a still extant stretch of space-time, across multitudinous people and places and inanimate (or inanimate, willed to be animate) things, and my problems will become relative, and compounded. For instance, the empty arms of dirty t-shirts have a penchant for becoming knots of one another, like clever street performers, and I am, somewhat discrepantly, a life-long vocational spectator. A single thing once. It’s weird.

We should—since I have been long designing but never done—should get into the habit of bumming cigarettes at parties

as a way to prevent anyone from smoking them. They could pretty easily be made into miniature skyscrapers, in a miniature city that, at worst, if burnt down would, with discreet tact, take a maximum of five minutes from the lives of a mob of the individualistic limbs of a much larger thing.

Walk with me. You are going to be commissioned by a paraphrased reiteration of a doctrine of yourself, and I am going to be commissioned by a paraphrased reiteration of a doctrine of myself, and we are going to be happy together. 

And you know, plenty of people are willing observe the lit moon with me, but where are you to ogle the unlit everywhere-moon of the dark night sky with me? Up there where everything is happening? My memory of you, a composition of all memories of you, is made of two rooms, both with me, one with you, chopped and spliced gruesomely, our eyes and the stems of our eyes ending up stuck together, back-to-back, like trying to determine who’s taller.

Or maybe we will end up walking and seeing a city from our unlit selves. The random lighted windows and incremental street signs we have taken for granted, seeing them all the way out from within us, out to a vapor-y floating T, and it swirling through the air like a cute-sized tornado, only for seconds; then solidifying, flattening, gluing to the front of our favorite building in the immediate vicinity, like a harmless, calm, vigilant poltergeist finding a place to live in a massive stone.

Everyone watching the moon is watching the moon together, we have realized. But I have the feeling of being inside for too long. How many nights have I wasted? It seems insane to have slept through so many of them, as though consciousness did not grant me the opportunity of being a self-willed nocturnal. And I have been trembling at the most immediate sources of gratification, perpetually in a state of sitting, trying to remember something I was looking forward to only moments ago, or to realize it was something that had already happened. The day isn’t coming.

Nothing comes. I respond by calmly, rationally, and virginally and womb-less-ly giving birth to 1,000,000 dolphins all over my couch, yelling, “WHAT THE FUCK AM I TO DO WITH ALL OF THESE DOLPHINS. FUCK THAT’S A LOT OF DOLPHINS.”

and they all hold the same facial expression of an unwanted child

“OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE NOT IN FRONT OF THEM,” yelling again

like two parents,

in a single entity

arguing with itself

nothing is coming

Did you know that the landscape of the human face is categorically the same in everyone: a ravine that swings on a hinge, a mountain, sloping hills, arid plains, caves, and two ingrown trees, separated by the lowest point of the ridge that dies slow out of the mountain, bearing ponds as root systems,

alive in the canopies.

Nothing For Tips

I was sitting on the porch with Henry, playing guitar, unfocusedly working on a song and making vague progress. An un-cohered chorus and verse so far. We were working on a case of beer and succeeding, and you could measure that.

I put an off-brand, mostly-burnt-down, Yankee candle, lit two feet in front of and between my right and his left foot, on the middle of the top step, not really for the scent, bad-smelling, (supposed to be pumpkin but really was its own slightly off-putting breed), but because I enjoyed being around a small, controlled fire; I felt calm and safe in front of something small, that, if larger, could destroy me entirely, and often gauged others, on a basic level, based on the level of enjoyment they derived or seemed to derive from small, controlled fires.   

A breeze blew through the neighbor to our immediate left’s hedges. Through the holes came voices. Two girls and one guy grew out of the 90-degree angle between the hedges and the sidewalk, and appeared independent of the hedges and the sidewalk, independent of all else, alive and otherwise, it seemed, and spoke with in-and-out voices.

“Have you had the potsti—uh uh no?—aw you have to try it it’s my favorite—all—yeah—eat it all the time,” said the guy, long brown hair and a moustache you had to imagine the rest of yourself.

“———-noo—you—haven’t even——-no fucking way!” said one of the girls in response, long red hair like the tail of a rocket, and mostly inaudible because talking toward our opposite direction.

Rocket Head looks at us and unloads a backpack, un-zippers a small pocket. The three reach us. By now we have elaborated on the song to the extent of a blurry flood, beyond and indistinguishable from the original two written parts. Henry is drunk and funnily leaning in his chair in a way that should have severely inconvenienced his guitar playing. It was a good influence on his guitar playing.

The 20-year or so woman produces a wallet from the small pocket and removes a dollar shape. She smiles. She nods patronizingly, leans over and stuffs the dollar shape in the glass candleholder. They keep walking; disappear into another right angle, between two perpendiculars, two different colored ghosts.

I heard, “—-yeah oh yeah—-I only found one-good one,” from an out-of-sight Moustache, in a voice like I was him, hearing my own voice through the phone.

I stared into the candle, like some kind of bird of prey without the quality of depth perception. Squinting, I formulated the number 10 on one of the deciduous paper corners. The whole bill caught fire very quickly and the flames rose above the glass rim. It looked like an inverted Rocket Girl’s head in a specimen jar.

“FIRE!” I yelled. “OUT OF CONTROL FUCKING FIRE!”

Before the ten dollar bill could burn up, (it could have very well done this on its own), I threw a 5-or-6 second waterfall of beer into the chamber, walked up to the candle, and spat directly into the opening, maintaining a narrow, coherent stream. The fire out, I got down on all fours as though checking under the bed at night for an evil, waiting something.

The ashes floated in complex patterns in the power of the beer’s soft currents. A piece with Alexander Hamilton’s green mouth that managed to stay unburned floated into visibility. It had been close to the center of the bill.

The candleholder was like a fire-y dead money snow globe. I pictured myself releasing garbage bags full of burnt all-the-money-ever from the top of Mt. Everest, freeing the Earth and justifying my existence on it.

I laughed, “ha ha, fucking tips,” looking at Henry.

“ha ha, we’re fucking fat cats now,” Henry said.

Rewarded, I thought of a war, suspended in the ocean.

All harmless.

And slow.

And beautiful. 

"Intelligent" Dog

A woman and her dog approached from behind me. I was sitting on a bench alongside the bike path along Lake Champlain, looking over the water and at the mountains past the water. The woman and the dog arrived and stopped. The dog stood just in front of the woman, the woman stood just behind the back limit of my right side periphery. The dog had a cone-shaped protective collar around her neck.

I could see she had an injured paw. “No—NO, you can’t go down there,” I heard the woman. The only other person in the vicinity, I looked and looked away quickly, not wanting to be seen looking. I sensed that the woman looked back. She said, “No, you’re not well enough, honey.” I thought she was talking to me. “Honey, I’d love for you to be able to go down there. You’ve got a hurt paw, honey. You can’t go there.” I didn’t look again and I heard them walking away, the dog, like, not objecting at ALL to that bullshit ruling.

And it occurred to me that if I had not been present, and the woman had been alone with her dog, probably she would have stayed fully quiet.

I felt the slight warmth (and slight cringe) you feel after even the slightest interaction with another human being after hours or days without one.

I looked down at my hand and noticed a slight cut, probably from the handlebars of this weird bike I was borrowing. I felt possessed to begin sucking on my hand. I began sucking on my hand. Sucking and sucking. The laceration began to burn. I felt compelled. I started implementing teeth. Implementing implementing. Teeth. Blood came out. Gouging in. Teeth. I expected like juice after opening a carton. Lapped and lapped up.

“Intelligent dog.”

I thought

“Resourceful” 

I thought

"Who is here to cone me from myself"

eventually we will learn to identify with our eyes closed

our favorite fate

is everywhere

there is potential wind

and we are keeping still

we are permanent water,

frozen, sometimes,

or picking up trash on the street

or not picking up money on the street

you reach down and I imagine

your young arm, healthy and

beautiful, and at the same time

old and wrinkled and

hanging

I see your whole old body

of the future

on the chair each night

still drinking yuenging like I loved

you, afraid your bed will

become your death

after I have gone already

when you step out the door

did you know there is a lion somewhere

and there is an ‘I am somewhere’

& all the outsides & all the in-betweens

fucking incomprehensible somewhere

do you remember the day

and subsequent night

when you vectored all the

drugs in you

in me

through a kiss

so that you wouldn’t fail

a mandatory Rite-Aid

sanctioned drug screening?

do you remember the night

I laid, multi-crossfaded,

with a hand, annihilating

a stress ball, in a way

not to get rid of stress,

to get rid of the stress ball,

it seemed, until you lowered

your hair into my hair, calming

my muscles, and into

depths of a tingling on the bottoms

of my feet?

you must remember the next morning

when I vomited

and while I was unable to sense earthquakes, thunderstorms,

and all other phenomena before they happened

I knew I was still an animal

I knew I was going to vomit

before I was going to vomit

and gratuitously made it to your sink

before the physical manifestations began to take hold

and you attested, you had felt this before

and knew that we were always

still animals