Small Fractions of Space

Stephen Alcorn's Relief-Block Print 
of Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray (1984)

We all, or most of us, live in a small fraction of space, and within this space only a small fraction of individuals will ever be a part of our space, or our experiences.

Thinking of trapeze artists lately, ran across this: Madame Saqui: “I myself have witnessed the delicate crossings of Sharif Magomiedoff several times: he places the tip of his wife’s foot on his forehead and walks along the wire while keeping her balanced. To be a wire walker in its profoundest sense means to leave the wire behind you, to discover the cables that have been strung even higher and, step by step, to reach the Magic Wire of Immobility, the Wire that belongs to the Masters of the World. The earth itself rests on it.”
Cat-scratch deepest red on the chest like the color of a sky that HG Wells would explain as if some secret pang in the imagination. Illustrative brooding. I’m a galloping hoof where no trail should be entrailed. I could quote everything you have said to me going back years & years & years—how prone I am to loving you, without a reason to, but just to. Have to. Want to. Need to.

What would it be like to see the axiom of my tongue-garlands, you ask? It is like FWIFTNEFS of scents!—a bloomout; a regional route with fertile iron-ring of lispy lint in a dry pocket, a sprocket in the chimney of my glancing outward at the browning grass, as if vapours had choked the life out of it, & with a sigh of sorrow I have realized that Jeopardy has–gasp!–dropped its Bible category! like a groom neglecting the bride.

I miss you like “They don't sell vegetables in this place anymore” & across spacious breadths interjects a reminder, a memory clung, the weary way that a picture might hint.

How many people are drinking cranberry juice right now. A red truck just drove down the street, turned into a driveway.

I fear that if I do not read a poem with my tongue that my fingers will get lonely & my mouth will seal shut. Being beside the point; ferociously inanimate.

I want to see Day behave like Night for a time. I want to see the sun react like the moon. I just dropped a blue M&M onto my lap, stuck between the legs. Melty blush of blue. I want the moon to be this blue.

There is a “change in the air.” Ethereal sunlight kisses my arm & I turn away. Leaves turn their seasonal shy-renderings. “They were green just yesterday & now they are bright yellow.” I preserve a respectful silence as I stand, observing, listening as if I were expecting a pin-drop, or waiting for all of nature to burst into a melodic chorus. Listen closely. Flagrant fragrances, their voices. I spin dreamily, slowly with joy, engendered. Who’s watching? They will think my actions are uncalled-for. Let them. Let them endeavor to devour my love.

In the distance, a lawnmower revvs up hoarsely. My eyes avert. I yearn for juice. The red truck backs out, drives away & out of sight.

Later, I walked through a neighborhood. I noticed that, not only are neighborhoods so silent these days, but so are the homes. The wind blew breezily. I picked up a crumpled yellow advertisement in the yard of a house that is for sale. I tossed it back where it came from. This abandoned house still had its curtains in the windows, and it felt as though someone was watching me through the living room window. I kept walking. There was a woman that was, I’d say, seventy yards behind me in the distance, walking her dog, which was creating a stir within portions of the neighborhood. Dogs barked and barked up a storm. Certain trees were ‘sticking out’ like a voice in the middle of a dark crowd.

Colson Whitehead: “Just when you get settled, a breeze or hooligan ruins things.”—ignore the snore of ignorance and you'll fall asleep. Is that what makes boredom so appealing? John Vincent said, “The poem ends in a knot that cannot be untied.” Yep. Especially if it's a noose.

I have two siblings & a father whom all hope for my misfortune, with envy, bitterness & rage. The may say: “Let the lobster boil in the silver pot! Let him falter & be thrown about the streets!” Tragic, but on the contrary, quite true. In-cahoots these Hoots, tooting their anguish, gnawing like assassins. Only the wicked would feel the quiver of these outstretched bows, but my vessel can never be anchored. These hornets with devil-horns flying above my head as if with helium-sucked vocals. I forgive with love, to love to forgive, to pay no attention to a suffered wrong. What’s for dinner? Oh. That’s okay. I never acquired a taste for seafood.


Another thought, a moment years ago, came to mind:

I was a passenger in Katie’s reddish car as we drove down Highway 19 North on a warm, sunny afternoon. The sky was of deepest blue & clear, save for a vapor trail or two. We were both amused at where we would end up; the idea of toasting to no place, to no where, to ride until all of the fuel was kaput. Then what? I thought to myself.  Maybe, just maybe, we would hitchhike back home, or be discovered by a pale, bald man wearing all black who would invite us into his eerie mansion in some undisclosed area of the forest. The entities would likely attempt to back-body-drop us & a one-legged butler with the equilibrium of a whirlpool would attempt to turn us into stunt kites. Anyhow, my mind was doing tornado flips as Katie laughed & talked to me as if I were twenty yards away from her. Is this what mental illness feels like when a nurse or doctor keeps jabbering? Re-thinking our plans, we decided to return home. She turned the car around & began panicking with the apparent impulsive decision to either confuse me or possess me into anger. Suddenly, in a fit of ills, Katie stops the car, pulls over to the side of the road, switches off the ignition, gets out & begins walking down the highway. All without a sound. I sat there like a fixed unalterable thing. I was convinced that this were not like some “luminous after-dinner atmosphere” & that I better go after her, especially considering a rusted, ragged clunker, by this time had stopped near to ask if she needed a lift. Later, as I drove her home, all explanation had evaporated. By that time, the sky was overcast like clouded glass.


Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante defunte” beclouds me extravagantly.

Syllable general lunatic.

From Shakespeare:

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!


The offspring of linguistics; everything is made of quotes nowadays.

Pull out the heart, let it beat as a drum beats, wearing it on your sleeve. The cardiologist vanishes. An external alternating voltage powerful enough to produce a thunderstorm in the sky of the mind. I only believe in ideas when I came make them become a reality. Even then, I question this reality: flicked away into the ashtray of an accidental canvas. Let us try something else, shall we? 


THREE PROSE POEMS (or just “Thoughts”):

THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH is spoken into existence by Almighty God & not by brainwashed corporate sponsors. Nor aliens. (Stephen Hawking is alienistic.) A hawk mistaken for an unidentified flying bird. What is there left to understand? Mental-demolition. The human cell, more complex than New York City at rush hour. That is a real page-turner! There are sixteen framed images of senior citizens on the wall someplace in Middleville, Ontario. I see this kind of thing in dreams or in nursing homes. Why am I wry? I see myself in each frame on the wall like a near-conclusive film. I see my father in each frame on the wall & I see my mother as the wall, holding us all tightly, but with a menacing appearance, the way a submarine longs to be a jet, coughing out air—me, six years old, a bathtubful of Army men & foliage. Wintery cragged ice, as if in Norway. The result of staying in the tub too long. Derbyshire is where I should be, as cold as ever, standing beside a woman in a pink sweater, a flower-patterned dress & carnation ballerina flats. I could be the plump girl standing hesitantly beside her, wearing a beige skirt with squintedly-nervous  eyes, as if annoyed. Double-eared audible-spear. I ask my headphones to listen closely to me. Anyhow, I am very male. Sheepskin fur & all. Do soldiers always “keep the peace”? Male or machine, female or machine. Machine or machine to machine. Overpopulated Renaissance. Some girls swim with their Barbie dolls. They lay them out to ‘sun’ with their private parts covered. Here, gravity denies us, kisses the sky, the mind as ruinous as graffiti walls—des Grands Ensembles—toilet-set tongue, near-absent, or near Absence. I ache like a chef in New Orleans, with bodiless architecture, as if oil were classified edible, now as neon black as a politician’s gaping mouth.

MAGNETIC ELEMENTS in this room, staged, but real, pain-staking inking of pressure, like an elder, bent over, unable to revv up the chainsaw, so he kicks it, breaks his foot & thus we enter foolishness, even as youth is a rare treat, a wasted summer watching 18-wheelers drive by carrying goods or flattened vehicles. On an overgrown path (like Leoš Janáček) I rise to see a little child sitting on a train next to a window, his head down, a palm against the pane. The sunlight is as conscious as an armed MOD; a zebra hiding in a wooden crate. United States flags seem to hang in every window of Plumber shops in Texas. Each night I dance amidst the light of the utility pole as if I were a comic strip. I hold my ribcage in place, mouth open under the moon, waiting for a planet to make off with my energy, set up a tent in my backyard & gaze back at where it once resided.

advertisement in the background where two attractive women stand side-by-side both wearing skimpy Patriotic attire. They smile, clinging to one another, as if to define “plastic.” Down the street, a broad-shouldered, dark-skinned man with tattooed arms, a thick, dark black Fu Manchu, wearing a Grim Reaper t-shirt, looks like “Mister Bad News.” Sergei Prokofiev’s “The Fight” gushes into my ears. What is more unique, a stream of silver fish or a photostream of half-naked women? Overture of too-many-questions. No time to answer prolifically.

 Michel Henricot, Narcisse (2006)

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