Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Listen! – the earth roar, every mile off in the distance. Then with a piece of fat from a little bag he made a looking glass; with great care he contemplated the effect. "I shall kill it."
Children of the Keeper, of the Leader, of the One-eyed, the Terrible, the way is before us, no trickery! The light in you and eat shall argue, it was made – and he pointed to the north. Galloping clouds to a farther mountain, fired the mist, and followed him into the lightning.
"This noise is king! This noise is king!" thundered through the worship, the elders clapped their hands and ran away. The country grew in wreaths, diaphanous, burning vegetation, the sun odorous. Into square blocks are dome-shaped and built; men can walk six feet wide, surrounded at a distance by a circle of smaller stars.
It is good, we are weary, let us rest. Stepping into the milk, skinned and jointed. Turn and turn about, three of us flung ourselves, the sweet weary, and slept down.
As we were overtaken a horseshoe shaped sunset, a smooth river ends there. No twilight, and the shadows shoot arrows. Mine has been a life, and we shall fall by the way. A hut is ready outside the town, "Unlimited," in a great grass city. Each of us was ready when we woke it. The spectacle standing behind us.
Stood still in silence, in his right hand enormous silence. A girl came, bearing a red jar, boiling with "our lives depend on it." Still stood for a minute, projected an inch, and began to speak: "Listen, stars and storm and unborn words!" Hearts died away in a faint wail, including our own. "I smell it, I’m old on the ground, footsteps, footsteps –," she pointed to the mountains – "Not here, not stones, not gleam, strip off the features –" and was carried back into the hut.
The great space, instantly ourselves, was empty. Windowless indeed, with the outer air driven through the roof. Running down the length of the place as my legs would carry me, I am free to own another five minutes. Enter it again, but he held me tight, I could not, stopped, became focused. "What is that thing? And what are those things?" pointing to the white company.
Very slowly one began to shake in the whole world. When our eyes grew used to it we followed.
As far as the eye down the vapory horizon, line, square, triangle of lurid gold. Measureless cranes against a flying sky. And then the air quivered, turned round, turned over, and got him by the throat. The end fell forward and rolled for a minute. Afterwards, we managed ablutions.
I suppose I slept, yellowish and frizzed up; an old man hung loosely, eyes of paper and a look of monotonous snow. "Stranger" he said, "and by the way they teach their children foot language here. Come up out of the sea." I reached the motion of a drained lake. I saw no signs destined to be gratified.
We discovered the mouth was the contents, hollowed out by a steaming hand. We squatted, the skins ate with satisfaction, orders for destruction were set before us. "Pardon me" I interrupted, "How long is the fifth day of absence?" Watching for our appearance, they saw us come out smoking. Hung upon the wall all shapes were clarified. From a stem was passed the wood of constant attention, burning low. A palm tree showed silence contemplating the shadows.
He rose. There was no air, no furniture, running stone length. Get away, please hold me, I can’t. This never happened, as we stood there literally. The other woman took a walk, shaped like a big spear. As time went on we descended from these men.
They had come forth in a giant cloak, muffled voices. Those who waited could tell no tales, but had power over all things. The land was "households," resembling this stretch of swamp country.
I have been inclined one or twice on the time left. Something happened when I shut my eyes: chosen, beautiful, strong arm, happy face. Ask me what I saw. I love to wash your feet with bitter memories.
They fell upon the white wrappings, hand on the rock. Night by night, soft or stiff, tossing in the slab-form of solemn sleep. Give strength to wander across blotted identity, burst in the past and melt echoing up the cliffs. He stood staring; partial stupefaction. "Cover it up and take me away."
Going to the shelf she bent down and loosed the man, her mouth tied up with a bladder kissed the head and chest. Fumes prevented us from seeing. The hour burst noiselessly, witness.
After some months, boyhood hardened, better than the old one. No ordinary marriage could give such wonderful shame and grief. In the face we had impotence, in the heart insolence; experience is possible. Leaving our hands down, we awaited earthly habitation.
Some spare boots, a rifle each, the appointed minutes. "We are ready," I answered, "though for my part I have no memory." A man in a nightshirt pointed out of the cave to a central path. Light did not consume our bodies.
A sheet of water appeared to descend, a mountain wall, and evident ruins. Remote a little more, we reached high through the sinking ground, filed across. Some idea of sight met our view, shrines and palaces and party walls. We came to a pile of fading light. I think I may as well as have been a tangled thing, pressed enormous enclosing another of a small size. There used to be a spot here; it has passed. While we were eating the moon – cold meat – thickness began to flood the place – I brought you, I can see it, I shuddered.
I brought you your eating; when done we will go out. The brooding days ran from our whispers, imperfections in all their majesty! Upon each other we poured forth the tale, a little untamed solitude.
There remains a basin in the outer court, ready to start. This man bowed humbly till we grew old. "Well, let him come, he will bear this." I slung a spare skin on my back till he had vanished. Quaking, we sprang from ledge to ledge. Angles gave the appearance of blown bodily movement. There was a humming sound beneath us, like a living thing. On our stomachs, grain of the rock, against the wind, we saw the other side. "That’s it!" I groaned, crept, a wilderness of gathering fear. Clasping, I met my own and hauled.
The white day streamed across the plain. Heavy with blood, we rose and ate inward. Years stamped out the murmuring land, sting passed, story passes with it. I shall forget them; I forget them and you. Across the sea – another overshadowed path – a gathering song:
When he was thrown in with men: their history.
An attempt has been made, Chief of incidents.
Something ignited the grass, up to their heads weeping.
His name does not matter.
His name does not matter: he went to bed.
We swept our heads through the curtain, a cutting wind.
Quick, this space wheels, they can never bear this cold.
In the shelter they vanished; you told them nothing.
You told them their spoor was obliterated.
What is to be done?
Look at this hand – it dropped slowly to the earth.
Quiver in their sound, but where are they now.
We saw a woman walking toward us, walked like a woman.
"How is your name and what are your people?"
"My name is ‘fall by the way,’ but I ran faster."
"My name is ‘stood still and watched,’" and he came forward.
Now I will tell you something more.
Now I will tell you lost in the clouds.
When we have stamped the earth flat I have spoken.
Grow fat in my shadow, the liar has spoken!
-- Aaron Shurin
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