some more lil thangs, i've been completely unable to use full stops so
The colour ran off her arm.
One thing which might be learned from this is that she, a woman, might have, somewhere and at some moment, been handling, in some capacity, some paint, the possibility, I mean, is opened, that she is a painter, or a painter-decorator, she has finished painting and is washing the paint from her arm, the colour ran off her arm, or perhaps she is injured, the colour being then of blood, and that she is washing her arm, after a suicide attempt of some sort perhaps, we’ve all been there, you want to die, we’re all there most of the time though we don’t always act on it, that would be absurd, what kind of a world would that be, not deserving of the name, but we all do, a bit, want to die, or to see if we really do or not, by making an initial incision, because we think we might, we have our suspicious, sitting in our chairs like this, like I am or might be now, you never know, which is part of the fun, part of us that tells us that yes, we think we want to die, but we aren’t serious, because look how fun this is, this writing about how one might be in a chair, think of the reader, how little they know, how they would have to guess, make an evidence-based judgement, what fun, who could really want to die in such a world, and world it would be, were it so, and it is, sometimes, but let’s not get distracted, the goal was to establish some interpretative pathways away from, and back towards, the given sentence, the colour ran off her arm, although of course this is already nothing more than a contribution to the growing sum of earthly distractions, the only currency of true value, the only thing between us and the inviolable certitude that really, when we get down it, when we clear our heads of our plans to suddenly take up farming in some place we don’t know the name of, etc., we start to think of it, the initial incision, much better to praise God that you have a plan to follow and follow it to its terminus, as we typically do, we put our hoe in our pocket and off we walk, by this means we keep ourselves from our knives, with which would surely be getting busy if we stayed at home, bereft of plan, in our hurry we left the knife quite at home, we can think of it, we can always think of it, but we don’t have access to it, only to our hoe in our pocket, we haven’t yet reached the point of attempting suicide with such an instrument, you need a knife on a farm of course but not on the freshly imagined farm towards which we walk, it barely exists in fact, but will enable us nonetheless when we arrive there to be at one with nature, the less tools and instruments the better, in fact, for this becoming-one, not that we would cease to be ourselves, disappearing wholly, answering to the name nature answers to which is to say, not a name, not answering, or answering only to the name of a certain leaf falling at a certain time in a certain place and that only, leave me alone until you are that leaf, then you can come a-knocking and I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, objection-wise, I would accept your invitation graciously, join me and my hoe, I would say, looking down at the grass, were any of this to happen, though of course we’re not quite at that level yet, the level of fully actualised distractions, we’re still playing around in the sandpit of the present, writing, though you know as well if not better than I do, that’s the thing about writing, it ceases to be obvious to the one writing that they are writing, while to the one not writing, while the one reading is more and more aware, as they go on, of the processual presence behind the words, while I, that is, engage in my own personal studies of forgetfulness, you involve yourself in remembering, I can certainly remember doing that, developing little techniques of memory which would help to me keep a hold on the characters, the plot, so that I might properly get lost in the book, as they say, everything outside the book not sufficing to get lost in, the clouds for example, they just look blankly down at us, no presence to speak of, anyway, back to the initial sentence, I can’t go on writing about nothing for long, I lack the skill and maturity, to go on without turning back, so as to turn forward again, to the seed, the colour ran off her arm, so it’s a woman, that’s what the her is telling us, although it could be an animal, one of those about which we typically, for whatever reason, feel the need to resort to gender pronouns, a dog, a cat, a female dog with colour on it, not impossible, a couple decide to paint their house before their little baby arrives therein and the dog which they had purchased so as to delay until now this moment of imminent parenthood attempts to scratch some inaccessible part of itself against the just painted wall, so now the paint is on the dog, the symbol of the desire to welcome to the child into the world and the symbol of the fear of welcoming the child in the world united suddenly in this painted dog, which perhaps walks out into the rain, and stands there, looking about itself, and the couple look at it, stunned somehow, looking at the colour running off her fur in the rain, all of them together baffled somehow, a moment of symbolic intensity, the strands connecting, the colour rushing now towards the drain indicating certain things about their past life, drunkenness, drug abuse, sexual excess, which they anticipate missing, and all the other sources of young adult fun, crossing roads again and again backwards and forwards with your eyes closed and so on, that’s all draining away, they can’t turn away from it, the dog, now clean, plays in the rain, and then he could put his hand on her stomach and a car or even train could hit the dog, wham, what does that mean, although typically the limbs of a dog are not referred to as arms, so the narrative does not follow from the lonely original sentence which I took, for personal reasons no doubt, to be my beginning, the place from which I set off, on my long, awful journey back to it, that’s what it means, of course, when a writer (someone who writes) offsets a single sentence at the beginning of something, it singles out a place to be returned to, it’s the territorial piss of the pen, you’ll see me again in these parts, you just need to hang around in the white space and above and below me, here the themes will yield their rewards, give it time, just a little time, I’ll be back, Godspeed, the colour ran off her arm, what next you’re thinking, so am I, perhaps she was cooking, running her hand under the tap, I’m waiting behind her to wipe the colour off my hand too, happiness, we were cooking together, it happens, a cake, for our best friend, or for ourselves, or for our wedding anniversary, for our wedding we had a blue cake and we’ll have a blue cake again goddamn it, dutiful as ever to the strange wiles of the past we went to the shop and purchased the dye no we didn’t we already had it, we’re forty or so, the same old bottle we’ve been using it all these years, amazing isn’t it, though we’re too intimate to say such tedious things, to describe anything as amazing, the word amazing underwrites our very being thank you very much, we would only muddy it by dragging it out into the open, worldly space between us, it has a life of its own, we don’t disturb it, but amazing isn’t it, we wouldn’t say, the silence peaking in brilliance at that very moment, how the dye keeps, as blue as it ever was, will be, not necessary to say, silence still in peak, not one of those short, youthful peaks, that dissipate as soon as they arrive, into extreme tension, but a long, pure, adult silence, still married and after so much, as blue as it ever was, the colour ran off her arm, or rather, he was thinking it would, run off blue, as he came back into the room, he had gone into another room, not sure why, it happens with married couples, you drift, sometimes the room is suddenly not the right size or shape for the two of you to stand there together, another room needs to be introduced, for balance, so he came back from that other room, and saw her over by the sink, cognisant of the blue dye on his own arm, the colour he was expecting to see, but perhaps it wasn’t, it isn’t, it’s red, quite red, as before, quite a lot of it, absolutely shameless, isn’t it, for her to do it now, with all the symbolic valances in place, what violence, concentrating the entire symbolic system into this terrible, suddenly red point, that’s what he’s no doubt referring to when he begins the story with those words, cut away from the rest, just waiting to be returned to, again and again, both in his mind and out, the colour ran off her arm.
The truth is I was sitting down somewhere when it happened, sitting down somewhere like any old person, I’d looked up, I’d seen the sky, I’d seen the trees against the sky, that was how my look went up, on the line of the trees, then the sky, it was obvious something was going to happen, what though, we thought, looking at each other, I say we thought, I don’t know what she thought, that’s the joy of it, love, not knowing, the slow descent into not knowing, but it’s quite specific things that you find pleasure in not knowing, proximate, invisible things, you’re outlook regarding the sky remains the same, I couldn’t sit for the rest of my life under a sky so obnoxiously ominous I tried to focus on the things I didn’t know that I also didn’t want to know, such as what she was thinking, what she ever thinks, it’s not just a question of not knowing, but question of not being able to know, the option is never open, which gives the whole thing an appearance of great clarity, people can answer the question what are you thinking when you ask them, but if you hadn’t asked them, they’d have thought something else, in that moment, and when I ask them what they’re thinking all I want to know is what they would have thought if I hadn’t asked, hadn’t interrupted, but enough about who I am, there we were, a few years ago it seems, the sky, as I said, brooding, like a teenager not wanting to be called by the name its parents had given it, wanting to wriggle free, it seemed, of the ontological commitments entailed in being sky, to be something wholly other, it had turned purple which is normal enough at sunset but it was the middle of the day, it was purple with a blue heart, it was falling out of itself or into itself, it was the climax of global warming perhaps or God blinking, which of those, I thought, is she more likely to be thinking, the climax of global warming or God blinking, I’d put down both at about 100:1, I know her quite well, better than anyone else at least, she arrives at cognition through non-cognition, erasure, she thinks about what I might be thinking and then rules it out and sees what it left which is a dangerous move, I’ve told her as much, since the way I think is agglutinative, to think all possible things in a row and then hold them at arm’s length, but hold them, she shatters them, other couples throw pieces of crockery at the walls, usually something Italian, it drips down walls better, redder, it’s like opera, we do the same with thoughts, or she does, I’m more of the creative type, which is to say uninterested in truth, she is interested in truth, which means in practice performing the slow erasure of everything I find it possible to think, and there we were, two of us in total, surprising really, you would think people would seek company if the sky turned blue at noon but it turns out that most people decide to stay indoors, away from the sky, we on the other hand hadn’t yet decided to do anything, the moment was locked at both exits by our diverse gazes, like the staring game but with the focus off stage somehow, staring with consciousness rather than eyes, though I know that the distinction is not always so clear, but it was then, I promise, there was some seal on the moment, either the rising force of love between us or the purple blue noon sky, something has to give, I thought, it’s dangerous out here, it might be the end of the world, I pictured her thinking that and erasing the thought, I don’t know how she does it, erases thoughts, with me they just build up and up and up, you’ve probably gathered as much, if only we could find the middle between us and just stay there forever, choosing the good thoughts and letting go of the bad, a bodiless but highly moral collective innerness, safe from the wiles of the then blue sky and the potential intrusions of the manifold people waiting for whatever was going to happen, because something is going to happen, I thought, in their houses, unless that’s it, that’s what’s going to happen, the natural laws are going to slide to one side, shift to accommodate the new middle space, we’ll get sucked up there, I thought, into the centre, and be added together and divided by two and sprinkled down like rain, or ash, the only true form of union occurs after death, shared burial spots, or ash in a shared container, not the ash of my body at the base and the ash of hers at the top but the two ashes stirred together, by a kind, understanding son or daughter, unless that’s the answer, a son or a daughter, a living mixture of the impossible between, running and jumping around, sometimes more me, sometimes more her, but sometimes, surely, a magical corporealized balance, standing there, just behind us, turn around, look into its eyes and the lock starts to break.
A Brief Adventure
You are the word perhaps if you are anything and you are something and that’s what it is, I just have to start writing and you climb in, on either side of everything that word as though it were 1990 I had pulled up outside your house I was American the house was American the world was American, America still held to it a trace of the imaginable anyway, I pulled up I could drive I could be I was I pressed the horn you came out squeezed through the door in your huge infinite costume, the word perhaps, there were four of you you sat in every seat of my car I had a car I had you I had everything except I didn’t because that was the truth, and I knew it, you were the truth, the word perhaps without accompaniment, what could I say to calm it down to alter it I had to crash there were no trees no rocks no cliff faces no other car an infinite amount of petrol and of desert and driving around, the word perhaps in all seats except mine I didn’t feel so good I’ll be honest and I don’t now either. It’s so unsurprising when you explain it. Same with everything. Best to go back to the brothels, the insects impressions on the floor there, I paid them to watch me do my Kafka, making ejaculation 1/100 times but it was undoubtedly worth it, the other 99 times were still worth it somehow, hard to describe it of course that’s why people have sex, so they can say I don’t know about something and mean it, I think of all the times I said I don’t know and didn’t mean it and it makes me sick I throw up, is there somewhere here to throw up I say, where is the choicest spot they point me towards their families lingering on the curb side but I don’t get there I throw up before I arrive, then I’m back doing Kafka, sometimes I segue into Dostojevskij it makes me so incredibly hot, I don’t know how they feel, you would have to ask them, you’d have to pay them too, that’s how it works with them, perhaps they didn’t feel anything, it makes me hot just thinking about that, they saw me complete the full transformation, jump the arc of the impossible literary genealogy, and felt nothing looked the other way even, rather at the suburban death through the window than at my series of, excuse my boldness, inspired moves, it looked like I was mining myself, I was spade and hole and man and blackness down there no light and I was the terrifying hierarchical relationships behind the scenes all of it, at once they looked out of the window, into the window of Pizza Hut, it was just next door back then those were the days those were days.