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Mouse, Rock, the Starlet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Fayetteville, Arkansas

I meditated the detached creature named Self
into wellness this morn, then I became mad again. The day begins.

I asked her
— What kind of day do you want?
and she replied, "Peaceful." That's good enough for me.

We laughed at the slip of my tongue the flapping thing that said
— I medicated myself into wellness,
but I don't do that no street medication no prescriptions no physical elixirs no chaotic balms. I'm clean like the whistle crystal clear like the frequency modulation wave a straight arrow if you ever saw one.

That's good enough for me. For the first time since sixty hours ago I'm not consumed by a sharp sense of the Absurd.

Blood Sausage, the Equivocals,
Olivedark Knobby Avocado.

It lingers, though, the absurdity so prevalent was the grip, and it clung shrink wrapped to my heart, blood sausage on my fingers, the equivocals drowning out healing messages sent to my spirit by the professor who likes my looks. I kept thinking of knobby avocado skin, olivedark encasement like a corset, saw it wrapped tightly 'round the starlet, beautiful like a fringed orchis, but I couldn't work it into the narrative and had to let it go.

I'm convinced I just know it I play a prominent role, the leading man, in defining and creating the expressions of my reality, and I vowed beside the candelabra, votives burning, to write our own reality into glorious being, any version of it pertaining to you and me, but somewhere a while back someone criticized me for that kind of supposed redundant structure, and the criticism stung, and then it stuck to my psyche like recombinant DNA, as if I'm transforming into the non-human against my bloody Will, becoming in twinkling twilight a latter day Ionesco's Rhinoceros, my skin thickening and my four feet roarin' down the hallway, a predator with a challenge to extend, with a sharp horn to gore every moving thing in my eyesights. O Mama this has gotta be the end of something I thought I'd be the last man, not the herd-longing beast. Turn away. Hear Gabriel's trumpet. Acknowledge the dark angel at the gate.

"Señor. Señor," the troubadour sings. "Can you tell me where we're headin'? Lincoln County Road or Armageddon? Seems like I been down this road before. Is there any truth in that, Señor?"

I wish I didn't give T H E  O T H E R S  sham power to define me, but I'm so imperfect it's ridiculous — and there I go again, back on the edge of the Absurd, and coughing up clichés like I've a chest cold, or something worse, walking pneumonia or the plague. You never know in the age of the SuperBug and the pandemic, never know what the next arriving flight might bring. Give me the simpler times when all we had to worry about was the Übermensch and Jack the Ripper, duns from the dowdy bookkeeper at the Chamber of Commerce.

Gatling Gun Cut Me to Ribbons.

My dear pal Joseph, last surviving veteran of the Boer War, wrote to me from Pretoria, referencing a long-ago essay about me 'n Taco Dog back when we wuz tryin' to find antichrist: "Your style at that time is substantially different than your current style." Matter of fact it seemed, coming from so far across the ocean, but soon I saw it different, saw it riddled with 50 .cal holes from a Gatling gun. Cut me to ribbons. And this from a guy who loves me like blood, who would slay fierce dragons on my behalf, who once ago stood with me back-to-back against enemies at The Last Battle, who would bury me with honor if Dame Fate decreed that I fall first, or lay next to me side-by-side in the cold stillness of the good day to die a shared warrior's death.

Anyway, I meditated my Self into wellness this morn and it's a takin' hold. When all is said and done:at the end of the day:the fact of the matter is:afterall: I am the Overcomer! I am the slayer of cliché and sameness. Hurray! I've stumbled and fallen into so many pits it'd take a census taker to count 'em but here I am, up 'n striding again, trudging the happy road of destiny Buckaroo! Buckaroo! I don't care if I'm here all alone I've got you, got you babe in another dimension Mister Jones.

Before I go gotta tell you about the sixty hours of Absurd, ask you:
Can you relate, go through this twice?

Now for the Mouse and the Rock.

It began with a mouse and a rock, the two of 'em brought before me as images by the director. He invited me to view his one and only movie. I presumed it was a novice's masterpiece. Blood. Sex. The action spiraled downward. At the end with a jagged rock the heroine smashed the mouse. Grain. Scratches. Vivid crimson specks like scarlet fever eruptions, close-up on her creamy face, mottled from the splatter.

She is thin like a reed along the Little Duna in May. She sways, flows when she moves through the frame. Her polywool slacks cling to her tall, slender, chocolate on cherries. The word on the street is: thirsty for power, a slow boozer, late in the night with whistles and roars. The other actors are moving their stuffed bodies slash and jab. See how aggressively most of them react. She, the ermine antipode, is not pretending.

Afterward I met the actress, her aura a glowing orange like a solar flare, eyes a smoky hazel 'neath glistening globes of contact lenses, strands of gold like the lioness slack-jawed in the hands of Temperance fallin' round her silky neck. She was eager to feign engagement, and listen, and nod, moist smiles over the perfect pearls. Had I wanted something I would have melted. I knew that very instant she meant to do no harm. My desire if I harbored it was aesthetic, studied.

Squeak. Squeak. Camel's back. All inflow becomes germane, floats from the keys of a xylophone, a squeeze box, Helmut's accordion. It's the soundtrack, the bleating and the hooves. And the many Maus? They tap keys. Tap, tap, tap. A B C D E F G. I want to control you. I want the text to push you. My way.

The Critic's Version
Leads Us to the Dozen Vortices.

"She is vulnerable," the critic scribbles on a spiral pad, lined and pale like the dry skin stretched acrost his agitated forehead. "Avocado. There is no story here. By half. I'll collapse before I tell it. I'll cling to the lie. Why do you think I should have to die alone?

"Read the book. It'll tell you. It's a wonder. She was dead. Then she rose up and began to eat. Voraciously. Like a. Like a. Like a glutton, a gluttonous swine. Helmut. The mouse. The Nazis and the Jews. You don't believe me? Then go ahead and finish your fool's errand. Go back to the farm. Bacon. Large letters. Listen to them fry. Like lard. Sizzling, popping, sticking in tiny balls on the time clock and the fire brick. Fryin' the diodes.

"You'll have to go shrink her for yourself. I won't do it. Hook your smallness to someone else. Over there. The band of fallen Muses. Get 'em to fetch the cooling waters from the well. Beg 'em to pour it on your fervor. Alls I'll tell you is, the pail's next to the Vortices, all dozen of them. One false step and you're done for. Any one of 'em will suck you up and grind you into nothingness."

One Page of Instructions.

At the end I couldn't tell who was totally mad and who'd gone straight. The celluloid was flippin' loud on the a·lu·mi·num reel when the director whispered to me, "I think the sun's a risin' in her kitchen. I want to be with her in the smoke. Now go. Run. Catch the mouse. Smash it with the rock. Doesn't matter. It'll rise again."

The norther comes, withering us. I have to ask myself
— What happens when life quits making sense?

Enter the filmmaker of the Absurd, scriptless. He has a black and white movie about the mouse and the rock. Made it himself on a diet of a budget. But the starlet is beautiful, every lonely one's lover, and he'll show her to you as the heroine of the veld in the windswept place beside the golden coast.

There's no formula for it, no platitudes or appropriate tone. It comes with only one page of instructions. Who can craft a masterpiece with only one page of instructions? It's absurd.


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It is lying down,
in the warmth,
in the gloom,
that I best pierce
the outer turmoil's
my quarry,
what course
to follow,
find peace
in another's
ludicrous distress.
Far from the world, its clamours,
frenzies, bitterness
and dingy light,
I pass judgment
on it
and on those,
like me,
who are
plunged in it
beyond recall,
and on him who
has need of me
to be delivered,
who cannot
deliver myself.
All is dark,
but with the
simple darkness
that follows
like a balm
upon the great
From their places
masses move,
stark as laws.
Masses of what?
One does not ask.

Samuel Beckett,
Molloy, 1955

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