by Chris Gartland
Nice, Nice, Very Nice – 12/23/2022
Despite planning a solstice break, scribblings on paper, persistent as paintings on cave walls, do not allow it, it, it, it’s not a real word in the sense of understanding offsides if never having played the game – perhaps a proof in the form of an integral function from eleven to infinity, excluding the negative square root of goal keeper or the dynamics of the Lydian Chromatic Concept attempting to prove the bending of tonal organization, with a completely different gravity – and the rereading of the last five hundred words not pleasing the ear days later as the content/frame of mind/perspective have evolved into self-loathing, questioning why anybody would want to read that piece followed by changes to four words, the addition of two commas and liberal deletions (that’s better, maybe), the Bobs (an uncle, a father, a brother, a friend) would muse the shit out of this the way the browsing creatures are aware of barometric changes: birds ravage the feeder, deer gather to graze like cattle then bed down close to the house, foxes release a disquieting scream, percussive entanglements unseen in the draw; wrangle the reins of this overstimulated vehicle; the day is fine, as they liked to say in France in the early twentieth century, and she accelerates with great enthusiasm: “Nice, nice, very nice” insinuates itself from Cat’s Cradle every time the word is heard read written, omnipresent as a turd lurking above the weir, and, speaking of presents, the disfigured boxes are treated like an old land survey, putting the junk in the corners, with little concern for accuracy, while wrapping to Weather Report, from the configuration of the late seventies, as christmas music; and InSight fading like a disconnected HAL 9000, suffers a slow and isolated death on Mars, and The Most Handsome Man in the World (DMV) returns with windows open just before the plunge and the air itself freezes and sparkles in the clever angles of winter suns with Ra presenting a much anticipated revival, yet, quite early in the afternoon it is too dark to type by natural light.
Between Gemini and Leo – 12/30/22
They stand in the forest, for they are not Eulipions, creaking like old bones against the weight of snow. Will the bombardier release the bombs before the tree snaps from exhaustion, not quite making it to that first relief of warming sun. Mother’s treatment will not sacrifice the limb in the name of extended suffering; the barbarism of invented gods and their machines. Peanut butter cups and candy bars sit on my desk taunting me on a day of meditation. Screaming foxes, at least three, scamper through a large meadow under the guise of night, a few imperfections in the veil reveal shining coats caught in low beams reflecting off otherwise matte surfaces. They seem to follow in my wake; one in front, one off the port bow, a third getting closer from behind. Two large bucks appear confused, not knowing whether to watch the foxes or the startled human stumbling in the dark. It will be warm on a cold day. There will be good melting instead of the rapid evaporation of another puny life.
Peace and Harmony
Dimenism? – 01/06/2023
The titles are not added until days have passed, so being stuck between Gemini and Leo has little meaning to those not having read the book. And I don’t believe any human has read the book. For a fortnight we have suffered the curses and spells of Balsamo’s stormy mountain. The plagues of age, ice and timely celebrations assault my posture. The immeasurable depths of the firmament have gone undetected, the cautious eye studies the trail for slippery hazards as short walks become long delays. Back and neck muscles stiffen in response to a head carried in an unnatural pose of supplication to the demands of the dangerous footing. Haunted visions catapult this old carriage down the frozen declivity pulled by postilions riding maddened steeds.
“The time is new. The year is new. The day is new. The hour is new. Why are we awake?” asks Carlos from his perch.
“Don’t distract me with your Shakespeare and those undreamed of philosophies Carlos. I need to concentrate. My philosophy is an all-inclusive, fluid dynamic comfortable with all possible worlds. I am not a Mussulman or a Jew, a Hindu or Buddhist, RC or Taoist. Perhaps I’m a Dimenist; it wouldn’t change the story. Many forums are breaking the rules of proselytization while I’ve been told a skinny-legged woman ain’t got no soul in a mondegreen of a popular ditty.”
I find myself walking deer along a ridge and Luna, a gentle rose, a beguiling delight, joins the parade. Our reverie induced a bit of jealousy in Carlos, though he knew he was my true guide. Periodically, Luna and I would get together for tea and cake. This was not an activity that interested the coyotes. Over the years, however, these meetings occurred less frequently. Eventually, though it seemed sudden, we were not meeting at all. Our shared fondness for the night could not survive the threat of the darkened course. Soon, the lady disappeared; life forging ahead.
So our last meeting was a long time ago. We hugged with a surprising passion knowing it would not last, though I was flattered by this overture from my charming escort. We held each other’s attention for an eternity in a few seconds in the shadows of the forest yet without a word we knew we would part ways; becoming like strangers on a train. It isn’t safe; the danger of multiple universes overlapping in time. I believe I am not the only being navigating several meaningful worlds in life. The avoidance of the other side seems impossible. If we are lucky these fables will be separated by that persistent illusion and we will enjoy them all. If we do not have that separation we will make decisions that will influence the rest of our lives.
For a while we would write and inevitably mention getting together for tea and cake and just as inevitably fail to do so. I feel, perhaps, there is more to it. I may have missed the signals. Yet I ignore these thoughts, considering the enormous difference in our lifespans, and attempted to maintain the friendship as she coyly withdraws into the diaphanous mist of the one stray cloud.
“Be seeing you my once and future friend.”
And so it goes