Time and the Visible

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Forget about it…
Tomorrow, when the Montana sun rises,
and spills its electric tentacles across
your broken linen bed sheets—
in a place you called your home—
the songs you once knew will have ceased their vibrations.

Forget about your callused fingers…
They are only twigs with a conscience.
And never mind the flesh-eating flies on Capitol Hill.
For this is a tale of Time and the Visible,
or whatever it is that persists between.

It is a mid-April night—the Spring season.
The Life season.
The No-Need-For-Strife season.
Matted clouds take on shapes of the living
through a mess of mostly barren tree limbs.
Out there, winter stains lay and whisper like ghouls…
Some place between the Earth and its curve.

Somewhere, the snake finds its skin.

These things, you see them from your bedroom window.
The one that sits just under the North Star,
whose glare is what’s keeping you up.
They are not unusual,
these things that you see.
No, the midnight fox has curdled her milk before.
Your rabbit in the corner has taken queer sips of water,
and the wind has forever kissed the sand.

And forever man has pondered.

Lost in your mind and the world out the window,
it escapes you that the hands of the clock have quit.
The clock that your mother bought at the county fair,
which hangs just to the right of your periphery.
Who’s Mississippi tick has gone mute like a worm.
Mute like your white rabbit, San Diego,
that you brought from San Diego.

Forever has man been original.

And proud.

With the buzz of time silenced,
your thoughts are ever the clearer.
Thoughts of love and lust and the bleak and the damned.
Of petty and excellent.
The infinitely large and the infinitely small.
And mostly of your favorite word, Power.
Naturally…but it is the only way you know.

So vivid are your thoughts in fact,
that they seep out as unanswered questions and hang dead,
adding dust to the cracks of your bedroom.

“If Pink is the new Black,” you ask,
“where does that leave Laser Lemon?”

But it’s okay.
The TV downstairs is too loud for them to hear your qualms.
Later, you will say:

“Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.”

Yes.
Quite alright.
You work in surges. As do I.

“Is there a soul at the front of a traffic jam?”
Your theory, to wit:
“We lose our identity as we travel the interstate.”
And just then, because you need to, you yell:

“Eat s*** and die!”

New theory:
“Pants do not get dirty.
No.
Orange juice should not be served in a glass any

wider than two inches.”

And somewhere, the snake finds its skin.

It is one of those nights
when just ‘cause you’re breathing,
doesn’t mean that you’re living.
And the wood between your teeth,
has you breathing through nose.
And the jackals are a’ howling…
And the crows are setting in…
And every chipmunk came and went,
across your roof of tin.

Only moments,
maybe less,
And the voices come again.

“Be you a daughter of angels,
Or be you son of a ghost,
Be you a wayward spirit,
Drifting, coast to coast.
Flowers got their nectar,
Outlaws got their crime,
Day and day I sit here,
All I got is time.”

What a nice thought to think...
If only you had thunk it.
But it was not your words
that filled the cracks of your bedroom,
where the guitars have quit humming,
And the coffee is cold,
And the jellyfish don’t speak,
what it is they’ve been told.
Where Fairy claims she’s coming,
but dirt is all you get,
And the robin flies for reason,
but hasn’t found it yet.

“Stayed, staying, went.
Gone, going, go.
Never knowing what it is,
You want to know, know, know.
Laughed, laughing, laugh.
Cried, crying, cry.
Stand around your lonely cave,
Pretend to wonder why.
Matches got their spark,
Sun has got its rays,
Time and time and time again,
I see the same old days.”

Like a wasp that harbors a secret,
the voice springs up from the corner of your bedroom,
and leaves with more speed than it came.
A difficult moment to stomach,
even for the best of us,
but there is no dismissing the natural rawness of it.
This voice that you hear,
from the corner of your bedroom,
is the voice of San Diego,
you’re rabbit from San Diego,
who has quit sipping water,
and instead has taken to speech.

…And somewhere, the snake finds its skin.

“Be you a daughter of angels,
Or be you son of a ghost,
Be you a star-crossed lover,
Whose heart lies unbeknownst.
To you I sing this song perverse,
Of blood and toil and greed.
All that’s run o’er the grain of man,
Since ever there was a seed.

Wise Thing told me stories:
The Kingdom off the shore,
Came long before the prints of man,
Were etched unto the floor.
But Kingdom come and Kingdom go,
In the ‘morrow we shall confide,
When nightlight goes and daylight comes,
We cast this world aside.”

There is hardly a pulse,
and without the tick of the clock,
no decent beat to suffer under the evening noise.
Your wallet sits barren,
but you swear that the pennies on your night stand
have been reproducing by fission,
from under the light of the heat lamp…
Perception of normal be damned.

“Wise Thing told our ancestors past,
That one day an Evil will come.
And when it does, it will comb its hair,
And flash two opposable thumbs.
It will come with socks and sandals and crime,
And fire and money and war.
All things it has fostered, for good or for ill,
Long since our grand days of yore.
And the words we don’t speak,
Will lead it to think,
That all is unreasonable/untrue.
Save for its race,
Which echoes disgrace,
Oh, my friend, this true Evil,
Is you.”

History has treated hydrogen peroxide harshly.
For it is one O too far to be water.
But then again, when it's all said and done,
It ain't a desert if it rains.
No, it ain't a desert if it rains.

“What you don’t know,
Is something we do,
And by we, I mean me,
And Earth’s animal crew
Though this thing that we know,
Is no gift to bestow,
Upon man,
His daughter, his wife.
And is kept ever quiet,
Through the animals’ silence,
For this thing,
Is the meaning of life.”

So you yell, “Filthy beast!”
San Diego only shrugs and continues.

“Because unlike man,
We understand,
There’s equal footing,
To be had.
And the Parakeet knows,
Where its soul will go,
And the Buffalo roams,
With its head held low,
And the Cockroach sighs,
And the Lion lies,
And the Crayfish cries,
When it’s cold stream dries,
And the Antelope runs,
From the way it has come,
And somewhere, the snake finds its skin.”

Your mind is in full swing now.
But its lasso has failed to catch.
“Always with New York and Florida,” it says.
“How come never Wyoming?”
Forget about your callused fingers…
They are only twigs with a conscience.
You turn to San Diego and inquire,
“What about Heaven?”

“What is Heaven,
May I ask,
Is it something that Humans can buy?”

“Well, if you try and live old,
And do what your told,
It’s a place where you go when you die.”

“I have never heard of a place such as this,
Surely it must be a lie,
For life is no test,
To fasten a nest,
Up there in the all knowing sky.
And if a place such as this,
Were to exist,
Never a man could it fit,
For his actions down here,
Are none to revere,
Oh, the money and cheap politic.”

For two more hours, the night continues on.
Your white rabbit in the corner talks of Women,
and Disruption.
Of governing the ungovernable.
Thinking the unthinkable.
Which leads to the speaking of what shan’t be said.
Man is the only true slave of appearance, San Diego explains.
Any other species is either beastly or pleasing, in its entirety,
and together, members rise or they fall.
He says that all animals know the secrets he knows.
That they are written in the clouds,
but man is too blind to notice.
The weight of such secrets is unbearable to some.
So the Mole does burrow under the terra.
The Crocodile creeps beneath the surface, two nostrils raised.
And the Deer, it flirts with the cars.

A Wise Thing once wrote:
“There is but one truly philosophical problem,
And that is suicide.
Whether or not the world has three dimensions,
Or the mind nine or twelve categories,
Comes afterward.”


And just when you stop,
And breathe,
And ask, “What does it all mean?”
San Diego says, “What does what mean?”,
takes a queer sip of water,

And quits…





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SlightlySarcastic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm
This was excellent! One of the best I've ever read.
 
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