Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Strangle the Bird, Burn the Bush.

It's after 3:30 am and my fuzzy little head, swollen with fluid and pressure, is contemplating conniving my tired body to start off to Memphis on foot, blizzard be damned. I know it won't happen, just as I know so many idle dreams will rot on the vine, frostbit before coming to fruition. But it's a thought, counterweighted by principle and warmth, no matter how perfunctory both may prove to be. A sort of fearful shame gives cause to my longing to be far far away from this snow-covered town, to be somewhere where I can drop to my knees and feel mud not ice, to see the Mississippi with its fleets of barges and other flotsam slowly churn by, a longing to hold my head under the water until I come up with a better idea. Moments like these, unexplainable crises of loneliness and confusion and vague misplaced resentment, always gurgle up at some obscene time of day and fill my veins with diethylene glycol, start my heart pumping a rock 'n roll beat and aim my eyes and toes to difficult escapes. Maybe tonight my route will be an easy one, a few twigs of borrowed lead guided by scarred hands that have never been known for their steadiness or honesty. We're not shooting muscle tonight, we're tattooing trees. We're catching scents on the wind that remind us of a primordial adolescence, when we'd arch our backs and go howling into the night with the rest of the wolves. Strangle the bird in your hand, and burn the bush.

Reason and passion spin my dreams like a man with a wolf clamped onto his throat. Red of tooth, feigning to prefer the ivory tower. Scrubbing my skin as if I don't feel so inclined to rut through rotting vegetables and filth with the proudest hogs. The climate is bitter and restrictive, the ice so infuriatingly indifferent in its calm, so different from just a few days ago when it fell upon me newborn and exciting, graceful and raging.

I've talked myself to a quiet defeat with a mechanical pencil and inherent, desperate needs. Tonight I am a young man, though only as reluctantly admitted as my costume is believable. And tomorrow I will be more dead than beast or man, but I see in this endless chain of Now that the beast of passion will have its day, its jaws finally closing around my throat and transfusing me with the merciless vigor of true love and truer hate, and I will never again need to muster the soft strength to shit out just one more excuse to keep my feet dry, my belly full, and my spine weak. The gentle and virtuous faults of man carve the fertile valleys that are shadowed by the peaks and crags that scrape the godless air, the ancient mountains thrust into the proud sky by the fathomless actions of the beast of passion, for whom there are no faults but the seismic.

I need to go home, sharpen my claws, and forget my speech. I know nothing, truly, except that which cannot be spoken aloud, and our foolhardy words fall on the ears of the deaf as the wind bashes itself through a forest, the brainless trees swaying and sucking sun and dirt and paying no attention to the infinite and formless strength which will someday uproot the lot of them.

2-4-11, 4:30 am, Springfield, MO

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