this tributary is on fire, the saltwater's burning my eyes and i'm treading water. why'd i choose this one? the morning sun is languid on my shell of skin. it drips gentle questions and i give it nothing. it's as if my very cells know that i never asked(more) for birth, so they perform accordingly, lackadaisically. the jackal peels away my wrapper.
i cut my teeth on this unreal city for 7 torrid years and there's nothing to show for it. as of six o' clock, i find refuge in a blue-collar bar of old men shouting Jerry this and Billy that. someone really fucked up the forklift on Wednesday. i leave, and i'm immediately surrounded by People With a Purpose and they're so adamant about their Purpose that it gives me bile to think about. why pussy foot around it? we're all in the same boat. for christ's sake, lay down and praise your peers. share a joke and revel in some good humour instead of creating separateness.
i walk with an opioid swagger down Main. the bums are selling cheese. the girls bat their eyelashes.
an hour later, i lay in bed in wait of my wife. i'm a hospital patient etherized upon my mattress with the window cracked and the sounds of the season's decay whistling through it. i cry. these past couple weeks, i've cried more than i ever have in my life. goodbye you, you, (you, i hardly knew you, but goodbye too). you've no place here.
spinning, spinning, i'm always spinning. always ready to do pirouettes down any lazy avenue. the moon leaks itself onto my sheets. there's less gravity on the moon. i look at it, and i ask for forgiveness. the sun's on the other side. i'll be there soon, i hope.(less)
I was a stranger in that country, merely passing through the night on a journey, when deputies of the law came out of the woods and arrested me. They took my things, and brought me to the dark castle. My papers were incomplete, or improper, and so they shut me(more) into a cell empty except for a wooden stool. The appropriate party, I was told, would review my case in the morning. Perhaps, the jailer said smilingly as he turned the key in the lock, it was all just a mistake. I spent the night crouched on the stool with my back against the wall, picking at the fraying threads at the hem of my coat.
When morning came, a man put me in cuffs and escorted me down a flights of stone stairs into what must have been the deepest part of the castle. In a small chamber lit with candles, the guard removed my restraints, and I stood before three men wearing gray suits sitting on the other side of a heavy oak table.
The one in the middle spoke. "What do you mean by breaking the law?"
I stepped forward to speak when I felt the sharp blow of a club across my shoulders and I fell hard to the stone floor.
"You haven't permission." I heard a voice say.
After a while, I got to my feet, and considered my words carefully.
"It doesn't matter, anyway," another of the men said, "you were caught in flagrant violation. We are merely here to determine whether you go up or down."
"Up or down?" I asked confused.
"Make up your mind, then. What will it be?"
"To go...up, I think..."
The middle man smiled.
"Well, you heard him, then. Take him up, all the way up!"