You will rebuild the ancient ruins. You will restore the foundations laid long ago, on the basis of how we structure our experience: bit by bit, consciously and unconsciously, by means of metaphor.

In the long list I am the et cetera et cetera.

Listen close; this will be the only time I speak. Please. I have built all this, my home, with the bricks others left behind. My mind is divided between this time and another. Like glass, the man flows too slow to see. From the moment he falls from the sky he is always trying to get back home. I am writing this in rain on the window. I am holding out my fist, some secret trapped inside. Come find me in the mist between your time and mine.

 

Prelude


The game is played in fragments. 

Meanings accrue. Memories interrupt history.


He smiled and walked toward the plate, slowly, evenly, and the barrel of his bat drew a line in the dirt.

First Inning


I don't know why I was so shocked by my mother's death. (Later, all he remembered of that journey was the goodbye, not who from.) But what I do remember is the color around herveiled, but not as you’d expecta red thread that runs through the veil between worlds, which suggests all lives are fundamentally opaque, their motivations mysterious even to those who live them.


The red dirt writes a story on you and when you go back to town, it takes a while, but you will wash it off. Its stories are the murmurs between innings.

Second Inning


My mother used to collect orange blossoms in a small shallow bowl, the green tree of grace, a man in a blinding haze of light who kept his face hidden. The ideas belong to what is said, and not to what is seen.


But what I remember most is how the women said her name: the words brought her to life; they summed up her history. They are the pitches that make up a game. They careen off the wall and roll into dark corners. 


A witch brings change to the seen world using unseen forces; a witch gestures through. 


There should be the illusion that it’s the character’s point of view.

Third Inning


There is no definitive cure for grief, only better questions, which I had decided were meaningless, wanting water and finding death. Like empty bottles, waiting to hold the meaning which life would give them for me, we will ask.


I pass the tree each spring. A time camenot summer's flowering that now lies before us, but a polar night of icy darkness and hardnesswhen none of us could use the figure without mutilating it, trying to figure out what he may have known.

Fourth Inning

 

There is no definitive cure for grief, only better questions, questions with no answer. Because the world is not necessarily this or that, because human beings are as much projects themselves as they may have projects, or a vision, for the world.


I used to think that a dead person's words die with them. Now I know that they scatter, looking for meaning to attach to like a scent, the afternoon burnt like straw, the silence unbearable.


Buried not far from here, the sorrow, and the word that had existed for it, my father's house, the house where I grew up, a building he had never seen, little popsicle-stick city that remained. 


Unnameable despite their names, a circle of men and women standing around him. 

Fifth Inning


My parents had a garden some distance away. I see them walking, together, away from me. I'm looking at their backs and what they're carrying in their arms.


Discourse is the path from one contradiction to another: if it gives rise to those that can be seen, it is because it obeys that which it hides. I don't remember seeing her very much, but what I do remember is the color around her. I drag squares of color into their arrangements. 


Sometimes when they walk away from me they hold hands, and they go to this other place. It was always somewhere else.

Sixth Inning


But gradually we begin to feel that the author is distracting our attention from his own characters. He stands there in the headlights surrounded by rain, a mad king calling for his daughters. It looks like he's singing.


A man sings / by opening his / mouth a man / sings by opening / his lungs by / turning himself into air / robust air / His body did not seem to exist. 


Now that the sun was setting he could see his shadow on the blackened slate. Ink on ink, the absence of self as long as he didn't move. But even now I am perhaps not speaking from myself: but from some character in whose soul I now live. Remembering where it used to be.


I am sure however that this next sentence is from myself, at least, a small final song. When you see me again, it won't be me.

Seventh Inning


The river is townless, yet the river is town, for without the river there is no town.


This is a superficial statement and sounds paradoxical, and yet there is truth in it.


Transmigration of the soul does not happen after but during a life. For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt—the number of lives in an old body is unbearable.


Our poems form the implications of ourselves, and it is exclaimed over, and then it is lost. Lost, or did it get caught in the rain? 


Already, I sense myself. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shores. I make another and post it and it is carried for a time and then it is lost. 


Autumn brought the rains. “Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. The imagination, green schools of fish that moved like a single body, a guiding force in the reconstruction of reality.


Without the river June never comes.

Eighth Inning


The liberation of the past does not end in its reconciliation with the present. I can explore two worlds—the actual and the possible.


The act of invention is bound up in memory. The orientation of the past tends toward an orientation on the future, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.


Without the river nothing passes. Without the river stillness. I still love the river, I told her. But I do not love it because it is deep, and fast, and drowns many people. I love it because it runs behind my house, and I have lived above it forever.

Ninth Inning


Slowly it grew dark, he heard the pebbles in the stream rolling softly against each other, quietly clicking and grinding, a sound they also made in his absence.


One last thought about this, or maybe just an image.


Something beyond the visible spectrum.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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