Clouds and Sky

The back and forth battle of ice in a glass. We argue over the dishes. Intensely, for 30 seconds. Back to normal – no one’s right. There is no plurality, just as there is no one voice.

Somewhere in the middle of a sigh and blank pages we found purpose. Or, so you and I seem to think. We encompass the instantaneous, explosive passage of time. We fight over word count.

“How much writing did I get done today?” is how our argument starts. (Engaging in a blissful retiming, after textual suds settle.) Subconscious process has been done to death. No, you can not help me write. In fact, I find that idea completely absurd. All you know is clouds and sky. You are a dreamer. You have marigold straw-like irises. I would fight for you should I know how.

“You’re thinking about what’s right in front of you. How pleasant. You must be in a good mood. Are you?” You lean in and I smell the yard on you.

“Why don’t you write me out. . .”

“Any other suggestions?” I continue to tap away. I have written you in and edited you out so many times. Apocryphal muse, you. We pause and reconnoiter future paths. Doubt is natural, but ego may or may not be. We are driven to collide again and again.

“Don’t you dare.”

The shutters behind her eyes are dancing – mimeographic repetition. I think mostly of horses when I focus on her. I speculate that they, the horses in her mind’s eye, limberly trot across a circular loop in time. There is no reason to gamble on a horse that will never break free of its recorded anatomical gait. She is a distant whinny.

A spiral grows, forms. Black and white is not random, it’s not concentric – it’s never hard to look at. Grey scaled. So, I open my eyes again and:

You hope I’m secure. But tonight, I don’t feel I am. There’s another place in time, or so we’ve been told. She’s a smoker, I’m a transcriptionist, and he’s with you now.

“Practice your scales more often;” play with a metronome. Dangling prepositions, dialogue, or doubt. All count for less than nothing.

Hit a page before I quit is how I used to start. Know when to stop is what I’m learning now.

You’ve found happiness in the middle of a page, whereas, I found satisfaction in a glass of bitters. So, which of us writes, and which drinks? There is only an interspersed, cross-pollinating beehive of activity now as it shall be forever. What languages do we speak?

Probably a bit less polished than this:

Do not edit. Only write the breaks. Impossible, right?

‘Seemed to be exploring the right idea at the time. . .’ leads to effective expositional prose. If I were to let my fingers flow across more lightly, as in a storm in January, I’d forget word count more easily. A slight here or there is natural and expected.

We never seem, we only have been seeming.

The deep irony, of course, is that of clouds and sky. Feeling the emotion behind your words before you speak.

Do not edit.

Discordance reigns again, and a twinge reminds me.

A heavy door closes now, as it did then, between my hands and my motivation to use them purposefully. I sip.

To write, and drink, and partake in you. A perverse scientific rain man. An idiot savant in a sixteen ounce glass. Underdone, overcooked, following you through darkness or leading you underneath. No preposition un-dangled.

Writing alone would be sweet torture, but I’d probably get more done.

“To laugh is a lie encapsulated. To smile a crime. I’m already spelling out my future. Instill a secret language in me – one I’ll never truly speak well. Cross wires, and wait.”

An entropic suggestion, by all means correct. By now I’m cast away; tonally disconnected. I shrivel under the cold, inside a similarly discomfiting moment. A tar pitch devil’s interval that never, ever ends.

I wake to my daily, procedurally reinforced half-life. I have dreamt, this morning, of an atomic bomb violently detonating inside a nondescript farm shed. The scene is reminiscence. Distant and Nebraskan. There’re wide, sweeping plains under a slate blue sky. I am a spectator in my dream. All brightness, all energy; movement instant and frightfully pure.

Importantly, I don’t profess to understand why an explosion of such magnitude would refuse to expand past defined boundaries; in this case, a diminutive shed’s snag-tooth plank wooden walls. I block myself in, as a playwright might. Condensed within the visual fury, the reaction itself, rather than observing from the panoramic vista to which we’re more accustomed. Why fight the damning reality of analogy? To reflect further is common misery.

Tiredness casually ambles away. I open my eyes, or close them. My emotions muddle at the bottom of a glass like crushed fruit. I am in the shower and tense.

After further reflection on the dreamt, I realize it to be Nagasaki. Promising myself to write it all down later, I became hyperaware of my blinking. So instead I focused on a distant perspective point. Droplets ran lazily and predictably down shower tile.

By the time I had begun to lather, fluttering flickering fission dissolved back into a melted, broken strip of nonsensically oriented 16mm. Static crackled, rewinding the raindrops in my private paradise from point of contact to point of origin.

Some mornings – when I’m particularly with it – I make hazy mental note of my impressed ambiance upon our momentary, physical awakening. I command my conscious mind to dismiss superincumbent narrative weight (so effortlessly imposed by nature) by writing away from the truth instead of toward another person’s lie. I write you in, and edit you out.

Why expect or be expected to commune during this time of day – to meaningfully dissect a razor’s edge of swiftly transmogrifying disposition into anything more than a meek, unprotected moment we share in the dawn? A chaotic implosion into another day, coinciding with the 120 dB alarum in our modest kitchenette, as piercingly loud as a jet engine but resistively stuttered. I wonder if I’d wake as easily to fluttering starling wings and plaintive soft whispers on the nape of your neck. Instead, a printed board of circuits dictates my re-arrival into consciousness.

Every passing moment remains in opposition to the last. The imposition of urgency. Manic, sudden complexity disrupting the peaceable morning quorum. We are the minimum required number, and trusting. We’ve known one another so long… However, she will have known us better than to wake for my stumbling smack of the snooze. I prepare coffee to remind myself of the body I yet inhabit and bless this space again.

We seem to rise from our sleep perpetually elsewhere. Subject confuses object. Object losing track of subject, and you sip again. I do not resent you for this. I find you repetitively subtle, and aggravatingly unavoidable. My psychic transgressor, my surrealist poppet. Anti-muse.

Years of separation, and distance, and turmoil close within seconds of your abrupt dismissal. Understanding the signal launched like a Kh-20 cruise missile across empty, impersonal space. I claw to find my place inside that space. I was vapid and desperate. My claws whetted.

The indivisibility of dream and waking is at times like a series of exquisitely precise watch cogs – locking and unlocking; locking, unlocking. I numbly discern a difference between seconds, as they tick and tock closer to their more normal, imprecise rate.

Cold starts are, horrifically I might add, more refreshing when directly linked to unimaginable destruction. I can remember my violent dreams with more accuracy. It seems paradoxical and unfair that it should be this way in the dead of winter.

As our psyches rise up to the cloudlike elevation we normally inhabit, we decide on first words and first actions. Today, this morning, I see only expanding light; I am then bourn away into the margins of a corner-worn college textbook. How can we ensure our scattered blindness every day? So much light arises from disastrously simplistic mathematics. I want to dismiss you. I can’t.

Is it possible what’s buried under oceanic time will ensure another, colder sort of war? The kernel of my mundane dream is merely a physical reaction to continuous process. There can be no exit, no escape, no wrought iron wall between you and I. No peace.

Completely unavoidable desiccation sloughed away and reformed under a weak showerhead. There can be no promise against hope. I will magnify it out. Draw it in shades of grey, and surrender again to solitude.

I continued exploring my indescribable locale as our hot water ran cold. All became unsettled and vague. My attitudes have passed like lunar phases. The sun projects a gradated shadow across curving space-time.

Startled by the hot running out, I meditate for a moment more under the chilling tap. This will be abrupt perfection, I consider, to us that are tidally locked to peace. Not so – on the pock-marked, breathlessly buoyant surface of the radiant cloud. A void beyond a void, but not yet. . . Never.

Ignoble veneer; photons jet past (for now). Regressive progress toward purely measured astronomic distance. . . the sun a yardstick. Our own god-like apparitions, racing toward an absurdly distant ball of gas near enough to look back and care. I conscientiously perform my morning ablutions, and foolishly focus on another destructed place that I never will have known.