Prelude: Journey without a Map



Pieces of cities and villages, seas and forests, like lovers of other times, come to me at night. They wear their distance of dreams in mist. High damp cafes. Summer night traffic sounds. A horn played from a window not far away. Smelling food I cannot have. The slaughter of the pig. The woman never met. A boat sinking under my feet. A slow turning ceiling fan. A remote airport with stopped clocks. A girl singing in a high voice. A drunk guest pissing in my sink. Sleeping in a new bed. Lost in a forest. Believing in someone other than myself, someone I hardly know. Thinking it matters.

Memories dissolve, they don’t vanish. I may see their outlines standing in sfumato behind a conversation that has gone astray, one that has nothing to do with memories. Or waiting on a shelf for me to finish making love. I hear them whishing in the trees, or among the tuba blast air-brakes of a city bus.

Memories are pale actors seated backstage watching my performance from the wings, listening for a cue that might never come.

Whatever I did, wherever I went, however amusing, exciting, successful or not, however famous I became, I always had a grinding boredom, an agitation, a need to do something else, to walk on, that what I was doing was nothing, never enough to swap for my life. But always traveling slow, never faster than a dog could trot.

It is evening. It will be a good night to write. Not all nights are good writing nights but this will be a good one. The moon is elsewhere. I understand about the moon. Its random visits in its various moods are like the visits of a good friend and like a good friend, they can be distracting. The animals are asleep, some in their graves along the hillside by my house.

I am sitting down alone in a room with the truth, taking dictation from my past. It is not creative writing, it is the tipping and pouring of a pitcher, little more.

Speak to me memory. I am off to one side of the me-first-fuck-you generation. I can see it clearly but there is nothing to see. Until I look back to the time when it made sense. When there wasn’t a point to anything unless I noted it in some invisible notebook. Speak to me memory, speak to me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.