Vertex

A memory comes to mind, a memory of a garden, maternal, decaying. Nothing exists beyond the parameter of the garden. Within it time breaths quietly – a leaf resting at the bottom of a pool. There is nothing beyond the garden. Even so in my mind I see clouds, pine cones, black earth, a blue ball, puddles, crying, impatience, darkness, burnt wood, porcelain figures, glimpses of skin, sweat, fear, gravel, photographs. None of that exists, not even the photographs as I remember them. The moments in which they were taken are as imperceptible as someone else’s pain. The texture, thickness and weight of the photographic paper are all I remember. I suppose it is of little interest. What you may care to know is that I do think of such things. It is hard to concentrate, imagining phone calls, disasters, attempts to pull me away from the endless blank page. I am bothered also by thoughts of where I am in relation to others. I have an image of myself, here, with my elbow on the table, defenseless to the drift of buildings and monuments, leaving only their foundations cut into the cold earth. The table I use is gone, and the chair as well. The labyrinth has vanished. Must everything be put to this test? I imagine an endless continuation of phenomena and sense where it becomes possible to write the past, present and future all as one. There would be no room for interpretation. But as it is, to write at all, absence must supersede presence, like a stone dropped unassumingly into a pool of water. Space opens, is sucked down, then closes back again to define a gentle parabola whose lip copies and expands across the surface. So it is with memories, and thus with the things themselves which we remember. The shell of a cicada that is kept in a small, clear plastic box on a shelf. An aluminum canister marked Flour that has been handed down from someone else’s childhood. All that can be said to exist of these things is just what I have written. What begins will end. All is of measurable duration. All that seems the same is different, changing. When our thoughts shift it is because we are effected by a thing. When a thing is changed, it is because we too have changed. What begins will end, effecting more beginnings. The assumptions of words contain me, animating this process. Dim meanings become bright fires.

SM

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