(two chapters from a work in progress)
Dirty White Interfuse
"The laws of disease are as beautiful as the laws of health."
I reassured and reassured and finally after some talk we drifted off into a drunken conciliatory sleep wrapped in the organic expression of our connection through hot tropical somnambulance we woke to the sounds of a mother in morning, busying the coffee machine, toaster, television we whispered and nudged our way awake and I couldnt get enough of her perfect skin, a morning crisp view of her breasts sat up in bed, and every dumb and inanimate object slept on in obliviousness to the tune of her lute we had only an hour left, only this much time to make a fearless, sleepless, deathless agreement to be together and like I said it had to be organic, built from more than noise and fulva flavathe woman on fire. But did I know how to make anything? Real action is made in silence, is made by years in proximity of being hunted I was somewhat. I was a partiality, a fierce young dilettante but didnt we have the first meeting between passionate people "bound to be something discordant, causing embarrassment, until our souls could become attuned?" I wanted a love, or to be put in training for a love which knew no sex, no person, no partiality but which would seek virtue and wisdom everywhere and in everything ah, but the world rolls and there was no time for mystery late-youth "would you object to a bottle of cabernet, steak sautéed with mushrooms, and a 12 oyster starter" variations just Ramona and her jeunesse
Christ for nonage! and my slow-consuming age my 31 birthday ruse I felt like a cup of paregoric and with enough courage (money) to go into Guatemala wherever this child was headed and transcend the strokes of character in a time of assassins, in other words, go out into the world of the Latin and BREATHE it, every breath, feel it, every currency exchange, watch it, and look into every gone set of brown eyes because mine were blue and those of a coffin-maker and because I have more acquaintances well, nobody has and I should say again that Im fighting my way out of the Bouge-wazzzie, sweet middle-level whites chasing beef-flavored air and futility and oh, I am deep in, gridlock and constantly sliding around in my head "my children, you will never see anything worse than yourselves" and I knew this was the mettle placing satisfaction in the body as I did, in the body of beauty worse yet, I was asking for the same helping of sorrow that had plagued me since 15 but this was a diamond morning, a sun glancing off the verdant water, hiding a night on the other side of the world and the distance behind, bright with galaxies and immutable stars and why not? The thing, and I do mean whats not said, it goes without saying on lofty east coast small college sabotage that I was a coward looking at beauty with my bounty eyes and worrying my balances let me tell you if you cash too many checks its over like living a life in catalogue as did Aristotle, classifying everything with names in order to satisfy an eye-kick control in the head, to get off on everything being ordered like some kind of tupper-ware reality, everything in its place without room for chaos, the evil companion, the Judge and maybe even bad knees the secret is to live in analogue, that is, by analogy live life like poems, "The Poems" like Plato, leave room for ambiguity and Times Square of the sixties with faggots, drugs, and beautiful sad dreamers and cons by approach and closeness keep the inner eye fixed on the inner world turn off the Judge, the exterior, and embark on the Episteme "fundamental search for knowledge" and never give up on love Oh Ramona!
Her big brown eyes cornered with sadness and so we had coffee (she with heaps of sugar, mine with sweetened condensed milk) and the delicious cinnamon swirl bread with copious butter from the bakery just down the road she liked the simplicity my mother and I had together on a morning such as this, and I got the feeling that it was something Ramona had never had in her young life, not knowing her Lebanese father and growing up with a mother beautiful and busy with a career in the university, and Ramona, like a beauty prodigy, left to figure much out on her looks alone, which is how most striking people learn to live, by trusting their vanity as their best friend, their only true and steady count-on friend and so the world of the pulchritudinous was never simple, and never able to reach the clear light of it, so a cup of coffee and piece of bread and butter was out of the question, like a thousand nothings and it could shake her to the bottom of her fragile soul
Where are we now the house, the injury list? As Ramona floated around on the internet with her attention, prone to disorder deficit like all her twenty year old Kim Novak versions, her full attention riveted to the cyber chaos, something matched up node for node, the lack of listener in both, a jigsaw fit, swanmates two parallel off-target shots in the dark cant listen to literature or poetry cannot keep the eyes, those soul windows, fixed on me or anyone save another just like her, so what you get is a perfectly orchestrate non-listening event both just talk to the air, constantly looking around, their EYES caught by every small vain motion or pellucid flash of light (THATS WHAT YOU GET NOWADAYS TV) But God Bless the women, and let them continue to do it men you have no excuse, poets even less but Femme forgive you give us the eyes in bed and those seven women hiding from me, those true debuts of twin soul a woman that might know the timbre of my falsetto, that might reach for my hand I get religious thinking about the last time that happened, and would it be possible again So there I was half naked and shiny with grease already afraid to lose this Ramona because she touched me often and I dont mean the sentimental for sentiments are flawed just as emotions are because they both arrive from the EGO which is as pure as dirt, a Hollywood film, or strychnine none of which I want much to do with fantastic contortions what I mean is spontaneity simple and nothing else she was touching me with regard to purity and fealty and priority and I couldve used it, like narco heat waves I could feel it and Goddamn at that moment in my life it was PRESENT and needed. Meanwhile Im two hundred feet below the ground writing this courtside in Philadelphia where around me everything gets on with it but Ramona, I remember, just kept typing on that laptop in the cradle of Ambergris caye and thats what I remember before we left for our first goodbye
A First Goodbye
What is it that sets a compound fracture? Is it that "you cant get over the fact that you love someone somehow more or at least always?" Is it Time? Is it Love? I think that day and that break, I mean if I could just get it off once with as much joy as when she returned, then the Big E would be mine and I could have pity for the Judge as his Libran ass walked away This strangely appealing insouciance, like being alone in a lonely place, bespeaks of Lefty Hyerdal, maybe in the wrong century, but his grace, his ligamenture, his partial damage, his listening eyes but there it is hanging, the break I cant quite believe myself when it comes to anything but the great calm presence of my mother certainly I was telling Ramona as much as possible that I did love her, that she was the most charmeuse, that she could stimulate the senses like wine and French coffee by sheer BEING, not a wink more
Happily/unhappily we left the nest along the usual backdoor backyard beach white sand and blue from the waist water up so you felt as if everything cared like Venus de Milo and the slovenly Fido yogurt man who drove his golf cart home drunk and alone and troglodutic, he was there, and the mother bitch barking at us until up close enough to clown white me and get her licks on the feeling I had, somewhere between clemency and misanthropy, I want to convey but I cant I was on the brink of the waters of life and truth and I was miserably dying to rend my heart from its winter branched immunity I could feel it beginning to break because I knew that I thought this thing was a good thing. I wanted it. I was contriving to get it. That was a guarantee. "Weep with them that weep." Ah, brilliant I was a walking con man in Central America torn by the same bursts of appearance, like the heartache coming all over again how many how many times had I wailed in malefacense over my stupid and vapid desires? Yes but even the etymologist finds the deadest word to have been once a brilliant picture It is likely that the first time I fell in love it was sybaritic and noteworthy and I imagine that someone took note! I took notes! One after another notes, notes
Note that the first goodbye gives Nature a new thing. Every touch in the last few minutes together thrills. One can penetrate to where the air is music. Ramona and I spent the countdown minutes at Estelles by the Sea on the beach under a palapa roof listening to the genius of Mana, a Mexican band whom I had never heard of but that, according to Ramona and her bawdyhouse expression, were extremely popular and loved in Latin America a live album, unplugged and magic and genius it was clear to me right away that this music could repair the decay of things, romantic were the first three songs which seemed to say to us right then "life will no more be a noise" and she was taking its being played during those moments as a sign and her eyes glistened green and the universe for a moment or two was a celebration to me and I knew then I would have my heartache and my longing as sweet as the Oracion al Arcangel San Miguel, which Ramona would later give me for fighting, that is, to protect me she gave me a small laminated card about the size of a large postage stamp to put in my wallet and keep with me at all times to provide safety from harm, especially physical conflict, and I look at it now But anyway, and suddenly, I was clear on. The boat was arriving at any minute to take passengers back across the reef to Belize City, a forty-five minute ride rain or shine, sometimes in a covered boat, other times in an open one even in a downpour "sigue lloviendo, sigue lloviendo corazon, oh no no, y mis ojos no a parado de llover " its always raining in my heart and my eyes wont stop raining something like that, (why poets are beautiful reasons, translations on heart not eye) but what the music was saying to me as we rose like flying fish, our imaginations higher seeing so the sun brightly and sand light, and rain out there past the emerald byway and a few locals starting to wait on the dock near Sharks Bar, and the single gas pump the stacks of bottled soda everything everyone sitting in the aurora of the gone sunrise this tiny beach Caribbean town with necessary peoples, such an organic expression all arranged for the first goodbye Im in my blue jeans and a white tee-shirt tan five days already ingratiated and set, destitute, alive, endorsed, a stag of the forest with no need for good-byes or eulogy i.e. true story enough to begin to not fortify the self but to completely shatter it with a thousand primary adios and a couple rounds of fucking while standing Jesus.
It was near the present: why did I think that there was something to do presently? And another thing, how far would I go to be there? These were some of the inanities that were going through my mind, trying to stay in my skin, knowing that sentiment changes while truth has no change, and all the while different love LPs were now spinning on my phone mind and Ramona looked unanimously radiant, I mean, have you ever seen the most spectacular meteor showers of the century push through the saloon doors of Time and order two pre-dawn shots of beauty? There was not a single guarantee anywhere, no sister or mother, and let my cry come unto Thee way out past this stick moment of separation the first goodbye and her stunning radiance we had drug it out, druuuuuuuuuuug it out as long as we could before she might run the risk of missing the boat, and she was broke and expected by her boyfriend on the mainland, Lionel I think was his name, and he had a deeper grip on her than I first suspected or than she led and fed me to believe but I had better gear and tactics, I did, I had "The Poems", Redemption Song, and a feeling that I was ever-tightening the noose around my roman-tick/tock heart by falling and falling and falling like a dumb bard or a rabbi juror stuck in a deadlock of adamant convictions that kind of wreck-less abandon will win the battle often in lieu of the final war the Big E the engine driver 8, I mean take a break been on this trip too long winning battles and losing wars with my own mind all it was and is I had to let her go, let her slip off that dock into the emerald future which was shaping up to something looking a lot like ?
And anyway you cant really know anymore about a terrific person so you just have to let em go the boat was already half-full with little women and crooked honest men, the young allbusiness captain and his teenage vibrato crew hustling ropes and instructions, storing baggage in the hull, and spinning with simple energy and cigarettes
We stood on the dock it was 8:30 the breeze completely revised and redesigned from yesterday running through others and then because it couldnt breach, around us we were so close and filled with triste, that Latin bent sadness, a calid melancholy made by chickabiddies and fools like me, and with the right kind of eyes, which were those sweet coffee irises of Ramona, with little Guatemalan butterflies hovering around our heads in imaginative orange and red, the humid air could not pass through us we told each other that wed call each other, miss each other, write each other and on and on as goodbyes go, repeat and yawn, shuffle, look into eyes again then finally someone cold and heartless says OK and pushes away and turns, and its her loading like the ordinary soul quickly becoming, after the misty pocket of sweet senorita dreaming, and like that I found myself walking away b/c the first goodbye has gone on much too long already and "as your attorney I advise you" starts to pop into my head again and then again, the agonizing reprisal and then as I forced the smile looked through carbonated watery eyes turned my back to walk, this banner deity message flashed before my eyes "It was time to get grounded."
From the sleep of the passions to their rage and now back again cyclic existence turn round to bite my arse what stood before me was one mile of now familiar walk-home beach none too perilous for Sacre Bleu! I was on my own two feet walking child screams Bob Marley from the blue boo hoo boo hoo haw and how I was crying little tears and smiling and I had no trouble with the straight and the narrow, the swallowtail coatminds of those looking at me like the last gringo in Wild Bunch, a blown-out and ground down Deke Thorton after finding the tragic hero hand of Pike on the howitzer blood shirt and moments before a shot from the angel whore and his turnaround shotback "Bitch!" in the pitch of some midday lucubration @ just this same parallel but fictive time space moment when I feel sin same the Latin "valde tremefa cere eos" *really make them shake* Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Thunder above, Creative below am I joyous now or was I then? One more tiny giant terrific step and sand around my leather man-sandals, I was that man standing upon the tropic earth with a perilous human mind and the decision to fly coming suddenly like the symbol Ramona and I had, tho I didnt know it, created a symbol, we had made something with our first goodbye, worth your salt you look up in your Origins and find that Greek Symbolon was a coin broken in two by two parting lovers who then took each a half with the idea to rejoin the pieces when the two met again and thats how we get our symbol, thats the kind of history poet and Virgo are wont to make I wish I could say I was round and bright, clean and bare, but thats just the way I WANTED to feel, standing in the midst of myriad things (shock is good!), all I could feel were the tears and a big irreducible throb under there, however short of a return of my real usable cock theres a half-smile reminded of old maxim "no man at one time can we wise and love but praps I didnt know this right then, afterall this was my seventh or eighth first goodbye and positively I had fallen in less time than anytime pervious, four short days and the cocksucker was in love said evil companion to the Judge as they sipped Belikans under the palapa roof of Fidos and watched my sorry hangdog head ride atop torso and legs back to the emptiness that would engulf my mothers home It was a shattering Spring and if you listened real close you might hear a tiny, unreal sound I repeat ear to the door of the Tropic of Apnea and you could hear all writing and mathematics, all applied sciences of spells and herbs, all the bases of obsession, psychotherapy, epilepsy, lameness, and insanity, the science of compounding medicines, chemistry, mineralogy, the making of parks, groves, villages, towns, and cities, knowledge of the fluctuations of the world via astronomy, radiology, geomancy, agronomy, reflexology and prediction of the future tendencies by subtle hand movements it was all there in my stupid thinking, I couldnt stop thinking but nothing about these things you see, though they were certainly there and always were, rather I, and you know exactly what this is and how it feels, I was simply thinking about her FACE and only her face, recalling it repeatedly like spun fire tracing on the eyelids, trying to figure out how I could possibly remember it in the two thousand or so details I had been cataloguing over our tryst course & Jesus I was already losing it and I set my mind to fly post haste back to that last glance I gleaned on the dock, numbskull, like others, like (1000 names) and gradually this total fantasy showed up while I was walking, this sequence of glass scenes the first her triumphant refrain through the San Pedro cut, one of few routes through the Barrier Reef and one navigated by the locals only and even then passengers sometimes ended up in the vernacular waves breaking steady and ready to kill and in fact later in my stay one did just that to a boat caught in the impact zone just outside tourist dead glass, glass so she cant bear to be without me I am a bundle of tendencies, charms, some contemplation of profound opposites, a couple parts Scot and then, glass plate two she walks into my mothers and SHATTER glass sorrow one day gone GONE pane 3 there is no pain as we continue our life of mutual admiration, intoxication, bifurcation, and scintillation and in window square four, a glimpse of the inmost blue heart of a luminous flame that burns on into our third month in Ecuador yes Ramona and I on feeble money and remaindered passion living in the capital city of Guayakil, me in my 40-a-month room with rooftop perch for remembering Amerika, for drinking rich mugs of Turkish Coffee and writing the sooth book of gossip, gossip that maims my country and now global gossip maiming implied globe for no glow in glower, just straight regurgitation of the babblespeak of my generation, stop and listen to it and yrselves youre talking of no things but things, the idea was no ideas but in things but weve long killed ideas, long killed fire and prose, silly things and more things in dollars all in dollars how we rate ballplayers, puppydogs, literature, all in cash terms and exchanges, catalogues and catty whores, real strange way to look at each other liken through clothes and Italian boots costing more than fifty typers like this one, money, a treacherous friend who courts only griefs and simpers and sloths and disappointments Ive seen it in my grandparentage, my classmen, my desires money ruins a good percentage of what it touches and there is no royal road paved with gold coin its paved with pieces of glass, the road to Hollywood is paved with tacks and suicide, the road pictures, Im thinking now about pictures, iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapor whats the use of trying to look good in daguerreotype or linocuts or polaroids they all end up on a shelf collecting the same dust and peripheral glances like the glass scenes of my fantasia now 1 Dark, 1 Light as the fifth and final tele-eye view of my paramour and I travelling the world with Ed Ruscha and X, sojourning in Paris, gay Tel Aviv, wintering in Japan and Naples this reverie, these timewindow back-of-the-eyes shorts, my bleating stake in falling in love, walking down the beach to prove I was in it again and the worst thing about it was that Ramona was gone, I hadnt even been able to consummate the ribaldic joy we had felt, is that awful/ It was the only time this had happened to me in a situation that mattered, or this meant traffic unknown for the mind and Doubt would have its way, I mean imagine youve just somehow made the most beautiful siren in the Caribbean and you cant even MAKE her I dont like photographs static art, save Ed Ruscha I dont like photographs of the body, the human body IS NOT ART for the last new age time Photographs are rarely art most of the time phos (light) and graphein (to write) dont add up to write the light thats the etymology but it doesnt account for amateurs (and there are more in photography than in mathematics or physics therefore not pure for me except Ruscha) it is not piano sonata blank from Beethoven, nor an illumination paregoric or often more than not photographs do not soothe like mercury vapor photographs in a gallery do not, unlike poems, menace the night of our minds with beautiful residue Im thinking about photographs because of Steve Cohen, big Jewish Hollywood producer one night in Fidos watching Ramona and I in love and handcuffs, thought of himself as something of a cocksman, as did many of the overweight white men of vacation Belize, mostly because of the contents of their wallets and Steves was thick with contents green and American, but Steve was pulled in really by nothing other than his stupid belief that his tinseltown connections could look good to a young model like Ramona, so that he would stay on the sideline, arranging one or two mythical contacts, getting her back to the states on promises, all the while waiting for the slim chance that she would feel so grateful that she would go to bed with hem, but in the meantime an opportunity to have a beautiful woman on his side to feed, clothe, and blaxploytate fucking Hollywood types with money same as the old tired and true stereotypes, stereoholly/wooden types and Steve is buying us beers and Ramona is right on top of his motives and will not talk to him, playing like she doesnt understand English, which I saw her use more than once when a honkey was hovering too close and firing off lazy pickup lyrics, but Steve was nothing if persistent, a jolly-ish round mustachiooed guy with glasses, rather atypical dork in youth paying back for years of being bullied by making money and spending it to buy people like us who had some experience in the great question caves of jade, our unsayable talk about the body and mind as if theyre 2 tools in the romantic E big box, two young (key word here) people in fire and boons and I can take the guy because Im the tenth man, I can talk to anyone if they wanna talk, but mostly I could deal with hit after hit because all he wanted to do was converse about Ramona and even about Ramona and I, the poet, the poet who was "flowers-up-his-ass in love" and what Steve wants to say to me is be careful, for he was once young and in love with a Venezuelan beauty, one who was dedicated like now white woman ever had been but one that was in constant need of attention and games to keep her ass on fire for two drunken hours he talked like this and I was seamed with human kindness, Ramona rarely left my right side, interrupted to ask for Colonials and matches then zip into my pocket with a quick twist of her hand on my jewels and Steve kept cutting the balmy steam night air with his Jew witticisms and me my honkey anecdotes bout truth and poetry and soon enough he had bought us enough booze to be obscene and out came his camera, clickclick, to take "choquitos de tus corazones" (little pieces of our hearts) to become a western loser of sources like John Ciardi in the Sat Eve Post coming on lame and stupid about Ti Jean, Steve no different from those that fizzle on the side of photos and criticism, taking his static misery anchors in print in digital pose this, he said, for his memories what? Stupid what. He wanted to show his biz pals the piece of Ecuador he talked up "'fwernt for the creeleygoateed honk honk wouldve had her" but what he said to appease me was this: "you got email so Ill send you the pics" "Great" I says cause I havent got a camera and no one back home, not one of my friends will believe Ramona without stills and my conscience is all snow, bathos, and speed so you see I think of a great thing the great Beethoven said: "He was always my enemy; it is for that reason that I was as good to him as possible." Steve. He used money funny. Buying moments better left pure.
So Im remembering all this as I try to hold my mind movie of Ramona as I stumble past Mojos Dive Shop and Tres Diablos Bar, my glass scenes, my computer future picture from Steve, trying to get past the yellow house of Jack and Trudy, the wealthy Minnesotans who owned a golf cart rental operation, nice people and not that I wouldnt want to see her on her porch like most days when she waves down & likes to chit-chat in that Midwestern woman blahblah way but real nice just I have to get by her place and not see a single soul because I hurt and the shuffle of my sandals on sand this is the sound of my agitation as golf carts and old Toyota van taxis roar by me trying to concentrate on sublimity, constancy, & perseverance and remember "those who have not yet died first learn to die" b/c I would need it later on when the whole thing would break down from poetic death threats and mad fat women then there was boredom hard to detect on the great white beach when the blue canvas above and golden light shines and one is circumambulating, harder still to know anything but love loss when youve just said your first goodbye to something as precious as Ramona what you want to rise forth is your own Buddamind, Godhead Emptiness, Atman that is Brahman, Keter, Christ, Consciousness, radiant Shekhinah you want that because you want anything to replace the nearly impossible sinking feeling that is starting to gurgle in on shore break, that foreboding that always accompanies the more complex crush of lust, or Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart" for it is not Plutrarch on sexual love "this love becomes a guide to lead the soul from the world below to truth and the fields of truth where pure deceitless beauty dwells " It was a veil of sadness there I hadnt asked for