Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


Ben Miller


In the Marsh

I am in the marsh. It is one in the morning. I have attempted cranial installation.

I am in the marsh. It is 2:33 in the morning and the fog is not good. My companion, an artist from the bush, spares no mind that I know of. He is of course therefore excused from any however many misconceptions he may have at this time,.. now.

I am in the marsh. It is 2:46 in the morning and the fog has worsened. I have lost my companion, as if that makes any difference, and visibility is zero. I can not make up my mind whether to stop going or whether to start stopping. Indeed the installation has not gone well.

I am in the marsh. It is 3:99 in the morning and the fog is so thick it feels as though Iíve pissed my pants. My companion has caught up with me, but as you may have guessed, makes no difference whatsoever.

It is five dollars and thirty one cents on Mars. I am up to my head with ideas, some better than others. My patience is all but paper thin, ripping as I think. My companion has been annoying me and I have, I hate to admit, more than once wished he were dead.

It is nearing sunrise. There is no telling of light that we can see, it is just an assumption. Only one thing bears in mind and that is the sound of drunken birds staggering from their nests and out onto whatever it is that we continue to walk on. This busy pitter pattering of tiny boned poisoned bodies is so very deeply unnerving and embedded in our life experience that we wince at each sound of foul dropping. It's downright fucking creepy.

It is sunrise, an act of invisibility which procludes our venure, whatever that means.

It is nearing noon now. I have killed my companion hours ago. I have left him behind somewhere in the precipitating dust of the marsh. The ongoing touch of intoxicated foul upon his skin no sensing will he take, no thoughts of he will have.

Anyways. I am in the marsh. It is some time in the middle of the afternoon. Nothing has changed since the last paragraph. I begin to lift my chin up from my sulking knees, I wipe the heavy dew off my brow, squinting. I can't see shit.

I am still in the marsh. It is getting late. The sun has gone down. I can tell cause I don't hear it anymore. I don't want to stop, but I can't seem to keep going, and so I prop myself up against what feels to be the thick and coarse bark of an old, worn out tree. The call comes in.

"Yes?" It is the Coordinate Bearing Bandit. "O.K."


Two Entries

I have been talking to the dead again. They know me. They are from my past, some even before that. I travel with them, through and into the future. I overlap, I stand free. The future is already established, though it has yet to come about. It's there waiting, already there. The overview is expansive. My thoughts flirt with what already is and where its boundaries cross. Dotted lines. I speak with those no longer; they allow me to mingle and learn. My time stands still and becomes longer, wider, larger, though it is still the same, no different than the rest of it. For the most part it is not there, never was. It is not something to put credit nor put one's finger on, it has no merit, no substance. But it is interesting to note the order of things, the proper places, nonetheless. I am not awake, but I am more aware than that.

Sounds jump out of their own skin becoming something other than what they are, images of what may have emitted them, squeezing through the matter; thoughts, ideas, faces, spirits, inhabitants of an inanimation.

A water drop shifts from its position at the side of the kitchen sink to a small saucer at my bedside. A ticking hovers at the edge of my window, echoing back into the living room one by one. I am aware of something other than awareness.

It comes from somewhere on the other side. Nothing tangible from here. Where it touches. It comes from somewhere too near, while nearly falling away. It is not seen, but known. No light is there to shed color from it, dim are a shadow's detail.

I don't know what to do. I will never go there again, never folly with the unborn.

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