Wednesday, October 13, 2010

142. crack’d & cracking


In a sense, HE is I, is me, is H, is everything I am. What I find on the ground, what I find in the aged concrete is crack and rupture and H and E in crack and rupture, the body in its delicate glory, that slow and languid deliquescence: plaque inside the wide fat veins of the body, these vines that grow and twist within me tightening their hold; the sour acids of my stomach rising to the throat and bathing the voice into a gentle rasp against the ear’s reach toward a sound; nasal cavities that if not sprayed with rose’s scent would close and hold the air both out and in; left arm numb from carpal tunnel and sleeping with a brace to quell the buzzing of the arm; the pressure of blood steady and heavy in the veins and good enough to squeeze sharp aches into the head; and a throat that closes during sleep so that sleep is never more than a moment broken by a moment of silent breathless panic followed by another moment, sleep and waking, and sleep and waking on and on. I am, it seems. I am, it seems, a letter cracked by chance into a sidewalk that leads nowhere but half-way around a huge flat grey official building. In a sense, the H is a sound, not a shape, though it appears stable and balanced (as my left foot’s fat from its leg losing a vein, and as my right foot occasionally reminds me of the three-inch splinter shoved fast into it in a burst of running through sunlight to water). H is the sound of air squeezed through narrow passageways, not to say anything itself, but to start the saying. It is a hollow sound, all filled with wind. I can find an H almost anywhere on the earth, even on the oaken floor I rest my feet upon, and upon waking I hear the H in my first woken breath swallowed hungrily in, as if every human delicate fragile impossibly sweet and breaking body were making its last sound, of a syllable of air, released slowly into the air. Numb with sleep and an H or an aitch on my mind, and a haitch let out like a breath, and I can type away the letter I see as a word and heard as a sound and fill myself with it, because it is my letter and if held in a row of them it would make a fence I could not climb over unless I could take my pencil and erase every penciled letter away. Easier it seems than learning is leaving, and my house creaks at night, never like flesh, but bone. As I swing or sweep into sleep or something in the shape of sleep, I understand the worlds of words I had forgotten to make today and all of them I’d made to make my body tired and tiring, and full of yearning and reaching, and eyes closing eyelids over themselves to leave my fingers typing the words I might remember in the morning or forget as if I’d dreamt them, as if I’d slept through them, a storm of words, and images about words. And what I want to find, sometime, is the letter H laid out on a table, forty-three years old (younger, you see, than I am) books of poetry and visual poetry and discs of sound poetry already made and in many piles and strange shapes, and the operation is over, and he cannot get up, and we cannot rouse him, because he is already dead, unloved now and just an H, the single rung of the shortest ladder.

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