The week laps in like waves

It begins with our argument | shot paratroops hanging from their chutes as they come down, peaceful | inane | dull and functional as fruits | dead before they even reach the ground | We’re cold and malicious to each other | It’s very distressing | and I sense a certain doom in how things are falling out between us | The pattern is familiar | To me, at least — you’re younger, you’ve probably never been disappointed like this before | it’s like the sudden lowering of the water-table | a vanishing of moisture | Inside, I feel | the almost constant gripe of spiritual gremlins | a nasty moral shrinkage | a littleness — at the back of my mind, the sound of paranoia | the dwarf tumult of a honeybee unable to free itself | from a drift-net web | on the floor by the statue of Buddha | while the dog pads past, looking for snacks | And in this way, a poem becomes the account of everything it is not

Later, at dusk, the lawn under the cut-leaf maples is really beginning to fade | and has a yellowish look in the last of the light | “Moona” he says, “Moona, mia moona” | I note his tiny fingers | the daintiness of his hand | and the naive possessiveness of the young | and the mystery of the personal and the individual | which is the mystery of the gap between individuals | the not meeting, the not knowing | the commanding solitude that renders everything warped and buckled and refracted | except itself — but you can’t make an account of language out of language | not an account that is substantial — ironically | We never leave the ship | We never step on land | It’s okay | or whatever | The views from the rail can be beautiful | does it matter if we can’t disembark? | But you don’t care for this kind of thing, anyway

Later, the scraping of chair legs as Jesse next door moves a piece of furniture across exposed wooden floor | It’s a primitive sound — primeval, even | like the bellow of a timbery dinosaur from a nearby swamp | Or it is a poltergeist | The silence that follows is very peaceful | A static silence, prolonged, in the enclosed cube of space and air of this flat | warm, living, ambient | the kind of silence that says, It’s okay: sounds will come along in a minute or two, but for now | there is this deep, interior repose, contained and sanctified by absolute banality | the reassurance that nothing extraordinary can happen, that nothing of utterance can disturb, and then there is birdsong and the hum of the fridge | but this doesn’t displace the silence, for this silence | there is no “Eureka” | there is no time and there are no tongues… | Within half an hour, the fire has destroyed everything, the toys, the sockets, the machines that were plugged into the sockets, the clothing, the suitcases, the souvenirs of the volcano and the casino, the trophies of intellectual and athletic prowess

Later, separation seems inevitable | In a rare interlude of calm, brought on, perhaps | by exhaustion, a mood of washed-out despair | we agree that our relationship doesn’t exalt us | as it used to do | doesn’t offer us the chance to be greater people | or even iterations of the same people | but belittles us both | shrinking our horizons to keyholes | deflating our spirits to the slack  state | of withered balloons | the cooling sacs of used condoms | We live in mutual solitude | and the tenor of the solitude is degraded | but when I look ahead | the quality of the solitude, its purity and intensity, increases | and in moments of panic | the solitude takes on the presence of a landscape | or a wild animal | and I imagine myself like some poor soul out in the desert, thousands of years ago | seeing, in the suffocating sandstorm | the arising of a god | a being so utterly strange | so other | even as it goes about its business | of obliterating you and all you have cared for | and all you have ignored

Later, we have the island | All this mess is clarified by indifference | K. says that the most benign discipline is history — benign in the sense that everything becomes history | or it is simply annihilated from our arena of conception | which I think boils down to “Everything must pass” | She is pretty dismissive of what she sees as “a bit of fashionable anomie” | She despises loneliness, and makes it seem as dated and theatrical as the idiotic Beelzebubs of poète maudits | and her stance impresses me because | sometimes, when I look at her | I think she must be one of the loneliest people on Earth

 


from the series construct (2012–present, ongoing)