Tuesday, July 21, 2009

from The Frenzy

Never would you have considered me crazed, passing you by in the road newspaper in hand, kicking a stone from side to side along the sidewalk. And yet there I was finally out of my mind, free of it all. Surely you are not to blame. There was nothing about me that would have given it light. My dirty blond hair neatly disheveled, parodied my deliberate jaw line. A three-week beard shaven neatly along my neck overlooked by a pair of thin wire-framed glasses. Masked the simpleton gauged by my sorted blue eyes. Anyone would have trusted me, extending my hand in a gentle embrace of solidarity and goodwill, even you. But when I look into your eyes, I do not see you anymore. I see the flesh that clothes your body, the various forms it takes, and how it can be shaken from you. Your eyes glazed over with trepidation and woe, finding a charismatic glimmer in my tone that would convince you kindly of my intentions. And you would not be mistaken most of the time. However, I have had very little occasion to abuse intention. In fact, there has been little need until about one month ago.

A. I wrote about the bloodstream—a transformative state. It arrives amid swarms of desperation. Discern a character, an artificial waking, like falling in love with a puddle, dripping, raining down. Shake her head like a dog, with others at the meat. Elbows and wrists flex with primal questions. That was her thinking. She will not be identical.

B. The dismantled dead are either triumphant or compromised. I stole from them their trajectory of experience. The pleasure in feeling the split is the act of getting here at all. But how she sketched the wolves from memory translation under treatment. The photographs were blurry from thrashing. Beg for family. Beg for life. Beg for unknown. Days are stripped of color.

C. I became fascinated by the desire for love, that it bore such indiscriminate trust. We all wish to be admired, to be adored. We all wish for someone to hold in the night. This is our forever dream. But as you sleep, as your brain splashes through waves of iridescent, strangulated memory I stand over you, you’re body-impeded dreams, and my fingertips serrated chewed flesh. And this is your forever dream. You wish for the opening out, the walking through it, time syncopated with fiction. Sketch distant from villainy. In this room where I kept her—blank for the camera. In retrospect we are a collision of line, tracks in January beneath the permanent silence of action.

D. Supposedly daisies, each garment folded precisely to location. Supposedly strawberry jam, two scoops of sugar, television from eight to ten. Supposedly at the limits of cruelty, absorb compassion, startling rigidity. Another sealed and catalogued the tended animals. Now almost worn away, the grizzly is serene.

6 comments:

Elizabeth Guthrie said...

...as for Joe's character though, I am interested to see where goes.....

jcooper said...

thanks liz...though this is a different story altogether...my attempt at something serial killeresque...so...we'll see...give me a call one of these days...

timarmentrout said...

Joe,

Something here that I like. We have, in our own way, all explored the territory of insanity, of manipulation, but so far we have done so in artistic/ poetic structures...ie Wicker Man, etc. Here though, a different sort of depravity emerges, a more conscious, more deliberate investiagtion of madness. I like that. I will say, fo rthe sake of constructive feedback, that this new territory does not yet seem to have the strength of voice present in your other work. I have no dorect suggestion of how to improve, but I hope the comment itself is enough to build. For inspiration, I would encourage you to turn back to Grendel if you ahven't found the time to read it this summer, also John Fowles "The Collector." And while you write, might I suggest something from my personal vault of death metal to add to this descent, Cannibal Corpse, "Gallery of Suicide." In addition to the music, the lyrics will be of great value.

jcooper said...

thanks tim for the feedback...i've been struggling with writing all summer long...unusual for me, but i do so much appreciate your comments...anything even further would be welcomed....

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