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Vertical Prose


November 4th, 1998

Re: Here Is Your Pencil [rescheduling again; two fuckers biting at our heels but we love them SO much] @ 11:11 am

From: horsestorideon@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Here Is Your Pencil [rescheduling again; two fuckers biting at our heels but we love them SO much]
Date: November 4, 1998 11:11:57 AM PST
To: rsiken@hotmail.com
Cc: exit2k@hotmail.com, afw10@columbia.edu, mrvisible@worldnet.att.net, sowinski@inetdirect.net, sejohnst@midway.uchicago.edu, shorning@willamette.edu, gbrennan@willamette.edu, emcgarry@willamette.edu, and 20 more…

i tried responding to this last night when i first got it
but had already typed up the night's mind-flush and was unable to stand what
i'd written
so i scrapped it
it was all about gesticulation, though
so i guess i will fill in your structure here
mister godly-eyes
forcing our worlds into yours
[i do want to try and explain it like this--- this raping of reality: it's
how we see it...
"all my pictures are confused"
this shaping of metaphoric sardonism doesn't come all that naturally to me
i'm forcing everything trough a small dimpled tip to make pretty designs on
a cake for all my sweet hearts...
i'm vomiting, i've been told.
i'm trying too hard, but..]

Richard Siken wrote:

So you have caught the full moon in a bucket and seen our faces,
sleeping, at the bottom of the well. Have we been walking through your
dreams again? At night we leave the windows open and the morning finds
our shoes caked with mud. Our joys are the same as twelve Ethiopian
goats standing silent in the morning light. Our sorrows are slabs of
meat and ingots of copper.

you all flit through my mind
every one of you
[cute as a button]
though i rarely hear from the most of you on any sort of consistant basis
i have no idea as to what your lives are
[and hope they aren't Just the mundane struggle of repeditive -every - day -
questions]
if you aren't thinking of me
like i'm thinking of you
at least you'll know i'm thinking of
or have or did or will
it's HERE, you know
not like it's anything special
it just is.



At night we place the milk pails in a row and morning comes and finds
them empty. Are those your footprints on the windowsill? What are you
trying to tell us? Do you simply want to remind us you're alive? Are you
trying to build a suite of rooms for yourself inside our heads? Okay
then. Here: go on and pencil yourself in:

i'm trying to figure out if i'm alive.
it's not all that easy
you can push people over all the time
if it's just two corpses in a row
one pushes one
the both fall over
it's not much of an accomplishment, really.
i've tried to crawl into the spaces you left ungaurded
with your help, ov course: you're the ones pulling me in...
or not.
it's like supplimental thinking, dear kid
i'm giving you Milk
[she knows what i'm saying]
i'm vomiting in my little birdies mouths
[that's love, isn't it?]
if you don't get enough from you
maybe i'll give you a little
and if you don't get enough from me
maybe you'll recognize it and do something.
maybe you don't need to
maybe you've got a whole fucking field full of cows...
maybe i'm a wolf.



I'll steal a car and take you to Hoover dam. We can stand around looking
nonchalant as one hundred thousand gallons of liquid fury pour out below
us every second. I'll let you paint flames on the hood of the car. I'll
let you drive. Or how about an all-night barbeque? A dance on the
courthouse lawn? Fried chicken and warm beer as the radio aches a
languid tune that tells the story of what the night is thinking. It's
thinking of love. It's thinking of stabbing us to death and leaving our
bodies in a dumpster.

Tell me again how you don't believe in love. I'll tell you again how
you're a liar. Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating fruit pie with a
buck knife is carving his lover's face into the motel wall. Let's be
like him, the minutes gone plastic in our blood. Here: more stains in
the night. Here: more whiskey and kisses for everyone.

your sordid examples really aren't helping
and i ask you to listen to me while you're making the accusations
i don't give a shit about the quiet desperation
i feel it all the time
i'm trying to start screaming:
it may end up in a song
or my thoat will just bleed forever
but it's better than that fucking passivist bullshit of staying quiet one
more time
"one more time dear, i'll let you have it tonight--- if you don't tell i'll
pretend not to notice.
i'll keep taking and you'll keep crying and i really love you because this
is all you're gonna get"
you want a story about love?
it isn't that simple
and it's hard to believe
it's like Faith, mother fucker
which i don't understand
and i have no proof for
it's a feeling
like i don't have feelings
it's something Around the words and underneath...
don't ever tell me i don't think i believe in love



I wish I could tell you that I don't sleep, that I see your face
everywhere, that I wander through the house at night, knocking over
lamps and tilting picture frames, lurching through the dark as if I had
coffins on my feet, grasping at the empty November air as if I could
somehow reach you. I wish I could tell you that I'm inconsolable, that I
come down to breakfast every morning tight-skinned and bleary-eyed. That
I sit there, poking at my eggs with a spoon. I don't, though. I sleep
just fine.

My burden is a giant pear that floats like the moon. Your absence is an
armful of lilies cut for a shallow vase. Our house is one hundred
pitchers of clover honey. I wish I could say these things with feeling.
But why pour brandy on the fire? Why say anything at all? You put me on
your list as if you're trying to tell me something. So what are you
trying to tell me little falcon, salt of happiness, favorite of all the
cats? Are you carving wooden shoes for me? Do you want to read the book
of my dreams by the light of the whites of your eyes?

dearest boy
[sigh]
i don't ask any sort of dependance or despondancy...
i'm just telling you little bits of everything.
this has no point.
there is no grand message here.
nothing is being accomplished.
it's just a game for kids
with empty heads
washed by dreams.
i'm trying to give you armfullsofflowers or saltedkittensofshoes
anything you want:
just take it.
this isn't mine
it's just part of me.



The space between all of us spells a word that you want to put your
mouth around -- Twilight, Doorframe, Riverbed, Skin -- a word like this
but not these words exactly. It should taste like bourbon and sound like
the hum of distant bees on a summer's day. So imagine velocity, imagine
you are traveling fabulously towards us, a thing of cream and stars that
becomes, you know the story, simply Heaven in that faraway big band
sense that lasts for one song maybe.

Here is a map with our names for a capital. Here is a shovel to dig your
way in. Act Two, Scene One: backyard plays and cakes and dreams where
you take us and explode us with a more pure joy.

Come on, Slugger. Do it. Give it to us.


i'm on my way, but
have i ever?
[really, i leave the bursting up to you]
 
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