Subject: Here Is Your Pencil
Date: November 4, 1998 1:40:23 AM PST
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and 22 more…
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.
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'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.
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
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?
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.