Guilty: or, How Things End Beginning

(this is the last thing I find I’ve had time to attempt in writing for many weeks…)

after Bataille, Of Montreal

It began.  It begins.

Damage.

What opens what humans call ‘the heart.’

.

Who is the author?

Where?

.

In the loss.  Lessness.

What is…always expressed / exposed by what

CAN be taken…

What is stripped back, laid bare, stolen,

raped…

.

Then you know.

Both ‘you’ and a very strange sort of ‘knowing.’

.

THAT POINT:

[the werewolf]

that place, space, moment, experience:

HATE.

LOVE.

(=)

(equals)

.

The expansion.

Additive.

Infinite.

A mad undoing.

A ‘one’ coupled by LOVE-HATE (possible ferocities)

– angry peace –

– gentle tearing –

.

Avarice.  Grace.  Hunger.  Gifts.

.

We get born.

We most certainly die.

(even if we never learn what ‘being born’ or ‘to die’ might be / mean)

.

Damage: how we…die with/it

: how we…end in it

.

We most certainly die.

.

This we know [somehow] without experiencing it.

Or even being able…

.

Death.

Always next.

Always next.

Always next.

(Regardless – truly regard-less)

of anything IN-between

I AM ALL WAYS DYING MY DEATH

(what might ‘living one’s life’ seem?)

I happen to be singing imagined limits

(All I do not know)

.

Questions and conundrums

NOTHING.

Ends and means:

DEATH.

-easily a kind of glory…

…inevitable

…insatiable

DECAY.

.

Guilty.

BIRTH (whatever could be meant by that) = DEATH. DECAY.

(It began.  It begins).

-What opens, happens, what humans call ‘the heart.’

We most certainly die.

  • Hello cancer
  • Hello age
  • Hello war and disease
  • Welcome other
  • ‘Time’
  • Fact, fiction
  • Truth, theory
  • “Hello, human!”

DEATH.

(Most certain)

(The wonder : : : : something is born)

always

                                                      all ways

                                                                 in order to…

…DIE.

Irascible, inevitable, indivisible, ineradicable ends.

Cheers Death

‘you’ (nothing)

always win.

If ‘winning’ could ever look like that, this…

…end(s).

once its begun, it began, it begins…

…endings, ends, the end.

– always already there –

always                                                 already                                                here

“between appear and disappear”

 

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Cloud Fragments 1

cloudysky.gif

Within the lip and loom of limbo.  Limb lazy, almost unperturbed, but living still, slightly shaken, a subtle stir.

Difference scarcely scored, imperceptible is not worth mention.  A canny kind of collude.  There (might be) this, (might be) that – too hard to say, and who could do it?  Only one driven to be wrong, reductive, defining.  Only one agitated or alarmed by the way of things – that there were no way.

Indiscernibles.  Indeterminate.  Impossible to compute: is how it is.  These signs erase, and we are there.  As if in front with, as if of face and gaze.  As if event.  As if participant and become.  As if no one might tell apart.

Why tell apart?

Wrangled together in wrestle, why choose?  If breath must mingle to say, why delegate, select?  Cloud moves over, under and through, toward, into, and away – to no one’s noticeable chagrin.  Why we?

Tender spots trace gentle rain, in river, barrel, lake, exempt of rage or reason.  Only a sprinkle, a feed and possible weal, so glance and touch, brush and care, a slightly stumble, a cell’s conceive.

Misremembered, but no mind, flavor, sight, the wind through trees.  Nothing is without.  Nothing alone, should it perchance to be.  Mysterious, illogical motive of undoing.  Prepositional violence.  Pre-positions, a tearing apart.

Muscle, scent, and fur.  The various forms of water – cloud, drizzle, flow.  Flesh with flesh and whispered angles.  Breath with sound and ear.  A thought.

Inseparability and subterfuge.  Had never been, may not be, unstill it is…the way….questionally unquestioned, sifting in drift, conjunctions of convergence, some impossible begin.

Badlands #1

I didn’t come back.  Something stayed on in the far.  Apart from the wires and the noise, “connections” and net-works.  Somewhere away.  No mistaking it was I who drove home, unlocked doors, and arrived.  I who functioned and served as a placeholder.  Yet I’d stayed in the cold and remote, the far reaches.  Away.  I haven’t returned, though something sure did – no one noticed but me.

It’s alright, there is room.  Space to breathe and to think, space to listen.  Apace like beyond or forgotten, the lost, misremembered – like that I was left or retained.  On I wandered, as wondered; I pondered and roamed, but I did not come back, that I know, not this time – too much risk without safety to “be here.”  I don’t want to – not here – no where, no now, no sure thing – not “that.”  I’d like to be other, undone, in the wild, separate, immersed, and another.  Not me.  Not this.  Not here.  Not now.

So I stayed and I didn’t come back.  No one noticed.  Alone, I began to combine and consider.  Correspond and co-question the side of the world the world was on.  Difference side, or an other, not a me or an ours or an us.  Just a world.  I renamed there, all one, even while I returned and took care of.  I escaped.  Not me, only them, not I, just the others, who cares? – perhaps no one, not me and not them and not elsewise.  I am gone.  Gone unnoticed.  It’s okay, for who cares?  As long as I’m holding my place, and fulfilling – a father, a worker, a lover, a friend – no one cares if I never came back from the forest and sky or the wind and the cold.  The dark places.  No one knows, no one cares, nor do I, just I know, that is all, that I didn’t.  Return.  Rejoin or sync up.  No, not I.  I’ve stayed far even while it’s my body or figure that fills up the places and manners I was.  I am not.  And it’s fine, doesn’t matter, why would it?

I blink with the breeze o’er the road.  Lodged in swift crannies and caves, dropped in canyons, and spread through the clouds.  Now I’m rain, it’s okay, now it’s snow, no one knows, no one cares, reconsidered: as long as someone is caring for them (or apparent) no one cares where the person has gone – that including – the spaces the person has gone – no one knows neither cares, nowhere for nothing – simply not – sweetened absence – of care or concern – just a void, a caesura, an erasure, amiss, like palimpsest or scrimshaw or paste, and a cut.

I am cut.  Paste anything there.  They won’t notice, not them or there or any thing or one.  There’s no matter, no wave, energy or particle, there is nothing – that’s any and every for them – what they need, that is all, what they need.  What they want.  I’m not here, for

I didn’t come back, from the cold, the remote, and the silence, the spaces, the less.  It’s okay, no one noted, but me, for I functioned, appeared, held a place – however emptied – of me.  It’s okay.  I am cut.  Paste anything here.

I have not returned.  No one knows this (but you now, and I – keep a secret).  It’s an absence I will not reveal.

There is wind.

There is no one.

“It is hard to seize what is” -Laurie Sheck

Out of the Woods

“Why did you come out of your place in the woods?” I was asked.

“I guess so,” I replied.

So what?

This I find I cannot answer.  It is irrational.  Perhaps to stir and sense?  Dis- or un-cover?  “Strife” (from Ancient conceptions of the term).  Turbulence.  That something rather than nothing?  Not to have one’s hands folded on one’s lap? (Dostoevsky).  How should I know?  It’s irrational.

Unreasonably, I’ve begun.

Of course beginning will destroy things:  my stasis, comfort, stillness.  Family roles, relationships, profession.  Any beginning changes everything before (prior) to it.  Friendships, rituals, schedules, habits.

To START (anything) means to RUIN.

And also…BEGIN.

In other words, if I (one) reach out – lash, swipe, caress, call, correspond, text, touch, encounter or engage – an Other (one)… all will be disturbed… it’s the nature of contact between living beings: landscapes, art, humans, animals, spaces, times, words, events.  Everything alters at encounter.  Period.

If I (or we) are available (or needy) and therefore present ourselves (vulnerably) to a reality (actuality, happenstance, opportunity, occurrence) everything changes.

Past.  History.  Future.  Meaning.  Understanding.

So “Why did you come out of your place in the woods?”

What was my ‘place in the woods’?

Repetition.  Familiarity.  Habitue.

Security?  Comfort?  Compatibility with my environs?

I must have desired DIFFERENCE.

And how to account for that?

This is something we just do.

Clothes, taste, touch, belief, surroundings, movement – variance, dissimilitude, change – this signals in some way to our mechanistic (apparently) methodology of ‘survival’ – that we’ve ‘still go it,’ still HAPPEN, to-be… we live.  Are a-live.  Existence.  (See how the noun – the naming/defining – kills it?  Stills and destroys it?).  Existing.

Out of the woods I desire – not to be “existing”, not to crave “existence.”  I do not want any THING.  SOMEthing. I am simply wanting to be-ing… indefinable, indescribable, occurring, happening, all-live – not staid enough, locatable or timed enough to be characterized, apportioned, described and named.  No!  I (for one) am wanting to be happenING, impossible to capture, occur-ING, become-ING, vital not repeatable, unique not typified, tabulated, calculated or classified.

And thus, and so, I change (again).  Again.

Again I come out of the woods.

I be-come.  Out from the woods.

I say, I write, I speak, I act.

I am.

Already Alone – Norway, October, 2016

wittgensteinskjolden
Wittgenstein’s Cabin – Skjolden, Norway

ALREADY ALONE

Norway, October, 2016

 

Far from.

As near as I can be, as near as I can tell, I am far.

Far from.  And already alone.

So long I dreamt this cabin, this hovel, this cave.

Some safety, a distance – ‘solitary’ space.

*

Who ever would I be – were I alone?

What am I – alone?

Where is one – alone?

*

Silence quickly transforms into noise.  One’s ‘self.’

Alone.

These window cubes, cut from concrete.

These thick and stony walls.

Such noisy fire.

*

I am far.

Far from.

So very long – already alone.

And yet I’ve just arrived again.

*

It is cold.

Often, always, winter.

Sheer, spare, space.

Hardened, austere, edges, boundaries, shapes.

We are separated.  Blocked.  Reaching…

I am.  Here.  Alone.

Always.

Already.

Alone.

*

But not really quite.

Not really quite – all one.

Alone, never seems to actually equal – all-one.

Even though it’s used as stand-in.

Words.

*

I write.

Here in this far-removed, distance-sequestered solitude.

I AM.

Yet I only AM…

…in relation to.

I am not, not ever, NEVER ‘ALL-ONE,’ ‘AL-ONE,’

‘I’ am all-ways, al-ways, IN-RELATION-TO

in order…to BE…even ONE.  Even singular

demands plurality.

And so forth, and so on…

*

I…am UN-ABLE to ‘BE’ without an-Other, another,

TO-BE-IN-RELATION-TO –

a note, a chord, a color…

a line, a shape, a term…

some weather

*

‘Language’ as we’ve come to consider, think, imagine…it…

‘simplified’: NOT ONE BIT W/O THE OTHER.

*

NOT ONE BIT W/O THE OTHER

*

My youngest son (10 years old) has heard

a strange, elaborate, convoluted and contested myth/story/fiction/fantasy (hypothesis)

about the “Origin of the World”

involving particles, waves, heat, light, sub-sub-sub quantum symbols & movement –

all sorts of scientific (& notably human) inventions

from Professor(s) AZIFF…

“as if”

these might declare, or describe, inscribe or explain

SOMEthing, ANYthing

about…EXISTENCE…EXISTING… (EX-is-tence, EX-is-ting…’out of’)

*

I heard stories as well (as-if)

that A god (or many) breathed, touched, loved, crashed

SOMEthings, ANYthings into be-ing…

that there ‘likely’ (or MAY HAVE BEEN – according to human conjure)

a “Big Bang”

another Big Daddy of heat…of particles…of waves…of sub-stance…of light…

or MORE,

or LESS

*

Wavesparticlessomethinginmotionimplosionsexplosions WORDS

InthebeginningasfarasWE’reconcernedwastheWORDlogossymbolmarksign

SOMEthingOTHER-thanwhatIS-AZIFF-asifperhaps

[how might it be ANYthing other than ANYone’s guess, among us, pray tell?  WHO or WHAT might qualify – among US – as arbiters or judges, experts or prophets – and by what measures or standards (or WHOSE?) as each of us species-specifically WE?]

inotherWORDSinod,bow,listen…WHOtellsthestorythatMOSTaccordswithME?

andsoitgoes…WORDS

*

and it alters – it changes – the stories – generation to generation

depending on the rulers, the beliefs, the ‘logics,’ the ‘sciences,’ the ‘mathematics,’

the tools, the techniques…

and it alters…from season to season…

depending on the ‘outlook’ or ‘prognosis,’ ‘fellow-feeling’ or ‘concern,’ – survival needs

Some call Physics, others Philosophy, some Religion, others S.T.E.M. or art or politic or publicsocialpolicy…some Business (nearly all)…das capital

Each and every DIFFERENT time

a ‘this is how it is,’ a ‘this is what we know’

i.e., a ‘THIS WE BELIEVE.”

*

Our creedal species.

And I…

I say…

Some say…

“No Matter,”

“No Substance,”

“No Essence”

…”WHATEVER.”

*

Always a begin – always a play of language (nigh-universal) and power (universal).  PERHAPS –

And so it goes (or so ‘I’ imagine…or ‘so it seems’ to – ‘ME’) and so forth, and so on…

…the playing field remaining species-equal betwixt athlete and artist, philosopher, scientist, politician and doctor, worker and ruler and indigent intelligent…so far as ‘I’ can tell of it…

*

HERE NOW I.  NOWHERE ME.  Language – experience – meaning – species: HUMAN.

“All the Same?”

Equalists all, at fundament.

Inequalists all, at experience.

Thus: equations.actions.creations.obstructions.thoughts.languages.behaviors.codes.might.

“Might”…a PERHAPS…a possibility…a WE (species-specifically): DON’T KNOW.

*

It is thus I invent and inscribe.

Posit.

Create.

Detract.  Distract.  Distrust.  Conjure.  Conspire.

Attempt a BE-come…becoming…convergence.

Attempting to BE.

And another is able to write “Why the World does not Exist”

And another “Being and Time” and still more “Being and Nothingness” and still more

all kinds of SOMEthings and SOMEones and ANY’s…

with their WORDS.

and mine, and ours, and we

*

I write.

Far from.

As near as I can be, as near as I can tell, I am far.

Far from.  And already alone.

wittgensteincabin

Alias Alive at the Ends

Always too late.  This is the message of disaster.  We are too late to the scene, and undone.

Even thinking and emotion.  Even love, can’t keep pace with disaster, with entropy, with chaos.

Death always outruns us.  World and chance incessantly out-maneuver.  We are small.  Very small.  Infinitessimal, as it were, in our finitude.

Thus begins our own story of destruction: we are born.  Perhaps conceived (of).  Perhaps even further back, before developing.  Prior to evolution.  The brokenness.  The cracks.  The destitution.

Arising of accidents.  Formed of the fractures.  We become.

In other words – doomed from the start.  Our ends preceding beginnings – the beginning began at the end.

At the point of ‘exist’ – our last chapter.”

This would be Alias, grieving his friend, in two colors.  The living, the dead, the to and the from.

Laramie dies, and is absent (if memory serves).

Alias keeps after his death – loving Lucy, and children, performing labor and sin and its necessary too much – in his office with paper and pen.

He pauses and looks to the window.  Birdsong, stray cats, and the leaves.

L. is gone, but he’s not. Just inevitable.

*

He perceives it as some kind of race – but death always the tortoise that outruns the hare – and is needed.

No more.

Lucy calls.

No more.

Hears the children.

No more.

Senses purpose –

*

The pen stays on – marking the book.

Alias.  Alias alive.

Laramie.  Laramie ceased.

Spiders and sunlight and dust – all alone.  All all-one.  All “the Same” in some mystical way, called the Real.  The Real that repeatedly ends – its beginning.  The Ends, then.  The end.

On Being Other

On Being Other

(after Heidegger, on Holderlin)

 

Broken off from origin: gods, family, homeland.

Early switched direction – turning back, against, since.

No belonging.  No church, no community of mortals.

Reliant on the peaks and the abyssal.

No lasting love, but efforts toward convention –

when giving up –

even offspring, domesticity,

varietous employment,

almost friends.

No lasting commerce, always in-between,

feeling resistance and restraint,

constraints of discipline and need,

of longings, love, and lust.

Searching Other

fueled by others – across the times –

creators of the peaks and their abysses.

Oscillation.

Not yet rational, it commences –

undone in the unknowing, uncertain constant flow

generates turbulence toward an opening

or a gap, some kind of fold –

“run up hard against the unsayable.”

the closing line is a quotation from Heidegger’s

lectures on Holderlin’s poems “Germania” & “The Rhine”

Fierce Splittings

Teton-Range

Mountains.

At the base of them, miles and miles into Montana, lay Laramie.  Laramie’s horse Sensei is uncertain what to do.  A storm is rolling in.

Lucy knocks at Alias’ door.  “Going for a walk,” she says, “you okay?  Need anything?”  Alias ponders.  “I’ll be taking the dog,” she adds to the nerve-troubled silence.  “You’re welcome to join.”

The fierce splittage that occurs.  Rife.

  1. I always want to go, and madly.  Tromp nature, move our bodies in time, together.  Hear you, explore, see the muscles work your thighs, your calves, their clench and stretch.  Peer at what your eyes respond to, share what registers in your ears.  Be privy to what physicality, adventure, novelty and motion unwind and unravel in you.  Want you as much as myself.  Want to touch and observe, share and protect you.  Crave you.
  2. I need to stay with these thoughts, stick at these questions, interrogate myself, my loneliness, my ecstasy, my want.  I am remiss, longing, wishing.  Forever turning aside for another (spouse, friend, vocation, pet, children) – NO! – I must stay here with myself, plumb some illusory depth, a hell, potential potency.  Must keep scribbling, keep ‘taking up and reading,’ until the moment occurs that seems revelatory, meaningful, significant.

YES                   /                     NO

Silence.                                                                          She goes.

And Laramie’s lain still, a long while.

Sensei turns and trots, after houghing along his body.

Lucy goes.  Exchanging kisses and assurances, both of them wishing, both of them aware, both of them happy and sad.

Alias moves to the piano.

Wanting to extrapolate a sense – but there are far too many senses and sensings.  Children: infants to adults, jettisoned and on.  Sensual aches and lustings – the million maneuvers to orgasm at every angle and scale.  Big Pictures and Miniscule Mundane all wrapped up.  A blooming iris.  Pregnant decisions.  Salivation for vodka, for book, for solitude and quiet.  Augmented chords, then rolled, then extended, then simply a single note.  Promised to language, yet full of sound and fury.

He plays, he drinks, he writes, he doubts, he fears, he wishes.

As if it were imperative.

As if fierce splittings of rationality or cognition and confused whelmings of senses and emotions were condemned toward disruption.  As if it were unknowable.  Could not be known.  Could not be said (or written).  Could not be true.

Human axis.  Axis of being.  Overloaded and irreducible.

A swoon, a swarm, an agony and ecstasy.  A finite loop and laugh.  A tangle.

Alias loves and longs his Lucy, Laramie, children and books.  Alias loves and longs a self that makes sense.  He loves and loathes that it does not.

Lucy goes.  Dog in tow.  At the mercy of externals.  The risk of world and other.  She heads to the Outside.

Alias turns in.

Laramie’s turned in.  On himself.  On the world.  On ‘in.’  Plumbing the depths.  A hell.  Of ending.  Of being.  Of moments and instances.

Sensei breaks to a gallop.

There are the mountains.  Fierce splittings.  Here we go.  Everyone at the mercy of.  Inside/outside.  Too many tenses and senses.  Everyone and the mountains, or for some it might be sea.  Or both, or any.  What happens there.

Lucy in woods with dog.  Alias at desk in plains.  Laramie lying at the foot of the mountains, still.  And everyone else at their everywhere.

 

Laramie Poeticus

Laramie liked to think himself a poet.  One attuned, natural, native to his world(s).  He liked to think he had unique feelings, perhaps an “insight,” an acute attention – that maybe he saw just a little bit more than others saw.  And was able to say so.

A farmer-cowboy type from the upper Midwest, he played a lot of sports and performed muscled labor – at times enjoying the solitude of pasture rides and the company of large mammals.  He felt a “care,” not sure for what, suspect he’d call it a kind of “connection” – with crop growth, animals, the waters and the skies.  And felt he could say so.  And he could sing.  Musician, farmer, cowboy, son.  Husband, scientist, laboring man.  Father, friend, and “poet” (he might say).  Laramie James Backstagger, dearly known to Alias.

“When you’re making it – forming words or music – do you feel somehow that you’re ‘getting it’?” Alias might ask, as they ambled the fields chopping at thistles, remedying fence.  “Do words add to experience or just chop it up?  Diminish?  Reduce?” Alias chimed.

Laramie would go silent, plodding along, smelling and listening.  Looking.

At times they’d play basketball, tennis (this was all in their youth, Alias having blown out his knees at the pigskin).  And careful.

They both went on to cities: education, enlightenment, the ‘experience’ of cultural promises.  They still had their debts to pay.

“I mean, when you ‘see’ it, or ‘hear’ it, are immersed – it’s not seeing or hearing or sensing – am I right? It’s just being – and then – ?” Alias prodded, “and then – what happens?”  “You hear language, or find it or forge it, dream times or ‘intuit,’ you consider ways you’d be able to MARK it – note it down (letters or score) – recount or recreate it – even extend or rescind it – and that all seems like media to me: communication: expression or history or talk…but reduced.  Reduced to what YOU can comprise or compose – not the ‘same’ as the moments, trembling in the web, and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing – from the wind and the trees, weather and bees, family and learning, working and friends – and our culture! – all funneled and cored to some desiccated fraction of bone – eviscerated – ‘HERE LIES LARAMIE’S TAKE’: some words or an etude or painting.  Even action.  Even sowing or reaping or pruning or care…’HERE LIES LARAMIE’S TAKE’ – wow!  Really?!  Amazing!  One moment made this?!  AND WHAT CARES?  WHAT MATTERS?  WHAT PURPOSE OR POINT, BENEFIT OR CONSEQUENCE…the next ‘now’?!”

Alias could go on and on like this.  Often doing what he’d just described or decried.

And Laramie’d slow, maybe stop, often sit, and stare out.  Have a smoke (he didn’t smoke, but pretended – his children and wife didn’t like it).  And Alias would drink and get wiser.  A little calmer and sad.  And all might go quiet, save the world always humming.

Laramie Backstagger sighed.

“Well?  Whadda ya think?” challenged Alias – “how is it for you when you speak, feel or sing?”

And how would he know, ailing Laramie?  Been too many years of conflicting events and results and mixed feelings.  Too many miles that worked out without working, or failed for the working too much.  “I’m uncertain,” he said, “I’m uncertain.”  “But you’re pushing at something in me.”

By now Alias was off on his own like a mammal, had concocted a scent for to trail.  Maybe the ache was for sharing the thing they were sharing: agreement.  Maybe to get through the whole business at once, simultaneously.  Maybe to not be divided and different or just pieces of things – to be doubled or tripled or multiple?  Harlequin – pieceworked and patched, back then and now and some future.  An assemblage, a collage wanting melding.

“All uncertain,” Laramie said.  “I can’t know, just I do it and feelings will follow.  New ones.  Pains from smashed understandings, joys from promising starts, aches at the poorness I lend them – but something goes on, carries forth – it don’t end with the birds and the breeze.  The words have it too, and the voices.  The shapes and the meanings and lines.  Even tones.  It goes on, both the good and the ill, and I’m part, or it seems such.”

“How ‘bout you?” Laramie wants to know.  “Why do you carry on and keep blabbing,” he taunts.

“Just to borrow,” Harlequin murmurs.  “Just to steal.”  “To have something to say.  To keep silent.  To wish that it might carry on.”  “It’s what we’ve got, all these things.  Try as I might, I don’t know what else to do, and at times feel compelled, god dammit.  Like Foucault or Blanchot or Spinoza.  Or Buddha or Christ, Kafka or little Jane,” (little Jane was the crazy old lady – lived two miles from the Backstagger’s farm – she’d sparkle to company no matter the cause and just cackle and croon – mixing nonsense and stories, opinions and facts, just talking and talking and talking.  No one knew if it ceased when they left, it never stopped within range of the hearing).

“I hear you” said Laramie, “I see.”  To which Alias always replied “But you don’t – I don’t know that.  Have no method of saying it’s true.”  And they’d keep walking on…toward night.

 

Invisible Man Narratives – version 2

Here are the beginnings of a sort of alternate telling of the past 6 months of life around these parts….

 

 

 Invisible Man Narratives

Six months ago, things was different.  That’s how he says it, he says “things was different then.”  He says about Kansas, he says, “…see ‘cause in Kansas they’s got exemplary seasonal cycles,” he says.  He says “in Kansas they depend on them cycles and they is distinct and prominent,” he says.  He says “you get yer harsh and bitter subzero Winters replete with blistering blizzards and crackin’ pipes…” he says that – he says “replete” – would you believe it?  “And hell-hot dry and blowing Summers with readings oft above 100,” he says, “an’ then ya got  yer gradual, colorful clear and moisty Autumns where things fall apart and die, fall apart and die,” he says.  “And then them explosive Springs – redolent, verdant and blowin’ up and apart,” he says – and he truly do say “redolent” and “verdant” just you believe me – I’ll be sayin’ to ya just like he says it, that’s my job – I’m just Mr. Dudtnitz’ tangible voice, as you might have it – I listen and repeat it, sometimes askin’ clarification, sometimes just writin’ it down, but always – always – I swear it, just likin’ he says it.

I asks him, I asks – “how was it different six months ago, Mr. Dudtnitz?” I says.  And he starts talkin’ ‘bout them seasons and Kansas and how landscapes set up the visible shape of any man’s life and outlook and how all those seasons changing so “drastically” and them all dependin’ on them for “crops and cash, cows and copin’”, and his own life fittin’ right into them seasons: “six months ago I was deep in a drizzlin’ fog, a drizzlin’ fog of grief” he says, “stuck in a rainy Spring and things warmin’ up and me all set to hibernate where I was,” he says, “but that Spring don’t care, them Kansas seasons don’t stop fer shit,” he says, “so here I am,” he says, “hunkerin’ into Spring, delightin’ in a wet and frigid Winter and fixin’ to stay there – lost my love, no work, found myself in foreign lands, failin’ at everything I got goin’- my kids, my marriage, my thinkin’, and it feels real good in a bad way – y’know?  Like I’s right where I’s doomed to be – stuck in a drizzling cold, cain’t see fer shit, just swirlin’ like dirty snow, blusterin’ and stickin’ and meltin’ away in some grey fuggy existence.”  (He uses them terms, he do, this Mr. Dudtnitz.  He’s native Midwestern, but he done a penis-ton of travelin’ and learnin’ and spices up them stories he tells with education he took in around the globe – I swear I never add a term or tale to the things he tell me).

Tell me more about that, I asks him – tell me more about what the seasons – er, y’know – about your seasons the past six months, I says to him, Mr. Dudtnitz.

“Well, hell,” he says, he says “I lost me the love of my life, one I been pinin’ for for near twenty years or more, one I wooed and got to come here to the Midlands from the plush piney Northwest, one full of learnin’ and paintin’ and a whole kitter of arts and sciences, she was,” he says.  “I somehow finds her here in the Midlands, the Plains, straight out from mountains and forests and rain,” he says, “and here she is paintin’ on my porch, therapizing myself and my children, learnin’ us emotions and dreams and feelin’s and such,” he says, “and I start back to school to learn some more, to be a scholar, to be ‘of refined mind,’ pursuin’ my philosophy and science, humanities and arts,” he says, “and we set up places in the ol’ home to read and write and paint and study,” he says, “to mix and match, blend and blur all the things it is that we love to do,” he says, “and we drop out and hone in on what we love,” he says, “together we fix ourselves on each other, on learnin’ and makin’ and bein’ and relatin’,” Mr. Dudtnitz explains.  “And it was a helluva thing,” he says, “a helluva thing indeed.”

What happened next? I asks Mr. Dudtnitz – a bearded, dusty, unkempt man with smart-looking glasses like from over the sea somewheres, some strange mix of Earthman and Philosopher-Poet with them four kids trailin’ around him wherever he goes – what happens next? I asks him.  And he carries on with a tale about love and satisfactions, nerves and energy, landscapes and comfort zones until he gets to the business about when that Nor’wester takes off to visit her kin and writes to him that she ain’t comin’ back, that she don’t like the way he thinks and acts about life and morals, don’t trust him, cain’t trust him, won’t trust him, and lessin’ he alter his ways inside to out, she’s gotta go her own ways.  Well Mr. Dudtnitz had been thinkin’ he had altered his ways, altered them a great deal in fact, quittin’ on the bottle, quittin’ on the smokes, quittin’ on seducing whatever caught his imagination, intelligence, antiquities and fancies – Mr. Dudtnitz thought he done about changed whatever a man could change to be alright with a girl, so, as he tells it, the bottoms simply gave out, a “kind of perpetual Fall – falling apart, drifting along, swirling in Winter, in cold, in the way of things dyin’,” he says.

But the seasons ain’t ever over, is the thing, he explained to me.  They keep cyclin’ around, circlin’ in a way, but spiralin’ more, he says to me, pushin’ and changin’ and changin’ things in a similar way all around and within.  And you don’t even need seasons, Mr. Dudtnitz says, “no, it’s simply the ways of things,” he says, “they change and change and never quit doin’ that,” Dudtnitz says to me.  So “all stuck in that grey veil of a cosmos,” trying to keep and raise his kids, trying to find work to find a way to do that, tryin’ to keep up with his learnin’ he was midway on further in to, tryin’ to keep a house, a home, a “self or two” and some sanity, Mr. Dudtnitz plugged ahead, “robotin’ it through the fog,” he says, “just breathin’ and thinkin’ and breathin’ through the thinkin’,” in order to survive one thing or another, is how he tells it to me.  And I believes him.  I believes him, ‘cause he never say bad about the shit goin’ on, what peoples do, what befalls him, what shakes up the seasons in naturally unnatural ways – he just says what happens the ways he feels it and tries to tell me how them changes and “fluctuations” and “undoings and revisions,” is simply “the way things get along,” the “ways they function to bewilder us,” he says, “the ways they remind us that we ain’t prepared, that they ain’t no way to be prepared, that we just swirlin’ in the seasons like the rest of things,” he says to me, and I believes him, that wily Mr. Dudtnitz with the finaglin’ brain or mind or body, he kinda mixes it all together when he talks to ya, you see, kinda hard to follow, yet strangely compelling and convincing, even when he ain’t tryin’ to convince you of anythin’.

When Mr. Dudtnitz agreed to tell me his story, he said I had to visit Kansas in every season before he would disclose his own personal path.  Late July through August, mid to late October, January and the end of March into April were the times he specified.  Dudtnitz explained that his narrative wouldn’t make any sense to someone like me unless I had seen Kansas at all times of the year.  “There’s times Kansas looks for all the world like it gone completely dead,” Mr. Dudtnitz explained, “and days later smells like it has always been green.”  “This is what I’m a-tryin’ to get at,” Dudtnitz carried on, “it took a very long time for me to understand the life in things ain’t in the rain or the sun, not the soil or sky or seed – it’s fixed right into the mix of it all, the changin’ and the this-doing-this-with-that-with-this-and-that-and-the-other all churnin’, stewin’, blendin’ and actin’ with each others,” he says.  “I had it in me that my life was tied to the presence or absence of the right season, optimal conditions, fortuity and such,” he says, “but I learnt finally, or maybe some little bit, that the sky, the soil, the season, the man, the woman, the child and animal all got it in ‘em all of the time, it jus’ rises and falls, goes dormant then blooms, burns off, drowns out, sprouts up, all given them activity-conditions of everything ‘round about,” he says.

“So here I was thinkin’ I was done and dead, curlin’ away in a dampy dark cave, face to the stale like a miner goin’ down while coughin’ up blood,” he says.  “I determined to give on up on love, on relatin’ intimate-like, on adult partnerships,” he conveys, “and bolstered myself like some old Westward expansion man – a job to do, a body to do it with, a mind to still – like that,” he says.  “And I moved on in to Spring tryin’ to calm my kiddos, keep ‘em safe and close, tell ‘em everything’ll be alright, we’ve been through all this before, weepin’ in my bedroom, drivin’ my car, whenever alone with myself, seekin’ professional help, breathin’, breathin’, breathin’, and thinkin’ kinda thoughts like what pays attention to what’s good.”

“I done applies for 362 jobs with all the learnin’ I got,” he says, “and get back nothin’ but a few interviews and a lot of ‘nice to meet ya’s’ and mostly just nuthin’,” Dudtnitz relays.  “Then one day I get a job for the U.S. Postal Service – drivin’ mail way out in the countryside to them folk that live miles away from each other tendin’ farms – and I takes it.”  “I figger it’ll give me time to think on things, I’m doin’ somethin’ I always thought important and admired, and if’n I can get enough days work, I can make it go on the house and children.”  “At near the same time I gets a message that someone wants my mind and language for a project that might even bring in a little cash, and at this point I says yes to everything, anything that might feed the little ones and keep us housed.”

He explains that now we’re talking about late March to April in my calender’d visits.  Something swells in the air and land, he says, everything is blowing and stirring, and you better believe it – it won’t be long before something pops real big – change like destruction sweeps the place, he explains to me.  “And sure enough,” he says, “I walks into this kitchen on this lovely quiet farm where this artist fellow works, in order to meet the artist lady I’m hired to construct some response to with my mind and language, and I steps nervous-like – this is the first time I’ve willingly stepped out to meet people, be around people since that frozen January to February of the deadening of things, and I peeks my head round the corner into that kitchen and my breath drops like hail, like a punching bag down toward my loins, like the first rain in Spring, like dead land getting plugged in…there’s this young lady, midriff showin’, hesitant smile, long full head of hair, a touch awkward with folks and a helluva lot breathtaking as I attempted to mention before, and I walked right through and outta that house and into the land – a boom had landed in me and was shaking everything up and around – I wasn’t ready to notice anything, to feel anything, to see anything – I high-tailed it to the fields, the ruins, corn rows and dirt roads, high grasses, anything to get away from that twister, danger, tornado of life Spring rips into a Kansas Winter-ravaged destitution.”

At this point I just let Dudtnitz ramble on – no prodding to the story – we was walking out along a creek and Dudtnitz would kick rocks, pick up bugs, point out wildlife and critters, all the while spinning this yarn of seasonal change and landscape taking charge of our bodies and minds, or somesuch similar.  Listen on…

“I never spoke with her, though I was wishin’ to,” Dudtnitz says, “I spent a lotta time talkin’ to her beau though, checkin’ out his thinkin’, seein’ how he cared for that beauty walkin’ ‘round with him.”  “Turns out she was hired as well to respond to this visiting artist lady, and a week later or so I was sittin’ in to my first period of training for the USPS, when – what the hell!? – this very same breath-mangling lady was comin’ there too!”

 

And so on….(to be continued)…