Alias Thinks Back…On…

“To bring a work to ‘a conclusion,’ as Picasso said, is like putting an end to a bull – to kill it.”

-Francois Jullien-

diaries

from the diaries…

Woke this morning with a particular feeling.  I’ve never been one to believe people could name their emotions or feelings.  The best we can say are parts.

Words like a parts catalog: indicating pieces and components, but never the working, not the operative whole.  Machines are full of mystery.  What’s hidden.

They say you cannot know.  As you age.  Cannot know if it’s the end, exactly.  Perhaps they’re right – I’ve surely been surprised in middle age, believing everything was lost, doomed, downhill and erosive, some slow and steady depleting – and then WOW!  Who could have known or imagined!  This luck, this place, this woman or experience!  Perhaps.  Perhaps.  But maybe we do.  Maybe we really know, once twilight settles.  I’ve never trusted “them” – the “experts,” the “scholars” and “scientists,” “politicians” or “leaders” or “doctors,” the “speakers for” and “authorities”…i.e. privileged observers (an illusion or delusion or both – no one ever gets to be ‘outside’ existence, any more than any other).

What with Laramie gone, and a birthday round the corner, and language just a parts catalog – my experience.

I woke with a particular feeling.  That things were near their ends.  That I am nearing ends.  Work, love, breathing, will.  That the stories I’m involved with are dwindling in pages, thin and wearing out.  These ‘particular feelings,’ “somehow we just know,” kinds of things: lay down, close your eyes, cross your hands over your chest and hope things are in order.  Or not.  Depends on inclination and values, I suppose.  What one cares about, or for.  Perhaps.  “They” say you cannot know.

I’ve been surprised.  Even wildly.  Much I’ve never been able to believe and yet it seems: my children – engendered by me and of such promise; this beautiful woman that loves me; that I’m still alive.  One never knows (is what they say).  So who knows what?  And how do “they” know that?

I think I do, what with Laramie gone, and my faulty parts catalog, and this particular way that I feel.  I’ve worked too long and too much.  Tried too failingly.  Never quite trusted or believed.  Never found my worth.  Maybe now I know.  Maybe now I’m certain of something.

The end is coming – for me – always concerned and consternated by beginnings – how to start, where to set out – and now, here (nowhere) the path, it dwindles away.  What have I done?  What did I mean to?  What did I wish?  Why didn’t I?

I wanted to write a scholarly work about something that truly obsessed me.  Something I’d spent my life searching.  Something that likely doesn’t even exist, but no matter – because Scrabble, because poems, because science.  Unscramble (by scrambling) the letters – you’ll see: it can almost be said, almost anything – existent or not – almost.  Parts constructing strange wholes and plugged in, eventual malfunctions, repairs – and yet “no matter, try again, fail again, fail better” (Sam Beckett – I’ve read and I’ve taught far too long).

And one solid work of fiction and some poems.  That’s all.  That’s what I wanted to do.

So I studied, and traveled and loved.  Raised children, made music, pushed learning and literature publicly, worked and worked, and drank and drank.  Took in stragglers and strays, made it work where I could, doubted and doubted, desired.  Everything but what I wanted – that’s how you perpetuate desire.

I woke today with a particular feeling, though “they” say you cannot know.  Cannot know for certain, that things are yet to surprise you, yet to get better.  I will not argue.  Perhaps.  But what with Laramie gone, and all that’s undone, maybe I know, maybe we do.  Maybe we’re aware when our endings are coming.  Who could know?  Who could tell us?

My ends are coming.

I can’t go on.

I’ll go on.

(still more from Beckett)

Related: Alias Harlequin

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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.

Laramie, still

Teton-Range

Marc hasn’t approached such things in a very long time, having left ranches for cities decades ago.  He’s never perceived his father this way – a sodden, curled lump, a heavy heap of human – laying not far from a dissolving and evaporating campsite.  Still.

Alias ponders “still as stasis or persistence or both/and?” in his notebook in his study.  “Most often I use ‘still’ with some indication of both – stubborn, persistent, continual, unmoving – obstacles.”

Son standing over his father.  Father, fallen, humped, underfoot of son.  A stubborn statue, status, state.  Something resilient, resolute, apparently ineradicable and permanent – as far as permanence goes.

“Sons stumped by their fathers.  Fathers blocking their sons.” Alias wrote as Lucy re-entered their provisional home (what “home” is not?).

Laramie lay still, sopping, weighing more than any many should, it seemed to Marc.  Now fathering the labor of his unfortunate offspring, hovering over it/him like a bent tree, not quite as strong, but still stuck and rooted.

“The child is father to the man…still,” Alias jotted, telling Lucy that he’s stuck in the awful muddling middle of things, still wanting several things to be possible at once, believing they ought appropriately have right to be – including (but not limited to) both of their happinesses and satisfaction… fulfillments… but unable to see quite how, and for some strange reason thinking acutely of Laramie, wondering about him today – where he is and how – and all of their good, promising, talented grown children, and why they all increasingly feel alone, distant, farther from one another with age, in spite or in direct conflict with his feeling of the relative, mandatory, even necessary import and significance of these very few – very few consistent, momentous, continual and crucial relations – one another, their some sort of shared offspring or circumstanced charges, numbered friends, one another… handful of humans they ‘trust’ ‘still’ – and the vagaried ambiguity of all of these terms.

Marc stares:  his father: a persistent stasis: there, still.  His mother.  What now?  Himself?  His wife, sister, the children?  And there… here… Laramie Paul Backstagger… still.  Present.  Here.  Present.  Still.

Lucy, in annoyed concern – Alias inebriated, anxious, composing, fantastical, undone – suggests they simply call Anna or Marc, Maribel or Laramie his own self, and check in if he’s so concerned, so (“apparently”) troubled and unsettled about them.  But Alias, of course, of matter-of-course, of persistent stubborn stasis, replies, sighing: “Whatever.  I’m overwhelmed.  Over-reacting, under-developed, undone… Forget about it.  Sorry.  How was your walk – your outsiding?”

Marc prods the body with his boot.  His father weighs too much.  Too heavy.  Too absent.  Too still.  Sensei had startled his mother Maribel, returning to the ranch stables alone.  Who startled his sister Anna, startling Marc via telephone, still.  And now here, miles from anywhere, hating, prodding, regretting, wishing this sodden, sullen lump of heavy matter wasn’t his lifeless father, Laramie, his mother’s errant husband, his sister’s rugged hero, the persistent stasis of his dad.

Tension reigns, still.  Vitality.  Forces working upon and with forces.  Matter and space and energy and time, perhaps.  At the very least a conflicted Alias in tangled tango with his beloved antagonist Lucy, unaware, intuitive, confused and undone, while Marc is shoving his inert father, Maribel quivers, Anna waits, and Lucy huffs down the hall.  Life keeps pressing on and stopping, still.

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 & Alias & possible ways to end

Not Found
Not Found

“Just find a way through to an end,” Laramie thinks, fallen there, and hurting.

“the void is waiting for vocabulary,” Alias reads, and ponders alone what the void might be comprised of.  “Perhaps the void is composed of perhapses,” he writes, “combined with some organization of relations we are incapable of imagining, cannot begin to fathom.  Awaiting and constraining possibilities, likelihoods and unforeseens in a kind of complex and chaotic equation or balance.”  Irreducible, inexhaustible, and unsayable, he marks on the wall-sized whiteboard in his office.

“If I figure how to end…make it to an end,” Laramie whispers, hoarsely, internally, excruciatingly, silently.  He cannot sense his horse, nor smell the fire.  It will begin to rain.

“Perhaps,” Alias cursives at his desk, dire, lonely, remiss.  “Perhaps each motion, feeling, thought…perhaps the shaping of an ‘a’ instead of an ‘I,’ perhaps this particular curve or flutter of line, this pen rather than another, the way it sits in my hand, perhaps the letter-to-word conjured depends on so much more than I can conceive or dream: smoke rising to atmosphere in some African desert; a precise selection of neurons inhibited and allowed in my body; the varying flow of blood and calculus of cells active in my thighs, my ankles; the trajectory of wind – its velocity.  Perhaps what registered itself in my synapses and muscles 17 years ago is playing out in curves versus straight; what she said; or his coughs in the night.  The amount and location of sperm; exact army and height of each dandelion stem; the president’s breath; engine ignition in China; the current temperature of Jupiter.  Perhaps.”

Laramie works to focus on his breathing, attempts to concentrate his eyes.  Seeks localization and diagnostics of injury.  His vision is “impaired.”  His legs have gone numb.  Some liquid burn fires through chest-shoulder-arm.  He cannot wriggle his fingers.

“Perhaps every ‘moment’ or movement, influence, decision, activity, intention, expression truly depends on everything else – EVERYTHING…since ANYthing occurred – however that may have become.  And the motion of my arm, its difficulties, my emotions and thinkings, what I am able to perceive, just as much participates in the perhapses and perchances as EVERYthing else – directs them accordingly while equally or ratio-reciprocally affected and determined by.  Some inexhaustible, irreducible, assemblage – unsayable from my specified and fluctuate limitations – my finitude, but imaginatively infinite (perhaps not) in chances-are,” Alias furiously scribbles.

Attempts to roll over.  Effort towards sky.  Finds himself clutching left arm, his legs akimbo but working into a ball.  Breath harsh and labored.  Sight unseen.  Somewhere far, separate, Laramie is suffering.  Finding a way to an end.

“Perhaps,” Alias drones.  “Perhaps deaths and births, seedings and desiccations, galactics and atomic behaviors, cheetah-screech and egg-breaks, politics and business transactions, theories and documents and artifacts, particular weights of the world and all of their unformed-formings gather every instant to become again, particularly.  Planar, scalar, interactive and recursive, never still, never stable, not quite patterned – ever potent, ever determined, ever possible, ever realized – EVERYWHERE + HOW + WHY + WHO + WHAT – always possible and continually actual – without possible worlds – just IS.  Just IS.  Just IS, again.”  Alias slumps.  Decides again to drink.  Looks at porn.  Longs for intimacy, for desire – to be craved, wanted and longed-for.  To be satisfying, satiating.  To be some whacky, untellable, sort of “enough.”  Wishes and wishes – 15,000 things.

Nothing now but distress, pang, shards, fire.  Something like the neigh or whinny of a horse.  A coyote yelp or yip.  Dying insects, a squashed ant.  Sparks fizzled in mist and wind.  Harsh, hard, and consuming.  Consumptive.  Agony.  Laramie unable to locate his body, his voice…himself.

data-rot
data-rot

Alias and the World of Ten Thousand Things

The basics of their story are as follows:

  • there was a wedding
  • nearly a year later, a honeymoon
  • followed by her father’s swift, surprising death
  • succeeded by the loss of a child

and the presence of a curious cat.

The basics of his story are as follows:

  • there is a woman
  • he has many sorrows and passions
  • there are children involved
  • he is poor
  • from a distance his life’s deemed “ideal”

the cat’s name is “Fractal” or “Luna,” a.k.a “Predicate Isabitch.”

His sorrow lay in the pace of things.  Both what there is, and what there is not.

No matter the fortunate outcomes, or happy resolutions, his reckoning turns it to grief [perhaps in the manner of Werther] – a “bent,” a “perception,” or “filter.”

Turns to literature and texts of all kinds, from the dead – in near religious belief [nigh Fundamentalist fashion] that they bring joy or consistent melancholy satisfactions.

Alias Harlequin is sick and he’s dying – he knows it.

He lies at the end of his rope.  STOP.

Impression alters there.  Import and significances warp.

Some things that seem pressing, dissolve.  Don’t matter the same, at the ends.

Will occur, and pass by, to negligible consequence.  Comparatively.

Other happenings seem to reveal profound differance.

True import (such an intimate, idiosyncratic affair).  Nothing true, yet perhaps only.

Alias sits at his perch on his porch, calculating.

What’s the matter (for the head, and the hand, and the heart)?

While Laramie stumbles at camp on a rock.  And he falls.

We don’t (always) know what we need when we’re down…but (sometimes) we know what we don’t…

Alias Ouroboros; or, Alias and [the Philosophy of] the Process of Elimination

tumblr_lt17abrdkf1qmdrwbo1_500

Looks, stares, gazes.  Alias, alone (with ants).  In bathroom.  Facing mirror.

Is reminded (from whence and where?) “My way of not being the same is, by definition, the most singular part of what I am.”  Remembers Foucault wrote that (how? why?).

Contemplates.  Scrutinizes.  Reflects.  Adorno: “To make things of which we do not know what they are.”  Wherefore?  Examines his old face for repetition.  For resemblance.

What ever did he suppose the “self” was?  Leans closer.  12 years old, exploring raggedy woods surround childhood farm in the Kansas countryside with a crooked clumsy stick (a settler’s gun).  Who did he posit “others” to be?

Laramie, somewhere far.  Laramie: OFF.  Sister.  Sometime “friends.”  Lucy (before that H____, before that T_____, and prior A______, D_______, J_____, and so on).  Had he come to approximate “himself” at all?  And who and what and where determined that?  Where is the Observer?

What constitutes the subject in its relations to the true, to rules, to itself?” (Foucault had queried) – the “I” in a sentence – and why had he ever read that stuff?  Why did he feel himself “drawn” to it?  Magnetized to self-reflection, chaotic perspective gyroscope?

Can almost see the swallowing snake.  How long he’s longed (like Laramie) to shed obligations and self-evolving charges (children, lovers, homes and labor)…and how lonely alone turns out to be.

Leans back.  The hair, the shoulders, the wrinkles and beard.  Sheer size alone an entirely variant specimen from 12, shape of 20, motility of 3, vim of 47.

But the naming remains: Harlequin – spanning centuries, derived from ancestor’s medieval roles.  “Ignatius” and “Evgeny” – monikers pilfered from grandfathers – representing both (or some) genetic “sides” – the mother’s and the father’s.  Then Alias, alas – selected purely for sound and almost a joke – “let him make his own name” his dad was supposed to have said – “make a name for himself.”  Alias i. e. Harlequin – an identity of shifters.  Contentless, versatile signs.  This or that, also known as, patchwork jester.  Volatile collage.

Multi-colored robes of Joseph – Alias certain he’s never led anything out of bondage – let alone himself.  A joker then?  Entertainer with a deathly fear to perform.  Chameleon, hodgepodge, bum.  Rag-tag coddle of experiences, interests and events: people, places, actions and things.  Jumbled potpourri of knowledge sans expertise.  “Who is this what that I am?” he thinks, unattended, gaping at the bathroom mirror.  “How?”

Sways toward.  Yellowed teeth, crudded sockets.  Webs stringing out from the eyes indexing smiles – from when?

Drinks.  Diarrhea.  Trembles.

Considers process of elimination.  Engages, ingests, transforms…and turns it all to shit.

Precisely!  If we could do without metaphor!  “The real,” “the rules,” “itself” and “other” hacked, torn and blundered, mulched and mushed, pulped and extracted…some to nourish, some to harm, random keeps and passes…What if “itself” were able to masticate, dissolve and disperse, digest and diarrhea itself?  If thinking passed like food and water?

Crush the judgments, statements, words and perceptions. Struggle to swallow.  Swill the pains and fears – chug through the gullet – expel from the sex.  Crap the hopes, the dreams.  Piss prejudice and myth.  Ingurgitate logical systems, impressions and lust.  Eliminate ruin and waste like a transitioning, dynamic…eroding, decrepit, diminishing body.

Examines physique – misshapen shapeshifting slush.  Deliberates learning.  Vocations.  Training.  Behaviors and “talents.”  Successes.

Swallows again, more of a choking or gulp.  Peers closer.  Slurps and gobbles, wriggling it down – acids and micro-solutions…expel, eject, devour.  Autosarcophagy, necrotizing fasciitis, auto-immune (how did he know these things?) parasiting himself – is it possible to empty?  To void?  And where’s Laramie?  Lucy?  The children?

The trots again.  He starts to gag.

Alias and the Ants

trailofants

Alias observes the ants in his bathroom.  Each Spring.  Spring or Fall, no matter his warfare – treating / trimming / grooming the perimeter of ‘his’ home – no difference (or differance) – Spring and Fall, a trail, a train, a miniscule “army” (whether ‘Army Ants’ or no, he could not say) of tiny insects crossing his counter from sink rim to (nonexistent) god-knows-where and back again, doing god-and-perhaps-scientist knows what…traversing, infesting, conquering, appearing, occurring…

…Alias is unattended…

Observing ‘his’ (not-his) ants.  A collective of interminable insects roving to and fro between a Lilliputian crack along the paint of his lavatory wall (an outside boundary of ‘his’ ‘home’), the cylindrical rim involving ‘his’ ‘vanity’ (does he still possess any of that?) sink, his children’s toothbrushes (the “family” so wishes the infestation undone) and wherever they might journey over the surface’s edge, the drainage holes, the drawers…

Ants.

Alias composes both paste and powder of Boric acid and particled sugar.  A supposed deadly mix for puny pests.  Like “life” for him.  Murderous moments of sweetness colluded with deathly compounds: vodka, cigarettes, illicit sex; bacon, buttery-fried flour, altitude…

Responsibility (instinct) and desire (impulse).

Alias is alone.  Most definitely that.  Solo and (interpretively) forsaken.

His ‘kids’ are grown.  His loves (clearly) outworn.  His ‘friendships’ recursive, reductive, assumptive, routine.  But the weed-trees, the weather and wear, the spiders, the crickets, termites, and dust…and ants, carry on in a differently (and differantly) incessant way.

Indefatigable.  Undefeatable.  (Like death.)

That within succulent sweetness, luscious limnings of love, lie poisons and trace, exposures – never a joy without risk, no ecstasy lacking its peril, no thriving without its decease.  Positives all laced with negatives, happiness balanced in depress.

Alias gazes.  He stares.  Isolated, trimming at an untrimmed beard over a sink he did not install, looking (and failing to see at all) into a mirror replicating demise…above a trail of ants he’s fed sugary poison for weeks, which appear to be active and thriving, in differance to his own ‘self’ – choking and chortling on pleasures that keep resulting in pains, experiments emerging as monstrous, efforts destroying their ends.

He sighs, does Alias.  However he seeks a team and a trail it leads him to toxin, bane eroding his chance.  Considers Laramie, Lucy (his wife), and each child.  Ruminates purpose or promise or hope.  Wonders how relief repulses its reasons.  Why remedy acts against cure.  How ants insist on their patterns.  Why exultation evinces in ruin.

 

 

Alas, Alias

kitty-litter

“Cat litter,” the last thing said, and something about that abandoned bicycle, a child’s bike, deep red, repainted, left askew on their lawn for days.

Those were the last things.  The last things she said.  And so he’d begun to move about much more carefully.  Timidly some might say, an amalgam of caution and care.  Ever tender, aware that things break, or tear, spill, or fall apart.  End.

But then Laramie, his sister, mother, the kids – some entities seem to persist, so few and so stubborn, inexplicably, threatening almost, as if an accumulating disaster, an heavier withdrawal.  He doesn’t know what to make of it.

Abandonment crushes all scales and statistics – but pebbles and dust, foundations and roots still remain.  Persistent.  Resilient.  Irrational.

Like a sloth he repaired to his desk, as delicate and slow.  He took up a pen with his head in his hand.  He was lonely, alone but for quiet, sweet silence, and branches and birdsong and wind, autos and dogs.  Not quite quiet.  Not quite alone.  But abandoned, far as he could surmise.

He wrote.  Rather drew.  Looping lines that were shaky on paper.  Tried to make his operation more smooth.  It failed.  He shakes now, does Alias, from drinking and smoking, aging and grief.  From perspective.  His perspective.

A rattling undone, an erosion.  He sighs.

A bike, and “cat litter,” then gone.  Others had left for much more and much less.  Litanies of reasons of wrongs are so easy with humans involved, never mind the ‘weight of the good.’  Can’t compete.  Won’t compute. There are mistakes, and effort involved – both are failures, no matter the theories or talk, no matter their universality.  He was wrong and a failure, which equals abandon no matter the words they produced.

Alas, Alias.  A depression.  An outlook that colors the field, but it’s charcoal.  No matter the ‘whom’ it will bleed, run them dry, and disfigure.  No one’s withstood it for long, for all of his kindness and passion (devised to distract from the swallowing dark, or the primer – his base coat is death).  He’s alone.

Not a Laramie, mother, or kin.  Without doubt there’s no lover, no friend.  Just a man and his books and incessant grey thoughts, and a pen.

He begins, looping lines…forming “Cat litter,” the last thing she said…

Bike

Without Criteria: Laramie

Picasso - don quixote

Laramie shoots and kills.  Laramie loves and captures.  Catches and release.

Riding along the ridge, singing, swearing, singing.  This journey’s a long time coming.

The need to get away.  For autonomy.  To be self-called.  To begin after all of this and that.  Recall and resound.  Taking stock.

He’s always been this way – a little undomesticated.  A touch of untamed wild.  Never finding a place.  Never quite belonging.

Boundaries forged by relation and response (-ability) all forwarding to limits, cages, toward constraints or restraint he can not abide.  Each vocation or program, discipline or field, replete with vocabularies and methods, praxis and behaviors misfitting to degrees he finds it hard to accept.  A ‘lone wolf,’ ‘self-made man,’ a patent failure or ‘with no name.’  Renegade?

He rides.  The shuffling flanks feel heavy under him, providing awareness of his own weight.  Considers Alias, and thinks how both do not belong.  How adamant and vehement he himself cries freedom, how Alias skinnies and wriggles past the gates.

How neither could ever be said to have ‘succeeded.’  How both (in his mind) would never have failed.  How neither and both are alike.  Neither and both are so different.  Neither and both alive.

Rides on.  Too old for all this but he’ll camp out tonight.  To prove to himself that he’s old both and wild.  Yet.  That he aches to be tamed and untame.  Yearns to belong, independently.  The want for a self that is selfless.  The urge for a course without banks.

Laramie wants to be world, alive.  Wants to be fertile and virile, viral, untrained.  Wants claimed and confessed-for, wants derided and praised.

“We’re the renegade scholars,” sometimes he would say, “learning the lingo and undoing like acid its heart.”  “We master and tell of its weakness, expert novitiates in all.”  “We unwind and unravel.  Travel and root.  We are rhizome,” he says, “drawn out from anywhere.  We absorb and vituperate, ingest and expel.”

He rides, and he rides, in love with the muscling flanks.  The wind tearing through hair and beard, blistering cheeks, stinging his eyes.  There are tears.  Laramie swallows.  The sorrow and joy are one.  Life and its death copulating…heaving and sweating, oily and dry to the bone.  He is brittle.

Laramie is needing to stop, and he feels it.  His body is singing – pain tells.  Time is ripe.  There’s an end.  It is coming.  Unrolling his pack…here it goes…