Another day filled with the thickness of love

for my wife on Valentine’s


The Way It Is


There’s a thread you follow.  It goes among

things that change.  But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread

William Stafford

Fictional Families, pt. 7

click here for previous entries

Family 1



“…like a kaleidoscope which is every now and then given a turn, society arranges successively in different orders elements which one would have supposed to be immovable, and composes a fresh pattern.”

Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove

Boy meets girl.  Man, Woman.  Husband, Wife.  Father, Mother.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Pieces shake out of joint.

Father.  Husband.  Man.  Girl.  Woman.  Boy.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Arranges different order.

Husband meets girl.  Man, Woman.  Husband, Wife.  Mother, Father.  Mother.  Produces the child, a child, children.

Jumble and collide, slide over.

Girl meets boy.  Man.  Husband.  Father.  Woman.  Husband.  Wife.  Mother.  Mother.  Child, child, children.  Produces none.  Adds three.

Kaleidoscopes fresh patterns.

Husband, Wife.  Men.  Women.  Father.  Father.  Mother. Mother. Mother.  Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. Child. (Children).

Many is the new unit.  Same – the new variety.  Names – the faulty designators.

Fall the doctrines of origin and cause.  The sense belong.  The myths of ontology.  Infinite regress.  Unlimited semiotics.

Turn the scope, altering view – collage is the new entire.  Copy – the new original.  Fragment – the new whole.

Child. Child. Child. and Child. Child. Child. Child. “belonging” now to Father-Mother. Father. Mother-Mother. Mother-Father.

Fresh pattern.

By steps and halves and partnerships; alliances and circumstance and blood.

Arithmetic of variables multiplied by chance and power.

Now Mo3 + M3 = 2 + 2 + 3.5 or F3 + W3 = 2(-1/2) + 2(-1/2) + 3-1 where Mo=mother (Mo1, Mo2, Mo3, Mo4), M = man (F=father, W=wife, H=husband, and so forth-1 once removed).

The scraggly male through one variable and nonsymmetrical equation would be F2×2(+3/.5)H3M? for W3/C2+C2+1/2C3 or Father of C=biological children 4 times via 2 sets with 3 additional ½-children by marriage to W3 (third wife) which man or woman they are for one another is an n = unknown variable.

A physicist might be able to map this new arrangement, fresh patterning of conventionality: the family by strands of blood and webbed relations multiplying, bending and stretching (read: re-signifying) concept terms and nouns of relation such as brother, sister, mother, father, spouse &/or partner.

All in variable contexts.  Involves Theory of Complexity.  Without mastery or solutions.  No absolutes.  Arbitrary forms actively adapting.  No truths.  A world of half-breeds and bastards.  Infinite regress.  Anomaly.



Character Sketches, cont’d…”The Jealous Husband”

A Series of Stories of Love, by a Husband


Searching for subjects, I began writing the stories of my wife and each of her lovers, as I imagine them, having all dissipated before I was truly “on the scene.”  Still they are here.  Current as histories are.  Not mine (of course), or only when I want it to be.


The stories go like this:  with exotic names and muscular bodies; wealth and infectious intellects; and of course style…whatever things I lack I desire…they all possess in spades.  Like spontaneity.  Torture and foreknowledge = learning from the past.  I’m no gardener.

By which I mean to say I lack certain skills possessed by each lover, each “other” – from youth to culture and their quality of independence coupled to vocation (so I tell it).  Spontaneity (I feel like I’ve written that before, being a creature of habit and repetition, of comfort, of fear).


The stories play out like this in my head and I’m hoping to inscribe them here – thus trapping them outside, cutting off munitions and supply – exorcising them like literature, something benign and contained.  Easily misplaced, forgotten or overlooked.  A measure of control and indifference – not the “these are flesh of her flesh, she has ridden their bones” instead a collection by Grimm or some sacred treasury – a set of frights and fairy tales to engage as horrid dreams and improbable possibilities.  Child’s play.


Which bothers me.  For if I’ve learned anything from writing, it’s the profligacy of error.  The obsessive-compulsive drive to adjust, rearrange, endlessly edit and correct.  And never end.  Stuck in a locking swirl, just so, very like unto a toilet – to revise and submit, revise and submit, then regret.  The opening of doors.  An idea expressed becomes thing, and a thing is let loose in the world (the real one).


The stories are like this – embodiments of emotions and fears in an effort to be real, meaning actual, which is usually banal, like she says, but not enshrined.  Words work as predictive preservers.  Untamed and so tangled.  I’m unable to let them go.  Thus they spawn compendiums – thousands upon thousands of hallucinatory nights (in shining armors) – perpetrating my bride, but not against her will, which sets in motion.  Multiplying false realities, now true  (being actual).  Histories – open to view, corroborations or denials, like the facts.


So I keep on writing these stories, like this, with the yearn to expunge, to transform doubt into trust by its emptying.  But keep finding it full, to the brim, and still filling.  In the absence of reliable witnesses, (they all being human and involved in the tales – inherently duplicitous), like words.  Serving double purposes, like bridges made for both coming and going, and never knowing which.


Life is like this, which is why I write these stories, in this way, feebly uncertain and wildly provoked.  If it didn’t go down like I say, how was it really, then?  Oh I see!  So the stories keep changing, suited to their purposes!  Revision, submit; revision, submit; then regrets.


If more persons knew, would the truths wriggle out like perspectives?  My idea in writing these tales – make something concrete to chisel and sculpt.  Together, perhaps.  As a team, like this, retelling the stories according to need – like lying – so we’ll never be sure.  And then I’m also causing effects.  This is what happens in writing these stories, the truth, with all of its possible endings.


I digress.  The stories are like that – my wife and her loves – digressions, diversions and facts.  I’ll get to their bottoms and be done with them all!  (I hope, if they don’t get to her bottom first!).  My stories of anger and loving, my stories of panic and lack.