Linger Or Recur #4: Kind or weak, apples skinned untitled, in an AM’s levied verbs


(Being the fourth installment of a collaborative “pantoum in prose” composed by the editors [Janice Lee, Eric Lindley & Joe Milazzo] in anticipation of [out of nothing] #7, “time ⊕ (nothing ⇒ but)”; forthcoming, Fall / Winter 2013.)

The sketch artist is her own kind of missing person. You have someone else’s dream of a screaming face, another of a sky-blue bear rubbing its back against a redwood, and then your own. Go as far back in time as you can possibly go, but don’t break a sweat. Go back to push forward, into promissory colors beautifully staged. The image of a homogeneous and commensurable face, freely un-mixing, unspools. A stranger’s eye, attached to a string — he had been warned. Believe me, it wasn’t a dream. It was the sketch artist, getting there first by way of having left the garage’s darkened shelves, the dust complaining of oil, letting the screen door catch hurtfully on her heel. And the last thing you see, even though it is only the bottom of the sketch artist’s foot, ruddy in its nylon, is obscene because it is the last thing you see. Your eyes collaborate with the averted various. You throat conspires to critique your fear: assign it tokens (only halves; no quarters), render it of some putative aid. The sun beats the high F# of mosquito wings, the grey screen a C, your fingers like small dry bones in a metal dish, so you think of Stravinsky, and you think of Stravinsky, and you think of the salt in blood. But now the words are soft, threaded candy; they unspool. The clock is a sketch artist, the sketch artist is an hourglass, an hourglass fills and empties each of your internal organs day-by-day, overnight, your organs secretly valved and rooting, future fossils banked in private oceans of erasable ink. Sometimes the light disguises itself as a skin prick, in the late afternoon, and so when you lie down and make a mental note of what is to come in the converging hours of the day, you can remark only on the ritual’s relationship to pain, and can not remember independent occurrences of pride. Time is full of superstitions, but only a few of them have ever been previewed.

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