Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Ten

They lurch and stumble from lump to bump. Samuel sits suddenly, a foot having slipped on the grass, and he loses his grip. Oh, he says. That was. That was. He looks up. The young man is smiling mildly down at him, his skin creased at the edges of his lips, crinkling by his eyes, his chin roughened with reddish beard. And how his hairline has receded! The body is thicker. More than full, it seems to be carrying a weight it hasn’t grown used to. Samuel takes the offered hand and rises again. The ground beneath the hummocks is

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Nine

back, shadows touching its curves, flickering over the valley down its center, becomes a new landscape that Samuel sees himself wandering across, a landscape of yielding stone, warm and comforting, where he can explore his solitude. The young man glances over his shoulder, bemused, and Samuel grins sheepishly, as though his every thought were being read already by the young man’s skin. The golden light penetrates the hair at his crown, illumining a circle. Where the hair is thinning? So young and beautiful and balding? The ground becomes hummocky now, which makes it more difficult to hold the other’s hand.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Eight

walk, the youth knowing where they are going. Fields of grass, a red grass, not red all the way through, not like they’ve been splashed with paint left over from the candy store or even a barn, but a rough grass that scratches against Samuel’s pant legs, a species of grass that’s got a hint of red in its green, like a presentiment of something unexpected that becomes banal before one has taken ten steps. And the air, too, has taken on a gold, which begins to accept its own red, a sunset combination, isn’t it? The young man’s naked

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Seven

newly spread and muscled, his hand squeezing the butler’s. A reassurance. And the eyes, like in a photograph, red. A red glowing at the center of each. Samuel lifts his free hand to touch a cheek, but the youth steps back. He pulls Samuel by the hand, and Samuel follows, readily. The youth’s first steps are backwards so he can continue to look Samuel over. Samuel feels caressed by the look, not exposed, received rather, accepted? Which feels wonderful. You think you don’t need anyone’s approval, but when you feel it, feel it so thoroughly, you tremble, you laugh. They

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Six

the way one should feel, the way one should always feel. O! That is how a name used to begin, the one that drew him. What does it mean to him now? O circle, start on you anywhere and go on from there, go on, go on. No stopping until the traveler decides to, until he puts his foot down and points it in a new direction. The hand he is holding is not his own. A youth, his soft cheeks unbearded, dark curls around big ears, his eyes bright as in a photograph, his long neck descending to shoulders

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Five

gleaming, pulsing. It has muscle, this red. It has strength, this red. Heat. Are those flames? Skinny, velvet flames, like the ribbons on a present. It’s funny. A gift of love. From me to you. Nobody’s laughing at you. We are all laughing together. It’s funny. It’s a funny life, isn’t it? Sammy, Sammy. It’s a funny life, is it not? Way down in the pit, way down at the bottom, a white glimmer, he sees the spread of his teeth. His practiced, professional smile relaxing into joy. Yes, the transcendental butler is off duty. Or maybe this is just

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Four

throbs. The red dot. Is it whispering? Is it growing? Fatter. Thicker. Deeper. Samuel hears laughter. He closes his eyes. The darkness is red. Red and spreading. He puts out his hand. There is no resistance. Maybe this isn’t the spirit world. He opens his eyes. That, however, is not easy. He opens his eyes. He tries again, expelling his breath in the effort. The laughter, distant, then close, soft, is it even there?, then parked in his ear like a motor revving in a garage. The darkness is red, but it is not a dark red now. It is

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Three

walkie talkie and runs from the room. Mr Opie, the transcendental butler, rubs an eyebrow and watches the unmoving red dot. It may not be moving but it is not dead. The dot. The man, yes, the mayor is dead. Of what did he die? He drowned. But that only means his lungs filled up with water. Did he overdose on medications? On contraband? Did someone push the old man under, hold him down so the water could find its way where the air used to, could enter him and take up the space his life occupied? The red dot

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred Two

ringtone. “Odd,” says the appointment secretary. “He has voice control answering.” She whispers the next, “He will pick up no matter what he’s doing. Sometimes I hear him farting. Panting.” Resuming a normal volume, “So far as I can tell he doesn’t care who hears. He likes us to know where he is, so has the penthouse rigged to capture his movements. A red dot on this schematic is him. Yes, always. Guests are randomly assigned other colors. It is that sophisticated. I’m trying a louder alarm now. Mr Rumiere, Mr Rumiere. OK. Pardon me.” Ms L snatches up a

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred One

fingers a hint of that ancient obstacle. This world or the other one, you can’t have both. You can’t have both. He is humming this as though it were the lyric to a pop song. You can’t have both you can’t you can’t you can’t have both, baby. If you were to get there before me, I’d find you there, I’d find you there. I’ll take you there. The billionaire mayor whose spirit house the transcendental butler is to put back in order has not yet been found drowned in his bathtub. The telephone in the bathroom coos its dove-like

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thousand: Two Hundred

would curse as they scraped it away. No worries. It’s only a dream. Nothing bad can happen in a dream. Samuel is walking to his meeting. He remembers reaching through the resistance, stroking the cheek of the man he had been, the man who was afraid. That makes his lips curl. Afraid! Fear real things. Not spirits. His career is predicated on the unreal these days. It was that dream that dispelled the wall, what had seemed solid becoming a passage. Whenever he has to cross from the here and now to the other realm he feels again in his

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Nine

that had whipped his hair against his cheeks, that had rippled and puffed his shirt, that had tugged at his pants (wasn’t he glad he’d worn a snug belt!), that had rushed through the seams of his shoes and cooled the sweat in the toes of his socks. The wind had not quit, hadn’t stood aside in favor of some other power. That body was still on target to slam into the side of the building, was heading there directly. If something wasn’t done in less than a second, he’d be fly on the windshield, a smoosh the window washers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Eight

been dying he feared. Rather, he said to himself, getting up from the black leather office chair, he was afraid to leave the world of sensation. He pressed his hand against the glass, its blue no more blue from this side than any sky when you are in it. The hand held to the window encountered not a surface but resistance, an unwillingness to go on. The body he had been flying was still in the phenomenal world, stretched out, suspended. No, that was wrong. It wasn’t suspended, it was flying. The wind it rode blew with the same strength

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Seven

bang into it, he struggled. He struggled against the inevitable. This was not how it would end. What was about to happen, no. The great blue face of glass stared his death at him. Only, it wasn’t death. That’s not what he thought was coming. Perhaps he would not have recognized death if he had been awake and launched on a collision course with 182 stories of financial district. It’s not that he knew what it was, but when he was sitting in a board room in the building, looking out at the distant fields, he realized it had not

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Six

anymore. It’s like he never had it. It was a mirage. After he’d walked through it he looked back and nothing was there. How could it be real? It left a residue, a new last name. “Obie. Is that Irish?” “Obie. Are you related to the Obie of the Obie Awards?” Once he dreamt he was flying. He soared over the a checkerboard of green and greener fields. A city appeared on the horizon. As it came closer he lost altitude. The air grew bumpy. A skyscraper of blue glass loomed. As soon as he realized he was going to

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Five

new policies that improve the interplay of spirit forces, that create the optimal environment for spirit entities, so far as can be determined considering the current state of things. He’s done pretty well for himself. Travels the world. Fucks beautiful women, occasionally hires a boy for himself. Just to carry his luggage. And for the nude massages. Plus he likes to be paternal. He doesn’t like children. But he likes to help people. Samuel Obie. Mr Obie. It’s not actually his name. O and B are his initials. Or they used to be. He doesn’t go by that other name

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Four

there also are those who are guests. There are invaders, too, but a butler is not an exorcist. You can’t do everything. The spirits of the throat want to work with the spirits of the lungs, but misunderstandings can occur. A butler’s job is to make sure the household runs smoothly, that the spirits who need to work together know their jobs and the spirits who oughtn’t be in each other’s business are occupied with their own. He’s more a consultant than a servant; he reviews the comity and efficiency of your spirit community, makes recommendations, oversees the implementation of

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Three

sum up creation, creation’s purposes, and the context of creation within the greater realms. Spirit is not more important than flesh, but it is more durable. The transcendental butler is a practical man. He doesn’t like long explications of systems, how future meshes with parafuture, past with pastime, present with omnipresent or subpresent. He’s found some things that work and he sticks with them, whatever the ultimate culmination explanation is. He calls himself a “butler” because he sees you as a house, a big house, in which various entities come and go. There are those who are permanent residents, but

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-Two

at a conference on business ethics under the dome, peaceful as a pizza, with the end result known only to the calculator. The spirit remembers, vaguely, what it will be like to remember experiencing the emotions of flesh, although much of history won’t yet have been written, writing being invented by parrots in a negotiation with crows. Writing has been invented several times by writers who never heard of each other, never read anything, and are too busy masturbating to understand the language of signs. Nevertheless, in paradise, the wise advisor explained, everyone is a word, and their meanings all

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety-One

the spirit please check November 11th for an afternoon interview as he was to meet a potential client that day, he is sure, yet can find but no mention of it in his day book. It’s okay, the spirit advisor wanted to say, that client was an ephemeral manifestation of the coming change that will reorder the world, not an ending but a realignment that will benefit some and be worse for others. The client exists, yes, and last week you rescheduled her for December 10th per a request from her son who called to say she was needed

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Ninety

it said, or would say to a future self, which, the spirit advisor did not tell the transcendental butler, would be the transcendental butler at some point, although describing the events that would bring that about, while laid out with the lucid perfection of paradise, remained somewhat mysterious to the spirit advisor. When it tried in a roundabout way to share with the transcendental butler the insights afforded by a conversation with one’s paradisal self the butler got grumpy, snappish, claimed he was fine, thank you, not bothered by any of this, but he had a schedule to maintain and

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Nine

Paradise Falls or twenty-three to Paradise Lake. Paradise Park, Paradise Valley, Paradise Hill, it adds up. Then there are the transdimensional charges, discounted for spirit callers, true, but not negligible. Transdimensional calling is surprisingly affordable, although technically impossible. The transcendental butler’s spiritual advisor had been talking to its own future self ensconced in paradise. Yes, the real paradise, where everything’s perfect and the lion lies down with the lamb in an only incidentally sexual manner, the heavens rain lemonade, and everyone lives forever as far as it possible to determine. The advisor in paradise offered a few perspectives worth considering

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Eight

and toast and sipping at a tiny foam-topped espresso. Though dawn had managed and the curtains drawn from the windows, lamps had to be lit. The butler squinted at his day book, then, with a disapproving grunt, opened his electronic personal assistant, so-called, to make sure the two agreed. For several years he had relied upon a spiritual back up, but it took sides in a conflict between clients getting a divorce and began feeding the butler bogus appointments. It’s only so humorous to discover $50 charges on the phone bill for ten minutes talking to Paradise or twenty to

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Seven

yellow and vaguely barbell-shaped. As the transcendental butler is called upon to bring all the client’s service spirits into a harmonic working relationship and the sleep spirit was introducing a note of discord (“In the morning I can only piss in the shower,” the client explained) the sleep spirit department was called to a meeting. Which was promptly commandeered by dream spirits complaining about their work being disregarded. “He tells people he doesn’t dream! After we’ve put in such a long night!” one howled, to much nodding and applause. The butler was still thinking about work while munching poached egg

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Six

dropped his legs over the side of the bed and, after gingerly coaxing, added the rest of his body to his feet’s obligations. Over the boxers rumpled on the rug, he tottered, side-stepped the belt buckle, and got to the toilet before his sleep extension had wilted enough to allow him to hit the bowl. Pressing his forehead against the wall tile’s cool yellow, the transcendental butler waited for consciousness to drive away whatever sleep spirit conjured his genitals into a firm chaise longue for its comfort. There was more than one, he knew. He’d met someone else’s. It was

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Five

future atmosphere of healthful oxygen, provides nor comedy nor drama nor bewildered fascination to the modern audience. So. Consciousness. Start there? I don’t know. There was light. And it was on an automatic timer because in the middle of winter the transcendental butler had to get up before dawn and he had that depression caused by lack of light in winter so had a rough time shaking the weight of sleep without the help of electric light. So it was good? He saw the light. And it was too bright. Groaning and hacking to get out the phlegm, the butler

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Four

which we can identify. It’s all very well to say that virtually as soon as one puddle on a still-steaming earth slackened its rolling boil life found its chance and billions of years of successful being fruitful and multiplying began in that moment. Life! Who doesn’t love life! But how much family feeling do you get for a stromatolite? Maybe a gnome, a creature partial to toadstools and creeping slimes, would get misty over the “columnar calcium-containing mass of many layers.” But blue-green algae growing on a mound built up from the bodies of older algae, whatever it does for a

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Three

an old anger, the shame that hurts every time it’s touched. I don’t know that the new has ever been created out of nothing. Except in the beginning? In the beginning there was. There was no there there. There was no here here, for that matter. There was no matter to matter. There was no one to know the difference. In the beginning a dream disturbed the contentment. All was without form and void where not prohibited. A twitch. Was that what initiated? Starting too far back, you know, it deprives the story of anything we could recognize, anything with

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-Two

growls in its sleep, which makes the cat turn and look. But the growl quickly fades, the dog raises its head, blinks, then returns the head to cushioning paws and sighs with satisfaction. This is how the world ends? Not with a bang-a-lang or boom-shakka-la, not with a sob or shudder, but with a contented sleep. OK. Done with that world. We could come back to it? We’ll see. First, we need to dream something up. Dreams are unreliable guides to the new. They tend to be knotted with aches of the past, echoes of terrors, the smarting scar of

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thousand: One Hundred Eighty-One

man and the boy are carrying you. What are they going to do, waft you down to the end of the world and toss you over the edge? You remember those paintings of ships toppling down the great waterfall the oceans come to at the edge of a flat earth. Lying on air, even paralyzed, isn’t a bad deal, really. Makes one sleepy. A cat curls up on your belly next to a curly-haired little dog. The cat, eyes squeezed shut, purring, kneads away with its forepaws and through your sweater the pricks of claws tickle your skin. The dog