Monday, April 30, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirty-Four

it fly, a fine cold mist of it blowing from my face, skin wakened by the sun’s heat and light, sloughing away. Considering how the plume of it shows up in your night sky you’d think I’d be blown down to a nugget in a minute, like a dandelion flower gone to seed, a breeze or a breath knocking all the dandelion’s hopes off its head (off its sex?) to a new settlement in an uninterrupted lawn. But it’s not quite like that. My dust shines. That’s all. I’ve got visits and visits in me yet. But the track out

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirty-Three

left it with me, what could I do? Nothing. Up to that point there was nothing I could do. I was adrift, without volition, without motivation, without a way to change my fate or a consciousness of it. I was no I. There was nothing there. Whether a star thinks about what she’s about, I couldn’t say, but whether she does or not, she certainly goes about it with great vigor. Many a planet is in a state of activity, crust breaking and shifting, atmosphere roiling. I did have frost and, in those brief visits to the sun, I let

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirty-Two

was not absolutely necessary to do the second thing, perhaps. The second twitch. The second reach. The action. It was the first action after the reaction. In order to go on more energy was needed. In order to use that energy it had to acquired. In order acquire it, well, one had to seek it. There is no seeking without hunger. Let us do something, the first doer said to itself. And that something it wanted to do? Eat. Eat! Of course. I am lonely. I am going to eat. When the traveler stopped off with the transdimensional shift and

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirty-One

lonesome? How do you know you have a self unless you have the contrast of other selves? If it’s only you, if all is I, this ice, this stone, this void, how do you know what to do with it? Loneliness. The first emotion? No. I bet it was hunger. Hunger is a great motivator. It takes energy to do something. Long before thinking came along there was hunger because a little bit of energy got used to do the first whatever. The first twitch. The first reach. The first reaction. A little bit of energy that wasn’t available then

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirty

beam of light rushing at maximum speed (nothing in the universe faster!) to somewhere else entirely. You feel shunned, scorned, rejected. Once you have an idea it’s happening. That would be your million year idea. Except how would you ever develop the social consciousness to feel shut out by the indifference of star after star, star upon star, ever more distant, ever more far, as they train their lights on those who matter more than thee? God said, I am lonely. I am going to make me a world. How did he come to know he was alone, let alone

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Nine

life like that. Takes a million years to come up with one idea. One! I mean, I’m not kidding here. A million for one. And we’re not even talking a good idea. The years go by and you think you’re thinking along pretty good when, bam!, the sun goes red giant on you, your thinking speeds up to one idea for every 153,512 years, lickety-split, then the sun collapses to white dwarf, and, man, it’s all over. In deep space there is no time. It’s cold. So cold that no thought would come within a million miles borne on a

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Eight

It’s going to be a long journey. The comet’s curve toward the sun is wide and slow. I like slow. You? Every day things are getting slower. The slower things go the slower time goes. It’s not like you can live at your regular speed while all around you everything slows. You gotta slow, too. In a sense, if you slow at the same rate time slows, it’s as though nothing’s changed. Time keeps at its familiar clip. As far as you can tell. Maybe you’ll live ten thousand years, rather than sixty. Sixty-five? The comet is chock full of

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Seven

luck. Probabilities. Even if you have a ninety percent chance of success, when you jump the canyon, one time in ten you fall in. That makes subsequent jumps problematic.” “Are you offering to be my teacher?” “When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come,” the dragon says, holding up a claw. Impaled on the claw, the girl sees, is one of the dried ticks. “No,” she says. “Then never mind,” the dragon says, tucking the tick back into the fold of its ear. The dragon lays its head on the floor, tucks forefeet under chin, and closes its eyes.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Six

tucked in a fold of your robe.” The girl searches her person and finds the dates. She tears the paper and pops one of the dates into her mouth. She takes another and drops it into the dragon’s mouth, which, helpfully, is wide open. “Smell them?” the girl says. “You didn’t even know you had them.” “There’s a lot I don’t even know, I figure.” “And that, my friend, would be why we aren’t peers. Not quite yet. You’re a pretty good amateur. Or you’re lucky. Although, without luck, you don’t get far in this game. Most of it is

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Five

sarcasm. That would be unfortunate. Sarcasm has always given the dragon hives. “Hm. Steady, firm pressure stops the bleeding. Steady, firm pressure moves the teeth, or so the orthodonist says. How much steady, firm pressure must a peer pursue?” The dragon reflects. “The premise is, we’re peers? Equals? Possible. In ticks, no. In talks? That I doubt, too. I’ve been gabbing ages longer than you’ve been alive.” “And that’s just one conversation,” the girl interjects. “Yes,” the dragon allows, nodding toward the kneeling angel, “we’ve ages yet. Mind if I steal a date? You’ve a few wrapped in wax paper

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Four

have to have a tick talk?” “No, really. I keep them in my ears. Dried ones.” The dragon digs a curving claw into a fold in its green ear. Flakes trickle out on its palm. The girl squints at the wrinkled little black dots when the dragon holds the palm out. “I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before in my life. But I think I’m not going to be eating a tick. Somehow, if perhaps just this once, I will succeed in resisting the peer pressure.” The dragon closes its eyes and considers the girl’s response. It could be

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Three

its legs wiggling, its mouthparts reaching. The girl rolls her eyes. “Been in any bushes lately?” The dragon frowns and drops the tick on its silver tongue. “I take it you’re the practical sort. Not one to jump to the extradimensional for an explanation when the mundanely mentional will do. If one must choose between only two stances when facing reality I would agree that yours works best most of the time. But I like to see things from a vantage that takes in two or three more stances. Especially when I’m on ticks. Would you like one?” “Do we

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-Two

extinct. Here, for instance. He’s the last one.” The angel is now sitting on its feet, head bowed over clasped hands, eyes closed. “Is he praying it back to life?” the girl whispers. Making no concession to the apparent solemnity of the occasion the dragon scratches at its chest, finds a tick, and yanks it out. “When did you,” the dragon says, then guesses, “Ah! I bet I picked you up between. I’ve heard of the ticks between times. Thought they’d be larger. No, thinking of the hydras, aren’t I.” The dragon glances at the girl, holding up the tick,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty-One

steps into the hall. “A two-for-one deal?” “I suppose,” the dragon says, “in that what you get for nothing is one for all, if by one we mean none at all.” “Is that what we mean?” The angel is hovering over the inanimate leprechaun, touching it very precisely at points either therapeutic or diagnostic. “Is it dead?” asks the girl. “It might be,” the dragon replies, both of them watching the angel’s investigations, neither wishing to offer to help. “It’s hard to tell with leprechauns. In some places they get to be a regular infestation. In other places they’re practically

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twenty

makes no sound. Hm, thinks the girl, a little disappointed that looking up at the ceiling reveals no gold rope, no keyhole. She raises one hand and snaps her fingers twice. “Calling something?” says a nasal voice. At her feet, sitting like an attentive dog, its scaly tail stretched out behind it, a dragon yawns. The girl stares into its maw of sharp teeth. Finishing the yawn, the dragon says, somewhat inarticulately, “Came with the angel,” and shrugs in the direction of the door where the angel is rolling the last of the invisible membrane in its hands as it

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Nineteen

though she follows their passage as the angel drops them, follows them to the floor where she thinks she maybe sees them. Surely the balls are piling up by the angel’s feet. Should she help? As the angel removes this barrier the air in the hall begins to change, becoming cooler. Or is it warmer? The girl tightens the sash on her robe and shivers, sweat beading on her forehead, drops falling from her armpits. Now what? She looks up at the ceiling. A ripple passes along it. The ripple doesn’t seem to disturb the lights or ceiling tiles. It

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighteen

at the leprechaun and she wonders if it’s smiling. She narrows her eyes. The hand is still stuck up in the air. She looks back at the rectangle of white. An angel again. But is it her angel? The angel picks at the air with long fingernails, seems to grasp something the girl can’t see, pulls at it, a look of concentration on its luminous face. Gradually, the angel peels away a membrane. Large pieces strip away, and the angel rolls them into balls in those long hands and drops these balls, which the girl doesn’t think she can see,

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventeen

I could drink wine, the girl thinks. But as she gazes into the light, not blinded at all, the angel smiles and raises the chalice as though in a toast. And fades away. To be replaced by the officious visage of the keykeeper overseer who the girl last saw peeking into an empty box. Or a box full of fog. The overseer opens her mouth and it is blank. No teeth, no tongue, no shadow even. Then she is blanked out and the door might as well be open on a white-washed wall. With an effort the girl glances over

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Sixteen

looks into the light, she will be blinded. What has the leprechaun done to her? Did it hurt her? It hurt her feelings. A little. Sort of. It was weird and ugly. Which is still true. Maybe it was responsible for this whole thing. The disappearance of the overseer. The blank room. The doors that weren’t there. The angel. Probably not the angel. That was different. That was nice. And the coffee. The coffee was good. The girl looks into the light. And there’s the angel, holding a cup of coffee. Wow! No, it’s a chalice. Wine would be okay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Fifteen

good kick. She considers the gut, the knee, lets herself picture her foot slamming under the chin, the flips the little creature would make. She’s not going to do that. That would be mean. Besides, who knows what a leprechaun is capable of. It hasn’t moved. Frozen? Did time stop here? Can that even happen? Who knows what can happen. Is it dead? Kicking the leprechaun would require going up to it. Even in the act of knocking it away you’d have to touch it. She has avoided looking toward the open door. Her eyes need to adjust. If she

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Fourteen

briskly, the girl doesn’t catch. For when everything has been yanked away but her robes, she is standing in an institutional hallway lit by flickering fluorescents, scuffs worn into the brown squares of the linoleum by countless shambling inmates, one nearby door standing open letting a pure white light pour forth. “Not to mention the leprechaun,” the girl says aloud. It stands in the pose she left it, one claw-like hand raised, an expression on its twisted face that could be rage or could be indifference. Hell, it could be joy. She’s tempted to go over and give it a

Monday, April 09, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Thirteen

back to the Official Rotunda of the Others, she would need a uniform to turn in. ORO. ORO was stitched in gold on all the labels. She’d never really thought about what the name meant. The guardian is pointing at something behind the girl. The girl turns to look. A thick gold rope hangs down along the wall beside the gate. The girl glances back at the guardian who nods firmly. “OK,” the girl says and grasps the rope with both hands and pulls. The gate rises up smoothly. The walls also slip upwards. Whether the guardian rises just as

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Twelve

into a nap, the girl clears her throat. When the throat clearing goes to dry coughing and the girl realizes she’s going to have to move on to gagging or speaking, she says, “Are we supposed to go through this gate?” The woman yawns and shrugs. Yawns and shrugs? The girl did not come all this way for yawns and shrugs. What she did come all this way for is still a mystery, of course. She could go back out to the tent and get her clothes. Not that they are her clothes. The keykeeper uniform. If she could get

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eleven

sharp bend in the corridor finds the fat guardian waiting for her before another gate. The guardian fans herself with a collapsible fan painted with a scene from the line at a supermarket check-out stand. She arches her back slightly, grimacing, rubbing her back with the other hand, and seems to awaken only vaguely when the girl presents herself, apologizing for getting distracted along the way. This new gate bars the way to a sunny garden, glimpses of which giant ferns crowded around the gate allow when a grudging breeze stirs their fronds. When a silence threatens to extend into

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ten

to get away from it. “I wonder if it wanted into my heart, too,” she mutters, and the fountain says, “The leprechaun is here, don’t you know, don’t you know, kill the buddha on the road and steal the nails from the crucified god.” The girl isn’t sure she wants to catch up to the guardian but it’s somewhere to hurry to and the girl has the feeling she is better off hurrying. Her slippers make a brisk and steady whisper on the paving stones. “Just don’t start trying to tell me shit,” the girl says, and, coming to a

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Nine

city out of the Arabian Nights only be hit on by a Jesus freak. “Uh,” she says, “my guide’s gotten ahead of me, I think. Uh. Better catch up with her. Nice uh nice meeting you, I guess.” The girl is backing up while she says this, the fountain backing her up, “Unburdened by the life quotient, a new respectful entity of distrust randomly pursues the sinking passenger.” In other words, “Get this guy in your review mirror!” As she spins on her heel and makes off after the fat guardian, she flashes on the leprechaun and how she hurried

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eight

familiar,” they both say, then laugh at this meeting of the minds. Still laughing, the man pats his chest. “Jesus,” he says. “You know ol’ Jesus.” He reaches out and taps the girl above her heart. “Because you’ve let ol’ Jesus into your heart.” She looks up into his sparkling eyes. “What?” she says. “In your heart,” he explains. “You’ve opened your heart to the man who died for you, who loves you, who always wants what’s best for you. Love! You’ve filled your heart with it.” The girl’s smile fades. She can’t believe she got magically transported to some

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seven

lay it down now.” “If you’ve been carrying a tune,” the man says, and the fountain finishes, “give it its feet. Let it run, let it roam, let it go. Let it go, man! Let it go.” The man and girl find themselves listening to the fountain as it improvises. “Bippity boppity. Boop a boop a boop boop. Yeah!” Finally the girl asks, “You called me something, didn’t you? A name? You think you know me?” “Eula!” says the man, triumphantly. The girl shakes her head. He frowns. “Not Eula?” “Not Eula,” she replies. “But there’s something about you that’s

Monday, April 02, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Six

dull lutes and sigh.” She looks him over. The creases in his brow look more good-humored than fierce. “Is there a tree around here to be up?” she asks. The fountain says, “If you must listen to the whisperings of the well of loneliness, bring along bongos.” The man says, “There are trees and there are trees. Some trees are bigger than others. Some trees’ seeds are bigger than other trees’ seeds.” “What about mustard seeds?” the girl says, and, “Should I have brought bongos?” “If you’ve been carrying a beat,” the man says, and the fountain finishes, “you can

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Five

at her from the passage to the right. His beard is white but his moustache is still black and it extends as two black stripes down a beard that touches his chest. The man’s hair is dark, mostly, and clips hold it back from his face. The girl approaches him, though the guardian has turned down the lefthand passage. “A tree?” she says, the voices in the fountain continuing to babble as lucidly as before. “The welt of a new ventricle aligning, tusk-like, to the epicanthic fold,” the fountain says, “while Venus’ children feverishly pick secrets from the strings of

Thousand: Seven Hundred Four

The closer they get to it, the more the voices make sense, even though they say things like, “The mail burns the French horn with a haberdashery persistence,” and “Flunking the parliamentary math capitulates among escalation routines the retrograde marigold paddle.” Yes, the girl thinks, scratching an ear. Of course, it would. When she feels the mist from the fountain on her cheek the hall comes to a T with another. Daylight pours through broad, unglassed openings in the wall. “Here, Eula,” says a voice. It sounds familiar. “Ever been up a tree?” A smiling man in desert robes winks