Abrahim Krivokapić

rock wall layers

Things had lost their luster, kept their glow. An old quarter kept in the pocket, just the pocket of memory, nothing else. Years, dances, people. An old man had roared up to my house on his motorcycle and was gone. The melting snow, too, had melted and was gone forever. An infinitesimal comet paired up elliptically with a smaller orbit will return someday. And we had not. Oh, well. The cubic yards of dirt I had dug day after day will still probably remain for some good time. Not of any further use at some point. Once we had gone, there wasn’t the same use. That’s all. It hadn’t been that important. The gravel. The driveway. The automobiles. All of us had once been so busy, so occupied. We forgot ourselves in our own peerless lives. Once I had looked inside the mica window of an old rusted oven on top of a Canadian island and had been amazed at the blackened reflected eternity. It needed nothing, I suppose, besides a boy’s eye to have seen it once. Had the Italian seen it, I am almost sure he would have been just as happy, no less proud peering at that than the dwindling chambers of a nautilus’ shell’s cross-section, all dwindled in mathematical perfection, no less so than Archimedes once shouting in the first person singular perfect indicative active tense we had later borrowed as the English exclamation for all discovery, “Eureka!” And behind all this the spectral illumination of the moon had continued, like the halo of an evening’s haze outshining itself with nothing to ever bear it any witness besides the comfortable peasants who had once dozed upon the sloping hillsides of Mother Earth, sunken and old and gone away forever.

Elsa Alyse Roquefort

baker dancer

My other occupations had been less salubrious. I had meant to say ‘salutary,’ but memory device had already been in play, so that was what what had become recorded. There. Then. It had been once a taxidermist’s workplace time ago, as the phrase is wrought. Like cast iron. Sheet metal. Silversmith. Filigree of horses mated with each other over great green meadows tromping about until the penned in moment with such stallion blind to his own mandated purpose. Anyway, (effective enough segue into the next non-related segment due to similarity of sounds but not perhaps necessarily meaning or meanings) I had not been aware, or made, or made to be aware, that my little log cabin office’s pedigree had been in the recent or in the distant even faraway past ever been used to disembowel and stitch up hunted animals, hunted for their to-be on plaque mounted heads, or whole body’s glass-eyed standing in some mock in situ pose. Fair place to offer my own journeying services of soul, of psyche, of etymological butterfly dreams of the nonce. Like starlight I suppose stuffed inside Cassiopeia, a real-life constellation of another’s myth, and myth-making, co-opted to be our own. Like Heidegger’s Third Reich, if he had ever had one…even yet encore autrefois, etc., I had slightly suspected his little Bavarian shack on the hillside had not been dreamed of like that, when pondering van Gogh’s boots. And a day’s bricklayer. And even a supermarket cashier. Once. And only once. “Ein Mal jedes, nur ein Mal.” And so forth, beaded and threaded. Here. Now. And of all I had preferred ditch-diggers at the foothills of these sedimentary precipitously slung mountains for planting small trees, butternuts, doomed ashes, hemlock which had once, alongside the great Eastern Pines, populated the Earth. Where, spaciously, I had best been, O Best Beloved: woodcutter, steadfast and sure, trim and full of the day’s finely drawn muscle, hewn, with the fine sinew of slack-limbed Prince Achilles.

Jacobson Malloy

sea spray 2

All the beauties of the lake had passed me by. The mothers with their children. The strong men with their lovers. I had had an incandescent longing once, but that had been time ago. Time ago it was, and it was not, my laces, too, had been tight. The thickest ice where skaters skate belied the little fire that I had built along the shore. And from my little hut where I would retreat, once the sun had vanished, I could still watch my dwindling fire burning out there. From the high Indian village of Mt. Hope, you could see the leftover trash in the Canada woods: the old, blue frayed tarps, the unneeded shoes, even discarded diapers. To me it had been a mess; to them it had been no longer needed. There had been no nostalgia for that, and no heartfelt feeling for any place except where our fingertips had once ago been raised to the middle of the chest. No place else, anywhere but here, would be ever called home. That word itself had become in me, like kindling, sail boat, or float, some kind of shibboleth, some kind of awkward curse. To know, besides the flotsam of these, that there is no yesterday pinching up against tomorrow, nothing really language can do anymore, is a sudden and calm thing. What I had ever known was fine, and what I had not akin to another season of falling leaves that had seemed even yellower than another. It may not have been true, but my recurrence of memory had made it that way. All the recurring beauties of time had passed me now, and I was glad enough not to frighten anybody anymore with my questions. Nobody went near the dirty and straw-filled mounds where beavers had built up their dwellings for fear of falling in water, where indeed winter’s ice had been thin. Had somebody ever had the temerity, or the pluck, to have come over and sat beside my warmed boots, I would have discussed the Old Flemish master. ‘Like skaters have been painted,’ I would have said, ‘upon a frozen ocean.’

Vasilev Alfonse Grubichek

latch-2

I hadn’t had my hearing left. I didn’t hear a thing. All memory of tomorrow had been like a rag wiped across a window wiped away. Leaf, salmon, ladybug, when the sounds of these were gone, were like something else less known. Some jumping man jumping across the moon. Everything was fixed. Nothing was flawed. Nothing was in error. The universe was perfect. From it nothing else ever was to be made. No grooves in time were to be split. No diamonds to be cut. Syllables of eternity were etched. I had wished to hear a party horn again, the curled up paper unfolding with a child’s outward breath of joy. I had wished to hear the grating of a metal mailbox’s metal latch. In between the vacuity of all that there must have been some dust, some remaining remnant of the afterlife of being lurking there. Some wolf in the stars must be hiding in that thick mass of darkness, its fur bristled, its yellowed eyes prepared again to gleam, its red tongue hungry for prey, slouching in the infinitesimal to strike.

Roger Fernblatt

bar bottles

The cart I had had as a boy was more than enough. And the string of Rolls-Royces I had had as a man was more than enough. If, when I was a boy, there had been Rolls-Royces, the same would also have been true. And if, as a man, all I had known were carts, the same also would be true. Perhaps I needed to have known having had Rolls-Royces to start with and then, over the course of my life, to have lost them all. This is common enough and would be a common enough story of the loss of material wealth, which this is not the story of, if it is a story at all, at all. This is only to say by pointing out how obvious it is that whatever we have or whatever we don’t have is plenty enough already. And it does not matter if that star in one’s pocket is shiny when it is taken out and held before the sun or not. It is just a star in one’s pocket, so leave it at that. But I am really not talking about that at all even. For how odd that I have said all of these things as though my having “had had” were as normal as anything else in this world, as if there were actual road posts which I could hammer into the roadway; or like cards in a deck of cards, placed an individual card with my fingers in the upper or lower half of that deck somewhere in it. But after all, these are just games that people play with language when there is not of course any such ‘roadway’ or ‘deck of cards.’ This is just a great and grand game with reality, nothing more. For really I cannot declare if such events as I have just told them to be are at all. Thus, what is ‘anterior’ or what is ‘posterior’ is just ridiculous to me. What is ‘pocket,’ where is ‘star,’ when is ‘shiny’? When I put things like this, it is only then that I am able to stand back and now realize how foolish I have been.

Concrete & Sand

concrete

There are objects, and no one remembers them. There are people, and no one remembers these. There have been and there will be times that disappear. The strange notion that any of this can be kept (whatever ‘kept’ means, and shall one day mean) persists. But for now, it is pleasant to take a hand to the wet grass. It is good to feel the water breaking along the shore in bare feet. It can be frightening of course to hear storms overhead, so frightening that we will paint them with our own feelings, which they lack, and call these sometimes ‘frightening’. All these things and more will pass to nothing. It could be so, once we are gone, that we shall have created traces which the absence of any consciousness at all will never need to know about.