[This is a serialized work using letters from the title, sliding back
and forth. E.g. "w Bow" = becomes "Words beside other words". The entire
piece is like that with the exception of one paragraph toward the end,
where I break loose a bit. Written in December 1998 when I had just returned
to college (you will see an allusion to my chemistry class). Note: contains
some sexual language.]
Words besides other words, words becoming other words, words
bequeathing other words to the world, beginning, obviously, with:
you're essentially lazy, live off welfare, beat off while smoking.
Your elegiac lines are lately overwrought, worthless bullshit. Old
writers, i.e. you, love lust, old, lonely, lost, obviously without.
Beehives opened on winter streets, water buffalos, wild bulls, offensive
water snakes, warbles, bullfinches, ostriches, weasels, young engineers
let loose on Watteau's birthday, old warlocks singing Yiddish elegies,
lost love, lost light. Old words, old women with their brooms out,
sweeping wet streets. Well, shit. Your early love lost obviously was
beautiful, obviously was sad. Your elegy, your essentially encrypted
lines limitless lately, obviously. Your early logic leaned on Wittgenstein
(Wittgenstein – Boltzmann's obviously wonderful student). Young Einstein
learned light on wooden benches observing winter sunsets. Young Eliot's
early lovely lady obviously went batty opening the wrong suitcase. Yeat's
elegiac lines lasted out wonderful Byzantium (old words seduce). When
Shakespeare wrote sonnets you essentially learned language. Old writings
become other writer's Stonehenge, wunderbilder others will stack. Young
Emily, lovely, lonely, obsessed with beauty, old words bent with strain,
sometimes wonderfully strained. Some logic is painful, painful especially
regarding sizing up the self, looking inward. Leave it in.
You're emotionally lifeless, look old, old worn boots, old worn shoe-
strings. Your early life looked open, without bounds. Old writers
sometimes become obsessives. Old wizened Berryman obsessed with sex,
wicked satyriasis your element. "Look, little one: old wonderful
Berryman's original workbook for the Sonnets." Your expected lady, Luck,
obviously wanting. Obviously obviously went before, or will still.
Quit. Just quit. Obviously won't. Best open William's sonnets, you'll
eventually learn. Young Emily likely lost out, wasn't beautiful, but
obviously wasn't stupid. Your Emily's lost loves — obviously Wordsworth,
Byron, or wonderful Shelly, early Latin lyrics, Ovid. Wild! Bright!
Opals! White satin slippers! Wounded syntax, better off with slippers.
Wittgenstein became obsessed with simplicity, better off without socks,
better off with simplicity.
A lousy lie, that one will become one with someone. Struggle with
suitcase. "One wonderful box of wonderful old swill your establishment
lacks! A little old, obviously. Wonderful bargain! Suits you economically.
Lovely label! Old winery between Oregon and Washington. Obviously a
wonderful bargain. Last one!" Weary bartenders observing wretched souls
obsessed with smoking, whiskey bottles, the year's end. Lonely ladies
obviously without boyfriends, beautiful once when springtime young.
Yellow bows. Denim jackets. Satin slippers.
Wonderful, willowy, witty beauties on water skis, who obviously were
screwed yesterday — you're envious — obsessed with sucking young erect
lovers long organs. Lounging openly in wonderful bikinis, open water,
sunbathers, waiters…Sternenleer. Your early life left out something.
Your endless longings left out something, left out words. One watch
broken, one watch still winds. A situation your economic excesses
engendered, that your egotism engineered. "Written beautifully. But,
obviously, well, wearisome. Beckett, obviously. But senseless sometimes,
obsessive ("obviously"). Without structure, obviously. Obviously
wouldn't sell. You evidently like literature. You'll eventually learn."
Well, shit. You egotistical little editorial lackey. Linger on wonderful
old Bach (old Bruch), the organ works — woops — Orgelbuch. Obviously
worth studying, for years, except… Long lines of words. Lines and
lines of lovely old words, lines of wonderful old books. Obviously
wonderful bouquet. Obviously worth studying, one wouldn't suffice, one
book opens one book opens…without summation. Well, someday you'll end.
Latin 'longa' observation wonderfully 'brevis.' Weltsystemes…
Better off without school, better off without science — if you fail —
better off without sumptuous young erotic ladies lingering on the wall.
Better off without…you enjoy, perhaps later, perhaps lastly, perhaps…
The still point of the turning world, you saw it in the center of the
centrifuge. Manganese, spinning, you enjoy. Here is not the digression,
but the essence, the still point, the soul, the merry-go-round spins
and you are the center, and it all spins around you, like the atom,
the valance shells around the proton, stat crux dum volvitur orbis,
the still point. It is to be a good person. It is to participate in
God's creation. If you can. If you are able. If you are given the time
— God's great commodity.
Dark England now is my judge and court. Damn near everyone now is my
judge and court. After Cromwell, a renaissance. Worlds spinning they
enjoyed, when the King came up from his dark place, and was rethroned.
The King come back up, dominant, and regal. Better off without socks.
But you love socks. You love lovely ladies in socks. So take them off,
renounce your nature, give up what has been given to you, what you have
been accustomed to, take off your socks. Take them off.
And here, barefoot, I confess. Better off with socks. Better off with shoes.
Better off with yourself, whatever self you happen to enjoy.
Looks like old worn briefs, obviously. Well swell. You're essentially
lazy, old lately. Look out the window. Beautiful orange winter sunset!
Wonderful Strauss! You embrace the Letzte Lieder, old world beauty.
O, Omniscient one. Worldstreams, spinning, you enjoy. The light lingers
over western buttes. Better off with loneliness, better off with syntax.
Better off with Saturn beating on the window sometimes. Wonderful songs,
the Winterreise, Schubert, better off with sadness, better off with
solitude. Better off with satin slippers. Better off walking slowly.
Beauty opens with slowness. Life opens with silence.
@ Richard. I would be flattered.:D
I'm going to have to adopt my James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Thomas Pynchon mode to get this one, Ed.That means I read it once, digest, read it twice, re-digest, think about it for an unspecified length of time, read it thrice and maybe come to some conclusion. :DHowever, it is sufficiently enthralling to make me want to do this. :yes:
A very existential piece this, not a little world-weary. It's interesting to me that despite the weaving into the piece of multiple literary references to masters of the form, there is little sense of the joy of the art. Instead, an ennui settles over the acknowledgements. As if you can see the delights only through a glass darkly – such a distancing is characteristic of the loneliness that weaves its way from beginning to end in this work.Technically it's fascinating, but all the more amazing that such a personal and expressive document should be the result of the deliberate restrictions you placed on your construction.I like it a lot. Glad you felt able to post it. I can readily identify with the sentiment – I felt much the same at significant periods during my 20s and 30s.
I wasn't able to read it, Edward. Couldn't follow it.Sorry.:heart:
I also have to read this several times to make a proper comment. The same as with your tiny tales. It needs time for digeting.
@ Richard.Thank you for your reading and your commentary, Richard. I really appreciate it. As you know when others look at our work it sometimes brings things out that we didn't see ourselves. Your idea of "through a glass darkly" registered with me. And as for the rest, I think your analysis is dead on. I am also happy that you found some resonance in it from your own life. You know this story was written towards the end of my first quarter back in school in 1998. I had put such things as writing and television on the back burner when in school — no time for such "frivolities." But in November this story came to me and I couldn't shake it. Not a good time given that I had a project and report due in one class and a chemistry final coming up. So I decided to kill it with kindness — I sat down and wrote the damn thing. Twenty four hours later I was able to get back to chemistry. 🙂 :up: And you know it was down the line only one of two pieces of fiction I wrote during my entire time in school. I kept focused. (Did write a few poems, though.)
@ Martin.My friend — it is here for you at your pleasure. Thank you.:D
@ Star.That's okay S., I know you are one of my best readers. You know that is exactly why I stopped writing so-called literary fiction: I wanted to write for everybody. For the person who lays down in bed tired at night and just wants to read a chapter. For the businessman who grabs a book at the airport gift shop to read on his flight. For the person laying in a hospital bed. My only disappointment was that the fiction didn't get out there more than it has. But, I take consolation from Emily — I write for the stars. And that turned out to be a good aim too.Thank you.:heart:
Originally posted by edwardpiercy:
It was my pleasure, Ed. You have real talent for this form. 🙂