Riff


  fogaurora1

 

In the fog there is a silent landing, a hovering of craft or crane, then a pocket rock set into the earth by alien beings millennia ago. Pocket rocks or time capsules, as you wish. Open it – a light burns out and around me in the field, where I am standing with my friends. We are suddenly suffused in the light, embedded in a moving image, an extraterrestrial scrapbook made of points of light, all dancing. This is the history of the future, dances the title. Everything you see here is a preview, everything you see here was a preview when it was made, and is an epilogue now.

We are noticeably wrought up about this, this pocket rock jammed tight with future/past power points, streaming sight and sound. Look, look, it is the clash of the titans, Jeremy says and shakes his head, and What the hell is the clash of the titans? he is trying to say to Robin, surprised by the sound of his own voice in this vision. But Robin is more interested in a kitty cat, where she is looking, saying kitty cat kitty cat the kitty cat who dances all day, every day, every day, even on the day of the dead, she says. Which day of the dead? I wonder, out loud. The time space continuum as presented by this vision does not appear to take a linear format, I notice, and then again or was that before?

What do we know about the past, really, other than the way in which the past foretells and contradicts the future. I always knew he would make something of himself, we see grammas and aunties all saying in the future-past, but then you know what he made of himself was something else, something other, an ogre, a tyrant, a vampire, a serial killer, a charismatic leader of men marching thousands to the edge of the cliff that is genocide. We will winnow the weak, this is a voice from before and probably from after, as well, a recurring vision of cruelty, a recurring eating of our own human face. We cannibals.

The four of us are standing in a circle, facing outward, away from one another. I smell something that is like cinnamon, but that is not quite right, more like cinnamon dots and movie popcorn, a rancid butter smell cutting through the bright cinnamon. I have an urge to sit down and grab a bucket and a 106-oz Sprite, but we are still standing in a field where there had been fog, but now the fog is lit with an alien view of history – past present and future – of our little revolving planet. The important things – the seven wonders of the world, the invention of fire, the splitting of atoms, these are missing – are they the important things then, when seen through the lens of creatures who might be 72 stories high or smaller than a dust mite, who might be the color of raspberry jello, who might have skin like butterfly wings? My youngest friend, Beau, is straining his eyes trying to see the producers, asking out loud Who made this? Who made this image?

But there is no way to see behind the flickering images, the fog and the hypnotic sense that this must be the absolute story of earth, complete with velociraptors and elevators and toasters and religion. Beau sits down suddenly and rolls in the grass, wiping the juice of imaginary oranges off of his chin, drinking deeply of this fog movie and this makes me cold and weary and possibly even frightened, his quenched thirst tasting of betrayal. I am trying to touch him but find, as you might have expected, that he has pixilated and is part of the record of before and since, along with the buffalo and the Doris Day movies and the musicals with all of their lyrics running backward in a singing reversal like rushing down a drain. His face makes a swirl not unlike a vanilla chocolate frozen yogurt cone, then a little slurping sound and now I am standing in a field with one less friend, and a memory of Beau that makes a little moaning sound, a little sound like an old dog that sits down and sighs for better times.

Cyan, my oldest friend but not my best, is feeling blue, watching and feeling and forgetting Beau even as she waves him goodbye, particle waves dispersing, winnowed away from the static picture that you and your friends might have made. I think. Now I am slipping in wet fog and reciting the earth words of the here and now – the homunculus of solid ground – the toaster, the honey bees, the tune of the Zangara Dodge ad, the satisfying buzz of a zipper zipping down, or zipping up. The before and after of zipperdom holds me in gravity for a moment, while next to me Jeremy is holding in his hands a frog princess from a far away land and before I can stop him he has kissed her and slid into a large, vibrating quilt of fairytales from long ago and not yet told. Dammit, I say. It seems that a trend is developing.

In the development of the ether, of matter and the void, the first voice sang in a single note, a single note that held and grew and built until one day it grew so big that it fell into many notes, notes high and low, notes sweet, notes growling in throats, notes hanging in the air, waiting to be plucked like peaches, perfectly ripe, at exactly the right moment. I see it, I hear it, I am the peach, I am reaching out toward that branch and that blushing perfect fruit. At the moment that my hand encircles the fruit, the fog gathers near, and then there is nothing, and everything, and all.

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2 Responses to “Riff”


  1. 1 lollyloo January 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Vaporized! But possibly to re-formulate, next to the Sirens of Titan, frozen in crystal.

  2. 2 Teresa January 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you, my dear. Keep an eye out for my collection of writing retreat treats. Just as soon as ever I can.


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