Wednesday the 35th
and other prose poems

Crow-Magnon Dilemma

A rushing crowd shall come though pillared halls of time to bow before the crow people that emerge from piles of Spanish dirt. In the shadows the flapping is heard but nothing is seen in the scarlet light of sheer red moons. Up from the abyss a cloud of pink steam is belched and liquefies on cavernous walls of grey granite. Between the pillars is space and distant stars that fail to give light to the stumbling crowds that crawl before the crow people seeking meaning.

There is the whispered dissolution of projected pillars leading into silently shaded dirt piles. The sickly bubbling of a motor indicates the lurking of a metal robot intent on killing all humans for attention and importance. The Void is unforeseen in the blind yes of the millions that collapse in the corridors, filing along the cold steel pipelines that supply all regions with the death-food of snowy deserts. The robes of the crow people fall to the dirty floor, revealing heads of dead birds arranged to fool the lost multitudes. Thus the oasis proves to be a mirage cast up by a mind that mirrors its thirsty striving to cover its own inky emptiness.

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The Last Security Bank and Trust Organization

The whirlwind swept through the bank-like structure that was invested with the security of creative metaphysicians. It laid open the artificial values stored up in the vaults of this structure, dashing them all against the vehement tide that carried them, dissolving, along the sand and rock onto which life had first crawled. The life's savings of the philosophical system builders was washed away, leaving the marvelous structural organization empty and therefore receptive. Then the sacred spirit of the wind and the sea and the mountains and the trees entered the structural organ and embraced it as part of itself. There was never again an artifice, a movement to capture and save the value and meaning of life, a withdrawal into the mind and the things of the mind, a search for stability. There was never again an investment in the Last Security Bank and Trust Organization.

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Minutes

Despite the orations of Cicero, the admonitions of the horuspices were observed by the Senate. While drinking fresh lemongrass tea, they debated possible futures and planning with respect to man-controlled environments. One problem, which was taken as exemplary, was the plight of mountain families in transition. Especial attention was given to the interdependence of family and personality. This led to a general discussion of family life, sex education, and the rights and wrongs of abortion.

At this point, there was a disturbance outside the hall, involving a dispute between an oryx and a hartebeest over the remains of an ant lion.

Resuming their places, the senators turned their attention to the advantages of using the Millways of Kent as a model case. One senator emphasized the depreciation tables under the Internal Revenue Code of '54 in reference to discharging business tax liabilities.

Not to be outdone, Cicero seized the floor and held forth with a long monologue on business correspondence and how letters should be written.

Claudius fled in shame and the session was adjourned.

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The Oasis Project

Today they ate my cake. They fell upon it tooth and nail and devoured it completely. The watch remained on the table, lonesome. The lamp shade, laced, merged with the white drapes as the early afternoon darkened in preparation for rain.

The skittering drops touched my forehead and lingered before running onto my glass lens. I walked along the walk beside the street in front of my house. There were hedges, bushes, birds, people, black umbrellas, rain pools, shelter in front of stores. And then none of these were there. I thought I understood things at first: I know them well, I live with them daily; then they were gone. I did not understand everything: the relation I had to everything was that I did not understand it. There was only life and death, a green cycle.

I was nervous about showing her my disappointment and fidgeted around in the kitchen. I was low on water, and without thinking I put the rest of it in my stomach.

"The stomach is not a storage place," said the green cycle.

I became afraid that the vision of the cycle was becoming distorted by the devious mind with its dark motives, which I hide from myself.

It would soon be Sunday and I would need to replenish my water supply before the store closed. It was no longer raining: the rain had gone with the image of a park day and the idea of baking a carrot cake.

Fatigue (or synthetic sleepiness produced by the mind that wanted to temporarily escape from the fact of itself) climbed into the reclining seat of my body. I shrugged it off along with the cookbook and dressed against the oasis project. I could remember the pillow fights at Camp Nakanawa. Boy, did we have fun.

The unmade bed afforded me some security for the night. It is strange that the night is so much more peaceful than the day. Isn't it because we make the day as trying and noisome as it is?

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A Risky Adventure

My eyes fatigued by work, I look out the window.

The screen divides the world into a thousand squares. Resolution is lost; unity is lost. The flowers are destroyed. Only by rocking back and forth until I am dizzy can I see things clearly as they are. The world unity is restored, but now the world is spinning.

It is all so hopeless, I decide to step outside of myself to see things whole.

It will be a risky adventure form which I might never return.

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Rumors Continue

The truth has yet to be confirmed by County Hall. Rumors continue to circulate on the floor.

Many onlookers have gathered in the streets to commemorate the great occasion. Perches are equipped. Fishwives walk up and down the sidewalks outside the Hall, selling fish. Blacksmiths sell blackware wrought of black iron. And beside the great doors, blackguards prevent outsiders from going in.

Rozin comments on the daily introspection among peach maids. Wilson recompends his evasion. Broad delivers his deliberations. Alls portrays.

A cricket is distinctly heard in this very room.

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The Sun Also Sets

I.

After I had locked the door and prepared for bed, there was a knock. I opened the door and walked in. The wind was blowing with undue forcefulness and its strength overwhelmed me, throwing me to the floor. The swinging chandelier illuminated the frightening scene as the others came around, rushing, to see what was the matter. Before I could speak, they were all carried off in the gale.

II.

The last shadow that fell crystallized in the cool evening before shattering musically on the back porch. Quickly, I gathered up the metallic pieces into a jar -- careful not to cut my feet on the dark, jagged edges. I shook the jar for about seven-and-a-half hours, sipping the flavorful glimmering hum of metallic bees that spun a honeycomb against my kitchen's irradiating light. Pouring the composition into a special granite tea kettle, I added a quart of partially granulated ming-aralia resin and left it to boil until noon. Finally, after scraping off the wax, I was able to dip the strings of my harp into the clear, black substance. These, when replaced in the harp's oak frame, would continue to sing their honey-flavored ethereal music for eight years before they needed replacing, life-back guarantee.

III.

The latter world slowly spun to a stop and laid over on its oblong side. Like a ripened melon, it sounded irregular hollow thumps through the miasmal air of the artificial swamp behind St. Clara's School for Wayward Amputees. The thumping finally drew an apprehensive crowd of hobbling and crawling delinquents and gowned, frigid pedagoguesses. They slowly gathered into a circle around the melon planetoid. As it was still hot from its spiral descent, the object steamed with alien melonous vapors that rose to copulate with native miasma in a frenzied chemical process, illuminating the entire swamp with a disgustingly malodorous and uninhibited glare.

IV.

The trance of the room's vacuous walls was always doing that to me. The room was almost as large as the dining room proper when the latter was half-filled with Jamaican cigarette smoke. There the dizzying clouds would carry you lightly to the phone call, offering you Persian rugs and bowls of fresh mulberries. If you were quick to cross the bridge against rainbows of icy water vapor, you would catch Reva rubbing ripe avocado paste all over her ripe body. If you were quick to shudder against powerful censored thoughts, as I was, you would let her lead you up to the edge of this virgin lake. Here you would sleep alone, shivering in your bed of pine needles, and awaken to the music of sunrise over mountains that crushed you from the other side of the misty lake with their awesome sacredness. Despite the unutterable immensity of the solar concert, you would wash your old face in the freezing water and wear it again, still dirty, still old, back to the house of smoky rooms and trance vacua.

The sun also sets.

And if you are quick, you will miss the gist of the Whole panorama, awakening too late and vainly asking the crowd of departing mutes to explain to your what it was all about. Your tears will be as meaningful as your years as the void swallows you with your heart in your throat.

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Sunset at 30,000 Feet

The clouds hung like pillows or rose in columns in the air -- massive mountains of mist, tons of water suspended in vapor. Still bright white in the sun, some clouds in a patch were shot through with lightning -- a huge storm system which I watched from the airplane.

Soon, gleaming red the sun gave way to darkness and darkness ran along the horizon and enveloped the clouds. A single strip of dark blue sky remained between the black earth and the black sky. As we flew east the dark blue grew darker and it was night.

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Wednesday the 35th

The old calendar clock was stopped, though it still looked new -- no one had wound it for quite some time. I arrived at night on Wednesday night. The next morning, Wednesday morning, I got up and looked around. A field of grass grew with weeds, bushes, and trees despite the drought and gave a fresh breath to the Wednesday air. Crickets hummed and the refrigerator gurgled, and afar a bird whistled "low-high, low-high." My vacation had begun and I had many Wednesdays ahead of me, so I sat and relaxed and wrote these words on Wednesday the 35th.

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