Friday, December 26, 2008

Melpomene: can you describe this?

She longed to do something that would prevent her from turning back to Tomas. She longed to destroy brutally the past seven years of her life. It was vertigo. A heady, insuperable longing to fall.

It is actually warm in the middle of a Chicago winter. There is mist tumbling headlong down the empty suburban street, eerie with presence. Not because white wispy things are ghostlike and fill the air with a sense of depth and distance, though they do, but because we are creatures of habit, of motifs, glorified coincidence detectors straining out drops of meaning where there might be none. The snow is melting with re-refrozen ice like the aftermath of an arctic valentine. Fog pours through the trees of the forest preserve among the starkly black tree trunks, naked with winter. It could be the photographic negative of itself.

In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.

It is not a dry season, but it is a dry season. Eurydice and Persephone have descended for some time now, and we hold our breath. There is a dream where I descend a downtown building, turn down the street with trees done up in lights. But it bears no resemblance to a Chicago winter -- the dark evergreens have no snow, and it is a temperate evening. And I am being followed by an observant presence; I don't fear it any more -- it is not a bad presence, even oddly protective in a way. But its invisibility and intangibility are disheartening. It follows me along the path past the sandstone bridge among the teeming greenery into a park, also sparkling with holiday lights, like high notes falling in the air. It is a gasp in that breath held for seasonal deities. The others in the park can not even sense it.

Miles of veins fan out like a road map.

It's the nth piece in a series of this variation on a theme, dreams which began rather horrifically at the beginning of the week. The presence's existence depended on its proximity to me and I, fearing its otherness, banish it repeatedly, only to see it return, scarred a little more each time, like a disintegrating rag (hold on, love, to the rage that sustains you now...). The formless thing condenses to water in my hands only to slip through my fingers, and return to formlessness. I can search for it. Or for the book of mirrors. I know I am looking for the photographic negative. Debussy realized rain falls in minor thirds. The interval is constant even if its placement is shifted each iteration. It falls at a slant in the distance never reaching the earth.

Current music: Jon Brion - Spotless Mind

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