in the beginning, something about the word. but before that bit about the beginning
there was a lot of business about how mamoaha begat slipshad, and how slipshad
begat hamrach, and hamrach begat nimrod, & so on & so on. the stuff
that was in the gospels but never gospel proper, what only made it into the worst
of sermons and fell between the crevices of all the killings and the fuckings, the
cursings and redeemings, the departures and wanderings and arrivals. the last of
which seem to be -- once you think about it -- always and foreverly forthcoming
and a little too heavily reliant on a surplus of (ahem) trust.
before all that: the word supposedly spoken, and then (eventually) scratched down.
the word made flesh, or at least given worldly weight -- legs, if you will -- with its
shaping in the meat of the mouth. its meaning only by way of agreement, a signing
on some undrawn line. that agreement being only that which was mutually known.
the thing we each acknowledge, that lay there between us on the table.
but the only things that can really be known or trusted are those that arrive
well in advance of words. words too often arriving very late to the scene, like
the ambulance rolling up hours after the crucial moment, long after we'd sent word
to the sheriff, with someone having agreed to set out on foot carrying, how it had to
be done before the wires and the telephones made it out our way.
a narrative given shape, strung together and given beginning, middle, end.
tales passed from one to the next, the words there for the purpose of telling.
the sort of tale that sometimes -- some times -- reaches the point where language
breaks down, collapses, that goes a place that words can't go, where description falls
short and takes its leave, leaving just the prelingual utterance, sans syntagma.
because hurts of a certain kind have a quality of (if they must be spelt)
* * *
and it's tiring, killingly so. it gives me a goddamn headache sometimes how some
cats think they can map all this stuff out -- with everything connected or correlated,
categorized and labeled, with everything falling properly into place, all named and
laid out tidily, fixed (supposedly) with certainty about their relatedness. but the
only thing one knows for certain is causality, and even that itself is all wound up in
randomness and happenstance, and beyond that everything else is just guesswork.
but the one thing one can be assured of is the hurts, and the varying qualities
and depths thereof.
now: the hand held aloft, its inside offered up for scrutiny, for decipherence. that fate
is something etched on the skin is another given, among the first things you learn. so too
with the ways in which everything is encoded. delineation, a schematic: the interrelation
of all things, each connected to another. this line tells of progeny, kinship. and over
here we have betrayal. here, the most dooming of jealousies. and here desire. here
abandonment. here fortune. and over here need. and here in need. and here ahhhhh,
and over there unnghhn...
with all of these leading to, pointing to nothing bigger than
THE DAY THAT YOU WILL DIE.
image: John Lee Hooker, 1951.
Photograph by Clemens Kalischer.