in this story by barthelme, the narrator speaks of constanze, whom he implies is smart in strange ways, but also rather dumb…says “what i’m trying to suggest is, she’s in a delicate relation to the real…she took care of me that time i had my little psychotic episode…the really dreadful thought, to me, is that her real might be the real one…no use crying over spilt marble…” p.94
Monthly Archives: May 2010
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
(william butler yeats)
“The pattern is looking for something to attach itself to, trying to hang on to its own existence by finding some new material to center itself upon (call the pattern a spirit or ghost…the ghost is looking for a new body to enter)” (Pirsig)
My family thinks I have some kind of sleep disorder. Sometimes I do too. I am tired all of the time, throughout the day, I light up for a little in the morning, then dark back down again, and over and over again, the whole day long. I fall asleep sitting down. I fall asleep standing up. I fall asleep in the middle of sentences. It can be awkward. Maybe I am not sleeping properly. Or maybe the things that others take care of in sleep, I come back to all day. Maybe I have a hard time drawing the line.
I do not love Brautigan’s poetry so much as his prose, but I like the idea of a good-talking candle, a pan full of frying flowers, and a land where children love spiders, and let them sleep in their hair. My favorites are, A Baseball Game Part 7 (all of the Baudelaire adventures are pretty awesome, but this is the best), Boo, Forever, and
“A Mid-February Sky Dance”
Dance toward me, please, as
if you were a star
with light-years piled
on top of your hair,
and I will dance toward you
as if I were darkness
with bats piled like a hat
on top of my head.
In the Watermelon Sugar, the lanterns are tigers, and glass coffins line the bottom of the river. A heartbroken girl hangs herself from an apple tree with a blue scarf, after spending too much time in the place with the forgotten works. The ones who live there drink a lot; they stumble around and slur about how the others are blind, have got it all wrong, how the tigers had it right (they ate his parents, but were nice enough), and eventually they kill themselves in a blood fest of a suicide scene, with ears and noses and faces carefully sliced off in a flurry of pride. A large old fish that in the story is a trout, but could easily have shown itself as a catfish to another (as Brautigan has explained quite clearly how Trout Fishing in America is his $35 dollar fountain pen), watches the glass coffin of the girl being built before she dies, and he looks up at the man who leaves her quietly. The man is the one who narrates the story, so she seems very cold and disconnected. But she feels very drawn to the forgotten works. She was wandering around in them when the bad thing happened, and she was all alone.
In this myth, the shimenawa, like the cross of Christianity, symbolized the mystery of the boundary between the worlds, “the existent nonexistent line” The Hero With a Thousand Faces, 213.
Through the sun door the circulation of energy is continuous. (Campbell, 42)
Maybe why I curl up in it like a cat. Maybe why I need a sunny kitchen. Thinking Pocahontas bringing in her hands to her navel then spreading them up and out in worship of the sun a la the movie m showed me by Malick, his favorite director.