by Jason Martin
brain. I’m thrashing around...
electric ghost rings explode from my mind into sequential night. Power to
blow off rooftops, house after house, suburb after suburb... Shingles flying everywhere...
Switch the light on, all becomes innocuous and homogenous. Eyes replace
brain. Power and imagination
usurped in favor of ../../images pleasing to the eye. Cookies and posters. I miss
already the werewolf power in
the dark where lesbians walk on my lips and time is dead as a stinking
carcass. Where wood glows and my
internal organs float around the room in shiny jars sealed with rubberbands,
crowned by brown lunch bags.
In the day I write sentences at night I paint pictures...
I’m in France now, living the life of a hermit. Or maybe a school boy. Acting very innocent. Manners on display. I sit very quietly in chairs and pick up plates. To be kind. Playing with the little French boy who calls me "Mon Frere". And kisses me goodnight.
Elle bought me boots today, though I presented every possible deterrent out
of a purely social obligation. I
felt no shame though. She has money and feels good buying these things for
me. I have no money and no boots.
I was the one who said:
"France is not a place for tennis shoes."
Just yesterday. As if I didn’t know.
"There’s a place in France
where the iconoclasts dance,
but the visitor don’t care
because the countryside is like God."
And now, stumbling around the house, sick as a dog in dirty tennis shoes.
Stomach squawking and gurgling.
Sleeping in thirteen hour stints. Struggling to speak French with a ten year
"Mon frere. Beaucoup frere."
Waking for meals. Pointing to a clock and rolling my eyes.
Staring with lust and perpetual nausea at my French Maman. So effervescent
and pure that I want a piece.
Want to lead her by fingertips into taboo.
Lush fields look different. Grow in strange French patterns. Incongruous
leanings and oblique patterns of
growth. Colors never seen before in nature. From a train. From a car. Pinks,
oranges, yellows. Like nature
dressed for a big night out. Flowing lumpy texture. Van Goughs paint brush
all over the hillside. Placid lakes
cresting with triumphant mountains, crowned by snow, bordering Italy. Pastel
parachutes drop from the sky
while voyeurs clap politely. Potatoes and cauliflower and cheese sauce. Wine
and pairs of kisses on cheeks.
Like sweet treats for the foreigner. Again, butterscotch skin with raspberry
squares on prominent
cheekbones. Soft shorn rabbits in refined gait. On promenade. Country houses. Heavy maple wood.
Atavistic bathtubs sporting contemporary shower massage. Me flipping through
Dictionary to turn away from unaccommodating French chatter. Looking up the
"What are you looking for?"
Asks the prettiest rabbit I know."
"Je ne c’est pas."
Fluent when asking,
"What is that?"
"I don’t know."
Beyond is ridiculous.
When first I called, (from debilitating dissolute Barcelona) her voice... So
kind, so sweet. I bounced away
from the phone on springs.
"Of course. You are welcome as long as you wish..."
And when I arrived and was asked how long I would stay I answered cautiously.
"A few nights…"
Drawing a remonstrative stare.
"You will stay one month or until you grow tired of us."
And she inviting me to stay one year to study French literature. And I don’t
know how to respond because it
could happen. I could be happy here. But demurring weakly because I cant
think of a reason not to.
"You’d have to speak to your husband."
She elegantly making music on the piano. Playfully picking guitar strings
with alacrity always, and skill. A
natural enthusiast because she feels no hindrances. Blind sanguine
enthusiasm so that one wants to warm
one’s soul near her internal conflagration. And pat her petite derriere.
And her fifteen year old daughter lurking around the house apathetic enough
to be curious. I wonder if I made it in her diary. That might be good enough for now.
Falling and sleeping. Remembering. The fourth of July in small town Willows.
Crabgrass hot night.
Squatting in refreshing grass to spring up and catch burning ash from explosions in the sky night. Smiling, reaching, burning the palm. Mom smiles.
"It will burn"
Not hearing her. To have a piece of god in your hand. Smiling, reaching.
Faces sitting, watching in the dark
Burning my hand.
The eyes searching. Absolutely vulnerable. Pleading for safety. Longing for
trust. Scars of abuse flicker in the black pupils. Relentlessly innocent. Complete abdication.
The upper lip joined in the center to drape over the lower. Giving her face
a pleasing angular quality. The
narrow lower jaw elegantly accentuating prominent cheekbones. A Victorian
nose. If such a thing exist, it exists here..
She looks as though she’s been waiting for me.
Fear and trust wrestle in her eyes, through her brain and heart. I feel good
and tender and strong to her. My
skin is smooth and my kisses deep and playful. Always peering back into
those dark eyes unafraid. Because
she feels damaged I can move with delicacy. Because I’ve been damaged too. I
can squeeze and coddle and
lick her the right way.
* * *
Squatting on toes, rocking. Breathing deeply. Upper torso pleasantly
constricted by bulking jacket. Feeling
singularly whole. Self aware staring off of the rocky ledge at glistening
panorama. Enraptured staring.
Fighting the urge to blink. Magical sheet of water flickering. Refracting
creeping sun beams. Visible columns
of light emanating from visceral sun. A stones throw away here on Gods knuckles.
Amazing what hallucinations may come of sunlight and placid water. Light
spinning off of glistening pockets
of light. Dancing, morphing, thickening into beams. Blink. Then diminishing
back into splinters of white light
dancing in perpetuity. Iridescent pockets gleaming like diamond mines risen
to the surface of water.
In other places a light polished sheen over previously opaque bed of water.
The sun flirtatiously creeping
over the edge of implacable mountain. Peering, to throw granules of light
onto eager lake water. Water now
refracting potentiality in the form of light. Blink.
Lights diminish, still winking as strong mountains rest stoically. Unmoved
by the luminescent flirtations of
sun and water.
They lock, these mountains, stiff jawed. Striations zipping down their
powerful torso. Peppered by soft trees
to fall onto and bounce back up defiantly. Somersaulting through frustrated
gravity. Only to play and suck in
this view. To absorb a piece of it’s beautiful natural insouciance. A human,
as insignificant as a granule of
Dragging treaded boot along cleaved rock underfoot. To jumpstep up chaotic
stones. To see her behind on
the grass. On a blanket staring at me. Looking back at the warm vision
ahead. Sun reaching and tickling at
the surface of the water. Supine at the front of implacable Promethean cliffs.
She writing in a small book now. Feeling reflective. While I am translucent.
You can see through me. Brain
sunk to primordial pre-natal dull functionality. Here in the womb of
mysticism. To squat and roll on creased
boots supporting soft padded feet. Minutes dribbling away. Dimly aware that
she looks to be impressed. By
the impression the tableau has made upon me.
She thinks I have depth. An eye for aesthetics. She’s sensing a potential
for empathy. Empathy, the great
placater. To assuage one’s isolating fears. To feel not so alone for a few
seconds. When all I want is to be
alone. To sit for hours or days or moments.
But finally that instant arrives when luster lessens just incrementally
enough to break up the magical
equilibrium and kickstart one’s brain like a yank on a cord. One last
consumptive deep breath and alight
from this cliff to where she waits. A woman twelve years older. Who I sense
really wants to be my lover.
More so now. Because I love what I love.
Stepping lightly with hands hidden in the big coat. To the blanket where she
awaits writing and periodically
placing pen in mouth. Writing right to left, dyslexic headed, in a small
notebook, about me. I think. About
what she’s feeling amid all of this overwhelming potential. Writing in code
to hide from husband. Writing
about what she is about to do. Peeling off her jacket and two sweaters to
feel air and sun kiss bone. lying
down comfortably close to her. Flat headed, hands and fingers interlocked.
Resting on sunken sighing belly.
Dully wondering what will happen as sun soothes eyelids. A solar
aphrodisiac. Propped up on
one elbow to look at a silent smiling woman. Smiling back. Meaning increasing.
"You like dis place?"
"Oh yes. It’s wondaful."
Her loving that I like dis place and me loving that she loves me for liking
dis place. To keep looking at each
other. Holding smiles too long to be trite. Aware and unaware that we are
"Nezeer am I."
Answering her with shut lids. Lying down flat to fight urges to pounce.
Shake and kiss her. This married
woman. This older woman. Who. I think, wants me as much as I want to roll
"You will be a fat businessman."
Opening my eyes to her impish teases. Her right front tooth just exposed,
denting her lower lip. Ready to
play. Looking at her smiling.
"No I won’t."
And closing eyes again.
* * *
(Here the Interview...) Childhood, fidelity, psychoanalysis, paternal problems.
(Here the results...) Heartbeats, quick breathing, crazy lightning, voices,
urges, rationale, Oh my god, a barrel in my throat, chaos, lust, don’t want to regret not...
One quick light angel kiss on the forehead and a second on the chin.
She rolling away. My heart still springing against the chest cavity.
Smashing my own face in the blanket.
She rolled over opposite way. A mouthless voice crawls over her shoulder.
"I have feelings of tenderness for you."
And a soft little hand reaches back behind her. And I take it and kiss it.
"Oh my pretty shit eyes..."
Nights and Days
1)Love in the A.M.
3)The tub, she so so soft, breathing in her skin, those cat eyes burning
through the tepid water, eyes smoldering in the dark Parisian tub like twin saints and sins...
We were doomed.