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Four: Shadowing


A Majorcan night.

Can a penless scribe still ascribe or write

like knights have swords, if still slightly less mighty?

Might he dread death inasmuch as drunks wander by below,

he in his kimono, a cipher streaking across his mind’s sky?

Wood eye, el shaddai, a cloudless eye, I beguile;

Jeet Kun Do and nothing bold can say.


This island is no man, true. Local time is 4:11am,

and still the Germans wander down nameless streets,

maybe that Bono sang of— not Sonny. And the beast goes on.

These escape artists from paler provinces bring with them

portable prisons of liquid (thanks Shakes.), to share always.

The precipitation in the Iberian peninsula region

is uncorrelated in fact with topography; sorry, Shaw.


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The story begins always in the middle, the vast ‘between’

prehistoric starts and fits neatly before the inevitable ineffable,

the parentheseslessness of cummings, e.e.;

ergo, ipso facto, to begin is I think to foreshadow, a fait accompli,

terminus minus again a midpoint, the mission of finishing,

making some mark— to do what Blackman (Mark),

itinerant scrivener of vastly superior idiomatic command,

and good friend (may he be discovering an idyllic country

“from whose bourne no traveler returns" as Bill said again)

can no longer do on this plane of existence.


And to make it plane as any reign as I recline on a balcony

in nominal Spain (,really a German tourist’s partial rendering of it,

like the Acapulco American’s resort vision is no Mexico,)

it is always a liminal phase, an in between, a central reservation

neither aisle nor window, both also liminal respectively

in their yielding never to states of there-ness.


The window seat revolves around the pane between

the barely tolerable state of being trapped inside

the aluminum belly of the unflapping-winged robotic carrier pigeon

of mankind, at least half of whom are neither kind nor men, and the

unsurvivable horror of the outside, 500 km/h and Eight Miles High;

the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet that is never itself seen,

like Shatner’s gremlin... the window revealing instead only impossible,

untenable dream-like pictures, cloud castles and vista points,

scenic drives amalgamated to where they fit on the head of a pin,

of which there are a haystack full, and all that is therefore seen

is the lot, swiftly supplanted by the next, all beneath a midday sky

or sunset or sunrise man has seen from such an angle

for a single breath of his collective lifetime,

yet has (nearly) universally already grown bored of,

given the lack of legroom...

beauty unmasked, if often unappreciated,

in lieu of the hideousness that stares the other way back at us,

death, inches away, totally invisible to nearly everyone always;

this is the gift of the window seat.


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Meanwhile, the aisle gives way as they always do,

another no-real-there-there space. This plain terrain

provides a hyper-limited view for the most part,

not counting any digital window of course,

but access to a cramped hallway of sorts from a room

without a bath in fact (a closet with water, yes, but extremely limited

and generally unpotable within a “closet” most of us would consider

inadequate and painfully industrial in any other space,

complete with a door that despises the very scant

space it inhabits so much, it must fold either like a silent accordion,

or right in half each time it undertakes its sole duty

besides the oppositional one, mercifully closing),

back to one’s seat with relative ease.


The only other advantage to the aisle seat that has

to my knowledge ever been utilized by a non-combatant or acrobat perhaps—

was once, by a mysterious man called D.B. Cooper.

Where the bathroom door access is a convenience,

the other doors more easily accessed from the aisler’s position

would be the extreme opposite except when coming Into the Fuselage

or when leaving it, and these advantages are arguable and marginal.


Then there is the middle seat! The betwixt and between other spaces seat...

doubly liminal and without the faintest rationale for anyone

but the most avid masochist, or perhaps some individual

with extreme anthropo- and claustro-philia,

the alternate universe “evil twin” of a person

on the ultraviolet end of the autistic spectrum.


We are all in the middle, where this also begins,

with no recollection of any moment of arriving here, ever,

and no factual knowledge of the moment we may leave,

barring the unseemliest of self-destructive plans carried out

without snafus (bullets stuck in chambers, random awnings

unfurling just as we fall, or learning of cyanide immunity...)

Even then we are not guaranteed the FIN and rolling credits,

as we might just pop up (or rather out) again nearly instantaneously,

as a salamander in Gujarat, or future Lama in Tibet.


So if there is no apparent “on/off” switch to this particular

rambling cascade of babbling brooks, and they seem

to come out of the void, only to later taper off into dry nothingness

again, and do not form a neat delta to some vast sea or ocean

within my intrepid fellow traveler’s soul, if she chooses to call

the inner world that; I hope it may be seen that every cryptic inscription

is in its way mysterious, from Lascaux or Alta Mira to

2001: A Space Odyssey or The Holy Mountain.


And everything ever is picked up in the middle,

where the curve of the wavelength exists, not at the edges.

What I am saying is, bear with me.

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