We, With Restive Demons, Lie

by dschapman

Le mouvement de lacet sur la berge des chutes du fleuve,
Le gouffre à l’étambot,
La célérité de la rampe,
L’énorme passade du courant
Mènent par les lumières inouïes
Et la nouveauté chimique
Le voyageurs entourés des trombes du val
Et du strom.

Sometimes, when I am feeling less like a conduct of light and more like a chemical newness, I pump myself up full of drugs and solutions and, so armed, I dare myself to face the world, unafraid, with my head up, my gaze straight ahead, posture decent. I put on the pose of the chevalier, princely, without any airs, unaware, like I am not a cunning genius. I put on the face of an honest man, which is itself dishonest as hell, and it sickens me. I am not obliged to be honest; it is better that I hide the truth. I am doing the best that I can, to be perfectly honest; I do all that I can for all of the civilized world. I put on my clothes and I walk, like a human, on two feet through the country of humans, sharing faces, registering scents, causing occasional scenes, and I talk and try to get along with them, and I touch and kiss and feel a power, together while we face the sun, into sunset, unto sunrise again. I am, at least, a confident man, and smart. I have no reason not to be confident. I have been tried and tested in my youth, and I have blown away the competition. I am a force all my own now. I am magical. When people talk to me, they drop through the ten thousand layers of meaning, my being, to the primordial truth of abcession, and they can feel it, though ethereal. They feel me, I am groped; they can not keep their hands off me. I back up against the wall and shudder. I have too many monsters in my dreams to sleep… things are getting all too weird. I hurt myself at night it stimulate feeling in my numb spots. The grafts… grown brittle, mutant-skin, indecent… something grows on me; something not my own. I want it gone from me. I want to kill the weak and indecent growths from my precious, perfect innocence…

I miss, like all good men, the wilderness. I should be there, with my guns. I feel like a man with an axe in a jungle in a fantasy. My back is not broken; I have no reason to be idle, to think idle thoughts; I am working, and I have no reason to quit. I will work until I can not work any more, and then I will collapse, and then I will have cleared the forest, and when I wake up I will clear another. Breathless, like men on the moon. The sharp cry at night – the locals all call it a banshee. A banshee eyes me while I sleep. I make faces, fangs and laughter. I write my name in spit and blood. I peel back my skin and I drape it over a lamp as a lampshade. I have heard this story once before… Something about graves! Mass graves, the kind of life my grandfather led, the man I never knew, heroic – carried, hand by hand, out of madness, into the back of the chariot and driven towards freedom and plenty – crying, unbroken light; in the daytime, though trembling, the wind doesn’t matter; and the feat of survival is bare. Bare as my skin when I sing around midnight. In the sauna they felt up my thighs; I denied them. In the car lot they pulled down my pants; I denied them. In the jungle they came with their whips and the guns, and again I denied them. They wanted to speak; I made sure they stayed silent. No one spoke; I rue the day. Daylight mounts like a furious discharge threatening to break, and I wait for it, breath bated. The world was made by many hands… I have seen the way that worlds are made. I have delved into the deep, dark well of obsession and found the golden ore of the pure absolute, and I have envied it, and I have seen the disappearing ore of death, in all its manic glory; mania beckons me, insomnia weeps; I have cried for my life and for others, but nothing has prepared me for this.

Car de la causerie parmi les appareils,—le sang, les fleurs, le feu, les bijoux—
Des comptes agités à ce bord fuyard,
—On voit, roulant comme une digue au delà de la route hydraulique motrice,
Monstrueux, s’éclairant sans fin,—leur stock d’études;
Eux chassés dans l’extase harmonique
Et l’héroïsme de la découverte.

I know what I know because I am full of myself. I have a big head. Too big for my shoulders – I need broader shoulders. I am big-headed, and hungry, and full of repression, and patience, and lust. I feel like a carnivore in a land full of flowers. Who am I, and what the hell am I doing here? In this beautiful, unbearable place… They have told me I am a genius. If they think that I am a genius because of what I have said and have written, or the way I behave, or the way I perform –  then they could hardly grasp the man I really am, the greatness that is genius. It may be true of everyone that everyone is genius; I could not say. I know only me, and my multitudes, and even I cannot be perfectly sure of myself. The man I really am, inside me… What sorts of dynamics are these? An excavation; how deep does it go? Or is it quite shallow? Five thousand years old, or much younger? Boundless plains of flawless color, sightless walls and crystal towers, unseen, unspoken of… More grand, and more disturbed, then even I should care to speak of… A palatial misunderstanding. The broadest, gentlest motions of time; a wash in the spirit of Christ, two thousand years old; in the name of London in the rain, or defilement at the feet of the altar; bands of light, alternating streams of noise… I can see it all, now, before my very eyes. I can walk the very streets of Rome. I can eat the flesh of dogs and giants. We have too much in common, you and I; you make me feel sick to my stomach…

Aux accidents atmosphériques les plus surprenants
Un couple de jeunesse s’isole sur l’arche,
—Est-ce ancienne sauvagerie qu’on pardonne?—
Et chante et se poste.

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