Correspondence of the Heart

by dschapman

My friend, my beautiful friend, whom I treasure and adore, whom I am fierce for, and protective of, and sometimes, late at night, deathly afraid of, pale and awake with your image burned into my eyes, your haunting open image, too-glorious, too-deceitful, too knowing of the world I know, this deep and wicked world we share, these plains and beasts and rumbling blacknesses. The torture is here and it tortures us; because we are fruitful, we suffer, and we drain our water into dirt, sitting around in the mud, with our hands in our pants, and our hearts in our pockets, your heart in my pocket, my heart in your pocket, fair-tempered and sad, long and thoughtful and full of courage; I danced in the graveyard among daffodils, playing my panpipes like flutes, and you stood beside me, and you chanted in tongues, and you danced like a faun, demented, and I, in my delirium, was like a satyr; the world was very different, then. The caverns… they have all been filled. The only cavern open to us now is death, and death does not become us. Whereof is the real frontier, but anywhere there are frontiersmen? And we, the frontiersman, fixate our frontier on the glowing horizon, on the all-low light of being, indeterminate, in touch with the poets and weaklings, the meek and the monstrous, in touch with even Christ, and Satan; something truly condemning, something truly redemptive. And the vibrations… We were close in time, and all the known world vibrated, and a fogginess rose from our lips; the words, they seemed so – but I can not remember them. But I can remember the vibrations, pure and transgressive, rooted in our selfless pasts; flickering nostrils, bronze-crystal faces, two khalkotauroi, instruments of the gods, tormented.

I have sat up, late at night, and I have thought longingly of you, as I have thought of you in hate and love, and wondered what became of you, wondered in which bed you’re sleeping, wanted to wake you out of it, to punch you in the face and shove you up against a wall, and tell you, to your face, what I thought of you; to call you a bastard, and tell you that you had work to do, you had better get to work; and then, feeling sick to my own stomach, I would disengage from this dimension, and recede through worlds of different times, strange places, far and away from present, where all the machinations of humanity work, without malice or pleasure, to better the constructs that produce, and inherit, and signify our world. Who was that wise man, standing there? Could you hear him, as I heard you? Or was he a myth – just in passing, the trees, the wind in the trees, a berry on a bush in Spring, you pluck it from its limb between two gentle fingers, you eat it; it is good; the world is good, there is always water in the glass, there is always plenty of meat in a sandwich; but do not forget the passing man, the wisdom perched just out of sight, beyond the heavy human world. I have seen the demons, too… They have raped me. I have been beaten to the verge of death and forgotten there, catching my breath, unable to move. Someone spoke to me, through the cold night air, full of darkness, bending light, and asked me, then, how was it? I was a knife, then, and a turbine, but now I am a different man. I, too, have ridden my way through the world, flown between mountains and over the oceans, vast and boring oceans, all the trains and ships and ferries… But this is not about me; you know what I have done, and where I have been, the women I have been with. You know how basic I can be. I have kept no secrets from you. No; you know everything. You know what a fool I have made of myself, how foolish I have always been, and you know that I was adventurous; I am not so adventurous now. Like Rimbaud, who knew that there was no adventure, who lived out his life in the abandonment of art, by which he transcended all art, there is only the desert for us, and our strengths, and weaknesses, and animal urges; and for me, the desert is here, in this still, ancient sanctuary, where you see me now. It is like you have said… The desert is not empty; men and women walk the streets. We blend in and we are guttersnipes…

I hear that Montana is a very beautiful place. I have dreamed for a very long time now of living the rest of my life in Montana, where the world is still beautiful, the people still good. But there are many beautiful places in the world… I do not know if I can trust beauty. Beauty is too becoming; it is like a sweetness, sticky. But yours is a very different sort of a beauty…

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