Friday, March 02, 2007

A Very Wearying One

Carl Philips is on the scene! Carl Philips says, "Good heavens, something's wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake!" Carl Philips is shouting: "Now it's another one, and another one, and another one! They look like tentacles to me. I can see the thing's body now. It's large, large as a bear and it glistens like wet leather."

All this shouting, but the creature either can't hear him or doesn't want to; the creature says, "We know a remote farm in Lincolnshire, where Mrs. Buckley lives. Every July, peas grow there." But then he sees Carl and stops: "You really mean that? Don't you think you really want to say July over the snow?"

Carl is talking into his microphone: "That face, it... Ladies and gentlemen, it's indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it, so awful. The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate."

Did the creature hear this critique of his Habsburg jaw? He says, "There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with "in" and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say "in July" and I'll go down on you. Impossible! Meaningless!"

Carl says, "The thing's... rising up now. This is the most extraordinary experience, ladies and gentlemen. I can't find words..."

But the creature has the words; he counters: "Come on, fellas, you're losing your heads! Now, what is it you want? In your depths of your ignorance, what is it you want? Whatever it is you want, I can't deliver it because I just don't see it. This isn't worth it. No money is worth listening to..." and with that, he bounds out.

Strange it now seems to sit in my peaceful study at Princeton writing down this last chapter of the record begun at a deserted farm in Grovers Mill. Strange to watch children... playing in the streets. Strange to see young people strolling on the green, where the new spring grass heals the last black scars of a bruised earth. Strange when I recall the time when I first saw it, bright and clean-cut, hard, and silent, under the dawn of that last great day...


Originally posted here, like everything else I've done recently. With apologies: (1) (2)

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