At least once again this morning some talking head commentator told me that it goes without saying and then said whatever it was that went without saying for ten minutes, twice repeating the thing that went without saying.
I trust he will become aware that he and his ideas will, henceforth, go without seeing by me and hopefully others. But I guess that last comment would go without saying.
The good and the bad of acquiring a new work of art is that you have to listen carefully when it tells you just where in your home it has to be. You may have other ideas, but it is best to set them aside, for ultimately the art knows far better than you. All you must do is listen carefully, and mindfully but devoid of preconceptions. And new works of art come with a knowledge of how those domino mazes are constructed, for once they find where they need and must be, the art that occupied that place is duty bound to tell you where it wants next to be, and so on. So gather up your tools, ladder, picture hooks and nails for this is going to be a much longer day than you envisioned.
Words failed him again. They did so ever more often it seemed, but it was possible it was merely that he was trying to express ever more complex ideas ideas in terms others would comprehend. A picture might not be worth a thousand words, but if you had that many, odds are some would be correct. And the listener could sort out which were and which were not. He had made up some words that fit perfectly, but they only drew stares, so he took to drawing pictures. Then he could attach his words and they would mean exactly what he was defining — picture dictionary that anyone could grasp. Well, not anyone perhaps, but most people if they would be the least bit patient. His friends had learned that patience, as he was patient with them in return. But his parents were another matter, never willing to slow down and really listen, always just searching for words that failed them.
Krevchinsky froze his ass off on the Siberian plain. The gray concrete box was traded for concrete gray skies, the whistle of the truncheon gives way to winter’s blasts. It was in many ways easier when the beatings came neatly marking the days dividing days between pain and exhaustion, all under the watchful eye of the meek incandescent sun dangling from the ceiling. In the camp day and night are reflections of an unseen clock, seasons slide from discontent to depression. The prison of the body is finite built block on block, the prison of the soul is vast, empty, dissipating life.
First appeared in HazMat Review, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1996) and later in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006).
If I asked you for one word how would you answer? In your dreams, do you have both arms, can you write your thoughts on a scrap of paper and tuck it away? You had a lover, once, and he would trace his finger along your thigh. Do you miss that touch as you rub the jagged scar? Can you taste the lamb simmered slowly, fragrant, the sauce dredged by the crusty bread, or do you only taste the hard tack tossed from the truck? If they gave you back your tongue and I asked you for one word how would you answer?
First published in “Eureka Literary Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2,(c) 1997, Eureka College