A Conversation Re-Re-REMixed (A Fair Bit, Anyway)

By Jules Alder

This deals with some pretty painful subject matter. That, together with the Pacific context, appealed for a concise but airy reinterpretation. Prose poem form, for now. (I could see this as an experimental film, too--easily.)

Thanks to the Major for putting it in a way I could reach.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Succor For a Reluctant Clairvoyant was a working title)

You are always here, a cartographer of constellations, to whose finer points I attempt to harmonize my spirit. I open out my chest, elliptically empty and ready to receive the universe and you always say, "Lie back. Relax. Think of nothing," and I always do.

I am so like a child, I believe you show up when I lay out the bowl of pears, to signify the dawn of Evening. The tabletop fades away and the chairs go too, leaving the room a little less sour. These first encounters end with such unforeseeable beginnings, memories I play back in reverse out of caprice.

"There," you smile, holding the bowl of fruit you saved from an imaginary table. The look on your face still gets me, holding out a pear to me, and the fruit; your arm; your lips; my chest--this is the whole of existence as I see it. Your name, too much an idle synecdoche, has no place in my mouth.

Inside this moment, you are chromatic sensation, your out of work pianist's hands do what they will and take up new scales. This small beginning prognosticates a short life expectancy, but what can be done when consciousness defies geography and we've made of time's bubble a home?

Impressions subvert the minutes in this way, making each moment a day we cannot win and I, who hate clutter, have kept everything. This is where my wings will grow old and retire; in this place I know better than any other, our house first erupted from a plan. In that tree and the rain, we ascended to stories and wine-tasting, the bouquet's allure growing upon repetition until we were red in the face and stuck and you threw down your shoes just for spite.

This is where our first son's body expressed its leukemia. To that window, my eyes fixed, watching you leave while I stayed hidden behind the table, my hands squeezing a pear bowl. This is where we finally met and you said nothing. That bed collected the fallout, in view of that spot where our tree grew until it begged me to uproot it; (the countertop upon which you made me a geisha stays, having made no such request).

Unobtrusive in the eastern corner, Yoshimoto's ghost kneads time. We smile at each other, doves that have flown the breadth of the world and find ourselves face to face again over a scatter of seed. I stay right here. I always find myself right here eventually, sitting in a chair with an imaginary pear and waiting for I know not what.

You smile as always, like a beginning that used to look more like an end, before we came full circle, reunited by vapors in a corner, reading tea leaves on a floor where a sick bed once lay. They say to lie back, to relax, to think of nothing; they want me to linger no more in a moonlit mind. Go to the market, they advise, and take in the briny air and buy a peck of something sweet and willing from a tree that does not taste like you.

A Conversation Re-Re-REMixed (A Fair Bit, Anyway)

Created: Feb 07, 2010


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