Charlie Hospital Memorial
Unable to go about the tasks of having a body, a place and a time.
Charlie, there is no cutting through with the knife of words to the warm electricity of your brain in your body. The end of your days where your face no longer looks at the manifold nature of being alive.
All your muscles go slack, you are beyond slumber in a space of its own color, you flow from notions to feelings to discomfort and drift. Sensation is a distant cousin of truth and must be organized, like the self and the story book of our brains firing, our inheritance loose to do work in the world.
Such a sky against white snow, against the idea of time, people unable to see.
Speculation of death’s hoar frost on the battlefield, on the spiderwebs of people forgetting, going through their scrap books, making tracery of brass and doilies. It is as fleeting as the smell of dinner. It is good and now it’s gone.
We are encouraged to keep on working. Nothing as easy as talking, having words all around and knowing what they mean. What do you mean to say? What do you hold in your hand, but another hand.
Blink of the eye. Getting out of bed or laying back down, we have our little death, miracles of sensation and forgetting, tingling feet.
The script is ready. We have ripped, torn, given a hole, as in the dark readiness before we came, taut with potentiality, putting together a few scenes first, some characters, a glyph, an outline of plot plodding home as through the wind and deep snow, as through a wilderness with no shelter, a city with no rest, only the traffic, the slush mixed with gutter trash at the cloudy clear plastic of the bus shelter with its scratches, with its iron green benches and chipped paint.
Nobody lives here. You are going somewhere else. The cold sea pushes up the pebbles of the snowy beach with icy foam. You are on a bubble of foam supporting its own infinity of what might be and what is nearly gone.
Rally yourself, believe in the deep. Don’t try to come up, but to go down, as if the talisman of worlds is to be found there, aqueous in the green bottom of the well. You made this hole.
A full oven smell, as bread, as your body rises. You hold your breath below the water, as hot air balloons on a sunny morning rise. Bubbles rise.
The dark night holds its stars, the tree it’s rings and people with stop watches piece together what happened and what got us here.
The two play ten, the ten become a thousand and migrate. They bring their things, leave others behind. The sea is a great forgiving grave yard, like the blowing sand, it erases all traces.
I touch this living child, my daughter, her graceful arm and cheek and hair. She is to bring out those who will bring out births and sons and that river bank. That fly line to the future pond. The big fish below the surface, the anguish to be lost among the living crowd, left out.
Torrential, belief in the rain, incrementalism. Just around the corner. I don’t like hanging around hospitals. Keeping time with the drip of IV fluids, the pings of machines sensing their programs and time.
Almost unlimited waiting if you count everyone. Each one a someone. Snow blown on the drift, melting away form into water. Begin again.
Another shot at wind blown dust, like snow blowing across the highway or rain at speed smearing and dribbling down the wind shield. Peaches, the memory of a hot bath, the smell of toast, the march of the morning sun up and over the sky.
Diminutive the rewards of tracking strays, like a jewelry of found items, an inventory of eratica, odds and ends still dirty, rusting, a still life for the drawing class.
Boxes and boxes of stuff. Precious things if that is all that you have.
A moment is a powerful link to all that is. Mother holds it near, keeping each thing in the bedroom just as it was before. Before the thing happened. Before the anoxic brain injury, when you were still alive and trying.
When I made little sketches for the larger painting, I laid out where the crops were to grow, and sentence seemed to follow sentence as in the screen play, the adapted version with full notes and explanation in the text. Water colors of the shadow trees beyond the window.
The notes and motes of dust, the drift of air, the storms of far worlds, the whorl of water down the drain, of galaxies with their omnivore black holes. Singularity in the garden, in the moment with the crackling fire and meat on the spit sending scent to the animals, hungry, looking like us, for some morsel with its sugar to feed the brain and the muscles, the back, the cheek, the digestion,
Grandiloquence of bodies in motion, traction of elements. Muds, depressions on the plains, the signs of things that were here before like the inland sea that may come again. Probably not us. Not the sun, not the moon, not the universe with its mysterious quantum hands, its folds of self in on itself, all contained but not quite persisting, The dim light of the hospital at night, soft sound, left overs.
Birds feast on the spilled grain in the snow. Blights, crops gone, sirens, ambulance, he ran for help, sank in the water, succumbed to the cold, a vertebrate that passed this way. A metaphor for fevers and balms, soothing each other with stories.
You fill up our hopes. Drain, as what we had goes away. Attenuated with age, frayed, without enough to carry on. Then some other upstart lays claim and juices the game. Collisions of interest, color, brushing the hair of loss. Maybe it is a seizure.
Creation again sleeping a billion years, a time not your own, completely alone, unowned, not known, even to awareness foreign, dark, developing as if by inertia, inevitably unfolding its chance nuance, its moment of lapse and realization.
Some gun. Some hunger, some more beyond the sum.
That’s the absinthe, the synthetic green song that talks of biomass and the potential of rubbing things, jostled people in the elevator, hauled stuff on the escalator, up or down being equal, the equations gear to their purpose, built snug and you begin to shed light and explain the story, the history, the aim of the shelling.
The products of blasting and waking up to tell about it. And you tell about it, about the face, the arms, the legs. Sand and the trenches, the beaches, the waves, the blood. Hold your breath as you go under, under, under.
Ballast, slivers from the snapped mast, wind blowing, the deck heaving.
The brass cup does not lose its shape as it ages. Sacrificial offerings mellow there. A kind of greasy mud. A tide beyond the horizon, pulled by the moon. The dark sky expanding. Discoveries in the dark, submerging.
Poor Charlie, bereft of life, not a care, not a word but the grief he left.
Sorrowful sounds, amputation of the intimate. Winter rubs its windy hands.
You grow pale but we go with each other, pacing back and forth as if the feet of the crowd could light a fire, rubbing, like the floor being polished.
You could prosper by being present, being animal to the mineral stone, conscious blood, sanctified bowl before the snake and eagle. Quetzalcoatl, before the people and the grain, the deer and the boar.
Bugs around the feet of the idol, coils of red scales, feathers of a fantastic cousin.
The playing table is laid for a seance, sickly green as mold on raw chicken, as falling, bruised around the elbows. You have cuts around your ankles from running in the stubble.
Smoke signals made to the village next door about the cow killed, the entrails laid out to tell the future in the dirt, to tell the past from the hides draped on the tree branches or smashed flat on a broad red sand stone, like blood and the river bank mingling.
You insinuate demise, open eyes, reveal the stage and the curtain folds, smoke rings, food smells in a restaurant alley, after the show, dancers putting off their costumes, checking their skin for its color, for what’s next, getting dressed.
You hold the folds of the garment between this world and morning.
The street has trash bins and mail slots, snug. You see yappy dogs on short leashes, bird droppings wet from rain, smudges of oil in the gutter.
Curls of brown hair on your chin, like a bunny meaning only to hide.
The great birds circle above, the cold-blooded snakes warm themselves on the trail.
The smell of pine trees and camping and being outside a little too long for comfort. Not just the cold, but dry skin and dirt beneath your nails.
It is ok to have nothing to think about for a while, nothing going on but some Zen in the weeds.
Its all right for awhile to take a few minutes out, but somehow this is obscene, this watching is more like waiting and sure to be replaced by more of the same.
Distant sound of dogs, engines, if that wall were not there, I know you could concentrate and find something in this endless hospital. Some clouds could drift by. Frozen fog just as they predicted, just as I saw on my eyelids when I pressed them with my fists. The grey overcast is for migratory birds. It is good.
Mother Linda says, it is time,