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Thursday, June 17, 2010

bottom of the ocean

Bottom of the ocean, thirty leagues down a canyon, a spindly glowworm glows in the water. In my descent I chance upon this glowworm – by the way, it’s me, in case you’re wondering, it’s Lui – I chance upon this glowworm and I note how opportune is this encounter, for it has been a lonely trek down, and more to the point, there has been no light anywhere for days. I have seen nothing and heard only odd gurgles and pings from the darkness below.

Solitary and without occupation, my mind, thankfully, has a raft of distractions to keep itself afloat: pictures of people, unfinished dialogues, special girls from the past, but also, the more rudimentary, time.

So it is with some excitement that I stretch out my arm now and catch the glow on my wristwatch to read that it is precisely two o’clock!

In a place like this, it is a treasure of knowledge to know even as little as that: on what side of noon or midnight the journey's made.

In my excitement, I attempt to be my own clock for a while and count down seconds as I descend, but I lose track quickly and get flustered and out of breath for all this concentration.

So I turn again to what is real and physical and simple.

Pressure has increased all along – such is water at depths – and yet my limbs feel almost like air. For some time I have felt close to weightless – cold, but weightless – and with no light anywhere and practically no sound but those gurgles and pings, it is easy to question whether one exists at all.

But I do not question… I continue my descent, my mind clinging to its raft, the glowworm like a lone-star above me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

woodwork

You’re birthed, toweled down, hung by your feet, butt slapped, breastfed, schooled, issued credit and put to work for thirty years. You get ledger and file, wife and kid, whisky and decanter, and for Christmas – half-drunk and rotten – you a cut a tree and carve a chicken.

It’s knife-sets and cufflinks now. It’s looking at the haze off your kid’s ipad and the guilt scurrying in your wife’s eye. It’s alarm clocks and medication, paid holiday and fighting fights in your brain, no longer down low and rough on the pavement.

So you get crazy. You shut the door – you slam that fucker shut – curse all and sundry in your mother tongue – tvoja majka je bolesno majmuna – pull your toolkit down from the attic, your bag of files, rasps, and jigsaws, and you build a fucking boat the size of a shoe, then a royal scepter from a log, and from that man-sized trunk in the yard, that crazy stump of oak, a human face.

Pheeeeeeew! Man! Christ that feels good.
And you look with satisfaction at the face.

But time elapses and you get lazy. You turn into a lazy fucker once more, you forget, you ignore, you seek distraction, you take up smoking, dump your wife, get a girl, screw around, pay up lawyers, buy a hammock, ditch shoes for slippers, meals for beer, drink no end and bray in the streets, 'til at last you throw up your hands at the heavens. What the fuck? WHAT THE HECK IS THIS!!?? WHAT THE FUH!

But the Lord is silent or is himself distracted. Either way, you get no answer.

So you lose yourself in woodwork once more. You lose yourself, and you ask yourself, you turn a question, like a lunatic, in your brain: would wood-work work? Would it work, this woodwork? Would woodwork work? And you file and you rasp and you drill, first a house, then a man, a woman, a breastfeeder, a cufflink, a royal scepter, but it brings no solace as before. And you file and you rasp and you drill some more, until you are covered in sawdust head to toe and your whole house, your whole fucking house is strewn and there is nothing more in life, not a single object left to replicate…

So now you have no choice, but finally, at long last, to CREATE!

And goddamn it that feels good.

Pheeeeeeeeeeeeew!