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SPECULATIVE / From OF (What Place Meant) / Kenning Jean-Paul García

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Dreams of shipwrecks without shanties, of boats crashed on seashore houses with children inside. What can become of these visions? It’s been years since remembering any dreams but this week there’s been a couple and both starring someones once known. The loneliness is overtaking. The only comfort now is nihilism, detachment and indifference. The palette only holds blacks and whites. The various shades of grey lay down the mind’s landscape and vivid in its loss of color is the pain or is it just the shock and not the grief? Control has been stolen. Feelings flow in and out of cages carefully constructed in restraint. Futility. Guilt and remorse stand sentry with regret to guard against the future and the warriors of the past. 

 

Betrayed by grace.

“Tyranny of the particular”       (Marcel Proust)

*

Haven’t felt wonderful in countless nights. No relief in waking or sleeping. Some nights slip in a message which can be remembered in the morning but more often the slate is clean. Not much of an intervention. These thoughts are self-contained. Tried to open the mind in hopes of answers but nothing enters. The invitations were sent out. The welcome mat laid flat. Denied. Conversations few and far between, all the talk now is turned inward. Even god can’t get a word in edgewise, if a word is what a god would use to change a mind. Hoped for a vision, got a blank screen.

*

Neither comfort nor the company is found in the places where this name still goes unknown. And yet, the return is inevitable – a desire to stand as the fairest of shadows, the least transparent of phantasms, the most coherent of EVP (electronic voice phenomenon).

~

The mouth betrays the innermost thoughts tongue tied or loose lipped, the results are the same, misunderstanding and ultimately misery. And yet, there’s the belief, that people are good at heart and a wish to alleviate others’ suffering versus what is here. What this is is no longer fit for public consumption. Every night something goes wrong and the cycle continues. Resentment grows and now the mouth ought stay closed.

~

Was it good for . . . ? And . . . too? Are there nine stories never written by these hands? And even if it was vanilla, that bean changed everything. Well, a lot of things. There was more than a marriage with that mate of youth not bound by rings and papers and silly vows. Years removed from a simple meal and wine too young to legally purchase. From the soapbox, it was easy to see the potential and advantages. Who knew it would take this long to have that box kicked from under feet as life hangs secure in the noose? Always supposed that at this point it should have been a knot officially tied but there were no proposals. Then again, there’s more to prefer in life than knots and ties, scarves, pashminas, boas. Love proved worthless in the end as actions were never grand enough and words were rare. But if only one could have known the other when the other was like the one. Oh, wait, there never was that same freedom with feelings.

 

And so, secrecy steals security and rots the soul to nothing more than blood and bones. Maybe, it would be nice to believe that being a tree is enough to entice the squirrels to climb the bark and limbs. Or, being stone begs for a masterpiece to be chiseled. But, no, the rough edges resist and besides, even Rodin could not find the thinker in the mass safe on a recliner, bed, or passenger seat. A took to making inches miles as the cost for not holding a hand.

 

Firm in so many hypotheses which never turned into theories nonetheless law but learned all about centrifugal force. Isn’t that right? Which of those grand thoughts will assist in getting out of here? It is time to reboot and it is an adamant truth that something was missed somewhere which is why A is there and here it’s a choice between pints or scotch as to which might remedy any new found feelings.

~

Together is how this was supposed to be done. It’s the end of the school year and together is how these long library nights should be spent with coffee. Should be sipping chartreuse as the holidays approach. Alone, why bother calling siblings? A parent? Why bother anything? Why bother anyone? It’s all about being a cog. What’s the role? To make others ready to fulfill the roles assigned, chosen. To bring everyone closer to goals. The role is to assist. The purpose to help others find purpose. Oh forget it. It’s not worth it today.

*

Stepping stone. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. This is accepted. Maybe one day, the love will be for feet. Until then these hands have work to do, these eyes also and what joins the four. The words, thoughts, images, sensation.  Work. And more work. Let this be relief.

 

Reading occurs off of the page. This is where the thoughts mingle with words, where happiness can thrive alongside loneliness.

*

Don’t know all the secrets and intricacies hidden in the blood, all that matters is knowing who to align the self with.

 

Nothing better to do than write. Of this, there’s some sense of pride. Nothing else has come into the closest proximity so as to push this craft away from the mind and its hungry, needy spirit.

*

How passing a thought is. How short a sensation is. Before long, something slips in to disturb. Something better comes along and production stops then passes and it is back to the same as before which has changed. Writing gains from the perspective of experience mounding beneath its feet.

*

Now, once and again, stuck in love. Mired in the shit. The ships that come in don’t always bring the desired cargo and so one must deal with whatever it is that can be taken from the hull – the hold.

 

The call came. It was received. The call to return to another’s life but in what capacity? And to what end?

*

One’s ends are another’s means.  One can become the means while seeing the other as the ends. One’s capacity is different from another’s. What one can hold is not what another can carry.

So, just fall back into old comforts, become intimidated by stanzas while trying to think of something new. Rest the head on something such as “ . . . bone-branch flowers – soft trumpets / So quietly purple they are also white.” (Donald Revell)

*

Not in the lexicon of dreams but in stative verbs and copula will the next poem find its orientation in the language linking imaginations across distance/occurrence.

~

It’s so annoying trying to explain something while another doesn’t understand what is being said and thus interrupts the explanation given to assist this gap in thoughts. Just be patient. It’s coming. Understanding will be possible.

~

Even in pastiche, in quoting, reject. Push back. Always. Against the tyranny of idols and icons – assemble a language which casts off all old understandings, all demands.

~

The bridge which connects sensation and disaffection is difficult but will be crossed. Nostalgia need never be overlooked despite its baffling being for both the writer and the reader. Simply, the personal past is a confusion and the public history is even more so in its attempt and desire to establish a ‘culture.’

~

Those on this side are actually on the other. 

*

Disoriented by pacing, the layout is of no help in determining right. Walls, windows and doors don’t nurse direction. Directives ascertained in a dervish only spin wisdom. Set logic circular. 


Kenning (FKA Kenyatta) Jean-Paul García is the author of the notvel OF (What Place Meant), They Say (West Vine Press) and several lyrical speculative ebooks such as ROBOT: the Waste Land Reimaged. Xe is a diarist and performer living in Albany, NY. Xe has degrees in English and linguistics but has spent xyr adult life doing blue collar work. For a dozen years xe worked in restaurants doing everything from dishes to managing. These days, xe is a maintenance worker in a massive two-story box store. Xe has been doing the graveyard shift for 11 years now so writing is the day job but not the job that's called xyr "real job." In addition, xe posts way too much foolishness on social media and tries to go to lots of conferences around the country preferably by train. Xe is also an editor at Rigorous.