Writers' Ink at Caledon Public Library

The Slippery Outside

stroke diagram

Being is what I do. What I have. What I am. My son, you move around me like a sad ghost. You’ve given up, haven’t you? I remind you of the corpse you will someday become and that makes you sad and resigned. I cannot say My son, you look sad. I cannot say My son, I need to go to the bathroom. I cannot say Let’s watch the hockey game or Can I make you a sandwich or If your mother were here she’d know what to do. I cannot say There was more, there was always more.

Listen, my boy. It’s the quality of things that matters. My mouth opens and out rolls a low moan. But that moan is not the same as the previous moan or the one following. That moan has gradients of meaning. That slack-jawed, quiver-lipped, vegetable-headed moan is shaded with so many under- and overtones that a throat singer would be jealous. That moan is all of me groping for the rope. It is my grappling hook onto the wall of the world. My human dance. My words of wisdom to the slippery outside. My song. My cry. My catechism.

I can’t complain. An ascetic in his cave or his forest hut would envy my cocoon, comfortable in its downy indifference. This room. This chair. The air insinuating itself into my lungs. Even the afternoon light reclining on the bed is only concerned with being. With the is-ness of here, with the sculptural lump glued to the Lazyboy. There are no agendas, no movements towards or away, no futuring. Even memory finds itself locked outside the cocoon, desperate for attention. But Being won’t have it. Being is all about tough love. Being is what I do. What I have. What I am.

Listen carefully, my son. The mannequin lives on. He is not just a body hung on a chemical fence post, a scarecrow to be shat upon by murderous crows. Pay attention to that man behind the curtain. He has recused himself from the case. Opted for invisibility, yes. But Elvis has not left the building.

So talk to me, my boy. Talk to me of your day, of your slender life. Colour the grey surfaces of my breath. Take my dead heavy hand in yours and incant the holies. Holy the vigor of youth. Holy the innocence of Time. Holy the love of aimless laughter. Holy the temples of adventure. Holy the need. Holy the desire. Holy the angels of guilt and forgiveness. Holy the dreaming poets. Holy the leaves that fall and remain still. Holy the light. Holy the kiss. Holy the gift of completion.

By Harry Posner

About Alton Chapter

The Alton Chapter of Writers' Ink meets the 1st Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Alton Branch.

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2014 by in Alton Chapter and tagged , , .

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