first first -- odd one and then another. after the other. and the other follows invariably in step. first, last.
one two. shambling shoes phloemed with gum ebonied and ivoried and muddied over and like dirtied kaotin and stumbling forward. enshrouding tubesocks gutatting heavy dampness and toes hammertied and limp, what warmed and sweated negativity within. phalanges haired and desiccated and rooting through the very sole of the shoe like meristems worming into the dearth of the earth in a last desperate gamble for satiation and survival. and out of these blooms two eviscerated stalks thickening into thin twin peduncles and connecting at the sprout of groin. and a solid yet gaunt trunk onwards up and two rhizomatic limbs offshot and limp and the crowning alder floret of head with hoary calyx and withered gray hairs -- circlet of drab petals. tarsals creak. leather stiffened. one and a two. buckle shoe.
it crosses out from the macadam street and the bow of fog dissipates and it steps up onto the sidewalk shuffling with a neuromatic gait towards the railedge kicking away scree of gravel and spouting some obscenity over into that perfect and unmoved air. all into and unto the horizon in a forlorn and noisy pixelpoint of breath. astigmatized against the lake and landscape like a stigmata.
it stands at lake-edge and stares over and at it the lake as sharp as a crystal scythe and the water glares and this is twice reflected in those deep wells of eyes stretching infinitely into that babyblanket blue sky and it leans on the whitewashed rail and it sways in the light breeze and it still stares still into that reflected image reflecting amaranthine depths. it regards its own reflection, and A recognizes it back in turn. infinity mirrors itself. A sees the translucent fish in regular and everydaily congress just below that surfaceglass plane. gigantic swans sit patient and hushed, the swans floating double and bifurcate -- swan and shadow. there are ashen willows far across the expanses. some minutia falls and floats upon the water. A germinates spittle into the air and stares at it with eyes blank as unrolled condoms. one two. eyes inert like sparkless sapphires, strikeless flint. the spit slowly wavers a little like some willowisp and then just glosses the water and this A appears to reflect upon. dewdrop worlds in themselves.
arthritic hands hang over railedge in broken and gnarled supplication. a cute couple passes just behind A and A mumbles something and both parties ignobly go unnoticed one to the other. the couple continues to pass. one and one makes two. one party absorbed in the water and self and absorbed in eyes own eyes and the other party absorbed in selves plural. A tilts head and stirs into mumblings and then shouts after them first things last or something and something and then turns back and just catches their fresh response and again stares coldly into those surface depths. depths at mirroredge reflecting clutterings of leaves and pine needles and rotting and gutted branches and pilings of swarming ants and other such natural phenom otherwise unnoticed like piling manure. shit or salt of the earth. A chuckles or something. one one two first last none. repeated like some arcane code, repeated in varying orderings. ducks quack in discordant and incoordinate choir.
breeze gathers. the oily hairwisps of A startle a little and then are blown in the amassing elemental zephyr that gathers and billows coldly and stately. it pierces thru A and pierces thru to that dynamo heart, vascular veins, pumping and cooling the mechanism entire. one of countless icy arrows in that hephaestian firemachine already long in oxidation and grind. like the defunct and palely rusting fountain midlake. water and wind and earth. and fire.
A grunts. spanish moss long and languishing from willows decrepit and hunchbacked in this their winter age barely but nevertheless unbearably dip their algaen tresses thru the glasswater in a gloss of greens and grays. dips that into that which endows and rescinds it alike, with or without color and life. the moss in colour and lustre measures double itself and sways in the gathering gale and the moss is contrasted against the bright bowl of blue above and A is juxtaposed between all twicefold. the sky is in the lake and, likewise, the lake in sky. A held between in the balance. further within this flattened and depthed crystalplane and centered radiates a submerged great orange, incandescent in midday splendor. vibrating energyball -- it is ensconced in the middle of the lake, a pearl in stagnant mud. it lights and illuminates the fountain and crowns it in a flaming corona.
state of sunshine, land of citrus.
something falls from on high nearby the fountain and embedded rings are emanated outwards in rhythmic echoes of one another. A absently reaches out far and across towards this and reaches farther yet towards the willow but is yet at the rail's edge and eyes still as blank and empty as the world is primordial. the world ripples in a breeze. the world doubled as above so below and flat at razoredge surface. sharp and cold as if to cut the heart and its hopes in two just as are hopes reflected upon far into the horizon, the skyline that lines the rim of the earth and bifurcates the heavens from the earth itself. mold and fungi flourish and grow like chapparal from the skin of the willows' boles. moss like hair, fungi like moles. one great willow imparticular is overhung and crooked and aerial roots barely anchor into the remnants of the land. last grasp. A tightens grip on rail. the moss reaches its tendrils towards that suborange glow like some parasitic haustor to enwrap and hug and warm and gather itself full with elan. grasps at that which anchors the singularity of life. that glowing orb reflectant and zen and with its disembodied light held midlake. the sun's warmth rings outwards in gradually entropic annulus, clouded circles within greater and occluded circles, like those of the valentinian archons. angelus or lucifer. this all A stands crunched against the edge of, nails both ingrown and outgrown and grounded equally alike in inescapable gravitropism. the late sun blossoms in a dying alder fluorescent rose.
dandruff falls like dewcondensed snow upon the calmness and floats away, onwards. carried on a dream toward that gleaming point of everlight. a dollar bill flows below the stonemoat bridge whose foundations are found deeper yet in the water and muck. flows in parallel with the dandruff. stalks of corrugated sea wheat sway and shed their pollen. lazy motes on this first and last day among all others.
there is an uncapped jug of chlorine standing at one of A's legs and this A blankly nudges over and it slurs out and over stone edge into that wider expanse of liquid and pools in a glob then globs plural and then ultimately into a celluloid-thin ooze. tiny globes condensing and gleaming and spreading and collapsing and broadening as if on some clandestine whim. a bronzed and rusted penny underfoot and this too enters and finally seeps thru that smooth facade, emanating rings within rings outwards. inconsequential discobolus among others and on that one greater and infinite and unbounding until and unto enlining ring of slurry. an imperfect oval of dirt ground pebbles crawlies algae white excrement and palms, palms that bow deeply towards the water. worth of worth.
another body but this instead much adorned and hazy in the fog gathers mass as it approaches. A shakes. the sun floats across its own great lake of nothing, great zero progressing out of the antipodal negative and later plunging again into it. A is in the water and sky both. what warmth and what worth held forever against nothing. A hurries to right the jug sans logo and only that some unable to fall out of its form. why more disturb that already so still.
clouds dollop those azul azures once and therefore again once more. a one and a two and twitching, no, glitching fingers long past numb and ragged and bitten by frost at skinrim and horn. twinkling notes off of that otherwise soundless railedge. raw against beauty. dirt and elemental earth. a tear falls and cracks that water.
it is not one singular body but instead many that are adorned in rococo trappings and they closen carrying books tucked under the pits of their arms and carry bread and soggy bruised bananas in plastic bags and water in halflife plastic bottles. they are of varied heights. A makes to mumbling and eyes do not glance up from those reflected below those equal in all ways except one and the crowd pauses and preaches and passes and it is again quiet. eyes and water alike like rutabagas uprooted in tuberous growth already and molded and blotched.
A lips the righted jug in round-embouchure and cheeks like a pufferfish of the righted jug and breathes deeply the fumes. as if their inhalation would anesthetize the burning engine midbreast. a heart burns and A's heart burnt has been felt in variegate manifestations but it is the tranquility of the water below that A desires but this goes without saying, unspoken, unheard, unquestioned and ignored. ignored by those all who pass. this too shall pass.
a third and funereal and baronial figure approaches regimented in black on white and covered in dust, collared and prim and pleated and trim. A encowled in what clothes more schmatte with what little dignity left and with an air as august as that otherwise everyday felt, inhaled, lived otherwise by all. a threadbare and unthreading scarf like a stole and frayed and holied checkerbox patterned blanket like alb and chasuble and cassock. scruffs and tufts of hair sprouted from finger flanks and over the waistband like-cincture and out from the unbuttoned and torn flannel and fed on air light water earth wind. and the fire and light deep within that burns and generates and consumes. crumpled newspapers tumble out and gather at A's feet. the air sodden towards sundown. the third figure's cloak of dust flakes off sleeves like hoary snow and settles onto the rail and the figure stands parallel to A looking outwards and begins media res someone said the last shall be first and the first, last did yeh know this that it is also written that one cannot live on food and water alone did yeh know this i see you looking at that did you know that in manatee county there is a town by the name of willow and it has a sawmill and a post office and a turpentine still and the lone family house and its general store and the offshot worker's house and plots of gardens surrounding and anchoring all this in the center is a godbless house of let's call it tolerance paired against the town's sacristy did i say is and has i meant had as it failed after 40 or some odd years at the onset of that great depression as the price of lumber fell and it is speculated from what remains that all burnt in a carmine inferno of hell-red and sky-darkening ash and that the bloodsun above was eclipsed in a faithless nimbus and all that is now left of willow are its melted foundations of what few buildings it once had further increasingly buried by the gathering dust of time and nearby the long-rusted willow bridge truss and that train across it that passes like some restless and relentless revenant between this town of willow and the nearby town of parrish as some last vestment of memory a museum in its place to mark these cities of the swamp otherwise unmarked and dispersing in the wind this what is it that eliot said in his latterday poetry that dust in the air suspended marks the place where a story ended did you know this do you know what a manatee is here fold your hands one into the other and let us pray and this third figure eventually walked away into the thickening fog it passed out of and a grunt is emanated from the rail and disappears into the cold as well.
what warmth as each droplet of airborne water condenses into sleet as white as the dandruff and as clear as the lake. A's skin shines in the closing light, shade of skin indiscernible in the glare and a longcast shadow behind. the world at its nadir arranged in stark white and black. A consumes the bleach and embraces the dizzy and loose feeling that ensues. invigorated as if ethylene. eyes flame like twin molten rubies. consumed first and last and all. two one zero.
other forms and shapes pass. A breaks pose and poise and halfturns and leans on the rail and bends back over it and slips and grasps it and hops up on it balancing with those finer fibers of those worne fingers so worne and leans further and planks for a moment and feels as free as a swing in fall and lets loose a yip and forgets splinted shins and pitches and plunges like some unmoored ship asway amongst the winedrunk sea. ratty and ratted jeans like seared greaves. rocks and planks again and lists and lets loose those fine and coarse roots from rail and allays self from self and yells and tumbles for only a moment and then falls and cracks that frozen and perfect surface instantly shattered into refracted shards and concentric circles. if this isnt freedom what is. first watering in months time, first bloom of this late season, last words.
the lake slowly blinks shut its great cyclops eye and A trudges out of its aqueous humor glittering like glass and fresh as ginseng and gathers limbs and droopy vesture and again the jug of chlorine and finishes it this time to its drugging dregs. the water purified what need has it of sterility. undresses. staggers again towards the rail and rocks and wobbles and cries out some bacchanal warcry and flies at last and for once free, unarmoured and unburdened, hands free and loose in an ecstatic twice grasp of freedom and reeling. make it real. final gasps. body for one moment afloat in the air with hands gripping and grasping at the air as if it were bedsheets and A in throw of orgasm and blinded in the sun's winking out and floating flame, floating. floating as if on a dream long since dreamt, perhaps never dreamt, perhaps better left undreamt. the unreal birds of paradise ascend like angels away into the sparkling singularity. as if that innerspirit loosed from body is in process of being shepherded forth unto and disseminated through and through into that cyan sky pleated with coral pink alto and less uniform ciro cumuli tinge-edged in gumdrop orange and all of this immortal cottoncandy vista reflected one unto the other forever between the firmament and terra firma and glowing like nuclearhot fallout. sunorange hazy with false nimbus. as if indicating some demiurge lulled back unto the unbounded fullness.
a moment of silence between light and night, dusk and dark, present and past. the water calm and quelled as the winded sky. rest.
siren and silence, fire and water, red and blue flashed and blasted in alternation, gemini events bound in cascade. in front of the cast of the police lights and further in front of earshattering screams of sound and elements and colors and furthest in front of the downtown skyscrapers looming behind like nightmare darkshadows, the city sheriff addressed the crowd and said last things first people and then trailed off. the regimented and voluntary crowd again bore repugnant bananas sheathed in plastic and gathered in semi-inscribed circumference about the sheriff but this time the crowd gathered with more bodies, they like denitrogenated proteinoids -- they leaned in mass over the railside. breaths held. gasped and grasped. the priest blessed the water like wine. the collected pile of orlando sentinels and weeklies nearby scattered. the body only a body bloated is culled from that mired abyss by a team of green rescue suits and discarded onshore like a clodden turd. a lizard darkly scuttered back into the morass. red green blue. the binary couple again happened upon this quaint collation evidently unattracted by the primary colors and deep umbras and sound and fury and continued unheeded, unwaried, unmoved and passed. it is a mile about lake eola and they have passed the walt disney amphitheater and chinese pavilion and relax bar and the rather interesting art installation and then the playground and its sheet of greenspace and have seen the quaint legpowered swans stationary upon the lake and young urbanite lodging further around and its nearby burlesque and the variegated benches encircling the circle where slumber wayward souls, all this lined and marked by overflowing trash receptacles, this passed how many circuits about this synecdoche world, passed as if immediately taken as a daguerreotype of and for memory. headed by priest and lawman the crowd's reflection is smudged in the darkened mirrors. its rail unearthed and asbestos molded green beneath the marrow-of-bone whitewash. the deep blue of night overhead and surrounding, extinguished of sound and warmth and light. dual mirrors obscured with the dark, halves of a greater whole and incompleted history. dust and fog, sky and lake, sound and colour.
the crowd dispersed, first. there was a child within the crowd. first one odd member filied away and then another. the child repeated first first as if the child were shy with speech impediment and unknowingly promulgated orthodox mantra. it thus took after some other. hence the child followed. the others likewise followed invariably in step. first unto last. the body's feet are bloated in the wetness, some first among innumerable others. the priest remained.
the priest kneeled lakeside with palmed hands. a body first and foremost, then but a comma squeezed between the greater orders of all, and at last return unto the earth. life worth less than a comma, less than an alphabetical character. and at last just another torn and tattered nameless article among interminable insignificant others tangled in the antialluvial weeds. in the trash. final, zed, zilch, nil, nothing, absolute. liquidation. the sludge of solid into liquid muck. the priest lowly mumbled. dust was aloft in the wind and then it settled upon the rail. the priest like a supplicant to some impotent god of nihility, head lamely bowed. first a body less than body. then husk less skin than bones as it had been. last translucent epidermis. palms dryly cracked and caked in dirt. quelled ribbing almost protruded through the body's pellucid skin like some venus flytrap in desirous wait for its blood, jaws parted in baroque architecture. a body and heart without even now a single article of clothing to cover that ousted flame quickly emptied of its centralized warmth and as naked as it was horne. body splayed in galilean cruciform parting, fourfold, ordinal compass upon which others wroughtings and elements have been inscribed into abraded palimpsest. cold as water earth sky. the priest's head was hung like a capital criminal's emptied and unfired vessel. the body's dome of life distended and swollen and empty. body wreathed in everwilted glories, bearing dead angellica, scattered to the winds. voided eyes upon a devoid sky. and scalp of scraggly hairs like hypha radialed into the topsoil, rhizosphere like a byzantine aureola in outwards pinkblossom. circle and cross. from the first unto the last all shall be absolved into outersilence unvanquishable. either into or out of the ninthring's frozen wrath. the priest climbed to one knee and then the other.
before the following dull morning's absurd and unprecedented midwinter southern freeze the dollarbill floated and was tucked back beneath the bridge, the penny ensconced deeply in the mud below. discarded beer bottles dotted the liquid plane. stars dotted the constellated other, castor and pollux crying overhead, gemmed sword held aloft to the northwest by orion. there is no moon nor its light and it is dirtied as monied feet in the clouds above. sky and water like gone-cold glaucomas mirrored and faced and infinitely stared one into the other, the earth frozen between. blind lead blind. a loose id signed alpha or aleph or something floated and became rigid in the gathering deep freeze. the cold heart of the night. the priest gone. heart of the heart. cicadas chippered from within the moss and chiggers in the wheat and torrhic swarms of noseeums clustered around the groaning fountain. a bud broke the earth's surface. then the night reached its omega point and what little light burst in a darkhalo of pureblack oblivion and heaven's holes glistered like the grey flames of pyrotechnic stars and birds passed like spectres and banshees and their shit plopped into the lake's waters as the sole proof of their verity. and the moon pearl set back over the rim of these reflections, hidden back again into the nether. reflections ended their reflection. the air above was as anaerobic and denatured as the eroded earth below. the bud broke like a scrotum sack. the sun's fire was hesitant to rise and did not and the next day was grey and airsky met icelake palm to palm and was narrowed into an earthen knifeline and all was even upon that zero-sum horizon. placid. in and until the last.