Friday, October 13, 2006

When acid sun comes on to tongue

We face outward from a warm room, watching night transform the snow wrapped features of streets and buildings into geometries of street lamps and lit windows traversed by the red moving lights of automobiles; travelers in warm enveloped worlds crossing from one destination to the next.

We dress in warm clothes and mittens, a double layer of socks, heavy boots, thermal underwear, and down jackets., insulating our bodies against the clear and brutal Wisconsin winter night which will soon surround us.

We head out toward the shore of a frozen lake about six blocks away, passing through the late night deserted University grounds that curve in a crescent around its shore. The frozen lake is patched clear windblown ice and crusted snow. We walk out, toward the center, crossing a ridge of buckled ice.

A network of fractured and refrozen cracks in the surface of the lake, and the patches of snow and ice, mimics a map, and we walk along its highways. This map is the place itself. Each route followed and each destination or intersection is the product of event, occurrence, turbulence in the lake water beneath, wind blowing the snow in particular patterns and putting weight on the surface, the heat of the sun and the cold of the night, freezing and melting. We follow a ritual of direction and intersection with the full confidence that through this ritual we will reach a non existent destination., arrive at a point of event.

Above us stretches the Milky way, a band of foam in the black tear scarred sky. Around us stretch the lights of the city of Madison, like a string of pearls. And the wind blows slowly, over the surface of the lake, and we are iced on the crystal wind blue past our minds, and I lay on my back in the snow, and feel the clear acid as it rushes through my brain, and feel the dissolve into sky and the planet spinning through space, into the black of space and i melt into the ice the ice melts and the lake melts in a burst of heat and rush. As the planet spins through space and I a dot on its wheel.

On the border line white ice between dark and cold water, and dark and cold space, ringed by city lights and stars, I breath, the blood flows through my veins and arteries. My flesh on a framework of skeleton a warm body my fingers moving beneath the gloves, back crunching on granular snow. My body in the world travels through my nerves to my brain, as I tongue I taste I touch the acid sun.

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous9:56 AM

    I love this piece, James. I lobbied hard to get it included into the anthology, but was outvoted by obstinate cretins (who will remain unnamed, but you know who they are... ).

    It's evocative and just beautiful writing.