Fragments, an excerpt

February 7, 2009

Posted by Nick Sarno

 

The following is the opening of David Carl’s Fragments, available for purchase here.


There was no desire for arrival.

The furniture, like the weather, changes without anyone noticing.

The dwindling time between arrivals and departures drew her attention to the outdated calendar, an ancient time-map in which she had lost her way.

A constant tinkering.

She navigates among the geography of shadows.

Her fragile mouth.

Orisons for paper cuts.

Once upon a time there were any number of alternatives.

They share a chapter in the history of tingling.

He likes the circles and curves and arches of uneven thinking.

Call flesh the name of angelic letters.

Neglected ear charting for itself a course across their daily sounds.

As if by so feeding his brain some conjugal growth might visit itself upon him.

Comestible language might ooze off the page through the ravenous stretches of mind reaching out.

Vistas he knows exist and yet fails to grasp.

That the mind is but gently balanced and with the slightest nudge might topple from its isolate pedestal like Milton’s proudest Satan, into a pit of knowledge unknowing.

That the alchemy of language might turn leaden thoughts into golden vistas of thinking.

Part of them emerges on the other side of something they know not what nor begin to guess its thickness.

Language laps at the edges, spills over the boundaries, washes away the barriers, and yet still they remain confined.

For example: skin and poetry.

Blood remains the most complicated language.

What about the fact that we have decided to allow the combination of approximately two dozen consonants and half a dozen vowels to represent everything we are capable of thinking, feeling, and imagining?

Thought’s efforts to no longer be thought.

An obsession bordering on the religious.

No book can live up to a person’s desires because books are only records of other people’s desires (and whether these books stem from abundance or indigence, what one takes away from a book always depends on what one brings to it).

As if your eyes were the page on which the story of my own eyes were written.

A sphere out of control.

Harassing vocabulary.

Man imitates what he sees and is always ready to adopt desire.

What stirs.

Excitement by proxy.

He thought of her as one who bore her loss with admirable disdain.

She was feeling a bit translucent.

From the window they watch a boat floating in a muddy puddle.

All of life is a lie in response to the truth that whatever beauty does not end was never there to begin with.

A discourse that made no provisions for the future.

What she calls poetry is a certain inability to see the world.

She sees life as an affair chiefly of pronouns which she can neither order nor use in their proper relationships to people or objects.

The piles of fruit in the bowl have no mythology by which to peel them.

She threatened to continue striking him over the head with her forms of insistence until he repeated after her the words she feared to speak alone.

“If you were a book on a shelf, what two books would you want to be placed between?” she asks.

There are objects surrounding them other than the objects they have chosen to surround themselves with.

Each turned page an attempt at prayer.

Fragments on the backs of postcards sent from a dirty room in Istanbul.

Foiled by such preposterous instruments as language wields.

“You’re beginning to get a picture of just how non-renewable your resources are,” she says.

Shocked at the thought of barns.

Shallow without surface.

To find room for everything.

He remembers.

There were times like these that reminded them of other times unlike these.

The secret terror of those who believe in God is the fear that they are wrong; the secret terror of those who do not believe in God is the fear that they are right.

The page is the repository for an organization of words that points away from its own finitude to something more.

A full dose of the missile’s accuracy.

The “long poem” fills him with fear and trepidation.

Still quivering after having been coaxed from beneath the refrigerator.

Pierced by a certain knowledge.

There was something about the sheets of plastic taped over the outside windows that lent a charming opacity to their interior world.

Below the level of responsibility an elevator starts its descent.

Bones stacked in piles along either side of the tollbooth.

Although this is not “all there is,” that is the misconception that allows them to go on.

A case of one hand scratching the other.

Waiting for faces to appear at the window.

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