My friend Fritz, Opus 5

You were a stranger to yourself for most of your life Thomas. What say you now?


 

I have returned to my somber place.  It holds the solace of constancy.  I no longer live here in the physical sense, yet I have lived here all of my life. This life. Here I am Jack Torrance in the Overlook Hotel. You have always been the caretaker here, Mr. Torrance…

 

What say you now, Thomas?

I think I died here Fritz.

Yet you live and breath here now. That can not be.

And why not? You are dead, and yet here you are.

I am not here, Thomas. I am only in your head.

 

This was true. I had not admitted this to myself before, but in that moment grasped the truth of it.

 

My former self then.

Ahh, I see. You believe this, do you? Is this the reason you insist on returning to this place?

I am not certain what I believe Fritz. I suspect that you know, but will not say.

Not will not. Can not.

What is it that prohibits you from saying?

Because I do not have this answer, my friend. Only you do.

 

What say you now, Thomas? It occurred to me that as I am yet confined to the living it is only I who sense the immediacy of the question. Fritz is dead, so he may wait an eternity for my answer. It is only when I find the answer that our timelines may agree.

 

I have been a stranger to myself for most of my life and now I say that I am still a stranger.

I think you believe this.

I do. But…. it is not true, is it? And that is why I return to this place.

Are you asking?

Maybe.

We do not deal in maybes, you and I.

 

A hot wind stirs the trees today, the leaves sigh in that timeless symphony.  The waters of Darby Creek flow still and everything else moves in this place where time remains still. I decided I should sidestep the question.

 

When I was a boy, Fritz, lightning struck in the same spot up on that hill. On the 4th of July. Once, and then again in the very same spot, a year to the day later.

Yes, Thomas. I recall it. I was here.

 

This surprised me. I don’t suppose that it should have, but it did. I had been there, but was then unaware of his presence.

 

Are you God?

I am God as you are God.

But….God is dead.

He is indeed, for we have killed him.

No, Fritz. Not we. I have killed him.

You have answered the question then, Thomas. You are no longer a stranger to yourself.

But what does that mean?

 

He was gone again and I had only the sighing trees to answer me.

The Paradiso

Morning tea in darkness

amid temporal fugues

I am now the waning crescent

Unfinished cigarettes burn

The ash drops; smoke rises

joining transmissions incomplete

Echoes of the Paradiso

weary of being hustled

and no longer wish to explain

to those who can hear

but refuse to listen

With dead souls that awake in the night

we leave the literal

I will now sleep in the day

 

Rise of the Cannibals

Watching the parchment burn

Mocking leers peek out from the embers

The lines preserved in ashen shells

though none can read their meaning

Their ill winds disperse the ruins

to the great desert beyond

Tending their fragile oases

with fear and shame

Blind

to the sandstorm approaching

Our dying breath

to laugh at your failures

Your children will eat you

 

Leaving the hive

Cameras and transistors

Analogue the more honest

translation of your abstracts

Not digitized perversions

Digits repurposed to other symbols

create nothing of their own

There came children

fruits from the temples of steel and glass

Seeking canyons with clear waters

To cleanse in pastoral baths

Some tactile edification

for the skeptical soul

Mocked by those who turn back

to the comfort of the hive

What has come will depart us

leaving only that which has ever been

 

Graduation Day

These days with dancing, in June

Hours timeless in succession

Moonlight swarms shimmer

in shadow beyond the burning pyre

Faces alight in flame

Their imposters fill the tree line

stalking the opposite shore

No thin white duke in linen,

your Kangaroo

Still bittersweet recollection

in your plaintive wail

The tale of woe

Love unrequited

still rises to west horizons blue