Monday, June 3, 2013

High Windows

Green Light Lurch by Bill

Far above, green light, telling us we can go, giving us permission to leave. And we want to leave, as the green light writes out time on the stones surrounding us. We've been here almost from the beginning, ticking away the hours, notching lines in the wooden frames of the library's tables, in the banisters of the stairwells, in the moldings around the floorboards.

It would be quite possible to trace the movements of our absurd society through the places we've chosen to take the knife too. Such a study would tell you nothing of our purpose or reasons for being here, but might chance to offer an accounting of our movements, our patterns, and our madnesses.

We'd stayed far too close to the end, given up so much in pursuit of a dream padding through ever-echoing halls, the dream to continue dreaming, but slowly the visions fled and we were left with a past we didn't want and a future we'd have no hand in. We mingled as we met surreptitiously sprinting in the pathways, crept off into alcoves to fuck or try to kill one another, sometimes both at the same time. The pills we took, the men and women both to keep us infertile while we waited, channeled both impulses irregularly. We'd spend weeks in a contemplative lethargy, barely moving, reading or studying the maps of known worlds before breaking off into a manic lurch demanding release and the quiet would be broken by the far-off sounds of animals. We didn't have time to perfect the formula before we closed the doors and buried them behind stone.

Now the green light is telling us we can go but we cannot break the pattern and continue cutting notches in the wood with the knives we carry with us all the time.


The Gambler by Alan

Every morning before the daily routine, he would gather his senses out from the dream and consider changing the plan. The plan, which had percolated for a few years before actually coming to fruition, involved playing the Lotto (and praying to God) as much as humanly possible everyday for the rest of his life. It was all about winning the numbers, whatever numbers that happened to reveal themselves to him that particular day, as often as possible. And in as many states as possible. The winning numbers were everywhere, so he drove everywhere. And for a while, he kept it up. A win every few weeks, is all he would ask for under his breath, gripping the steering wheel tightly. And when they happened, he would spring to life at whatever rest stop happened to pop up on the map. And he did this daily for years. And states. And coasts. The world became a system of hopes and longings and desperations. And when the light burst in through his shade every morning, he would gather his senses out from the dream and consider changing the plan, making a run for it, but the exit was always too dark.


Three Ways to Leave a Church by Forrest

1. Passive boredom; the most common, the most denied. Anyone but me. Anyone but you around me. An extension of the deepest piety of the saints, to be sure; but seeing you three rows ahead of me, surrounded by the eager others, I could always reconsider.

2. The higher calling. The noble way. The golden path. So on. This isn’t better for me but much better for you. If it sounds too easy, too good to be true, you’re likely agreeing with it. Moving on. So. New places, new faces, yes yes. After hours, and before. The sensation of holding different hands. Any sensation.

3. Faith—and the absence thereof. Knowing you won’t be there. Believing in it.


Middling Signs by Lyle

Through the high windows the crepuscular yellow of impending-rain-shrouded city and I think, in my middling-life, more about the red exit than the couple sitting under it locked in a rigor-embrace.

Later in an away-bed, after I’ve left my friends for the night (for good? isn’t it always for good?), I sweat-lie in the neon. I know it’s keeping me up, the light, but I can’t bring myself to curtain-close. It unnerves the godless nightmares that surely will come with sleep. Later I wake up and notice my shirt is on backwards, collar-tight. And the air is filled with night-breathing; my own, but not my own. A tingle of other in the room. The night-dulled windows nearly invisible; but for the grease-smear of fingers it would disappear. Gauze-humidity presses down in on the city. I think about my excise-friends. I wonder if they’re wondering about me. And the deep-breathing sounds not-my-own. But I am alone. Still the light from the neon, TEL, outside the window buzz-steady but I have nothing to say and no one who would listen anyway. The endless-transience so transient.