Crag Hill – The Words Start: An AutobiographyCrag Hill
The Words Start:
With a smile, she saw nobody
too vain to make people
people finally forgot.
It was not so much transparent veils
on top of the wardrobe,
but all the formal opposition.
I love if no one else does.
God is here! My mother and I asked
for light, watch-chain strung across
grandfather’s halo. Late afternoon,
body erect, arms open, I would go
hurtling against his breath.
What if I make peepee
in holy-water? All the more precious
to be in danger.
What can be more simple?
I spring forward, egalitarian smile.
He was surely right, knew he was.
They were cutting his throat.
From statue-like face bewildered,
sentences emerged, swarmed
with syllables. I felt myself becoming
extra-lucid, mother of all reading.
After awhile I took me out of myself.
I put back those hard black words,
humus, a lean universe. My moods
threw me into states which escaped me,
afraid of wandering venomous
meanings richer than I realized.
I reported the facts, but to what
delirium I remained a child? I was
careful for knowledge, liked to please,
and I would recharge myself
absentmindedly and turn pages
as prayer mills. I had not understood
what had not affected me. Turning to
my solitude, wooden desk with bench,
there lurked that sick criminal
inscription, my politeness,
my respect. My voice began to whirl.
How could I have taken myself
into their intentions, their needs,
hopes, pleasures, my self coldly
separated from proud exile?
I suddenly felt ashamed of that well-
ordered world, Father making
his moods my law. I was my father’s
work, condemned beyond
impenetrability. I’m a dog. I yawn. I’m a
tree wind shakes vaguely. I fall,
start climbing the caress of time as it
goes — I feel it engulf, never think
flesh thoughts. God would have
managed a signed masterpiece.
That was more than I dared recognize
in the fashionable. By combined
twists and pluck, I was vitriolizing
myself in smiles. The remedy was
shelter against truth. My own
momentum seems clear, only one
unjustified hatred that caressed and
coddled. I plunged into words,
into generosity, a secret balm that
ends by poisoning.
I made a false entrance; I began my
birth again. Without a name I walk,
an unconscious screaming below.
I put her arms around my neck,
cross out everything for the sublime.
Universal order. What joy.
I found the world in which I was
absolute, decided to wait for blows
without hitting back, feigning cowardice,
my blazing and mortal future.
At twilight I would be back where
spirit blew, where things weren’t
going right. I was saved by meaning.
When two women sent off tears,
the girl didn’t give a damn about
the genius I dug up. But I had got a start.
Taking her eyes I would
sometimes answer: real walls,
bright but all in vain. To join things
up, less plagiarizing, I threw
the imaginary. The young fought
the sharks, the sea red, the desert with
guts sewn up under the name
of rule. As a hero, I became a harmless
tyrant myself. The next day
I would launch my characters
unfinished. With my first hall of
mirrors, “I” knew joy. It was too good
to last. By virtue of my
domestic steadiness, the craft of adult
activity, so ponderous at bottom,
so lacking in moment, disenchantment
turned me inside
thought — I was going down my
imaginary passions, their sole
function to provide me age
while I awaited maturity.
A white cloth, sparkling wine; I took a
glass, drank a toast to my health;
bare, dusty vastness expected nothing
more. We would continue dialogue,
each word deft little strokes.
I almost gave up the gist, unwise to
deny it entirely, unable to legitimize that
self. My illusion was that one is
born into the world with expectation.
I chewed at my innocence with the soul
of a set fire. Docile by custom,
I pulled my own bootstraps,
sickening dullness, peace of mind
an unpleasant encounter. Certain
ideas, assigned to a body, mankind
in hand, the wild beasts of full leisure
kill each truthless existence. Animality
required the relics of statues be
preserved in at least one living future.
Filthy twaddle: I gulped it standing.
My ambitions advance, thwarted to
depict pleasure. My bones are made
of flesh smells. I liked them enough but
to no avail. One never knows
who’s alive, silent, jealous, in exile,
annoyed in advance. You cold?
I would throw humility blinding
awareness. You never felt that time
was short? Do you answer partly
in defiance? Full of blood, deprive
death of its goal, life going quietly.
It was not entirely my mirage: When
death ceases forever to be a character,
the time of baptism, the time of
extreme unction, has exploded. No
further risks of unfolding, a bit of life
to it, relapses. His passions, his
blunders, his acts of resistance,
the light of information as the truth of
reconstruction. Short narratives,
the very ordinary but sensitive poison,
constantly inserting allusions,
contriving impossible tumult. He threw
his sob over their heads.
Pure forgotten masterpiece, I strutted
past their eyes, my own obituary.
After reading me anxiously, short of
beginning, when it came to bluff,
my trick, my insincerity, was constantly
grazing, but that was enough for me.
If someone had crept open to all
the winds, he busts a stray
multiplication, a rose call, some
historical maxims engraved on stiles,
mist hovering this sad single female
orphan. The words hero, martyr, not
repeated by any average intelligence,
exact sciences on the wane — I
detested these newcomers in jungle.
Gift of self became everyday reduced
to collective mists, the one big sun. That
epic of mediocrity took refuge
in the past, love-stained and dog-eared ruins. I
would forever be left king of
victims, all the more ecstasy
and delight. Brown fences or frail
cubical dried blood, a puritanical crime
and virtue, the righter of wrongs.
In public, a wink would be enough.
To share our amazement, we became
friends with his satanic likeness too
late to take this for its own sake.
Virtue had led actual fact, all but
withered in concealment. Momentary
paralysis, obsessed by this praise for
offering blame, for having only
reasoned distrust. It brought
the following state of extreme
emergency: everything absorbed me.
Slipping away with a shudder,
an arrow pierced time. I looked with
curiosity off the lake, those wavy
wastes my prow was cleaving.
For me, speed is distance covered in
a given rooting. Eager to prove
worthy of something better, I saw my
posthumous victory. To feel the slow
development of my stuffed soul,
I subordinated the past to the future,
transformed a revolutionary state of
crisis, became a traitor and threw
myself heart and soul.
I’ll repudiate myself. I fled love.
My whole output provided
hierarchy, only one masterpiece.
Yesterday I was blind; today
I’ve stopped progressing.
I look much the better out of pure chance.
The voices gathered together already dead,
the dismal sun of glory, its trajectory
crashing into the womb. Nevertheless,
I myself added to the collapse.
The prediction would dry a carcass.
The woeful little pretender, from chair
to chair, turns them aside. It’s time
nothing will come of, this cloudy
future in stagnant sensations.
Good God, only being in all creation,
open at random, a book so sad.
Far off, swinging from a branch,
I wanted to save myself to reveal
the rustling of words. I claim my old dreams
the unknown still inhabits and I don’t believe in
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