Nobody's creekbed

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Monday, July 03, 2006

captain howl,

my hands shake as i write you these words. you know my hands always shook but the shaking now is of a different magnitude. i shudder inside, howl. i give myself and i give myself. i hope with all hope this letter finds you in some sense of Peace. and if not peace may this letter find you Alive. your words to me of those many years ago (how long, the years, howl? how long if at all?) your words to me then as we stood on that roof and we looked across our city and the city was purple to us, howl, alive, alive more than either of us were alive i would say, your words to me then have never rung so true as they do in the bell tower of my mind at this ringing moment, this ring: “when we peel away all layers of madness that we are left with is Nothing”. i have nothing now, howl, i feel i have nothing and it feels so good inside. clean, new, something entirely other. i have found a place whereto get away, howl. whether near or far i shall not say. i wish for none to come. not now. there are others here. not many but some, and they are of a most delightful sort. there are sounds of water in a well, laughter but not the sort one hears aloud. laughter felt. remember when we talked of finding a place where things grow again? i remember the smell of those nights. i remember a shaking at my very core, a shaking which i did then find so necessary and i know not why that need, but there it was, entire and consuming, howl. now when i breathe deep and hold in the thought of myself, hold my thought close, i cannot contain myself. the shaking was too much and i wished to stop. i wish to calm the fired nerve endings of this body, each of them, i wish to hold this thing dear. a thousand promises, howl. i broke a thousand promises and then a thousand more and a thousand after that, howl, and then i broke. i broke. or it might be better said that something inside me broke. i see in my mind then static, noise, fear, language. when i hold my breath close i long to exhale the entirety of it. i can hear you now, howl: “he’s off his rocker again”. and i most assuredly am. and god am i glad. what was the rocker if not excruciating, eh, howl? there are no tinctures in my chambers, none of the brown vials. none of the many voices. we hear too many voices to have one, howl. who said that? there is a small monkey here. i believe they call him a macaque, and i believe that in the days of ships and serpents and spice trade, howl, i believe he was a cherished pet of royalty. but this is no pet, as i am no royalty. his name insofar as i can tell is manny. and he is the funniest thing i have ever seen, howl. i love him. words cannot say how much i love him. right now he stands on his hands and he juggles fruit with his feet and this look on his face is a madcap thing. how i wish you could see this! he is a delight, manny is, and to him i owe so much gratitude. he has awakened a thing in me. but i fear i run now too long in words, too long in chatter, and such was not my intent. you have no shortage of words, this i know, and you’ve no need for more of mine. so i send you a few well chosen, a few picked from a tree in a courtyard outside my chamber window between here and there, between me and you howl. there are undoubtedly questions in your mind. when did we not have questions? and i imagine the reading of this missive may find you perhaps with a quiet discontent, perhaps even a quaking rage. i am sorry, howl. i am sorry and i am sorry. one finally wishes to find one a hole, and be inside that hole deep, far away from things and the noise, howl. one wishes for nothing and everything else, nothing is such a fine thing and why did i never find it so? the years i think must have had meaning, but it escapes me now, the meaning of them, other than as journey to now. i am not that which i claimed to be when consumed by the rankled spirits. i am in fact nobody. i am not that which i was when our days were numbered and the enemy lithe, handsome, and fast. i do not know who i was then. reports make their way here on occasion. i know the battle rages. and it is with deep regret i received--the deepest regret, howl, my last and final and most profound regret before this and all things departed--it was with terrible sadness, howl, i received the news of the fates suffered by our comrades. flipper boy, gusto and the pirate. i cannot say that they were good men, but men they were. i think of them as they were and i smile. i laugh. remember how we used to laugh, howl? the sound of it rang for days on end. our faces were sore with it, our eyes wet and almost holy, if such a thing existed then. i would be kidding myself if i did not admit that their voices come to me in dream. whether i speak for them to myself or indeed they have found some sort of channel here i know not. again, howl, i know not what to say but that i am sorry, and i am sorry. do you know the feeling of wishing the entire world might hear that you long terribly to say, all at once? my apology now is so, and complete. my very insides recoil against the spine with acute, mortal embarrassment. shame is embedded in my fragile bones, no, shame is a part of my very dna now, howl, a core construct of my genetic make-up. the thought of me then sends fresh shivers through my extremities. the thought of me then is nigh deafening if i dwell too long within it. one wishes to have the life to live entirely over again, right, howl? but let us not kid ourselves. what i am to do then is to live as if new from this word forward. what else might i to do? one may be re-born. i had thought it impossible before, but the others have shown me a thing or two about what i knew and did not know before. manny, god, he's a gas! my tears stain this letter now, howl, but know it a good bath, and may your fingers too be cleaned in the reading. what must you think as you read this by candle light in the perpetual night? does the rest of the team still reside in neighboring quarters? are the rooms still lit? has some vantage been gained over terrible tremor? you think perhaps i owe you more. you think perhaps by writing to confirm my continued existence i die that much more to the team than perhaps i had hitherto died. well, howl. what is a calling if not followed? another voice. and who needs another voice, howl? i think i can see rain falling on the headquarters. i can hear dingdang stirring for his penance. i can hear the soft parchment-like scratch of you rubbing your eyes. i see the candle flame tremble. but manny has dinner for me, and the others are disappearing. i will have no need for words for what may be a long time, if in fact i have need for word ever again. i may write again. but i cannot say with certainty what if anything i shall do. something stirs inside me, howl, know i am tremendous. in closing, breathe you deep. perhaps you ought not let on that you have received this letter from me. i will leave you the judge of that. you may see the ridiculous slouch of my shadow on the chamber wall again. who knows? not i. but i wish to make no promise. i broke a thousand promises, howl, and then something inside me broke. when battles rage, know i hate the bastards. tell them i hate them, it is the last i have. just know there are things i need now more than this hate, this discomfort. there are things and forces to be reckoned. i awake with day in mind. i love you and i love you. i do not know what this is. but i love you and i love you. water the plants for me, howl, if there are plants to be watered. god i wish you could see this monkey! i cannot believe him

the turkey