Secret Pop

Mar 23, 2003

The face that is slapped and the thing what slaps it.

I'm up and down and all over the place. Who to forgive. Who to forget. Who to show kindness to. Who to dismiss. Who to count on. Who to count out. Who to go to. Who to lose. Who to be lost to. Who to dream about. Who indeed.

I have all this music resonating inside me. Some of it dirgelike. Some of it triumphant. But I can hardly bear to listen to it. I can hardly bear to acknowledge that any sort of journey has been made. In any given moment, I am hopeful -- even happy -- in command of myself and enchanted in some ways. But then, of a sudden, the thing comes out and confronts my cheek with its bony palm, and I'm left with that stinging that can only be nursed by the salve of time and a little bit of running dialogue in my head. Ill-begotten ideas. Memories I shouldn't have. The stain of what is now true. What I would have been willing to pretend could never be true. What I would have played at believing was something entirely other than what it was. What it is.

Doors get opened. Ideas get planted. Something germinates. And all of that goes somewhere. Sometimes to a place of dying. Sometimes to a greenhouse. Sometimes to another metaphor entirely. But then there is the secret dark stuff. The inky fog of memory and the desire to remove what pains me. The frustrating fact of the impossibility of removing the assailing pain with the pain itself. There is no such thing as undoing. Even in untying a knot, you create the state of the un-knot. It never moves backwards. It never becomes a circle. It is always what is ahead of you. Like it or not. There is the possibility of a reference to Superman and the undoing of present and the erasing of memory, but that is an analogy that has been soiled for me.

I can't decide if callus is something wonderful or awful. Is it a cold shell of indifference? Or is it a mighty armor that shields the tender innards from what would poke at them? Should I grow callous? Should I applaud those who got there before me? Should I abhor them? Is it any of my business?

I am on the verge of a sort of exhaustion. And I fear that it comes from the dull, repeating play of getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. Like the cruelest sort of broken record. Hope. Tonic. Elixir. Toxin. Opiate. Better to have had it and lost it. But ignorance is bliss. None of the sayings make sense anymore.

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