[For Part One of "Are We Lost Yet" go to the "Blog Archive" menu on the upper right and click onto the only other December link, "Part One, etc."]
Coda - 1753, from L. cauda "a tail."
And so it was I entered the broken world to trace the visionary company of love. -- Hart Crane
...the drunken taxicabs of absolute reality... -- Allen Ginsberg
Mark the first page of the book with a red marker. For, in the beginning, the wound is invisible. -- Edmund Jabes
Gather ye nosebleeds while ye may.
This is for R. M.
A man of many false starts..." -- first sentence from the manuscript I'm writing of below.
Estimado hermano Moises,
The first sentence launches the piece and the story carries itself along like, say, a veteran of the Iraq war cabbie I know driving here and there in a Texas town doing so because that's where the money is, compelled to dirt roads and back streets one would never intentionally go to if not for the need of money, forcing a broken-legged hobo's freedom of sorts to make mutually agreed upon brief commitments with strangers to destinations ending with a discharge and a fare-thee-well. Between customers arrives the graveyard shift nightly migration to the Waffle House for respite, rituals of grease, gravy and grinning at the Medussa-wigged waitress with echolalia. Petrochemical company flares just across the highway signal Mammon Wasteland Theology's Trinket Sacraments to the folks who live in and around this mess, a desert kingdom of the far flung, you being one of them now, home from the war, exile before and after, returning to the beat up but beloved truck that also tells a story and leaves a stain -- to Jake and his slow breakdown or break in, and the hard lesson of earnest Private Hodges trapped in his pattern of wanting approval and love ill sought from the gold-toothed refugee Drill Sergeant Thomas, late of Liberia, a wannabee Jehovah with too much power over America's young game boys shipwrecked onto military shores.
As everyday and makepiece the settings and the people are you make me love them, even those chemical companies and the justly reactive radioheads, their words blown out of cab windows -- you write, "the wind blows away our words" -- to be heard all the way here in the East Village, New York City, the words, discarded or dragged screaming from a passing cab, compel compassion, curiosity and hint of a calm eye in the center of the eternal return of dispatches to the corner of Crackhurst and Waffle House and back again. This eye observes, swerves to miss the Mexican kid chasing the ball into Same Ol' Street ("same as it ever was" -- David Burne), notes it with caffeine, amphetamine laced, and traces "the visionary company of love"-- stubbed cigarettes, sputum maps coughed and spat.
As justly bitter (unlike the bland and tepid Waffle House coffee) as the writer's voice may sometimes sound there is a tremendous compassion and sorrow heard for these faces and places. This "broke hearted" uttering does, indeed, trace the visionary company down on "those mean streets" of Texas and World missing a few teeth, unfurling like remote prayerflags in coldest Himalayas fluttering and flung from gypsy cab windows, unheard hiccups of eventing into the oblivion of the obvious -- flutter-flap ancient technologies of cloth strung holy in bleak majesty articulate and plead "Mercy" for all the species, eventually our own, obliterated by human tracings, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha...GONE, GONE, GONE BEYOND, COMPLETELY GONE BEYOND, ENLIGHTENMENT, HAIL.
Keep going with this and the other pieces...the line was strung years ago when you were just a kid in "Father Bob And "What The Fuck" Land" and all the books (which are NEVER false starts) read and to be read and written since then and now and to come, and the suffering and isolated hours and forlorn miles in the merciless cab, flap and flutter with real voice about poor human choices which, even at their worst, are votes for visionary company in those universes revealed even in Texan and Iraqi sand. It is so brilliantly human to find the diamond in the shit.
It's damned good you are in-spired in the debris of progress, a wake-dreamed jeweler mining away, in-breathed, while sucking those cigarettes and lovers, the hashbrowns, along Texas highways and byways waiting for another dispatch to Bumfuck and Divine.
The psalmist says it right, no matter the blight:
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!!
I await another dispatch prayer for the far flung tracers.
Abrazos bien fuerte,
[Above Photo by Warren Falcon, "Mexican Cab And Straw Wheels", Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico, January 2008]