Thursday, April 9, 2009

Inaugural Undress

For a long time, I've avoided keeping a blog. Why, you bleat or hiss in response (depending on your shape)? First, anonymity is underrated; second, personal detail is tedious. The minutiae of my day, my preferences, my aspirations -- all seem insufficiently synthetic. Authenticity is both exhausting and impossible. Even those who are known for it have created their personae.

Better, perhaps, to construct artificial beings and inhabit personalities as they emerge. To speak in their voices, whatever the subject, and not my own. The problem with identity politics is the presumption that beings have fixed identities.

Perhaps you've always identified with the Faun who stands at the edges of pastoral lithographs. Perhaps you see yourself as a bearded Himalayan pika or a manatee of mist. Perhaps you have not yet found a name but grip the limbs of trees with fingers like long-nailed tentacles, wrapping them several times over but never feeling secured to the world you fear. Perhaps your antennae detach to precede you like emissaries. Perhaps you exist as sentient CO2 and tend to float toward people of whom you grow too fond. Or perhaps you are a leaden object given temporary voice, an almost-empty inkwell repeating the phrase, "if only."

If you're a reclusive quill pen with flaccid poisonous spines, perhaps you curl and recoil while questioning this entry. No matter, your passing thoughts, unless you voice them. No matter, your voice, since you sound it by existing. Your morphology is your gist, your anatomy, text without context.

We are no longer a society of smokers. We're not allowed to spume kinetic spires in air. As match-tips do Balkan Sobranies, internalized imagery sets fire to our compound eyes. Our bodies are cigarettes. Our organs are ash-strewn auditoriums.

Into this place on the page, we pour out curios and critters. Ours is a Katamari course of discarded dolls' eroded gods. All come to life just when humans do the opposite, falling asleep to become rooms furnished in smooth milk crystal. Uninhabited, human lungs are bellows of papyrus: closet-constrained, shriveling and expanding.

But dreams are creatures, too, creatures encompassing creatures. Vagaries drool processions concretized in paper skulls or, more likely, capsized in woolly maws.

Make yourself a home, your lips, the entranceway. Tread selectively on the paths in permafrost. My cosmology is no one's, my bestiary, everyone else's. I'd welcome you, but, as Pelleas said, I happen to be lost, too.

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