The Absence of Magic
Crushed under heel, your cigarette smolders in heavy waves of gray, defiant to its last breath. Compare its progress to the formation of debris fields, Saturn's rings, the Kuiper belt. Smaller scale, the same physical principles in play. Force of momentum and attraction, mass and density, light and a path of longitudinal oscillations along the line of propagation. Beauty in the facility of simple movement.
She exhales and laughs bitterly, throws bursts of sound like glass at me that shatters against my face. I wait, let your silence reign, until you will speak again. What isnít a debris field on some scale. So why is anything beautiful. She asked with bite, with bile veiled thinly below sarcasm that is saccharin in utterance. Her large eyes smoldered, sunk to slits, sliding left to right. What are you showing me, now. Itís suddenly so interesting to wonder.
She burns with heat in the cold wind on a late spring evening. She basks in the center of her madness fire and whatever brought her to call on me again, after so long. For long moments she inhales, exhales, pulls shadows and casts them back. Sunset, angry red, fading to purples and blacks in slow moments that pass as we pass right to left. Left, right go her eyes like a fire that fists of her thoughts had strangled to life from just earth and whatever she could find to burn, piled in some randomly chosen or perfectly fated place. She could stand and smoke and radiate outward. I could speak if I wanted or just be silent and burn with her.
Will you walk or follow me beyond where reason gives way to wanting. Covetous to possession. Invade you utterly. Break and fracture each other to become the one being. Protoplanets, as yet, we are scattered beyond orbital reach, too much thermodynamic energy for us to accrete into a single planet, as yet. Youíre a hot mess. Iím no better. Maybe never happens, or just for an instant that I can hold onto in the long spans that will surely follow where I will be alone, in darkness. Where I will ache in tears and swear oaths to atone, to live again, but experience nothing. When that time comes, I will live for this. This and these, where I am briefly amongst the great.
I unwind. I feel. I am hands held by gears, turned by wheels.
Sector 1: Quo vadis
Bound in chains of darkness
Wind is cold in the wild world tonight. Just such a night. I bend the fire, speak out the smoke. Burn it all down. Old timers said, leave nothing for the devil. I imagine again what I dreamt after we met.
Aloof and fleet of hoof, I am the animal you seek. It stands at the center of the vortex, wind and energy rushing round in concentric circles, my will has lashed out reflexively in the darkness, searching with outrage for this intrusion. Her mind has drawn down over me a cloak of poison. This unknown presence is heavy against the air, fraught with lusting desire for the fruition of its vengeance, malice for malice. Her hidden face that I knew without sight in the blind imaginings of the astral and the clash of energy that surged between us with a voice that cantillates a ballad of eons at this struggle, aching me to ruin with their passage through space-time.
My heart is cold and old with rings of dust that darken in concentric circles. I collide with you, crushed, broken and whole, together. Hold your wrist gently, speak in your ear. Just listen and be near.
If my soul is part rotten, is it all rotten. If my ankles are bound in chains of darkness, will mind and heart also be drawn down. What promise could there be for us, if this were just so. Perhaps to liquefy into the primordial again, broken down for parts. Gazing up vacantly into the face of he that hovers over the waters, I learned from that vantage, before there was light, there was depth. Few of my contemplations give me comfort. Some few are precious to me. You are sometimes amongst these.
When I was young, my lungs drew in water. I remember the horror of liquid filling into places I knew it should not be, as I am submerged, but forced to breathe in reflexively. A moment of mindless panic, I became weary and soon slept.
Lost moments where I roamed, blind in cold mists and rose again. Number me among the great, not the dead. Among the wise and strong. Listen for the silence. There is much hurt in words, much left unsaid. My heart houses the eldritch flame that here commands by force of utterance, this is all I am, carried beyond the breath and resonance when intoned in voice upon air. Measure me in dust halos, in fingers of depth.
I step out after dark, around midnight. Walk beside the avenue. Steps are heavy. Breaths come hard. I think the smoke hurts more, but itís my eccentricities. My health is undeveloped or is my potential ignored, I am selfish and self-absorbed. Of all my failures, these stand alone in regard.
It's quiet. I am alone again. Old friends come in threes. One, two, who will it be. Which combination of events will spell doom and I will drown, this time not on water but on death.
Your pride is no less evil than mine. It is rank and narrow for the monster of twisting, sinuous corridors who keeps no love, but instead learns the contours of the maze prison. Restless in the subterranean halls of the pride monger. Heavy horns of the hate beast lowered to menacing posture. All this you are, I have been and keep still, the lesson of this incarnation.
I could not know these things and stay. So I invite her to go. I kept none close. You could not be allowed to know us, that I am called Solidus. You could not know what I had learned or how ugly I am.
Sector 2: Occamís razor
Itís not magic, itís my heart
Time is short. There is much that I would relate to you before the end.
She is animated, burning with the worst of her spirits, sprites moving the curtains of her hair and whisper there, truculent words that trouble her. She is alive with pain and madness. Her eyes float like motes of light in a face of pelagic calm, broken by the countenance of bone. The shadow of death yet remained on her. I remember when she was still and elemental, alive with energies that assail me. She passes the bowl, tossing her head back and releasing streams of smoke from her nostrils, makes another demand.
Give me a reason to stay, if you have one. Tell me something I cannot disagree with or say something beautiful, like you do sometimes. I start with where I am at, right now.
I flick the lighter, hold the flame sideways and bend it into the bowl. I hold down the hit, let the heat settle in. It works because of physics, metamorphosis, but also because I want it to. If you are aware of only the former, you know only half a truth.
I open my eyes, pass off the bowl, issue smoke slowly from mouth and nostrils, savor the taste. This pleasure and nothing lasts. I turn from her, scan the stars. Bright Vega draws me to Lyra and it's cylindrical shape. Orion, it's visible stars like a knocked over television set with ears extended. I speak to her as it comes to me.
There is a price for this, as spheres approach, their massive rotations becomes the litany, hums in my ears when the song of self thus demands I impart these passages, it carves its path through me. This is my creation agony. It is life. Throats of winds speak these words through me, steady as wheels turned on teeth, when I can hear the grinding hiss of great spans that can and will fit in palm of hand, when my awakening comes.
I watch you burn with life, all that presently occupies you, wherever you go into yourself and what places you have crafted there. Clockworks made upon a pedestal, the strikes of deliberate blows is the aftermath music of your creative soul, as it touches me and concusses me both. I offer what I have against you. Void for void. Imagine the moldings of fingers over the contours you know intimately, the heart knows truth and the mind crafts these, ill substitutes in my efforts to reach you with fingers that cannot penetrate, just caress you. My own machinations and the devils that pilot these, I recognize my evil drives in you as well.
I ache to marvel at the monuments men have built, and those kept to yourself. So keep what you most covet, I will look at you, feel you and everything around us, still and shifting. Molecules in a universe of particles. We are yet cloud gazers, snow blind, drunk on newly acquired wanderlusts to the misty borders of what there is yet to know. You are mad as I had been. Wanting to be autonomous and all the benefits of synthesis. Wanting dominance. Myself, these planets that are mine, you and all that is coming after me.
If you feel anything now, itís not for me, but for yourself, surely your time is quickening as well. Itís not all spacial vectors, radial vectors, dynamic calculations or the weight and size of objects that fragment and reform into a new whole. It does not all conform to gravity. Not what lives in the space between us when I stand opposite and burn beside you tonight.
Itís not magic, itís my heart I lay open for you
In these moments that will be precious few
Sector 3: The Virgo Supercluster
Aliis si licet, tibi non licet
What gods may do, cattle may not
Your love was the sun that men worshiped madly and you are totally insane and drunk with that love.
I am your Atlas and the pedestal that holds you aloft, my grip upon you is strong now. Shifting your face in full winds, feeling you break and scar from your tremulous interior collisions, but can do nothing. Just hold you until this passes. It was inclement weather that made us part ways. I speak as the Atlantean. I am old with polarizing love and menace. The emerald tablets come from a mind such as mine, as well.
Taking on the confines of solid
Images, imbued with emotion that
Somehow, comes across to
You and we are there, united
Equally, by our shared
Existence, is when these thoughts were
Struck and cast, these dice held in hand
And you, who was kind to stop and
All of these are perfectly
Just for now
When beheld within the scope of their
And so, I am half of light, half of
Equinox, call me
Hear the furtherance of my tonal tides
And see these moments
Through my cyclopean
I wonder what was, from what paramnesia might have
Called into being, to answer what was
These love desires resonate and bend my
All you have to do is look at me
Hear the tenors of my
Which hemisphere is ruling
Everything is lost, in time. So much goes unsaid, words cannot suffice. Each step is a funeral procession and each sentiment begins its organic wilt upon inception. We are overcome, we rot from our core, outward.
I was not afeared or overcome by dread, I was nothing. Sometimes spasmodic in my movements with a funambulistís over correcting gait, sometimes still as the same, calm on the surface, focused inward, finding the song of self. I wish I had words to tell you, how much the smallest gesture of warmth had meant to me. How I breathed life into its embers and its coals became all that I had to hold when I was within the grasp of the All Oblivion. Bent over me, broken and immobilized beneath its crushing weight.
Planets rotate with the unstoppable force of their progress through time-space, the concussions rip years from all in their wake. All is wilted as indeed it is distorted by the grip of some mal de mer, and this too is agonizing and beautiful to remember what we were and how we ebbed with the mad chemical intoxications of life.
That which goes into the dark, emerges again. Its passage is fixed through heavens that we do not yet possess plain eyes to see, but know they are there, our anthesis of sentience sure to continually breach those bounds of knowing. Though we are not those titans, we live and move in cycles, and close upon the shoulder of each others doomed spectre, in this final movement.
Long after we had parted ways
A short while before we are briefly
I had been looking close at the Old Book
It had occurred to me, then
Before there was light, there was depth
Got lost in verisimilitude again as significant events align and condense. Occamís razor. Her shadow is still in the twilight. Sheís still and waiting. Whatís the last thing said, that I remember. Why is anything beautiful. So I start from there.
Because it comes
And never comes
Because it ends
The Absence of Magic
The Fire Elemental
Copyright © 2015 by Daniel Christensen
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.