Stride Magazine -



Pressed on and light gives no quarry. To have been before, rerouted, transfixed and paralysed. Petrification of purified, jump cut and syringe, so much of it. I have had then departs and radical edifice redact. Partitioner gone defunct so varied participles their order on out and up. Down below waits in intense glare. Season shift and marker taken through obscure processes of absorption, immersed in solution. Barriers to perdition, unrealised traversing steps.

Old fields marked off for development, with skivvy strips on narrow posts running stiff in the wind, a force that seized the mind. Lumber warping in the yard and sprung-open doors and an unfinished porch on cinder blocks. An untravelled road, power lines extended to the limits of vision, sinking toward the earth as a matter of perspective, when the wind dies a suspense falls across the land, abrupt and unbelieving.

Roads beyond and then lacks brevity, gravity. Facial mask concedes to no expression. Whatís been before wonít wait and what are necessary underpinnings. Breathless repetition to familiar haunts as done once more gives over to sensory deprivation. Not enough light understates the Rorschach blot into cryptic abstracts, thin lines and angular expressions. What was once and can be again commits an erasure of self, what isnít used called up to regain.

A search party on the prowl, men on horseback strung out across the plain, recapture some of the fugitives, shackle and march them in sombre lockstep. Long shots, sky and plain, intercut with foreground figures, heads and torsos crowding out the landscape. A statement about time, about all the densities of being and experience, disguised, shifting smoky time tricked out as some locus of stable arrangement.

Until aftermath reside and be pried. Anchored stoic wattage among leaves slippery and whetted. Trains motive along tracks gain salience by connection. Electricity switch and pylon posts hooked into linkages. Places among landscapes accumulate graphical features. Entry and recant count up and busted facade, the call value. Havenít a minute less than times carried to produce yield, only vernacular to give out grain.

Go for long drives out past the retirement compounds and onto the long straight interstate where kestrels sit spaced on the power lines, a sense of heat and beach. The sun was edging behind the extended mass of the hospital for the incurable and colder now, with flurries in the air, drifted off to a storefront social club, or a candy store. A fight broke out in the middle of commentary, five men in a fur ball of shove.


That sense that little changes, caught in epicycles. Return rations give over to disadvantage, and new evidence often as not turns to the cautionary of damage and decay. Taking on appropriate weight eludes the frivolous and flippancy. Try that in a different colour adds nothing to shape and hue more than impetuous occasion. Substance perhaps only inhering in the accurate measure, finding solution and taking the balance.

Looked out a window and saw someone moving among the poplars and ailanthus trees in the most overgrown part of the rubbled lots. The wind comes with a laboured drone. Grabbed a ride every morning with another packer in the plant, waiting on a cold corner in the dark and then driving down to the ass-end of the Bronx. You could feel the night expanding, standing on the sidewalk near Times Square, a siren sounding half a mile away.

Dead nail sketch time and fathom that. How much of misuse and to gain beyond ordinary dharma recant taunts and stones. Given to motion yet such similarities as though this moment of contemplation could be sustained indefinitely, sufficiency redux, less is more. No, youíve been around this block several times before, no acrobatics on a tightrope can impress on the quiet essentials, little real appetite for pyrotechnics. The incrementals of small detail only go on.

The surface was indigo now, still faintly sky-streaked, washed by gradations of shade and motion, might have been Long Beach or Santa Monica or some blurry suburban somewhere. Saturated undercoats and beautiful flesh browns, skin strokes in every sort of unnameable shade and many grays as well, glaucous and sky smoke, because itís always winter in Chicago and the gang members belong to their terrain, dissolved, they practically disappeared into atoms and molecules.

In ways of recuperation, low deck the mine head trundle. Familiarity was ever priced at renunciative anonymity, lesser known and unfixed. Litten up and seen through the screenís paper burns sapphire. Jaded and steep, been gone and done whatís ever the warrant turn. One that connection did thorough bang crack and splice juice lick, numbered series in a blackout of timeís continents. Shown sack and pocket leak cover overed a new cloth the face retouched.

Has to go down the subway and wait for a train in an empty station, another bringdown, stand there on the long platform waiting, hears a sound from across the river, far away but clear, the way voices travel exact on the water at night. Ducked under overhangs and passed through narrow openings, there were basement passages connecting utility rooms and alcoves for trash cans and the old coal bins that housed furnaces.

                  © Clark Allison 2003