by Alice Lenkiewicz

I do this because there is nothing else left for me to do. Harlean discovers her body drifting through a world of intricate light and lost intimacy. Everything has a cause. A momentary existence occurs as it does because of a previous momentary existence and that is why she allows herself to let go. There is no need to pretend she is someone she is not.

We drift into the unknown
The Silk Road route from the Middle East to China
below the Tian Shan
or the south side above the Kunlun
The centre of the Basin is usually
waterless and uninhabited

Insects know what it means to live underneath dark stones beneath the willow tree.    These folk and their guitars first met in Ireland. I remember it in my satin dress and the way he looked at me. Life was for living, and Hollywood dreams.  But still I do not know myself.  Platinum Blonde, Red Dust, The Secret Six, Wife vs. Secretary, Dinner at Eight.
It is not me, for I am already gone in an instant and if it is not me, then why bother? Also, if there is no enduring self, then the rewards and punishments of karma are visited on different beings than those who merited them. Why do I, instead of someone else, deserve the karma of some past existence?

This is my incomplete box of incidental afternoon consisting of Hollywood style cutup dresses.  One day I wrapped up my pistol, a cry of help secretly kept locked inside a dark box, the lady of one liners. 'I don't know how to say this,' he said 'but there's something wrong with the people who come to your room. Tell those people to watch what they say over the phone.' My vision of something normal and fresh, part of a crowd in a street. A love-struck witness,  protecting april showgirls flattered by obsessive voyeurs. My feet suddenly leave the ground but no one notices. Things in isolation are empty. The nature of things only exists in relation to everything else that exists. Existence as we know it is thus completely relative and conditioned by everything else.

I was standing somewhere in Manhattan, in front of one of those old tower block apartments, the street silent and empty. I found myself climbing a hill until there in front of me I noticed my old room and music coming from the roof patio. (This scene from my past, a washing line filled with red spotted dresses like something Carmen Miranda would wear and a woman lying naked, sunbathing underneath a large, white parasol) It suddenly occurred to me that he could perhaps still be living there. I was curious to know what would happen if I climbed the stairs and knocked on his door but I was scared, scared of what he might do. Long flights of spiral wooden steps led me towards the seedy landing. I have to confess it was a world of diamond mines that kept collapsing over the ruins of my mind at that moment.

I  knocked on the door. There was a pause and then the sound of locks rattled. A tall red - haired girl answered. She put out her left hand to gesture me silent then kicked the splintered door. It shuddered, glass tinkling from its small window. Like an announcer from a shopping mall she called, 'I'm going to call out if you're not careful! I'll tell them everything!'

The banging of doors
Whining and thudding
Heavy creaking
An echo of distant thunder

Footsteps gently trotting along a corridor
Dainty and relaxed
Distant crowd of voices
A low kind of murmuring

Two people at the door, a low echo of bartering tongues

Doors  unlocking
The ticking of an old clock
Its innards unused to working

I get to sleep eventually but in my dream it's
Never where I want to be
I always end up back here walking towards Main Street.

I find a little cafˇ where staff and kids leave me alone, the sound of ground coffee beans and the comforting sheen of sunlight on the red silk shoes of Joan Crawford. She's crying about something and sits alone at the table. While the movie itself is nothing to write home about, there are still some things left to enjoy. I got drunk on 50 pesos ran out of money and returned to my apartment. I get to sleep eventually but in my dream it's never where I want to be. Instead, I'm back here walking up Sunset Boulevard towards the lay-by that overlooks the extravagant sweep Of Californian bay where busloads of tourists come to watch towers built in octagonal shapes overlooking the city.

The sea calms my memory, reminds me of a silent room intoxicated by celluloid, my platinum hair longing to nestle upon a bed of icy autumn leaves.

Sleek golden walls encase me in a graceful world of sacrifice, at last no Self as an essence or as a substance. Instead a collection of things, the body, or...

momentary consciousness.

i remember that dress
somewhere in the darkness
of surface texture

you bought it for me
its red and gold sharp edges
burn my memory

half naked, crying. 
in the cold bleak doorway I
lit a cigarette.

my own emptiness
a willingness to blossom
unwanted flower

carry messages
eyes settle on blue ceiling
the Roof of my World

My willingness to blossom, corrupted, seagulls animated in my view.
The past pulling me back my head turned down in anguish accepting my parcelled mystery. The platinum angel, my testimony denied. Life is suffering, including birth, disease, old age, and death; the sky gliding towards me like Indian tinted postcards torn and smudged with lipstick, the entrance to another world. Nothing exists for any length of time. No substance or duration to things.  I was falling as if someone had grabbed my hair and tied it to some machine, the pain pulling back my neck, my arms stretched wide as I soared through the dark, dripping earth. Each moment is an entirely new existence, which is succeeded by another entirely new existence.  I could look forward to nothing. It was not what I had imagined. Instead The only connection between one thing and the next is that one causes the next. To be transmitted into vulnerable domesticity and pixelated beyond a treasured memory. 

         © Alice Lenkiewicz 2004