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Dry bones can harm no one




I have taken to sleep recently as I once took to drugs. The want for it comes over me like a fog of desire. I indulge myself in it richly with deep initial breaths as if I am pulling in the first clouds of smoke from a burning Morphic rock. I can feel the deep blue oceanic atmospheres of the night-times of the brain growing within me like a pervasive vine, twisting and twining though my inner world. Oddly, though dreams do come, visions of domes of pleasure, when I awaken they are only foggy wisps of memory. Most often I am awakened after only a couple of hours of sleep with a throbbing headache which lasts for several hours after. If I can, when the headache relaxes its hold upon my brain, I will return immediately to sleep. With my recent resolves concerning memory, I have struggled to remember my dreams only to wake up increasingly drugged and hung-over for having been in the depths of it.

Today, I remembered a dream, an incidental thing, that nevertheless seemed a triumph.  Not so much concerning the dream, but that I was able to remember just the slightest fragment of it and hold it within the structure of language, the cages of words. The act was not without a melancholy sort of sorrow, as if I were betraying myself and sleep itself. A spy in the house of sleep, covertly recording the exquisite dramas that I was allowed to witness under an implicit oath of forgetting. Where previously I had abandoned myself to the esoteric mysteries of sleep, now I was watching from within the net of language. It was no longer enough to caress the beauty of the fish in the water, I now was now hanging lure and line, waiting to set the hook through the skull of it and tear it out of its watery womb into the bloody gasping world of language. A Pyrrhic grammar, at best.

I return to the boathouse, to the place of myth and religion, and see there are no fish in my net, only bones. There is no one to welcome me and the boathouse is falling to ruin. On the shore, close to the pier, I dry the bones over a fire, humming an old tune, blowing and breathing over them, asking Ezekiel's questions. There is no wind. Smoke rises through a sky filled with stars.

Finally, consider the Fisher King having awoken from the long spell of enchantment to the Waste Land of his former kingdom. Jesse Weston's read through T. S. Eliot:

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.



9/12/13