the tired, the funny (prose)

The Aiguille Blaitiere (1856) by John Ruskin


She, for many mornings since some irrecuperable point in time, would sit in her garden, looking; lost. There was exuberance in her eyes as she gazed nothingness with abandon. All of herself was in that act of looking. She would call for Clarita to bring her pen; for days on end she did this. Rarely, if at all, would she write a single word, but she wanted to be ready for that word, as that word, thick and solid, made from the most refined materials of looking, was at once a florid instance unmistakably actualised and a tombstone; a gravestone; a headstone. A word as a mark and a prayer, but also word as a sight and as a motive; the lid of something mute and irresponsible. Something selfish in this world, which is given and transformed once where it enshapes finalisation. The word as fatality and the word as constancy; and, like a spring, the word as a mystery. 

She, despite her age, became reckless in autumn; entirely mad and soaked with the most arduous scents of stillness. Clarita would hold her hand and cry, since her son had died not two years prior. It was Clarita’s only son. Her only word. The art of grief that so delicately shawled Clarita was a mountain in its entirety and solitude, and the world, respiring excessively in its seasons, was feminine and obliterating and stuck in that impossible amalgamation. She, ineradicable as she was, asked once more for her pen, but was visited instead by the pure strangeness of Clarita’s absence. There was no Clarita, but a space in form of Clarita which her eyes could not penetrate fully. She sprung and surged for a pen, because now she had a word, or the shape of a word which was not yet all which it amounted to be, but a cloud as those hauling the brand of a timid sun, lambent and transient:

«My daughter,
I realise now that I am not a person, and at night and other deforming times, I’m convinced that I always knew this. It is not uncommon for knowledge to stretch her wings so superbly that all life seems encompassed by their span; as if life has been this great solemn slumber of which one has continuously just awakened. I feel I have just become and am restored, and this feeling comes precisely from my certitude that I am not a person. Clarita, just the other day, asked me what a person was, for me, so that she was sure I did not qualify as one. I do not know, because I’ve never been one. She spoke of language and the qualities of a human. Language — I said — entirely exceeds me, and is rooted so far beneath and beyond what it signifies that it feels, to me, in each moment, entirely brutal, intolerable and diabolical. Perhaps it does hold the domains of the personal and I’m merely incapable of conceiving words outside the torture they must endure from such conception, but I fear for them in my abominable lovingness. I care for them as if they were wind and water, and their lives wafting and streaming in spite of me are excellent, inebriating heartbreaks which isolate me. I reject the personhood of language. 

And the qualities of a human: that emboldening, that unloosening, that violence and love, they are the presence of a worldly architecture that rejects them and by which they are measured. I do not feel such rejection nor mensuration. I do not feel it because I am not a person, no, I’m new grass in spring. 

I’m new grass in spring. I’m that black sun murmuring over Tønder. I’m a silent spider, a silent morning, a silent sleep. In this terrible beauty, I do not demand, but am demanded, and as I rush, like a fluid, through each atom of light I can capture, my memory too seems to expand with the most unnatural motions. I am not a person, and at dawn and other deforming times, I’m convinced that I never was…» 

Clarita returned, looking bigger and bigger. Her face, otherwise territory of inchoate tears, was now smoked out and released, and her arms as she picked up the cup and the letter were fraught with the most ethereal lightness. 

She, unaware of which day or what time, resumed her looking. That stoic and complicated looking of hers, like an entire horde of horrors was just at her nape.

Nikodem L.

Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

9 thoughts on “the tired, the funny (prose)

    1. A curious one, as well. I haven’t read too much regarding his life — I admit, I have a certain distance regarding the lives of the artists.
      His paintings, however, do seem to have an element of bitterness. Yes. That’s the perfect word for it.


    1. Thank you so much, D.A. It was a pleasure to write. I normally don’t have much fun with my poems, but these maddened proses are rather exhilarating to write. There’s freedom in them that one cannot find elsewhere. I hope you’re doing great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most deservedly welcome
        Your words: fun, maddened proses, exhilarating all resonate profoundly with me! I frequently experience this when writing or even gazing at the glory that abounds all about in nature in all its manifestations.
        All is as well as can be here thank you
        I hope all is well with you

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Bruce. So nice to see you.
      I’m so very happy that you found parts of it worthwhile. I’ve been very self-conscious lately, likely because I spent a good while without any conscience of self whatsoever.
      I wanted this to be a prose about someone who has lived a full life and does not renounce that life lived, but becomes it. Some beingness beyond time. It’s far from my perspective, but I’m glad I was able to give it some colour.
      And you seem to be back once more. I knew you couldn’t resist it!

      Liked by 2 people

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