I once wrote “coherency is fallacy.” But now I feel like writing “incoherency is cowardly.” For my own poetic purposes, porpoises, though I am pantomiming in prose, I am ignoring both the absence of incoherency from the dictionary and the bothersome presence of incoherence. I hope you like the smell of what I’ve stepped in.
After scribbling my last Weather report, I typed it up and emailed it to two friends. Then I read Hemingway’s “Big Two Hearted River.” I wondered if the swamp was a metaphor for the afterlife. I also climbed rocks and wondered just who the women of my world were, or where, or why, or how, or whatever, regardless of several warm feminine bodies being affixed to mine by an umbilical-esque cord of nylon; again I, technically, climbed rocks.
I also cooked food, most notably sweet corn, bought for a fiver at the Tuesday evening farmers’ market. That experience made me want to write an ode to my fallen friends and lost communities titled “Bitter Sweet Corn.” I didn’t because I couldn’t. Though I tried more than twice, and I likely will fail—I mean try—again.
More time needed passing so I passed it with “In Watermelon Sugar.” “Come here and kiss me and tell me what you want for breakfast.” I underlined those Brautiganian burps; I thought they were the most beautiful words in English. Later that day a lady said to me, “Let’s go buy beer and then go to the park and try to do handstands.” At that moment, I thought those were the most beautiful words in English but I couldn’t figure out how to underline them. So I drank beer and fell on my head, repeatedly, as any reasonable cad would.
Later, I read my friends’ responses to my Weather post…
Matthew: Thanks for sharing this. A departure from the bukowski-esque stuff I’ve gotten from you in the past. The intertextuality works. The interaction with the girl is a fragment; I want more after the sentence, “The girl is saying something about a stream and I’m watching an ambulance drive by.” You’re blending conversation and unspoken emotions and imagery, and there’s a lot born from that sentence. But I think it could use more observation, which would do well to complement the introspection. The glass is always two-sided. And I don’t want to assume a literal translation, but do you imagine yourself as a mouse traveling inevitably toward a precipice where love does not exist? Hope you don’t think that. Subtle language is good for eloquence but it leaves a lot unsaid.
Gotta run, but let’s correspond more. It does wonders for creativity.
Camilla: pete –
i like it very much. the narrative is clear, interesting, entertaining, sad for a moment, and playful in the beginning and end. fluid, too. and lucid.
i like the scene it put in my head. and the passing through of various characters in our lives that it makes me think about. some brief, some lengthy. and always able to be meaningful or less..
my penny is in the mail, i hope?
sending love and cupcakes with my jedi powers,
And then I thought about how the mouse had moved on of its own volition, without the aid of my murderous meddling. Then I thought about how my truck had died and wondered what to make of it all. Do omens still occur? Harbingers? Can tea leaves still be understood? Intestines interpreted? That train of thought stopped when I became a recipient of a shiny spanking new…
Karma Repair Kit, Containing Four Items
#1 – Get enough food to eat, and eat it.
#2 – Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.
#3 – Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it.
#4 – Initially, I thought I might have been the victim of a manufacturing mishap, borne of haste. I thought my kit was missing its fourth item. Now I feel foolish because I realize that it isn’t. Item number four is not the usual and ubiquitous finger pointing at the void, but the rare and valuable void pointing at the finger.
The rest of which only I can know and you can dream but neither of us can predict, like the weather.
If you’ve never listened to Johann Cash’s “Give My Love to Rose,” do that and give my rose to Love.
Peter Nichols is a poet, rock climber, and vagabond originally from Toledo, Ohio.