The Outpost gets quiet sometimes. & I’ll use that time to scribble out these signals to you (dear one, abstract as you are). Sometimes it gets lonely out here at the edge of time & space. I have to reach out. We are more than our jobs after all. & sometimes I just have to reach out.
You see, The Outpost isn’t far away (from you, abstract reader, wherever you are) but it’s somewhere you have to show up to. You have to seek to arrive. You have to keep asking to find it again.
& that’s how (many years ago — or was it this morning? — or maybe sometime this week) I find myself working as Typist #2721FE or “just another dreamer” in this place where the light of every god is indistinguishable from the light of my own.
this place where memory moves like reptilian scales through the cosmic dust storms
this place where the rain tastes like rosewater & the cities are built of ash
this place where the wind takes her due & the black blossoms of rainclouds pantomime ancient stories that slip through the cracks of reality
call us all
to look at the sky
What does it mean to be grateful for pain?
I read recently that all of philosophy is not worth one hour of pain — but really?
What do we fear in this pain?
that it will never end
that it will erase us
that it will kill us
& yet, physiologically, chemically, there is value in this shift
pain reminds us that we are alive
that we’re capable of feeling
that we are not yet dead
but deeper than that, on some unnameable plane, pain ties us back into the tapestry of humanity
knot by knot
thread by thread
fiber by fiber
weave me back into the fabric of We
I am weak from separation
Mother I can see you: dark as raincloud
Father I can hear you: deep as thunder
your child is coming home
all pain & lightning & pressure
Swallow me. I beg of you.
Riddle me this: in all these shapes & colors & sounds, in these tricks of the light and curves in space, in the sense organs that perceive them and the twisted walnut flesh curve that interprets them, in the hallways of memory & the attics of forgetting,
do we get one single change to grasp at anything like the Truth?
The Truth we worship and hunt, we ignore and we invent,
with our flawed instruments we rewrite it in remembering.
we feel it at the tips of our fingers and we clutch with nails ragged from peeling back our eyelids.
we fear we will destroy it with our flaws.
(can it be held? do we crush it in our attempts at comprehension?)
what if we are the instruments and it imprints itself upon us– yawning and crooked as we are; what if we are the ones being rewritten.
Abstract as it is. Capitalized or left humble,
IT is bigger than us.
Truth lets us pretend we do the hunting.
that doesn’t gasp at the wind of your eyes or bend to the lilt of your crooked mind
is not equipped to grace your orbit
All the anyones who cut & salted you
All the anyones who claimed to be poets without singing your curve
All the anyones who don’t look twice at your electric poise & your stoned triumphant smile & the trail of hearts you have soothed with your gravitational love
All these anyones are condemned to exist in a world that tilts (to a precise degree) away from your radiance — at an angle where the absence of you will cool them to a temperature uninhabitable —
& though I am just a lit match, fated to flare & fade in human-time, I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of stars that continue to sing in your honor, little bean queen. Earth moon.
Signal flare to you who offered me a song when I was drowning in salt
I bear down onto you (trying not to apologize for the mortal sine-wave of having a body)
first your heart — then your mind — then your hands
pulled me close
not ignoring the smoke and fumes
not merely tolerating my crookedness
you are a verb
through the dead air distance
through the salt flat desert
through the airless void
hello human : mic clipping: signal flare
I’m not sure if it hurts more to (still) love him or to realize that I have loved (for years) a potential — which is to say I have loved what is not there — which is to say that in addition to the beautiful brutal mess that is loving a human being I had constructed a parallel reality,
and in this parallel reality I loved a shadow-boy with as much passion and intensity as I loved the real one.
& when the real one was absent or cruel, when the real one faltered or imploded or disappeared, I clung tight to the shadow I had constructed
[loved the stand-in, loved the actor, loved the shadow]
& with all that love this shadow grew — eclipsing my lover as he shrunk into knowing.
& I, left alone in this vast unknowable, am a fool for forgetting that we are not what we say, we are not what we were, we are not what we want to be, we are not what we tell our friends, we are not what we will be, we are not what we pretend to be:
We are what we are.
We are what we do.
“I am not what I am. I am what I do with my hands.”
Because – for a moment – you dropped the wall between you and the world. You showed through.
Because – for a moment – I wasn’t taking notes. I was looking to see.
Because – for a moment – the odds changed. The mechanisms and mathematics that wind the crank of our imagined-machine-universe aligned perfectly (like Stonehenge on solstice) and through that gap we met eye to eye.
– in this place outside of space and time.