Bray of Winces
S. understands nothing. He tries, squint-eyed, to turn his brain over. Without spark, the ignition doesn’t catch.
S. sees himself, monochromatic, on the screen of his childhood 1974 Panasonic. He’s talking globular in a rectangular city. He makes connections obliquely — only in transient bursts. He needs raiment for the soul but finds defenestrated appliances and tatters in mounds in their stead. He walks a bray of winces in piles of miles of monticular hunger. Nothing for the stomach and nothing for the next life. He quanders in squandered lines of obtuseness. A sign up ahead reads: “Squelch and Skronk, $2.99/lb.” He makes a beeline for the whole ball of wax — a hive of astute astringency on loan — from a god lost in this corner of the universe…
He’s lost in the reticular coldness of the attenuating picture — a cathode ray tube snow (fuzz from his childhood in 1974) and a muzz of voices echoing from the exhaust vent above his head. He’s one with the toilet seat now, one with his pins and needles thighs, and uncomfortably prescient.
He continues his note: … all will be needling shit this new year… Happy so and so… New Year so and so…
“Screw ‘Auld Lang Syne!’” he says. “Screw Robert Burns?” he says to his reflection in the mirror.
And some person outside his hotel room door — which is disquietingly close to the bathroom door (for hadn’t he last night passed one door where he swore he heard a fugue of wet untethered flatulence, and walking by another door heard wretched retching and moans?) — why did the man outside his door continue saying “hogmanay” this and “hogmanay” that, and what was that infuriating accent?
S. understood nothing.
What I’m Reading:
“The croaker lives out Long Island … light yen sleep waking up for stops.change.start … everything sharp and clear antennae of TV suck the sky … The clock jumped ahead the way time will after 4 P.M.”
— William S. Burroughs / The Soft Machine