When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female, when you make eyes in the place of an eye, and hands in the place of a hand, and feet in the place of a foot, and images in the places of the unimaginable, then shall you enter the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel According to Thomas
Each night I meet him. King with crown. Each night we battle. Why must he kill me? No. I shall not die. I can be smaller than a pinhead, harder than a diamond. Suddenly, how gentle he is! One of his tricks. Off with his crown! Strike. Bash in his skull. Face streams of blood. Tears? Perhaps. Too late! Off with his head! Pith the spine! Die now, O King!
Vision moves slowly across bedroom wall. Not horrible, not evil. Acceptance. Another one appears and another. Ugh! No, too much. Kill. Suddenly it was a birth, so frail, so beautiful; now, twitching in death agony. What have I done? But why play such a game on me? Why grow so threatening? It's your fault, your fault.
Noon. Traffic jam. At first I can't make out why. Then I see. A small dog is wandering in aimless circles across the road. It wanders closer to my car. I begin to realize that there is something terribly wrong about it.
Yes, back broken, and as it veers round, the left side of it's face comes into view-bashed in, bloody, formless mess, on which its eye lies some-how intact, looking at me, with no socket, just by itself, alone, detached. A crowd has gathered, laughing, jeering, at the ridiculous behaviour of this wounded creature. Motorists hoot their horns and shout at it to get out of the way. Shop girls have come out of their shops and laugh together.
Can I be that dog and those angry motorists and those laughing shop girls?
Is Christ forgiving me for crucifying Him?
Book-shop planet earth. Usual copy of The Horizon. The last one! "It's closing time now in the Gardens of the West. From now on a writer will be judged by the resonance's of his silence and the quality of his despair." All right-you did not have a circulation of more than eighty thousand. You ran out of money. But you bastard, speak for yourself. Write The Horizon off and you wish yourself off. Don't write me off. I'll be judged by my music not by my silence and by the quality of whatever pathetic shreds of faith, hope and charity still cling to me.
He was ten years of age and had hydrocephalus due to an inoperable tumour the size of a very small pea, just at the right place to stop his cerebrospinal fluid from getting out of his head, which is to say that he had water on the brain, that was bursting his head, so that the brain and his skull bones were becoming stretched out into a thin rim. He was in excruciating and unremitting pain. One of my jobs was to put a long sharp needle into this ever increasing fluid to let it out. I had to do this twice a day, and the so-clear fluid that was killing him would leap out at me from his massive ten-year-old-head, rising in a brief column to several feet, sometimos hitting my face.
Cases like this are usually less distressing than they might be because they are often heavily sedated, they partially lose their faculties, sometimes an operation helps. He had had several, but the new canal that was made didn't work.
The condition can sometimes be stabilized at the level of being a chronic vegetable for indefinite years-so that the person finally does not seem to suffer. (Do not despair, the soul dies long before the body.) But this little boy unmistakably endured agony. He would quietly cry in pain. If he would only have shrieked or complained. And he knew he was going to die.
He had started reading The Bible. The one thing he asked God for, he told me, was that he be allowed to finish His book before he died. He died before it was half-finished.
J.R. was a bloody pest at the mental hospital because he went around shouting back at his voices. We could only hear one end of the conversation, of course, but the other end could be inferred in general terms at least from: "Away to hell you evil minded bastards."
It was decided at one and the same time to alleviate his distress and ours, by giving him the benefit of modern medicine.
An improvement in his condition was noted. After the injections he no longer went around shouting abuse at his voices, but, "What's that? Say that again! Speak up ye buggers, I can't hear ye!"
We had been attending a childbirth and it dragged on and off for sixteen hours. Finally it started to come-grey, slimy, cold-out it came-a large human brain-an encephalic monster, no neck, no head, with eyes, nose, frog like mouth, long arms.
This creature was born at 12:59 a.m. on a stormy April morning.
Maybe it was still alive. We didn't want to know. We wrapped it in newspaper-and with this bundle under my arm to take back to the pathology lab, that seemed to cry out for all the answerable answers that I ever asked, I walked in the rain along dead end street two hours later.
I was thirsty. I went into a shop, put the bundle on the table.
Suddenly the desire, to unwrap it, hold it up for all to see, a ghastly Gorgon's head, to turn the world to stone. Two men sit facing each other and both of them are me. Quietly, meticulously, systematically, they are blowing out each other's brains, with pistols. They look perfectly intact. Inside devastation.
I look around a New Town. What a pity about those viscera and abortions littering the new clean gutters. This one looks like a heart. It is pulsating. It starts to move on four little legs. It is disgusting and grotesque. child-like abortion of raw red flesh, and yet alive. Stupid, flayed, abortive child still persisting in living. Yet all it asks after all is that I let it love me, and not even that.
Astonished heart, loving unloved heart, heart of a heartless world, crazy heart of a dying world.
Playing the game of reality with no real cards in one's hand. Body mangled, torn into shreds, ground down to powder, limbs aching, heart lost, bones pulverized, empty nausea in dust. Wanting to vomit up my lungs. Everywhere blood, tissues, muscles, bones, are wild frantic. Outwardly all is quite, calm, as ever. Sleep. Death. I look all right.
That wild silent shriek in the night. And what if I were to tear my hair and run naked and screaming through the suburban night. I would wake up a few tired people and get myself committed to a mental hospital.
To what purpose?
5:00 a.m. Death waits patiently outside my door.
Majestic forest, hot summer's day. Proud trees, well rooted in the earth, scraping heaven, tall powerful. A forest at its grandest. The woodcutters come. They saw and hack down the trees. Who can endure or escape the agony of those saws? The trees are felled-processed in sawmills, sawed down and down and down, finally to sawdust, finer and finer grained, less and less and less, dissolving into the stuff of all the world.
The Lotus opens. Movement from earth, through water, from fire to air. Out and in beyond life and death now, beyond inner and outer, sense and non-sense, meaning and futility, male and female, being and non-being, Light and darkness, void and full. Beyond all duality, or non-duality, beyond and beyond. Disincarnation. I breathe again.
The farther in, large or small, the more and less there is, more and more nothing, further into the atom, further out into space, nothing. The portal of the Last Judgment and the centre of an atom are identical. Jumping Jesus. Ecstasy. Cosmic froth and bubbles of perpetual movement of Creation Redemption Resurrection Judgment Last and First and Ultimate Beginning and End are One Mandala of Atom Flower of Christ. The eye of the needle is here and now. Two heartbeats enlace infinity. What we know is froth and bubbles.
Light. Light of the world, that irradiates me and shines through my eyes. Inner sun that emblazons me, brighter than ten thousand suns. Terror of being blinded, frizzle up, destroyed. Clutch at myself. Fall. Fall away from light to darkness, from the Kingdom into exile, from Eternity to time, from Heaven to earth. Away, away, away and out, down and out, through and past winds of other worlds, spiral energy dance-through and past galaxies of stars, colours, gems, through and past the beginnings of contentions. The fingers of the one hand begin to fight one another. Beginning of the gods- each level of being longing now for the lower-gods fighting and fucking themselves into incarnation. Demigods, heroes, mortal men. Carnage. Butchery of spirit in final horror of incarnation. Blood. Agony. Exhaustion of the spirit. Struggle between death and rebirth, enervation and regeneration. Cosmic vomit, sperm, smegma, diarrhoea, sweat-at all events, an insignificant particle on the way out.
The vision has ended, I am starting to dream again. Concussed.
Fragmented scraps of memory. Poor raw, smashed Egghead. A time haemorrhage in the body of Eternity. Beginning to think again-to grasp, to connect, to put together, to remember. Only to remember to remember, or at least remember you have forgotten.
Each forgetting a dismembering.
I must never forget again. All that searching and re-searching those false signposts, the terrible danger of forgetting that one has forgotten. It's too awful. Behind above beyond and in human-kind the war rages on, Man, Woman, me and you, we are not the only site of the battle, but we are one region of it. Mind and body are torn, ripped, shredded, ravaged, exhausted by these Powers and Principalities in their cosmic conflict that we cannot even identify.
We are shattered, tattered, demented remnants of a once glorious army. Among us are Princes and captains of Armies, Lords of Battles, amnesic, aphasic, ataxic, jerkily trying to recall what was the battle sounds of which still ring in our ears-is the battle still raging? If we could Orly make contact with Headquarters, only make our way back to join the main body of the Army.
A soldier on the Wall at the furthest reaches of the Empire-looking out towards the darkness and danger. The next nearest comrade is out of sight. I must not desert-I will be recalled to the Capital in good time. Gropings, orientations, crumbs, fragments, bits of the jigsaw, a few demented ravings that may help the reconstruction of the lost message. I am just beginning to regain my memory, just beginning to realize I am lost, just getting faint sounds of old familiar music's-snatches of old tunes, moments of d'eja' vu a reawakening of a long numbed agony an unendurable realization of what a disaster it was, what a shambles, what betrayal, horror, stupidity, ignorance, cowardice, craven lust, wretched greed. Faint recall of a raving nostalgia, for the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, Paradise Lost.
We tramps have so lost our wits we do not know what to steal, or even how to beg. We are bereft. Derelicts. Fishes, washed up and out in their death throes twitching, rubbing themselves together for their own slime. Don't be a shy fish. This is no time for dignity or heroics. Our best hope is in cowardice and treachery. Mid-ocean. Shipwreck. Survivors are being picked up. The crew is saved but not the Captain-Governor-The Boss. The rescue ship moves away from the scene. Empty, still, desolate ocean. Slow track over surface. Suddenly, like a bird, I swoop down. There is the Captain. Is he dead? A sodden doll just afloat and no more. If he is not already dead, it seems he will certainly drown soon. Suddenly he is washed up at a fishing village. The fishermen don 't know whether he is alive or dead, a captain or a doll or a queer fish. A doctor comes along, guts him open like a fish, or rips him open like a doll. There is a sodden, grey little man inside. Artificial respiration. He moves. He reddens with blood. Maybe he will make it. How careful I must be! What a near thing! If only this really is the King coming back again. The Captain come to take command. Now I can start up
again. Putting things in order. Repairs, reconstruction's, projects. Plans. Campaigns. O Yes.
There is another region of the soul called America.
It is impossible to express America. That last night was quite something a highly intelligent gathering so very white so very Jewish I began to realize I was sat beside a bust in something like terra cotta of perhaps a Buddha. It was calm and still saying nothing doing nothing I further began to realize that there was a light coming from the top of its head a sixty watt electric bulb indeed I kid you not it was a lamp stand. What the fuck are you doing with a Buddha as a lamp stand? That's not a Buddha that's some high goddess or other.
There presides over America a female effete laughing Buddha-fat beyond reason or imagination-creased with myriad folds and convolutions. The fat is on the turn. This she-Buddha is compounded of some cosmic muck, and that is now fibrillating with monstrous lustful desire, Millions of men fall on her to fuck away her unspeakable and insatiable obscene itch. They all get lost in the endless, greasy, fatty morass of her rancid recesses.
This writing is not exempt. It remains like all writing an absurd and revolting effort to make an impression on a world that will remain as unmoved as it is avid. If I could turn you on, if I could drive you out of your wretched minds, if I could tell you: I would.
Who is not engaged in trying to impress, to leave a mark, to engrave his or her image on the others and the world-graven images held more dear than life itself? We wish to die leaving our imprints burned into the hearts of the others. What would life be if there were no one to remember us, to think of us when we are absent, to keep us alive when we are dead? And when we are dead, suddenly or gradually, our presence, scattered in ten or ten thousand hearts, will fade and disappear. How many candles in how many hearts? Of such stuff is our hope and our despair.
How do you plug a void plugging a void? How to inject nothing into fuck all? How to come into a gone world? No piss, shit, smegma, come, mucoid, viscoid, soft or hard, or even tears of eyes, ears, arse, cunt, cock, nostrils, done to any T minus ten and counting, man, woman, animal, fish, son or daughter, will plug the hole. It's gone past all that, that, all that last desperate clutch. Come into gone. I assure you. The Dreadful has already happened.
The old style
All those endearing.
I want you to taste and smell me, want to be palpable, to get under your skin, to be an itch in your brain and in your guts that you can't scratch out and that you can't relieve, that will corrupt and destroy you and drive you mad. Who can write entirely unadulterated compassion? All prose, all poetry, to the extent that it is not compassion, Is failure. Watch it. Care. Calm. Caution. Don't try it on too much, don't exploit it. Just keep your place, just don't ask for trouble. Remember your hands have blood on them, just don't be too cheeky or too greedy. Don't puff yourself up too much. Remember your place in the hierarchy, don't try to come it, don't shout about. Don't posture, don't give yourself airs, don't think you're going to get away with it, you've had a bit of piss taken out of you, don't make excuses. Don't kick it around. Who are you trying to kid? A little humility, a fraction of love, a grain of trust, you've been told as much as you need to know, you've had quite your fare share, don't try the patience of the gods. Shut up and get on with it. Remember. There's not much time left. The flood and the fire are upon us.
Yes, there are moments
there is magic
Wince with a smile
Nothing so becomes us
That forlorn faiblesse
That gentle nostalgia
Ich grolle nicht
Tenderness too is possible
Suddenly I come upon one of my many childhood's
Preserved in forgetfulness
For this moment when it was most required
A sad little tune
Its fingers so tentatively reach out towards our untouchable happiness
Its very gentle smile so tactfully offers
Consolation we do not ask for.
SHE: My heart is full of sackcloth and ashes.
HE: Do not go to far away.
SHE: I shall only go into myself. You will always find me there.
HE: If I loved the whole world as I love you, I would die.
Forests and cataracts of intricate interstitial
Cascades and waterfalls through and past
elbows to promontories of fingers,
Stars of nerves, arteries of champagne,
Her image tingles my fingertips,
Uncoils my recoiling flesh,
Touches a lost nerve of courage,
Entices an uncertain gesture of delight
To adventure into being.
The dance begins. Worms underneath fingertips, lips beginning to pulse, heartache and throat-catch. All slightly out of step and out of key, each its own tempo and rhythm. Slowly, connections. Lip to lip, heart to heart, finding self in other, dreadfully, tentatively, burning.notes finding themselves in chords, chords in sequence, cacophony turning to polyphonous contrapuntal chorus, a diapason of celebration.
Dancing waves of fluent highs and lows of lips and nipples, fingers, spines, thighs, laughing, intertwining, intermingling, fusing, and somewhere touched, an ultimate joy and gladness, lovely light-full life diffusing an ever newer fiercer freshness. Yes this is possible, where from or where to no more need to ask, him or her, you and me, become us-more than a moment of us and a not too despairing decline. What more is there to ask? Tidal wave one million miles high moving at the speed of light. Impossible to go above or beneath, to run away, to get round to left or right. The Government fires the land with massive flame throwers, earth to desert, to absorb the water. Fire against Water. Don't panic. Tessellated marble at gate of Sixth Heaven may be mistaken for water. Garden. Cat at bird. Shoo off nasty cat, and catch bird. How elusive she is, and I am turning into a cat myself. Stop. Cat is a cat is a bird is a non-bird of ineffably frail space suddenly spreading in parabolic grace of authority. How foolish to worry, to try to save her, or grasp her. Perhaps the cat was trying to save her. Let it be. Cat and bird. The truth I am trying to grasp is the grasp that is trying to grasp it.
I have seen the Bird of Paradise, she has spread herself before me, and I shall never be the same again. There is nothing to be afraid of. Nothing.
The Life I am trying to grasp is the me that is trying to grasp it. There is really nothing more to say when we come back to that beginning of all beginnings that is nothing at all. Only when you begin to lose that Alpha and Omega do you want to start to talk and to write, and then there is no end to it, words, words, words. At best and most they are perhaps in memoriam, evocations, conjuration's, incantations, emanations, shimmering, iridescent flares in the sky of darkness, a just still feasible tact, indiscretions, perhaps forgivable. City lights at night, from the air, receding, like these words, atoms each containing its own world and every other world. Each a fuse to set you off.
If I could turn you on,
if I could drive you out of your wretched minds,
if I could tell you: