No One Watches the Train Fall from the Broken Bridge

 

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His problem has nothing to do with the train which travels steadily through the night. Everyone is content, if not happy, on the train, reading opinions they already agree with, drinking champagne, eating delicacies imported from foreign countries. They pretend they do not like the food, but wish they could eat as well at home.  All of the people on the train are facing the same direction, which gives them all a strange comfort.  A few of them look out the windows, but it is too dark to see the trees in the forest. It all follows along so logically, like a math problem in high school where rats scuttle east over well-polished wing-tips at a variable rate of three feet per second. They stop randomly to nibble on discarded bread crumbs dropped with nonchalance by the passengers on the train. Meanwhile the train travels south at a consistent seventy-three miles per hour directly toward the crumbled bridge which once traversed a chasm one thousand feet deep and a mile wide. There is no question at the end that one must answer. However, there is an answer; there is always an answer. No one watches the train fall from the broken bridge. No one hears the explosions as it crashes into the rocks below, or the last cries for help of those who are momentarily still alive.  On a trail nearby the train tracks, a monk moves through the dark as if he has been here before, thinking vaguely of other things. He pauses, peers into the dark, then wanders off along his way. The monk’s tangentially wandering mind is not enough to mark the train’s passing beyond the silence which lingers in the mountains for several hours after the sun has risen again.

 

(July 6, 2018)

Pass Sentence

I’ve been told to write a sentence. Not a sentence which tells, but shows what you intend to tell. I am a hapless sinner, I confess: I do declare, within my declamations, sentences, which tell in their telling. After all, sentences tell things as I’ve been told, but these sentences I’ve been told to write must be good sentences, alter boys strung along the edges of high mass like rosary beads, the words curling toward heaven’s judgment with burnt incense and candle light.  I’ve been told to write this way— this way is to write into salvation. There is no other, except the other. No statements, for that would be to tell and one must not tell, like now; for that would be to expose oneself in too prurient a fashion.  Statements create expectations too blatant and crude for seduction. Instead epiphany’s show’s burlesque, a hint and tease toward desire, to come on one’s own, as it were, to grace. To have no idea is best. Causality is acceptance and love, an open marble hand held out simply, pointing coyly to the side away from its intention. This way is the way, a direction embedded in the sign cut into stone on the side of a road, but never the road. It points. It shows. It tells. We know.  Follow here this line of thought, this sentence, through the maze. Follow this thread to escape the meaning, which lurks, still not slain, at the center of the poem. Trace with your hand the image inlayed like marble decorating the side of this tomb, until there is no difference between the telling and the told, the image and the word, and the dark glottal bark we use to point at the world before we can pass sentence on our crimes.

(July 24, 2106)