Nekuia: The Novel

That first-page feeling. Imbricated in an uncreated network. A context for loving life. The "I" appears like an effect of a record's rotation, silver spindle surrounded by gently bruised silence. Static. It's analog, this notion of a surface compatible with infinite depth. Pearls, nutshells, the needle. You bury the changes or hide them in a landscape. Pretending not to breathe. I was looking for an appropriate unit of syntax: the root of appropriate is property, also to propitiate gods. What's the smallest pinhead and the maximum number of angels? If it keeps turning a character might happen. Not only a voice. Stimmung between the lines. Prose makes for between like vinyl: another obsolete technology of the word. Tiny notebooks. "You must restart your system to complete installation of updates." Which come from nowhere, like all data that's appropriated, from the cloud. Human hand, mine or anybody's, holding out a key, a tiny glass heart, or simply pointing to X. This is not productive but it stokes the means of production. Do women also call it jerking off? Reminds me of the context, which means something like to weave with. Warp and woof. The seamy side that shows you how it's done. The man who'd accept a coin in his cup and crinkle his eyes to assure me that whatever has happened to him is not my fault. He has a white beard and a yellow mustache. To. The needle rides the grooves like a little transcendence, I mean a really little one, it doesn't bother anybody. We can go on acting like wised-up materialists. Grain of the voice. The undescribed and now belated feeling of paper sliding underneath the skin of the bent fourth and fifth fingers of my writing hand. Whereas lefties, like elephants, never forget. I'm not trying to escape determination, not really. When this ends it will simply stop and you can assume a complete stop. Not a paratactic gesture toward the numinous, or a thumb jerked at capital's curtain, exerting its weak force on molecules like a supermoon touching the sea. We're done challenging texts to pistol-duels at dawn. We go to bed early and get up the same. I'm driving this car as far as it will go. After that I'll bicycle, after that I'll walk. There is no public transportation. It's good to be home. I am just a sentence in this badly translated prophecy. I am just a needle dragged raggedly off the turntable. I need to believe in a world that believes in me. I like it, like liking. There is a glacier somewhere acting exactly like the sky. Wind. High blue pressure of the thinkable. Best felt by spread fingers, by long hair, closed eyes.

I seek from reading and writing two complementary yet contrary things: the sense of a world in which my personhood (as hero, citizen, even as victim) becomes possible. And to surrender the self in intellectual or spiritual communion with another, him or herself a world in and through which connections come to light, myself only a node or synaptic gap across which these connections must leap.

This is a ghost story. Story of a ghost, of course, but also the story itself is ghostlike, doubtful yet insistent, recurring without coherence, insisting on a moment of recognition that can never arrive while you yourself are living. He held back his mother with the naked blade until the prophet could drink his fill. A story told and retold becomes myth and myth is nothing but a texture, a backdrop to life as it is lived, every day, with a sense of something behind the ordinary. Working walking talking sleeping. Of course, backgrounds are fatal to their foregrounds. When myth becomes the story, when it overtakes the everyday, both stories vanish. We are in the gray light that succeeds narrative and the word afterbirth is horribly appropriate. Bury the thing that feasted this life, for myth is deoxygenated blood. Dark and darker on the snow, in it. She is stargazing blind, hands outstretched, masked in bandages: her hands, I mean. Mummy in the snow, white on white.

The record, that lustrous boundary of a room's tone. Songs are not data. Inscribe that space with listening's effort. A man asleep on the sofa with an open book on his chest. Sun on the window, rain. Snow muffles the unheard. Only lifting the needle can wake him. The book slides to the floor: an event, almost. Begin playing it again--the outermost track of anticipation. Lossless. The audiophiles call it warmth, dimensionality. A lunar feeling. Placed in orbit, we infer a center. But we don't need a center. We have the song.

I disappear into the telling. Or I strike a stone and new voices appear, voices with one haunted face, telling stories that culminate in the only invisibility that matters. Catch it by the tail, that old story, before it freezes. Unwrap her gently, with reverence. Of course there's nothing there, there never was, except before the time of telling, of narrative, just the glide of an empty hand over paper. I am a baby in my bath, and she is near me. I am a grown man and she is gone. That is not a story, but this is: One morning, I awoke and felt a presence. A made thing. I spoke to, wrote toward, that presence, until it disappeared forever.