Why does the phoenix want to garb me in fire? Another pile of ash on my pillow. Phoenix fiery billet-doux. “Things unintelligible, yet understood.”
do you know what but not how?
you will lose the path
in the fog of your emotions.
do not regret the past.
you are the mud in which a stone is sunk.
clear your mind.
pick up the stone.
wetness skeins it like marble, smooth sculpted on
where did you find this artifact?
what you call your life
is how you avoid living.
living–the outrageous adoration, absurd affirmation
of is’ness amidst all-vanish-es.
throw the stone of your heart
into the fire.
it might be an egg or a seed
that must be scorched
before it will hatch.
A new letter from Henriette!
(Read her previous letter and my reply in bones, candy wrappers, a winnowing basket.)
Henriette libre! Chávez became a bird, and I emulated him, slipping through the bars of my cage. For his corpse my guards were sent to herd the queues of mourners clogging the streets. I got my coat and walked right out, stood beneath the red portico of my prison de bellas artes. Nearby, a confused man (at the wrong museum). I smothered him with my coat, and stole his clothing. Left him naked, recumbent as an odalisque upon the threshold of the museum.
I wish I could have stayed to watch him come-to, humiliated and exposed.
Do you still measure time with grains of sand? Caracas is no desert. I will learn to blow rings from a pipe. Ceci n’est pas une pipe. It is my life, lovely halos of smoke, disintegrating.
You ask if I ever learned how to love? I try to love myself.
Here’s a photo of my new self. I mean, my disguise.
On the lam,
Henriette was always the wilder of us two. Some cruel justice in her…smothering a man with her coat! But she escaped she escaped!
What kind of bird is Chávez? Maybe we have mutual friends. We could convince him to give you a visa and you could visit us here in the obelisk? I’m not sure how you’d get up but maybe you can rig something with smoke rings and your coat? I have bones here–I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, and kept the bones because I didn’t want to upset black swan by throwing them into the marsh. They’re in my sugar bowl. You can have them if you want.
I put your picture in my scrapbook with a collage that is not a pipe.
If you are seen, I hope you will be appreciated.
Your (treacherous-less) friend,