The Agonist Journal

1. A New Historicism.

Ennui is cruelest. Or is it Solipsism? Tired of exhaustion,
                                                                               Of exhausting images,
Tired of Tireseus, who is tired of him, O for a Muse of fire…
J. ventured an escape from personality.
To find self? Admitting to the futility of vanity:
Is the journey towards the tip end of beginnings
The edge of origins?
Rose enfolded on a rosebud,
Sled of child play—
The child’s play building blocks fragmenting
                                                     Corroded by winds of Time,
Past and lost. What did he lose, back then, but nearly
Everything, in that long-ago beam of light glittering
On the mythic waves?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream? The visionary?
The child is the father of the man and woman. In mythic Eden
                                                       Where we lay our scene.
The child reaching for the apple tree in the sunshine,
                                          Sunlight beyond pain and exhaustion.
Of untrammelled glory in the apple-bud, once tempted, bitten
                                                       When just shy of paradise,
In a backyard garden. Plastic swimming pool of undulating light.
Viewed by green plaster gnomes, permanently smiling,
Of fairies fluttering through trees, lemons made of sun.
Bitter the outside world, not yet tasted, maggoty apples of a market-
Place not yet seen—only you were thronged by the sexless nymphs
Who had not yet departed, sunlight on an unbroken statue.
The connecting verities of integrated fragments,
Snatches of perspectives of holiness, making nearly whole
                             The inevitable fragmentations.
A jigsaw puzzle of pure perception,
                                                      The quivering pulse in both pupils,
Under fluttering eyelids, uneducated, unschooled in the straight-laced desire—
                                          the splinters of pained thoughts, thorns of instinct.
A garden nearly beyond everything, deeply felt, dimly remembered.
Remembering: the slow start of a slower disintegration…
No ticket to ride a wasteland,
Nor lodge in Kafka’s castle
—down the drawbridge, escape

Memory, the reminder of what is to be regained. Before
                           the rose-garden grew to meet the world.
Desire and anxiety. More anxiety and want. Appleworm becomes serpent
                                                                                    In the growing grass.
J. pleads at age 15:
                           “Lord, let me not become Prufrock nor Rambo, neither a bimbo
                                                                                    Nor a robotic talking head
                                                                                    Or a Terminator,

Nor entertain lines, thoughts that weigh in heavily: But
Meld together Nietzsche and Christ, in a soaring winged dovetail, of a piece.
Let my growing six-pack not be damned beer
                                                                                    But water and vinegar
                                                                                    Open to the spear.”
Wounds pre-condition, preceding resurrection. Prove Sam Beckett wrong.
At age 20 he had the world both at his feet and their soles under his feet.
The world was his oyster without the pearl of great price.
                                                                                    Suddenly, Darkness was visible.
The bones of a greater part of 100 years rattled inside his skull.
He slowly became the century’s memory, a template without a temple,
A voiceover outcast, overhearing himself, self-talking in exile.
J. was made in the image of the 20th Century spilling over into the next.
He had become an eye tacked to his “I,” inner and outer, indistinguishable.
His solipsistic sockets searching for his “I” that is stretched celluloid
                                                                                  Across the years,
Beyond his tender age. He has lowercased his “I” and crossed it.
To prove Sam Beckett wrong, misguided. No new Tireseus.
                          No ticket to ride a wasteland
                          Nor lodge in Kafka’s castle
                             —down, down the drawbridge, escape into the high noon.
The fare is pain to the fair—
At 21 he turned 60. Grey in thought, rosy-cheeked.
In his prime and already half-supped,
Full with bottomless horrors in his empty stomach, churning

“All in the diffidence that faltered.”
“I cannot see what flowers are at my feet”
Nor in embalmed darkness taste

Anxiety. Chewing the celluloid of millions
Of broken unchosen images stomached with little choice
Stuffed into his sockets.
Where are the irises growing out of Van Gogh?
His Sunflowers maddened with the sun? The primal lens hues.
Brushing childhood and that sled on glistening snow…Rosebud.
J’s “I,” irises fed, assaulted by the billboard’s menu: nailed
To stumps along a desert highway 61 revisited:
                          Fisherking Restaurant:
                          Cod is cancelled,
                          No longer served, cooked or hooked.
She is looking for her first eyes and sockets are becoming holes.
With a single, simple teardrop of blood. He needs healing and fitting in. Somehow.
Somewhere. In a galaxy of black holes will his bloodshot “I” plug
Into just one? To “I” infinity, briefly countenance the lost God?

But he wears a glass “I,” the eye of the storm, reflecting.
A retina, splintered, broken glass dispersed in myriad directions.
In a Dis-diaspora of painful images, his home and homelessness.
Although anti-matter, the black holes of his sockets keep sucking
                                                                                  In matter.
“Pettiness which plays so rough, his eyes collide.” It matters gravely.
J. needs to plug in with vision, whole, healed un-mattered eyes.
Clear the dark he blindingly perceives, becomes Tireseus.
Eyeless in the Gaza Strip, the old prophet of Endgame (to prove
S. Beckett wrong) has wandered one hundred years alone, over
Sands of solitude, baring his sole over broken fossils.
                                                                                  Going back to the primeval…
Without evil.