Sunday, October 14, 2007

the unwritten letters of charles darwin

("please: read only at your leisure, if you please." Charles Darwin)

chapter one

there is writing on a wall,
and there is a certain non verbal language,
attending to a certain nuance,
giving a particular meaning,
and allowing a comprehension,
to and of an immaculate truth;
as the late leaves fall,
and express toward an imprint in a clay,
in the wind which breaks toward its fall
(though the imprint is unnoticed).
as the quick golden sun, progresses
to an olympic peak, we are invoked by these and other
portentous things.

remember last year when the writing was on a wall.
i remember the hope,
though, like the crescent sound of the airplanes,
flying like october baseballs overhead,
i have been stunned, been whirl-winded,
been enveloped
and have forgotten though,
as those anteloped
on a certain rock, calling sure
what the point was called for.
"i would forget again if i had to,"
i said as though i were myself:
"it is difficult, like evolution."

there is a cactus in the desert.
and like the husk on a cob of corn,
there is a scar on my skin.
as the rough and tumble world
breaks through the crust and shell,
i hang in the balance, weathered and forlorn.
i am not sorry that i myself feel this way.
i am sorry that i had to put things this way
to bring you up to speed; as though the waves on the shore
of the olympics had not spread their wings,
but were hung.
like drapes from the curtain rod, which passed for the wind
i held on in a most curious state.

i woke up later walking.
there was a stiff surreality to the scene before me.
i walked stiffly as a reaction.


the silhouette of the skyline, was dark grey.
and there was a mood in the air,
there was noise, but it was quiet.
einstein said, "the whole universe is but a thought."
and i thought, but did not respond.
we walked for a while as though he or i were laying on a couch.
the sun set and we walked.
the dirt beneath our feet,
the grass and dirt,
shone a sheen,
described the setting as we walked.
enstein pondered and did not speak.
i thought about the big bang.

there, beneath the horizon,
i watched the setting sun rise.
i could hear the sound of our footfalls,
and then i knew about the big bang.
einstein presently spoke,
"i was speaking with my friend, mr. nietzsche,
we were discussing the big bang,
and he said, "imagine the moment zero.""
einstein stopped walking,
turned to me and i fell into a trance.

the blackness and darkness crept in,
there was no silhouette in the sky.
like a tarantula on a photograph of the universe,
al and i walked as though we were in a trance.
i felt enormously unsettled,
like the moment before the big bang.
in that moment the world broke through,
the frosted ground in winter was a sign.
we walked on the dirt road,
we knew there were ten miles of "canopy of birch"
lining this road on earth.

the hope we walked toward
was like carrot tomato soup and toast,
after a long journey.
maybe a good pint of your famous lager.
i remember when you used to walk with us
when we walked in the dark on the dirt road lined with kentucky blue grass.
the tire marks from the pickups
were illusions and transformations when we walked.
"remember the orange rose?" einstein spoke.
"i do remember that there is an orange rose," you said.
i sensed an impasse, and said,
"i think i can posit the need not for god."
you both turned and looked at me.
you did not walk with us again,
yet you are walking with us now in your dream.

a dream is a place. in the universe
there are places deep within a dreamer,
where the universe plays out
possibilities which could not become actual,
possibilities which could only remain possible;
the universe needed this place in order to be.


when we reached the orange rose,
as we walked upon our path,
the silent smell prompted the sounds of our footfalls to cease.
oh, the reverie.
it was as though a cowboy had rolled
the first perfectly hand rolled cigarette.
we sat on the bench beside the orange flower
and rolled cigarettes; smoked them.
"charles," einstein spoke,
"light is energy, and thought is energy; energy is mass, and mass is in a couple of hours."
"the number two," i evoked, "is a brilliant notion."
like the ocean and its sound,
the two knew that it was true. (like the color blue)

"i think the breakthrough is in the thought,"
you say, as though we were there in your dream,
"the deepest and most unreachable place you know is,
that you know of this most deep and unreachable place."
"do be careful when you speak of places so deep,
that they reach an unreachable state,"
einstein breaks in to lighten the mood, like
the opposite of a bolt of lightning.
if i were speaking about it as though it hadn't happened yet,
i would have noted the brilliance of your jocularity,
when you said, "unreachable is beyond reach, is like saying,
there is a certain cow in a certain meyer."
a dark plume of smoke became then,
the pluribus unum of our dream.
and the orange flower spoke with reluctance,
"there is an history of evidence."

beneath the overtones of scent,
cast off by the october rose,
the three of us found ourselves walking,
again upon the footpath.
"you said," i said, "that nietzshce spoke of the moment zero, mr einstein.
evolution of species, and back to the moment of just after the moment zero,
there was zero, then there was zero point one. before there was zero point one,
there was zero and then,
there was zero point one, or
zero point zero, zero, zero, (ad infinitum), one.
there was zero, then, not the originally complete zero.
which equals two states the zero was in."
"light on the other hand," moves at a certain fixed number of distances per second." enstein smirked,
"remember the pendulum," i said,
"there is a place for zeros in our universe," you cordially reminded us.
i invoked the first article of faith. then elaborated on the distinctions of quanta.
like a branch upon a fire, the fifth desert wheel of our desiring,
preyed upon our digital mind scape,
we walked on as though we had had enough to think about.
we heralded this event, once.


in the combination light of winter morning,
the stiff smell of coffee presented itself in the context
of desert effervescences.
wholly uncertain of their landing, the three had context to begin again.
the circle of time,
like an asymptote upon a graph,
approached infinity and the three
immortalized the taste of coffee on their lips.

a stark uncertain new mexican sky,
and the smell of the chaparral;
a certain few remaining butterflies, and a flock of geese.
a halloween.
all souls eve.
the hunter becomes hunted.
"i hunt there,
for, i am hungry and there is food there"
enstien says in a remote state.
the state of kentucky is renown for its blue grass,
like its whisky and rye, its blue grass is sly.
the mountain goat on the swiss mountain rock,
sometimes dreams of listless days of frolicsome realities
skipping through a days worth of kentucky blue grass;
like whippoorwill,
or a thin mountain crane on the horizon.
i had to say something,
"which takes more energy?" i said,
"to go from zero to one,
or from one to two?"
the clocked ticked,
and the firelight from the place in this library,
lit up the library we three found ourselves in;
as those literacists say, presently,
we laughed.

sipping on a cognac as though it were evening,
and as time had passed, you said,
"there is a graph where an asymptote begins from infinity,
and forever approaches the smallest approximation of something."
the firelight and the shadow
spoke then upon al's face,
like a certain orange flower quivering in the wind.
"i know what it is you are saying"
you said after that long moment when there was no sound.
we all had transcended back to a start in that moment,
and were left facing the wrong way on our walk upon the path.
we knew this to be true immediately,
and turned around and walked the other way in what was then and had been all night,
an absence of moonlight.
like a ship with the ocean on her belly,
we circumscribed our perfect understanding,
found ourselves choked up,
became children, and sages at once;
saw the faintest whisper that there was night sky.
einstein happened to find himself singing, "micheal row your boat ashore, hallelujah,.....""

we each knew we were not at an impasse.
and knew there were four or us speaking.


a certain microphone,
with its capabilities and its ability to contort,
was given to the creator.
and with this creator's abilities,
this creator was given a certain microphone;
that is to say,
a really small phone,
that is to say,
the remote ability to transfer a certain truth:
like the underwriter,
and that noble soul who would stand under it,
the universe is a multiverse and is as such,
as though it were as much as said such.

the absence of fog undertook us on our night path,
and we found ourselves
walking still in the blackness,
like shadows falling in love with the law of gravity.
sir isaac knew the importance of nostalgia

resonant footfalls in the key of e
and pardoned thoughts and a canopy of birch
and we walked on in the whippoorwill's echo.
it had a starkness to its sound and created for us a resonance,
as we walked,
at peace,
and troubled,
all at once saying goodnight to irene.
"there are perfect things," i said.
"there are perfect things," you said.
"i am in love with the speed of light," enstein said.
(the narrator): as their footfalls echoed
in simultaneous resonance,
the three had not realized their feet were not walking on kentucky blue grass nor earthly soil,
they like the infinite ability for light,
to travel however far it must,
to record,
like a microphone plugged into a recorder,
whatever happened there.

c 2007 rrzollinger


Shari Zollinger said...

The slow pulse of reading and comprehending, reading and comprehending, your words. I have skimmed once, the landscape of the thing. Will read twice or three times, the meaning. And then, maybe a reaction--or not. I am impressed by such fecundity. I am challenged by your wellspring. I think we need to think seriously about compilation someday.

Mental Produce said...

I'm not sure what to say about this piece RR, other than I'm sorry that it didn't first appear in Harpers or some other appropriate venue...

Alas, our humble blog is daily growing a bit more proud of itself.

I too am reading it again, and again, as I do with your prose. Perhaps you might enlighten us with your inspiration.


Mark said...

Fantastic Rod. I loved it, truely. It was Dylanesque for me, and had a dream like state. It also evoked for me the feeling I get when I am in the wilderness and am touched by the beauty of it all.

rr said...

i would offer a few clues to the intent here. I have the hope to write a new kind of fiction, weaving into the prose a steady transition between first second and third person.

i also envision charles darwin having a sequence of trans-reality states, into the current moment of our time, as though he were dreaming of an encounter with the twenty first century; coming here always with the accumulated knowledge which would come after having lived for a century and a half.... maybe? He also, somehow has the power to bring people with him from the past or from the future, along on his journey.

i can see a few more chapters coming,... any thoughts?
i know, i know, it has to build up to something, and be cohesive....
...wrap around itself and squeeze a purpose, a plot out of itself...

by the way, thanks, all for appreciating the piece, i'm still working on what i really think about it...