Thursday, 11 March 2010

I Listen in Fragments (The Overture and conclusion)




The following is an experimental - written in fragments - and unedited short story, one that the Lord of Prince Edward Island nee Hampshire hasn't, for once, cast his eagle eye over....

I listen in fragments. Multiplication of fractions echo still born but free of any false modesty or illicit cindering. She said ‘do it again, do it again.’ I don’t but rather light another cigarette for which to fill the room with secret desires. Not her moist moments, let me be done with those but rather her fantasies set in crystal and porcelain that hang from her cabinets like trophies. She is without sanity and isn’t quite right at all. I sometimes wonder where her horizons lie. Basement deep. Covered with...cobwebs. Grime under her footnote. Is she really that helpless?
     I drag down a lungful of smoke imbibing my head with nicotine till my eyes string tears in mock sadness. The moon grins a red face through the slits of her window blinds. A blood soaked apology to the stars. Vinegar leeches the ebony to stray greys but nothing makes much sense anyway. Not this room, not this bed, not this woman. I rise as steam, damp and cloying, and make my way to the door which I break open then flee the apartment. Cool winds sent from northern spheres dry my sweat leaving saline marks on my black T-shirt. A marbled network of tramlines. New York Metro a go go. The Whiskey. Television. Tom Verlaine. Guitar chords weep songs of jade that confuse my memory. Was it seventy seven? What came first the chicken or the big Mac?
     My Doc Martens lick the sidewalk leaving soon forgotten sole prints on the rain slick concrete. A sigh of traffic whispers past. Red lights hold up silent hands. I walk when it says to. I walk when it doesn’t. A rage of horns play a feudal symphony that bite Moondog’s ass. A vial of vile tastes that petrol perfume my mouth. I hear some where distant a siren as it scratches a stark nail across the city blackboard leaving the hairs on my neck erect like horny bed lice cocks. The buildings are phallic. Penis’s rise as the insects of helicopters rotate the airstreams with their choc choc choc. Cameras aimed. Prison eye close-ups. We soiled our integrity when we sold our liberty.
     I never loved her. I just used her lusts for my own ends. She never loved me. I just supplied her with the where withal to make the days pass with less sunlight and pain. Our moments together were just fragments. Multiplication of fractions. An equal sign on a flickering screen. Credit card numb. Cash friendly, cunt come, cocaine driven dumb. Her syringes decorated her window ledge, her needles tattooed her arm and crutch. She blew me when she could find the way. Her idiot son lay foetal curled in a bed of vomit where the bottles empty flung spun blind, morbid, sentinel careless and strewn like flotsam floating behind a dead frigate. A dead, cod eyed cut up boy. Razor blade blue. Ridges of blood scored across a lily white throat that split open with a dead dog yawn. His feet faced the wrong way. His jaw, open, slack, dribbled the sick of days collecting into minor pools by his chin. Sordid sheets with dark stains. Dried corruptions of body enactments.

     I remember the days in the old schoolyard when Iris Eisner first kissed me. It was behind the bike sheds. Her mouth an open invitation. We locked onto each other. All tongues twisting red snake like down the backs of our throats. We were only children driven by desire. Another car whistles past me its horn flaring an angry note as I stumble from sidewalk to kerbside. A drunken sailor walking. The siren moves closer like a rabid stalker chasing its favoured whore. I light another cigarette. The nicotine taste is burning cord. My larynx suffers as the smoke rakes its way down my neck. I wipe my hands down the front of my pants and see the streaks of blood that have gathered there. A collective noun for blood should be, could be, might be a mosaic. That sounds good: a mosaic. I like that. I mentally pat myself on the back but growl down my cigarette smoke with industrial conviction.

     I am Tarant Raznor. I am steel and glass and pumping boiler rooms full of pistons pounding a perfunctory beat. I rattle my rhythms in metallic staccatos. Brazen as brass. Bold as sunlight. But the midnight of my day crowds in. Lock jaw lamplight. Loose and unfettered. I grain across the concrete with sand paper intensity. There are several million people here in New York City. Each one as different from me as I am from them. A symbiotic collective that feels good in groups but is really a broken contagion. One that is spreading to far and too fast. One of these days nature will cull us all and we will bleed as we fall from grace. As\we all fall from the elevated skyscraper we built for ourselves. I cannot abide these thoughts that shake into my head without a by or leave. Stray thoughts, rogue and uncalled for. I hate them but cannot stop thinking them. They haunt my days and only her warm saliva can compensate for the bile that burns my brain.

     But she is no longer warm. She is chilling flesh on cold tiled floors. Bits of her thrown piece meal about the room. A finger here, an eyebrow there. I think I left her feet in the fridge or was it her head. I don’t know, I cannot remember. Memory fails with the neon. I still hear the helicopters. I still see their searchlights skimming rooftops and alleyways. I shadow into them now trying to locate a single piece of shade to slide into. I make my self fade but the spotlights grow sodium bright. The choc choc choc gets heavy. A wind filled with techno beats. A night filled with squawks and grunts as tyres settle down black marks in their determination to seek me out. I listen to them now. I listen in fragments. Multiplication of fractions echo still born with the drear tight fist of the closing night.

     A dark that burns so bright that my future fails. The sirens gather in packs. Wolves with fangs bared. Rigid iron teeth that snarl and froth. A rabid hunger that devours as a flash burn, bang, bursts the noise with a climatic silence that breaks into my ribcage shattering the flesh and bone that sits waiting for it. Everything fails to slow motion. A man calls out but his voice is dragged across the charnel streets with an echoing boom that roars as thunder but makes no sense. The sky rotates. Buildings flop against each other. My hand flies up to ward off the stinging insects that bite my chest, my lungs, my legs, my face. I see a woman look my way and point. My other hand leaves me to fend off the approaching floor. A puddle of blood greets me with a sepulchral silence as the sidewalk cracks a welcome to the bones of the already dead.


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all words and art are copyright © of C.J. Duffy.


4 comments:

Perfect Virgo said...

This is a startling piece CJ, the best I've read anywhere in a long time... This is Dorset Street and the attrocity of Miller's Court transplanted to NYC. Even our protagonist's initials, TR remind me of JTR.

An act of such butchery can only come from a hideously troubled mind, a mind which you give amazing insight into, revealing his sick and crippled thought processes in stark clarity.

I am reminded of William Gibson's Neuromancer but really that's an affront, the style is pure CJ. Superb stuff!

PS: Edit-free is sometimes good!

C.J. Duffy said...

PV>>>Such praise, thanks. It is far more 'me' than much of what i am currently writing but I find it hard to sustain.

Perhaps old Ruksak would like this as it is a little like his work if a little less cuss friendly!

Shadow Lor said...

I kept hearing a solo sax playing in the background. Seemed appropriate.

I have to agree: she should have died.

Beautiful piece.

C.J. Duffy said...

Shad>>>Thanks. Good to see you again.