From the Diaries of HQ: Cardhouse and the Cage (i)

September, the distant future, the year 2000*

2000+. I want to take up journaling again, but I fear I’ve lost the knack.

It’s funny. Time was when I could not write about anything so easily as myself.

*Flight of the Concords, ‘The Humans are Dead.’

September more, 2000+

I would like to revise my assessment of ‘easily’.

It’s true that what I wrote was a lot, but I wrote it so forcedly, so compulsively, and with so little regard for how wrong it felt coming out, that I may as well not have written it at all. (Did it feel wrong? I hope so—It’s certainly painful enough to read.) The very avidity of my efforts proved their own sabotage.

Looking over these entries now, I note with astonishment that they are all dated. Honestly dated. Sometimes, I even went so far as to attempt a real chronicle of events. These, of course, are by far the most awkward entries: it is one thing to record impressions, but I wrote as one fleeing death.

Did you note my pun, Diary? I’m not sorry.

still September, 2000+

I think the trick of journaling, for me, is not to write about myself. I mean, I’m going to write about myself no matter what, but there’s no need to hedge me in. Especially not into ‘events’ in my ‘life’. Not that it’s a bad life, as they go, but I fear that the direct chronicling events is a slippery slope that leads towards Exactly What I Hate and Detest Most In The World.*

That, or more bad writing. Or both.

God save us from bad writing. God save us from dreary autobiography—from writing what we know, from writing what we don’t, and from writing what we don’t yet know we don’t.**

(God save us from writing. God save us from our stupid, stupid words and our miserable souls. Amen.)

*Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1902. `You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavor of mortality in lies, which is exactly what I hate and detest most in the world—what I want to forget.’ Clearly, a narrator we can trust.
**Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, ‘One Year Later,’ Welcome to Night Vale, Audio podcast (Commonplace Books: 15 Jun 2013)

October, 2000+

October is important, Diary, and we should remember it.

Months in general are important. That’s why I note them: they’re wonderfully suggestive, without being precise enough to risk a bold-faced truth. I am neither lying about my location, nor reducing myself to it. I’m just . . . hinting. At what it might be like, when I am.

And before you get on at me about the year, I think it also very important to remember that it’s not the 90s anymore. Heaven forbid I should be mistake for someone writing in the twentieth century. ew.


Threshold: Time

All the world shall pass,
but your word

I. Time

Disproportionate to your desire, Time
merely closes all its ends.

A well extends into a flurry of whispers.

You say, No:
For them, there is another world.

A chime sounds in the distance,
and all memory is contained in it.

`Quick Quick!’ yell the children,
`Before the window and the gate —‘
The branches have shivered and the garden
has smiled: `I do believe in fairies, I do, I do!’

A wren shall sound the knell
All memory contained within;
A second chime to end the spell
Erases what has been.

You close your eyes and reach into the wind.
Your hand joins upon a single element:
All else is a fury and a madness . . .

Note: This piece functions both a poem alone (one which I hope will someday be part of a longer poem) and a part of my fictional universe. As such, I thought it would make a fitting inaugural post.
Characters: Creare, HQ
References: T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets; J.P. Sartre, La Nausée; J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan.*
*Why the hackneyed giants, you may ask? I myself might ask. Stay tuned for a future post examining why, considering all I stand for, I continue to tie myself in this way to certain overrated patriarchs of the Western Canon. In the mean time, rest assured that I most certainly do not do it for the same reasons as Mr. T. S. Shut-Up-And-Write-Poetry Eliot. (gods, what a nightmare. amiright?)