Infinity + Muse= Human

Infinite: unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless.
Muse: think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
2.Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly. meditate on.
4. to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.
5. the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Distribution: Null

“Dean!....Was it—“ “Dean Phillips!!”

“I don’t know Al!”

The TV is blaring: ...’and today’s poll is... Who was the coach of the Phildelphia...’

“Dick! I knew it was Dick Phillips! It must be... It has to be!—Or was it Steve?”

“Oh Whatever! Al! Listen, don’t forget to take the garbage out, tomorrow is garbage day”

‘and the answer is: Charles Dunham!’

“I knew that! I knew it was Dunham!

“Al, did you hear me?” she asks again...and again before taking the dog for a walk.

“Hey Ally” he calls to me “Hey Ally! Charles Dunham, Ally! I knew it!” Surely pumping his fist in lieu of his uncontested victory.

I slam my door. Placing a rather hollow rectangle of wood between my small holding and the cacophonous blasting of nonsensical noise that poured forth from our living room so often.

Every day the blasting goes...and the door is never quite up to task.

Sighing, I glance behind me. There are books everywhere. Strewn this way and that—with titles I couldn’t care to care for, but do, because that’s just how the world works.

I grab one. Set it down. Strong burgundy-bind from York. Lay it flat. Sit on black chair, and sigh again.

Flip to a random page: 212: “The Pentecost narrative of Acts 2:17, to which I have already alluded, reflects the early perception that the gift of prophecy......Including Pauline Christianity.....Excluding reflected in the Galations 3:28 reference....

The door flies open. I pull down my headphones, ready for the blaring of voices...The back and forth nozzles and clicks, cheeps and utterances... –Did I mention I had snatched a pair of headphones to erase the drones?.... It hardly matters...

“Hey Ally! Charles Dunham!”

“Mm.” I reply. It might have been taken as an acknowledgement.

“I got it Ally! Charles Dunham!”

“Yeah, cool, sounds good I said”, mumbling the message already spoken.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing, Nothing, dad I’m trying to—“ I trail off, caught up in words attacking eyes that don’t seem to make sense, and sounds into earholes that make even less.

“Trying to what?”

More words tear at my eyeballs..Black inked corneas bleed Barnabas, Baptismal...Tradition...Rabbinic...Manumission...Pricilla and Aquila

“This—Th-Thi—Paper! Essay, dad, Essay!” I, desperate, clash with nerves to speak. It’s all mumbles again, so I wave—I make expressions of grandeur to the small room around me, showcasing a floor of words, small tables, papers and the various wreckages of a struggling scholar—the hand I employed leads my father’s curious eyes around the room.

He closes the door and returns to the living room. Or somewhere.

I sigh. 249: Present research interests...That not all, or even most Muslims....The aforementioned Qu’ran verse....

I slam the book shut and shake my head free of the spider’s web of voice and idea that spill forth from a page marked with rows of tiny ink shapes that aren't mine.

‘Maybe... there’s another’....I reach to the floor for another book.

Seize one. White, flimsy. Red trim....’Canada? No—No wait’... My eyes blurr...still recovering from the earlier assault.

The door flies open

“Alex look at this place!” Wide-eyes likely scan the floor. I would have looked, but I didn’t need to, to know just how they would be. She’s in yellow. – An Arizona yellow

“You need to clean this up this is ridiculous, this is unbelievable...this is blasphemous...this is m—”
“This is Mary”

“I don’t believe we’ve met” reaching across white tablecloth and over flowery centrepiece

“Of course you haven’t met her, but she’s a mite displeased about your paper. Let me tell you”

“My what? Wiping mouth with pristine cloth.

“ Your paper" Calm voice relays

I point to my own chest, mouthful, dazed query.

Nodding follows

"The very same”

“W-what about it?”

“How can you write that without knowing me--- a clean voice. She speaks. Porcelain white.

“I’m sorry?”-blinking- “I’m sorry—I-- can you say th”—buzzing—“can you say that--” The hum is louder. ... clearing ..... Focus

"B-but that's what we do"

"What do you do?" The calm man is stern. Porcelain Mary sits.

-Sipping Water- "Oh, right...write...we write about....things"

"Things you don't know?"
"Things I don't know?"
"Things you don't know...about...Things that are beyond you, things that you cannot understand?"

-Sipping Water- “I’m sorry, could you– could you say that again?"

Humming gows louder... porcelain Mary.... washed out with trebel-floods


“ And you know it’s just another one of those things with you isn’t it...Alex!
Alex, are you even listening to me??”

I pull my headphones down and arch a cracking neck, straining to view wide-eyes peering into a clouded din of senselessness.

“I’m sorry... can you say that agai---“

The door slams shut.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mother Polska

I could imagine his eyes. Emotionless, stern, even foreign. My mother told me how his face used to hang on the right side of nearly every wall— or at least, that’s what it seemed like. She told me how it was he that had them learn what they learned. It was he who decided what cuts of meat the people would get, what jobs, what pay, what purpose they’d have.

My mother told me about a cold man. A detached man. A man who’s dark eyes and firm brows and pointed goatee were all that was really ever seen of him in his time; and yet his presence was still so defining—still so powerful. He remained, it sounded, like some sort of contradictorily-omnipotent ruler in portrait form.

It was always a story I liked to hear her tell when I was younger

“We learned his languages and his history” her Polish accent was pronounced enough, but much less apparent for me, having heard it my whole life. “Always Russia, Russia, Russia. Never Poland.” Of course her mannerisms remained audible for all, and here they were applied with force. “We had to know Russian, know the anthem, every single capital city—every victory! Every single one, I tell you! Oh, it was just terrible!”. She waved her hand towards me as she spoke, as if attempting to ward off some foul nuisance. “That Lenin!" she scoffed. His Russians even took our Christmas oranges one year!” They weren’t his Russians, per se, but there was a notable tinge of venom behind her words nonetheless, as if spitting on that once ever-present portrait would collectively deface all that wronged her then...

Vladimir Lenin, the very man who pressed the heel of Russia on the neck of my mother’s birth country, fired the first salvo of communism in Poland, and handled the creation of Poland as a nation indebted to the Russians, was certainly a man with a powerful ability.

He was also dead.

He had been long dead, too, for the course of my mother’s years in Poland but his presence was so strong as she had said it, that the man himself seemed to be a personification of all that was wrong with Poland then…of all that forced my mother from her country so many years ago.

“No. I didn’t really like it anymore. I wouldn’t go back. I’m Canadian now. This is my country” she had offered, rather matter-of-factly to me, when I asked whether she would go back, full time, if she had the chance.

You see, my mom was a young adult when she left her family behind. She was adopted instead by two well-off Germans who ran a few properties-for-rent. They were friends of the family, and now took up residence in Canada—Thunder Bay no less. They were seen as her way out of communism...Out of the suffering that those dark eyes and pointed goatee so immovably represented.

Her adopters treated her poorly when she came and lived with them—cooking old food, offering unfit clothes and even limiting water-consumption for things like showers and tea and coffee. It was strange then that despite the money they had, they used so little of it.

And despite the proposed liberations of the capitalist world, my mother was as hemmed-in as she ever was in Poland and still haunted by that spectre of limitation-- communism or not .

Yet still, my mom would never have gone back.


Could communism really be so bad? So terrible, that a residence full of grumbling German cheap-skates was preferable?

It was more than just communism at it’s core that kept her away though. It must have been!
– Of course, it was at this point in the tale that my Canadian born father routinely chimed in from his chair, whilst keeping all eyes on the hockey game:

Raising a hand as if responding to having a winning ticket called: “I saved you hunny! We both know you stayed for me, after I came riding in to rescue you!” Even though I could only see the back of his head, that small-mouth smirk of his was audible enough in his voice to know it was creeping across his face just then.

I hardly needed to look at my mother to know that she was rolling her eyes in response, either.

… But it was more than just communism that kept her away. More than suffering. And by all-ccounts more than just my dad. After all, she suffered as much or more in her early strides in Canada…

“They told me I’d be back”

“Who did?”

“The men at the airport”

--Her family could only afford to send one of their children to a better life in Canada… She was the youngest. She was it—

“I knew they were wrong. They had to be. I didn’t need their country anymore. Didn’t need their rules and limits...”

I pictured a bearded official, dark facial hair and grubby hands in uniform. I imagined sallow-coloured walls and an opressive pane of glass between the man and my mother. I pictured his snarling smile, and teeth capped with gold and silver fillings. I saw a pea-green uniform with red accents and gold edging. I imagined harsh strokes from his pen as he signed her release papers.

“Vhy in de Vorld vould you leave diz kountree for Kanada, of all place?” I could heard his condesending, heavily-accented grumble light my mother's stubborn Polish blood aflame while he slipped her the release papers through the slat at the bottom of the dirtied glass. -- My mother said nothing.

"You'll be back" he said, smiling.

...She never was...