Thursday, April 17, 2008


Creation and the First People

In the beginning there was Nothingness. The Nothingness shattered into unnumbered pieces, creating Division and Multiplicity. Some of the pieces eventually collided and ricocheted into other pieces. This process caused those pieces involved to come to the notion of Relating. Having a basis upon which to reference other pieces, came Relativism. Eventually the pieces began to Relate based on value, the measure of which was size. Smaller pieces, whose descent from Nothingness had become a whorbbling spiral of a path from all the ricocheting, began to orbit larger, steadier pieces.

The steady pieces, called Nuclei, and their Orbital's, began to coalesce into larger units, still maintaining the same primordial structure. Our story continues with one such Nucleus called Earth. Earth attracted many Orbital's, all eking out a place in the virgin landscape. One of the largest and most important was Men. The Men who came to Earth are known by the order they appeared, as Men gave us numbers, and it is from them their story is recounted. The first, One, struck the second, Two, thus they formed a Relation, as the first pieces did. Two, is said to have struck the third, Three, and so on, but it was One who struck the most. Relating to the most Men, One had the first Idea, which is characteristic of Men, though theirs may not be the best. The Idea was that he was the most important and therefore should possess as many other Men as so desired. One delineated those who he possessed by holding them in place. One shouted, for he knew no Words, as he put Five, Two, and Three on his back. Quickly running out room, One placed Eight, Thirteen, Twenty-One, and Thirty-Four under his feet. Now immobile, it was a matter of grabbing those to slow or unwise to get within arm's reach. Eighty-Nine and Fifty-Five were tucked between calf and thigh, while One Hundred Forty-Four, then Two Hundred Thirty-Three, on One's plateau-like thighs and pinned under his tree-like elbows.

Despite the absence of Words, the meaning became quite clear. Whether from fear or disgust, however, many of the Numbered Men fought with One and his Orbital's. They threw each other around and into one another, pounding the land. Over mountains and into rivers they poured. Blood was shed on jagged rock, the first time it was dropped from a Man and they continued to fight. Trees were pushed aside, marsh trampled, all learned Pain. The journey from the naivety all the Men languished in, when locked in the shroud of ignorance, to the Numbering and the shedding of Blood and the lesson of Pain, another tier of Relativism was reached.

It was upon reaching the blue waters and salty air of the sea that another of Man's natural aptitudes was discovered. One and his Orbital's were outnumbered, and continued to be pushed across the country. Backed against the sea, Thirteen acted on new feelings. He was clenched against Sixty-Nine, each attempting to pin the other, when the cold water was quickly rising up his leg. The thirteenth Man's hands constricted the throat of his brother, holding him under the crashing waves. Sixty-Nine's demise did not take very long, certainly not very long compared to how long the memory weighed on Thirteen.

When the body of their brethren ceased to move the others recoiled. Great yelps of Pain and Loss rose from the beach. Some wondered if this was a rouse, others if it could happen to them. In the end the horror was all too soon forgotten, and instead was remember as a lesson in the effectiveness of murder. Very few were still watching as two fish, animals of the sea, which had not yet been named, divided the body of Sixty-Nine amongst them.

The battle raged on, through desert, soilless hills, barren crags, and another mountain range. Many Men died during the First Fight. With the knowledge of Loss, drenched in exhaustion and overwhelmed by Pain, the surviving Men fell into a valley. Here they lay for some time, not wishing to face the finality of their deeds, not wanting to be the victim of another's, they were still. The valley was lush and green, though the Men still had no Words for these things, no words at all. Some looked at the abundance and believed a truce was possible, but with no way to express this they continued to lie.

Finally, there was rustling in the flora. Turning, the Men saw other people, but not them, the Other. These people were softer and smaller, and where Men had Orbital's to create round shapes, they individually had roundness. They spoke Words, with their mouths, hands, and hips. They collectively called themselves Women, though each had her own name. They each named themselves and that plant that most represented them. So there were Women known for their beauty and grace, with such names as Rose, Lilac, Eucalyptus, and Orchid. There were Women known for their strength and wisdom, named Cypress, Palm, and Banyan. The strongest and wisest Woman, named Cedar, stepped forward. The Men, till this moment lay in awe and confusion, rose. The Men, though varied in appearance, were generally taller, and harder of body. The Women, seeing their shape as they ascended and presented themselves, were pleased.

One pointed to each of the Men in the order which they became aware of Others. Regarding those who were a part of his Orbit, he designated their status by pointing to the bottom of his foot. Four and Nine, who were not only early in the Numbering, but had gained much experience from Pain, had plans of their own. Despite which, they did not believe this to be the opportune time to make a stance. Seeing that One only designated those eleven he originally claimed in his Orbit, Four and Nine saw a defacto truce.

"I, Cedar, address you One, leader of Men," her approach to One preceded the forced bowing of Two's and Thirteen's heads. The technic was clear, no one else was to look at the beauty of this Woman, not only did One's Orbitals bow, but almost all others did as well. Nine and Four looked on as the wisest of Women spoke, "As the leader of so many, I wish to grant you the knowledge of Words, if you and your collective will serve me during your stay. The valley is full of fruit, but we must also prepare against the elements. If we work together all will benefit." One had no Words with which to answer. Extending his torn hand palm up in an gesture of mutual supplication unseen amongst Men, One accepted her offer. Cedar placed her soft hand in One's murder stained claw. Where the first Relations between Men had been authoritarian, those amongst Women by consensus, between the sexes was of mutual exchange. Despite which, both sides had differing views on the nature of the relationship, never having dealt with an Other so strange.

While Four accessed the Exchange for assasination opportunities, Nine observed the eating of a bulbuous item dangling from a branch by a flying creature. Seeing the beast fly away with at least as much vigor as it arrived with he decided to try the fruit for himself. The item had a subtle pleasant scent to it, but the taste was an intense visceral joy. With a strong smile, Nine turned to find many Women looking at him. Believing, rightly or wrongly, the food he enjoyed was their focus, he picked another. He approached the Women, and, realizing he only had enough fruit for one, felt embarrassed. The Women took the fruit in her small hands and after a pause looked up at Nine and did something strange. Her face moved in a way that made Nine feel good inside, so good he stood still, staring. The Woman, Lilac, brushed her long, wavy dark hair back over her shoulder, which caused Nine to refocus. Compelled, Nine reached out and touched Lilac's hair. It was soft, and composed of many individual thin strands, which tangled around his fingers. Lilac felt joy inside, having the positive attention of strong, independent Man, while Nine was amazed at his ability to produce such feelings in this strange creature. To Nine, she seemed quite pleased with the stroking of her hair, and since his hand was stuck he had even less inclination to stop.

Now, those whose heads were not bowed were fascinated by the intense looks Lilac and Nine were exchanging. Nine began to laugh, Lilac bit into the fruit she had been cradling. Cedar looked on with a mixture of curiosity and distrust. One, inspired, reached out and touched Cedar's hair. "Do not touch me!" Cedar spat and marched away leaving looks of concern in her wake. Lilac gently removed Nine's hand from her hair and turned with the other Women to follow her. Four, who held a rock after contemplating its lethal potential, withdrew his coup de grace stance believing One was making himself irrelevant.

Cedar led the Men to a grand tree, its branches a roof against the sky. As she waited for them to gather her eyes scanned the hovering branches. "Look here, One." She pointed to a flying creature that had landed on the Earth and was picking up celluloid debris in its mouth. "See how it carries the twig in its beak, back to the branch to make shelter. I want you to make me a shelter." Cedar gestured between them, then to the base of the tree, and so it was.

Four led a crowd of men upon a hill where he looked out over the valley which held all of the Women he knew of. In the distance, a ribbon of space between the trees appeared to imply water. As his attention returned to the assembled he held aloft a large stone and then a branch. As both a lesson and a command, Four thrust the rock into a rotten log beside him revealing tiny wriggling bodies inside. Scooping up a mouthful, he displayed the bounty before ingesting it. While others dined on the larvae, Four utilized his second tool. Slowly stalking over the hill top where many small furred creatures bounded fearlessly, he moved into position. With patience and predatory grace, Four smite a creature, crippling it at first, then, after a brief assessment, crushed its skull. Hunting was a new skill all of his Men would learn and practice, Four thought.

Lilac's plant was beautiful and richly scented, a perfect match. However, it was not a tree, more of a shrub, and did not provide any cover directly over head. Despite which, Nine was determined to provide for her, for, in his eyes, she deserved at least as much as any other Woman. Nine watched as One and his Orbitals were building a nest for Cedar. Inspired he began to collect branches and rocks, piling them around the lilac shrub which his love slept beside. There were a few Men that did not trust or like One, but had not been drawn away by Four, and so, looking for a fellow Man they could relate to, aided Nine. It was easier to imitate than to purloin the reason why before Words, so a Man merely had to initiate to become a leader.

"Branch, ground, Lilac," her gentle voice instructed, puctuating each word with an extended fine-boned hand. The Men who attended to the construction of her shelter watched with fascination, Words, till this point, elicited only awe, the act of speaking was not something they expected to be able to do.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I don't know, don't ask, I wrote it on the bus

I was attempting to tighten the belt of a life lived unwisely when a button popped off and a worn shoe revealed a toe and a half, indicating three had the decency to hide themselves and one was fence sitting.

It was like driving and having wheels fall off except since our tires were spinning in the sand it wouldn't make a difference.

Poetry Scrap

Waves crashing the jagged rock to primeval atoms, dashed to an unidentifiable essence

I wait for it every day, for the waves

There is a beautiful moment of utter stupidity, denying reality, wearing gaiety like a Roman toga

Air in hair, that shit eating grin, people in skyscrapers are putting on sunglasses

You know there is a perverse comfort, a malaise, which has coated the land when news reports U.S. Marines deaths and U.S. firefighters do not keep their flags at half staff

The blood quickens and cools by the whims and fancies of a deluded, solitary mind

These flutters, ideal laden cells navigate valves

Ancient dreams manifest in new aesthetics, righting wrongs, recreating the world

Yet, the wave, she comes

When every glance reveals judgment, handshake ownership, and word theft

The stupid acknowledges stupidity, reflecting is reflected

Tears, like waves, expel but fail to destroy

Whispers call for cleansing, to paralyze, anesthetize, obliterate

© Michael Mosher 2008