Parting Words


I who have died am wandering as a ghost through a city of shipwrecks and fog. Once a golden city, it is now only a city with a bridge famous for suicide and occupied by accountants and service workers. "Hey, dude, what the fuck! ..." There has been a naufragio de sangre*—shipwreck of blood—in neuvo San Francisco. The sun no longer rises.

At times I am floating above it or hovering over it; at other times I am scuttling along building-top ledges, high industrial hedges, sliding down the sides, slipping through open windows and gliding down polished staircase railings. Sometimes I am even passing right through buildings—the James Flood, John's Grill, the Laurel Court at the Fairmont Hotel—and backyard fences and apartment houses and living rooms, and penetrating brick walls. I never bump my head and no one ever sees me. So far I have stayed out of the ladies' rooms at Macy's. Ha!

Being out of my body is a new sensation for me. Like George Sterling, I have been released from its prison, having found the keys to my cell, and I have no more desire to be anything I was, or wasn't but wanted to be. In fact, I have no more desire at all—not for food, not for sex, not for companionship, not for money with which to buy more stuff—not for any thing. Can you imagine an American—even a ghost—who no longer needs or needs to need? I have been released from all wants of the body and now, maybe for the first time, I see clearly. How frightening!

But perhaps you wonder: How does it feel? Being new to it, my description is not precise, but it seems much like fasting. There is a wonderful lightness of being, and a freshness, as of a sea breeze, but not originating from air, water, and salt. No more thoughts of food; no more need for a drink, though I do feel a little drunk all the time now; no more longing, no more lusting; no more wanting of things that I don't have and scheming to get them. I don't want your car, your house, your girlfriend, your girlfriend's girlfriend or her mother or younger sister or little brother; I don't even want to pick your pocket. And I have no biological processes to attend to. I don't have to go looking for a toilet in the theatre in the middle of a movie; I don't need to wipe myself clean and mess my hand when the tissue tears. I don't need to buy gas for a car I don't own. I am not forced to change the password for my computer by an aggressive Internet service provider; I don't need to fathom some ghostly "gotcha" before I can log in. I don't need to top-up any account for a hand-held device. And I don't need to stand in line for anything ever again. No more forms, no more  ballpoint pens. I have been liberated by death to a life of floating through space and time—or spacetime as it is rightly called these days—and contemplating quirky, colorful quarks and the dual nature of the subatomic world. I will ponder "reality" deeply, completely reassessing what it is. The reality that I knew here no longer seems real, and I long for some other place. I will search for meaning in a completely new way, seeking the meaning in back of the meaning. I will study new things, though I don't know what yet. But they won't involve the heavy lifting and stuff of this world que pèse ou qui pose**—that weigh down or pose—or the petty strife and conflict. I am going now, leaving this world; adrift, I feel the presence of a new current flowing, a river of clean energy or pure light, taking me somewhere I have never been before. Hooray!

2—Dark Knowledge

But perhaps you wonder: What have I learned in my years here in what your philosophers have come to call the "actual world," recognizing finally that there may be others?

By the way: Your scientists have learned much, and even some of your writers and philosophers. Einstein? Feynman? The big secrets, the small. The secret of secrets? — The vibrations of the taut string of a violin? The mixed emotions of a flower? The smiling, colorful balloons rising from the orchestra pit to take a bow? — Still a secret!

But what about others? What about the people and their "leaders"? Pitifully little, sad to say. And in many cases they now oppose allowing anyone to learn anything new and have even formed political groups to oppress teachers and learners alike. They call their groups religious but they are really neo-fascist organizations. In some cases, the act of learning is punishable by death.

So now what have I learned? Some things are obvious:

That life is wearisome, I hardly need state.

That it is repetitious is only too obvious. People are constantly pissing and shitting, shitting and pissing, primping and preening, preening and primping, cutting off hair and shaving whiskers, shaving whiskers and cutting off hair, then looking in the mirror. How boring!

That people are deceptive is not surprising. They are raised to be so. It is the way things of this world, the actual one, are acquired. Almost all business people and politicians are deceptive—Why don't they just call themselves thieves and pickpockets?—but vehemently deny it. For them it is always the other one who is the deceiver, the cheat. My advice: Believe no one, and regard with suspicion even your own deepest beliefs.

That people don't understand themselves is easily inferred by the trouble people get into and the wild surprise they display when caught. Only think for a moment of those "leaders" caught with their pants down, pubis exposés—"who, me?"—or their hands in the public cookie jar—"not me, he!" They are but children when it comes to understanding themselves and their motives.

It is also clear that life is disappointing for most people. They are brought up with false expectations and so naturally life is going to disappoint them. But they are also brought up to never say so. That would be un-American or un-something—a faux pas unacceptable before the younger generation for whom a show of hope must always be maintained.

And can anyone argue that life is not wasteful in every way imaginable? It's not just the soiled tissue discarded on the sidewalk and the bloody rags of war for profit; it's the waste of human beings and what they might be or might become. It is also the nasty withholding of pleasures when they would cause no harm, only relaxation and a pleasant feeling. Think of all the young women withholding sexual pleasures from young men—and themselves—only to sell them later on for long-term economic gain. You are not innocent like Lorca's La Soltera En Misa, giving los negros melones de tus pechos al rumor de misa.*** Harlots at heart, you are no more than accountants maximizing your body's profit.

"Do I look like a brute?" he says in route.

"Does he want to fuck me tonight?"

"With musk on my tusk she'll succumb to my scrum."

"I'll hold out a day or two more."

And rhyme for a dime, it ends right here.
Poetry, shmoetry, shnoooore!

And can anyone doubt that meaning is concealed from nearly everyone? Trivial Pursuit is acceptable, but ask the big questions and see how much respect you get. "God" is a fine answer to all we do not know and a great excuse to rob your neighbor. Just be sure to wash the blood off you hands, son. Blood writes an infamous tale whose wrongs end in jail.

*Lorca: From La Aurora ("Sunrise") in Poeta en Nueva York.

**Verlaine: From Art Poetique.

*** Lorca: "The Unmarried Woman at Mass" giving "the dark melons of her breasts to the rumors of the mass."