Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Life We Seek

It is not long now. Before long, the dark-winged, pale spectre of death will take my hand and lead me away. Let me tell you of curses and magicks that come with hidden prices.

I was young when I found the book - too young I suppose. Yet, all that happened to me was inevitable. As the poet says,

"I have swallowed a famous mouthful of poison."

I sought the source of what I thought was joy. I sought out the truest love. I learned all the languages. I read all the books I could gather and let it be known here - I found the secret. How was it that I did not see what was so close to me? How could I have learned so much and yet known nothing at all?

In the most ancient books I found the clues. In a variety of contemporary sources, fragments of the secret made themselves known to me. I pieced them together, I organised and tabulated them. I created a hierarchy of fragments. I gathered those more alchemical marriages together and examined them all. I learned them and teased out their secret hearts until they surrendered themselves up to me. The marriage of sea and sky; of sky and land; of sea and land. The marriage of moon and stars and all the secrets of the planetary spheres. I tore from the land the secrets of plant and earth. No secret was hidden from me, no desecration was too low or base in my thirst for knowledge.

I hunted down the most recognised beauties - both men and women, gazed upon them as a fool gazes upon the sun and is blinded. I chose a young woman to be my truest love. I declared my love for her using all the knowledge of my magickal arts. She fought shy at first, then fled from me. Still I declared my love in all the subtle ways - all the most romantical ways and eventually she surrendered to me. Admitted her love and affections and wed me.

O Stars and Moons! O pale Death! What a horror had I unearthed? I ceased my studies and began the work of keeping that love she had sworn. Gently I maintained it. For three months I was sure of that love. Then I began to notice that she went out a great deal. She told me that she loved the parks and gardens of the city. I - fool that I was believed her, so sure I was of my knowledge, of my magicks. One day I decided to meet her by chance in the arboretum of the city. That was my discovery of her affair. I was furious and confronted the lovers there and then. My confusion overwhelmed me for how could my studies have failed me. My knowledge of the truest love had been shown to be a folly.

Her lover dared my rage and as I rushed him in my rage, he pushed me backwards. I fell upon the cut branch of a bush and it broke upon my heart through my back. It was as if the plant would avenge all its fellows from whomI had wrested their secrets. It was as if that branch would write my fate in blood upon the sky. The lovers fled in horror. I lay gasping out my life while thieves took all I had and listened as I gasped out my warning to them as a curse,

"The life we seek is the life that kills us."


Rosemary in Utah said...

It felt like I read this one without breathing. The first words "It is not long now" immediately prime your nerves for something to happen.

I found that "The life we seek...kills us." is a quote from a Sydney hip-hop song titled X-Continental, by The Herd.
But I couldn't find who said "I...famous..poison." !

Griffin said...

'I have swallowed a famous mouthful of poison.' is the first line of Nuit en Enfer (Night in Hell) by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, a favourite of mine. The poem is a prose-poem from his Season in Hell series of poems.

Conversely, I didn't know where the 'The life we seek...' quote came from, only that it seemed full of suggestion.

madameshawshank said...

Now one would think one would recall taking such a snap as this..however! It could be anywhere methinks..(Griffin did the photo come with a heading of any kind..some kind of 'where I might have been')because the life we seek...ah..then we get a thinkin' about what is needs to be..our lives are the necessary process of BEing us...

A Season in Hell series of poems..oh my doesn't that sound fun..

Summer Season in Hell

too hot to handle
bring me Winter's snow and ice
alas no comfort

Griffin ..I particularly loved:

I created a hierarchy of fragments. I gathered those more alchemical marriages together and examined them all.

Bravo for this tale!

madameshawshank said...

have done some checking..a wall somewhere between Brisbane and Sydney..2005..