- Folio, Nonfiction, Reading, Writing

Grace Notes, by Kenning JP García

 

December says it’s time to make some space for so much that is so long gone. the leaves heard what the wind had to add. what gravity couldn’t leave unsaid. the cold is both a memory and an experience. shivering is neither habit nor a hobby but a reaction and instinct kicking in. the morning walk is the normal. the constitutional has already been queered but has it been decolonized? it won’t be canceled.

*

even as a kid was not much into playing. used to work pretend. never played it. was too worried about playing it out or being played.

*

“all philosophy was based on the illusion of ‘rationality.’ being rational is nothing more than being utopian” (Daniel Branco, Emil Cioran: The Criticism of the Idea of Historical Progress).

*

why would anyone ever want to make a long story anything other than that? let the long be long but don’t make a long story a novel either. let a story be only a story. just a story as one awakes saying, “thank God, it was just a dream.”

*

every day and every night is a grind. this life is a factory and there is no warehouse in sight. products made are taken away and stored far away from one’s owning and using. everything done is for somebody else. one’s own happiness is merely happenstance.

*

this other reality came just in the middle of another reality. what isn’t real just isn’t real here. this reality needs a real thug to make more of what is available and to steal that which isn’t.

*

Friday night shift but it’s more of the same. nothing shifts. least of all the paradigm. oh, glorious hegemony. oh, glamorous monotony.

*

life is the void. death is a-void. death avoids. life voids.

*

some of the people who enjoy a book, movie, show, song the most, understand it the least or at least in ways that the writers had never intended. fans are no gauge for anything.

*

“love prudently, love realistically” (Qiu Maojin, Notes of a Crocodile).

*

go to work not every day but more days than not. bring home money to nobody. only to needs and habits. only to waste it all away. only to waste away. the bedroom is a graveyard. the living room is a cemetery. the kitchen stands with its stovetop wide open as a Bible with nothing much say that ain’t already been said twenty other different ways. been a cook and ain’t never been a preacher but a meal is a sermon of sorts.

*

a reign for a horse. power for horsepower. take this meaningless title for something with some real understanding. the intention overworked the essence. the reason killed the reasoning and yet the video star eventually faded just as the radio did. but that was a digression. this is to say, if taking back the statement could still deliver the message, then if only one could do that, oh what a wonderful world it would be or something of that nature. of that unnatural state of affairs.

*

what separates one from oneself? there’s a slit of space through which passes an other. many others. words and thoughts. instincts and emotions. an involuntary moving between yet within. what is this pocket dimension of a self so inherent to each person? even the most open of people have something hidden if not always something to hide.

*

somebody’s gotta be the life of this pity party.

*

there but for the forgetfulness of God go this eye from desire to desire to disgust. desire is shame and shame is desire as is so told in that first story of the garden. but, if one can get past desire and thus shame to disdain and ownership, then what? looks as if God’s got some competition. if only, a single prayer had been answered and hope was maintained, then desire could have stayed but now it is banished from this land. this wasted and waste of a waste land.

*

there is no elevation of language. it all exists on this one plane to be used with one another, with oneself, with those things/places/ideas that cannot respond with that same language or any language that anybody can absolutely understand. language for the bedroom and language for the boardroom and language for the essay and language for a back-alley exchange are all the same language. There is no elevation in the academic over the otherwise “everyday.” And if language can ever be elevated and this is wrong, then may anything written here forever reside in the fucking gutter.

*

“a dictionary of memories” (Silvina Ocampo on the form of the Promise)

*

this here is not about memories. memory is too clouded by love but also hazy with hate. the forecast is low visibility anyway one tries to look at it. it’s black ice on the road. it’s all potholes. it’s being cut off at the intersection and not being able to merge onto the highway ramp. it’s the small talk of weather and traffic. the stuff that is the morning news during the commute. the stuff that’s most important in that moment but is easily forgotten by the afternoon. love is what it was when it was a love in motion. hate is also most memorable and understandable in its establishment and continuous upkeep. now, away from that part of town, the street names begin to blur and the signs can no longer be read. which corner it was that this or that happened on begins to fade unless attached to some other even more personal significance. such as just moved away or back to that place. worked nearby. it was a summer of being there all the time for various happenings. a memory needs some assistance. is more of a spot-up shooter than a playmaker. and is also a bit of the entertainment news sprinkled into the morning drive.

*

these pronouns are null and void. what is being stood in for has fallen off. fell more times than stood up. there is no more rising in the morning. next time will never come. what was done can no longer be said. silence and vacancy fill up the blanks to be filled in, the forms to be filled out.

*

have reached an age where one calls places by old names. spots are still stuck in files that should be long gone by now. the Price Chopper is still Price Chopper even if it Market 32 now. it was enough to keep up on referring to the downtown arena as various things over the years. various titles bought by many companies looking for some more advertising and revenue from this rundown city. can’t make the streets and the buildings work right but don’t worry there’s always money to be had here. can’t make legislation do its thing fast enough. can’t make justice come out of the judicial branch but tickets are bought and bands come through town occasionally. maybe a comedian. possibly the circus in that newer way that circuses now work. a troop of talented and athletic folks without a lot of the animals. this is for the best even if elephants were a big draw. the one time when people could talk about who is in the room.

*

it is unseasonably warm but not unreasonably as this is not abnormal compared to recent memory but is when digging through the longer archives of life.

*

“the only advantage of being a child is that time is doubly wide…” (Silvina Ocampo, The Promise)

*

creer: to believe

creer: to create

two senses separated by the Pyrenees, a world of former colonies, islands of territories, what was studied and what was translated and why. both have no place here. there is no belief and no creation available at this time.

*

“sentimentality, the soft focus of tenderness or grief as a response to understandable and general feelings…” (Maria Stepanova, In Memory of Memory).

*

sensation and response. assembly. the perpetual motion machine of the living. the sentient and the less so. each interaction has a reaction even if unseen, unsensed to others. this is the world of the craftsperson and the scriptor. things come into being only in combination with that which already was here. nothing new is born only more combinations.

*

“psychology is the tomb of the hero. the thousands of years of religion and reasoning have weakened the muscles, the decision, and the adventurous impulse. […] every act that is not presided over by the luminous curse of the spirit represents a survival of ancestral stupidity” (Daniel Branco, Emil Cioran: The Criticism of the Idea of Historical Progress).

*

caution got lost but is now finally free.

 

Note: This fiction part of Big Other’s Puerto Rican Writer’s Folio: A Hauntology

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Kenning JP García is a diarist. Xe is the author of With and is an editor at Rigorous and Dream Pop Press.

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