I need a book.
I need a writer who surrenders with all his might.
I need to read a story by a sly and steady hand,
from a calm and fathomless heart, read
the urgent whispers of an ecstatic soul chained to a rock;
a writer of grim discipline, prone to voluptuous transgression.
The only thing worth my diminishing wile.
No more goddamn tee-vee.
This mov-ee, that mov-ee, over and over.
Click: this one, I saw, what, five times already?
Click: that type, with the singular, predictable what's-her-name.
Click: those kind, with one hundred effects per minute.
Click: these sorts, folie a deux, cable-ready with canned, reluctant love.
Blahdiddyy-blah, hopeless ho-hum
to all foolish procedural films, dipped in soapy residuals.
Dull output, with pre-ordained plops in their surface tension.
Works awash with buckets of anti-coagulant slop,
smeary serum, unconcentrated, the bargain brand.
Rinse-and-repeat. Fuck the lie of the flipbook,
and the comfy scrabblings of star power.
I waste no more time at the fleshpots of channels.
No more shows; I want bloody tells.
I want the honesty of wrongful death
and the craving for ugly and rotten,
explicit. I need it spelled out.
Base betrayal set in finery,
letter-press-ganged, forced to tell, or else.
Raveled yarns of fused, firecracker power,
wielded by mis-used misanthropic agonistes, proto- and anti-,
set to go off, awaiting the wicked trigger hidden in
an exact, exquisite, and ever-ready word.
I want innocence cast away, scavenging for crumbs,
devoured but whole, still – and always making
new corpuscles in the dark, caustic marrow of this terrible life.
Tell me a story. Make me hurt.
I want words, sentences alone and in close cahoots,
I want to be worked over, chaptered, and worse:
I want to be tricked, for planned purpose, by lonely letters,
by an orderly rule of letters, alighting,
assembling, like crows, attempting murder.
Crack me in half with this, not this, or this,
but this...ahhh...THIS, and then this,
an estimable sequence to make me fear the fate of the coward,
and mourn him and no other, no saintly and worthy mother.
No lantern-jawed yahoo gets my respect.
Make me hunger for the sugary chaos of unjust desserts.
Get write right and you may cut me open, slurp my innards,
churn in me my undigested meal, make me chaw
along the edge of my poor nails, tear at
the chitin that protects my nerve endings –
as if story means more than exposed, raw pulp.
I will disfigure myself, waiting for you to finish.
Lull me, mis-direct me, make me re-read.
I want the holy power of words –
just plain, sit-and-write-words –
to govern my mortal heart and my borrowed breath.
Set me on fire, and make me kick away the sputtering hose,
and then do it again, and again, so in the midnight hour,
I want the pretense of endless, turnable pages.
Just words. Just saying.
Metered meaning, faithful to the laws of prosaic delay,
cloaked in a proud man's costumes of artful phrases,
misleading us – and all the while
the homemade blade in the sleeve.
Even a sheer scrim of mis-direction, a feint in a bandied word,
and your favorite is de-ployed and im-plotted.
I want this. I need this.
I want to form fevered and methodical and razor-wire ideas,
ruin the lives of intimate strangers, at whim,
until they are characters of immensity,
men and women who inhabit whole word-worlds.
I want a book bigger than what I know or will ever know.
It does not yet exist. I cannot wait another day.
I want to, I will, I am doomed to, write that book.
And so I am, and so I do: I will write the book I need to read.
With. This. Word. And. Each. Like. It?
I hide the guttering, failing glow of truth
behind my hovering, crankled fingers.
I can do this, if needs must, and I will:
with jot and flyspecks on pale cream
I can stitch for you ten thousand details
in a ream of dream, perfect bound.
I will do this to you:
You will read it and touch the final page.
You will close the cover with care.
You will smooth it, again and again, under damp palms,
and hold it close to your heart.
You will want to take it in your fists and tear it open,
spill the errant letters, curl the hard-bound cover
and you and I will then be one,
one pulled red-sinew, one torn tendon,
burning, forever destroyed and forever reborn,
muttering "damn" and "damn!"
re-imagined as a reading phoenix,
the myth of clean tufts,
of wet, newborn feathers and eager talons,
shining under an ancient and intemperate sun,
strong with flexed and supernatural ability,
we will emerge, teeter, intact, from my blast-furnace book,
and croak new melodies to a new world,
from new, untested throats,
unburdened at last,
free to stare with contempt and love
at the ordinary, unfinished world.