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Better Things

“can you play?”

across from me she sat, tea cupped lightly in her lemon palms. momentary eyes.

shall I let her sleep? my breath comes slow. she is on the floor, unironed. i roll my head against the wall. a pillow now is in my lap. she has a hole in her, i think, rumpled on the floor. the years are gone (the knocks upon the door, no more; the preconsiderations, equations, now just whispers on the floor.) i am disabled from a holy war.

i lay me now unsewn upon the floor.


once the sea grew cold and walls protected every cell. now, a million years, a replicating swell. we are survivors in a shell. i know how. i sit secure, snugly in my well; the accumulation, the ration, all. (robotic, unreal, reactionless; rotary run on a circular track, a soundless tick,
an eclectic clack.)

a rival in departure.

when thunder rolls, i stare and cannot say exactly where the lightning was. that is least; at most i am peninsular, seawrought, chambermade, shellfish–still the oyster with the pearl. it’s all i have, take it.

driven by the substitution silent cry, willfulness in vain. vanity twisted in time to surfacing scurrility–look at me!

it cries beyond her. in her, she knows, in her, swollen in her. in her smiles she knows, in her. in her dissolution she knows. in her descent and disorganizaton she gives cause and certainty. but i have better things to do.

so i cradle this, my immaculate conception, the beacon fire of my end. while i add i ask, “is subtraction the only myth?.”

forgive me please i am yet not in control.

the allfull wish is welled. my god! there is secretion in the well. what is left for the imitator? she is beyond herself,
all ways.

there is a single souless certainty. i am the solitary eye.

certainty alone, worshipped oh, so artfully; civilization i have built on displaced desire. while she swells i have better things to do.

“can you play?”

her beyond at now within her eyes at me.

“can you play?” she replayed across from me.

i am dizzy. i live with my last breath. there it is! the child grows wings, discards its chrysalis and flies, before the myth of subtraction tears the wings from it’s mind.

i fall like a stone. i cry. why? trembling now in random mess. driven to reversals lie. universals to control, i try, faced with entropy’s wailing sigh.

“can you play?”

__jeffrey jones, 1973

3 Responses to “Better Things”

  1. A haunting melodic verse, of dystopian measure. I say this is with reverential dissonance, because he has always flooded my interpretation of what art is.
    This seem as though it could have been the internal dialogue of Idyll, magnificent.

  2. Truly an artist of the 20th and 21 century. An artist with all emotions rolled into one painting. Love his paintings.

  3. This piece was written in 1975 or 1976, inspired by incidents in July 1975…

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