Read Forgetting Time: Prologue.
There it is. That is my story.
Do I love you, your eyes ask. You need only to feel my lips again to have your answer.
But my love is lustful and attaches itself to whatever it will. If you should ever leave this bed, my love will not go with you.
And when I leave this bed, and confront a forgotten world, if the scent of a flower should happen to reach me, I will linger for as long as the moment demands. Or if I should pass a beautiful woman on the street, my pace will slow, my attention adjust accordingly. Or if I should ever be with you again, should I ever mistake your hand for my own again, should I ever feel you trembling beneath me again, know that my love is yours once more, and that we will exist in another moment completely our own.
In the midst of our tender words will I tell you my story – one should only ever tell their life story while lying in the arms of a lover. The sun is beginning to rise. It will try to remind us that there is existence outside of this moment; it will lie to us and tell us that time exists. It doesn’t. The sun’s seeking fingers will take its place among my seeking fingers; the bird’s song will take its place among your sighs. In our created perfume will I tell you that the bird only sings to add a bit of melody to the moment. That’s not true of course, but the truth should never stand in the way of a good string of words. No, the only truth is that we exist. Let those outside others have their truth and their time – we’ve no need of it.
Close your eyes. Let this world fade away and I will create a new one for you.
Read Forgetting Time: Epilogue
I was asked today what my favorite opening line in a book is. (I’m pretty sure the person got the idea to ask this question because of Inside the Actors Studio, but no matter.)
I eventually answered Whitman’s ‘I celebrate myself’. Anyone who is familiar with me and my writing will all take a collective gasp now.
In these three words is the conception of America’s greatest book of poetry. It is Emerson’s Poet realized. These three words are what got me into poetry ; Song of Myself was the first bit of writing to bring me to tears. ‘I celebrate myself’, when it comes down to it, is why I write.
Interestingly though, to me at least, ‘I celebrate myself’ was not what immediately came to mind. It was another three words: See the child. These three words are the opening line of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. From this ostensibly simple statement we get a sense of MCarthy’s entire voice. Dispassionate, objective, universal, unapologetically brutal. That McCarthy’s voice is captured in three words is akin to Whitman in this respect.
There is brilliance in a writer’s ability to communicate so simplistically and yet so profoundly, to have their voice shine through in three words.
I celebrate myself.
See the child.
In muted hues
She sat silent,
Wanting nothing more than
Pink and White carnations.