A Gate – Michael Quint

Often the ink blots the page or there are no pages at all, and the words which smell of turbines and can’t look bodies in the eye brush off the past and make towards a new future. A kind of quiet remembrance takes place when the wind blows them open, spread on the riverbank leading up to the car dealership. The sign in front of the place promises cheapness, it promises leather seats that are so smooth the ghosts can make friends with each other while looking out through the glass. No titles are present on the copies, which are occasionally bloody, soaked in refuse, shining, holy, brilliant; from above, what would they all spell out?

In the final office, the one where big men would diffuse like semen, the trail subsides into a stack. All of the weight of the top book rests on the bottom, but the weight always shifts like rocks settling over millions of years. A tiny radio, with batteries that have been working since time stopped, leaks out end-of-eternity pop music—the type that knows what it means not to hear anything. The lyrics are conscious and blatant, bland as your last memory, but with all the nuance of a collapsed touch. Sharp bass hits lift the heavy dust high into the air, making everything perfect. Snow of a fallout drifting through a German rave.

Can language be charted in its goodbye? The way certain volumes have fallen into the earth makes it so that the words that stand out don’t have much. “Guts,” that’s the orgy of unlucky tomes revolving at the river’s bottom under the water’s elated weight. So glad to have taken control, Volumes 15-28, which span the tract of land between the luxury cars and what remains of an oak tree, say: “This perfect eden…completely disemboweled at the summit of the epoch…I wanted my fries to be cold, crunchy, and ready…his nailing to the cross was superfluous to his getting nailed…I held my vape up to the sea and let it be the sunset…no more can we declare, declaring was a past that accepted a declarative understanding of now…just a copy, all rights reserved.” There are children’s books too, but they are filled with pictures of dragons driving Hot Wheels. Furious nostrils spouting plastic.

Burning days cause the more volatile books to burst into flames, and the smoke that rises up from them brings back an aura that would make anyone laugh. Often, from the bottom of the hill by the river, the music from the grand office sounds like a stream of urine hitting the water. It could be argued that the river dried up immediately after conception.

Of interest to a vanished inept, Volumes 48-53, which make up the bulk of space on the dealership’s ceremony floor, have ornate gold carvings in their spines. Too royal for anyone. To trace their pages with perfect knowledge would be to find “and I loved him like a willow tree loves to sigh…rockstars man, fucking perfect fuckable engines of going on…little man in the big city, a cat with a gun…what was most proclaimed was the lamp which sat above the king’s head, because it looked like a xanax that had extinguished…my final presence would be a final riff, a long drawn out battle of joking to kill poetry…and the gondola was a big pussy and the weed hit good.”

Animals, if there are animals, act with mechanical sanctity on the integrity of the engine. They stalk without sound towards the pages which have kept secrets for too long, craving a rapture in being part of the greater nothing. Invisible sparrows hit the dealership’s clear walls, distracted by the rust on the proclaimed rims, furious to find loose paper to build with. Large piles of nothing birds’ corpses lay in front of every large window-pane, some spilling over onto Volumes 39-44, highlighting a particular tract of text that can no longer be deciphered.

Whether all contained in cellophane wrap or not, there once was a plan to stack the books so high as to leave the dealership altogether—to reach a place where grunts made of matchsticks would have been just sublime. Still the remnants glitter. A welcome desk stands next to the door. The books travel over it by way of a single copy that sits with indiscriminate patience, open in closing to a set of dialogue:

A- “So when are these junkies going to get lit?”
Y- “So when are those junkies going to get lit?”
A- “Yeah, yeah, you’re right, I almost forgot we’re a frozen light switch.”
Y- “Fuck yeah we are.’
A- “So when are these junkies going to get lit?”