Reflections on a Novel in Progress – James Krendel-Clark

“Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you, / At incredible speed, traveling day and night, / Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes. / But will he know where to find you, / Recognize you when he sees you, / Give you the thing he has for you?”
-John Ashbery, “At North Farm”

If life is a videogame, then my funky aura that makes hysterical invalids sneeze is just a cloud of pixelated signaletics. Can I bask in the glory of the slight victory when I find a job, when I smoke a cigarette, when the sun kisses me with wreathes of heroic cinders? And yet we are not ready for the knot that ties too tight our bundle, crushing the pages singed with blood from our tubercular lungs, my pages clutched to a rotting chest and a bloated abdomen, bags and polyps splashed with 3D explosions. No, I love you, when our weavings kiss a rhizome, ladle out your nectar, my tongue is ready! Curl your cute cheek over here, I’m ugly only in bad lighting.

Each fresh faces splashes its expression, smearing molecules of grin and as I smudge its trail into cubisms of delirium, clustered shards in a clutch of soft reeking messages that embryonically incubate in my formaldehyde-blazing eyewear, in the art gallery I could smell her gravitation as she came around the corner, ludicrous beauty shattering every huddled reeking organ to a broken glass crush of blood and mucus. She is only pretending to look at the paintings.

And baby boomers with shit to do slurp coffee and scribble on clipboards. Gen z bubbles with enthusiasm, gen x feigns indifference and millennials rot under the burden of an avant garde come of age. May all your champions burn! And as we brush past next time will you please just grab me and say something ridiculous.