This city, cerulean and indigo. Its cats conspiring in shadows. Its twisted, cobbled streets, filigreed with light. A city of vendors, shops, carts wobbled high with junk. All things broken and lost. Men come calling through the streets with ancient voices, eyes black as olives. Honey and bread and figs set on tables.
The call to prayer wakes me at 0545 saying that god is great, prayer is better than sleep. I am haunted by consciousness, by the pious cries of the minarets. They baptize me into the world of the faithful, the holy, a world I will never be a part of. For the rest of my life I will search for that sound. On the streets hives of Vespas speed by, secular voices of commerce. Exhaust stains the air. I am totally alone.
The Pilgrimage of Salmon
In America I had become initiated into the signs and codes of the middle class trance, the sleep induced by my status and prescriptions. Designer dogs, Pelotons, craft beer, Xanax. On television someone was always scoring a touchdown, guessing the answer. I found myself crying for no reason. A Nature Channel special on the pilgrimage of salmon, a baby touching its face. People were living longer, the heart outlasting desire.
Shapes of God
Wheels and stars and crosses and moons. These are the various shapes of God, elemental forms with which to signify the ineffable. Symbols to comfort us against the infinities of suffering. To ornament the chaos.
I find signs in everything. Faces in whorls of wood, codes in my coffee grounds. Every mad scrawl along a wall is the signature of God.
There are so many clues that sometimes I forget the mystery.
City of Broken Things
Every morning I am woken by the calls of street vendors pushing their carts of junk through the streets, wagons wobbled high with the lost and broken. Scarred globes, telephones, torn pants, diapers, shattered windows, family photos, doll heads, steering wheels, windshields, calculators, love letters, dentures, doors, scissors, trombones, tubas, toy pianos, strollers, samovars, antlers, alarm clocks, vials, syringes, candelabras, wind-up birds, barbed wire, oil drums, shoe horns, mouse traps, dried glue, glass eyes, prosthetic legs, condoms, cages, crystal, vases, suitcases, television knobs, bicycle chains, romance novels, shoes, bed springs, bells, busts, razors . . .
Istanbul is where all broken things come to find a second life.
I am beyond algorithm, beyond celebrity or status or name, deep in the loneliness of the city. Only the wind’s grim solo through the alleys.
Is it possible to be so unreachable that you are lost to yourself, seeking artifacts to remember who you are? This wallet, these keys, this box of secrets.