The house is under a pall today. Perhaps on your way to you could come see? I swear it was not, yesterday. Today is what it is now, all is and that. Letters and
not, like that, for heaven’s sake. There again. Shapes, as instances where there were before such and such. Or darkened bars, then I looked away I was breathing too hard. It was in kitchen perhaps. Now amid the spoons. Not really perhaps though. Say it is trilling from somewhere, or the photograph that used to be. Tuesdays. I will have you check my pulse— it is a remnant. High bright spots like I think light? In a train but what is the word? Under a pall.
Were there always these spaces under the bed? Do they come out? Is that the same kind of soap we use? Is, that is. Someone came over. They used my name. No, but it’s the same I’ve always had. Looked all over. Three letters on the night table. Writing I don’t recognize. These are for something. It’s the same noise there too. A high whine like silver—then I look. There was something you were going to bring. It has sharp edges. Stay away, anyway. It’s too soon. Do you have some of that? Some one, some thing, very useful you know but not those words, not those. Some words but not those—what were they? Fur in the corners, someone but with four legs. Where they shouldn’t be again. I called out loudly but I needed a name. So I called without a name, I called out.

4 Comments

  1. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Hi John, A couple of readings and I could hear the bent voices calling out, strange disjointed, images that stick, sentence by sentence. Let them breathe, should you read this aloud, each deserves consideration. I love especially, “Were there always these spaces beneath the bed? Do they come out?” Null space constructed to pull out! Wonderful. Madness. And not. And “Fur in the corners, someone but with four legs” –– oh, humor, I’ve seen that dog!

    This: “I called out loudly but I needed a name. So I called without a name, I called out.” A haunting finale, John.

  2. Len Kuntz

    HI JVW,

    I love the uncertainty, ambiguity, all the questions asked and unanswered. It felt very cerebral, yet lyrical. And that ending is killer.

  3. Alina Stefanescu

    I love the first line of this John: “The house is under a pall today.”

    “Perhaps on your way to you could come see?” I re-read this line a few times and still wasn’t sure how to wrangle it. And I accept this may be intentional but I wanted to mention it anyway just in case? 🙂

    “I swear it was not, yesterday. Today is what it is now, all is and that. Letters and
    not, like that, for heaven’s sake. There again. ” This is when I understood the monologic aspect of this speaking voice and many things clicked in my head and I nodded and smiled.

    “Or darkened bars, then I looked away I was breathing too hard. It was in kitchen perhaps. Now amid the spoons. Not really perhaps though.” Love it.

    And love the “trilling”… and the “Tuesdays.” Alone.

    “I will have you check my pulse— it is a remnant.” Wonderful!

    “In a train but what is the word? Under a pall.” Wonderful returning to the thread of the beginning.

    “Were there always these spaces under the bed? Do they come out? Is that the same kind of soap we use?” Wow John. Maybe my favorite part of this piece. Wow.

    Love the “These are” and “There was” structuring in the final paragraph, and how well it holds things together.

    “Some one, some thing, very useful you know but not those words, not those. Some words but not those—what were they?” Yes, the somes!! Yes.

    “Fur in the corners, someone but with four legs.” And the near homonyms of fur and four!

    “I called out loudly but I needed a name. So I called without a name, I called out.” Perfect ending. What a strange and riveting piece!

  4. Lisa Alletson

    John, I love the dreamy psychosis of this state you invoke. There are any number of reasons that could contribute to this state, but they don’t matter to me as a reader.

    I wonder if this line tells us, with the double function of the ‘you’ that the speaker is speaking to himself? ““Perhaps on your way to you could come see?” which would work well with the final lines.

    I really love this work. Utterly absorbing and set me into my own state of drift.

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