The Lost Canon of Alternative Arts

We will all disappear anyway.

What’s in a name? A rose…

We fragment. As will the life that once caught itself whipping around the sharp corners hanging desperately after a name – or pulling one behind, as heavy as a tire in the sand.

I’ve watched them. The runners who train at the beach, pulling their rubber anchors over the frozen sand in the winter. Is there a metaphor to apply here? “Why do you make everything so difficult?”

In the end what is left is someone else’s narrative. A grandchild’s perspective. A history book writer’s. Someone will get their name on a jar of the loose thoughts that belonged to a thousand people at any point in time, like a brand of jelly beans. And does it matter?

Ask John Fletcher where the story his life went. Why he isn’t the scribe. The brand. The demigod mask we try so hard to etch our own features onto.

He had a mad lover. (Your mind is desperately searching for context now, right?)

The beach in winter is still a surprise. How the sand stiffens, and the tiny tide pulls ice over. I twisted an ankle once stepping through the black ice on a run. Cut my heel.

That was unexpected. And somehow weirdly significant in my memory.

There is not even a metaphor there. Not yet. I figure that this image that keeps resurfacing needs meaning, needs context.

I’ve been making timelines the past few days, plotting names on numbered grids. Considering the colored swathes to represent a life span – or presumed life span – and wondering how to mark the “active years” of each figure.

I write figure, not person.

Kristin writes poems. And she has planted a butterfly garden.

What we give to the world, may not be what we intend. It’s arbitrary and all stories are fiction. Butterflies are real. And transient.

Meaning is a human activity – a baroque element in the world.

Everything is reshaped in the end. And the beginning.


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