A contagious confluence, metaphorical hydraulics in chronofluidity, multiple rippling effects.

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I Hear America Muttering

I hear America muttering, her incoherence I hear, on late-night AM radio beaming in from Little Rock, Arkansas, endlessly rocking the nation’s fleet of automobiles across the starry night. Radio signals and hydrocarbons leak into space as headlights browse the asphalt. We have no future beyond the headlights, and the past keeps slipping closed behind us.

Friday, September 10, 2004


The woman whose hand he held was a stranger, yet it seemed now that they had always known the comfort of each other’s grasp. He’d seen her around, in the hallways, on the elevator, but he didn’t know her name. They’d never spoken, not even as he smashed the window with a chair and helped her step up, not even as they gripped each other’s hand and dived. And there was no hesitation, as if each knew instinctively that the other preferred diving to jumping. And why was that, he wondered, as he felt her hand squeeze his and tried to get a glimpse of her face against the blur of windows. Her eyes were closed. He wondered what she was thinking and why he seemed to have the time and presence of mind even to be thinking these thoughts. And he looked at his feet and beyond them the sky—the sky—and knew why he’d plunged headlong instead of feet first. And the people who witnessed the dive from the street below or who saw the videotaped images on television must have wondered, too, what they were thinking, how they could have dived seemingly so calmly, he in a dark suit, she in a dress, both their bodies fully extended but looking relaxed, hand in hand, through the rushing air. It was awful to watch. It was mysterious and transcendent. Before the divers reached the pavement, everyone looked up to see the sky.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Oldies Talk Radio

She had been listening to a radio talk show in the early morning hours. A caller, who sounded distant despite all the improvements in telephone and radio technology, claimed that he had invented a way to receive sounds from the past and stream them on the World Wide Web. She chuckled. He continued. The radio host was going to let him talk. Yes, people’s intimate conversations, Homer’s spoken word performances, the Sermon on the Mount, all of those voices were out there. All that was required was equipment sensitive enough to pick them up and sift them out from the background noise. He used the analogy of the radiotelescope in Arecibo picking up a sitcom broadcast millions of years ago in a solar system long since gobbled up by a black hole. She couldn’t tell if his crankiness was delusional or cunning. She would like to know what Emily Dickinson sounded like, though.