Editions MSS
Editions MSS
Goldbarg’s Variants
§ 1.
Turquoise report from their turquoise world. Their turquoise mercy and their turquoise justice. We are as turquoise as they are.

Why not, instead, a literary report of their literary world? Their mercy is literary, and so is their justice. And are we not, like them, literary?

And what about you, over there, looking so intense with your frustrated intellect and your intense doctrine, your frustrated veil of intense verse?

You, too, are frustrated, despite your intense intellect. Your doctrine, too, is frustrated, despite its intense veil of frustrated verse.

Looks like another physical day on this woolly earth. I, you, we, they: woolly and physical.

And another people is angry at some watery sentence an angry judge passed somewhere, somewhere. And even the grass is angry, because watery eels writhe there.

She’s angry, she’s watery; she’s watery, she’s angry!

That she is me, Mona, my own favorite among oh so many possible snaking circuits and transitory twists of being, in part at least, human. And though he’s a transitory snake, his ass is my favorite, my favorite part of a man, however transitory he be.

And who else could he be but me? Perhaps not my own favorite among all these many transitory beings, or parts of beings — but that part will have its place. For now, the transitory form of my favorite Mona, my favorite parts of her — haunch, rump, ass, call it what you will — where I’ll put my transitory snake, my favorite part —

This talus-born lady interrupts — I’m not part of that false throng. And Dado Udidi, though himself of talus-born form, gives false testament on that score.

False lady, you are indeed one of that talus-born tribe among whom Dado Udidi counts himself false. But though his form be false, his testament, talus-born, is not.

I’m appealing and my lord is appealing to me. Whatever is appealing to his appealing will is appealing to me. I’m appealing to you and I’m yours.

I’m cast-off and my lord has cast me off. Whatever is cast-off is cast off because his cast-off will casts it off. You’re cast-off and you’re mine.

Am I plastic to him? Skid, is my pain only plastic to you? Yes, it must be plastic, as I am plastic. But you, Skid, you’re plastic.

What sundry Is am I? Sundry hes that sundry Skids call I? And what sundry Skid is this it that’s he, this he that’s me, Skid, a collection of sundry pains that add up to sundry I. And sundry you?

Pink prow, pink stern, pink oars, pink ropes, pink jib. Enormous mainsail.

Enormous prow, enormous stern, enormous oars, enormous ropes, enormous jib. Pink mainsail.

This autumn day’s idiotic maker. Idiotic Djuma and autumn thunder. He’s my autumn idiot.

Idiotic day, autumn maker. I must be idiotic. Idiotic flash of lightning. Autumnal Djuma.

Those weird people staring at us in a frightened circle. Weird wings, frightened legs.

We take the frightened wheel, frightened wings of sail, weird legs of those frightened people. They frightened us. Weird.

It was disturbing in that stretched valley. A disturbing firemaster stretched in the disturbing nod. I, too, stretched.

Disturbing master of weird fire, I stretched in that disturbing valley. A minaret stretched into the sky.

I was smiling at our smiling guide. Smiling, he led us smiling into the smiling cavern.

He must be unethical, that smiling guide. Smiling and unethical. The cavern, smiling and unethical. Antiethical, even.

Flippant city, as if shaved between the Arathu and the D’Laumes, flippant and shaved also. Their shaved bodies; my own, shaved and flippant.

Shaved I am, and flippant. It flows, the flippant river, Arathu, between shaved city banks. Their flippant bodies will be shaved. Not mine, not mine.

Pain, thick and mystical. His thick back. One of the mystical sinners.

To be one of those thick, mystical sinners, their thick backs shrived with mystical pain. He’s one.

A spooky plan. It’s upright in the spooky center of the spooky pit in the spooky field. A spooky time.

An upright plan. Upright in the upright space in the upright middle of the pit. I was upright.

Perhaps you’re as arrogant as I am? Such an arrogant question. And she’s as arrogant as Lyra, and Lyra’s as arrogant as he is. This arrogant need to be arrogant.

The two of us are great together in this sulfurous wind, as a great poet wrote.

In this great wind we two are sulfurous, as a not so great poet didn’t bother to write.

I am somewhere in between, sulfurous and great.

My incredible neighbor, incredible Vighdan, left various of my, or was it your —

Your various!? Various of my various neighbors on my various left think you’re simply incredible, “incredible” Vighdan included.

Thin master of thin spirits. Infinite master of infinite spirits. Me, you, you, I, you, you: infinite and thin.

Infinite spirit of a thin master. Thin spirit of an infinite master.

Imaginary wind, imaginary ends, imaginary branches.

Traditional ends for traditional branches. A traditional wind.

Short men are painful. This painful marsh is a painful place.

A short space for a short marsh. Painful people.

The busy bed of this busy narrative is busy with busy art. They are melancholy. He is melancholy.

This melancholy bed, this melancholy art. My melancholy narrative.

Vicious revenge, Mona. Vicious Mona. Vicious me. Are you vicious?

The unexamined Mona is not worth unexamined revenge. It’s not vicious; it’s unexamined. Me, me, me, you.

Current rings are different rings. Current circles are different circles. Current people are different people. All who are current are different and violent. All who are violent are current and different. It’s current and different.

The nodal news of my cultural viewpoint is as cultural as you think your nodal viewpoint is cultural news.

Cultural, you are so nodal. Nodal me is so cultural.

This perpetual world is employed in perpetual guilt. Guilt is employed on this perpetual earth to keep the world employed.

Your employed earth is my perpetual world of employed guilt.

An annoying theme for a stewed mind. Take annoying refuge from annoying humanity’s annoying willpower.

Humanity is stewed in its own stewed potency. Annoying minds find annoying refuge in stewed argument. Will is stewed and annoying.

I’m pretty, I’m pretty, I’m pretty, I’m pretty! Pretty power. It’s pretty. Pretty him. Give him pretty me.

Vocal me. I’m as vocal as I am pretty. Give vocal him pretty me. Give pretty him vocal me.

I’m vocal, I’m vocal, I’m vocal, I’m vocal! Vocal power.

A glowing path from the glowing peak of the glowing mountain through glowing rock down to the glowing plain.

An objective path from the objective peak of the objective mountain through objective rock down to the objective plain.

Crumbling Mona Coltrane in your crumbling coverlet of crumbling down. Your fame is crumbling, you crumbling master.

Your master is virile. Fame is virile. Virile plumage and virile duvet, my Mona.

It’s tight and logical. It’s logical and tight. It’s tight like me. It’s logical like me. Tight time, logical time.

Small flag for a small king. Small master of a small hell. You’re small. We’re small.

A belated king’s belated banner. Belated hell of a belated master. My belated belatedness is as belated as you are.

Easy lord, I’m black.

Black lord, I’m easy.

He’s black, lord, and easy.

She’s easy, lord, and black.

[ A not-for-profit instantiation of human imagination and human labor ]
Copyright © 2005 Michael Sean Strickland