Truthful words are not fine-sounding. “And you thought Christmas was over.” Sooner Fashion Mall. Fine-sounding words, not truthful. “Ring in the New Year with January’s In-Sidewalk Sale.” The good man doesn’t argue. “Something for the whole family.” The man who argues isn’t good. Baby World, Bed & Bath, Buckle & Knife. Much learning means little wisdom. Chic-Fil-A, Circus World, Dillard’s. Nor does the Sage hoard. El Chico, Foot Action, Karmelkorn. Instead he lives for other people. Merle Norman, Moomau’s, Morrow’s Nut House. And thereby himself grows richer. Owl’s Nest, J.C. Penney, Shoes II. He gives to other people. Streets, Video Concepts. And thereby himself has greater abundance. Our best Beta your best buy.
“When you want the real thing.” The Way of Heaven. “Experience our experience.” Benefits. “Drastic Reductions.” But does not harm. “We’ve cleared our shelves.” Thus the Way of the Sage. Baby World. Is bountiful. First Winter Clearance. And. Selected Mother-to-Be Outerwear Fashions. Is not contentious. Selected Infant Clothing, 50% Off (Fashions for Mother-to-Be and Her Baby, Norman, OK). Gigantic Sale! Clearance Sale! Sidewalk Sale! Women’s Fashion Blouses, Women’s Sleepwear, Women’s Robes. Dallas Cowboys T-Shirts and Shorts. “Open.” Women’s Fox Shirts. “10:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.” Selected Western Boots for the Family.” “1:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sunday.”
Let there be. Saturday in-sidewalk sale. A small country. Three-foot jet of water, green sub-lit surface. With a small population. “Yea, there’s pennies over here” – New Orleans Saints black-armed tee shirt. Where the supply of goods. “Michelle, stand up” – mommy to seven-year-old – “I don’t have three pennies, honey.” Is tenfold. Honey-blond three-year-old also in tow. “Make a wish” – mommy caving in – “and throw them in the fountain.” Even more than they can use. “Chrissie, come over here!” – Michelle to sister, grey sweatsuit, red stripes. “They got dimes in here.” Gold heart ear-dangles, blue-white Nikes. Michelle tossing last of pennies into water. Rocks moss-free; slight calcium stain on wilting poolside flora. Mom, Chrissie sipping from red-white-black Chic-Fil-A drink cups.
Let the people value their lives. Heavy mall-echoed Musak cadence. Let them not migrate far. Westward. Inquisitive looks. Buster Brown, black-enclosed white-frosted light-through letters. “Moomau’s Shoes,” italic “S,” Roman “hoes.” “Please No Food or Drinks.” Almost empty coffee cup sitting, corner, green trash receptacle (beige plastic bag interior). Claire’s Boutique, salesclerk beautiful uplook, horizontal red-white stripes, long hair, olive skin. “This Table 1/2 Price.” Though there be boats. Young mommy drift-past, stroller arrest. And carriages. Hand-held two-year-old. None be there to ride them. Author red-haired baby toe-touch, mommy dismay.
Extensions-I. Though there be armor. Bald, white, featureless manikins. And weapons. White imitation-fur jackets, hands outheld, four white spotlights overhead. There will be no occasion. Disconsolate red-smocked salesclerk. To display them. Seated before vitrine, chiaroscuroed by display, obscured by beige matron. County Seat: “Levis: Gals Gals Guys.” Let the people again tie ropes. Paul Harris: upheld purple deep-cut nubby sweater. For reckoning. The Print Shop: “Please No Smoking.” Let them enjoy their food. The Owl’s Nest: “No Pets.” Beautiful their clothing. Casual Corner: nasty-desultory smile, white-jacketed, copper-slippered, blue-head-banded blonde. Be satisfied with their homes. “Come in and browse, tarry and chat.” Salesclerk tucking in her blouse. “Casual Corner’s meant for that.” “It’s now 1:30” – overheard. “Come in and leisurely look awhile.” “What?” – girlfriend. “And find what’s good and fine in style.” “It’s now 1:30” – boyfriend. “And if you wish, your business we’ll tend.” “So what?” “Come in as a stranger, leave as a friend!” Georgian hymn-number Methodist plaque on rustic brick facing. Delight in their customs.
“I’m just curious what you’re writing about?” – investigation-intent store-owner, stepping to author’s side.
“The people of Norman?” – brown slacks, beige jacket, penny loafers.
“Un-hun.” Musak bells. “For example.” Dull manikin window gaze. “I’m putting you in right now.”
“You’re from Norman, aren’t you?”
Dillard’s entrance. The neighboring settlements. Two-teen table-klatsch. Overlook one another. Tiny nails in red polish. Pink-clad manikin, pink strap shoes behind them. Poster of Paris beside her, sunset beside mauve-grey Notre Dame. So that they can hear. “By suggestion, some Lynyrd Skynard on the KATT” (radio). The barking of dogs. Multiple-TV-set basketball game (Wichita State-Tulsa). And crowing of cocks of their neighbors. Differences in color among the sets. Onward: microwaves $549; luggage; Oneida silver. And the people. “Personal Expressions”: “Birthday,” “Love.” Till the end of their days. “You make happy things happen”; “Live it up!”; “Wishing You Well.” Shall never have been outside their country. Karpel Jolie Fleur; Regal Cookset; Givenchy beige bras. Western Exit.
Dillard’s continuation: Snoopy at yellow typewriter, larger green alligator nearby. Highlit single shoes: rust, magenta, black. Cosmetics island: Ritz Light Perfume Spray; The New Color Wave; Gold Spangle “ESPRIT.” Patching up a great hatred. “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (Living World display). Is sure. “Eat joyfully.” To leave some hatred behind. “But be of good cheer.” How can this be regarded as satisfactory? “I have overcome the world.” “Jesus is Lord” plastic candleholders.
Lynn of Norman arch (author exiting Dillard’s): manikin in white cocktail dress, large black polka dots, white straw hat, black band; black wrapping paper twisted about her feet. Therefore the Sage holds the left tally (sign of inferiority). Through-vitrine Streets interior: And doesn’t put the guilt. (Gold-boxed “STREETS” on glass, “Master Card,” “Visa.”) On the other party. Ravishing salesclerk, bra-straps visible through taut sweater. Marcelle’s Snoopy chef apparel, marked down. The virtuous man is for patching up. Boyfriend arrival. Author continuation: Mission Jewelers, day-glow “SALE” sign. The vicious, for fixing guilt. Gilt Edge Farms dairy dispenser (Orange Julius). Mom-with-two-kids entrance: “Chrissie, no. Michelle! I’m going to spank you if you don’t come over here right now!”
But the Way of Heaven. Merle Norman. Is impartial. Potpourri. Bioessence. Black “Sale,” white ground, on pink jardinière. It sides. Nervous Indian babe. Only with the good man. Tapping her foot, grey boot, grey blazer. Onward: The Wax Factory (“Emergency Candles”). Hickory Farms of Ohio. Salesgirl: “What are you doing?” (“Fruit Cakes.”)
“Writing a book.” (“Logs ’n Balls.”)
“About what?” (“Cold Pack Cheese Food.”)
“About Norman.” (“With Nuts.”)
“Why do you have to write a book about Norman?”
“I don’t.” Salesgirl in red checked shirt, white collar; beautiful blue sweater; lovely hair; Athena eyes. “What do you think I should write about?”
“What about churches?”
“I’m sorry, but not about churches.” Onward: The Desk Set. Beige globe, blue globe, in-lit globe. Kinney Shoes. Dalton Booksellers (Number 1 Best Seller: Colleen McCullough, An Indecent Obsession).
There is nothing. Karmelkorn. Weaker than water. “Today! Sour Cream and Onion Corn.” But none is superior to it. Cinnamon Korn, Pop Korn Balls. In overcoming the hard. “Korny!” For which there is no substitute. Individual overhead Kornheaters. Karamel whiff. Onward: The Tobacco Barn. “How are you today?” – white button-up-sweatered salesman, white-bowled meerschaum in hand. “O.K.” Look of interest from single-ear-ringed accomplice. Tobacco puff. Sweet interior coffee-tobacco whiff. White-bowled, white-sweatered manager regard. That the weak overcome the strong, and the submissive overcome the hard, everyone in the world knows. Author exit. Yet no one can put this knowledge into practice. Moses Old Fashioned Ice Cream Bars. Therefore the Sage says: Red-and-white striped girls, pretty “napkin” headcovers. “Who receives into himself.” Lemonade: Fresh Squeezed by the Drink. “The calumny of the world.” Earcetera. Grab Bags. “Is the preserver of the state.” Dirty blonde studied curiosity. “Who bears himself the sins of the world.” Boyfriend in beige parka stare. “Is the king of the world.” Radio Shack. “Straight words seem crooked.” TRS-80 Computers.
“Come on kids” – dad in red jacket. “Stevie!” Stevie in carmine cap, OU red jacket. “Want me to go look for Mom?” The Gold Mine (video arcade). Eight-year-old blond girl entering. The Way of Heaven. Sky Raider, Starship, Warlords. Is it not like the bending of a bow? Asteroids, Asteroids, Asteroids, John, Jacob and Michael lined up in front of them. “John owes me 25 cents” – Michael. The top comes down and the bottom-end goes up. LeMans, Carnival, Sundance. The excessive it takes from, the deficient it gives to. “I’m pretty good at this” – Jacob, working Super Cobras. Battle Zone: “Super Score Monthly High: Marsha Hill 2600.” Williams’ Defender: “This machine ripped me off a quarter” – John. It is the Way of Heaven to take from those that have too much and give to those that haven’t enough. Tempest, Tempest, Tempest. Not so with man’s way: Steeplechase, Wizard of Wor. He takes away from those that have not. Venture. And gives it as tribute to those that have too much. Fat yuppie couple, laughing happily, running up Hustle score. Who can have enough. Tornado, Baseball, Big Top. And to spare. Sky Raider. To give to the rest of the world? Lunar Lander, Star Castle, Space Wars. Only the man of Tao. Berzerk. Therefore the Sage acts. Centipede. But does not possess. Starhawk. Accomplishes. Gremlin Blasto. But lays claim to no credit. Drag Race (“Over-Revs Can Blow Engine”). Because he has no desire to seem superior. Deluxe Space Invaders, three pre-teens manipulating controls.
Onward: Zales, The Game Shop, World Bazaar. The Village Goldsmith: red-sweatered girl, styled-out frizzies, “Hi there” to little blond kid. Cobra attacking mongoose. “Idn’t that cute!” – matron to late-teen daughter. Bed and Bath: acid burn-out seated in swivel wicker, green cushions. Rainbow Creations: animal throws, 30% off. “Further Reductions on Bedspreads.”
Sears. When a man is born. Valentine girl (valentine-patterned robe, matching nightie). He is tender and weak. Clock 1:03 (stopped). At death. Big Bold White Sale. He is hard and stiff. TV voice: “John McEnroe, second in career earnings.” “No, I didn’t bring no clothes” – befuddled Okie woman, Sears shoe section. “This is the ten-inch skillet” – author passing House Wares, forest of light fixtures overhead. Hardware: “A Tool For Most Every Need.” Anti-Freeze; Summer Coolant. Eastern door: “Thank you for shopping at Sears.” Electronic Calculator: Liquid Crystal Display. “He’s been sleepin’ all night” – mother of baby to salesclerk, Swim Wear.
When the plants are alive, they are soft and supple. “Basket Sets, 99¢ each.” McEnroe, orange-shouldered, through Video Concepts vitrine, large ($299990) screen. When they are dead. Blue court, pale facial determination. They are brittle and dry. McEnroe multiples. Therefore hardness and stiffness. “Listen” – Kermit the Frog to Miss Piggy. Are the companions of death. “Congratulations on winning the beauty contest.” Softness and gentleness. “Well, we’re headed west” – TV voice. Are the companions of life. Teenie: “Aren’t these pretty?” (Flowered boots.) Mom: “Uh-hun!” Second passing teenie in “Go For It” tee shirt. Two Indian Kids, elder in green Izod. Black couple seated in front of “Hallmark Salutations”:
|Umbrella||“Hallmark Cards”||Easter egg|
|Sun||Xmas tree||Clover leaf|
Two blond girls, pink shirts, pink sweaters. The Passing Parade. Sul Lee, Dean, University Libraries, multicolored plastic shopping sack held behind his back. “Have Fun, Stay Young. Learn to Square Dance.”
High Horse Tavern. Ice-O-Matic machine. Morton Salt. When people have no fear of force. Black-letter “BAR” on red globe, gold stem. Then great force descends upon them. “A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted” – sign pasted to mirror. Despise not their dwellings. “Nobody loves me like my baby” – juke-box lyric. Dislike not their progeny. Dawn up for dance set. Because you do not dislike them. Tanya skirt hike, barstool sit. You will not be disliked yourself. Poster with girl (seen through archway), hand in pussy. Therefore the Sage knows himself. Paula. But doesn’t show himself. Red blouse over yellow tee shirt, black cowboy hat. Loves himself. “Nobody can make me feel the way I feel” – lyric. But doesn’t exalt himself. Tom (bartender) tipsy, pulling draw. Countertop red phone, red Coors ashtray. He rejects the one (force). “Notice: Maximum Number of Persons Allowed: 150.” And accepts the other (gentility). Cigar box, Dawn’s half-eaten sandwich atop it. “Taste the High Country.”
Sporadic applause; slow hoot; more claps (Dawn’s first number). Black-capped manager talking to Paula, runway end. “It must not be exciting if you’re writing it here” – Tanya, gold leaf earring bobbing. “The King of Hearts” – lyric – “always takes the Queen.” “No Checks.” “Everybody makes mistakes.” George (bouncer) seated at bar, black satin jacket, yellow outline of Vietnam, red “Danang 1965” embroidered over it. Tanya up. Dawn in Tom conversation: “I get off at seven.” “No problem.” “Everybody makes mistakes” – lyric. Fluorescent through-mirror-dust/grease glow. Tom depositing pitcher, empty glass. Dawn up, hand in pussy. Whistle, clap. Paula in Tanya conversation. Dawn naked outstretch, pink hair ribbon. “She’s got Bette Davis eyes.” Paula ash-flick. Tanya nervous over-author reach, double empty draw-glass deposit. “She’s got Bette Davis eyes.” Cig machine glow through empty glasses. “A.S.S.” – behind-bar sign – “American Sex Society (firm member).” Queen of Clubs coffee mug on bartop, upside down. “Refill!” – Paula, money shuffle from left to right hand, high school ring on right. Tom full-pitcher-deposit. Red digital “7:00” on over-door Coors clock, double barley sheaf inset, waterfall vignette. Dawn already dressed, departure preparation.
Tanya up. “I’ve known some crazy ladies that sparkled in the light.” Who is brave in daring, him you kill. Ph.D. cabbie down-bar, long hair tied back; granny glasses, beard. Who is brave in not daring. Red cig tip aglow. Him you let live. George arms-folded stand at entrance booth. Heaven’s Way conquers without strife. Sit-down disappearance. Rewarding without words. Crowd mild, quiescent. Song conclusion; Tanya dressing-booth emergence. “I need a pitcher, Tom” – distant Paula. Making its appearance without call. “I need a pitcher!” – nearby voice. Achieving results. Tom. Without obvious design. Telephone receiver under chin, pouring pitchers. “And the door swung open and the phone rang” – Tom laughing. “And I heard him scream, ‘Fuck you!’” “Tom, Tom” – Tanya to bar with order, leopard-skin bathing suit. The Heaven’s net is broad and wide. Smiles broadly at author. With big meshes, yet letting nothing slip through.
Men’s Room graffito: “Please do not drop cig butts in urinal. We don’t piss in your ashtray.” “Beer busts are better” – poster of girl with big tits, author return to bar. “It makes me feel so bad” – Tanya. “Pitcher” – Paula. “‘The juke box is screamin’” – Tom, on break at Asteroids, to Tanya. “Is that Barbra Streisand?” Tanya double-take. “I’m just tryin’ to fuck you up.”
“You’re not fuckin’ me up.” Tanya brushing strand behind ear. Paula to author’s side for “interview”:
“Whadda ya want me to say?” Shoulder dip, sweet smile.
“Whatever you want.” The people are not afraid of death.
“If you ain’t country you ain’t shit.” Why threaten them with death? Tanya return, lighted cig; bills folded around middle fingers, same hand:
“I need three!” Back arch, hand on tailbone. “Aah!” Bruised hip. Rhythmic claps from scattered audience, song conclusion. Cash-register door closing. Tom to entering Sherry, wet hair:
“You ain’t here again?” Salmon shirt, tight jeans.
“Oh yeah, you can’t run me off.” Maroon boots. Supposing that the people are afraid of death. Black eye-liner. That we can seize and kill the unruly. Deep intent. Who would dare to do so? Cheryl arrival (shift change), music beat stride, preppy green sweater, gorgeous hair. Paula up.
“The big chief” – Tom – “just walked through the door” (Curtis arrival). Often it happens the executioner is killed. Tom, behind-bar shirt-adjustment, in Curtis conversation, bills in both hands. And to take the executioner’s place. Tom draft slurp. Is like handling the hatchet for the master carpenter. “Draw, please” – tight-assed middle-aged professor, arm nervously on bar. He who handles the hatchet for the master carpenter. Anxious glance. Seldom escapes injury to his hands.
“I think you’re being very rude” – professor to Tanya, dumb conversation initiation. The people are not afraid of death.
“Excuse me” – Tanya to author, leaning over, two empty pitchers in left hand, four empty glasses in right. Tom scene-observation, bartop-wipe. Because they are eager to make a living.
“You just washed your hair” – author to Sherry. That is why they’re not afraid of death.
“Yeah.” Nervous-blasé hair-stroke. “Talkin’ about you babe” – lyric.
“That Tanya’s hot to trot” – barside regular, chalking pool cue.
Sherry: “I need a bag of sour cream chips.” Sherry-Cheryl confab as Sherry waits, Cheryl in black gown, wide silver belt. George by-passage, barside regular catching his attention:
“Hey, do you know a girl named Mindy?”
“No” – George. “You’re in love with all these girls.” Cheryl, arm-against-author’s distraction-technique:
“Whatcha doin’?” Author examines Cheryl necklace medallion:
“What kind of bird is that?”
“I signed out” – Sherry to George, clipboard dim-light sign-in-list check. Tanya, white, green-sleeved softball shirt, leaves blue canvas bag on counter. Picks up bills, cig smoke drifting upward. Paula dancing nude, front-view leg lift. Cheryl at-author into-men’s-room-darkness glancing. Graffito: “Go Home and Jack Off, You Worm.” “This time” – lyric – “I’m holdin’ out for love.” “More! More!” – audience of hippie carpenters, three bikers, graduate students, loners.
“This guy’s always fair.” Donut Stop conversation. “Where’s that at?” Late-morning coffee break, mommy with two blond daughters, five-year-old twins. He who knows. Author observing, next table. That he does not know. Twins observing author, one standing in her chair. Is the highest. One kneeling, commentating author activity. “Be quiet,” standing blue-sweatered twin, “he’s writing,” to sister with donut in one hand, other arm akimbo. He who pretends to know. Brilliant red‑, green‑, blue‑; red‑, yellow‑, green-striped sweater, hooded. What he does not know. Mommy. Is sick-minded. To audience of older blue-eyed woman, woman’s hubby, seated across table: “I’d really like to go for blood.” Older woman leans back and away from hubby who, hands folded, greets newcomer: “This is the answer” – smooth-gruff wake-up voice – “to the prison population.” Black plastic glass frames, weathered face. “They just let him out.” Friend taking seat next to mommy. Hubby in beige leather jacket, white turtleneck, wine V-neck. “Two,” says blue-sweatered twin, holding up two fingers. New jeans, $110 boots, wide-band wedding ring. “He had ulcers” – older woman, blue suede jacket over back of chair, blue V-neck over sensuous interior. Blue-sweatered twin begins wiping table with napkin. “Stop it” – younger mommy – “that’s why we don’t come here any more.” Second twin, foot on table. “Samantha, do we have to go to the car?” Large engagement diamond, wedding band. “Is it going to be a long day?”
Clientele entering; conversation shifting. And who recognizes sick-mindedness. “When somebody like that that you know.” As sick-mindedness. “Can die.” Is not sick-minded. “It hits you kinda” – older wife, glasses in hand; valentine, cupid on wall over younger woman’s head. “It just shows you.” Deep red honeycomb heart over older woman’s head. “You just never know” – younger woman. Surrounded by four little cupids. “And it brings you closer” – older wife – “to reality.” Ankle-gathered pantalon, ochre buckle shoes, double gold necklace, diamond pendant. Nervous look from hubby, toothpick in gat teeth, “ex-convict” seated opposite. “Ha ha ha” – older wife, conversation drifting, “if you can believe all that.” Picks up Bedford Fair catalogue. “It’s only $42.”
The Sage. “Texas International Plans to Sweeten Offer.” Is not sick-minded. Daily Oklahoman spread over table, brown plastic cup, white plastic Cosi Cup insert. Blue-sweatered twin, pencil in hand, ponders what to write in mommy’s notebook. Mommy separating cinnamon cluster. “Take little bi-eets of this, Samantha.” Stream of new arrivals: 68-year-old brown-sweatered real estate agent; two beautiful girls, boyfriend of second entering at interval; two retirees, success-gone, success-still glances, both grey-haired, the first balding, the second beginning to. Pickup lot-departure, grey repainted Volkswagen bug replacement. Worker exit, Norman Building Supply cap (red/white), blue grease-smeared windbreaker, white bag with donuts to go. “Would you write” – Samantha to sister, orange-haired doll extended – “I love you an’ her?” Turtle, hippo, penguin on table top. Wine-jacketed, yellow-green-capped 50-year-old ’56 Chevy pull-up. Samantha running pencil through dolly’s hair. Gingerbread house, hung from ceiling, roof heart-thatched. “And get black marks on it” – Samantha. Robert Wood hubby-overhead thundering-delicious long horizoned sunset-seascape. Waitress approach, orange smock tied at ribs. Orange “Something for Everybody” newspaper rack seen through Donut Stop window. Orange paint chipped off, revealing brown.
Old man Waters arrival, Waters Electric Range Repair Dodge van, “I’m Mad Too, Eddie!” bumper sticker. Table approach: “How you doin’ boy,” to Samantha, followed by hearty ha-ha’s. Mommy simultaneous conversations with older woman, Samantha: “I’m so big in the shoulders …”; “Samantha Marie, are we ready to go?” “Mommy, I really need to go potty.” Classy girl exit, Chevelle 350 ascent. Behind-donut-case Iranian owner conferring with black-raincoated Iranian colleague. Waitress leaning over author table, clearing newspaper clutter, “Pepsi” wall menu behind her: “Old Fash Twist 30/Cinn Clusters 35/Bars 40.” “Leah, let’s go play outside” – Samantha to sister. “Get your glubs on.” Mommy in closing phase of fashion discussion. Black napkin dispenser, white napkin revelation; silver ashtray; waitress at work on departed Samantha-Leah leavings. “She wants five shares of Dallas Oil” – hubby arising. “It’s worth about five cents.” Hubby, older woman, friend departure; mommy departure, Samantha-Leah outdoor search. Restaurant sudden vacancy, Musak response. Equally sudden entrance of three, five, eight new customers. “This is it?” – pretty girl donut-case inspection – 11:30 donut-case vacancy, three turnovers, two Bismarcks, half a tray of plain donuts. Tables refilling. Double old-boy next-to-author situation, steaming coffee, last two of the Bismarcks.
“As far as I was concerned” – 52-year-old, smoke in face from newly-lighted cig – “I could dance with her without fearin’ I’d get my head bashed in.”
“And what’s she doin’ now?” – slightly younger friend (50? 51?).
“She’s remarried.” Two-bird electric-line departure.
“And him?” Light-grey pole terminals.
“I see him occasionally.” Pale blue sky, light cloud cover. “In his little 200Z.” K.C. Auto Repair, Old Blues Bar, Beaver Palace across-Flood view.
“Maybe so, after two or three.” Two-beautiful-girls-plus-boyfriend departure.
“Yeah, he’s still worried about drinkin’.” Beaver Palace in red door, white letters. “That’s the first thing he and Orlene would do at a party.” Ten cars in Ole Blues lot. “Would be get sloshered.” Sandstone face of wrecker yard, barbwire fence top. “Anyway, she danced with him and Brewster got mad.” ’65 Buick, baby-blue paint peeling. “And Orlene said, ‘I’m gonna get out I want out.’” Big cig drag. “And she got out and stayed out.” Birds resettled on electric line, airplane proceeding northward along their course. “I think Brewster told her several times, ‘Look, come on back and do anything you want to.’” Red-panted waitress on to sugar refills. “But she was afraid of gettin’ into somethin’ where you can’t control what’s happenin’.” Five-bird fly-by.
“Well, that makes me feel a lot better” – 50/51-year-old, Del Rancho billboard visible through north window behind him. “You see, that’s part of his problem. He played center, you may recall, and always had a funny outlook on things.” Black-shirted white-panted teenie entrance, followed by ten-year-old. “One thing he says is just get it over with.”
“Well, let me tell you. It was the Holiday Inn, about 1:30” – 52-year-old stroking hair from front to back. “I could see it comin’” – squeezes his neck. “Then one day she came by the house.” 50/51-year-old careful hot coffee intake. “And came on in.” 52-year-old glance to left, glance to right. “And wound up I was sittin’ on the curb, and she was sittin’ in the car.” Pause. “And I don’t really give a shit.” 50/51-year-old circumspection. “And she thought nobody noticed that, but everybody in town was talking’.”
“Yeah, they sure talk at the funerals.”
“And she’s old enough.” Late-arriving couple, she in heavily made-up tragic resignation, he in good-ole-boy palaver, chatting up behind-counter red-panted waitress. Next-table conversation turning to Gordon rehash. 52-year-old: “I don’t blame old Gordon. He had a choice between Sherry and Jamie. Which one would you take?”
“Now she was nice lookin’” – 50/51-year-old.
“Yeah. If I had to make a judgment on it, I’d say she’s nice lookin’.”
“Now Gordon …” – confidential voice-lowered fade-out, waitress on-scene inspection, comment:
“I’ve got these pine cones that’re still warm.” 52-year-old waving her aside; cig-drag uplook half-smile.
“He was chasin’” – 50/51-year-old – “just about anything that’d let him.”
“Well that’s a nice little woman he put the move on.”
“Well if he didn’t of, he missed a chance.”
Two-waitress next-table stand-up congregation, orange-smocked hand-held cig look-around, fellow waitress sultry interested regard, hand in hair, blue sweater. Old-boy conversation continuation: “She’s improved her oral sex habits/techniques a lot.” Laugh from interlocutor. “I’m just guessin’.” Glance at waitress, privacy determination. “She never turned me on, really.” Parking lot clearing out. Author, old boys, single customer all that remains. “I never saw her again for a year” – 52-year-old wrapping up.
“Well, I gotta get by the bank” – 50/51-year-old.
“Did you buy a lot of tickets?” – red-panted waitress uplook at 52-year-old from three-waitress table, closing time approach (12:35).
“I need another donut” – old-boy response.
“You didn’t like that one?”
“I guess I’ll get one to go” – 52-year-old.
“They’re all half-price” – orange-smocked waitress, cig drag. White empty crushed styrofoam to-go cup wind waffle, concrete-asphalt lot, fresh oil spots. Music up-depressive beat. Beige Mercedes 300SL wrecker-yard back-out. Subaru up-Flood 11-degree exhaust puff.
“Got anything beside day-old?” – 52-year-old inspection.
“That’s all I got” – red-panted waitress to behind-donut-case station.
“We run him off.”
“Give me one of them chocolate bars. You don’t have to pay today, do you?”
“Who told you that? Who told you that?”
SA EWA (Safeway, two lights missing), orange-and-white pickup lot-exit. Author park by “RESERVED” space (blue outline-stencilled asphalt wheelchair figure). Green parka exit, Thursday night thin crowd, fluorescent interior. “Check 9” visible over fast aisle. “Entrance” / ”Postage Sold Here” / “Saccharine Notice.” Basket selection: “Please Do Not Leave Child Unattended.”
My teachings. Red tulip. Are easy to understand. Valentine Special. And easy to practice. “You know it’s fresh.” Girl in blue cotton hooded sweatshirt, ERA button. Single drooper, wilting bunches. But no one. Red delicious apples. Can understand them. “lb, 49¢.” Crying baby moan; gasp; cry. And no one can practice them. Red parka-, jean-clad mommy. Red leaf lettuce; French leaf lettuce; fancy carrots. Green tomatoes; green onions; endive tops. Toledo Scales, red indicator pointing to 0. Girl in blue sweatshirt, red sweatpants, nervous entrance.
“Safeway.” In my words. “Guaranteed.” There is a principle. “Meats.” “Chicken Liver $0.93,” pink-purple stencilled price, off-orange container, clear plastic top. In the affairs. “Lamb shoulder.” Of men. “Arm chops.” There is a system. Healthy brown-red through bright-white reflective taut cellophane. “New Mexico peanuts / Portales N. Mex., USA.” Grey-haired shopper, full-length grey coat, tortoiseshell glasses, checks out flower offerings: mums, snapdragons.
Author child-visitation pre-weekend shopping: Eckrich Smoked Sausage (Jacob) $2.05. Because they know not these. Vermicelli Spaghetti (John) 79¢. They also know not me. Three plastic-bagged bananas, polyester elastic braid. Therefore. Market floor: Am I distinguished. Orange tile exterior, thin off-brown border, grey speckled interior. Single cig butt on green tile under vegetable row. J.C. Potter Country Sausage (J. & J.’s breakfast), $2.09, black and white pig on package. Author-scribbled grocery list: “tea,” “Vitamin C,” “toothpaste.” Crest, Aim, Colgate. Long red-haired hippie to black-haired hippie’s basket-carried daughter: “I don’t know if my chin will ever be smooth as yours.”
Accordingly. “50%-Off Sneaker Sale.” The Sage. Scotch Buy bathroom tissue. Ten Hungry Jack Buttermilk Flaky Biscuits. Inefficient shopper past and back; mom with six-, four-year-olds on lower cart level. Wears a coarse cloth on top. “Sea Trader Tuna 83” (author’s provisions); Scotch Buy Macaroni & Cheese Dinners. And carries. One gallon milk (J. & J.). Jade. “I can’t think where that would be” – beige-coated mommy. Within his bosom. Chinese couple, Pakistani woman, Ethiopian student. Aisle B: Chips / Cool Aid / Bottle Beverage. Frito ¾ Pounder King Size (J. & J.). Aisle D: NuMade Extra Chunky Peanut Butter, Empress Apricot Preserves. Safeway employee, shopping for himself.
Checkout stand: Tidal Wave bubble gum; Globe, Star, Enquirer (“Love Secrets of 100 Top Stars”). Cash register old-fashioned “clush-clunk.” Three apples (J., J. and author) on counter-top scales. “Phyllis” bagging, check #1125, 2/11, Safeway, 42.24; balance 208.59. “We need Pennies 1¢.” “Play Winner’s Jackpot Bingo.” Black guy talking to white guy at number 3 register. Snow-turned-rain glaze on parking lot floor. “You have to do all this politics” – white guy to exiting black guy.
“NPL: Have a Heart, Be a Friend!” Rainbow inside white heart, blue-grey ground. “Join the Friends of the Norman Library. Membership Cards at the Desk.” Over-Xerox-machine historic Norman photos. The brave soldier. Central reading room. Is not violent. Light conversation, silent feet pass-bys. Ten-, nine-year-old sisters, white sweater, white blouse, elder with white-dust-jacketed Hard Times under her arm. The good fighter. “Do you go to Whittier?” – swarthy kid. Does not lose his temper. To India Indian kid. The great conqueror. “It was a trick question” – Indian kid, hand in Price Guide. Does not fight on small issues. “What is ten per cent of …?” – conversation partner. Baby orchestration cries, father zipping up blanket-wrap.
Globe atop reference shelf: The good user of men. First with Africa facing out (red Libya, yellow Algeria, beige Sahara). Places himself. Second with Europe facing out, now obscured by blue-winter-jacketed. Below others. Eleven-year-old. Jacob at card file, one foot atop the other. Muted phone ring. Indian kid’s conversation partner, green pencil in hand. “We’ll get it this way in social studies.” Plaid shirt. This is the virtue of not contending. Oriental girl (17? 20?), black hair over black letter jacket, red “C,” white arm stripes. It is called. Seated, toes of Nikes on floor, both feet wiggling. The capacity to use men. Jacket un-zip, grey Levi shirt revelation. It is called. Pensive-humorous perusal. Reaching to the height of being. Funk & Wagnalls Modern Guide to Synonyms. Mated to Heaven. Flat on table. To what was of old. Before her.
Vietnamese 12-year-old seed-catalogue inspection, reference table, pale violet smock overall, purple/pink/white-striped long-sleeved shirt, beige braid-top loafers, grey socks. Swings around in swivel chair to confront writing author. Blond 12-year-old friend now looks up too. Two 12-year-olds in conference, hand-before-mouth giggles. “Yeah, here it is” – passing Indian kid. Constant rustle, plastic-cellophane book covers. Yuppie at reference table whistle up-start, his roadwork-orange parka draped over table; Saturday leisure clothes, light research posture. Young married bright green sleeveless parka pass-by. Baby “woop!” At adjacent table, pink-shirted mommy putting down magazine.
There is a maxim of military strategists. “Don’t Flake Off. Read This Winter.” (Children’s Section window display). I dare not be the first to invade. Author preceded by father, five-year-old in tow. But rather be the invaded. Table with checkerboard rug atop it, enormous checkers, four-year-old stacking them up. Dare not press forward an inch. “This is Tod” – father – “Can he play checkers too?”
“I’m big” – four-year-old. But rather retreat a foot.
“Tod’s big too.” That is. “It looks like he’s bigger than you.” To march without formations. Tod shy. Littler kid checker-stacking continuation. Tod passing on by.
Gorgeous eight-year-old, purple sweater. To roll not up the sleeves. Designer jeans, penny loafers. To charge not in frontal attacks. Hand delicately on cheek, wispy brown strands out over book, down back, single-braid interspersal. To arm without weapons. Sudden checker-stack down-clatter. “Drop it, drop it” – little kid to thick-glassed five-year-old with second checker stack in hand. Purple-sweatered reader’s even-more-gorgeous mommy, cream corduroy jacket, wine sweater, black pants: “Where did Sherry go?” Sherry sudden appearance, large book for Purple Sweater consideration. P.S. sweet-intelligent up-glance, silver heart on thin chain dangle. Behind-reference-table computer chess in progress. Oriental mother supervision, two Oriental sons seated in single chair before computer screen.
The Star Husband, City Horse, Words by Heart – upright shelf-top book display. “Orientation arranged for four o’clock tomorrow” – Jacob to author. “O.K.” – author reflection – “but that’s when you have to go home.” There is no greater catastrophe. Kid in enormous glasses skimming computer program manual. Than to underestimate the enemy. Second kid, digital wristwatch, making point by reference to computer screen. Sympa librarian in mauve smock, coordinated purple shirt, adjusting “Help Keep Me in Good Shape” display. Chinese mother advising computer chess players, beige back-buttoned blouse, elegant slacks. To underestimate the enemy. “READ” poster. Might entail. Miss Piggy standing on stack of books to reach top shelf. The loss of treasures. Kermit watching from below. Mauve-smoked librarian completing search: “I told you it didn’t take long.” Bare ankles in mauve loafers. Therefore, when two armies meet. Mickey Mouse, Bambi. Equally matched. Cut out and pasted on flowered poster. Humble-mumble of light voices. It is the man of sorrow. Small client standing before librarian’s desk. Who wins. Seeking essential information. Cub Scout yellow/blue hat awry.
Moore-Norman Vo-Tech curriculum, “Evening Opportunities at a Glance.” Monday night: Calligraphy (Basic); Log Cabin Quilting; Small Gas Engines. Tuesday night: Taxes: Planning, Compliance, Payment. Wednesday night: Ameslan (Basic); Vegetable Gardening, Hunter Safety. Thursday night: Inventory Management, Cake Decoration, Preparation for Child Birth I. Saturday: Air Conditioning; Bookkeeping; Carpentry; Welding; Typing; Preparation for Child Birth II. Special Skills: Speech Reading (For anyone with problems understanding what people are saying, in quiet or noisy environments). Life Skill Assessment (This is not a psychological test but an objective evaluation of your performance).
Second-semester curriculum. Monday night: Panoramic Easter Egg (Learn to make a sugar-moulded egg filled with bunnies, ducks, house, etc.). Tuesday night: Body & Fender Repair. Wednesday night: Rolled Icing (Will teach the Australian method. Students “must” have a previous class). Thursday night: Water Utilities Training; Stenoscript Shorthand; Basic TV & Video Production. Friday night: Brick & Masonry (Students will combine theory and practice while constructing walls and other such structures). Saturday: Bridal Bouquets (A demonstration of how to make your own); Principles of Lawn Care (An introduction to weed-killing, fertilizing, edging and trimming, all for Oklahoma’s unique land and climate).
Enrollment open throughout the year. Call Counseling Office.
West Gray Automatic Laundry. “I hate laundry days” – overweight turquoise top, bra-apparatus showing; cerulean blue stretch pants, white gold-dusted slipperettes. “And I don’t have any quarters.” “I have some” – author. Low grey rolled-up clouds. How did the great rivers and seas. Sun pushing through behind them. Become Lord of the Ravines? “Well, thank you.” By being good. Dr. Pepper clock stuck at 3:20. At being low. Hour-behind minute-hand, faded emblem. That was how. Red Coke machine. They became. Side spray-painted in carmine, white putty-smear striations. Lord of the Ravines.
Woman in khaki slacks dips 65-year-old frame to tap yellow rectangular plastic laundry basket on broken asphalt-tiled floor. Therefore. Pink babushka. In order to be. Thick-lensed glasses on end of nose. Chief among the people. “I was wantin’ to wash my hands,” she says, returning from locked washroom. One must speak. Lips puckered to receive cig. Like their inferiors. Withdrawn from gold cig purse. In order to be foremost. Green cricket lighter in turn withdrawn from cig purse pocket. Among the people. Inch-tall flame. One must walk behind them. Lifts lid of washer, checks suds action, lets top gingerly drop, glances at author. Thus it is. “You wearin’ a watch?” That the Sage. Author points to moustachioed 22-year-old, black tee shirt, gold watchband. Stays above. “Quarter-a-twelve.” And the people do not feel his weight.
Notice: Walks in front. “Check Washers and Dryers for Oil or Pens.” And the people. “We are Not Responsible.” Do not wish him harm. Inked in: “Not even responsible for getting the damn things fixed.” Felt-tip pen: “Sonia was here – call me – 364 5284.” Two safety pins on Formica folding table. “I like more cock than I can handle.” Tide box in pool of water (“Tide’s in … Dirt’s out”). “Do Lesbian too.” Oil-stained cardboard box, silver-taped. Letters on wall in red lipstick: “HEROIN.” Then the people of the world. Aldry dryer bank, #9 open: Are glad. “Select Heat.” To uphold him. “Low, low, low!” in black magic marker. Forever. “Your [sic] not lost” – graffito – “if you don’t care where you are” (#8). Because he does not contend. Another hand: “Loneliness is like death and taxes.” No one. “Everybody succumbs sooner or later.” In the world. Graffito (#7): Can contend. “This dryer has a hole in it.” Against him. “And it eats people’s clothes.”
The Ancients. Spangled ceiling. Who knew how to follow the Tao. Rough-plastered, once painted white. Aimed not to enlighten the people. Khaki-clad old girl smoking, seated next to author. But to keep them ignorant. Machine “thunk,” water shoot, rinse cycle Anbegin. Brown laundry basket, seated in purple basket. Overload/imbalance screech. The reason it is difficult. Topless guy in white sweatpants. For the people. Cutoff jeans overtop them. To live in peace. Unbelievably fat woman enters, yellow stretch pants, mottled biceps hanging over elbows. Is because of too much knowledge. Lavender top, red/white flower-patterned. Those who seek. Row of turquoise dryers. To rule a country. Fluorescent overlit. By knowledge. Small “roof” built over them. Are the nation’s curse. Galvanized garbage can, green plastic liner, black plastic liner within it. Those who seek not to rule a country by knowledge. Floored magazine, open to “Escape from Godhead – Krishna Testimony.” Are the nation’s blessing. Blue-coated older patron absorbed in “Is the Fetus a Human Entity?” seated next to author. Those who know. Turquoise bank #1 (silver), mechanism ripped out revealing dusty red, yellow, blue, black and white wires. These two principles. “Sorry” (pink), “NO HEAT” (black). Also know the Ancient Standard. “Chinque su madre.” And to know. “El que secque.” The Ancient Standard. “Agul Menos Nosotros.” And to know always the Ancient Standard. “I love Keli.” Is called the Mystic Virtue. Plate glass bullet hole, next-to-it “Norman Chamber of Commerce” decal: “Supporting Quality of Life,” “O” in Norman a model of the atom, eight-pointed star at center.
Coke-machine black-magic-marker side-inscription: “Money taken out ever [sic] 2 hrs. Police patrolled.” “BULLSHIT” – another hand – “I sat here for 3 hrs and 15 minutes and no one came for the money.” Lock broken off machine front; new lock installed. When the mystic virtue. Fat woman exiting. Becomes clear. Followed by rail-thin hubby in flesh-colored face mask, elastic strapped about his head. Far-reaching. Brown sedan departure seen through door’s chicken-wire-meshed glass. And things. Brown-in-purple basket stationed before closed washers. Revert to their source. Duo in conference: khaki-clad 65-year-old, double matching paper shopping bags, tee-shirted 20-year-old, sweat pants, Snoopy tee shirt. Then. $1 Bill Changer.” And then only. Illiterate scrawl: “This machine gives only one quater [sic].” There emerges. Yellow crayon: “padrattannaloves.” The Grand Harmony. “Open 24 hrs” – reading backwards through window.
Public Service Announcements
That which lies still.
Adult Learning Center
Is easy to hold.
Alcohol Information Center
That which is not yet manifest.
American Cancer Society
Is easy to forestall.
That which is brittle.
Is easy to melt.
That which is minute.
Commuter Bus Service
Is easy to scatter.
The Compassionate Friends
Family Counseling Service
(premarital, marriage enrichment, marriage crisis)
Check disorder before it is rife.
Displaced Homemaker Center
Dispute Mediation Program
Divorce Visitation Arbitration
A tree with a full span’s girth begins from a tiny sprout.
Independent Living Project
A nine-storied terrace begins with a clod of earth.
Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma
A journey of a thousand li. Men in Transition
Begins at one’s feet. Mobile Meals
One Day at a Time
He who takes action, spoils.
He who grasps, lets slip.
Parents without Partners
Because the Sage does not act.
He does not spoil.
Because he does not grasp.
Post-Gastric Bypass Group
He does not let slip.
By being careful.
Radio Emergency Associated Citizens
Title IV Indian Education
At the end. VD Clinic As at the beginning.
Women in Transition
Failure is averted.
“Norman, OK 73069.” He who lightly makes a promise. (Post Office.) Will find it often hard. Countertop clutter: To keep his faith. “Six 20¢ Stamps (Vending Machines Only),” cover only; rubber band; chain to pen holder, no pen. He who makes light of many things. City Bank Cash Box cash envelope (empty). Will meet many difficulties. Sounds of P. O. patron’s feet; clink of coins (change machine). Hence the Sage regards things as difficult. Countertop hand-drawn wedding invitation: “Tulsa, 34th Street Chapel”; reception, “Camelot Hotel, Hwy 44/Peoria, 200 pm, March 13.” And for that reason. “ERA for All” ad, hand-lettered, Xerox-ready. Never meets with difficulties. Patron entrance, coin jingle. Berry Road Baptist ad, “OUR WORLD’S LOVE REVIVAL,” countertop deposit. Patron exit. “MOTHER and FATHER.” Auto up-start. Patron entrance, stamps in hand. “BROTHER and SISTER.” South door “clunk,” west door “squeak.” Bald patron up steps, maroon OU jacket, key in hand, opens box (empty), exits.
Tao is the. “HOLY SPIRITUAL LOVE.” Mysterious secret. “Eve.” Of the universe. “Adam.” The good man’s treasure. “Jesus.” The bad man’s refuge. “Thou who hear say ‘Come.’” Beautiful sayings. “We love you.” Can be sold at the market. “PASS IT ON!” Noble conduct. “Sunday 29, 82.” Can be presented as a gift. “7 PM.” Though there be bad people. Red-jacketed, blue-panted girl at stamp machine, knee against ledge to support hands-free black purse. Why reject them? Cowboy entrance, box open, card withdrawal. Sound of car engine left running.
Therefore. Opposite-P.O. corner in-car sit, Gray/Peters. On the crowning of an emperor. “Sanders Auto Sales.” On the appointment. American wind-whipped flag, underlit, against black sky; Oklahoma flag; OU flag. Of the Three Ministers. Red light to green; silver lamppost. Yellow fire plug; blackened doorway. Rather than send tributes. Up-Gray westward view: Of jade. Receding car-pack taillights. And teams of four horses. Yellow running lights of car stopping at Peters. Double green lights (Gray) turning yellow. Send in the tribute. Rose-tinged overhead streetlights. Of this Tao. Double green replacing double red. Wherein did the Ancients prize this Tao? National Bank and Trust: 36°. Did they not say. Chilly car interior, compartment light illuminating author’s head. “To search for the guilty.” Quick side-window reflection study: “And pardon them?” Blond hair, gold-rim glasses. Therefore. Tire squeal. Is the Tao. Green light. The treasure. Green light. Of the world.
House of Greek. A big country. Baklava-delectation. Must be like. 330 East Main. The delta low-regions. “A chance of light sleet or snow tonight” (radio). Being the concourse of the world. Through-window “Mobil”-view, blue “M,” red “o,” blue “bil.” And the Female of the world. White in-lit ground. Three-Greek card-game table-group. Neon NEPO sign (OPEN). Pink cursive SROOC (COORS) in light blue oval. The Female. Greek chatter. Overcomes the Male. Radio in sing-along. By quietude. Author plate-glass-window-reflection quick-study-completion: And achieves the lowly position. Tweed jacket, brown V-neck sweater, open-neck checked shirt. By quietude. Observable fork action, baklava consumption.
Community Extra-Curriculum: Rule a big country. “Relaxation.” As you’d fry small fish. “For the mind and body.” (Without poking them.) Kundalini Yoga. He who rules the world. And Meditation. In accord with Tao. (Sarb Jit Kaur Khalsa.) Will find. Hatha Yoga. That the spirits. (Kathleen Harrington.) Lose their power. Intro to Meditation: “It calms and centers you.” (Jerry Densow.) “And gives you the opportunity to listen.” It is not that the spirits. “To your infinite self.” Lose their power. Self-Hypnosis. But that they cease. (Danny Scroggins.) To do people harm. “Improve study habits, aid memory, relieve test anxiety.”
Dance: New Wave Disco. It is not only that they cease. (Vivian Paxton.) To do people harm. “John Travolta Disco is dead.” The Sage himself. “But this class works on the latest moves.” Beginning Belly Dancing. Also does no harm to the people. “Comfortable-fitting clothing.” (Soroya.) “Is the only requirement.” Intermediate Belly Dancing: “We’ll begin finger cymbals and continue veil work.” When both. Country Dance. Do not. International Folk. Do harm. Classical Rock Ballet. To the people. Outdoor fun. Virtue. Hang Gliding; Back Packing; Rock Climbing. (Power.) Beginning Frisbee. Flows toward them. Cooking without Salt; Creative Writing; Dungeons and Dragons: “Become your character.” (Guy Zahler.) “Search for magic and treasure.”
Clowning for Fun and Profit: “Help the world laugh.” (Paul and Karen Phariss.) “By developing the clown in yourself.” Foil and Epee. Chess: “Elementary end-game structures.” Contract Bridge. The Psychology of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky (David Seamon). “Discussion of the synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophy under ordinary life conditions.” Open enrollment.
New Crafts and Skills: Home Wine Making. Home Bartending: “Covers basic drinks, proper equipment, the host’s responsibilities.” Therefore. Basic Crochet. If a big country. Basic Electrical Power Systems. Places itself. Assertiveness Training. Below a small country. “Speak up, Speak out.” It absorbs the small country. Philosophy; Music; Art. And if a small country. Self Defense: Places itself below a big country. Karate (Okinawan style); Aikido; Asian Fighting Arts Workshop. It absorbs. Disability – A Focus on the Issues. The big country. Survey of Fantasy and Science Fiction Lit. (Luhra Van Winkle Carman).
Homesteaders – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. In managing human affairs. Russell Bates, Barbara Canfield, Joanna Floyd. There is no better rule. Larry Gilliam, Lee Jolley, Ruth Kelso. Than to be sparing. Anita and Robert Marriott. To be sparing. Pat Privett, Linda Robillard, Cheri Schuldt. Is to forestall. Sally Smith, Warren Taber, Pat Vance; Jack & Lois Warren, Dee Womack, Rachel Felby. To forestall. “You and your family.” Is to be prepared and strengthened. “Will enjoy this lovely brick and frame.” To be prepared and strengthened. “Three-bedroom with large built-in kitchen.” Is to be ever-victorious. “Nostalgia Gotcha?” To be ever-victorious. “Here’s the one you’ll love.” Is to have infinite capacity. “Remember porches?” He who has infinite capacity. “Five-bedroom townhouse.” Is fit to rule a country. “Paradise Found!”
12th Ave. Rec. Center. John, Superman tee shirt, practicing jump shot; Jacob, Eric goofing off. Black dudes regulating full-court game. He who knows does not speak. Squeak of sneakers, “b-bong” of ball off rim. He who speaks. “Pepsi” machine, “Candies” machine, “Snacks” machine in alcove. Does not know. Twenty-year-old in red shorts takes down another college kid with waist tackle. “Steve Williams, Steve Williams!” he says, raising his arm, fist, index finger. “LIFE” (yellow) “BE IN IT” (orange) sign, taped to wall behind b-ball court. Three eight-year-old girls, red, green, blue shirts, haltingly dribble past, three basketballs.
Gym in white ceiling, orange enamel walls. Fill up its apertures. Windowless. Close its doors. Brown doors. Yellow pine court, cream border. Dull its edges. Black guy misses jump shot, white guy follows; misses; calls foul. Untie its tangles. “ABSOLUTELY.” Soften its light. “No one Allowed.” Submerge its turmoil. “In Arts and Crafts Room.” (Hand-lettered sign.) “Without a supervisor.” Black guy, green cutoff shirt, white shoes, in high-leaping spin-manoeuvre. Light brown dude, Oklahoma Baseball cutoff sweat pants, red Puma shoes, dribbles the length of the court and stuffs it. This is the Mystic Unity.
“Pre-School” room filled with teenies, pre-teens, tiny kids. Little girl in pink, little boy in blue; yellow smiley face on wall. Jacob at cueless pool table. Then love and hatred cannot touch him. “Pool rules: 1. No spacing.” Profit. “2. You can’t give up your game.” And loss. “3. The next person in line plays.” Cannot reach him. Foosball game in progress. Honor and disgrace. Ping-pong partners: Cannot affect him. Fat kid in tiny glasses vs. 32-year-old father of three-year-old girl, paddle in hand for ping-pong ball retrieval. Volleyball rules on yellow lined paper. “Women” (wall), “Ladies” (door), yellow-glare restroom entrance.
Therefore. Racquetball court view from above. Is he always. Through heavy wire mesh. “Did you forget to turn out the court lights?” – purple poster paint on green construction paper. The honored one. “P-plop” (service); “plop” (return). Of the world. Missed volley, fall-down, amateurish play.
Pre-spring. He who is rich. Sunday afternoon. In virtue. Solitary backyard scene. Is like a child. Distant “thump, thump-thump” (McFarlin parking lot basketball). Two male grackle arrival, joined by female. No poisonous insects sting him. “Squeak. Br-z. Squeak squeak. Brzz.” Tufts of emerald weed-grass catching already – 3:15 – declining light. Wind all-around movement. Tire squeal, distant Asp. Moto up-rev (Honda? Suzuki? Kawasaki?). Rust-red tabletop, electrical cable reel, seated on cinder blocks; yellow divorce-residue chairs, rusted. Overhead single-engine plane hum, vaporous high mist-impacted veil clouds. Hum become rotary buzz – plane passing to East. B-ball distant “splat-thump, splat-thump” – different ball. “Caw” – grackle; “squee” – little bird. Light off middle garbage can, back door breeze rattle, aluminum against restraining concrete chunk.
No wild beasts attack him. Sun through cloud. No birds of prey pounce upon him. Cardinal insistent “two-two-two-two.” White across-alley clapboard, overpainted graffito reading blue. His bones are soft. Solar-hippie next-door painted garage-side beach scene: His sinews tender. Dippy palms, aqua blues, whited surf. Yet his grip is strong. Bird traffic caco-symphony. Not knowing the union of the male and female. Gentle early light. Yet his organs are complete. Fashionable branch-twig shadows. Bulbs up-at-once stand, reaching. Which means his vigor is unspoiled. “Two-two-ta-ti-ti-ti-ti.” Crying the whole day. Response. Yet his voice never runs hoarse. Counter-response. Which means his natural harmony is perfect.
Fallen mirrors, departed solar-hippie fence, single t-phone pole glass insulator stuck atop red-orange metal spike. To know harmony is to be. Jasmine. In accord with the eternal. Two-day-out posture. To know eternity. Opening, not full. Is called discerning. “Tit-tit-tit-tit” declining tones. Corner house Hall & Oates macho mess. To improve upon life is called an ill-omen. Electric red traffic marker atop wooden box (solar-hippie yard). To let go emotion through impulse is called assertiveness. Author tea ingestion. Things age after reaching their prime. Woven slat fence falling apart. That assertiveness is against Tao. Sun over author’s trimmed elm branch, mimosa outlay, pecan movement. And he who is against the Tao. Wind in beside-garage bush branch-brush against grey wall. Perishes young. Ferny leaf-dance.
Sunday afternoon child-visitation Braumsiana. Who is firmly established is not easily shaken. Deep sun slant. Who has a firm grasp. In competition with premature air-condition outgush. Does not let go easily. Full house. From generation to generation. Levis, Levis, Levis; corduroys; jeans, jeans. His ancestral sacrifices. Woman. Shall be continued. ERA frizz. Without fail.
Twenty-eight-year-old. Virtue. Red-bearded hippie. Cultivated in the individual. Wife. Will become genuine. Baby in infant seat. Cultivated in the family. Pink crocheted blanket. Will become abundant. Entering customers. Virtue. Artiste in long hair. Cultivated. Purple skirt. In the village. Magenta ballet shoes. Will multiply. Pink socks. Virtue. Black woman. Cultivated. Black toreadors. In the state. White silk jacket, enormous “OKLAHOMA” spread in red. Will prosper. Across the back. Virtue. Beside-author “crunch, crunch.” Cultivated in the world. Jacob, John ice-cream consumption, Olympic Trials Competition poster behind them. Will become universal. Single dip chipped chocolate, single dip chocolate chip; sugar cones.
Therefore. “You sit right there, Mom.” Judge the individual. Green-running-suited mom. According to the individual. Son in “Most Valuable Runner” shirt. Judge the family. Ice-cream sugar-fix anticipation flush. According to the family. Quiet customer line. According to the village, judge the village. “OU.” According to the state. “We’re #1” bumper sticker. Judge the state. Jacob reading paperback. According to the world. ISBN visible. Judge the world. Braums cartoonish hamburger picture. How do I know the world is so? Bun, beef, lettuce, tomato, bun. By this.
Girlie Pancake House: The Tao gives them birth. “They’re stacked better.” 3:40 a.m. Te (virtue). Imitation wood clock. Fosters them. “What this town needs is an all-night bar” – heavy-set dude, sheepskin jacket – I’m still ready to boogie.” The material world. Video game (Starhawk) background noise. Gives them form. Enormous black kettle, white bowls stacked beside it. The circumstances. Sweet-Musak-accompanied. Of the moment. Dirty look. Complete them. From unshaven author-pen/notebook-regarding patron, passing. Therefore. White imitation-fur-jacketed long-haired girl, black-jacketed short-haired boyfriend. All things of the universe. Golden énérgie-créatrice-swirled booth divider screen. Sheepskin-jacketed dude pretends to read newspaper. Worship Tao and Te. Awaits chance to strike up conversation with girlfriend/boyfriend.
Thus Tao is worshipped. Girlfriend cig drag. Te is exalted. Boyfriend men’s-room departure. Sheepskin dude in girlfriend repartee-initiation. Regardless of anyone’s order. Minimal conversation reward. And is so. Boyfriend return, dude-observation, sullen silence. Of its own accord. “Say, I’m sorry” – dude to boyfriend. Boyfriend’s eyes averted. “I asked her if she had a cigarette.” Boyfriend in girlfriend glance. “That’s all there was to it, man.” Therefore Tao gives them birth. Boyfriend finishes coffee. Te fosters them. Girlfriend puts out cig. Makes them grow. Waitress – “Thank you” – taking bills. Develops them. “Y’all come back.” Gives them a harbor. Sheepskin dude newspaper re-arrangement. A place to dwell in peace. Boyfriend-girlfriend departure.
Desultory second waitress past-table author-writing regard. Feeds them. Sudden black cook-from-kitchen emergence, white shirt, red cap. And shelters them. Over-serving-counter two-orange-warming-lights glow. Desultory waitress in conference with boyfriend-busboy, he in tight jeans, studded belt, western shirt, sleeves rolled up to mid forearm. It gives them birth. Duo in dirty-dish removal, author’s-activity discussion. And does not own them. Waitress uplook from departed boyfriend-girlfriend table: “yeah” – to author – “he’s a boy.” (Places reset.) “And I’m a girl.” Boyfriend-busboy’s back turned to author. Acts. Revealing two embroidered butterflies. But doesn’t appropriate them. Musak bounce-beat polka. Is superior. Piano run “bop-bop-bop.” And does not control them. “Because I love you” – lyric. This is the Mystic Virtue. Beep-boppy pizzicato strings.
Alternate no-child-visitation Sunday study sit, Vivaldi concerto in A for bassoons (KGOU). There was a beginning. Light steep-slanted. Of the universe. Passing through original poured-glass imperfections. Which may be regarded. Three-branch movement creating living room wall shadows. As the Mother of the Universe. Steady Hearthglo gas heater “shshshsh.” Porcelain duck (white) one-eyes author from bookcase top. Globed glass sherry decanter (empty) atop opposite bookcase. Eufaula view through S-curve ornaments, spacious-window burglar bars. From the Mother. Desk-top porcelain planter in the form of blond beribboned head. We may know. Brilliant blue eyes, gaze slightly askance; full red lips. Her sons. Richard Wood ’79 brown charcoal nude, back to viewer. Susan Smyly nudes in earthy-ecstatic postures. After knowing the sons. Head of desk-top bust sprouting six leaves from cranial dirt. Keep to the Mother. Green dress; ruff in gold-tinged white; movable pearl necklace. Thus. Desktop red owl amulet. One’s whole life. Nine diamond-shaped mirror lozenges imbedded in her belly. May be preserved from harm. Diamond lozenge (upright) for nose. Stop its apertures. Diamond lozenge (sideways) for mouth. Close its doors. Shells for eyes. Thus. Cabinet-top nine-sided planter. One’s whole life. Removable interior. May be. Blue, brown, white. Preserved from harm. Double philodendron.
Desk-top. Open its apertures. Note on torn-off corner, Norman Transcript: Be busy about its affairs. “Michel de Notredame, Complete Prophecies (133.3/N844).” “Smith Corona Coronamatic 2500,” lettering scarcely visible through plastic dust cover. “University of Oklahoma Interoffice Communication” memo. And one’s whole life. “Subject: Participation in English 5113 (Methods of Graduate Study).” Is beyond redemption. Chinese flash cards, gathered in rubber-banded bundles, small stack as yet unbanded. Top card: 傳 = reverse; 自傳 = autobiography. Who can see the small is clear-sighted. Chinese Dialogues (blue) atop. He who stays. Read Chinese (red) atop. By gentility. Japanese calligraphy set. Use the light. Envelope addressed to The Working Week Press. And return to clear-sightedness. “Return this proofsheet to: Dustbooks, P.O. Box 100, Paradise, CA 95969.”
“Well, I just heard how everything in America is comin’ down” – old boy taking seat next to author – “and I’m just waitin’ to see a haircut come down.” Barber (Mac) brushing at customer’s shoulder, barber’s chair:
“A fly on you, or some gosh-darn discrepancy.” TV interviewer’s voice: “The news of the newspaper is dominated by the liberal view.” Author perusing People magazine.
“Get too many of us in here” – old boy – “and the barber might cut someone.” Glances at author. New customer entrance.
“Well” – Mac – “I won’t be havin’ much lunch – except milk.” Old boy leafing through magazine. “I got myself a touch of the diarrhea.”
“Gas’s gonna come down now” – old boy – “everybody can go back to big cars.” Second barber chair empty, red striped cloth folded over its arm. “Hell, people drove ‘em for a long time without any brakes.” “A much larger rally that everyone ignored” (TV). Waiting chairs in dirty orange, turquoise, off-white, black.
“He decided” – Mac – “he’d get a brush hog and then fired that pasture.” “In other words, we’re not carrying out our God-given attitudes” (TV). “They’ve been out there fightin’ the blaze with tow sacks and bed spreads.” “‘Peking Duck’ runs ‘afowl’ of the law” (newspaper headline). “It sure roasted a bunch of old trees.” Old boy. The Sage. Leaning over table. Has no decided opinions and feelings. Leafing through author-relinquished People magazine.
He regards. “You got your garden in, junior?” The people’s opinions. Old boy to Mac. As his own. Cut-cabbage, dark-green, light-green shag carpet.
“No, the kids broke my Roto-till.” “The same as atheists” (TV). “They run it too high open.” “Challenging the Communists in the House of Representatives” (TV). “That’s what I told my older kid.” Red mesa calendar view, thin green valley, red dirt road approach. “Never run it full throttle.” “And here’s an interview that Pat did some time ago” (TV applause). “Putnam Area Spellers Chosen” – newspaper headline – “Eric Daumert, Mary Halley.” “I was really shocked at what I saw” – TV – “An actress came in with a red skin irritation and used a sponge on her face.” Old boy: “I’ve just been layin’ around.” “A minute later an actor came in and used the same sponge.”
“Well I meant to get by” – Mac – “but I had to go to the funeral home and cut that guy’s hair, flat top.” Mechanics Illustrated: “Nuclear Power That Works.” “I said, ‘I knew him, I wish one of you morticians would have taken care of this.’” TV: “That means that over the years …”
“You can die” – old boy – “People should never let sumpin’ go.” TV: “Twenty years ago there was no women’s movement.” “I had 104 fever for three or four days.”
“Skin cancer burnt off the end of his eye” – Mac. “He went to school out there where my mother is.”
“She came to see me up at the hospital” – old boy.
“And Isabel?” – Mac.
“‘That’s why I didn’t come up,’ she said. ‘You had a whole crowd.’”
“She’s still drivin’ her little Rabbit, I guess” – Mac.
“You know, Bill Lukor, he’s had a stroke, and a cataract in his eye.” TV image: “ERA.” “And then that created a kidney infection.” TV: “I’ve found it’s an asset to be a female in a man’s world.” “And another round of antibiotics.” The good ones. “But I try to keep my femininity” (TV). I declare good. “Do you use ‘Chairperson’?” (TV). The bad ones. “No, I’m ‘Chairman of the Board’” (TV). I also declare good.
“Yeah, I noticed a little redness up on your scalp” – Mac. The honest ones I believe. “And I didn’t know what it was.”
“Well, I just got sensitive skin.” The liars. TV: “Write to this address.” I also believe.
“Yeah” – Mac – “Johnny’s that way too.” “Join us next time for the 700 Club” – TV – “You’re invited to spread the gospel too.” Mac shaking out red cloth, haircut over. “Yeah, he came by and brought me coffee” – baby blue smock, black pants, red shirt.
“I see you still got my picture up there” – customer. The Sage. Exit preparation. Dwells in the world. “And Bill there too.” Peacefully.
“Yeah” – Mac – “he worked for Bill Ewell.” Harmoniously. “Groceried up in Moore.”
“You know I didn’t know those boys back in the ’teens” – customer. The people of the world. “But I got to know the brothers in the ’20s.” Are brought into a community of heart. “I can remember.” And the Sage regards them all. “When Aunt Alma was deliverin’ milk and butter in a buggy.” As his own children.
Out of life. “The Majesty of Belief.” Death enters. (Saturday evening Transcript church ads.) Supported by Moomau’s Shoes, Martin Oil Co., Taylor Rexall Drug, Ellison Feed and Seed, Wacker’s Department Store, Hoover’s Fashion Shop, Low’s Ladies Apparel, Uniroyal Tires, Conoco Products, City National Bank & Trust Co. (Underlit Corinthian columns, outline sphinx.) Gordon’s Speciality: Heating and Air Conditioning, The Norman Transcript, American Exchange Bank and Trust Co. The organs of life are thirteen.
The organs of death are also thirteen. Goodrich Memorial Church, McFarlin Memorial Church, St. Stephen’s Church, Little Axe Baptist Church, University Lutheran Chapel, Southern Baptist Churches: Olivet, Alameda, Enterprise, Parkview, Immanuel, Blue Lakes, Franklin. What send man to death in this life also these thirteen (the four limbs and nine external cavities). First Pentecostal Holiness Church (310 N. Findlay), Missionary Baptist Mission (613 West Comanche), Trinity Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod (603 Classen – Bus Service Available), Brookhaven Baptist Church (4301 Country Club Terrace: “Friendly People Serving a Loving Lord”), First Southern Assembly of God (Film Wednesday: “All the King’s Horses”), Classen Boulevard Church of God, First Church of Christian Science (Church and Sunday School), Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), First Church of the Nazarene, St. John’s Episcopal (The Rev. Dr. Joe Ted Miller, Rector), Robinson Street Baptist Church and School, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, The Growing Alameda Church of Christ.
How is it so? “Genesis: The Book of the Month.” Because of the intense activity of multiplying life. Church of Christ – West I-35. It has been said. Red Room, Howard Johnson’s: That he who is a good preserver of his life. Your Bible Questions Answered. Meets no tigers. Rev. Jesse Woodfork, Jr., Pastor. Or wild buffaloes on land. Community Baptist Church (1637 North Stubbeman). Is not vulnerable. “Why would anyone be baptized?” To weapons. First Baptist Church. In the field of battle. “Enjoy the Friendliness of Memorial Presbyterian Church.” The horns of the wild buffalo. “Communion Sunday Resolutions.” Are powerless against him. Wildwood Community Church. The paws of the tiger. Verse by Verse. Are useless. Bible Teaching. Against him.
The weapons of the soldier cannot avail against him. Dove made out of the words, “Jesus is Lord” (Abundant Life Fellowship). How is it so? “Preaching the Power in the Name of Jesus.” Because he is beyond death. Pastor’s Bible Class, Bethel Baptist Church. Bahai Faith: “For More Information Call.” Church of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church (“Go to Church this Sunday”). First Assembly of God, 530 East Main: “Sunday Morning Services, Sunday Evening Worship, Monday Christ’s Ambassador Service, Wednesday Bible Study and Missionettes (Royal Rangers). Nursery provided up to 2 years.” University Christian Church, 666 Bud Wilkinson Drive. “First Presbyterian Adult Think Series; Coffee/Fellowship; Family Film Series; High School Skating.” Thus cause not yourself later distress. The Lord’s Prayer by George R. Plagenz. This is to steal the Absolute. “Pilgrimage Planned for September.” “One Become a Soldier, One a Jesuit Priest.” “Opposition Reiterated.”
Security National Bank customer lot: red wheel stops, black asphalt, white lettering. Auto interior: red steering-wheel cover, black VW horn, white speedometer numerals. Pickup parked at veterinary hospital, side silvered by courthouse light; light in leafless beginning-to-bud elms. “8:03” (white on blue), Motorbank sign, “56o.” Street lamp at Apache/Peters corporate glow, selective subluminous domination; paired meters, crown of roadway, edge of yellow-painted curb. White parked pickup struck by violet shadow, pedestrian passing. Bright red flush, lot-exiting silver Honda’s taillights.
If I were possessed of Austere Knowledge. 5:00 a.m. Main Street observation. Walking on the Main Path (Tao). Author seated, Edwards Park (“Established 1918”). Street sweeper, yellow-light-flashing, into-Main-lot turn. I would avoid the by-paths. Lot exit, corner Jones/Main. Background chorus of robins. Approaching up-Main vehicle lights in-store-window presage. The Main Path is easy to walk on. Gentle wind, light moisture content. Pop can rolling to rest under railroad signal arm. “Mexican Food” in four colors, yellow ground; red-white awning beneath (Denco Café). Red Toyota up-Main acceleration; Mistletoe Express truck north off-Main turning. Yet many people love the small by-paths. Sky blackness, grey overcast vault scumbling. Yellow traffic lights flashing in catch-up, overtake rhythm. Seven northside streetlights in perspective recession.
Foreground three-post auto-encroachment prevention, pyramidal truncation tops, paint erosion. Street sweeper rear approach; pickup passage; down-street-stopped, yellow-signaling sedan. Eastward Main car passage, over-track “thr-thr.” Yellow diamond pedestrian sign: “PED / XING,” black border. Yellow-flashing signal lights approaching unison. “L A N D S A W” over-warehouse letters into-sky emergence. Rock track-fill newly-scattered roadbedside. Cop car (black and white), up-Jones turn (receding red lights); through-lot manoeuvre, front-of-station park. Second cop car up-Jones stop (pause), eastward turn, behind-building disappearance. Flag flap; robin swirl; deficient muffler accompaniment.
Gray/Santa Fe American Bank bench (“Give yourself a break”) sit. The official courts. Yellow fire plug #1007. Are spic and span. Traffic control box (“click”), green/red-for-yellow substitution (6:00 a.m.). While the fields go untilled. Train horn Mooreward ascent. And the granaries are very low. “Ding-ding-ding-ding; ding-ding-ding-ding” signal descent. Yet clad in embroidered gowns. Horn horn train approach. And carrying fine swords. Rumble steady horn. Surfeit with good food and drinks. Black-on-yellow Santa Fe appearance, diesel snub nose. They are splitting with wealth. Horn from southward disembodied sound. And possessions. Up-Gray track rumble: open car, freight car through interstice; off-on-blinking red lights. This is to lead the world toward brigandage. Train finish. It is not. Rapid northward continuation. The corruption of Tao. “Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.”
When the world lives. Author resituation. In accord with Tao. Andrews Park concrete bench/table. Racing horses. Wind intensification. Are turned back. Red table top, emerald grass (park light illumination). To haul refuse carts. Green trash basket, red trash basket, silver pole between them. Heavy elm limbage, hackberry upthrust, branch minglage. When the world lives. Piercing robin chatter. Not in accord with Tao. Rose lights of Main Street slightly blurred in vision. Cavalry abounds in the countryside. Sudden wind up-gust, thundering through new-budding tree-heads. There is no greater curse. Sporadic chirps. Than the lack of contentment. Single “chr-chr-chr-chr.” No greater sin. Repeat. Than desire for possession. Repeat. Therefore. Pink-blue-white sky interweave. He who is contented. Horizonal diminution. With contentment. Full-face wind reception. Shall always be content. Daylight on-page appearance, 6:15.
6:30 a.m. West Main bench situation (Park St.), white on red, red octagonal white-bordered “STOP”-sign observation. One can know what is happening in the world. Notebook pink ribbon placemark wind-whip. Without stepping. “NO LEFT TURN.” Outside one’s doors. (Black on white.) Receding train horn, declining dog accompaniment. One can see the Tao of Heaven. Sidewalk dawn-lit. Without looking out of one’s window. Baby blue sedan. The farther one pursues knowledge. Headlights still on. The less one knows. Karmann Ghia, headlights off. Therefore. “Downtown Shopping Center” (Green-bordered trapezoid). The Sage. Youth up Main on foot. Knows. Yellow tee shirt, purple logo, worn jeans. Without running about. Nods at author. Understands without seeing. Red out-of-Berry-onto-westbound-Main-turning Subaru; overhead Tinker transport; no-lights blue Ford pickup westward whine. White lot-stripes over yellow, placed at a new angle; down-Park-middle separator hubs, yellow spray-painted, on-road superflux. White Pinto “squeak-squeak-squeak,” finishing up at University Boulevard stop. Robin “squawk.” Solitary agèd female figure on-foot shopping-center lot-entrance. White pickup down-Main over bumps “rumble-thump; thump.” Elderly woman approach, through-lot passage completion. Accomplishes. Blue pants, Hawaiian smock. Without doing. “Good morning” – as-she-passes smile-glance. “FIRESTONE,” “Dairy Queen,” apostrophe-less “Anthonys”; “D‑A‑L‑L‑A‑S”; red-on-white vertical “T” ”G” “& “ “Y” (enclouded “Family Center”), five green support rails. Street-sweep passage, friendly wave from op.
“Those Terrible Twisters! What to Do: If you have no cellar, if you’re in a mobile home, Get Out Immediately! Don’t use your vehicle as a means of escape (cars and trucks can be fatal shelter). If already in your car, evade an approaching tornado by moving at right angles to it. Things to know:
The difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning
Most tornadoes occur between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m.
Most tornadoes occur in April, May and June
Unfortunately, about 120 people die each year in tornadoes. Act Fast!”
– Weatherline 9 (Safeway bag)
6:30 p.m. sunset scape. Acres railway crossing (front bumper vantage). Out of the Tao. Spring dusk. One is born. Taffeta cloud. Out of One. In pink and mauve. Two. Dusty grey. Out of Two. Skeins of glory. Three. Andrews Park overview: pale green sward, approaching headlights, baseball kids. Out of Three. Mill convoy southward-heading rumble-approach. The created universe. Enormous lead truck, red cab, yellow stripes. The created universe. Classic mill backdrop, corrugated siding, darkening grain overhead apparatus. Carries the yin at its back. Headlights of blue pickup approaching from east on Acres. And the yang in front. Grey heavenly swirls developing into grandeur-. Through the union of the pervading principles. Grace-filled horizon overlay. It reaches harmony. Single lamp lighting its own pole.
Odor of strong oil-mixed diesel from idling, now roadside-parked grain-truck convoy. To be “orphaned.” Solitary crane above horizon. “Lonely.” Red-white pickup westward past, soft tires over-track “purr.” And “unworthy.” Sharp honk, second convoy truck. Is what men hate most. Driver leaning under open hood, first truck. Yet the kings and dukes. Approached by questioning. Call themselves by such names. Driver, second truck. Sometimes things are repaired. “Dead End” diamond. By being taken away from. Brief illumination. And suffer by being added to. From headlights of passing car. Others have taught this maxim. Driver of first truck in biker’s cutoff shirt. Which I shall teach also. Shouts across truck at colleague. “The violent man shall die a violent death.” Shout returned. This I regard as my spiritual teacher.
Dark green (light green) broccoli elms still holding hue, water-washed horizonal orange behind them; higher filmy grey-white emerging from purple-grey over buildings. The softest substance. Horn of distant approaching Santa Fe. Of the world. Single penetrating front beam. Goes through the hardest. Horn: tentative. That-which-is-without-form. Stronger. Penetrates. Frankly declarative. That-which-has-no-crevice. Plaintive at Lindsay crossing, Main-approaching. “Ding-ding-ding-ding” Acres warning bell. Through this. Truck up-rev, hard across-Acres “thutter” crossing. I know. “Ding-ding.” Santa Fe engine almost upon us. The benefits of taking. Loud horn. No action. Yellow-black, yellow-black, train beneath/above-author passage. Honda station wagon at-tracks halt, slight backward roll, rear-light blush. Train past, blue-jumpsuited driver lets off brake, preparing to go. The teaching. Goes, white Chevy following. Without words. Northbound train receding. And the benefit of taking no action. Red taillight stronger. Are without compare. Than warning light atop track-westward water tank. In the universe. Fading grey-salmon clouds, dim horizon.
Reverse shot (back bumper vantage), North University Boulevard (half-mile distant). Fame of one’s self. Silos of still-silver mill. Which does one love more? Distant ring of dog bark. One’s own self. Nearby “yalp.” Or material goods. Answered by second “yalp.” Which has more worth? Same dog. Loss of self. Screen door slam. Or possession. Convoy westward-Acres passage. Of goods. Lights only visible. Which is the greater evil? Single houselights to the east, visible through/over trees.
Therefore. Author cross-booted, jeaned leg underlit by red rear light. He who loves. Auto tire ruts in earth below. Spends most. To west (over-shoulder view): grey swirl-cloud activity. He who hoards much. Feathering into turquoise sky backdrop. Loses much. Glow from opposite rear light. The contented man. Against right (writing) hand. Meets no disgrace. Cracks in asphalt pavement. He who knows when to stop. Single framed celestial event, eastern horizon. Runs into no danger. Bell Tel Vans (over-shoulder) in overlit stable. He can long endure. Clouds still fanning out in cosmic dispersal.
Youth dirt-bike cyclist. The highest perfection. Past in near obscurity. Is like imperfection. Auto approach, lights moving up/down as plane of roadway alters. And its use is never impaired. Flickering light from single-engine plane. The greatest abundance seems meagre. Vast white concrete wall, lit by single bulb. And its use will never fail. Single other lights against single other surfaces. What is most straight appears devious. Cool to cooler. The greatest cleverness. Windshift up-take. Appears like stupidity. Crisp, beautiful weather. The greatest eloquence. Persistent rhythmic yells. Seems like stuttering. Of still-out-playing kids in distance. Movement. Author shirtsleeves chill. Overcomes cold. Turquoise vault deepening. Keeping still. Venusian emergence. Overcomes heat. Dog bark. He who is calm. Silver silos. And quiet. Merging into a single greyed mass. Becomes. Solitary runner. The guide. White socks, white shorts. For the universe. All that is really visible.
Jacob and John toy store outing: “Target” (large red letters, red-white target). White asphalt tile interior, overhead fluorescence reflection. Red letter “Toys,” white ground, sound of toys dropping. When the highest type of men. “Hey, I wanna Easter egg.” Hear the Tao. Beige-coated six-year-old. They practice it diligently. Blue-hooded, white-parkaed ten-year-old, red sleeves, humming opening bars of “Centerfold.” When the mediocre types hear the Tao. Bags of plastic Easter eggs. They seem to be aware. An orange pair, a magenta pair. And yet unaware of it. A yellow pair, a green pair. Crib and Playpen Xylo Drum; Music Box Teddy Bear, Busy Clutch Ball. When the lowest type. Two mommies parked in aisle. Hear the Tao. Parallel baskets. They break into loud laughter. “He was walking!”
“Oh?” First mommy’s baby in red. If it were not laughed at. Second mommy’s in blue. It would not be Tao. Two eleven-year-olds at “Look and See” Viewmaster display.
Two more mommies moving up aisle, both with five-year-olds. Thus the established saying: “Oh, that’s the Hot Wheel City” – first mommy – “that’s what you have.” “Who understands Tao seems dull of comprehension.”
“That’s what I wanted” – pink ribbons in blond hair. “Who is advanced in Tao seems to slip backwards.”
“Amy, come here” – mommy – “we’re not buying that today.” “Who moves on the even path.” U.S. space shuttle models. “Seems to go up and down.” Cop cars, cheap fire engines, Baja Digger 123. Stagecoach with Driver, Cowboy, Indian Action Figures. Major League Heavyweight Bat ’n’ Ball; yellow Practice Baseball; Fat Bat (red) with Fat Ball (white). Late teenie girl in blue sweatshirt, grey running pants. “19.99: Win every time with Lester Alloy Wheels.” “99.99: Dumbell Set” (maroon plastic, black plastic). Tummy Master Slant Board. Hispanic mommies, Hispanic kids, checking out trucks: Wild West Ranch Set, Black Max Boat Set, chirping español, lively looks. Three-year-old brown-skinned girl pulling blue overall strap over red-white shirt. Rubiks action: nine-year-old black girl working cube, as she keeps eye on three-year-old sister; seven-year-old brother arrival, black cowboy hat, brown “fur” jacket, beige-brown cowboy boots.
“Dales” (green on yellow) “Toys” (red-white-blue), “Auction” (soap on window) in progress. Auctioneer: “Hey, look at me, portable bars on the third shelf.” Heavy smoke-filled ambiance, overweight clientele, high female cackle. Superior virtue appears. John. Like a valley. In “McKinley is Super” Superman tee shirt, one arm akimbo. Sheer white. Jacob. Appears like tarnished. In green-beige/red-topped white shirt. Great character appears like insufficient. Both rummaging through remains of toy section. Solid character appears like infirm. Office machines, cords circled about them: Monro Sweda register, rung up at $1.26. Pure worth appears like contaminated. NCR, rung up at $0.00. Auctioneer in black cowboy hat, over-ear shag. Mr. Dale approach:
“Takin’ notes?” Great space has no corners.
“Yep.” Great talent takes long to mature.
“I don’t mind.” Great music is faintly heard.
“Sorry ta see ya sellin’ yer store” – author. Great form has no contour.
“Well my son – he’s a radiologist – says I either gotta give up sex or part of my business.” And Tao is hidden. “So I thought I’d sell this store.” Without a name. “I got five others.”
“I reckon you made the right decision.” It is this Tao.
“Who’ll give me 35?” – auctioneer. That is adept. Crowd crowding forward. “If you’ll just step back a hair …” At lending its power. Mr. Dale in pot-bellied white, green-trimmed golfing shirt. And bringing fulfilment. Hand on shoulder of enormously fat girl, black pants, blue tee shirt, watermelon-size love handles.
The student of knowledge. “T G & Y” outdoor black-on-white plastic embossed emblem. Aims at. Boy, man, woman, girl, triangular silhouettes. Learning day by day. Indoor white “Toys – Hobbies” on peach ground. “Do you know where Texas is?” – quiet father to eight-year-old son. Miracle Bubbles display (green, orange, pink bottles), “99¢.” The student of Tao. Eight-year-old opting instead for Snoopy Box. Aims at. Mom declines to buy. Losing day by day. Pink spray-painted trike, pink “Little Ms.” Imitation big-wheel, white tires, light blue motor. By continual losing. Pimpled teenie salesgirl, white shirt, black pants. One reaches doing nothing (wu wei). “Which one are you going to get?” – mom to eight-year-old. When one is compelled to do something. “Because we’re not going to spend all day here.” The world is already beyond his conquering.
Child-visitation Saturday afternoon interior. There were those in ancient times possessed of the One. Bedroom relaxation. Through possession of the One. Black on white, 9 x 12 Beethoven-inspired redbud grisaille. The Heaven was clarified. Propped behind 4:12:47 radio clock, against Zenith B/W screen, bent rabbit-ear droop. Through possession of the One. Red-character-on-yellow-ground preschool Chinese flashcards. The Earth was stabilized. Atop “An Appeal to Human Nature.” All atop ancient Camp Nissikone trunk, peeled-off freight patch, worn hinges, disintegrating leather handle, edge-grain pine floor. Through possession of the One. Reading light on author’s slightly bulged belly, red/yellow/black cowboy shirt, worn jeans, worn-out boots. The gods were spiritualized. Dining room TV basketball game in background. John entering: Through possession of the One. “North Carolina just won.” The valleys were made full. Quince dimming through under-shade open birdsong-through/train-horn-through tall window. Through possession of the One all things lived and grew.
Saturday evening dining room interior: John, joystick in hand, awaiting video game resumption. That was how each became so. Jacob insisting on TV movie (McArthur). Without clarity. John: “That’s stupid.” Jacob in red shirt, blue jeans, white underpants band showing. The Heavens might shake. Hirohito speaking intently. Without stability. Gregory Peck reverse shot. The Earth might quake. John seated erect; Jacob reclined, head on pillow, aviator glasses at end of nose. Without spiritual power. Overhead: beaded-glass imitation gas lamp. The gods might crumble. Opposite wall: Beardsley Yellow Book cover, Picasso print. Without being full. Over sofa: The valleys might crack. Matisse white Venus cutout, blue ground. Without the life-giving power. Bookcase: All things might perish. Top-shelf Orientalia: Sunflower Splendour, Born in Tibet, Ramayana, The Sufis. Without the ennobling power. Bottom-shelf Jacob and John books: UFOs, 2001, Amulets and Superstitions. The kings and barons might stumble and fall.
McArthur off, Pac-Man on, Jacob at controls:
“Oh, I’m messing up.”
“Jacob” – John – “I didn’t get a single one.”
“I know.” John doing arm-strengthening exercises. Red band score 1202 (John), green band 495 and climbing (Jacob). Therefore the nobility depend upon the common man for support. John intent on Jacob technique. And the exalted ones depend upon the lowly for their base. Black Oriental display case behind Jacob’s head: That is why the princes and dukes call themselves. Jesus Christ Russian icon next to his forehead. “The orphaned,” “the lonely one,” “the unworthy.” Jacob’s Pac-Man ghosted 1248 to 625. Is it not true then that they depend upon the common man for support? “Trill-trill swee-swee” electronic note barrage. “It’s pitiful” – Jacob. Truly, take down the parts of a chariot. Wainscot paneling, off-white walls. And there is no chariot left. Xuahacan rug in firebird pattern. Rather than jingle like the jade. White cabinet kitchen view, white author-laid asphalt floor. Rumble like the rocks. 2440-1589.
Security Motor Bank line: “77º / 2:20.” Ferocious wind-whip, whited pale-within-glow reddish skyscape (sandstorm). Red-Parrot-Café newly-converted-gas-station red-neon-mid-bright-diffusion atmo-glare outline. Trees in fury, free pavement leaf whip, gum wrapper up-bounce. Olive Chevy station wag to author’s right, yellow Colt to author’s left; purple Cadillac behind, white Opel ahead (license: CV 1209). Wind-throttled holly hedge. Author hand-held notebook pressed against chest, blue-striped shirt, orange/yellow/pink-patterned tie (work returning). “I’d like to deposit $150.”
“A hundred and fifty” – rising tone, “Elsa” (cashier’s nameplate), engagement ring, gold watch, nubile April look; butterfly heart on gold chain. Blue Chevy pickup moved to author’s left, red Ford pickup to author’s right. Across-lot “REY O S ORD” (Reynolds Ford), white ground, blue letters, on baby blue cinderblock wall.
Alleyview sandstorm scape continuation, Eufaula return. Reversion is the action of the Tao. Buffety-buff, sand on notebook page, briefcase, teeth, tongue. Redbud flurry, kids across alley, south to north. Downstreet north to south white sedan passage, red-blue stripes. Wind whistle-hum concerted rapid shudder; cyclist into-it push, orange infant seat trailer behind-pull. Gentleness is the function of the Tao. Emerald weedgrass tuft flurry; paper-up-alley blow-past; conifer sway-dance. The things of this world come from Being. Yellow plug in brilliant reflective medium (sand-air), emerald weedgrass background. And Being. Safeway out-of-garage bag involuntary air emergence. Comes from Non-being. Afterthought death-plunge.
Legends Restaurant. The man of superior virtue. Sunday noon-hour crunch. Is not conscious. View through calyx-filled stained-glass window: Of his virtue. Dessert bar. The man of inferior virtue. Enormous orange cheesecake slice. Is intent on. Rolled tart. Not losing virtue. Chocolate mousses. Hence. Whipped-cream-topped. Is he devoid of virtue. In ice-filled bowl. The man of superior virtue. Sunday New York Times (“$2.50”). Never acts. In antique green maître d’s lectern. Nor ever does so. White telephone. With an ulterior motive. Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival poster. The man of inferior virtue. Two highly decked-out late-mid-aged ladies observing author activity/writing intention. Acts. Seating themselves, heavy rust-colored deep-sink sofa. And does so. Waiter white-wine service. With an ulterior motive. “Legend’s” menu hand-held by elder in lemon blazer, rounded pockets, rolled cuffs. The man of superior kindness. Author pausing, companion menu selection advice. Acts. Table-top Perrier bottle, large white mum in it, extra foliage. But does so. Suspicious look from be-sofaed lady. Without an ulterior motive. Pull on filtered cig, interest expression. The man of superior justice. High-pitch conversation clatter. Acts. Musak tasteful electronic guitar-piano combo. And does so. Dark green walls. With an ulterior motive. White enamel dental-work trim. But when the man of superior li acts. White-shirted waiter, rep tie, next-table appearance. And finds no response. Elderly dames ignoring him. He rolls up his sleeves. View through Gothicked panes: To force it on others. “Scholars Inn.”
“The best I can do” – salad bar-returning 55-year-old, rust-panted, white-booted; breast tanned, gold-chained; elaborate cowboy shirt open too many buttons.
“Looks good to me” – husband? escort? Lettuce, cherry tomato, garbanzo beans; spinach, cheese, macaroni salad.
Nasal next-table “You can always …” Author turning in earnest to menu: Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Entrées: Poached Salmon, Eggs Benedict, Chicken Crêpes (“Thin French pancakes wrapped around a filling of chicken breast, mushrooms, scallions and white wine”), Quiche Lorraine (“Traditional French custard pie with onions, bacon or ham, Gruyère cheese. Served with a stuffed baked apple”), Hamburgers… “HELP MAKE THIS A REALITY” sign, Firehouse addition, “SUPPORT THE FIREHOUSE ART CENTER BUILDING FUND DRIVE.” Decadent end-room double portrait of sleaze and flooze.
Therefore. Fashions: After Tao is lost. Close-cut Harold’s jacket, starched light yellow buttondown, dark tie loosened slightly at neck, hair cropped, light gab slack. Then. Date in full-puffed sleeves, curled hair pulled back through metallic barrettes. Arises the doctrine of kindness. Long tiny-check skirt, strap pumps. After kindness is lost. White brick wall. Then arises. Huge dracaena, wicker-basketed. The doctrine of justice. Mirror reflection, track light. After justice is lost. White-haired arrival (60, female) in high-saturation purple jacket. Arises the doctrine of li. Open-front fancy shirt. Now li. Gold-loop earrings. Is the thinning out. Large plastic glasses. Of loyalty. Fashion rings. And honesty of heart. Oversized white bracelets. And the beginning of chaos. Deep rust-purple nails, bright red lipstick, hair in tight bun.
The prophets. Young-crowd-table ensemble-entrance. Are the flowering of Tao. Sorority sister get-ups. And the origin of folly. Waitperson/friend cheek-kiss. Therefore. Elder banker with two daughters, all in high fashion propriety. The noble man dwells in the heavy. Girls undergraduate age, younger with serious weight problem. And not in the thinning. Sign behind them: He dwells in the fruit. “HAPPY HOUR.” And not in the flowering. “Y” of “HAPPY” in form of open wine glass. There he rejects the one. Father ignoring the pretty daughter. “Dollar Drinks.” And accepts the other. To pick up fat girl’s napkin.
He who is made to dwindle. Norman Municipal Hospital. Must first be caused to expand. Main Lobby elevators, double blue doors. He who is to be weakened. Red “No Smoking,” white image of cigarette. Must first be made strong. Red “In Case of Fire,” white “Use Stairs.” Right elevator empty, floor-indicator reading “1.” “Editor, the Transcript.” Left elevator decline: “4”-“3”-“2”-“1.” “From time to time I have read tributes.” “Bzzz,” open; empty. “To the nurses of Norman Municipal Hospital.” Automatic door-close. “I have always wondered about these letters.” He who is laid low. Nurse walk-past. Must first be exalted to power. “Hey, cashier darlin’” – sweet nurse voice – “how ’bout some change?” “Recently during my own stay at NMH I had a chance to find out just what these writers meant.” Simultaneous right/left elevator door-opening. He to be taken away from. Heavy-set rust-suited mid-age woman emergence. Must first be given to. Ceiling bulbs floating in glass reflection of semi-darkened restaurant space (8:30 p.m.). This is the Subtle Light. “Never have I met a nursing staff that was more caring.” Gentleness. “Kind.” Overcomes. “And considerate.” Strength. “Than I met on the third floor, west wing of NMH.” Right door open; empty; closing. Left door open, foursome exit. Three cigs in ashtray, author-seated-bench-beside.
“Each of the nurses treated me with such loving care that never once did I feel institutionalized.” Fish should be left in the deep pool. “But as an individual worthy of receiving.” Sharp weapons of the state. “All their attention and compassion at that moment.” Should be left. Family disappearing into left elevator, door closing. Where none can see them. Right door open, couple emergence; slow-gaited man in blue stocking cap. Left door open, threesome emergence, parting into couple and unrelated single man.
Hold the Great Symbol. Chaplain’s sign: “If It’s Not Illegal.” Kid passing, white pants, white shirt, light brown leather jacket. And all the world follows. “Oh, I know she needs to” – girl left-door emergence in conversation with coeval relatives, arms folded. Follows without meeting harm. “Otherwise she’ll be back in the hospital.” And lives in health, peace and commonwealth. “Let us hope” – letter to Editor. “You what?” – pleasant mom to daughter. Offer good things to eat. “I think I like our elevator better” – daughter. “That as the administrators of NMH search for additional nurses.” And the wayfarer stays. “To staff the new wing.” “I bought a box of these” – red-blue dressed relative, white-white brown-leather youth accompaniment – “these crackers flaky-flavoured.” But Tao is mild to the taste. “That they can retain.” Looked at. “Hill Street Blues.” It cannot be seen. TV theme from down-hall. “The high quality of personnel.” Listened to. “Which characterizes the present staff.” It cannot be heard. Footstep approach, plaid, panted, tweed-jacketed doctor. “For it is the nurses who are the heart and pulse of the hospital.” Elevator hum, stop at “4”; both elevators now at “4.” “They are the ones.” Both at “3.” Two 45-year-old “girls,” large plastic glasses, swoopy frames, waiting. Right at “2,” left at “1.” Butt-length cardigan, butt-length jacket. “Who are always there.” Left opening, purple tee-shirted 13-year-old emergence, younger sister, dad with limp. “To keep things running smoothly.” 45-year-olds in measured entrance, handbags asway. “And rushing to the fore.” “That’s real humorous …” “When a crisis erupts.” Around-corner voice disappearance. “My thanks to one and all.” Applied. “Bonnie Speer.” Its supply never fails. “This way?” – mother to daughter. “This way” – daughter, arm in mother’s arm.
Robinson/Peters. The Great Tao. Southward Peters-descent. Flows everywhere. Light on wooden t-phone pole. Like a flood. Watery streetside elm rustle. Left-turning sedan; right-side parked van. It may go left or right. Mosier eastward view, author’s hazard lights flashing. The myriad things. Motor running. Derive their life from it. Red lights. And it does not deny them. At-Classen blush. When its work. Turning headlights. Is accomplished. Off-pickup reflection. It does not take possession. Moon-to-full spiderweb-on-glass dirt/beam radiation. It clothes and feeds the myriad things. Double lights in rear view mirror. Yet does not claim them as its own. Car past. Regarded without mind or passion. Yellow/red taillight bank. It may be considered small. Green dash double-direction turn-indicator flashing. Being the home of all things. Author interior. Yet claiming not. Little house, big car; little house, big car. It may be considered great. Porch-light-hidden porch-glow. Because to the end it does not claim greatness. Modest facade. It’s greatness is achieved.
Porch-light-next-to-author-caused author departure. He who knows others. Up-street stop. Is learnèd. Solitary hexagonal “STOP”-consideration. He who knows himself is wise. Sign flashing with author’s still-flashing hazard light. He who conquers others. Interior light on notebook page. Has power of muscles. Porch-light glow, post outline. He who conquers himself. Front-yard illumination. Is strong. Sentence completion. He who is contented. Peters/Rich descent. Is rich.
Right turn onto Frank, left turn into church lot. He who is determined. (More-stable-writing-situation search.) Has strength of will. Author’s headlights on bumper of sedan, “OU Faculty” parking sticker. Adjacent pickup: “Get turned on by a Union Electrician.” He who does not lose his center. Rock-’n’-roll-radio-blasting van arrival. He endures. Too tight parking situation; readjustment. He who dies. Lights off; radio still on. Yet his power remains. Door opened, music even louder. He has long life. “JOY COMES IN THE MORNING” – Trinity Baptist sermon – “700 PM.”
“335 385 411 OKLAHOMA SOONERS 411 385 335.” A good runner leaves no track. (L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Stadium.) A good speech. Moustachioed Sooner chatting up Sooner-red-lipsticked bat girl. Leaves no flaws for attack. John (Freshman English) Walker, bat-wielding, #3 Oklahoma Sooner grey sweatpants, pregame posing. Umpires onto field. Single-clap game-start anticipation. Jacob, Soren, author, John, Eric seated, first-base line. “Ladies and Gentlemen” – p.a. announcer, “Your Oklahoma Sooners!” Brass ensemble national anthem.
“Play ball!” “Keith” – Freshman English – “looks pretty good” – John. A good reckoner. “Who’s Keith?” – Eric. Makes no use of counters. Keith curveball, last of warm-up pitches, catcher throw to second. A well shut door. Sooner bat girl. Uses no bolts. Windy hair trouble. Takes off sweatpants, revealing “Sooner” shorts. And yet cannot be opened. Beyond-stadium vista: Law School (above-left-field 335); Walker Tower (385); (411) Kraettli Graduate Apartments (411); fan’s parked camper (385); Norman silver water tower (335). A well-tied knot makes use of no rope. Three-bird over-diamond swoop (formation flight). First batter to 3 and 2. And yet cannot be untied. Ball four. Orange, black, white OSU uniform; black skin; big first-base lead. Sharp shot to pitcher, high throw to second (safe), low throw to first (gets him). Crowd cheer. Therefore the Sage is good at helping men. OSU Halloween-clad team in dugout concrete ledge sit. Low-ball strikeout. Crowd cheer. This is called stealing the Light.
Top-of-the-first-ending-Sooner-off-field-sprint, crowd cheer, Keith tipping cap. Know the male. Blue-shirted youth beauty, tinted glasses lean-back. But keep to the role of the female. Announcer with bottom-half Sooner batting order. And be a ravine to the empire. Three loudspeakers from new press box roof. If a ravine to the empire. John in white knee socks, double red stripes. Then the constant virtue. Red Nikes with white side crescents. Will not desert you. Youth beauty takes off tinted glasses. And you will again return. Runs hand through long hair. To being a babe.
Sharp “tang” (metallic bat). Know the white. Of deep-center single. But keep to the role of the black. “Kevin Bates, one and one” (announcer). Pitch. “Two and one.” “Way to look, kid” – grandstand fan. And be a model to the empire. “I believe I’d have him bunting in this situation” – OU alum (man on first). If a model to the empire. “Ball four, Bates to first” (announcer). “Gonna load ’em up, rag arm” – OU alum. Then the constant virtue. Third strike tip, catcher catch. Will not be wanting. Next batter. Sharp right field single, second-to-home ballet-drama; throw to shortstop; first-to-third crisis: slide, safe. Men on first and third. And you will return. Steal on. “He’s goin’!” Low throw into center, man from third (author glance) over plate, runner to third (slide, safe). To the infinite. High pop, infield turn-around chase, centerfielder conjunction; pop drop; runner tag. “What’s the score?” (scoreboardless new stadium).
Know honor. “Come on Mike!” Wind up-whip, dust cloud through batter’s box. But keep to the role. Ball four, pitcher shaking head. Of the disgraced. Applause up-cry. And be a valley to the empire. “The seventh batter for Oklahoma, Bobby Straight” (announcer). If you are a valley to the empire. Peanut rustle, Hawaiian-shirted undergraduate tough, enormous binoculars. Then the constant virtue. Mound conference. Will be sufficient. Pitch in dirt: runners to second and third. “Go out and talk again, we like that kind of talk.” And you will return. Sharp shot inside bag at third, two runners rounding bases. To being the uncarved block. Score. Score.
Foul ball. Low pitch. Pop-up: catcher in contortion-pursuit, wind-baseball twist-gust, catcher catch. Observed by gorgeous girl in blue, double new-aluminum-bleacher grasp, dusty mauve nails. Left hand resituation between crossed legs, wind clearing bangs from forehead. “All right” – fan. Ball four, metal bat “bong” dirt-toss. Batter on-first cap adjustment. When the uncarved block. Long right-field shot. Shatters. Right fielder back-sprint. It becomes vessels. Over-shoulder miss. Scream. Rounding runners. The Sage makes use of these. Bases cleared, runner at third. And becomes the lord. Umpire whisk-brooming plate. Over the officials. “Eight-to-nothing” – John. Those that would gain what is under heaven. “Keep it up, Sooners!” By tampering with it. New pitcher-coach-catcher mound conference. Do not succeed. “Why don’t you try pitching with your eyes closed?” – John. Those that grab at it. Starting pitcher exiting. Lose it. Orange-hatted stands applause. For among the creations of the world. “Do you want any peanuts?” – Eric. Some go in front, some follow. John offering concessions directions.
“Ananda Marga” (black on white). Before Heaven and Earth. Incense drift. There was something nebulous. “Exploring the Mind” (poster). Yoga-postured. Isolated. Orange-suited. Silent. Turbaned. Standing alone. Gurudeva. Changing not. “Eastern and Western Thought.” Eternally revolving without fail. Incense stick resting atop Honeywell Thermostat. Worthy to be. “HEAT.” The Mother of All Things. (White press-on sticker, maroon ground.) I do not know its name. “COOL.” Ananda musak. And address it as Tao. (Adjacent box.) In-their-twenties hippie couple, she long-nailed, stroking tee-shirted back of pony-tailed hubby. Fat girl in flow-frizz tresses, satin shirt, love-handle bulges, jeanskirt. Audience now swollen to nine, door-way-standing organizer included: maroon tee-shirted, Winston pack in pocket, carefully-trimmed beard.
Music over stereo speakers, NPL conference room; applause from across-hall auditorium. Hippie guy/girl joined by ex-Marine tattooed friend, cigs under belt; hippie girl in new brown Nikes, clean jeans, goose bumps on back of arm (thermostat at 68º). Front-row leather-vested, long-white-shirted devotee, white shirt, green headband. Room suffused with incense. If forced to give it a name. Guru-/assistant-excluded, author-included audience total: 14. I shall call it “great.” Guru gentle intro: Being great. “The mind show.” Implies. “Is the inner view.” Reaching out. “Of the mind.” In space. (Affected British accent). Reaching out in space implies far-reaching. Hand open-palmed across full beard … five layers of mind, the body making the sixth …” Far-reaching implies. “And I will give the Sanskrit names for these.” Chalkboard squeak. Reversion to the original. “Now we may have difficulty with this” – patting slide projector – “so forgive us if we get screwed up.” Long locks against orange garb. “Would someone please turn the lights off?” Room plunged into darkness. Therefore. Author-registration curtailment …
“Watch your eyes.” The Tao is Great. “Lights on! I hope you enjoyed the program.” The Heaven is great. Hand extended, palm down. The Earth is great. “… little understood here in the West.” Blond frizz, front-row question, pink dress:
“What did you mean by the last words spoken?” The King is also great. “You have to know your ‘I’?” Pink headband. “What am I?” Guru in lengthy exposition, flanked by three disciples. These are the Great Four in the universe.
“JAN means darkness, TRA means light.” And the King is one of them. Guru-excluded, author/disciples-included lights-on total: 19. Question-answer-lecture continuation: “Overweight is caused by a lack of secretion in the thyroid.” Man models himself. “Underweight by excess secretion.” After the Earth. “So the body can develop.” The Earth models itself. “Expand the consciousness.” After Heaven. Guru to chalkboard: “JANA, RAJA, SADHANA.” Heaven models itself. “KARMA.” After the Tao. “Every action taking place in this universe.” The Tao models itself. “And we are directly responsible.” “BHAKTI.” After. “I believe in Jesus, I believe in Krishna, I believe in Allah.” That which is naturally so. “You can show me a book.” Heaven and Earth join. “But you can’t prove it.” And the sweet rain falls. “This is not the world.” Beyond the command of men. “America is not the world.”
Tao in the world. “You’re doin’ fine Oklahoma” parade. May be compared. Author seated curbside, Main/University Boulevard. To rivers. Bare legs, “boom-boom,” trumpet-trombone glare-blare. That run into the sea. Snare drums; tiny twirlers; orange-faced clown grin. He who stands on tiptoe. Kids on bikes with cardboard horse heads. Does not walk well. “Happy Birthday, Norman” truck; “Day Care Center” kids float. Who reveals himself. Bathing-suited Mary Kim Titla. Is not luminous. San Carlos Apache Queen. Wind up; bright sky; air in upper 50s.
Godfather’s Pizza hearse in brown and yellow (“An offer you can’t refuse”). Red white red white red white band, dog-behind trot. Horsey, horsey, saddles in silver glitter, light asphalt hoof-tattoo. “Ooh, I like those ponies” – five-year-old with pink doll, taking seat by author. Cary Lumber “Schooner,” four black tires. Mommy seating herself on curb. “That brown one spitted on the floor.” These in the eyes of Tao. Mule, schooner. Are called. Mule, schooner. “The dregs.” Mule, schooner. “And tumors of virtue.” Mule-dung whiff. He who justifies himself. Ponies with red tassles, horse with American flag. Is not far-famed. “I love you, Oklahoma.” He who boasts of himself. – Winnsboro, Tex. wagon. Who prides himself. Upstreet flag-procession recession. Is not foremost. “It sounds like jingle bells” – five-year-old. Therefore. “Horse, did you blow your nose?” The man of Tao. Red-white-and-blue shorts, “Strawberry Shortcake” socks. Spurns them. “Mommy, that horse went potty on thuh street!”
Research Park Boulevard/Rock Creek Road. Full black sky, 35-mph-headlit road, taillight scoot-by. Background interstellar noise. Double burglar beacon to west of northward-facing author-park. Eastward pavement: bulbous exaggeration Volkswagen shadow. Unmown boulevard infield. Author, notebook reflection in newly-washed windshield. Wall recession perspective, overtopped by yellowish pole-topped building. North-of-Rock-Creek pan into darkness. Nature says few words. Newly-planted tree-spriggle holding its portion of darkness. Hence it is. Author’s radio aerial gleam, multicolor reflection. A squall lasts not the whole morning.
Norman-northward outskirts view. A rainstorm continues not the whole day. Distant red dapple (KOMA Moore towers), green flickering lights beneath. Where do they come from? North-north-west. From Nature. Train horn emerging, tentative. Even Nature. Train-itself under-sound on-come. Does not last long. Traffic pass-by. In its utterances. Horizon haze, light-infiltered. Roadside green-black greenery. How much less. Train-horn double pump, engine pass-by. Should man? Surviving oil-rig-topped red-light northwest blinkage.
Rearview mirror back-streets view: parking lights of auto waffling with author-indeterminate up-down head move (page to mirror glancing). Rear window defrost-coils (nine). Seven streetlights, two building-front illuminators. Behind-author car sudden scary out-of-shadow realization, in-shadow positioning. Distant train-horn triple soundage. There it is that:
He who follows the Tao. Research Park/Stubbeman darkness. Is identified with the Tao. Eastward/north-south intersection. He who follows Te (Virtue). Train diesel up-slight-incline strain. Is identified with Te. Trailer-park south-view orange-interior-behind-drape lights. He who abandons Tao. Bucket of big-dipper constellation. Is identified with abandonment. Single red neon light at its brim. He who is identified with Tao. Facing of adjacent trailer, yellow window-definition, air-condition-unit dark-underneath protuberance. Tao is also glad. Door to trailer standing open. To welcome him. Yellow wedge of light. He who is identified with Virtue. Motorcycle whine-decline into muted-mournful train horn triple-pump. Virtue is also glad. Irving School bunkered hunch, rose-yellow two-sided single light corner isolate illuminations. To welcome him. “Adair Associates” large-“A”/large-“A” congruence. He who is identified with abandonment. Row of lights diminishing northward in perspective. Abandonment. To disappearance. Is also glad to welcome him. Silver stop sign pole/windshield wiper tangency. He who has not enough faith. North-north-east void. Will not be able to command. Otherworldly greenish dot in otherwise total blackout. Faith from others. Speeding headlight up-Stubbeman acceleration.
Classen outskirts roadside lights-on blinker park. New odometer reading 00193 (black on white), point 6 (white on black). Headlights in defoliated dandelions. Strongly dramatic up-Classen northward multiple automobile rush. Simultaneous down-Classen light study (double Robinson yellows; roadway moundage; on-surface irregular light-play). To be bent is to become straight. To be hollow is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed. Faintest of light delineating overhead electric lines. To be in want is to possess. To have plenty is to be confused. Yellow yield-sign triangle downward-diminishing. To yield is to be preserved whole. Sane, steady, mature, self-possessed, sober author window-reflection. Therefore the Sage embraces the Absolute. “No Parking.” To become the model of the world. Hazard lights in on/black alternation.
He does not reveal himself. Into (“Sorry We’re/CLOSED”) Texaco. And is therefore luminous. Blackened windows passing-west-east-auto taillight-red-streak reflections. He does not justify himself. Cop-car intersection-pause. And is therefore far-famed. Black-and-white, red rear lights. He does not boast of himself. “Regular”/“Unleaded” Texaco. And therefore people. White in-turning sedan parks before “Reds” sign. Give him credit. Norman ambulance hospitalward Classen passage. He does not pride himself. (Horizontal) “NORMAN”/(vertical) “LODGE.” And is therefore. “7 ” (two-part, orange top, red stem). The ruler. “Eleven” (white ground, green letters; crossing “7 ” stem). Among men. “Food Stores.” It is because. Stage-lit spot on ground below. He does not contend. Mounded Bermudaless island tump. That no one in the world. Asphalt edge. Can contend against him.
“Tom’s” dashboard-propped “salted” (white-outlined blue) “REDSKIN” (white-outlined red) “peanuts.” Author ingestion. “Net wt 1/8 oz.” Black-and-white passage. Sedan into-7-Eleven-lot entrance. Black-and-white by other driveway entrance. Author departure.
Breakfast at Hardee’s. On the decline of the great Tao. John reading “Rise and Shine” off author’s coffee cup. The doctrines of “love.” Jacob reading “Hardee’s” (white) “French Fries” (yellow). And “justice” arose. Off French-fries package (orange). “You know why they put ‘French Fries’ on the package?”
“No.” When knowledge and cleverness appeared.
“So you can tell what they are.” Great hypocrisy followed in its wake. Chartreuse table top, yellow chairs, three-foot-square pictures of Hardee’s dishes. “The place” – Jacob – “where they advertise the food while you’re eating it.” School cafeteria stories:
“I finished lunch and three beans got up and walked off my plate.”
More general school stories. When the six relationships. “Do you know about Mr. Bumgarner’s birthday?” – John. No longer lived in peace.
“All the kids had to wear buttons that said.” And “filial sons.” “‘Happy birfday, mithter B’!” Blue-jacketed Indian kid with-mom walk-by, crutches, limp. Girl sweeping out in oversize orange cap/brown Hardee’s uniform. Were no longer filial.
“Teachers?” – author. Then the country fell into chaos.
“Let’s see” – Jacob. “There’s Dracula, Mrs. Pringleton.” And misrule.
“There’s Mrs. Clabes” – John. “Is everything perbectly queer?” And there was praise of “loyal ministers.” Jacob slurping last of Pepsi. John folding up French-fries package:
“Let’s compact everything we have.”
After-breakfast mall inspection. “No Skateboards or Bicycles.” Empty storefronts, empty Musak, empty window reflection: “TACO BELL,” “Mr. Shortstop,” “CAR SH” (car wash). In-lot sign: “Colonial Estates Mall.” Bench graffiti: “Christine T.”; “Jamie is my friend”; “Damn Anna Hayes.” Warm redwood aroma. “Clump-hop-ta clump-hop-ta” mid-age pass-by, white clogs, black slacks, red cowboy shirt, silver hair. Mall “anchored” by Safeway, Jacob-John-author Safeway magazine-book section perusal-decision.
“MAGAZINES.” Banish wisdom. “BEST SELLERS.” Discard knowledge. “TRADE POCKET BOOKS.” And the people shall profit a hundredfold. Color Me Beautiful (author perusing romances). Banish “love.” Deep Purple (off-shoulder negligee cover illustration). Discard “justice.” John in blue tee shirt, blue shorts, new no-part Greg-Scott-Mark cut, Attack (comic book)-perusal. And the people shall recover love of their kin. Jacob laughing at joke-book Drive-In-Window (car projecting through window) joke. Banish cunning. Redbook’s “Be Beautiful” cover story. Discard “utility.” Psychology Today. And the thieves and brigands. John Norman’s Hunters of Gor. Shall disappear.
Oregon! Wyoming! Nebraska! As these three touch the externals. His Lordship’s Mistress, Love’s Avenging Heart, Passion’s Wicked Torment. And are inadequate. John: “Pop, they’ve got these Pac-Man books everywhere, there’s one over there too.” The people have need of what they can depend on. Kin-Flicks. Original Sins. The Divorce (Robert P. Davis). Reveal thy simple self. Story of O (Pauline Réage), white cover. Embrace thy Original Nature. Bing Crosby: The Hollow Man. Check thy selfishness. Daily Power Thoughts. Curtail thy desires. The Sensuous Man.
I alone am mild, like one unemployed. Jack Vance, The Gray Prince. Like a new-born babe that cannot yet smile. Otherworldly skeleton cover illustration. I am unattached, like one without a home. Alexai Panshin, Rite of Passage. The people of the world have enough and to spare. Alan Dean Foster, The Golden Naginata. But I am like one left out. The Executioner. My heart must be that of a fool. Icerigger. Being muddled. Satan’s Sabbath. And nebulous. Jacob returning The Tolkien Reader to shelf.
The vulgar are knowing. Mickey Spilane, The Erection Set, naked girl photo. Luminous. “Over 1,500,000 copies in print,” quoted words covering up naked girl’s nipples. I alone am dull, confused. John pointing out strip over naked girl’s tits. “Yeah, I just wrote about that.” The vulgar are clever, self-assured. Louis L’Amour, Milo Talon. I alone depressed. Sound of Safeway bag-crumple in background. Patient as the sea, adrift, seemingly aimless. Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story.
The people of the world all have a purpose. The Last Days of Patton. I alone appear stubborn and uncouth. Ellen Goforth, A New Dawn; Nora Roberts, Song of the West; Dixie Browning, Renegade Player (Silhouette Romances). I alone differ from other people. Woman in embroidered OU shirt, “Sooners”/“Sooners” on cuffs, shopping-cart pass-by. A Time for Roses, The Emperor’s Virgin, I Know My Love. And value drawing sustenance from the Mother.
Sunday morning backroom scene: Lori, Angela, friend Kim invasion, Jacob-and-John post-paper-route-nap wake-up. Lori seated, edge of Jacob’s bed, Jacob putting on glasses.
“He has four eyes.” Jacob snarl. “I didn’t mean that.” Angela V-neck Norman Youth Soccer shirt, short-shorts, ignoring her sister. Jacob, still in bed, counting paper route proceeds.
“Do you want this?” – Angela, snatching money. Attain the utmost in Humility. Author on-couch conversation-registration. Hold firm to the basis of Quietude. School stories:
“Did you hear what that guy said on the bus?” – Angela. “Don’t” – to author – “write this down.” The myriad things take shape. “He said.” And rise to activity. “‘Say “I like you” in the most romantic way you can.’” I watch them return to repose. Kim, black-sleeved Dallas Cowboys shirt, in pensive observation. Like vegetation.
“What?” – Lori. That luxuriantly grows.
“He said” – Angela – “‘I’d get expelled.’” But returns to the root from which it springs. Giggle, blond-hair brush-back. To return to the root is Repose. Lori bouncing to blackboard. It is called returning to one’s Destiny. Lanky left-hand-scrawl.
“Name five girls you know, Jacob.” To return to Destiny. Lori blue-eyed over-shoulder gaze, giggle at older sister.
“Well” – Jacob – “John” (rising tone). Is to find the Eternal Law. John from-other-room attack. And not to know the Eternal Law. Jacob evasion. Is to court disaster.
“How do you make a J?” – Lori, returning to blackboard.
“Let’s go” – Angela.
Kids-gone (Jacob-John to Angela’s house) Jacob’s-room remains: He who knows the Eternal Law. Couch, tattered arms, grease-stained cushions upside down. Is tolerant. Magazine disarray: Being tolerant. Discover, National Geographic World, Science 82. He’s impartial. Scissors; face-down ape model; leather R #9 paper route collection book. Being impartial. Two electric chartreuse Wilson 4 tennis balls. He’s kingly. (One on couch, one on floor.) The Gentle Art of Mathematics (Moebius-strip cover illustration).
Being kingly. Mattress, sleeping bag, pillow, extra-blanket disarray. He’s in accord with Nature. Mathematics (school book), lined-paper assignment sticking out of it. Webster’s Dictionary; Tolkien’s The Two Towers, face down atop College Algebra. Being in accord with Nature. New slide rule beside them. He’s in accord with Tao. Partly covered by slide-rule instructions.
Being in accord with Tao. Open canvas bag of clothes, open Wilderness backpack (blue nylon). Corduroy pants, shorts, athletic socks. He’s eternal. More books scattered about.
Dresser top. Ancient Mad magazine “Super Special.” Four pencils. Two-third’s-full bottle of Elmer’s glue. Fighter Pilot I.D. And his whole life. Against-wall broom, mop. Is preserved from harm. Orange-bedspread-covered boxes of Sleep, O, Light.
John’s room: bed already made (hand-me-down blankets, hand-me-down pillow, bedspread trouvé); clothes neatly arranged in canvas bag; backpack on black chair; books on table top, toy autos. Basketball, WW II helmet in between bed and windowed wall.
Kids-return breakfast in John’s room: Of the best rulers. Scrambled eggs, J.C. Potter sausage. The people only know. Toasted whole-wheat, strawberry jam. That they exist. Large milks. The next best they love. Jacob, red tennis shirt, green shorts, yellow trim, seated on child bed, plate atop plastic veneer secondhand bedside table, garage-sale Victorian lamp. And praise. John in yesterday’s blue tee shirt, blue shorts, negotiating ping-pong-ball plastic tennis game. The next they fear. Jacob:
“Where are we going?” And the next they revile.
“Lake Draper” – author.
“Why?” When they do not command the people’s faith.
“Because there’s a Chinese Student Association picnic.” Some will lose faith in them. Walter Mitty matchbooks, Paris autobus, dust-covered penny collection. But of the best. Jacob-John height-markings. When their task is accomplished. John’s-room entrance-portal. Their work done. Heights dated. The people all remark. Conversation turn to “dumb people” remarks. “We have done it ourselves.”
“‘We’re gonna buy Atari’” – John, mock-Okie accent – “‘and cut a hole in the back of our TV.’” Spyro Gyra poster, John Cale poster, wall behind him. “Yeah, The Police. I’m lucky I got that, because now they’re really popular.” Large hanging exposition poster (“Jean Auguste Dominique/INGRES/1780-1867/Villa Medici, 26 Febbraio-28 Aprile 1968”), Byronic portrait, J.A. Ingres’ friend Granet.
Lake Draper Chinese Student Association picnic. The wise ones of old. Sky overcast. Had subtle wisdom. Jacob, John beef-barbecue munch-down. John in modified Yankees jacket, Porsche backside decal. And depth of understanding. Jacob in discourse concerning native Korean teacher: So profound. “When she speaks, there’s no verbs.” They could not be understood. Chinese talk overwaft. Baby (Chinese) in “Big Bird” jacket, eating whole tomato, tomato seeds on eyebrow. And because they. Speaking Chinese to mommy. Could not be understood. Whole-carrot little grasp. Perforce must they. Chinese wife-husband lake-condition discourse. Be so described:
Elegant wife by-barbecue position. Cautious. Lemon corduroy pants, green velour hooded jacket, shoulder-length raven hair. Like crossing a wintry stream. Baby pass-by. Irresolute. “Ma-ma” cry. Like one fearing danger all about. Blue baby suit, white hood. Jacob-John in how-to-hold-chopsticks discourse. Grave, like one acting as guest. Jacob: Self-effacing. “I saw this That’s Incredible.” Like ice beginning to melt. “With some weird guy who threw chopsticks through a door.” Chinese students polite audition.
John. Genuine. Cornering author: “How do you say ‘You’re welcome’?” Phantom jet overhead streak-by. Like a piece of uncarved wood. Table-top food display: Fisher peanut pack, Reynolds wrap, chopstick-filled empty paper plates. “Jennifer” (Chinese undergraduate). Open-minded. In with-John chopsticks-experimentation. Like a valley. Jacob, red-shirt, green-shorts stand-by: And mixing freely. “Just when you get them right.” Like murky water. “Then you have to use them for something else.”
John: “Yeah, like peanuts.” Blue-clad infant cry. Jacob in potato-chip chopsticks-manipulation, Jennifer laughing. Infant walk-experimentation, father in red turtleneck, stitched jeans, black corduroy jacket. Husband-wife yellow Frisbee-toss.
Who can find repose. Master Yu (author’s Chinese instructor). In a muddy world? Distant pork-barbecue superintendence. Children background Chinese-chirp. Jacob to author’s side:
“What does ‘mei you’ mean?” By lying still. Author response. It becomes clear.
“Spiderman” – Chinese ba-ba to son. Master Yu in graduate student avatar: belled jeans, blue Nikes (white crescents); blue jacket, yellow shirt interior. Mrs. Yu lovely accompaniment, magenta Ch’ing jacket, pastel green pants, white slippers.
Around-pork-barbecue lively conference. Who can maintain his calm for long? John at work on chopstick-engineered pork consumption. Light, off-lake wind. Jacob to author: “Look at that little kid.” Oklahoma ragged spring upgrowth. By activity. Blackjack interspersal. It comes back to life. Jacob: He who embraces Tao.
“I’m going down to the water.”
“I’m going too” – John. Guards against being over-full.
“Watch out for the mud” – author. Master Yu approach, questioning activity:
“Xie ri-ji ma?” (Keeping a diary?)
“Yes.” Master inspecting silk-covered Chinese diary.
“Zai nar mai-de?” (Where did you get it?)
“Tulsa.” Master inspection. “Cong Shang-hai lai-de” – author. (It comes from Shanghai.) Master in mild disbelief. Author back-cover verification-proof. Blue-clad baby cry. He’s beyond wearing out. “Bowman Trading, New York.” Vexatious second cry. Or renewal.
“She’s the mother’s daughter” – father, by way of explanation. Into-mother’s-arms cry-fit-stop. Master Yu’s wife pork-preparation continuation, gold-cross earrings.
Daytime Eddington-McCullough backyard scene. The marks of great Virtue. Bandannaed biker. Follow alone from the Tao. Sleazy girlfriend back-stair sit. Peak-roofed wooden house overlaid with shingle-style white plastic siding. The thing that is called Tao. Paint peeling. Is elusive. New white asphalt roof. Evasive. Skittish sky beyond. Evasive, elusive. Dense distant cumulus inroads. Yet latent in it are forms. Yellow cat along-fence creep. Elusive, evasive. Into-honeysuckle disappearance. Yet latent in it are objects. Fence overgrown. Dark and dim. Miller Lite can glint from within. Yet latent in it. Shreds. Is the life-force. Of mangled milk carton. The life-force being true. Recent mowing residue. Sleazy biker’s girl, too-short blouse. Latent in it. Enters house, quickly returns. Are evidence. Wind up-whip through sparse-rattle magnolia. From the days of old till now. Dead foliage on iron arbor. Its manifested forms. Holly bush rustle. Have never ceased. Red berries. By which we view. Multiple chirp. The Father of All Things.
How do I know. Eddington-McCullough. The shape. Nighttime alley scape. Of the Father of All Things? Water off-eave drip. Through these: Ancient blue Honda. Looked at. OK plate. But not seen. June inspection expiration. Listened to. Aging orange VW. But not heard. Intermittent “creak” of cool-down. The first we call the Invisible. New weed through-crack upgrowth. The second we call the Inaudible. Light over down-alley parallel train tracks.
White pickup westward-direction arrival. Grasped at. Headlights off. But cannot be touched. Family out, supermarket sacks transfer-rustle. The third we call the Intangible. “It’s under thuh car” – child’s voice. Muffled “arf-arf” double distant bark. American elm three-foot shoot against-wind “sh” quaver. These three elude our inquiries. Overhead darkness. And hence blend. Verging on blackness. And therefore become One.
Motorcycle down-Boyd up-rush. Garbage can in-amongst burgeoning foliage silver glow, grey-blue shadows. Screen door Eddington house back door opening. Author’s breath visible. Second motorcycle up-rush. Star-veiling cloud to northeast. Lady bug on-verso indecision, author’s left-thumb-reconnoiter, disappearance-flight. Pavement wet; dry patches. Reflection off under-pickup pool. Distant single bulb in trackside green-black foliage.
Not by its rising. Overhead alley lights. Is there light. Black plastic strip. Nor by its sinking. Dangling in wind-waft. Is there darkness. Faint stars. Unceasing, continuous. Light in sycamore. It cannot be defined. Topmost branches dead. And thus reverts to nothingness.
Norman Iris Show, no-child-visitation-weekend viewing. Iris classifications: 1B. “Be sure to register” – officious attendant.
“We have.” BB. Author and friend diverging.
“Maybe you’d like to take advantage of our pictures.” Author imaging-commencement: Green glass jars, white-papered tables. MTB. Long stems. MDB. Old ladies’ chitchat:
“Mrs. Lawrence O’Sullivan …” Iris perfume/old lady perfume-competition. “She has that place down at Tecumseh.” In-agreement nods.” And she grows such exquisite irises.” SDB. Author iris-registration initiation.
“Are you judgin’ these things?” – second interrupter. Author attention-diversion to mannerly good-old-girl, aluminum move-along brace-crutch, black handbag held at side. Black-sweater, white hair; fancy hat, fancy shirt ensemble. Smiles at author.
“Division Artistic 2.” Pietistic Christ bust, towering white iris behind (“Heaven’s Best”). Ceramic Japanese woman seated beneath three humongous light yellow irises. Doris Burleson’s semi-symmetrical “Neapolitan” – effusively fragrant. “Spanish Dancers” – Iberian motif: bullfight, sombrero, castanets. Sue Thornburg’s “Gypsy Festival,” purple-streaked beige blossoms, orange anthers.
“I’m interested” – third interrupter – “in knowing what you’re writing about.”
“Oh, just a book about Norman.”
“Well, I could tell you a lot about Norman.”
“Yes, I’m sure you could.” Enormous purples; multicolored beiges; magentas; purple-browns. Medium-sized golds, medium-sized silvers, medium-sized bronzes.
Girl (woman) in iris-festooned vest, deeply into with-professor confab:
“Anyway, he got a degree in political science” – camera at waist, toreador pants (mid-calf-tied), woven flats.
Fred Thornburg’s “New Moon”; D. Barton’s “Moonlight Sea”; Fred Thornburg’s “Mystique.”
Purple ribbons: “American Iris Society Horticultural Sweep-stakes.” “Best Specimen”: LaVerne Sullivan’s “Michigan Pride” (gold cup, umber ears). “Best Median”: Bill Pappan’s “Whoop ’Em Up.”
Ray Drysdale’s “Master Touch.” “That’s somethin’” – white-haired woman, gold-belted, red-pleated dress, white open-toed shoes. Three Boy Scouts, one with camera, flash-attachment at ready.
SLOWDOWN SEEN IN STATE OIL-RELATED BUSINESS. The economic winds that spurred the oil-related industry have apparently begun to shift, creating a slowdown in the business activity that had for the last two years been hopping.
WEATHER DOES SOME DAMAGE. Although Norman escaped the worst of last night’s storm, the lightning and wind did their share of damage, mostly in power outages.
HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDS IN DANGER?
Kiwanis railroad-track May-Day carnival evening scene: diesel pumper-hum rock-and-roll mute-out. “Zipper” (Ferris wheel) fluorescent overhead spoke-wheel standstill. Thirty spokes unite around the nave. Long-haired roadie advancing wheel, off-load, on-load operation. From their not-being (loss of their individuality). Teenie screams, next-door-ride. Arises. New Zipper patrons jerked upward. The wheel’s utility. Loading-jerk advance, rock-and-roll background-tape cease. Pregnant 24-year-old, sweat-jock hub, Zipper descent. Last of new patrons ascent, bar descending over seat. Zipper recommencement, throaty scream, rhythmic steady rotation, on-off dazzle lights in red and blue. Next ride line-up, donkey-dung aroma from cross-midway walking track.
“Tommy” – gentle voice. Mould clay into a vessel. “It’s time to go home” – green-skirted granma, white crocheted sweater. From its not-being. Nubile 12-year-old. (In the vessel’s hollow.) Roached hair-do walk-by, mini skirt, hoop earrings, heavy lipstick. Arises. Male teenies in fence-perch observation, popcorn munch. The utility of the vessel. Subdued, after-rain atmosphere; easy voices; through-mud, mud-off foot stomps.
Cut out doors and windows. Steam shovel “Skill Crane” window prize-display enticement. In the house-wall. Miniature Japanese sandals, green footpads, underlayers in red, orange, yellow, light blue, dark blue. Two dice (black on yellow, red on white). “Dirty Playing Cards.” Red flashlight, green shot glass. Whistler’s mother portrait. Tiny pistol, plastic paint set. Marijuana-leaf-decaled lighter; outsized imitation buffalo nickel. From the nothing therein. “CHOICE” – blue magic-marker wall inscription. Arises. White-sweatered, blasé, high-titted op. The utility of the house. Farrah Fawcett-Majors hairstyle backward flip; tight jeans. Seven/eight-year-old clientele leaning over prize display.
Therefore. General clientele: magenta button-downed, white-jeaned, beige-booted pie-eating forty-five-year-old, pudenda bulge. “There’s a couple dart games here” – Jacob walk-up, blue alligator jacket over red shirt, yellow-trimmed green shorts. Lavender-shirted nine-year-old Skee Ball encouragement: “Way to go, Randy.” John arrival, crowd observation. Magenta buttondown finger lick, pie plate right hand situation, large blue Teddy bear under left arm. Teen trio premature Maillol curvature, “Grab Bags” momentary stand-before. Heavy-set redneck mother walk-by, infant armful. Orange-hatted Skee Ball op, plastic green hard-hat contestant give-to. Mexican trio: black shag, velour-shirted 20-year-old; 19-year-old wife; wife’s brother. By the existence of things. White OU-jacketed, red-and-white pom-top ski-hatted 25-year-old Skee Ball try. We profit. White socks, black shoes.
Casper’s Castle (red letters, yellow drop shades, black-outlined). Bamboo the Clown, teen at-shoulder duo, blonde in rainbow-breaking-into-hearts tee shirt; brunette with arm, now back, lightly against author’s arm. And by. Rainbow blonde author elbow lean-against. The non-existence of things. Teenie duo departure. We are served. Overhead half-moon view.
Glen Oaks Drive construction site, condo start. Pure pale blue sky, unseasonably cool. “Dempster Dumpster” eastward dump operation: overhead lift, “thud” down-drop. Black Chevy pickup, orange hood stripes, “PH-Q” designer plates. “Before I get up there” – bare-waisted, shoulder-length blond carpenter – “does anybody need any na-ils?” Light bright off rafters; three-carpenter team, hammer concert, over-stereo-blare voices up-lift. “Favor and disgrace.” “They got a good thing goin’” – lyric. “Cause dismay.” “Damn!” – carpenter letting lumber fall, halfway up ladder, begin-tan, beer-bellied 15-year-old senior observing from above. “What we value.” Framed-in open through-view alternately blocked. “And what we fear.” By baby blue-on-white “Insul-Barrier” panels. “Self-destruction.” “As if within our Self.” “Self-destruction” – lyric refrain.
“Chisolm Trail / Residential tates” (Estates), 24th Avenue, Twisted Oaks Drive. What does this mean: Airplane shadow on-roof flicker. “Favor and disgrace.” Wind through new-grass field. “Cause dismay?” “NEW HOMES” (chocolate). Those who receive a favor from above. “LEASE” (red). Are dismayed when they receive it. “PURCHASE” (burnt red). And dismayed when they lose it. Curbside red-dirt mounds, slant of grey, maroon, white sedans in up-hill driveways. Classen-Lindsay old-town blue-shadowed water tower view; Physical Sciences Tower (N), Dunlop Tower (S), stadium press deck. Subdivision rooftop, rooftop.
Residential Estates billboard “Amenities” list. What does this mean: “Heat-producing Fireplaces / All Appliances / Casa Blanca Fans.” “What we value.” “Pets and Children OK.” “And what we fear.” “Privacy Fencing.” “Are as if within our Self?” “Free Specification Sheets / Take One.” Author 5-mph continuation, orange VW. “Please Drive Slowly.” We have fears. “Children Playing.” Because we have a self. Tiffany Drive station wagon approach, moustachioed driver, mirrored shades. When we do not regard that self. House door open. As self. Pink pant-suited mommy, two-little-girl emergence. What have we to fear? Mower sound from next street over. “Dad-dy?” – five-year-old. White angelic dolphin-bestridden garage-side statue.
“Uh-oh” – three-year-old. Bird twitter, single note updraft. “Uh-oh, Dad-dy?” Car door slam. Gentle sun on weedy lawn. Blue-white sedan departure, butterfly fly-by.
24th S. E./Chisolm Trail exit. Therefore. Roadside park. He who values the world. Eastern Holstein view. As his self. (Seven cows.) Up-incline 35-mph green sedan passage, wind “thump,” “bzzz” progression, street-rise-over disappearance. May be entrusted. Holstein grass-munch, bird barbwire over-fly. With the government. “Di-di” bird chirp, “di-di.” Of the world. Author auto-descent, road-cross, Holstein-approach. And he who loves the world. Pastel grass, delicate yellow/delicate purple wildflower interminglage. As his self. Toward-fence cow-approach, Holstein sudden northward bolt. Steady reconstitution author regard, spittle-drip. Author closer fence approach: “Hello girls.” One cow six-foot distant walk-away; second girl position-hold. The world. Above-(beyond-)pasture pond-appearance. May then be entrusted. Distant red-roofed farmhouse. To his care. Black face, misty eye, pink nose-spot.
Water-tower-under author-situation view (Lindsay/Classen). Ten p.m. cool-down. Rabbit through-grass hop-across. Distant cheers. “Clink” of graduate student plate, ancient-Navy-barracks student-housing. Rise of cheer voices (outdoor concert). Yellow solitary silent overhead bulb-glow. Sullen pavement grumbly Lindsay-traffic pass-by. Dogs-bark. Author seated on under-tower asphalt, back against chain-link fence. Baby fluorescent blue tower eerie above-him loom. Star to-either-side flickers. Tower in apparent sway (focus effect). Back-lights-first car perceptions, Classenward Lindsay progression. Disappearance; succession; disappearance. Classen double green light in moody blackness vacancy.
Author to tower base, overhead mass observation, in tower shadow. Singleness. In embracing the One. Silence. With your soul. Immensity. Can you never forsake the Tao? Cassiopeia tower-side adjacency. In controlling your vital force. Author seated atop post. To achieve gentleness. Reluctant registration-discipline. Can you become. Stacked pipe-lengths, rusted, at tower base. Like a new-born child? Classen double reds, last of up-Lindsay intersection-passthroughs’ headlight beams.
Author VW re-ascent, Lindsay-Classen right turn, Classen continuation to Constitution. Beside-road park. Headlights in rearview mirror, dashboard red hazard (“blink-blink”) signal (“blink-blink”). Flashing yellow caution light. “Coors” pink neon window sign; blue “Budweiser” glow. The five colors blind the eyes. Left(out-of-Constitution)-turning cyclist, black permanent saddlebags. In cleansing and purifying your Mystic Vision. Rock-concert outpour traffic headlight onrush. Can you strive after perfection? Horn honk, tire squeal, gross scream, pavement “sh-rmble, sh-rmble,” cop-car siren. The five musical notes deafen the ears. Pump-side sign: “Milk / Bread / Groceries / Cigarettes / Beer.” The five flavors dull the taste. Yellow overhead traffic-light retinal registration.
Front-bumper Route-9-commencement sit, yellow parking-lights aglow. 99-per-cent-full moon. Small plane overflight, green/red lights, Doppler sound decline, starry aftermath. In opening and shutting the Gates of Heaven. Apparent star movement (orbiting satellite). Can you play the part of the Female? Author head, author back, against-VW-hood recline, polestar observation. In comprehending all knowledge. Milky Way emergence. Can you renounce the mind? Full-moon around-glow.
Re-attention: Noble-Purcell declining traffic. To give birth. Up-creeping, onward-coming Normanward cars. To nourish. Simultaneous eastward ramp mount. To give birth. Down-ramp sedan appearance, taillight (author head turn) gradual disappearance. Without taking possession. “Thuck-a-thump” truck by-passage, one headlight visible (author’s perspective). “Exit” sign re-illumination. Without appropriation. Pass-by re-obscurance. To be chief among men. Yellow light on notebook page. Without exercising authority. Auto procession. This is the Mystic Virtue. Auto recession.
Horse-racing. Author seated in grass, writing by headlight beam of parked, idling orange VW. Hunting. State Highway 9 westward-facing. And Chasing. Cop-car arrival concern. Madden the minds of man. Green sign, silver border (uneven illumination):
Car passage, exhaust-fume waftage, motion of roadside grass stalks.
Into-car cop-car-concern exorcism. Red-pen steady manipulation. Rare. Chinese diary page. Valuable goods. Western frigate faintly-thereon-printed. Keeping their owners. Full-sailed. Awake at night. In timeless time. Thus the Sage provides for the belly. Written words. And not for the eye. Emerging in time. Hence. Surpassing frigate. He rejects the one. Words too in timeless time. And accepts the other. “Diary” nearing completion.
10:31 Sunday morning, 420 W. Eufaula author living-room sit (NE corner). Stretch a bow to the very full. Notebook description: spine green, “DIARY” gold, corners tipped (embossed butterfly designs). And you will wish you had stopped in time. Silk-embroidered boards: front-cover scene in silver/pink/black (vessel, houses, men), red/white/blue (flowering bush beneath); back-cover scene in silver/pink/black (vessel, men), black/white (mother), blue/white (daughter), red/black (temple). Theme: departure and arrival. Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest. White marble-topped table, black Naugahyde chair. And its edge will not last long. Chinese ironstone ashtray, translucent glass four-cube lamp stand (white shade). Far Eastern Art (yellow letters, black ground, white Bodhisattva hand emergent; white/black/grey page edges).
Manet black-and-white litho (Berthe Morisot). When gold and jade fill your hall. White Norman Transcript, black chair seat. You won’t be able to keep them safe. Black headline: “TERRIBLE FIGHT IN FAULKLANDS.” Past-chair, into-study bookcase view. First shelf: reference books. To be proud. Second shelf: publications. With wealth and honor. Notebooks. Is to sow the seeds. Third shelf: sacred HERMES texts; space; commentaries. Of one’s downfall. Bottom shelf: textbooks, class notes, gradebooks. White-bordered window, white shade. Brown island rug.
Living-room survey continuation: bookcase-fireplace-bookcase built-in triptych, oriental (Persian) lamp atop it, English sherry-port decanters (empty). Between them, Joe Andoe black-atop-white moving landscape oil. Car Eufaula-passage light-off-windshield-onto-wall kinema. White-bordered (double sliding-door frame) dining-room-into view (south wall). East wall: mirror, window, painting (Richard Wood through-window alley scape). Bird chirp. Double-cushion-bedecked love seat, coat-of-many-colors throw. Center-room inverted lotus lamp-drop, circular white table beneath. When your work is done. Light on golden bowl. Retire. Seven pink roses afloat in water. Such is Heaven’s way.
Edge-of-bed 3:56 a.m. tea-drink, write-preparation, wind through-tree gentle/determinate “shoosh,” second gentler “shoosh,” ending in “whoo.” Author boots on, jacket on, last of tea consumption; kitchen glass-deposit. 4:01 dining-room view of living-room lotus-light eight-petal wall-shadows. Golden bowl single peony ripeness, desuetude commencement. Water benefits. Insect buzz. All things. Outside drunk-voiced girl reply. And doesn’t compete. Watery next-door car ignition spray. The best of men. Loud post-party voice-musicality. Is like water. Car departure, author front-door exit, “squeak” of housedoor hinge, “k-lunk” of screendoor latch. It dwells in the places that all disdain. Breeze through across-street neighbor’s wind chimes. Wherein it comes nearest. Author. To the Tao. Housefront silhouette.
Down-Asp Campus Corner vacancy view, double-red intersection pulse, “Sacha” high carmine-content steady right-of-frame burn. Sedan by-pass Boydward pave-flap. In relation with others. Red delicate taillight blush. He loves kindness. Headlights illuminating mem arch. In his words. Author continuation. He loves sincerity. University by-pass. In his dwelling. “ROAD CONSTRUCTION.” The Sage loves. “NEXT 1 MILES.” The lowly earth. Jenkins descent to South Base. In his heart. Red no-word octagon within yellow diamond. He loves what is profound. Black arrow pointing upward. (Route 9-ahead stop-indication.) In his actions. Up-beyond-it again-park. He loves choosing the right time. Lights on new cement curb. In government. “RIGHT LANE / MUST / TURN RIGHT.” He loves peace. White on-pavement arrow obliquity, headlights reaching to pre-9 stop. In business affairs. “LEFT LANE / MUST / TURN LEFT.” He loves ability.”
It’s because he does not contend. (Black on white.) That he is without reproach.
Harve Collins Stadium (NHS), Norman Elementary Meet. Thunder-deafening on-aluminum romp-about, all grades, mommies in bleach blond, black shag, brown pigtails; dark glasses, handbags. Squeal-screech: third-grade girls’ 400 relay, wind strain, hair floating. Finish! Squeals down, clenched little victory fists in air.
“This is second call, second call” – p.a. system. “Third grade girls’ softball throw.” The universe. “You should be at the softball area at this time.” Is everlasting. Author in midst of stands, eight-year-old point-past. Voice from behind: “Marianne! Marianne!” “Fourth-grade relay team should be on the track at this time.” Three fifth-graders practicing up-aluminum “thump-thump-k-thumpity-thump” race start. “Quiet in the stands!” Mommy in distracted look. “Can we have qui-et in the stands?” Pink terry-cloth-bottomed two-year-old, yanked up, yanked down, by five-year-old sister. Six-year-old friend gesturing, blond-streaked brunette strands, hang-glide-pictured tee shirt, short-shorts, tanned little legs, sandals.
Aluminum dull silver bleachers, spanking new orange risers. The reason. Starter’s gun, smoke puff. The universe. Thunder of little feet, big feet, pounding aluminum stands. Is everlasting. Orange scoreboard, black tiger (Norman High). Is that it does not live for Self. “Come on, Mary Lou!”
“Go, Michael, go, go, go!” Therefore. “PERIOD / DOWN / TO GO” – scoreboard – “GUEST / TIGERS” – behind them. It can long endure.
“First call, fifth grade relay.” Fourth-grade girl gaggle, matching flowered uniforms (red/white/yellow). “First call, fifth grade relay!” Stands mount, single seven-year-old, blue top, blue jeans, blond hair, step-by-step attention. “Results of the third grade relay team: in sixth place went to Monroe, fifth place …” Blue-topped descent, double-hand hair brush-back. “Second place went to McKinley.” Nine-year-old named Morgan standing in “Morgan”-lettered tee shirt, stands’ end. Blue-topped re-ascent; re-descent, jean pockets in rainbow horizontal stripes. Hippity-hop-hop re-ascent, Nikes in red-white-and-blue, German-Swedish-English features. Therefore the Sage puts himself last.
But finds himself in the foremost place. Blue-topped hand-first stairs descent. Regards his body. Gorgeous limb articulation. As accidental. Steady downward progress to final step. And his body is thereby preserved. “All right, we need quiet in the stands.” Immediate turn-about. Hand-over-hand past-author re-ascent. “We need quiet in the stands.” Ascent accomplished, immediate step-wise stately descent, one hand on back of neck, one on hip. Is it not. Upward return past author. Because. Blond ends much blonder than scalp roots. He does not live. (Sun-effect.) For Self. Track infield scored, bruised (football-effect), goal post bent. That his Self achieves perfection?
Third-grade standing long-jump line-up (John awaiting his turn). Brown sedan unheard eastward behind-stands passage. Trees in leafy horizon sprawl. Stadium rose-white lights, mid-afternoon overcast illumination. Mild rain threat.
“If Emmeline Grangerford could make poetry like that before she was fourteen, there ain’t no telling what she could a done by-and-by.” Author Saturday-morning couch-sit, TV on, Jacob/John return-await. “The first show of western art in Peking.” “Buck said she could rattle off poetry like nothing” – Huckleberry Finn examination-passage-search. Channel flip. “This is Diana Ross.” “She didn’t ever have to stop and think.” Pink skirt up, leg show, double-arm armpit show. “Every body gonna hate you. / Eat yo’ heart out.” “He said she would slap down a line” – nasty hat – “and if she couldn’t find anything to rhyme with” – short skirt – “she would just scratch it out and slap down another one” – red boots – “and go ahead. She warn’t particular.” White décolleté top. “She could write about anything you choose to give her to write about.” “Oh, work that body; that’s Diana Ross and a record that’s sold over twenty-five million.” “Just so it was sadful.” “Whiter teeth, fresh breath, and now fluoride.” “Every time a man died, or a woman died, or a child died.” The Spirit of the Valley never dies. “She would be on hand with her ‘tribute’ before he was cold.” It is called the Mystic Female. “Lemon and tangy cherry” – legs spread, into focus. “She called them ‘tributes.’” The door of the Mystic Female is the root of Heaven and Earth. “One of the hottest records in the country, this is War!” Continuously, continuously. “The neighbors said.” It seems to remain. “First it was the doctor.” Draw upon it. “Then Emmeline.” And it serves you. “Then the undertaker.” “War!” With ease. “The undertaker never got in ahead of Emmeline but once.” “Girl, I’m goin’ crazy.” “And then she hung fire on a rhyme for the dead person’s name, which was Whistler.” Saxophone in-mouth manipulation, up-down, up-down. “She warn’t ever the same after that.” Pogo bounce.
Jacob entrance: “I got a new bike, it’s up at Pedaller’s. Look at that electric guitar he’s got, it’s just a little thing.” “She never complained, but she kind of pined away and did not live long.” “Yeah” – author – “go see if John’s over at Eric’s, ’cuz we wanna get going.” “Poor thing, many’s the time I made myself go up to the little room that used to be hers.” “This band has passed over everybody, blacks, whites, Latinos.” “I liked the family, dead ones and all.” “Will you get back up there?” – Dick Clark to drummer.
Nature is unkind. “FOR THIRD DAY … STORMS BATTER STATE.” It treats the creation like straw-dogs. (“Thunderstorms packing heavy rain, and wind clocked at 60 miles per hour, punched their way through Oklahoma early this morning.”) Backyard humid noon heat-up. (“Forcing the Highway Patrol to close two stretches of road in one southern Oklahoma county.”) Jacob, author, John-await, Jacob regaling author with bicycle stories. The Sage is unkind. Author reading paper. He treats the people like straw-dogs. (“The three-day blitz of furious spring weather left three people dead.”) John arrival, Eric accompaniment. Jacob new-bike discussion. (“Investigators say they suspect a tornado.”) “My new one is a 27-inch, my old one was a 19-inch.” John, also ignoring Jacob: (“May have caused a plane crash.”)
“I went over to Angela’s and they were playing Office.” (“Near Idalou, Texas.”)
“How do you play that?” – Eric. (“That killed three Oklahomans.”)
“You send interoffice memos to Missy and they never get delivered.” (“And a Kansas man.”)
“Lake Riverbottom” (Canadian River) swim-expedition, Jacob-John back-seat conversation, Eufaula alley Eric-await (bathing suit requisition). John in green suit, Jacob in red. Exalt not the wise. Eric arrival in blue suit. That the people not scheme and contend. Author Chautauqua/Timberdell writing pause (black cow observation), Jacob-John-Eric Engendering technique-discussion. Prize not rare objects. “Mr. Morrison” – Eric. That the people shall not steal. “Do you put in the dirty things we say?” Shut out from sight the things of desire. “No” – author, writing. That the people’s hearts shall not be disturbed. “Only the clean orgies” – Jacob.
“Lake Riverbottom” arrival. Therefore. Auto-descent. In the government of the Sage. Sound of gunshot. Dead cat in grass. Bankside on-foot approach. He keeps empty their hearts. River at flood tide. John: “It looks like it’s going in both directions!”
“That stagnant pool!” – Eric.
“Here’s a bullet” – Jacob. Eric song-lyric rehearsal.
“Uh-oh” – John. “I’m in some kinda quicksand.” Discourages their ambitions. Author approach. “Hey, Pop, you can sit right here” – wet-sand pat. Strengthens their frames. Jacob waist-up-to, John knees-up-to, Eric ankle-deep immersion.
“Look how far it’s up to” – Eric. Jacob full-current entrance, John (scream) duplication, Eric (squeal) imitation.
McDonald’s after-swim French fries, Cokes. That the people may be purified of their thoughts and desires. “Put it back” – Eric.
“What?” – Jacob. And the cunning ones.
“Put it back on the tray.” Shall not presume to interfere. Baby cry.
“Eric” – Jacob – “This is John dipping his French fries.”
“What?” – John. Ronald McDonald in-window vacant wave, bright red enamel hair, yellow hand.
“Who’s had a birthday party at McDonald’s?” – author.
“Jacob has” – John. By action without deeds.
“I have” – Eric. May all live in peace. Four-year-old birthday celebration in progress. Passing McDonald waitperson to colleague:
“Is there life after birthday parties?”
Boston-Philly, third game. The Tao is all-pervading. Saturday-afternoon couch sit. And its use is inexhaustible! Jacob arrival, John arrival. Fathomless! Post-basement-showers. Like the fountain head of all things. Quartered orange in bowl on floor. Its sharp edges rounded off. Myrna, hand-held Winston; plaid slacks, flesh top; blue-shadow gazers, blond outflow; seated beside author. Its tangles untied. “What causes these flows” – Bill Russell TV voice – “is team concentration.” Its lights tempered. “It’s a very slippery thing.” “Myrna” – author to John – “’s for Boston.”
“I’m for Philadelphia” – Myrna. Its turmoil submerged. Crossed-leg wiggle, cig drag. Dr. J. under-basket fade-swoop slam-dunk. Philly 96, B-town 87, under four minutes. Yet crystal clear. Jacob bored, splitting. Like still water. John in blue shirt, white letters. It seems to remain. “Five Celtics in double figures” – John observing TV graphic. I do not know whose Son it is. Myrna. An image. Arms gently folded. Of that which existed before God.
Newscenter 4 Update, game aftermath. Reagan image. “Pop, I’m gonna change it” – John. Ramona Russ voice, over Portugal footage, Israel map. “Ross says you’ll want to roll up your car windows tonight.” Blue-ground prismatic process fan, radar vector. “Tornado Warning Till 10:30” in white.
After-dinner Myrna-author outing. How the universe is like a bellows! 420 porch view. Empty. Eerie quiescence. Yet gives a supply. Myrna beside-author cricket cig-light. That never fails. Felt tip-paper audible “squeak” (author notebook). The more it is worked, the more it brings forth. Taillight-headlight up-University past-trees flicker. By many words. Northside Eufaula house outline. Is wit exhausted. Silent yellow window glow. Therefore. Orange curtain. Hold to the core.
The whole world recognizes the beautiful. Myrna. As beautiful. Flood-Berry song selection. Yet this is only the ugly. “So much love in this heart of mine.” The whole world recognizes the good as the good. “No one else in the whole wide world.” Yet this is only the bad. Berry-Boyd westward turn. Thus Something and Nothing. Station-wagon streetlight off-glint. Produce each other. Pentecostal Holiness Church front. The difficult and the easy. Myrna hair adjustment. Complement each other. “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away.” McGee/Boyd southward turn. Country and Western sound. The long and the short. Cardoor slam. Off-set each other. Myrna leaning upper arm against author. Note and sound. “Who cared a lot.” Harmonize. White overpainted bike path line diminishment.
McGee/Brooks right turn, John Greenleaf Whittier parking lot curbside sit. Steel lanyards against-flag-pole “flop, clank.” Three blue school doors side by side. Angry dog bark. Author orange VW orange parking light glow. Flag pole silence. “Love stinks.” Reinitiation. “Yeah yeah.” “Clank clank.” “Love stinks.”
24th Avenue S. E.: Free Will Baptist, Mr. Shortstop. Echo of Spain (hacienda-style apartments). “Just between you and me.” Before and after. “How our love will be.” Follow one another. Horn of through-intersection(Lindsay/24th)-barging vehicle. Therefore the Sage. Left-turning driver screeching to stop mid-way through red light. Keeps to the deed that consists in taking no action. On-pavement “ONLY” upside down. Practices the teaching. Yellow-painted log-post sit. That uses no words. “RAMADA INN,” “INN” under “AMA.”
24th Ave.-to-Main, Main-to-Holiday Inn junket. Sparse interstate-onto traffic slow progression. The myriad creatures. Rising-breeze page-flap. Arise from it. Safeway-exiting lights in grass. Yet it claims no authority. Nameless auto dealership. It gives them life. Things waffling. Yet claims no possession. Inside overhead “TEXACO” sign. It benefits them. 26th Drive/West Main St. Yet exacts no gratitude. Red VW westward “thu-thu-thu-thu” passage, black Toyota pause. It is because it lays claim. American flag in desultory stand. To no merit. Despite wind activity. That its merit. Holiday Inn-sign-beneath dim-white illuminated billboard: Never deserts it. “CONGRATULATIONS / CLIFF & SARA MERRITT.” Empty bottom line.
“Sports Club.” The way that can be spoken of. (Holiday Inn.) Is not the constant way. “Proper Attire Required.” “We’ll have to have some form of business identification” – entrance guardian. The name that can be named. “University of Oklahoma” – author. Is not the constant name.
“Can I take your order?” – waitress. The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth.
“Two daiquiris.” The named was the mother. “One strawberry, one lime.” Of the myriad creatures. Myrna cig-lighter across-page flicker.
“Frozen?” – waitress. Off-balance racehorse picture, wall behind.
“Sure.” Hand-on-leg cowboy. Hence. Next table over. Always rid yourself of desires to observe its secrets. Slow multifaceted disco ball overhead spin. But always allow yourself to have desires. Lights in green and red. To observe its manifestations. Daiquiri arrival. These two are the same.
“Lime?” But diverge in name as they issue forth.
“Here.” Being the same. “I know other lips have kissed you” – lyric.
“$6.75.” They are called mysteries. “See me shine, see me shine” – lyric. Dark mysteries. White-clad. Gateway to the secret of All Life. Back-to-author woman.