And someone else, from the other wing (feathers a-plenty and opaline) titters. It never dawned on him that he had always been writing comedy. It never dawned on him because his whiteness and masculinity preserved his illusion. So his poetry had no teeth, for no one had lost them in a fist fight for five dollars, and had no heart, like the gullible liquid elixir that is God, but had a brain. A brain so bloated with unease that he drew ire into everyone else’s eye and demand an explanation for their judgment. For the time of God to alight on his Franciscan shoulders, and he would stare deep into the unblinking eye of the raven to shoo her onward, towards her own betterment. Her betterment better for the withoutment of you. And you were sure that this was gut-wrenching stuff, guaranteed to really strike a chord and get to the ulterity of their existence burdened only by the need for benefaction, the satchel the great Brit tossed over his shoulder while tweaking his nose and said, that’s a wrap, kids! … So now, go on and tell me what you’ve done!”
I planted a tree in the garden.
To see how high I could get it to grow.
So that I could climb the trunk up and up and up until I could sketch the sky.
Because I believed that if I could capture this moment, with the bulging of clouds just thus, I could share something, that very experience, with someone else.
Because that rapturous sense of knowing and that rapturous sense of being known.
Because I know that out there, somewhere cast about, the entire arc of time no obstacle, for this image that I see and I draw in my mind, over and over again, will come again… this moment of seeing the sky just this way will resonate. Again. And when it does there will be a pattern of boys sitting up in trees and capturing the sky. And the very idea of sky. And the very idea of capturing skies, and they will link and form nodes – rainbows of hope and everlast between these moments of being truly recognized for who we were in the bitter-sad strum of eternity, I would take the me with me, that little boy, hand in hand, each of us looking at one another, there in the collapsing of all-time, we would truly know each other and in so, magically, ourselves.
And yet, there would yet be one more rapture.
More rapturous than the comprehensive knowledge of self in all the splendor of perspective?
Happiness, but not your everyday run-of-the-mill happiness. Not the type sourced from pride, for some impressive accomplishment that certainly no one other than you in your wealth, your color and your gender could possibly undertake. Both literally and figuratively. Why are there so few black men in space? Do little black boys not dream of traveling the stars? Yes, Clayton. The little black boys dream of working in our farms and singing spirituals while they hoe. Just like in the movies. Now lay down your pretty head my darling boy, and dream of lollipops and presidencies. And accomplishments that you, only you, you special little guy, can accomplish.
No, not that sort of happiness.
The sort of happiness that is truly light and unbounded, where you commingle with something truly aside from yourself. Where you lose yourself in the moment of hilarity or joy, where the id deceases altogether and you are free. Light. Unbounded. And your spirit just barely starts to leave your body as if tugged by a field of angels and angles. You become so en-lightened (as if the nomenclature were part of the joke) that you has ceased to be. Only experience. The experience of being, and the experience is joy. As light as a sun that shines into the eyes of everyone who ever lost a loved one. To want to implore them that the joy of rapture is capable of being held in unity for an infinity. You, the “aren’t-you” for that moment, are wordless, you are joyful precisely and instinctively because you are there, being. In the moment.
But the grievous weight. The weight of grief, anger, fear or hate, dense as iridium diamond. Negativity roots and condenses inside the petulant want of the id of the self (the survivalist’s version of ego). Negative emotion buries our consciousness deep inside the newly-emerged self who is now entirely without empathy. And “Me, Me, Me! Ne, Me, Me!” chirps alert and begins to mould every contour of idea that emanates from the dark well of the Book of Knowledge—the subconscious burble that sparks fire out of the abyss with a smash of its stone.
And there are too many words, too many hollers, too many screams to be belted in one swallow. We do not then see the world for who she truly is, we see only red. And be they rage or fear, like Buddha’s poison bowl, they command and consume you.
Instead, embrace bliss. Float into the experience, the long and everlasting chain of everything here, and everything now, and everything there, and everything then—all that ever survived, they are our giants on whose shoulders we stand and whisper into their ears: I love you, because I am you. And in this coincidental compassionate is-ness, this experience can be anything. Putting aside the tremendous film reel showcase of internal processive projective simulation of a recessing objective reality. Do not worry which way you spin, for they can always turn you up. My amplitude is your amplitude.
And that’s why everyone has to go. Even the bad little boys with Swaztikas on their arms and Jew-baby guts in their teeth get to go. Not because they weren’t bad, but because we need to all understand why they were bad. Cautionary tales become fables, and fables protect my baby boy no more than mathematics. I thank them every day.
But their power fades, and we trip over the same live wires over and over again, like the handle of a rake to a face. Two boys recognize each other from the top of a tree. He is the dreamer, but he knows of the oaf, for he has been bullied. And part of him must fear this other who converses in bruises, because everything about the casing is fragile, and the delivery boy has a wobbly wheel. So never forget the massacre at Bowling Green. It was the day America died. But I digress as the anger grips me, causing me to recognize myself in this plate glass window, and find satisfaction in the petty things like countries, famine and death.
So pick up thy bucket, pauper, and float off into the abyssal behemoth of the suns-smashed skies, for you are finally lighter than the first photon.