Even impatient people won’t get bored watching the Damask rose, and sick people will find its blossoms cheering. The location of the flower depends on where you are physically and the politics of self-destruction. When Routledge Ruut stood, alone and smoking in the middle of the desolate battlefield, he could not see the parts of bodies or writhing and groaning recently human* forms. He could not see or hear anything, in fact, blind from the blood caked over his eyes and deaf from the cannon’s shout, but he could see in his mind the Rosa damascena he had grown in a small clay pot on his windowsill earlier that year.
Who was Routledge Ruut kidding? That rose was long bloomed, and the clay pot shattered or consumed by fire when enemy troops ravaged the town near six months ago. And yet. If a thing can be held in the mind and regarded with precision, passionately held by force of will as if the eye were present, he had been taught, then no separate reality existed that could overthrow the one so constructed.
What you wouldn’t do to get there. The carnage before you: a drop of elderberry jam on a snowy mountaintop. Routledge Ruut, you are a killer. Probably** makes you feel better to say warrior, soldier, but that’s a sham. The roses you seek: nothing will stand in your way. No one can or will. You start wars, and you end them, all for the sake of a rose. More precisely: for the attar that can be obtained by steam distillation in copper tubs of crushed petals and sepals, the olive-green, malodorous oil from roses harvested before dawn and extracted the same day.
After which, what happens? More roses grow. You can’t stop them from growing. When they grow, you go after them and slaughter anyone who stands in your way.
Everybody wants my blood. The helicopters shooting diamonds above the low hills at night, the Russian nurses, the white coats, the sloppy sailors with buckets of fish guts, preening*** on the wharf. Or perhaps I should say: there’s no one who does not want my blood. That is why I am covered in bruises, from needles, from constant poking with needles. That is why I am so bloody anemic.
Routledge Ruut has pig snot for brains. What runs through his arteries I wouldn’t even guess, but nothing good. Nothing pure. Once I saw him pricked with a small sword and something olive green spurted from the wound. I will admit that I wounded him. For what reason he does the ravaging and so forth. For what reason at all. The countryside is stupid, infested with stupidities, plied every day with more stupidities, through various means, some popular**** and open and free. Routledge Ruut knows all that, but he doesn’t care a damn except for the well-being of his roses. In the meantime I am running short on blood, and there are only so many stupidities I can reasonably stand.
I need to stop Routledge Ruut. Well, not stop him but instead turn his attentionª to the stupidities. From the roses to the stupidities, which are like roses in that there is no end to their blooming. But someone like Routledge Ruut, not someone like him but him and him only, because there’s no one like Routledge Ruut, should his warlike spirit be properly directed or, better put, focused, could stop the stupidities. Could attack them with his curved sword—there’s an exact word for the type of sword Routledge Ruut uses, perhaps the word is scimitar, perhaps not—and decollate the stupidities, blood spurting in rufous fountains over land and sea and high into the oxygenated sky, past gravity’s pull, through the atmosphere and gathered in ruby globules by the flexibly inflexible rules of physics, floating forever in vast: space.
But a man who bends his mind to roses is not easily swayed. Il n’y existe pas un homme qui can resist the lure of botany—the sweetest science, supersucculent and dangerous to the sanity. Jag älskar dig, spoke Karl the Father. Contrary to expectations, he lived a mostly placid and self-satisfied life, crowned with crowns, and in addition had interests outside botany extending even to anthropology—the science of cartoons. One does not contradict§ the other: existence and nonexistence. These are complementary ideas, even necessary ideas, albeit frivolous and entirely beside the point of what Routledge Ruut would call “bleeding.” Everything about Ruut was a hybrid. The man himself—his ridiculous name—blends seeds of meaning and matter into new, unimproved forms, because he can’t leave well enough alone. And yet he searches restlessly for a perfection in nature that he cannot find in his artifice; will kill anything that tries to block the pursuit of his silly blooms.
In this way death came to our town.
*Theory of constraints and all her applications. Tic-toc. Toe. Toe explains all in a pretty little bundle of joie. Wagon-lits. Carte paths. For all thy protestations to the contrary, sir, ’tis enow that we twain d’accord the propre ceremoney o’er the matter, and out on’t, fogh! Cat’s paw and cat skills and cat-o’-nine-lives growling like weed in the hothouse of terra cognita. ’Sblood and ’Sbody and ’Shair and ’Sface and ’Sveins: we shall one and every follicle belike transvoorted to the Viking press of the moon, hear me, hear ye. Crag-faced in the rocks owing to excess of rundlets, owing to stony silence, owing to the sea craters I haply misericord to bottom.
**Fear not the wroth of vermiform signs or songs, my dear kunsthalle; ohrwurm; baublehaus. Underscan my stayings, and prithee forgimme. I have seen the blackell of apathy, friends; it is a place none should after see. A dark ocean on a dark night, fingers of sea foam ringing my neck while I bipedal nautically to fins of strings. Look up at pinholed, pinwheeler sky! It is no blanket, but a rush of invisible gas to the end of ends. No monsters lurk, and none underfoot, howsomany fathoms ever you durst. No monsters anywhere but dear. Immensities of mind. Pilules for compelling rod-on. Two or three choses that je sais about Hell. A season deferred. In Hell. From Hell. To Hell. Every demon you have ever seen dwells inside you; you worship him as you worship yourself. Hell itself is no dwelling place, but a location nonetheless: a very rental in the soul. The Virgin Spring. An urgent urge, demi in the dusk, from minuit to minute, or smaller still, and quite quiet. Ouphe in the forêt, train-sported with circles of merveilleuse ochre and rose, rising, with slow care, toward Bedlam.
***Northing. Naxalite violence. Any port or prince in a storm. I have made pacts with an adze that will shake the plates and rain devilish on the flimsy city. Horrors will multiply like human cells; divide and resupply. You have not seen death like I have seen death because you look with sightless eyes at sightless eyes. The stench of decay starts in living bones, spreads by lies and betrayal to the dead. I will tell you what is truth: truth. I will tell you what is beauty: beauty. I will tell you what is death: death. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely, but also murders without second thoughts. Without remorse. Any vengeance-minded God is riddled with remorse, but not second thoughts. I am the I am.
****Darkness inside the muted light of sunset: when you stand in front of the window and stare at the far hills. These are the bad angels, gathering in gloomy bunches like poisonous grapes, parmite with blood. The leafless trees scratch with upstretched arms at scudding clouds, and in the growing mist barn owls perch on lower branches, scanning the radio air for the slow heartbeat of approaching doom. The bad angels grasp in their grasping claws the agenda of nightmares, larded with entrails of dead shrubs and bits of Styrofoam and brick. You roll the heavy door across its track and fasten tight the locks. You know that nothing made of something can stop the angels, who are nothing. You’ve looked them in the eye and seen the end of time, and the end of time was a mirror. And still you roll the door, and still you light the fat candle, and the wax drips forest green on polished marble floor: you turn and find yourself inside a tomb, which is where you keep the rain, for safety. But you are not safe. The rain cannot keep you bright for long, and your tears will only fall, unseen. There are corridors in this place that lead to holy places, but all the holy places have been destroyed, out of love, out of a desire to love that burns without burning—a plague of love, a cholera of kindness. Dig a ditch and wait for pistol shot in back of neck. Or is that too romantic? Would you prefer a meaner death? Shriveling for years in the data basement, in an old hard drive, dispersing bit by bit on the ocean floor of knowledge, frozen, unexplored, blind, pressed flat by calamitous gravity.
ªThe Periplus and Rhapta. Arab and Indian traders looking for gold in the first of twenty long centuries. Is this what you mean by Africa? The devil is no fool. Why fear the means of grace, expel yourself from your own garden? Difficult to till, ravaged by bad angels, daily exposed to the secrets of flight. You think because everything has roots that nothing can fly? The last thing out of the chest, children, was a very fragile creature, its tiny hairs still slick with afterbirth. You must do your best to keep it alive.
§ thursdygurl44 (3 hours and 2 minutes ago) Im sick an tired of the ignorant morans commenting here who don’t HAVE THE FACTS!!!!!!
Slake School Application–Step 1
Jun 4, 06:18 PMPurchase or Subscribe to Slake: Los Angeles
All rights reserved, James Greer and Slake Media.
Do not reproduce without permission.