Saturday, 24 June 2017

Through Enemy's Eye




What defines an enemy?  How might we conceptualize an enemy of life and love?  To understand is, hopefully, to be wise.  I cannot say I am wise or that I understand, but I know of enemies.  I met the devil once.  He came to me not as an angel but as a man.  He said his name was Thomas Mary.  He said he played rag-time back when the twentieth century was born. Theft as Art. Indeed he was beguiling, unsettlingly so.  One form among many, I suppose.  But he breathed Milton, looking back at me through the stolen eyes of passers by.  I even saw him in the sky once, skinless and shining.  Perhaps he thinks me naïve, with a dull, earnest sort of intelligence.  Perhaps he just likes to flirt.  I imagine he respects me in his way.  If not respect, then at least intrigue.  I fancy he wouldn't have shown himself to me so overtly otherwise. Thomas is a cad, a sentient knife.  Even his smile can open flesh.  He wants to swallow creation with his eye.  We spoke of circles, stories, the unseen embrace.  We spoke of Moon and Sun, and lion-headed serpents.  He said he is the disguise, not the thing beneath.  It's how he moves among many.  I almost understand him.  Tom is an engineer.  Come Josephine in My Flying Machine.  

Tom is very frightening.  He told me I look like someone he knew once, but only a little.  It's an intimate sort of contempt, a kisscut.  But I tell him I have already been cut to ribbons by Love, of a warmer sort than his icy hands.  He has heard this from the tongues of men before.  Thomas wants to eat us, forever.  He tells me he's read everything I've ever written. It's nonsense, he says, but he likes it.  Really, Tom, I'm flattered.  People don't realize the devil has walked among men as man.  He tells me truth is recursive, that there is no escaping him or what he intends to bring upon the earth.  And yet, he allows himself to entertain the possibility. Tom is a curious thing.  Make a choice then, he says.  Any choice.  Let's see what happens. Thomas Mary is walking fury, the ultimate humorist.  He's made a true art of violation, but he leaned forward one night and whispered to me that he would love to be surprised.  My dull intelligence – my meat-tethered star – doesn’t stop me from choosing.  I will never choose him, but he already knows that.  I saw him walking among us, as the sighted sometimes do.  I once kissed the surface of his eye, reached right through, and still dared for something greater.  I search instead for something warmer, something kinder.  I search for prodigal suns returning from the wilderness.

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