I'm in Vancouver, British Columbia. How I got here I'll never really know. I still have an address in Brooklyn, NY, where my wife and I moved last year. We're from two different countries. Now we live in two different countries.
The marshland floodplain expands. Drifting currents sway gently through sap-lined pine trunks and decomposed maple leaves. Ahead, the riverbanks motion with unspeakable gratitude, bittersweet, enjoined to the drunk swell of an upraised wetlands.
Huddled under protection of stone, the dusty clamor of steaming trucks file past, carrying explosives, ammunition; the all-potent death of armed men. The sky burns under a 40-degree sun sear, magnifying the light of illusion with the bitter disbelief of guts strewn in the angry heat.
The moonlit fox scatters beyond the floodlit path, and I sit, knowing I'm under the eye of a flagrant bomb pattern, patiently scanning the sky for my fate.
Around the time I turned 18, Rolling Stone magazine ran their famed HST R.I.P. cover story. I removed a copy from the school library, and soon after began to write for a local daily newspaper. I began to make money. I've never looked back.
Down the gravelly road, an older man, built strong and lean, walks assuredly through hell's gate. In this valley, the shadow of death casts invisibly, as omnipotent fear; that cutting vibration that pierces as it electrifies. Every last medieval hell of our wildest imagining is child's play in comparison. The daytime moon fills my mind, obscuring the passion of escape into the dizzying architecture of mythology, roasting in this new Levantine world fire.
The black fly of firebomb death squeals past overhead. I run, sliding my fingers along the combustible river rock, much of it already crumbling into rough sand. My fingers, mysteriously blackened, feel into the stone.
Just this week, I read Djuna Barnes for the first time. The literary world, though often a source of anachronistic despair, is as infinitely intriguing and meaningful to me as it ever was, all the more so from one expatriate to another, even a century away.
A black liquid seethes. Viscous, thick, it's oil. I realize I can't leave. The slick spring beneath the land overpowers my body in a storm of evil lust. I treasure the root of all fleshly worship in this age of fire as the swarm of madness overcomes, and in a blinding instant, a boulder implodes. My exposed hand flits to dust. The earth gives way to pools of ash. I sink in the quicksand of eternal war, condemned to modern night.
He speaks, a guide of the ancient river basin, to reinvigorate the ground with the renewing tides of the planet. She beckons the swallowing of a forgotten landscape. The land is to be reclaimed, indigenous nationhood reinstated over the bi-national divide.