Saturday, April 24, 2010

the (other) white Whale.

i've always wondered if you ever read this.

i'm gonna get my tattoo soon, I think
Lachelle's in town and she wanted to go with me
(no one else would)

the only tattoo i've ever wanted is
a white whale
(moby dick Himself)
on my left shoulder
so my good eye can stay on him
and be reminded of the cruelty of nature
and the chaos of existence
and how the only thing you can be
is decent
in the face of everything.

the irony of me never wanting anything other than a whale
of course
has only now begun to sink in
and the sardonic laughter turned to bitter tears and
dried into a clear crust of sad smiles
but it's begun to flake away now.
because that's real estate that neither of you, at this point, deserve

i think it's fascinating that you're essentially a critic
(this is something into which the forthcoming novel--oh yes,
the forthcoming novel--will go into substantially
further detail)
and i wonder what you think about art
i want to know what you felt when your daughter was born
and if it was for you
like it was for me
a baptism for your dark parts
the things you keep hidden from everyone that's looking.

i think you and i have more in common than either of us knew.
besides, of course, the obvious
but that's more something we've shared
than we had in common, per se
although i didn't really know i was sharing it
but you did.
and you'd see me and talk shit about me to my friends
(yes, i heard, because they like me more than
they like you
because i'm good and i can stand
to look myself in the eye)

and in this anonymous venue
i want to set the record straight:

i didn't lie for you.
i didn't lie for her.
i didn't lie for your other her.

i lied for that little girl
that innocent child who will eventually learn what kind of person you are
and she doesn't need to learn it from me.

just because the world is filled with you and people like you
doesn't mean she needs her face rubbed in it
not yet. she'll have plenty of time to discover you.
i figured i'd stay her sentence
because not everyone can have a father like i do.
not everyone can be so fortunate
so lucky to love those who deserve it
as we've both seen first-hand
but on different sides of the mirror.

one final clarification:

i don't think you're a bad person.
i don't believe in bad people.
i believe in good people.
but i don't think you're one of those, either.

there are too many kisses goodnight and framed movie posters and melville novels and bottles of pinot noir and steak stir fries and eels albums and 'i love you's and honest tears and oregon revelations and spider-man comics and horses and songs about seattle and honest professors and new nieces and family

that i don't have time to focus on either of you
or anyone else that doesn't much care for decency.

so you go on.
you keep on truckin'.
keep on keepin' on.
don't stop writing about art
never cease to tell everyone else what
great books are or how dedicated rebus is

i'd rather try and make something beautiful myself
than be stuck for the rest of my life
trying to convince everyone else how much i appreciate beauty.

because we all know you appreciate it
but you clearly don't value it.

i hope
that when you come crumbling down
when your pillars are strewn to salt
and when your concealing clouds have all evaporated
that you're the only one you destroy.

but i don't know if i have that much faith in a world
that continually rewards someone like you.

but katie called me 'jesse custer' last night.
and that's enough to get me through.
because someone on this fucking planet
has got to be a little good.

because there's a whole score of children
coming down the pike
who deserve a better world
better teachers than you.



Waif13 said...

Since I know the back story on this, I want to comment on it.Badly. But I don't want to divulge anything that you are unwilling for the internet to know. So you know, call me.

Sarah said...

W.O.W. Nice. Well, not "nice," but... ya know, nice.

Kels H. said...

necessary. I approve.

rachel said...

I'm Rachel and I approve this message.

emilyf said...

i don't get it, but i like it, if that's okay.

martha said...

whew. that needed to be said. most of it has already, but...that needed to be out there. in print. somewhere.

rachel said...

are you writing your paper for vogel's class? did you know it's do monday morning? i'm writing mine and taking a lot of breaks. \

rachel said...

yes. I will finish. I do not have to work tomorrow, so I will stay up all night if I need to. have fun eating pizza.

Lachelleandmanasseh said...


Claire Valene Bagley said...

First thing I said in my head after reading this was "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit."

That either is a commmentary on my limited vocabulary...

OR just a sort of silent applause.