Today’s post is for Anne.
This is what happens when you were just a boy and a boy like you was killed. You live with that for eight years, you let it go, you forget about him and then he comes back to you after a while and you’ve missed him. He is someone you might have loved, would have loved, did love. You loved him then, remember? Things were happy then, the two of you together. And then, while researching his murder, that day, that fence, that state, those boys, that bar—you begin to break up with your boyfriend. Slowly, over months. Nothing drastic. Nothing messy. This is another kind of murder and the entire life you knew falls apart in eight weeks. You dismantle it, the two of you, piece by piece in the clinical way of a surgeon who knows precisely where the slice goes to remove the limb with minimal blood loss. Suddenly, you can’t tell one story from the other: yours, his. You are him.
Then there is just grief. Something is missing, something has been taken. You begin to watch films, films, films. Become obsessed with films, with Hitchcock again—then, with Vertigo. The lengths we go to preseve what we love. In the film, the clerk says, “The gentlemen certainly seems to know what he wants.” He makes her over into someone else, but in this film everyone is or wants to be someone else, and some of them are dead or end up dead or want to be dead. This is all very confusing.
Then, there is love. Something starts small like a little town in the distance that you think probably has a gas station, a general store, maybe a Wal-Mart or an underground gay club. It comes into your life and then there is the telephone, a voice, conversations, words, plans. The two of you are outside your bodies. In the poems there is a fifth dimension where you meet: a ghost world. It holds your voices and only sustains energy, not bodies. One of you is lost there. Then we are playing characters, not ourselves—we have new names and this takes place many years before. It feels familiar. Like some people I once read about, a scientist and his wife—one who was lost, one who went mad loving her…
This is how the book makes itself.