Notes re:Echo
September 4

The sunset again, a favorite time of the horizon he might wish to play out.

Less than what was meant, as a last point of resistance, then its answer or echo or next.

It could be in the identification of spectrum order. A color which didn't include red. Or, if one had the temperament, all the possible red catagories.

Values of red.


Coffee takes its immediate effect; a system had been registering its blurrr. Things were not right. "Not quite," he said.

The holidays and their deliberate, agonizingly habitual tables. Too much animal fat. Beef ribs and lamb ribs in succession, in sauces with equally talented cooks. Focus on the gesture and an appropriate "ummmm good" dissevers him from a clear path that had achieved a balance he now took for granted in the wake of hiccups.

September 5

That pressure behind you pushing with increasing lightness, the beginning of September, the fourth, at noon, exactly, and all the news falling out of your little cubbyhole, smelling of cheap purple ink. Interpretations now. Messages from me to you. A room of faces looking for the good, the true and the beautiful.

Plan 1:  Wearing a slit skirt will divert their expectations
Plan 2:  The decision not to eat an apple in from of them.
                Intimacy retrieved. Laying down the law. Putting a boundary between us:

                All of you are (A). I, alone, am (B). But we share this perception
                and, in that, we all are (C), together, filled with anticipation of the future.
Plan 3:  Here is my syllabus.

September 6

Elements of disorder. A sweet disorder in the dress. The idea of order in Key West. Disorder and Early Sorrow. Order me a beer.

September 7

Dear Narcissus,

Is language, in fact, the pool? Looking into your words as if they represented a surface of water (Narcissus gazes with longing, trying to find himself), do I then find me, a word I know? Yes. No. Some deflection, in-flexing of where we might overlap. Sitting on your lap, a word comes back at me, as an echo. So I divest myself of the disembodied me . . . Echo is She, who watches Narcissus look for himself and returns him to himself, slightly altered, by her very attentiveness.

                                                                   Where am I?

September 8

                                                 The echo is blunt-eared. Narcissus blundered.
                                            "You are really gone."                 "This is really school."


"What makes you most anxious about this class?"

One woman wrote, "I am afraid that what I want to say will not be important enough."

On reading this statement, another woman remarked: "You could drop that part. We're really beyond that."

September 9

What you admire unequivocally and love wholeheartedly is not mine.

September 10

Dear Narcissus,

While you were gone, I divided into two even more distinct territories.


Walking up to a new edge, I discovered in myself an old mute. But I stayed, allowing my curiosity to teethe on the silence. A hope for mutation? A belief in mutability. It was, of course, a question of language. Of a code shared by the interior of four fingers and a thumb who knew each other's opening and closings. Knew how to make a fist, the form of which I recognized and hated, while feeling an odd affection and curiosity for each of the parts.

In what appeared to be home, I was also alone. I missed our talks, which always pull me somewhere new, but in your friendly red wagon with its creaky wheels. So I began to write about my grandfather, who was out-of-order, displaced from his known function and terrain. These stories were written within a solid and digested tradition of linked sentences. Achieving their life gave me a kind of satisfaciton I'd not known.

Why, then, do I trust your language enough to enter it? I trust it because it is both watchful and fluid, allowing the variants of yourself to have voice. Am I who you hear?


September 11

His words. How they tone up, then polarize or identify certain pleasures. Activate some as yet unexercised part. But the beautiful surface is always involved with seduction. And what of the darker, colder water? One cannot deny its pull.

How, then, to hold on to the who you think you are. The image in water shifts, according to the light's impact, and currents we cannot wholly predict.

It's always were.

And we are sifting. We are the foggy morning's grey shape moving . . . and beyond the bridge, nothing but clear blue skies.


"Echo watches over her shoulder on another rock on the other side of the stream, resigned, as Narcissus is constantly on the way, surprised."

reprinted with permission from Each Next, 1980