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Excerpt from a summer notebook
reflecting during this Venus retrograde in Leo on Vienna 2017 / interspersed with images of two dependencies from that time (coffee and roses)
Café-mima (Vienna, 2nd district)
“I came,” she said, “hoping you could talk me out of a fantasy.”
“Cherish it!” cried Hilarius, fiercely.
—The Crying of Lot 49, p95
Start/finish this novella in grassy Augarten from 13:00—16:45ish, following the shade of a tree with my borrowed beach towel like an arm on a clock. Am now returned indoors, praying on the available breeze through the wide door. A bit dazed from the sun, the heat, the blunt force of that book. Was I naïve? May begin Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals. She writes,
After the wet dark days, the country seems more populous.
It populates itself with sunbeams.
It’s 92 Fahrenheit in Leopoldstadt. Sweat beads beneath my eyes and above my lip (and beneath it). I would sit outside for a more consistent breeze but people are to me so totally distracting. Sounds and movements, eyes. I don’t want to listen to music while reading. And I do want to read.
Itching for navel piercing. Ja!
Dorothy’s “lasses” in “summer holiday clothes” are just as Ashbery’s in “The Instruction Manual;” see, she writes, “pink petticoats and blue.”
February 1798, “I saw one solitary strawberry flower under a hedge.”
27th Feb, “Venus almost like another moon.” Which reminds me, Kat; here goes. You write me, a deserted orchard. Not barren, but not bearing fruit. What lives there? Well I will tell you…
It is an orchard made of and for night. It is an In the Night Kitchen sort of entrepreneurial affair, stiffened into peaks like a book of meringue, page by page. What grows there always has. Massive swaths of moonlit gladiolas. Each eclipse. Little brothers, spike-stripped twists of grape.
15th April 1798, […] “Happily we cannot shape the huge hills, or carve out the valleys according to our fancy.”
Why happily, Dorothy? And why are you always ill? Maybe you take too many walks
No, you are exactly right. Kat, I need to go there. But the thing on that is I need to go there in a trance state. As soon as you wrote me I saw again the garden I had gone to via Beatrex about a month ago, when she had us meditating in her living room. In that case, we were walled, and it was sparsely populated, and there were everywhere, like stoned students on a spring lawn, wet heaps of lolling roses.
As I mentioned, we were not alone; but that was not until we breached one corner, back left, where a gazebo stood, of sturdy cream-white iron curlicues. A wooden swing seat wide as for two people hung inside, not exactly void of presence.
But he was not there, had not yet quite been summoned. As if I knew what I was there for! I was mostly bemused at how tenderly untended were the white black pink cream fuchsia and gold roses. If this were my garden—and truly it was—where had I been?
Anywhere else. And for what?
There was evidence lathed up the stone walls and smeared as ash across the walks of violent fire damage here. (Need more on this. Will when I return)
…pale golden wine warming on the table. Gazing behind the counter at tattooed boy whose alternate white shirt with black letters today reads [graphic of skateboard] / IS NOT A CRIME, who owns his face, wears its sharp corners shrewdly, fresh in his own right / I concede that the thing about — is that nobody looks as good as he does precisely because I fucking say so.
As long as I know that, I suppose.
Tomorrow a farmer’s market fills this square; but rain is in the forecast. If I can get back here before nine I should escape the showers. Find the darkest greenest greens and buy thick handfuls and flee. Shrimp if anybody has any.
The day dissolves behind buildings. Rich smells of fish and bread arise where sun was; stalls of foil-wrapped options issue delicate smoke.
This morning I woke between six and seven; ate a breakfast; botched an Americano; dawdled and scrawled til 11 or so; had a frigid rinse after a brief hard dance to five choice songs. Readied to spend an afternoon beneath some trees in grass as green spare and shiny as the false fleece in an Easter basket. Made sure the flakturm were out of sight.
“Magst du noch?” for “Would you like another?” The barista, who resembles you, Kat, actually, does not pour to brimming as Michael did, but stimmt.
The sparkling wine sizzles when it hits my stomach. I pinch the base of the neck of the glass and feel how the liquid pooled in its bowl lets off a little cold onto my top fingers. I breathe out and away to expel more heat.
Mon 20th October 1800, […] “William was disturbed in the night by the rain coming into his room, for it was a very rainy night. The Ash leaves lay across the Road.”
21st. […] “the reflection of the ash scattered, and the tree stripped.”
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