Essay

The Statues in the Museum All Lying Dead [ Fiction]

Loomings

What should you call me? How should you refer to me? There are masks to wear everywhere in a text. The text is an ocean. The text is fluid. The text has boundaries. The universe is bound yet infinitely expanding. Eternity in an hour? If possible, then eternity in a text is also possible. Every text is a cosmos; cosmos is ordered world. What is the order  of things in the text.

Prologue

. . . technique in the service of an idea . . .

—Anonymous 

[The above is a fragment from the early 16th century, or so it was purported; the only words on a piece of paper torn from a larger sheet with evident blots from a quill having been dipped in an ink well. I saw it in a case at The Athenaeum Library in Providence Rhode Island, or so I think I remember.]

The above (both the italics and the bracketed entry afterwards; obviously typed by a person who had sight of the artifact; herein presented as an inscription, copied, as I did, from the typescript the someone-author must have lost on the subway where I found it) are the only words on an 81/2 by 11 inch sheet of computer paper, printed in Ariel at 11pt. that, as I have parenthetically mentioned above, I found on the subway, the #6 train uptown, as I transferred from the D at Broadway-Lafayette Station which connects now with the northbound #6 trains, as it did not only a few years ago.

The Main Body

[Text, text, context, pretext, subtext, what about the text I have in my hand? The text I see on the screen? The text I write as a writer? The one I have written as the author? I give no one authority over my text, any text I have written, have authored, all my texts, all my pretty ones . . .]

He said that he had a dream where in the dream I had had a dream and said as much. I had a dream last night of Luis Bunel’s scorpions. He also had a dream where in the dream a beautiful statue had come to life in the Greek and Roman galleries at the Met. This living woman formerly a statue and I then fucked in the galleries, standing up, me holding her with her legs wrapped around the small of my back, and it was good as I recall from the dream more than good, for her as well as for me, for me more so because it was so for her, and the memory this morning of the sex in the dream was almost as satisfying in recollection as the recollection of sex I have actually had that was good, more than good, of course having to be so for her if so for me. Or so he likes to think he thinks, as well as does think, he recalls, or so he adds in words on the page with pen in his journal. I really do feel as I have inferred I do here in orby the words I have composed arranged put in lines, keeping things in form, what form do the words take? There is a false sense of linearity imposed by the lines of text we read, how we read, following lines as we do, skimming page after page, line by line.

I did wonder for a time what this could mean to me, for me, for you, for anyone herein reading this page, this entry, this paragraph inserted here at the close of what you–I do not know what you could assume or would or might or will. It does not matter though for the purposes of what has been accomplished–everything written is one or another kind of accomplishment. But in the dream he had where I was remembering a dream I had had, I see the statues in the museum all lying dead, but not as dead people do when they lie dead, but as they would be lying if they had all of them come to life, but as statues, only dead statues, statues sculpted of the dead, the dead as the subject of sculpture, itself a paradox? Or is it a conundrum because we have to speak about the living stone if we want to speak in traditional conventions about sculpture, so then what was conveyed in the dream inside the dream if it were successful as traditional sculpture was a series of living stones conveying thus a living death, death as a subject come to life in stone.

To be stone or not to be stone; what would it mean to be stone, not stoned, let you who are without sin cast the first . . . stone alive; stone, dead. I knew a man who knew a man who had taught the Hasidim in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and told the story, the teacher did, of one of his students who had admitted to him that stoning is still part of Jewish Law, but due to concessions to laws in America, they do not stone anyone to death, which is comforting to know.

What more is there to be or not? What more could there be if what we have here is a departure from contemporary notions of being? The naked stone becomes statue; is the statue the cover of the naked stone, or is it that the stone is not naked and only covers the statue that resides inside, what is trapped inside, what Micheangelo had said about the blocks of stone he sculpted, that he was only chipping away the extraneous pieces covering what was locked inside the marble block. Breaking away the sepulchre that entombs the statue?

After Words

[Here find the author’s afterword?]

How could I not be a lover of Mannerism, living in an age as devoid of cultured understanding as this one is, I have said, I have believed, with fluctuating intensity and variegated conviction? I recall hearing myself say, I think I remember.

More is less, I remember a professor saying (which is what I say because I cannot remember specifically which professor, knowing, as I do, that many said so, a mantra in writing classes I had taken at university, in literature classes too, where writing was expected, several essays for each, at least two per class per semester, along with two essays on a final exam for each, if not in lieu of this, another essay, a final essay, as long as the other two essays during the semester combined, if it wasn’t three shorter essays. I had a professor who had us write three five hundred word essays during the semester and then a fifteen-hundred word essay for the end . . .).

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