dead drunk dublin and other imaginal spaces
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f r a g m e n t s :

o b s e r v a t i o n s   o n   P i m p i n g   G r a c e

:  m i c h a e l    k.  g a u s e

Dark beneath a bluer wave
tricks us into moving closer,
while the reason makes what we see

Together they're a magnet that cannot resist me,
because I was born a stiller place.

So at dusk I approach.
I spend a night with this tireless nocturne –
the fluid attraction between two living things –
engulfed in the reason some never leave.

Lake Superior, Midnight, October 2002

At best
I upset lovers with seclusion

Pitch black, I need to hear neighbors down the street
and that eternal screaming hymn of our weakness

Swears mingle with moist cool air
like drunk brass arguing over the tempo

An organ of tires comes screeching so
I do not miss a moment’s beauty

Breaking bottles act like cymbals
for me and the other implied metaphors here

And once in a while,
upsetting the whole composition with a laugh,
an uninvited coda of hope

Looking onto Adams Street, 2004

Today I half-hid myself on a college campus. A professor walked out of his office, quickly lit up a cigarette. His face betrayed his lot, as I considered the validity of how he works himself. He is plumbing some well that was started and abandoned by someone else, a well few see and even fewer understand, trying to go further than the others, to prove his own theorems, to enact the next great jump forward for his discipline. If he fails, or he succeeds in private, his struggle (which is as big and painful as that of any physical laborer, any clergy) will be denied its due merit. His endeavor (and existence) within himself will remain outside fruition.

Is he really moving any further than the buildings here on campus are aging? Is he just carrying on the same repetitive, stagnant work that happens in the clerical offices, where the same work happens day after day for some assumed cause? Is he carrying on the legacy of spinning wheels until he gets the big break to go and do it elsewhere? More money, nicer digs, a better title?

Perhaps that’s what we are supposed to do: find something we can do for hours at a time with the belief that it will one day change what we know of the world,

take breaks
sit on curbs
smoke cigarettes
imagine our work will yield something we can see, and pretend we are just a little less worthless than the guy beside us doing the same thing.

Lunch Break, Temp Job
University of Minnesota



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