Fiction Feature: Water

Fiction Feature: Water

Water Part I

A letter to my former teacher.

I’ve been on the mountain farm for only a short while, but it’s already tedious to think of the themes dominating our discussions in the recent days. The flow of topics is unnaturally yielding to no cyclical persuasion. Or, maybe it would be better to say, the cycle is too intense and too small: as if water stuck like glue on the wheel of a river mill, and, instead of going along, just continued round and round and round.

The farmer—more of an ideologue with his own private terrain on which to simulate activity—said last night that no words no text could rightly approximate the ebb and flow of true interpersonal experience. Of “wife and man,” he would say, only adding later that it’s those bastards who’ll deny the notion that men run (have run) this world to the exclusion of the fairer sex that have got us all topsy turvy, or, in his aged terms, “catty wompus.”

Anyhow, supposedly this text here is an illegitimate leap toward “intellectualizing” purity and a symptom of institutional mishandling (I have been mishandled and I threaten to continue mishandling). And so I must claim first and foremost to be an outright failure.

The ebb and ebb and ebb of “pure experience,” as old as the man himself, is always novel and proper as it should be—insurmountable. For Lord knows he who climbs a water wheel engages a Sisyphean task. In this way, all those in lockstep—locking steps up and up until they can step no more, they are the knowers of important things; they are the anti-tedium. And so I sit, writing here, on the cover of a manuscript I do not own (for I had no true paper), dejected, useless, really treading always on a bank of another’s design, with only the hollow of my meek skull to keep from spilling out.




Water Part II

For the insertion of the faucet into one’s oral cavity.

I remember once in Marrakesh, the insertion of a faucet into a particular oral cavity.

The cavity in question pertained to one, a Mr. Luther, who once inserted, found he could not remove himself.

Some passerby simply observed Mr. Luther: in a way being stuck to a faucet is like being connected with water and all bodies of water, to an ancient primordial time. To be ripped from the faucet would be to be ripped from the teat of Mother Nature.

An alternate school of thought theorized that perhaps this entrapment was not to Mr. Luther’s liking at all—and that his cheeks, bulging with water and turning a bright shade of pink, were a strong indication of his distaste for the situation.

All in all, we chose, together, to accept the freedom of Mr. Luther to own his predicament, and let the man drown in a pool of his own pleasure. Or distaste.

But something remains to be learned from the whole affair, and that lesson lies in the rather seductive marriage of man and spout—of spout and man. And it must be made clear: by no means is the spout unfaucetlike, pertaining to the likes of tea kettles and watering cans. Rather, as Mr. Luther well knew, like any intersubjective affair, the union of man and spout is predicated on the interminability of their respective matrimonial contributions. Better put, Mr. Luther understood that love was largely openness to an always beyond and as-yet undisclosed, to discovering the novel in that which one thinks one knows.

Thus it is indispensable, as the situation itself made evident (although, granted, one had to be there to witness the brunt of its persuasive force), that the spouts in question should have the divine capacity to pour out and into. “My cup runneth over!” says the faucet—in particular when paired with a handsome vessel sink.

Now, what Mr. Luther failed to account for is that marriage is long-lasting. And while, for the lay person, “Until death do us part,” is no more than a commodity of ritual, to be dispensed with upon exiting the sacred doors, faucets have an admittedly more honest relation to scripture. So it was that Mr. Luther, whether intent on womanizing (faucetizing) or simply overestimating his own resources, failed to pour out and was instead only poured into. A finite vessel, Mr. Luther’s potency and resistance soon failed him. But at least we can say that he lived, not in concern for the mere and pathetic preservation of living itself, but for the higher things: for excess, for love.

So it was that I returned from Marrakech with a solid sense of the finer things in life, and ready to devote myself to them.


Water Part III

This is the third part—for when 2:1 doesn’t seem right (you’ve taken off the lid), and so you add a third part (3:1) to prove your impatience. Part 3 makes for glue, when the rest won’t hold up and a patchwork won’t do.


The third part is the same as the first two parts,

if one were to boil things down to brass tacks.

But it doesn’t boil down, it sits in the rice

it has a special homeliness to it.


There’s nothing like home cooked glue

when glue is all there is at home.

The glue-infusing plastic taste of the metal pan

is of an appreciably locally sourced variety.


It’s daily ritual imposing on its sacred counterpart

When one needs “Rat stuck in glue trap and squealing,”

“Removing a mouse from a sticky trap with vegetable oil ends poorly for me. Never again.”

(The mouse was cuter).


Two rats ago estimates forecasts projections

Were good and in accordance with schedule

Schedules sedatives wheels

Were spinning in accordance with


Now they’re spinning away a bit

And the rice has started to



I hope I don’t

Get stuck