Dizzying skull blaster the dizzy king stammers and standards: wave of flag of shadow. Wave of zoom of right of way off course. I’ve been given the grip here, finally, the clutch to friend’s shoulder and the grit as the air succumbs to crush my skull inward, inward, inward thy sanity! Preparations do not begin but when you have awoken, and you know they past, arrow into gutter, cracked earth and siren of stripped landscape. A gaggle or cackle of humanity left to be mounted, or mountained. Or maintained. Or there is a pounding in the head one might not question.
I come to you communicating. I come to you in a single bait where I’ve a swatch to make on a date with a friend. He arrives like the disappearance of mosquitoes and whores: love the flash of neon as there is sun just coming up. Love the splash of the commingling as the hook of the seat has not yet begun to arouse pain sensors. Sensations and strenuous goes the beat of the bump of the road or the twist of the hip as we lean into the directive pull. I have been waiting for these mornings lacking humidity and a dagger of heat to the gut, the gullet, the shoulders.
Burn in a pact. We have been scorched through the path of the blister of the sun and now we live to tell about it: we live through the circus of the market nameless and knownless to my own homely body’s reliance. The squawk of horn and chicken. The absence of dogs. The absence of cats. The absence of white skin. My own pale covered by tattered cloth. Adventurer mode left behind because we’re all too tired and forgetful in mornings that scratch like fingernail on brittle gray stone. Very delicate the noise. Very chiding. Soft like a father’s tongue. Grasping bags.
We keep our eyes directed toward the stability. No quakes here. No shifts but in the beating of the pulsation of the rhythm of life. Beating like stick to the side of the head, or the hand, covered with mittens or gloves, the factories on the distance, the pain on the horizon, the disjoint and disjunction mere arousal. We must get work done. I am not you. I work in my own right, sifting through causation and reality, begging to know where I am and why I have come, as I will always beg. Watching to know where I have arrived and in what direction I will go, as I always have.
The capsules of the sun like guardians or monsters: begging horror and transience. Transformation comes through barter and bargain, through stares and seriousness I cannot grasp without my own voice, for I have been summoned into whiplash, summoned into Brace Yourself and Look Out. The flimsy shade growing softer in the sun, hands clutching sides, looking through crowds I could later deduce. And which I deduce now, alone, where once I was not, where once there was only Being Surrounded and Entering the Mob. Fetching the image like dipping into something murky, real.
Bananas are more punk rock than jazz, I keep telling myself through gritted teeth, thickening blood, a humble shiver, a different, removed climate. Had I written about these babes when my mouth dug into them, I would write with a voracious respect. But here there is the shadow of the image: where tongue can but lick the lips in hesitation. Fervent memory. Fever of Recollection. Grown, tainted, portentous. The slither of the eyes across a landscape of dirt, dust, of stenches and clouds of vermin. Of those things we spend lifetimes running to hide with our own ugly selves.
And what of ulterior paths and alternative motives, and the muddy trek down some Khmer-clad street where the only thing Western is the leftover clothing from the complexes? And what of that which is a slideshow or a drive-by, and that which requires no heavy lifting? Do I scream at myself while I sit in humility and respect? Do I gouge my skin in flagellation or is the veil of guilt lifted and discarded, to be another’s, the same way I was to stumble through it at birth? Or are things not that easy, and is that path a mimicking, merely, of the one I’m on, have been on, and will continue to be on?
Do not fear the Other and do not fear those who will exist in parallel lives you will not see. A snapshot is worth a thousand heartbeats. A picture is worth a million breaths. I could pray to you until I die, and yet you would still be there. And I wonder if beneath that kromah your smile reflects the sun’s own aggression. And I wonder if we are each transgressive in our own way, simply for being here. You stare in the direction I’m staring. You pose yourself into the future, the same way as I, the same way as this bike, and your image explodes into millions of others each time I see you.
It is easy through the mythology of the binary. Of the us and them. What happens when we splice? What happens when we shake and dice and devour new forms of the same situation? We breathe the same air. We share the same blood. We move through these streets like whispers of ghosts, where the idea of the haunt is but a memory of its source. I can think as you can: in the cool of the morning, before the recklessness, before the pondering mirror is shattered through the currents of heat and the currency of boiling points. Red face and slicked hair. Damp rags for clothing. No shade but in things.
Turn back, become as Orpheus never forgets, notice it is much greater a chase, much sooner to arrive to the confrontation. Mystery of bladed beams and the points of the blades of the figures you pass, who fall back, behind, a letting up rather than a coming to, rather than a pushing in. There is no penetration but in the grimace of one’s own poor, tired vision. Tiled across the mind: atonal grays poking across and giving definition, while we are trying to give definition to our own moment. We are trying to be within the heat in a simple justification, with a simple goal.
The bully of the construct. Ancestors of the memory of my energy and effort. I am reminded. Permanence. I am reminded. I am not horrified, or at least I try not to be. There is no noise when no work is being done. But the image of work. Wood, sticks, as that symbolic marvel. The construction of entrances. The building of portals. Space to be used to enter, and to exit, and to notice that one is entering and exiting, as well, for we identify, and then proceed to interact, even if we choose passivity, and there is blood now, and it is entering new systems, new corners.
We see upward and downward, but we rarely see inward. Or perhaps I’m speaking for myself, and should thus enter the inward. Should I suck in my belly and pretend I can fit? Should I shimmy into a position known to braver souls that I? In Cambodia pockets of darkness are brimming with answers. In Cambodia I found myself in darkness many nights. I find myself dreaming of a space that exists in our temporal continuum, one that we can trust, one that we fondle like a toy on a dirty street where unknown languages are not spoken but emitted, buzzing, in every direction.
A direction is truest when realized. Time extending the length of the shadow, until we are the lengths of shops, buildings, blocks. A bastard sun from some source unknown. An abyss behind the belly of the liquid destruction. Scorch and wake, wake and scorch. Ultimatums and phalanxes. Juxtaposition of the taxation of the bodily goodness. Where we find reprieve as we let down our sleeves, to warm up to prevent burning up. And thinking about it, knowing of it, challenging it thoroughly. To become fatigued by the due process duly transposed through us. My mind meticulously moved.
One might say the labor is in the act of dividing, of creating the division that will send ranks from one partition to another, where segmentation was only a paradisaical or demoniacal phantasmagoria. Before the eyes there is the shed of color. And before the shed of color there is the slate of gray-scale. And within that slate a text inscribed to direct us toward our places. Hums and breathing. Never noticed. In the gallantry of the music of the road. In the hesitancy of the rumble of our bodies. We are frail here, and yet we know not which will come to be.
Have you felt the sickness? Have you felt the precipice of a similar static being? Have you felt the plateau of knowing there is no further action required? Gripping the seat of the moto and dreaming Cambodia as a place that could just stop. Could just slow down. Could just offer a way to beckon and moan. A moaning rather than a droning. I dreamed we were all together and I would join you in this daily ritual. I dreamed not of this, not of this horrific alteration, this bisected moment, this new angle, a point of view defiled, dirtied, trounced upon.
A signal could be as easy as an extension of the hands you were born with. A certitude could be as easy as pulling the handle and progressing the accelerator to its next comfort zone. Kick that gear. Kick that dust up behind you. Amassed we could join ourselves and touch the surface of the earth together, in slow form, nonspiritual, unceremonious, just basic, daily contemplation. A ritual of shared liveliness. Let the shadows speak for us. Let the collision of our lives with our histories become documented and in so doing we more aware of our own flights.
Or the just gets the wish to be alone. With all backs turned and the froth of the stomach churning and shooting up like a geyser, stomach to explode, retroactive, calm, antagonistic. A voice that does not get spoken can be replaced with the bodily humors. Expect abandonment. Expect a complete lack of faces as those around you will position themselves towards their own frailty, their own futures, leaving you left alone to ask: Why am I still gazing quietly? And then you’re gone. Until you find the visage again, and again, and again, and again.
Each return easier as in marked communication as easier. As you can learn this. I bite my tongue and feel the jagged cracks of my teeth. I am ugly in this world of guessing and prodding. I prod with such sincerity. I hold my own lofty eyebrows into place. There is sweat. And then dust. And then the wrap of the bandanna around my cheeks, covering my neck from getting the kisses of the sun. Slathering of sunshine. Rays of infinite individuals. I cast my own shadow among the pool, thousands of kilometers to the nearest familiarity, where shadow here is exotic game of chase and catch.
Isn’t it true, you know, how easy it is to depart? The ragged and the rupture. The bearing and the baring. The blaring choice to be caught up in contemplation. Changing states and charging statuses. My belief held forward in the representations. It only takes half a second to snap a shot. It only takes half a second to exhibit the will to recreate that which I believe: and this is not of beauty as much as it is an innate intimacy, right? Or have you not yet told me why you are here, the way I have not yet told you how I have started to notice you?
But it does not matter. The individual always becomes the group, and the group connected by chain to system. And the system connected to those clouds that give us their wavering, waffling offers. Descendants of the sky, the answers come in trucks: we have used the rain to survive, and now we use it to talk. We sweat it out. Rice grows of our ears. Rubber grows of our feet. There are horses on some deserted disaster of a road and now no one pays attention. The liquidity of terror through the escalation of humanity. We must grow, we must grow, wracking hands with face, we must grow!
Until we have grown beyond ourselves. Until the racks of our production consume us. Until our shadows have been replaced with the shadows that which we embody over ourselves. Until those shadows have been replaced with temporary obstructions out of representation. Grit in the back of the throat. A gag reflective of the emptiness. Mouthing in silence as always contains. The serpents and the drugged lairs of hiding. Becoming the inebriation or the jester. That hunchback who comes a beard of wires and snags. Lost fetuses of ideas crippled in winded decay.
The suck of the exhaust upon the belly. The grasp of the claw upon the eyeglasses. Shatter of plastic and melting of glass. Verbs that come in to destroy you. Nouns that will mock you and pick your bones clean. The choicest meat parts. The leftovers to be thrown to the crazy dogs, the ones who bark and froth from the mouth, eyes white and blazing. And there will be monks, and there will be chants, and you will not hear them, and you will not be browned into your new position. The flames of so many palm fires. Or coconut husks. Or skewered meats and foiled river fish char-coaled in this fetid heat.
Believe that your time has become one of rot and marrow, of glistening positioning of a pricking of the areas of the skull. Believe that the sky will open to spit upon you, and the ground will rock and your boots will sink. Flip flops will be shed and feet will disappear. The moon that will arrive will witness the disaster of a channeling. Know this as you know the blade that has brought you hear, lifted you and tossed you, slight slice on your left hip. That moon will see and then there will only be the hiccup of the night roads, bandits and beggars drunk and passed out.
I wake each moment I can catch a glimpse of the arms that give us rise. I give certain praises but mostly I stay silent and look at nothing in particular. Those arms are enough. That beaming is enough. That quintessential messaging is enough. Testing of the truest abilities I know. The loudest voices that I can carry. Like the satchel on my back or the camera in my hands or the helmet crowned on my skull, princely, these things I carry. Praise the movement and praise the vision, but above all, praise that strength. I remember as the vibrations are timeless.
You can read the previous parts of Cambodia Bladed here.