K. Kovacs

Nowhere, Not Anywhere

Derick Dupre

I was in a pancaked state again. Not that I felt flattened or spattered with fat, or too thick and dry inside. It was more that I was ready to flip, due to a variety of anxieties. More on that later.

The slats of my blinds collapsed and I left them on the floor, which made them look like something slain. The house had the look of a scene meant to be investigated, but I wasn't interested in finding out how I went wrong. The story went the blinds weren't from Venezia, but were introduced to Italy, from Asia, via a savvy trader. The Marco Polo treatment.

I was measuring time not in strokes or measures, but in how many insects were caught in the growing webs of ceiling corners. Yes, that's right, that was three flies ago. The webs browned with wisps of tobacco and I felt something like immeasurable loss, not that of losing, but of being lost, marooned.

I grew herbs in a windowbox. I grew musty with dated references.

Later: I went wrong in a wrongful fashion, literally going the wrong way while things were going wrong, using bad directions, thus squaring, or possibly even cubing wrongness. This was around the time people started saying "not wrong" instead of "right," which had a certain French flair, but I didn't think they quite meant it that way. This cavalier sense of phrasal negation made me nervous.

Once I found a whole mantis in the webs, immortalized in its posture of prayer. It seemed incongruous with the nature of things, not that I had any ideas about the nature of things, the nature of nature, the things of nature, or the things of things.

A trumpet, with a surprising amount of vibrato and soul, played taps in the park. Music in the park was a foreign sound. Usually it was a.m. screaming and men asking each other if they wanted to go. I thought of watching Montgomery Clift doing taps for Sinatra, which may've been the last time I truly wept.

The screen on the window flapped in the wind, loosening. I imagined the window considering the screen its hangnail. That was what I waited for. What did I see? What was there behind the window pane?

I used the rhythms of prayer in everyday speech, although I didn't exalt, never felt myself within miles of exaltation. I just liked the idea of saying "paper, please, thank you," in a rhythm and tone filigreed with religious feeling.

Eventually I wasn't in the mood to flip, never in the mood, what was the mood but another small link in a chain of self-deceptions.

text by Derick Dupre