Date: 6 May 1996 A writer and a reader. These two people inhabit my thoughts, drive me down into darkness and beyond. Alone in an empty field... no, wait, on a mountaintop... or anywhere... they stand together, stand as on opposite sides of a mirror, staring at reflections of themselves. It is a strange dance they do around each other, they must each remain across from each other at the edge of an imaginary circle, any deviation destroys it, the world they have created splinters into a thousand shards and sprinkles onto the floor. But they can get up, meet each other, resume the dance again. But I wonder; what does it take to experience the dance? For I have done so, and often, but memory is a fleeting thing, and to open your eyes is taboo. And so I have never seen my partners, and I can't know when they leave the floor to dance with some other author, I must merely trust that SOMEONE will be there, but how can I know when I keep my eyes closed? Hm. I receive a vision in my mind of another pair of dancers, as I dance in circles, alone. ODB vs. the reader-critic. And somewhere, I know, this dance is actually happening, more real than my own. On 5 May 1996, Original Dancing Bear wrote: > You pathetic ass. > I *prefer* not to resemble that remark! > Oh...*clever*. Nice little limp little try at *humor*. > Oh, yeah, coming from a guy who wears black lipstick. > So? Are you offended? Disturbed? > Of course not. I just thought...a *critic* would be a little more dignified. (as if it took dignity to flicker in and out of a thousand eyelids, the power to destroy worlds at a touch, but barely felt, a latent power that lies as yet untapped) > Do you want me to wear *red*? Or would that be too seductive for you? > Please. Can't we look at the text? > Oh...the *text*...OF COURSE. The precious text...and I mean "precious" in > every way you can imagine. > If only you could read as well as you ridicule... > Oh...oh...you want a cheering section? > No...I just want you to read the text and *respond* to it. > You...want...me...to...RESPOND? > Yes. > I didn't know we were in a play. If so, I'd better be paid scale for > acting since you don't want to hear what *I* think. > THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MY POEM??? > Oh God. If you insist. No. No. I rebell, I resist. You have no right > to compell me to make a response. > Then just go away... > Aw...poor little smuckims takes his word processor and goes home. And he > makes all the other widdle boys and girls *all* sad 'cause they can't > play anymore. > Look, I just hoped for a little *dignity* -- (the reader-critic stops in his tracks, unaware of the imminent downfall. All about him, the world splinters, twists, tries to rend itself apart- but, in a rare moment of mercy, something stays the destruction, for the gods of literature have taken interest in the confrontation, and it will be played out to the end.) > DIGNITY??? DIGNITY??? JESUSJOSEMARIA ON ROLLERSKATES! This is beyond > pathos, humor, ridicule. This is too much! Look, I will concede one > clever bit, the separation of "human dust" and "mote" to separate lines > which can either stand by themselves or be joined. A clever bit which > *almost* rescues a *crashing* cliche'. But the rest of it...Oh God... > How lovely, a response. > You strutting ass. You vainly cook up your "food of the gods" and I eat > it. That's all there is. You want me to belch my satisfaction. Or better > yet, wait a moment...while I squat...over this plate...there. An > *undeniably* authentic response, pungent, dark, fertile, an utter > deconstruction. > You...you...I know what to do with you... > Wait...WAIT...this isn't ALLOWED -- YOU CAN'T -- > [And so the ritual is completed. The Author has flensed the Critic and > presumably will cut him into handy strips for dinner. For this is the > food of his work. But unfortunately, who will be left to listen to him? > But that's the real world, kids, quite replete with paradox.] (The gods turn away, allow the world to shatter into a million pieces that disperse in the evening wind. Not a spark remains of what was.) And so it's over. But as I dance...alone? with partner?... doubts play at my mind. Was this what really happened? Is the Critic truly gone, never to dance again? But no, it can't be. As they danced together, their images flickering in and out across the hundreds of miles that separated us, their dance seemed somehow more than just keeping to opposition on a circle- it seemed as if they joined together at the center, then kept on in time with the dance, separating and rejoining. And at the end, when they had become mere remnant shards (no, dust motes, I correct myself, smiling slightly) of a forgotten world, the thousand pieces of themselves mingled together, dancing on the wind together. And what of myself? I remain here, dancing, not even knowing where the dance takes me, or if the world will come crashing down around me like what happened to ODB. I don't even know if the steps are right, but I am compelled to take them anyway. As everything comes together, slips away from me, all I am left is to wonder when I shall open my eyes. Joel T. Corsac's note: Human Dust was the title of the post by the Original
Dancing Bear, which I was replying to.