Vicarious Ghost of Father’s Past by Clio Byrne-Gudding

Vicarious Ghost of Father’s Past

Two poets sat adjacent to one another, silently eating their dinner.

The prosateur glanced up, munching with his waxen face, jowels quivering with each successive gnash of his molars.

The pragmatist concentrated firmly on his own plate, taking great care not to clench his fists too tightly for fear he may draw blood from the tiny indented half-moons which were darkening on his palm.

The prosateur, noting the lack of any warm ambience whatsoever, sighed internally and returned his gaze to the tarnished fork that he was stabbing, albeit unsuccessfully, at a pale sausage that was rolling around aimlessly on his own plate. The pragmatist peered subversively through his eyelashes and thought, with rather blasé indifference, it looked vaguely like a finger, or the nameless naked boy’s penis he had seen one afternoon in preschool.

The prosateur looked up, opened his mouth, and let out a jumble of shitty Romantic ideals in pathetic vernacular, training his line of vision on the bedraggled salad on the pragmatist’s plate. The pragmatist watched, sickened by the itchy stirring from within his kidneys. The prosateur furrowed his brow, siphoning the last wishy-washy word from his coitus-less dick, punctuating the spiel with a sharp clack as he once again attempted to spear the pale pink finger on his chipped plate.

The pragmatist grunted, closing his eyes momentarily in a meek attempt to combat the oncoming headache. The summer heat was getting to him. Or so he liked to think. In reality, the man suspected his easily-boiled blood was the true catalyst for his now burning skin.

To give in to loquacity or to master the art of speaking succinctly? The pragmatist sighed, looking down at his empty plate. It would only heighten the chances of him proving himself a fool to speak at such great volumes, like his counterpart exemplified. So stupid. So meaningless.

The prosateur cocked his head, rearranged semantics, and brewed himself a nice metaphor to sip on. The pragmatist inhaled the wafted scents and his stomach turned. What bullshit, he thought. What stupidity. The leaves on the slate ground, the evergreens, the pain, the taboo, unspoken love. The prosateur rambled, steaming in his own mysticism. None of it matters, the pragmatist thought.

He thought,

none of it matters.

'Thought as such […] is an act of negation, of resistance to that which is forced upon it; this is what thought has inherited from its archetype, the relation between labor and material. Today, when ideologues tend more than ever to encourage thought to be positive, they cleverly note that positivity runs precisely counter to thought, and that it takes friendly persuasion by social authority to accustom thought to positivity.’ — Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics

'Thought as such […] is an act of negation, of resistance to that which is forced upon it; this is what thought has inherited from its archetype, the relation between labor and material. Today, when ideologues tend more than ever to encourage thought to be positive, they cleverly note that positivity runs precisely counter to thought, and that it takes friendly persuasion by social authority to accustom thought to positivity.’

— Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics

'Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk round my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.’ — Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

'Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk round my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.’
— Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”
― Henry Miller

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