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BlazeVOX [books]
Cleaning the Mirror
by Joel Chace
(BlazeVOX , 2008)



I get all wound up in my own mechanism, all wound up and stonewalling everybody; I get like this when it gets too loud, or when something is needed of me on my bus, like this here:

Onbekend wants to get on my bus, and I suppose he's angry with me because my door is still shut, but here I am in my own mechanism. There he goes saying Stark we fought to get out this bitch now Stark let us on, but I'm not there anymore.

I'm off with Queneau like this: out of the black, just hanging in empty space on a bus, watching, seeing Guy One jostle Guy Two and Guy Two says he did it on purpose, then Guy One sits on a bus seat, a black and shiny just-like-mine bus seat. And then we're in the black again, and whoops there's Guy One again, fancy seeing him again, on a street that to me just looks like a dotted line running beside them, and I say 'them' because there's another fellow who he knows and who he's just met again, and the fellow says he needs a new button for his coat, and Queneau grins a little in the corner of his mouth because it's just so true how things are, us running into people like that.

Onbekend is shouting let me on it’s coming and the passengers are shouting in unison at him that this bus is mad full but me I'm on another wavelength altogether, I'm off with Beckett sitting in the dark trying to keep those voices quiet, can he go on oh no he can't, that discourse goes on and on he must he can't he will go on, and I get this right in my marrow, it shivers me whole hog because those same damn voices are right behind me saying this bus is mad full, hit it Stark why don't you just hit it and I make my best Beckett face and don't open the door and don't hit it because there is no real purpose to anything.

Now Onbekend is screaming and banging it’s coming it’s coming have a heart and open this door and I know you'll say I read too much but I can't help it if that puts me off again this time with Borges and his man who taught religion to a poor foreign family and they listened and got excited and then they came for him and crucified him because they thought he was teaching them to crucify him into Christ or something like that, I'm still working it out.

Help help Onbekend is screaming and we all turn to see a weazen and wicked thing crest the horizon aft, something horrible and grim and relentless. The voices behind say goddammit go! but I say I don't operate well under pressure, don’t rush me I say, and try to figure the pedals and levers and Onbekend outside with such a look, his expression a cipher just like when he told me his name spells Unknown, maybe a look of some terrible truth dawning over him as still it drags itself closer, and everyone is craning, and I’m craning, too. Time flattens across the desert shimmer and we all, the characters and the ghosts of Queneau, Beckett, Borges and I, everyone on and off the bus, all of us pause to look. I pull a lever and open the door.




this bus is full of ghosts


travis godsoe