Andy Stallings Patterns into Which All Elements can be Entered

All down the shoreline, the concept “shoreline” holds sway, and it feels like I’m headed towards water instead of behind the sea or away from my tendency to stand. Spaces don’t fade, but light does; revelation is fresh; I choose each color for how it blooms or spills over, not what it hides. Even what sound has occurred awaits its echo, blue and dazzling about the summertime docks. What vantage, what view, which direction does not depend utterly on certain tales told in childhood whose purpose was to immerse the child in depths of a seeming surface, those lakes half-coated with ice. Meanwhile, each moment I hoped to remember precisely, I forgot the more entirely for having so hoped. From the heights of memory, each moment seems a privileged entity, not bound by the customs of speech. But they topple freely. There’s less sky to the sky when it rains, which accounts for the heaviness I feel on such days, days of perpetual, purposeless, saturating rain. In the puddles just after it stops, we can see the distorted images others see, within them a governing silence that leaves us abashed. This is the grand proposal of public space: that each life is beautiful in its habits, or that the concept “a beautiful life” delimits each life, if not equally, then visibly, or at least in terms familiar to the whole. The anonymous current of lives is a solemn sight. A light chill inflects each corner where we wait in the draft of passing traffic for a signal to walk across. Tomorrow’s regrets are already complete, though not yet identified by the names I will now rehearse. Dirt, furrows, ragweed, tractors, shrubbery, containers of paint. In division, claims; in categories, demands. But anything at all will burn.

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