DISCOURSE as quilting

Welcome to the intersection of P. L. Thomas writing about his writing and other writers' writing to explore discourse as quilting.

Archive for the ‘remnant 15’ Category

remnant 15: “the remnants of a defeated army”

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That I have tended toward science fiction (SF) and not fantasy as part of my nerdom is no small issue.

That I have in the last several years opened that door—Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is identified as SF by the publisher, but really? and I am madly in love with Haruki Murakami and slipping toward something of a fling with Game of Thrones—is also no small issue, one that speaks to my own problematic relationship with the supernatural.

In my declining years, I have not only set aside my cynicism and somewhat angry war with organized religion, but I have also made the rather pathetic comment that I concede that there may be something like karma. I’m not proud of this weak concession, but it simply is what it is.

Many years ago when I was teaching high school English, I decided to read during my planning period. I had newly purchased a box set of Italo Calvino—If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Invisible Cities, The Baron in the Trees. I selected If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, pulled open a desk drawer, propped up my feet, and settled back to read. On page 7, I read this:

“Gradually you settle back in the chair, you raise the book to the level of your nose, you tilt the chair, poised on its rear legs, you pull out a side drawer of the the desk to prop your feet on it; the position of the feet during reading is of maximum importance, you stretch your legs out on the top of the desk, on the files to be expedited.”

That passage now looks out at me from beneath a bright pink highlighting, the book safely ensconced still in the box set that I dust occasionally.

Well after I began this blog and titled it DISCOURSE is quilting and decided to identify each posting as a “remnant,” I came to the end of Sputnik Sweetheart, one of the most disarming books I’ve ever read, even or especially among Murakami because I see too much of me in that book in ways that I do not want to look at. And then toward the end:

“It was far too hot to think about complicated matters. Admittedly I was confused and tired. Still, as if marshaling together the remnants of a defeated army—minus any drums and trumpets—I rallied my scattered thoughts. My mind focused, I began to piece it together.” (p. 163)

“Remnant,” I though, but kept reading:

“The waiter came to clear away the remnants of my toast, and I ordered a refill lemonade. Put in lots of ice, I asked him. When he brought the drink over I took a sip and used it again to cool my forehead.” (pp. 164-165)

“The Geese of Beverly Road”

The National

Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
Serve me the sky tonight
Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
serve me the sky with a big slice of lemon

Stubbornly, I finished Sputnik Sweetheart and felt as if I had simultaneously been nailed to the floor and cut loose in space like a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I had read about the final scene in Game of Thrones Episode 24 of Season 3 so I watched the replay right after finishing the novel; and thus, the infidelity born of finding new love in the wake of recent love.

This next morning I started A Wild Sheep Chase, and suspect I shouldn’t keep ignoring the messages:

“I forget her name.

“I could pull out the obituary, but what difference would it make now. I’ve forgotten her name.” (p. 5)

And this is reading begun well after I wrote this poem, “impressions (hints of you),” that begins:

i have trouble remembering names

but some things i never seem to forget

“Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.” ~ Tennessee Williams inThe Glass Menagerie

Written by plthomasedd

April 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Haruki Murakami, remnant 15

Tagged with ,