No, I don’t think you ought to read even three paragraphs on rejection. Not for you, this writerly phobia, salted wound, the keepers clinking the wrought iron closed. Why should I share what claret we’ve spilled? Don’t you see us sucking the floor for it? The fruit was pressed so sibilantly. Off, then. Off our backs, and back to your harbor in the dawn.
No, nothing’s reciprocal between us, so nothing’s owed to you, so up your tropical tree, melon. Quite contrarily, we’re contraries—a sort of wintry mix of zero-summers (such puns belong to rejected authors). Welcome to the finitude. Your slice is mine, stolen. Those eyes you win, those readers, I wish them rheumy today; that is a just dessert for preferring your work. What a calamity all this.
No, you may not partake. You are not worthy of partaking. To you, Argus Panoptes shuts every lid. No mausoleum; a mass grave. No swigs of commemorative champagne; a sneeze. Many little hatchlings and chicks were crushed today, or dehydrated, or chewed, or starved to death. Why, honestly why, ought you deserve better than those innocent bastards?
The old vineyard’s deities have vanished. The support group has disbanded. Now, mouthless in the end, the writer wrestles in a chair. One touch of ink to net an ocean. Do you like the sound of that? We have no good offering; we feel the ocean surging; that’s all. Oh to blow a sour breath of praise. Oh the white eye yellows soon away. My hands—eight, nine, ten years fresh—in silliness pawed a smiling linen moon in the black champagne of space. Oh gripless rushing. Oh bad poetic moods.
Exquisite friends and funeral guests, all bets are on again. We could’ve been anyone, yet we were us. So has your crockpot had a sincere cry lately? Exquisite friends, crumbs from mother’s cookie, from murk and mania and guessing, curious and mercurial, and gasping, we’ve arrived to gather the fluid of the labyrinth’s eye. Is there a sum due for unsolvable grief? Clap enamel, and muscle move, and whatever’s iced inside warm it. Time to write.
What comical cosmical thoughts I’ve thunk today! All this infinity a single point of slowing light. Webs of raw meat in a wrinkled hunch. What to write, to do, now? A few sentences shy of a suicide note, death’s long surprise, a distance growing more distant, every sun sinking, stained-glass eyes, a libation to a contradiction. I mostly thank you, world, for a bittersweet moment—my moment with you (sanctified, if anything is). Call me your hill of joy, eternal real, but not your mountain.
I like my enemies, but I do not love them. I like them as enemies. If I loved them, quite literally loved them, I would lose the animal pleasures of enemyship, which, in my organic condition, are pleasures too vital to forgo. I am not opposed to the universal lover, or to that ideal, but I am in no rush to attain that status.
Who are some of my enemies? Peter Wessel Zapffe and John Zerzan, to name two philosophers with surnames starting with “Z” (just for fun). The anti-natalist Zapffe and the anarcho-primitivist Zerzan represent two enemy camps. I can sublimate my loathing for Zapffe and Zerzan by subsuming the two of them, and their little philosophies, into a zenithist cosmodicy (that is, in an optimized world, even the Jeremiahs and diseased howlers play positive parts). I know that, insofar as I am able to subsume the effluent of my enemies, I am able to like them.
Without that cosmodicy, without that sublimation, it is all irreconcilable loathing. Yet even in this bilious mood, this ferment of an indigestible chunk of enemy, there is a pleasurable heat, a kamikaze joy, a purpose-driven life. It feels good to hate, on occasion. Eros is sensual, but Eris is more so; I promise you. The twitch of the lip. The drumbeat pulse. Why do you think war is so popular? People need enemies as they need lovers. The functions are almost identical, though inverted. Oxytocin has two faces, like the god Janus, looking in opposite directions.