Much of him blames, but part of him forgives. Reflecting, much later, most of him forgives and part of him wishes he could never blame, but ascend and embrace, as an all-pathologizing god, the person’s whole life, worldline, fullness. Do I blame myself for blaming? Who do I say I am? I am a pantomimus, as all divinities are—as you are. No, you say? You think we are not gods? Or, if gods, together only Tlazolteotl, the deity with feces in her mouth.

Think of gods, of the unlimited. Incompleteness is a condition of that perfection, as I see it; it is a condition of the infinite. There is no utopia without plural imperatives, divergent initiatives, new contrarieties, and, tucked just below the heart, a fear of finales and totalities. The god-heart requires the varieties of mundane experience. It is the Renaissance paradox: the imperfection of perfection (and the reverse). 

So, as you imagine my appearance, especially that appearance in the act of writing, please imagine this: three-piece suit: frock coat, waistcoat, and trousers. An immoral amount of chenille pink. Vest of iridescent pink taffeta. Breeches of pink moire. Jabot of silver lace and pink satin ribbons. The surreal baroque glory of Fellini’s Casanova in pink. For I understand us at our happiest: our scent is rose, our grin sunlight, our divinity manifest. God: pantomimus with dandelions in every hand. 


On the North Sea, the River Esk through it, enwreathed in the North York Moors, Whitby be, shivery and twee. It is the world capital of my sehnsucht, being now too summer-laden for anything but fantasies of cold cloudy coasts, broodier the better. Ah, I could write my Walden in Whitby (or rather, Thoreau’s darker sequel, Cape Cod). Give me Greenfingers, the old fisherman’s cottage, or any of those Whitby beach huts (blue preferred) with a window on the shanty-mothering sea, a briny lookout for Tom Bowling.

Cure my heat, cold whipping Whitby winds, for the love of jolly Britannia and her trident (and her chippies). I long ago fled the Mojave Desert for northern latitudes, for the Northwest, for the chill, pine, raincloud, but lo and ho, the whole West is seasonally feverish, if not charred. Gone to cinders. Godawful for this chionophile-in-spirit. I need Whitby’s cold compress. A tonic bowl of seaspray and fog. 

Inverness, the Inner Hebrides, Edinburgh, Orkney, etc., I’ve searched these for my lake isle of Innisfree, with those “low sounds by the shore,” and all are beloved, but Whitby—Whitby!—I anchor in Whitby. I endeavor, with Captain Chill, to write of seashells by the seashore: books of seashell philosophy, books barnacled and cold to the touch, books on how I, knowing enough of heat, say that ice is great and will suffice.