ESCALATORS one he was thinking of the act of traveling as a rehearsal for the act of dying not because of any inherent danger in the process because he knew that travel is far easier and safer now than it has ever been before but because of the similarities inherent in the transition within one relatively brief moment of time the traveler is removed from a familiar context and placed in a context that is utterly alien with people and places and names and languages and alphabets erased and reconstituted because here is not here and there is not there because the twin conditions have reversed themselves like life reverses itself sometimes two when other factors intervene to remember those which are monuments to the art of forgetting and what they tell him is that he can neither remember nor be remembered and that if such things fade he thought that all this was futile and that the magnificence eroded the certainty of some end to record that absolute end or to preserve the impossible as against him suffocation in a deserted hospital winks and smiles at him from the depths of an amber glass of sweet tea with eyes that were hers once and may be so again three striving for identification because to identify is to control and to order is to define and after that manipulation and after that the determination of aesthetics and after that the manufacture and the assembly of beauty because everything about her is a raw force in a prime state still unorganized and without her knowledge and without her permission he is slowly reassembling her into something significant in order to entertain himself and extend himself and the unlikely long continuance of a wordcorroded memory four and he remembered that war transforms bodies and disease transforms bodies and they remake the world to conform to their own peculiar aesthetic and how is this different from these impersonal forces that understand and respect his temporary jurisdiction over events that perhaps take enough time to think with his hands until the time runs out and then to be subject to far too much impact other than the resuscitation of the forgotten because he wants to forget with no other explanation than to have been exposed to the impossibility that is preservation of the record five to accept to understand to conquer is to fail and to fail is again to fail and faced with this proof of his incapacity he turned over and over again to that which proved him capable and systematically disregarded that which could possibly have hurt him because of the endemic cowardice in the face of the indisputably real that had been the curse of his generation that labored in the bounded set of acknowledged lies and was content to think this pathetic fragment great and left the business of reality to the others out of boredom coupled with fear they acquiesced and by doing so they lost all right to constructive action six and then the art ran away and he was reduced to a single point which was the artificial invented miracle of her and he said travel into her and he thought that there was no better way to say it because she was a vital and unfamiliar continent and he was the circumscribed and numbing death of thought and that this was his last exploration before the borders close and that it would be his own fault if he did not make the most of it here now unreserved without veilings and constructs and all that subterfuge and without all of those things he was open and empty and for the first time he was not afraid seven as the black fingers turn her contorted inkstained pages as she is read against this war we have the ceaseless celebration of living bodies as she remains the catalyst as she surrenders her identity in exchange for one of his devising making and marring mending and murmuring but no facile phrases and no enthusiastic lusts can truly delineate her because she is not a creature of symbols because she has been here before pale or dark smiling or unsmiling and she has both refused and accepted before and will do so again he can remember at least this much even after all the years and after so much of importance has dissolved within him eight among serial memories of youth was the corruption of foreign textual styles and the unconscious infection of other alien authors of the shared disaster in an imported order of a striking movement such that it will not be possible for him to register any material movement only within himself will any telemetry be possible because travel means nothing in this era because it is now a function of time not a function of distance as it once was as he sits and moves with moving without traveling and all that is required is patience and money and the end is the same as the beginning with the same decorations of the unavoidable war and the inevitable epidemic choking the winners and the losers and the designers and the designed alike nine and they are invented to define the inventors forced to serve at an intensity of level greater than that to which he was accustomed but he needed to be forced because he needed to create them to create himself and he said they are our selfextrapolating intermediary to refine and to need them he invented their sovereignty in the hope that their oppression would engender the necessary explosion and he had forgotten already how he would be outside of her presence and he was immobile and he slept in order to avoid dreaming at all.

***

Jason Price Everett was born in Orlando, Florida in 1972. He was educated at Lafayette College, Cornell University, and the University of Paris. Everett has held thirty different positions of employment to date, one of the more recent being that of English professor at a university in Xi’an, China. His first book, Unfictions, a collection of short prose pieces, was released by 8th House Publishing in 2009. His collection Hypodrome: Selected Poems 1990-2010 was released by 8th House in the spring of 2012. Xian Dyad, a poetic travelogue, was published by Spuyten Duyvil in the summer of 2012. His work has appeared in numerous online and print literary publications, including The Mad Hatters Review, Writers Notes Magazine, The Quarterly Review, The Prague Literary Review, Underground Voices, BLATT, Brand, The Alchemy Review, Carcinogenic Poetry, KGB Bar Lit Magazine, Ronin, Revue M√®tropolitaine, CV2, The neo:anthology Project, and Apiary. He currently lives in Philadelphia.

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