The Book Of Avant-Garde
by Losselen

whose feathers
came away in my hands

He made a sound: both a pull and a suck.

It's both ordinary and obscene and you turned your neck to the side to get more of that mouth, wet & too soft against the pale wile of skin. He had a sharp profile, three distinct cornices of nose-lip-lip that climbed from a planed face. Glowing in bas relief against the pillow's whitely blue that caught the corner of your eye; you named it the Bight: gentle trajectory fallen from up to down, from down to up.

You were a secret thief with the sacred book, the bible to transforming the world that you held small & worn in your gripping hands against your chest. Like a child holding a glass button, the most precious of gems that was dearer than the diamond setting in the platinum ring.

Here I am. You whispered in a tickle & a hiss against the walls that encased around you, frowned marks from which you stood like a black hindrance across the sky.

There you are, he said back, the tiny swirl of light held shakily between his fingers as he shook from the cold and said, We shouldn't be out here. But he waded out into the waternight as he spoke, scarcely sure what he was looking for with the wings wrapped around him in a preparation for flight. Dirty-white feathers around his body in a cloak as he waded out: Plashhh, plashhh, the water lapped around his knee.

But you were dreaming, you had to remind yourself that he was part wolf and not part bird.

A sown thimble-book, plastic&glass, a skyparlor red and red and transparent so, the numbed sense you drudged for, cast-off air that you stole:

sky, spuriously, stolen in secret.

who said that you stole the sky, tucked rutted and worn-edged in your pocket, only a thread of it showing & trailing behind you, a path of red or blue


Rain tasted like this: shuaaaaaaaaaaa, in a sound both staid and fugacious that did or did not linger in the spaces between the stones. You stood inside the window and it almost felt like the pinnacle of the world, bright & focused and spread before your eyes. You called it perfect, you called the maroon-walled room in the stonecastle a home, but when you had to leave it, you tossed it behind without one doubt or pause.

Tadada, tadada rode the matador herein with his head upheld and chin thrust, who killed the bull with dance and grace and then rode off. School life went like a train ride with the quiet kakashh underneath your feet, and you rode and rode and rode into London with the Hogwarts castle fading fast behind you.

You listened to pianists like Cecil Taylor with her avant-garde loci of sounds in either repetition or repletion that only you knew how to fit together, but he listened to swing jazz and Benny Goodman & elatedly beating loll. You called him antiquated and he called you a trend-catcher, but both of you were out of context.

You couldn't find harmony in most things. (In revisionism or revolution or remarked Marx, green or red or white or just black.)

So you held the plastic-cover as the handbook to a new world that you wished for, where he had wings that stretched from the spines and the shoulder blades.

He didn't. He refused to be juxtaposed to a birdthing.

But you still had the sky in your blood, a singed aubade in evocation of daybreak, you corresponded to the life of it in orange in cool in night. And you cut out the wings from pictures and Glue Charmed them onto the photographs in Daedalian imitation-but how could he possibly have been happy without his son, so far off even without the meander of mazes, in Sicily?

ravens the precise color of

sorrow in good light


You made a sound: a silent gasp.

There was no possibility for aging in the world, because life was fertile and speckled and coil-leapt tight, and you couldn't imagine anything slowing down, any of your thoughts being foolish & wrong. But it never struck you that in a gasp you were toiling for a breath that was your own-a thought that was your own-that was what you wanted: originality in a repeating world.

Originality in reverberation.

So you disclosed yourself by a grave closing of your eyelids, still the fierce heart and the smiling mouth-you hid yourself behind that. You hid yourself behind yourself. You marked the earth with pyramided skyroads like how the Mayans did, a close & snug smell of dirt in rain-wash.


held in

Night, in the black of a night it was all blank, always the unthinking moment when your system of logic failed to gear-in and you had to help your head with some distractions from its inability to think. & This is it: the only thought that caught to you when you kissed him was that he tasted like chocolate.

Maybe there will sprout from the planes of his back two white buds that will spread and spread, two bowed bones and threaded feathers; maybe he will show you the wide span, the whole of the stretch.

When your back was to the wall, you suddenly realized that this is it. It sounded slightly inane afterwards but it was true: here was life, here was youth. It was so climactic to be saving the world.

But the truth was, he had nightmares at night and fears in the morning. When you held his head to the curve of your neck you were never sure who was holding whom, so you said I, I, I, in a reassuring whisper, terrible against the solid air & the solid mouth into which you had to push the words into since he sometimes didn't want to understand-you said and these words were so true:

Here I am, here I am.

You gathered him in your arms as he slowly came apart. No salt or water but only shrunken lines in his lonesome, the Walking Man-the sky was there under his feet, the sky in red or blue.

And he said There you are, I see you, Sirius. You're right in my arms.

But when you kissed his eyelids close he was not solid. His form gave away to nothingness.

The Book, sacred in the mew made by your hands, was bleeding and beating-Ceci n'est pas une-you tried to deny the importance of one object, but the book was broken like an unwinged bird sadly flapping in your hands: it unpeeled from its binding as you murmured "Reparo! Reparo! Reparo!"

And the wings on him were broken and the bones snapped in an airy sounds and he fell in a crippled thud into the fronds in the water.


You wanted Asia, called it a need and pushed farther-an edge of the world, called it urbanity and laughed, called it erasure and plunged a hand to part the ocean. You did all of this, a singular vessel for a burning ideal that stood defiant in the roots of the soil, called it progress, called it truth.

It broke with a blank poise before your eyes.

and the bit of world
left beyond it, coming down

to the heat-crippled field,


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