"Old New England Traits"
By One John? I did not lift the cloth (shroud) covering the mirror ‘to see’.
I know better; I know to ‘not do that’. It is a dragon.
THERE IS A DRAGON.
The lawn tractor is still running; it is ‘on’.
Pry bars? THERE ARE TWO OF THEM? ‘At hand’. “READY”?
STANDING THERE ‘before’
One John’s FACE behind a SHROUD upon a
For two more seconds.
To be before the old shroud upon the old ...looking glass
AND LIFTS THE SHROUD
AND DROPS THE SHROUD
Back down it falls
One John’s face?
I “YOU SAW HIM?”
“Just MY face”
“HA, Ha, ha ...HA”
“THAT’S UGLY ENOUGH. I’m GETTING my COFFEE.”
And she’s gone.
I look at the shroud covered looking glass. It is a looking glass. It is a clunky, dark wood... with darkened old finish, awkward form; a ...decadent-in-design descendent of the earlier gilt gold Federal or Sheraton looking glasses... THAT IS absolutely proper and correct to find HANGING right exactly where it is in this estate. EXACTLY, exactly, exactly.
Except for the shroud
That hides... the dragon’s face.
He cannot watch me?
HE CANNOT WATCH ME
“GO TO HELL” the room is still screaming.
I shut off the lawn tractor... in my mind.
I... put the pry bars outside the door; leaning up in the hallway?
In my mind.
I... hear Helen coming back.
Then she’s back;
Through the doorway
With her coffee.
“She doesn’t hear the screaming?”
The screaming HAS STOPPED.
The room is a memorial
Cased in cement?
So it cannot be carried off?
WHO PLACED IT?
It doesn’t matter.
In chapters six [B] AND [C] I bring to ...I... and the reader by THEIR reading discretion... my sense of notice of ...memorials placed to oneself ...by oneself and the subsequent ‘pitched’, ‘turned up side down’... but... ‘still there’... OF THOSE ‘memorial placed’ and, again, MY SENSE OF NOTICE of... ‘placed’. I, here, in the daylight glow from the edges of the windows’ drapes SENSE OF NOTICE a PLACED... and a PLACED... MEMORIAL to a dragon of self with that SELF, too, PLACED... as a shroud-covering-looking glass ‘memorial’. TOO.
I ‘just feel it’:
This old room.
Is a garret
Is an... old trunk locked
With its old key lost
Cased in a cement
To protect it from
Being carried off.
I am a mouse.
Helen is a mouse.
We have gnawed
A hole (whole).
We are very tiny.
But we destroy
As we gnaw.
“We need to PAY ATTENTION to this room right away.” I say to Helen’s back. She is looking toward the outside wall’s rear corner and holding her coffee cup out from her left side, in mid air.
“I KNOW THAT but WHERE am I going to PUT ALL OF THIS” she says.
“PUT THIS?” I say.
“CLEAN IT OUT,”
“WHAT? THIS MESS...: It’s STACKED... FIRE... WOOD.”
“I... no... DO NOT see it THAT WAY. DON’T CLEAN IT. ... Don’t TOUCH IT I say... AM SAYING.”
“WELL YOU’RE THE FIRST ONE.”
“To NOT want it CLEANED OUT.”
“I am? There are OTHERS in here?”
“NOT LIKE YOU but THEY ALL have ADVISED ME.”
“It really would be a VERY NICE ROOM once I CLEAN IT OUT.”
“I...” hear myself say while my inner-inner mind recites “rummage, ransack, loot, carry off” and then... too... “had the dislocation of the one and the tatters of the other repaired”***. I hear myself... saying nothing as I scramble to verbally create a ‘coy façade of fabricated myth’ that somehow says:
“It is a spirit rope tied back upon... and often woven into... itself. One will find all this clear when one is actually IN that true New England attic. Otherwise this spirit remains ‘beyond the reach’ of one’s finger tips. It is not found in an old New England attic that has been... turned up side down.” (Part Six [C])
I AM IN THE (Savage mansion) ATTIC.
I am a mouse in an old trunk... with its lid perished. “Packed full of mildewed old documents”****
THE WHOLE SAVAGE ESTATE IS the attic.
“How do I?”
“THIS IS WORTH A FORTUNE. IN HERE. Just as it is.”
Helen turns and looks at me... still holding her coffee cup off to her left in mid air
“REALLY? You SAY that?”