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The Mississippi Corpse - CyberCorpse 12

From: Youssef Alaoui <alaoui@speakeasy.net>

Pot of Bees

We are of the river. The river, then, is us. We flow and change and yet still remain. Conspicuously indestructible yet inscrutably fragile.

Siddhartha Gautama met the riverman first, and importantly so; because, as he left the life he knew, the river was the most important lesson of his voyage. The riverman said, pointing to the river, “This vacant beast is an allegory for time: what was past, what is now, and what is our future coexist simultaneously, in a single bed, NOT AT ALL PLACIDLY, as one heaving miraculous continuum!”

This river bears memorial to all people past and present, all creaturesflora and fauna; everything borne of it and murdered by it.

To understand the river is to understand that we are brothers and sisters every one of us; over time as well as geography.

It is not only a monument to other things, but a monument to itself. It is an icon of itself; a relentless flexing brown worm, braying at the fences; king of indifference and the continuum.

To this one can pray: a simple butte at its crown, smacked into life by a clear rivulet fanning out from a crack in the earth, maturing into a liquid temple the size of fifty human cities, raging in continual impermanence. It is nothing less than a locus wherein we could lose ourselves in life, in death, in lesson.

When finally you let its mass wrap you up and carry you off, and as the pressure of one hundred thousand gallons of water a minute peels your significance away from you, and when lovers clutch and groan against one another, sliding by, strapped to a stick raft, skins scorched by the sun, and when gazed upon by Ambrose Bierce laying crouched up on the shore, sobbing into a patch of reeds, blubbering, “Forget Twain! Forget the steamboats! Forget your bastard legends of negroes snoozing on the dock, dangling a fishing line off the toe! Bury your fantasies of crayfish!


“Your reality is not a shady island where you hide from your stupid parents. They tried their best for you. It is not they, it is you who is mistaken. If you made it this far you’ve gone the wrong way. There’s a corpse at the head of the road affixed to a tree. It bears the face of your brother. A misfit band of drunken vigilantes has beaten him to death, filled his eyes with lightning bugs and flexed his finger to gesture the path you should be on. It’s no use! My basket is empty! I’ve been here all night... won’t someone throw me a fish...?” This is when the flies sing a quiet melody, much like a sigh of relief, as composed by Gyorgi Ligeti.

The river’s song is alluring. Mystery sparks the imagination. Tragedy sparks compassion. Stability sparks the rebel. Death sparks life.

That is the lesson of the river.

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