box of jars

samuel ace and maureen seaton
Having Nothing to Do with the House

Other characters surround the box of masks and crowns scattered around the table inside the tiny library a dog too sleeping to canticles herding on the river bathing in the closet (nothing whatsoever my foot) that bottle of river that bottle of creosote sold and drunk foaming the dog breaks her chain in the vestibule runs through the family rooms gnawing on clover coughing up fumes and ash all the time knowing that suffocation was only a matter of time to reveal who said it was tragic who said invisible who said preservation at the top of a fabled career who said endure? He wanted every clue he could find digging under the mosaics even if it meant destroying them to force the concrete apart tunneling beyond the steps through the basement to know who died who fucked who ate lentils and horse meat who never doubted the dreams that came every night with a different direction to be carried out in the morning shoveling what the cows left falling into the lava cone or flying off the ledge into the fawn-like dawn steepled into sheets of wind

Girls wrapping red in the Lararium (L).

Do yourself a favor now     bow and rock yourself     one day I looked out and picked one god fused to the window and one god from the fire     2000 wings in a single forehead to protect the plates the knives the napkins and the spoons to shield the kitchen dust the water the table lice the licorice in the jar to shelter the pottage the eggs the honey cakes     (she fished me out wrapped me in ice no different now suffocation hanging wings down my throat no different at all barely in bones you flood me)

Boys flying tandem in the Atrium (C).

Do I need all this silence, I asked. Wearing the wing I found buried in sand/lava where the flies swarmed the day before I left and I risked my heart my heart my heart climbing dunes/mountains. Do I?

Imp in the impluvium. Tab in the Tablinum. Vest in the Vestibulum. Three clutching chests in the Tabernae, having nothing whatsoever to do with the house.

To say, then, that two syllables, placed independently of any other syllable, are short, is merely to say that they have no positive length, or enunciation--in other words, that they are no syllables--that they do not exist at all. And if, persisting, we add anything about their equality, we are merely floundering in the idea of an identical equation, where, x being equal to x, nothing is shown to be equal to zero. In a word, we can form no conception of a pyrrhic as of an independent foot. It is a mere chimera bred in the mad fancy of a pedant.

Edgar Allan Poe

That is the end of the tour of the House of the Tragic Poet. Please leave through the Triclinium (P). You may seize a wing on your way out.