Lake Effect, Spring 2007, Volume 11: Tuesday

Francois Camoin



Nachtman in the morning, recumbent, his head packed with ideas that jump like bingo balls spinning in their wire basket. The arbitrary life of the morning mind. Empty ideas. Bits of imaginary conversations. Replays of scenes from twenty, thirty, forty years ago.  Disconnected words.
Nachtman smells the unborn day slouching through the curtains. Stricken with synaesthesia he tastes the neighbor’s dogs barking. Salt. An underflavor of cinnamon. Unsettled by morning light the dogs defend themselves dog-fashion against the unexpected world. Each night they forget the day. In Nachtman’s neighbor’s yard the dogs connect nothing with nothing.
From the depth of his bed, between the ark ark ark of the dogs, Nachtman can hear the trains running through the ruinous areas of downtown Salt Lake City. City of God. City of the Saints. Sleepy confused Nachtman considers the saints, the real ones, not the late-comers.  Confessional Augustine. Clever Aquinas. He pictures Simon Stylites—neither confessional nor clever—a performative saint, perched on his pillar, bobbing incessantly, having made of himself a machine for suffering. Natchman turns over, desires sleep. Instead come, undesired, more words, fragments of phrases. Exfoliation. Cadaver. Les grenouilles humides chantent. Globalization. Sans-culottes. Drunkard’s Walk. Continental drift. Ark (of Noah, of the Covenant, of the dogs who repeat themselves without end, amen).