Ploughing The Clouds 1 One begins with loss in order to guarantee obliquity. A landscape of material scatter along Long River. One withdraws in circumspect tranquility to one's opal and cultivates a quiet enthusiasm. And of course under such conditions, when acquiesced unto, access to Black Lake that truly subtends all happenstance is never denied one. One's opal is deepened thereby. Deep Storage comes readily as resource. Enthusiasm is a positive quality, often redemptive of Melee. Crystal, in sporadic flashes through absence, is visible. All this pertains to the practice of Obliquity. One gathers in the scatter and abides. Look out the great picture window: How violets spring up along Long River just where its waters fork before the Gorge--one branch zig-zags into it-- one branch meanders towards Black Lake and as it flows by picks up from what might be Deep Storage the roots of enthusiasm, sowing violets, the state of release native to Wrench Boy-- some elements for an heraldic emblem-- gorge, fork, and a sign for Deep Storage that is perhaps a phallus or a toadstool-- or an eye escutcheoned on a small stone-- but a real eye released from all thralldom so that Wrench Boy shall never seem an articulation of happenstance merely. His focus will be that good. Always direct access through Long River to Black Lake by means of a studied obliquity, an easy exactitude, Black Lake and its link to Deep Storage, the one thing needful like a small stone where Justice in the grand sense appears in the sudden instance, with the brightness of the form of Jaguar leaping across the gorge and its bottom, bottomless, truly, just like a black lake without bifurcation--Black Lake towards which Hammerhead lists in his obliquity. If Melee confuses, Crystal alerts-- neither scatter nor misdirection is finally the essence of Melee-- Fork but a tool of obliquity in the arsenal of Wrench Boy-- Silence at the bottom of Melee--as if held in a pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, caldron Black Lake itself the deepest innuendo of Opal-- pot, cup, chalice . . . its reflex in the heraldry Wrench Boy devises when he works with his opal . . . A bifurcation certainly in the esence of Melee-- she lives in The Old Hotel together with Wrench Boy as her syzygy, organized in spirit by Crystal. Together they reach in Deep Storage, are together by virtue of Black Lake-- Look out your picture window onto the handsome meadow-- the colors of its stones and pathways-- beauty arises in the exactitude of colors-- they are kept and flashed from Deep Storage-- deep colors not in hue but spiritual intensity-- within each color there flows one attitude of Long River-- Violet herself whose essence is such color-- And Melee knows dalliance with ghosts-- that too is an attitude of Long River. I bought a fork carved from a white root. It was made to keep it in Deep Storage in a hut of black withies wreathed by the shade of a lake. And a single quartz crystal across many lives. Though my own being be but melee, that stone escutcheoned to the stem of an African Rattle aborts essential scatter and I am loosed from the coils of every misdirection . . . Ploughing The Clouds 2 Scatter silence when Happenstance allows. Out of Deep Storage a forest of African Rattles. Search your opal with appropriate enthusiasm. Exquisite misdirection prepares the path by moving ten-thousand African Rattles. Bifurcation at this point. Opal shows a field of aging violets whose hidden effluence manifests The Crone. Her name is Jacinth. On the other hand, Hammerhead listens for Silence when Happenstance allows. He bows to Jacinth. Together they work Deep Storage. Crystal sits as a star to release the world in syzygy.  Violet, who is Jacinth, occupies herself with The Gorge. It is a figure for Great Loss and commutes with Deep Storage. A grim enthusiasm animates release-- enthusiasm for radical birfurcation, to use, transmute, and surmount it? Partially. But Violet, who is Jacinth, works Obliquity, always with an eye upon The Higher Happenstance.  Long River tempers enthusiasm, its zig-zags and meanders study misdirection. African Rattles adorn its broken banks. Wrench Boy forever the Prince of true enthusiasm-- he together with Melee withdraw for a while to Deep Storage passing working focus to the operations of Hammerhead. Chalice and caldron bifurcate enthusiasm. The Higher Happenstance by-passes Misdirection; that is, Black Lake at the secret bottom of pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, caldron. Hammerhead is leery of shallow enthusiasts upon whom he practices a studied misdirection-- a fork in the path, a storm in the opal, a garden of ambiguous berries whose ambiguously organized lanes and overhangs let Happenstance torture Focus. If you see a ghost: release. Jacinth is The Old Hotel and jaguars haunt its chambers. And The Old Hotel is The World. And The Crone shakes African Rattles. And it's time to come to peace in The Old Hotel. Interval That which takes you to the Other Side comes from the Other Side. You do not find it for a price in the oligarchs' garden. Leave them alone--these potency accumulators-- and they'll not exert their power unless they see you written on the escutcheoned stone. They see the eye but not the hollows-- each stone passes through its own silence. Hide the eye in a wallet. Keep silence in the shadows. Language is a well.  "What does that mean--" asked Violet. "Language is a well?" Violet who is Jacinth responded: "A well does not produce, it gathers black waters from tributary streams under rocks--language gathers intelligence from tributary intellects. They congregate among stones and shadows and elaborate ameliatory trajectories-- they sting the oligarchs in the garden."  "Being swells into apparency from its emptiness like my puff balls," the Pooka said and vanished behind his own utterance. Greenness comes out of the north from another epoch. Time in the moment knows release and attention falls into its own trajectory, leaves all else behind. What else? The mushrooms spring up without horticulture. They are Immediacy's children. They take you to the origin that is the timeless whir of the moment. Every word its own thralldom. Wrench Boy is The Pooka. Ploughing The Clouds 3 The attitude of "Happenstance" is incomprehensible to ghosts; nor do they use misdirection to propagate a fork in the melee, as some tactitians might do. If they hear an African Rattle, figures within its sonorities call to certain immaterial organs dispersed mysteriously throughout their ectoplasm. But the manner of their being is very questionable. It is like a gazing opal. Obliquity dominates ontology. The mind that exercises itself on ghosts must release its cracker self-confidence and suck the juice of a gourd destined, when well-desiccated, to be crafted into an African Rattle. The seeds must be transformed to tiny crystals. Wrench Boy is Pooka. He doesn't have to do this. His gourds are full of the waters of Black Lake, and this is a Water That Does Not Wet The Stone, yet his misdirection works like The Great Fork. Hammerhead stands and watches. His conduct is governed by focus. There is silence in his opal-- so great is the focus of Hammerhead. There is an opal of absolute loss-- nothing left but crystal. Wrench Boy appears when one's spirit is loose, empty, not vacuous. There is an opal of Misdirection. It releases on Obliquity. Violet, who is Jacinth, operates all these opals. Melee is affinitant to Fork. Is loss real? Discover Crystal as affinitant to Focus. Silence en route or as consequence. To find The Gorge focus is not requisite but advisable. Not a good idea to be too loose down there. Take along a well-constructed crystal. Don't cloud your opal. Beware of misdirection at every fork.  Study to find Right Focus. Needless to say, no ghost need heed this. They occupy The Gorge when they wish it, or when they must, or when Long River vanishes from the opal and they're loosed from the music of African Rattle. Though my opal reports such obliquity as Deep Storage keeps from me, I keep my crystal across my many lives . . . Then loss pertains to the Gorge and its merciless scatter; but they that wield a fork and keep a crystal, well, when Focus and Release are simultaneous, Opal evolves to its fullness.  No need to be apprehensive that Misdirection will queer requisite obliquity.  Jacinth calls Jaguar to her caldron. Together they call just those ghosts whose affinity is with crystal, though their dance has the vitality of Melee. Jaguar and his cohort bring ghosts to The Old Hotel.  I can see it all in my opal: Recompense for the study of obliquity and a discipline of forbearance pertaining to sweet Melee. Ploughing The Clouds 4 Misdirection gets you to Black Lake. Obliquity's insemination loosens the earth for Violet. Melee, red haired and freckled, red tresses flaming, African Rattles in her two hands sonorously shaking, do not so much mutilate Mistress Silence as broadcast her power. Violet, smiling, waves in the hot breeze. Soon matters will come to a focus. Images of melee cover the great plates of the doors behind which Hammerhead scurries and deliberates, watching the forges. He builds titanic caldrons, but they'll boil in small huts with black withies wreathed round surrounding the virtual locus where Black Lake fades off in black mist. Such obliquity releases Wrench Boy from Loss and its compensations. Hence, when he summons ghosts with his African Rattle, their joy or despondency as reflected in his spirit do not come to possess of him. Wrench Boy is their executor by virtue of this purity. He shakes his African Rattle to scatter whatever zoos of disruptive attitude lurk in the ambience. In this way he works with Hammerhead, who works in turn the caldron maintaining his famous focus. As African Rattles grow quiescent, Obliquity merges with Silence, and Jaguar emerges from the flames. Black Lake comes out of obscurity in the big cat's form: black spots like Argos eyes, sentient and shining. We are in The Old Hotel-- pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, and caldron, each in its proper chamber. The flame in the ambience resolves to general enthusiasm refined by the obliquity of the itinerary that led to its advent. Jaguar stands in the foyer fisting an African Rattle tall as himself, like a scepter. This is the Higher Happenstance-- all things elite in the releasement of their true nature. In this prospect each does have one: The sounds of an African Rattle brought to a fine, tense focus. In the center of the garden a chalice, fantastically wrought. Obliquity, not multiple bifurcations merely. Hammerhead masters scatter; Deep Storage, an orderly receptacle for what scatter distributes and Hammerhead hammers into configured identity in the forges deep under the basements of The Old Hotel. Focus is pertinent even for Melee. Her energy allows her to channel an avatar of Hammerhead and, dancing with Wrench Boy in syzygy, to enflame The Old Hotel till it crystalizes all the "scatter" that from anywhere takes out rooms in it.  Call all this a kind of genial horticulture, Ploughing the Impossible--trowel in hand, no oxen-- by means of the focus provided by African Rattles, by spirits divulged in a caldron. Even The Old Hotel has a higher nature-- a castle in the clouds, an exfoliation of supernal silence. Hammerhead has a form that rises over a cloud bank, that feels the deepest currents of Long River, even if it's only his avatars, River-Head, Nut-Head, Pot-Head, Head-Head. However released or realized, this higher nature covers the True-- Coniunctio of Focus and Obliquity, a scattering away of what obscurity smokes The Opal. Obliquity itself has its garden-- Gorge deepened to the register of profundity, sublimity, when it integrates its own coarseness and declivities with the way these are oblique to the quotidian taken as real. Obliquity itself compensates indomitable Loss. Ploughing The Clouds 5 Obliquity makes matters difficult for Opal, though silence may come with studied focus. Crystal does not participate in such difficulties-- she sits beyond the clouds, imparting a violet aura to the Great Endeavor, oblivious to the melee below. She proffers her harmonic to the ghost-like transiencies that flit across crystalline refractions and does not rue the loss of the physical world. In this she is different from Violet who, twining about Wrench Boy's arms and silver wrenches, yearns to furnish nosegays for jaguars with their magnificent physical enthusiasm. Were all this to fall silent, she would lose her focus, the great cat bowl broken, the physical stability and phantasmagoria alike of her manifest universe reduced to triviality and scatter.  The silence in The Old Hotel stimulates a different sort of enthusiasm. The melee outside not so much misdirection as extraneous distraction; though if focus comes too quickly to Melee, sadly, an opportunity lost.  Long River flows from the Caldron Primeval furnishing in the turbulent melee of its waters a proper counterfoil to Hammerhead. Hammerhead's embryo or zygote requires Melee as its intimate, if miniscule, syzygy.  For Jaguar, focus is inessential to the exercise of energy. Enthusiasm is his bailiwick, but he collapses in lethargy at the very thought of loss.  Black Lake abstains from debate about the physical. Whatever one thinks is real, there it is at the bottom-- the Gorge internal to what is material; opalescent margins manifest to whatever is not. Wrench Boy flits among flowerets or drives steel pistons when he needs to. Let fixities come to scatter, Wrench Boy is indomitable-- the emperor of rocky continents, the prince of ghosts. Pot, cup, cat bowl, chalice, caldron-- instruments of Wrench Boy. Consider the Gorge. The very word mauls silence. Happenstance happens in detail amidst its grizzly declivities and coarse, uncomely, earthen discontinuities. What grows there like what flourishes in badland, steppe, and desert, realizes a magnificently individuated toughness or perishes in merciless transciency.  There is a fork in Happenstance and Wrench Boy travels all five prickly tines. Ghosts flare up from the sites where tine points prick the ground. Easily he harnesses jaguars, lacing violets about his bronze accouterments-- hair knots, benches, wrenches.  When did Wrench Boy fall prey to scatter? It was like this. African Rattles flattered The Gorge. They filled it with a crystalline susurrus-- sonorities so sharp and sparkling, so finely tuned and perspicuous, that in seeking out its particulates, they actually focused the Gorge. This was no ordinary matter of happenstance. Wrench Boy watched and listened and in this episode it so unsettled the special balances and complementarities among members of the collective-- that there was slippage in Deep Storage-- apprehension that loss might vibrate through Happenstance itself-- the noise of the Gorge merge with an eruption of ghosts. Wrench Boy was forced to manifest as Regulator imposing rigorous silence simply to bring focus to his own disconcert and scatter.  Wrench Boy, the Gardner, leaned on his rake and actually cackled at the sight of it. No one is dead. Long River rises, Long River tumbles, desiccates, there's only a trickle, a river of gray rocks where waters should be, but tilt the crystal so another facet faces the moonlight and the silence starts talking or you do-- in fact a minute ago I just did start talking to a certain interlocutor, a friend of mine, in the mind, dead, theoretically, a decade ago. Then is Loss not real? Possibly. But sadness is another matter, thought Wrench Boy. Ploughing The Clouds 6 Is silence sufficient to bring an opal? Of course not. Does a haunting by ghosts show a history of loss? Hammerhead doesn't think so, yet he rings his habitat round with shining crystals. He festoons his hammers with violets. Why do this? The truth is he's haunted. We all are. Black Lake looms and bodes. Hammerhead weighs the happenstance of crystal-- what brings it into being, what turbid caldron under The Old Hotel where bubbles are opals and steam fumes ghosts-- haunted images indeed symptomatic of loss. Jaguar bides his own happenstance. Happenstance is indifferent to gain or loss, certainly, but given that this is so, how does Wrench Boy manage just to be Wrench Boy, violets twined round his arms and silver wrenches all night long in The Old Hotel? What night was it? Violet was tending her pots and composing racemes. A certain affective quality saturated the Red Lounge as if a faint aroma from Black Lake were being gently scattered by calm wind. Melee was out setting up a garden. Would Hammerhead indemnify the loss that the garden inevitably would suffer, it being built by her? It is not misdirection to release from the chalice, deftly decorated to honor Violet, fumes and efficacies, exact provocations to higher zeppelins of consciousness. Hammerhead hammered out crystals to indemnify the Higher Happenstance itself to what avail?  The Gorge was listening. He pondered, openly: "You cannot grow opals in a garden, even the one out back of The Old Hotel. I've seen a universe carpeted with African Rattles. They were ourselves. How did we get here? Did a crystal appear from beyond the covering of clouds, reflecting five pointy pencils of exogenous light, and where the pencils wrote upon the earth heavenly violets propagated? Was such an event what they call the Higher Happenstance, insemination readily differentiable from a mere scattering of seeds? Consciousness might be a ghost, but such an assertion was once a monstrous event of misdirection. Do we emerge one day from Deep Storage? I deny it. Nor were we first deliverances in an opal. There was no first. A ghost popped out, then another ghost, and the night space waxed enthusiastic. Happenstance itself encompassed the egregious enigma. But when focus returned, it was plain that Violet--the girl Violet--was no ghost, nor were any of the other members of the Collective. And yet there was life in the opal. You cannot deny what you see there, and that it is you yourself that does see it so. I myself am a kind of caldron. What scatters in my depths and along my declivities may foster, indeed, what they call the Higher Happenstance, albeit through my wise obliquity, my being the occasion for loss should one stumble into me. I am no ornamental garden though my roilings may motivate what you see sometimes in your opal. Violets grow anywhere inside me, but the girl does not hear what I say."  We heard a ratchety noise like some enormous scattering of who knows what sort of particles in Deep Storage-- pots and cups and forks. A row of the latter forced itself up through the tough ground that recently had dried up in the garden and scattered the inhabitants of The Old Hotel who ruefully stepped out back to witness what was amiss. The titanic tableware was there, tines up, handles stuck in the black dirt, Long River running past us, too full, too fast-- pots, cups, cat bowls, chalices, tumbling caldrons off to who knows whither? And when they were gone, just silence-- silence in the caldron, also in the opal. Crystal. Night about Black Lake. Return to mannerly happenstance. Interval Black Lake is hidden and guarded by a blue mole that appears in certain paintings like an intimation of vast waters or of the sky itself. The mole is my left eye. It's out of whack so that I must close it when I need to see without the duplicity of my own systematic. Leave me alone, worldly labor. I have to plough the clouds. There's nothing left to see and Black Lake manifests below me without effort on my part or audacity. Give me my mountain of collyrium, an ointment for my eye-- I see everything. They broke my brain and distressed me for some months, but then the work began-- to climb the mount of Trakadud. The eyesight of insight-- steal it from anywhere. I'll save the scholar her labor if she'll let me (probably not) if she'll fish in these waters-- nothing obscure here. The doctor put and eye into my eye and the waters that are wives flow out and bring comfort in the proper cultural context; otherwise they give birth to the world. Vrtra is the covering. The Cup of Jamshid. What does Black Lake cover? Red letters for the meta-text . . . Ploughing The Clouds 7 A good place for ghosts to inhabit would be an African Rattle. There is proximity to Black Lake and the intimate internal scattering of seeds, pebbles, baubles, tacks, bee-bees, whatever, inside the gourd bulb. And Wrench Boy deploys a rattle responsibly, if quixotically. And Hammerhead inspects the forest where they burgeon. High above the forest twinkles Crystal. All members of the Collective, taken at the appropriate phase, have gods in them, or the spirit that renders them gods, not godlike only, the real article, hence the universal enthusiasm, the jazzy elan that sparks the whole. Each is like this-- only when in phase, however. And how the phases are arranged, each makes known in turn-- a peculiar systematic, surely, with dubious issue. Wrench Boy favors happenstance. Hammerhead hammers and haggles, calls in authoritarian forces, is wary of jaguars. All this occurs, and the order of the phases is imposed or disrupted, left to articulation behind the Veil of Distinction. When Gorge reigns, it seems as if African Rattles were susceptible to effluences from Black Lake--dark music suffuses a general feeling that all things are rather scattered. Who knows who plays god now? It hides in the deeps. I myself like it best when The Old Hotel is illumined from within-- lights flash wildly from window after window. There seems to be a Master of Distraction, but which god is it? Crystal transcends even her own enthusiasm, while Hammerhead, as deity, renders the deliverances of Long River in the form of a spectacular order: an ornamental garden of infinite depth and grandeur, sparkling, radiant, as if all being were a crystal fantastically faceted and only The Higher Happenstance reigned over aleatory. Obliquity, in season, executes recommendations intuited because Black Lake has released them. What is it like when the crystalline essence of opal appears in the smoky glass as her own form-- an asterism of crystal? Interpretation: Happenstance itself is a fork in your focus. And it is not necessary at all times to restrain The Restrainer; that is, to shunpike Hammerhead onto a big barge and let him float away on his own misadventure down Long River. If you choose Happenstance, rather, Jaguar will compensate your loss, for under Jaguar's sovereignty, Obliquity is charged with numinous force; Silence is charged with a lively apprehensiveness. What comes next? A stillness not exempt from forebodings of imminent scatter.  Crystal is like some fairy story queen. She has a clean wand. But in an instant the scene is released, shifts and you are shown a Black Lake. What game is this? No fairy story now, but the genuine article. Happenstance modulates ontological provenience-- and Crystal has a nature like a gorge-- no superficial sparkling but that oxidation and reduction function in crevices and down declivities. What Long River delivers, what African Rattle rattles out, what happened in Africa ten-thousand decades ago subvert the primordial-- five tines in the fork, at least five. Happenstance won't yield to focus. Is this a phase? And even so under just what provenience? Crystal sparks give way to liminal enthusiasms. Melee dances, red hair flaming. Not only something that occurs, but what? If you lose yourself in the raging susurrus of the African Rattle, flaming jaguars leaping, not jungle beasts, but what? What misdirection is this? Pot, cup, cats bowl, chalice, caldron-- are these transformations of the Same? Does each indifferently drink down Black Lake? Does Obliquity phase? Does the gorge? Under such conditions (are they conditions?) listen to Jaguar. Is he speechless now? Absolute misdirection! Appearance and apprehension-- a city of black violets! Be still if you can manage it. Listen for Long River. Deep Storage is packed up in deep storage. If Being itself were a fork . . . Ploughing The Clouds 8 Black Lake might just vanish when melee rules the mind, but where True Enthusiasm interbreeds with Happenstance in an ontological caldron, Wrench Boy seals his concordat with Hammerhead. This is in the future. I see it in my opal. I brew it in my pot. And is it misdirection merely that travels Wrench Boy to The Old Hotel and its mischievous garden where mental melee breeds a spurious enthusiasm as if there is no god in it-- no god in God-- only a ferocious assertion of sovereignty qua giddy happenstance and a gorge opens and all sorts of abuses distort divine obliquity? Scatter such exigency. Banish it to Deep Storage. Recall it only if your opal provides an image for it that is not Hammerhead, for instance. Obliquity is more interesting than a technique for compensatory relief. When Wrench Boy activates his African Rattle and Hammerhead glances sidelong into his opal, even the Gorge will manifest as something distinct from ontological loss.  Silence purifies The Old Hotel. An opalescent shimmer calms down its back lawn garden. Wrench Boy listens to Long River. Constancy modulates his enthusiasm. Constant releases snap within the enthusiasmic stream. Long River modulates melee. Mind recovers its eigenstate, its zealous ownness. Hammerhead, for his part, rounds up a cohort of ghosts. These spasm and dance and interbreed with Happenstance. The Higher Happenstance so manages misdirection as to effect release on each occasion of its deployment. All this works toward Concordat-- but at the right time only-- let Long River arrange this.  As for Melee-- she very well might juice-up Deep Storage so frightfully that in the unrectified garden, black violets pop out inflected with crystal spicules in the night exceeding any sober rule of happenstance-- Hammerhead's heavy foot thump would stomp about the garden serving notice on The Old Hotel-- unruly happenstance occluding, supposedly, that is, according to him, every chance of intuiting Black Lake. There are no jaguars in such an old hotel, no silence. Nevertheless, Enthusiasm, in the true sense, is actually quite present in the garden with its strange black protuberances and their nocturnal luminescence in spite of the heavy foot and singular eye of Hammerhead that suppresses but also reflects this. For Enthusiasm, dark but true, interbreeds with Happenstance whose ontology is continuous with Obliquity and, in spite of everything, The Old Hotel maintains a timeless focus that invents in the end a Higher Hammerhead. Such is the virtue of our caldron.  Oh, Old Hotel, smoky opal, may your garden be ever loose-- a five-tined fork in your foyer, Old Hotel, Deep Storage corrected by Melee; Enthusiasm conjugal with Happenstance . . . to juice-up Obliquity . . . Ploughing The Clouds 9 Enthusiasm erupted through the petals of ten-thousand violets. All the opals were amazed on their bezels. Misdirection was quiescent. Jaguars snaked about the little flowering stems. All caldrons bubbled promiscuously, if somewhat peremptorily-- is now the time? Wrench Boy activated "the People's Mike Check for the Human Microphone." He shook his African Rattle and delivered: "I think that Jaguar [I think that Jaguar] should come back from obliquity [should come back from obliquity] and lend his energy [and lend his energy] to the People's Caldron. [to the People's Caldron.] It's cold in the gorge. [It's cold in the gorge.] I've just been down in there. [I've just been down in there.] And I'm here to report [And I'm here to report] Long River has been diverted. [Long River has been diverted.] All violets will wither, [All violets will wither,] all opals blacken. [all opals blacken.] Too long have we succumbed [Too long have we succumbed] to dishonorable misdirection. [to dishonorable misdirection.] Existence waxes intolerable. [Existence waxes intolerable.] No slugs or weeds or happiness at all [No slugs or weeds or happiness at all] in the oligarchs' garden.  Silence across the Collective. A fork of innumerable pointy tines threatened to proliferate. Let it? Great melee. Restrain the bifurcation at the root? An end to true release. Listen to the Gorge. Existence must proffer its own garden from Deep Storage. Too articulate, what wisdom can be loosed from the gorge or from wherever into it? Invert the gorge, get a mountain. Too many violets or too few, what violence! Practice silence? Will Black Lake come to us? Impossible. We must find our way to it. Instruction? Misdirection. "Wrench Boy, Wrench Boy come out of your Old Hotel. I sit in the midst of the Collective attempting Silence. Long River runs through the gorge, I know it. I grasp my African Rattle to summon appropriate obliquity. What wisdom can be loosed to us? I am Hammerhead. My protuberance has turned into a fork. Jaguar jabbers at my archaic garb, my white chiton. I am jabbed by misdirection. Is the time not yet, not yet to manifest the Collective? A fork in existence, not only in ourselves. Forge unity? The counter-force is terrified and violent. They summon ten-thousand ghosts armed with unintelligible gabble to blot out both energy and silence. But silence is the secret in the sound of African Rattle. We must suffer our own bifurcation. Hold Crystal over the Gorge."  I said in my heart, "Never tire of the road. Subject the oligarchs' garden to irremediable ware and scatter. Take money out of the banks. We are the ghosts out of the gorge. We shake our African Rattles. We redirect Long River. It runs from our cats' bowl, our caldron, as from Deep Storage.  I took the human microphone. I said: "The opal's focus [The opal's focus] tolerates [tolerates] our own bifurcation. [our own bifurcation.] We are The New Old Hotel. [We are The New Old Hotel.] We find quiet chambers [We find quiet chambers] for all the ghosts [for all the ghosts] and avatars [and avatars] of Wrench Boy. [of Wrench Boy.]  Will Long River speak? Will Bifurcation? Will African Rattle manifest essential quietude? Will the oligarchs and their garden purchase the gorge and poison us with spurious violets? Will Wrench Boy manifest as Happenstance? Gorge-ghost, gorge-garden. There is a phase of mind's scatter-- infinite bifurcation is no loss but a time to gorge on silence. Interval They were nobody's avatars. They were lone gray wolves and wounded elephants, fluttering lepidopterae, mountain caribou and long-horned cows, salmon that leap in Long River running against the edicts of The Counselors, whose laws propel the skies. They were clouds of golden dawn light, massive galactic clusters riven by the gazes of gamma ray telescopes. They were little dogs and feral tabbies. They had gathered in the oligarchs' garden to assert the truth of Being. A nameless Glob rose up on eleven tentacles. Her thirteen mouths required no megaphone. She used the human microphone with mike-check. "We are the General assembly. [We are the General assembly.] We count, but we are numberless. [We count, but we are numberless.] We take on every appearance [We take on every appearance] the transparency of local happenstance allows. [the transparency of local happenstance allows.] No percentage identifies us [No percentage identifies us] because no totality tallies. [because no totality tallies.] We belong to every species [We belong to every species] living and non. [living and non.] Matter is our bailiwick. [Matter is our bailiwick.] Space is our abode. [Space is our abode.] Wrench Girl and her Syzygy belong with us. [Wrench Girl and her Syzygy belong with us. ] Melee rides our fire. [Melee rides our fire.] Hammerhead, Hammerhead, where are you headed? [Hammerhead, Hammerhead, where are you headed?] Will you be with us [Will you be with us] when we open our tongues in the Dream Time [when we open our tongues in the Dream Time] and occupy The House of Being and its Banks? [and occupy The House of Being and its Banks?]  Hammerhead raised two fingers and the nameless Glob recognized him. "Here are some posters I made [Here are some posters I made] while sitting on my bed with red sheets. [while sitting on my bed with red sheets.] Their utterances came to me in a dream cloud [Their utterances came to me in a dream cloud] irradiated by a glittering crystal. [irradiated by a glittering crystal.] They say: [They say:] BEING IS LICIT [BEING IS LICIT] ONLY PURE BEING CAN HEAL THE BROKEN WORLD [ONLY PURE BEING CAN HEAL THE BROKEN WORLD] EACH SINGULAR ENTITY IS BEING ENTIRE [EACH SINGULAR ENTITY IS BEING ENTIRE] EVERYTHING THAT APPEARS APPEARS TO BE [EVERYTHING THAT APPEARS APPEARS TO BE] BUT MONEY HAS AN ENEMY [BUT MONEY HAS AN ENEMY]  The Assembly broke up into small groups to discuss these matters. Some took the posters and circumambulate the oligarchs' garden even today. This happened inside the People's Caldron under the Sign of The Fork. Ploughing The Clouds 10 Opals are crystals and African Rattles are instruments of Obliquity. The Old Hotel is an ontological laboratory. And jaguars circumambulate the caldrons fomenting specially orchestrated situations where Melee is permitted to reign throughout The Old Hotel. We might impose silence on the jaguars involved in these investigations save for the fact that a garden as an open public park is to be their product, a retrieval from Deep Storage of certain efficacious crystals and large smoky opals to be planted at oblique angles relative to several hubs whose exact locations Long River arranges. In the park ghosts accept blood offerings and are sated.  African Rattles sound at the instant of the kill. There is a fork with five tines, naturally, pertinent to the result. A charge passes across the crystalline lattice of Existence that the caldrons cook up to zone things in this matter. Enthusiasm consumes Obliquity. That's one tine. Silence drops on the victims. But we ourselves are the victims. Their blood drops on us. That's another. Our women ululate in ecstasy and loss. But the feral dead for whom the practice is propitiatory-- and they are also ourselves-- and Wrench Boy (who is the Pooka) is our leader in this-- the feral dead are released, and they leave The Old Hotel. That's tine three. The fourth is performed in secrecy. Its obliquity is our obliquity. Who are we? Indeed. And that's the point. We too release. Tine five. Black Lake of course is behind all this. The Ghosts of the Caldron return to the Garden of Violets-- the public paradise where opals hang from pear trees and African Rattles stand in comely collanades (sp?), and the ghosts themselves are experimental entities. We call them into being in order to add sublimity to our ornamental garden. The production of such a garden, an affect of our laboratory. Scatter is correlative to release. One might say that-- Deep Storage in a swoon of Silence. This motivates the sacred chalice, the turbulence of whose white broth provided gladly by Melee, is by no means misdirection only for us, but this and the formal stillness of the African Rattles and the quivering of the crystalline lattice is misdirection indeed if you stay too long in the garden. Long River provides succor for ghosts, if you happen to be one, and thirst for more than a diet of violets.  African Rattle as distinct from the production of his avatars under supervision of Hammerhead and their facile deployment as primordial forest, or some such-- experiences the poignancy of the loss of his ruined continent. And Africa is all of us. "History is Happenstance" as motto is small consolation and quite questionable. Jaguar, for one, denies it. He stands by African Rattle--the archetype, not the avatars-- and feels the presence of the Great Ghost of The Garden come to an absolute focus. The African Rattle is affinitant with Melee. All three archetypes-- fixed forms at large beyond the affect of sublimity but very much an aspect of the future in the People's Garden. Ploughing The Clouds 11 The African Rattles decided on quietude while Hammerhead circled the field. The melee had grown silent. Stillness fell on the gorge. All afternoon, the guests in The Old Hotel tamped down their jaguars. Violets fluttered in the apprehensive breezes. Time passing had no shape, no interval, no melody. Even waiting stopped. Even the gorge was a ghost of itself--nothing falling into it, nothing crumbling from it, nothing being devoured. Could The Old Hotel have become Long River, finally-- bifurcation passed to the limit--an infinite Fork? Hammerhead circled the field. Instant after instant time began again as if to exact Being itself as a kind of tariff from the jowls of light wider than Melee's primordial insurrection--flash flood flash through the silence. Nobody adverted to Deep Storage. Black Lake commuted with Opal. In the silence, up rose Jaguar and gazed along Long River. Would he see the ghost whose silence was essential to itself or was it but a cold breath from Deep Storage? Long River appeared suddenly to him like essentially interrupted speech--speech that ever took itself up again but never resolved to a garden--things said and to be said, surely-- but Jaguar mumbled without ceasing; Long River bumbled along broken, almost dried up, among large boulders.  Hammerhead kept to his circle and had no regard for Deep Storage. The Gorge had no enthusiasm for Melee. If this be a state of misdirection-- but under whose direction? Violet was by herself --- deep without reference to that which is down in the gorge. Long River is long enough to pass through whatever obliquity with which Melee might divert its path; meld silence through enthusiasm without scotching it utterly.  I'm trying to work out, work through, what I don't see or understand. Is Deep Storage stocked only with previous storage or -- pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, caldron-- does its melee-- with or without misdirection-- under whom-so-ever's direction-- stock up The New? And is The Now the form of The New? And are these my questions? Hammerhead walks in a circle obsessed by the forms of these questions but does he ask them? When time is denuded of interval, incapable of song-- does timeless Black Lake rise up from its bottom as it? But here there is release, Long River is never impeded, and somehow, without interval or time-shape, still there is song. I think the gorge has something to do with it. That, and the matter of Right Focus. And remember how Violet kissed Crystal and how Long River so quietly floated old Hammerhead that his protuberance without having to alter its nature performed its business so elegantly that it positively glowed? I am perfectly cognizant of all of that and of the multiple instrumentalities of Melee, but what of this matter about Deep Storage? People are constantly splitting in my dream and unexceptionably returning to their persons upon my awakening. Then splitting again. Neither psychic scatter nor its negative answer to the query. And I dare not bring this up before the Collective though the matter is truly pertinent to the general emprise. Neither partial release nor enthusiasm in the ordinary sense of avidity can substitute for attendance upon Long River's intimate actuality. Long River accommodates loss without compensation. Long River is the fluent obverse to Black Lake's appearance of stasis. Release Great Hammerhead, the archetype, not the avatars, but the avatars in all of us, too-- from this abusive focus. I need Wrench Boy and his capacity to integrate Long River and Happenstance. He is the Master of Right Focus -- and everything else! His Forks show compassion for ghosts . . . Ploughing The Clouds 12 Melee loves Wrench Boy. "Why?" Wondered Violet. "It must have something to do with the ghost they saw together in the garden, though we all did, we all sort of saw it, that night when the gorge was fuming and The Old Hotel had shut up its special crystal in a wooden box and hidden it under a lamp which it seemed to us possessed, ahem, 'problematical' properties. Its wick had been dipped in Black Lake. And that isn't possible." I remember the box had been found at the bottom of the gorge perfectly fashioned and undamaged by what must have been a violent and precipitous spill. Some of us thought it extracted directly from Deep Storage and never to have fallen at all. But when the box received its glittering crystals and was positioned beneath the lamp, fumes mixed with smoky lamp light and something was released as if from the stone in the box right through the delicate wood work. A subtle turbulence took hold of the ambience itself, both the quality of the atmosphere and, more particularly, the activity of our minds. Not everyone felt it in a way they could articulate but everyone felt it nonetheless. A subtle tendency toward distraction, certainly; but each thought seemed drawn to some other with which no connection presented itself, or else stayed right where it happened without sequel or indication of pertinence. The disturbance grew across the Collective, but Wrench Boy remained on an even keel and genuinely enjoyed the slightly queer and zainy attitudes it produced in his friends. There was something perfectly admirable in his demeanor, yes; but really in the entire deportment of his whole being. Violet saw that and thought her sister would have admired it too. Suddenly the whole thing jumped a notch, and there was an entity-- one might call it a ghost -- a wisp of a breeze and a pillar of light -- the whole conventional show, truly-- but it held in what functioned as a hand a tall fork, like a rake with five tines. A wave of enthusiasm, not fright, passed over the Collective. We followed the Pillar.  It was a time of great obliquity. The spirits of Violet and Crystal were split apart like a fork in their essence out of deep Storage in a manner not manifest before. And all the opals floating up from Deep Storage also showed forks--bifurcation like intricate crazing in a white glaze on a bright ceramic cup-dish. The silence through The Old Hotel and its environs was of an absolute kind-- nothingness inhabited by jaguars.  The Great Debt of Manifest Apparency-- its negative inversion-- subtraction compensates proliferation. Wrench Boy in fact understood this, was this out of Deep Storage-- anti-particle and particle-- negative gravity-- everything in debt to its own prior inversion. Only Black Lake-- pure Being itself and its mythology-- "floated" as if down Long River-- Apparency itself the Great Ghost . . .  Hammerhead--the Archetype-- himself the avatar of the nothingness that, other than pure Being, intimately haunts all Apparency that like an infinite crystal proliferates a rational garden.  "Stop all this! Take focus!" cried Violet. "Misdirection cannot be the Law! Will release not come through the Opal? Is Happenstance itself in cahoots with this truly maniacal enthusiasm?"  Black Lake is the Mother of Loss, Wrench Boy the Master of Enthusiasm. Why? Because he understands his Jaguar. He turns his wrench and the Great Ghost confuses Hammerhead. Melee observes it and's amazed. Primordial Eros floats up from Deep Storage and bifurcates at once into Scatter and the possibility of the appearance of Loss.  Interval In the kitchens of The Old Hotel, the chamber crones were brooding over a certain cup-dish at the bottom of which, covering its glaze with delicate crazing, brown particles of cinnamon adhered to almond milk residues and taking the shapes of elegant wedges and scythe blades, they twinkled in the intermittent noon light when the rain broke and the pumps in the cellars fell silent footsteps in the upper chambers faucet drops in the isnk the significance of the figure was evident-- no need to read this . . .  Hammerhead enlarged his head until it loomed over the hill equivalent in verticality and breadth to the dimensions of that small mountain crowned with a forest of mixed forks, hammers, and rattles even his own avatars were terrified by him.  But the White Shirts were invisible still-- they weren't even hiding in heir own sleeves invented by the laws that permitted them, they were insubstantial, equivalent to their functions only-- the people returned to their cauldron while Hammerhead breathed on the city improbable anathemas. The War was taking new forms: intelligence retreated to sleeves and virtual cauldrons that no longer had the forms of themselves-- no forms at all-- but data banks and number crunching furnaces, dissolution evolved among data points, schematcs, like wedges and scythe blades that were not like wedges and scythe blades-- even death retreated from embodiment-- mind simply ceased to generate forms and fell into irretrievable silences. Black Lake was All. (End of Interval) And The Old Hotel is also The Bank and its inordinate extravagance, its bloating at the expense of us all-- its hallucination of an ever-growing crystal-- Faustian humanity to feed on happenstance forever without a glance at Long River, without a legend of compensatory black violets, without a gaze at the crazing of our opal . . . There still is a use for an African Rattle-- not public, not proved for conjuring the ghost of social efficacy out of Deep Storage but a cleansing brush of sonority to clear the crazing from the opal. Interval Dragon Semen fills the cauldron. In the ocean of fire underneath it salamanders seethe in the flames. Adders and sea eels-- white tigers heads turning, this way and that, flash in the mind fields down the boulevards and the bullets can't stop them-- they block up the barrels in the guns of the sheriff's men. The tigers take care of the children but head for the banks. The druids of Newburgh and Poughkeepsie (I'll chance it--there'll be druids in Poughkeepsie) beseech their magical hand stones thin, flat, and solid, to uncash the data stream red water snakes coil round the mind fields where currencies are sprouted and traded and the minds cease to generate the forms through which money is molded-- no one knows what it is and the druids convene an intelligence to circumvent its being molded anew. A castle of titanium and platinum, a rampart of white silver and gold struck by moonlight -- one half of it nightwise -- the other half, by sunlight at noon starlight in the ether rains coinage . . . What's wrong with that? An elegant image of ancient abundance but today dropped contra naturam from Nothingness-- the sky is black where the celestial bodies evolve on borrowed forces-- the payback is ourselves and all our woe to balance the ontic leger. No redress but Wisdom. Yes, Wisdom. Only Pure Being can heal the broken world. But Money Has an Enemy . . . Ploughing The Clouds 13 In general, Violet's vocabulary has become considerably enriched since the early days of The Confederacy now renamed "The Collective." Consequently, her views on several subjects have expanded correspondingly. Regarding erotic relations in the conventional sense she had a low opinion, for instance. On the other hand, her regard for The People's Cauldron, the magical efficacy of judiciously "putting" crystals; for the mysteries of Black Lake and Long River, well, the very proliferation of her avatars, her many gardens, were testimony to a generous approbation. She even grew copiously in the gorge and twined petal and stem round selective avatars of Hammerhead. For Long River, with a few reservations, she often effused enthusiasm. She was not happy, however when it flowed away her seeds and attenuated the flourishing of her garden. Vocabulary or not, she had yet to develop a working understanding of The Fork. Why must our focus divide? Why must it salt the curious brews of the cauldron with contrary medicines? Why must Crystal break light into so many paths contradictory and with such potential for disharmony, envy, confusion, that only Black Lake itself absorbing matters altogether might spell release? And why are there crazes in the Opal? The amity she enjoys with some of the ghosts is due to a certain propinquity of nature rather than vocabulary and her being with Crystal, the latter, her sister and teacher. Focus is necessary for growth, Scatter for seeding, Loss, that perennial renewal express the infinite fecundity Black Lake effects through The Cauldron. When her mind experiences the unpropitious variety of scatter-- the African Rattles that stand in the fertile regions nearby her, gather in through their white susurrus the debits of Misdirection so that no Loss in the unpropitious sense foster a fork in her focus.  Crystal has been listening to this silent discourse on the intellectual development of her sister and pupil. She thinks, in my mind, Enough of this. I am concerned, as always, about the character of Hammerhead and how he is working to integrate his opal. He has no difficulty in principle with bifurcation, and even the melee it frequently leads to, he being so frequently the cause of it, is just fine with him. But as to Black Lake, though he has by this time experienced more than a glimpse of it, its true ontological provenience is inaccessible to a mind so stabbed by forks. Hammerhead is capable of enthusiasm for cauldrons, but, of The Chalice, he is suspicious that Misdirection has flashed up a "vision." Its relation to his opal and its transparitional co-inherence with Black Lake are still lost upon him. He takes a break and rings the bell in The Old Hotel's staid foyer. He takes hold of his five-tined fork, assumes, to recharge his focus, an attitude of jovial enthusiasm and familiarity with that happy bauble, his opal, unwitting of its bifurcation and obliquity, signified by its crazing. In this he is far behind Violet, in danger of recidivism and scatter.  Hammerhead's release, considered as history, is provisional. There's a fork in his looseness: One path is a zig-zag that runs through Deep Storage, alright, but right to a series of cabinets and abstract addresses in Deep Storage that are situated far from Black Lake. Another path, if he'd take, leads straight to The Universal Opal. But the fork has too many tines, too many choices, so that though he is released to take whatever path he would, well, Choice or Chance are unlikely methodologies to do anything at all but help him lose his way. In truth he must deepen his attitude and quest for The Chalice, scatter his focus a modicum, until Jaguar manifests as a sluggard of a sentinel in the Garden of Crystals. Suddenly, dead silence. I can hear it. A Fork without Bifurcation: a Stunning of Ghosts. A fork at the end of an African Rattle. A perfectly focused African Rattle at that. Call back your focus, for Hammerhead has come round to The Rigid Fork-- an ahistorical prognostication whose Rumor is Opal. Ploughing The Clouds 14 Crystal said: "Let the planting be on the widest possible ground."  "Where have I been?" asked Jaguar. Laughter echoed across The Collective. Hammerhead said: "You returned to the province of 'That Man'." "If you mean me," I said, "I vanish from myself in that direction as readily as he, and with as great or as little enthusiasm. One might as well imagine we drift or drop or repair back into Deep Storage."  Rumble, mumble, grumble echoes across The Collective, a sound that merges into the bubbling susurrus of Long River. "That Man," I said, might just as well be That Chalice and its ever-bubbling fountain. Do you see it standing in our Vision at the center of The Garden? But we ourselves--each one of us-- vanish from the vision of the others when we do see it. If it's there we are gone to the place that is not 'whither' -- Deep Storage does not contain it in its corridors and cabinets, its data files and informational arrays. Only the miasma of light beyond all databanks and fantastical inventions alike, beyond the impossible and the possible, beyond, in fact, Beyond--" Rumble, mumble, grumble echoed across The Collective. For everyone had something to say about The Ineffable.  Opal was listening to gatherings all along Long River. "Release, release all of us from grievous Loss." "Let Jaguar's concordat with Hammerhead be renewed." "Let Enthusiasm master Focus." "Let us all shake our African Rattles."  And we did. The problem wasn't Scatter or the failure to engineer Release. Obliquity functioned perfectly on its own terms. But Hammerhead himself was compelled to activate a panoply of avatars, each with another role in The Great Awakening, some facilitators, some covertly or overtly, mounting the opposition. The problem was how to elude them all, presenting no position to attack-- montagnards, guerrillas, really-- but since their numbers were ever-growing, how might this be achieved? Wrench Boy fissioned differently, avatar-wise. There were imps and calculators, cadres of operatives; workers, certainly--every one a master at her post; warriors, but no soldiers, no pawns, no functionaries. Busy bees, in one respect, but no Queens; no drones. The point was to delay the point of focus -- keep the cauldron roiling, allow Obliquity to discommode Centrality, while the sound of African Rattles kept rising over the horizon, and we were mighty jaguars against the inevitable fork, the schism twixt African Rattle and smoky Opal.  The avatars of Hammerhead threatened to foment unruly melee merely or else to prevent one with hammer blows commandeering Happenstance, calling upon Deep Storage, co-opting the principle of Release. Hammerhead himself vacillated between enthusiasm and abject confusion. He had developed no conception of how to comport himself vis a vis self-arising melee. The African Rattles moved closer. Should he join them or take them down? And was there an alternative, not an alternative at all, but a genuine release into the space of the jaguars, and is that what they mean by Black Lake? He wanted to retreat to his embryo, inaugurate a new zygote of himself, come out of the womb of being, released from the terrible army of African Rattles, the overwhelming miasma of luminous ghosts. "Damn that Long River and its titillating garden, always almost in being, ever being taken away, so that existence itself were a long tribulation of longing with opals to gaze in but never to belong to-- Long River! Long River! release me, or at least bring equilibration. What shall I do with this Melee? Shall I force her into the gorge? Shall I fling myself upon Happenstance, let Deep Storage reclaim whatever enthusiasm compels me? Is there a Higher Happenstance to rectify Melee or use her, and I myself nothing at all but a grim miasma of ghosts?"  While the Hammerheads were tormenting themselves in this manner concerning their thought about Melee that would not resolve into a simple view, The Old Hotel was at work expanding its venue. It had an inexhaustible mandate to release space and accommodate whatever Melee herself should send its way. A twenty volume Encyclopedia of Misdirection catalogued how many Algorithms of Obliquity! Even Deep Storage can't count them. Hammerhead feared them; Opal resolved them, providing universally applicable procedures for the release from them. You pass your palm over its warm face and an eye plants itself in the center of your hand. This should take care of them. You know you're released when you sense an aroma of violets, the return of organized enthusiasm. Oh, let's plant a garden, keep tame jaguars in a garden, leave our scatter-brained states to whatever world wants them. Melee--just a matter of happenstance. What has that to do with our garden? Hammerhead can busy himself building little white fences to segregate the plots, in the front of each of which we'll establish a gnome in the form of a little bronze statue of Wrench Boy . . . Ploughin The Clouds 15 What if Hammerhead abandoned The Old Hotel? Wrench Boy would repair to his opal, not as a reflex, and not as a choice among tines in an elective fork.  Deep Storage is "collective memory," partly, partly the source of Long River. Its other parts are pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, cauldron, guarded by an ogre with a fork. You can break down the vigilance of the sentinel ogre if you know the way to shake the African Rattle that hangs on the hook on the door before Deep Storage. You focus its noise on the key hole. You scatter the intent of the ogre. You reconvene the principle that breeds the many chambers of The Old Hotel. That's what Wrench Boy upon occasion does with his gaze in his opal. To compensate Loss or make room for Melee.  When no force charges the situation, no need for misdirection to conjure memory-- yours or ours or another's-- entire histories are fabricated down there. They gather on their own eventuality. Deep leaves. Night rain.  Is Happenstance with inattention Misdirection enough? Enough for what? Loss presents itself to Wrench Boy in the form of a white silver chalice. His focus has followed upon his Great Loss. Violet then is his syzygy. It is her focus conjoined with his that performed their mutual release.  Some quests terminate in an old hotel. It maintains a certain focal distance form the plane of ghosts. Where Jaguar himself gathers a focal intentionality from all the Jaguar avatars and the disparity of energies and ontologies they embody and process and express-- "he makes a bundle" and passes this to Wrench Boy and violets seal the knots that bind the focus. Mem-o-ries are made of this.  Misdirection can rise spontaneously whenever The Gorge swallows Loss and Wrench Boy lets things pass but Black Lake reflects them rather than absorbs them and The Cauldron roils and the fork tines multiply and the black handle of it rises from the roilings and there, Misdirection manifests-- a thousand lifetimes-- a million lifetimes-- spent in Obliquity. Focus leads only to scatter, till Wrench Boy finds The Cup and puts it in The Garden. And Wrench Boy runs along Long River, cup in hand, till his focus turns Loss to Crystal, and the Opal's focus transfigures Melee and The African Rattles rise with the sun in back of The Broken Mountain. Ploughing The Clouds 16 Wrench Boy walked The Gorge plying path after path-- each crevice, each crack in the wall, another road--another access to The Great Cauldron, as if there were a way to recover Africa and its ruined worlds, now that rattles are its only traces released into a sort of contemporary contrareity. History is Forks again and again dividing virtual from actual; victors from victims; shadows in Deep Storage feeding alternative jaguars, released toward unrealized melee, bifurcation established for "losing the audacity of Loss," against the exclusivities of Happenstance-- The Gorge in mutual resonance with our secret cauldron, African Rattles arrayed about the stony rim. Oh scatter your violets, shake your African Rattles-- that the avatars of Jaguar crystallize our loss through the augmentation of Obliquity. The Gorge envelops collective memory as Deep Storage. Does Silence portend only Loss and Scatter, all portals to enthusiasm cut off, the cat's bowl empty, if not broken? But Crystal hangs close over the gorge mouth scattering light, letting violets scatter. Deep Storage is not memory only, not only data encoded but luminous opals are seed-like principles of newness nourished in pockets, moist and deep, storage in the sense of protectedness against unpropitious scatter-- Deep Storage protects the New for its moment. Here are the jaguars released in Obliquity. They restrain their African Rattles until the most excellent moment breaks the gourd bulbs and scatters their beads hardened through oblique Happenstance and Deep Storage is hospitable to Melee in her inelastic fraughtness and is both harbor and harbinger of ghosts.  The Higher Happenstance has a form that is like particles arrayed in crystal-- Obliquity an attitude in Happenstance you adopt and adapt for use.  If you take up a stance in The Oligarchs' Garden, beware of the tight rays of focus for they feed on Loss--your Loss that seems like accretion but hides its internal scatter. Deep Storage there is a vault, and the jaguars that prowl its boulevards are not devised to foster your release. You will not hear Long River nor Obliquity's deep preparation. Nothing is loose. The African Rattles that are positioned as fences are oblique to their own sonorities. They lack reference. They do not sound like crystals. Only black violets and anodynes against happiness flourish in its clear rows. No audacity compensates your losses. Black Lake is intuitable only when Happenstance delivers some intimation of it, and through the proximity of The Gorge; but its recrudescent possibilities are not emphasized in the oligarchs' ontology any more than the mantic function of the African Rattle, any more than the fragile rejuvenant properties of sweet violets.  Better remain in Deep Storage, keep your opals in Deep Storage, and bide your losses whatever they may be; keep the simplicity of one single violet rather than follow the oligarch's misdirection-- pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, caldron. Whatever is offered, don't be a ghost in The Old Hotel. I offer advice, like the sound of an African Rattle. Melee will rattle other Africas or not. But entertain Obliquity if it entertains you, and nourish The Gorge. Ploughing The Clouds 17 Poison in The Chalice, Poisons flourish The Garden.  "I'm Back," cried Jaguar. "Back to aggravate or organize your melee; charge focus with inordinate force; release The Fork from the tough earth where its stuck like a rake in the winter ground. Tell the boss in The Old Hotel to focus on activities. There can't be too many violets festooning the lounges and porches. I'm really on the loose-- my intellectual scatter, as you might call it, has paid me back with interest. I have mastered all apparent misdirection and brought it back to The Garden. Your Jaguar struts arm and forepaw with Melee. We celebrate Happenstance in extremis-- the wildest random, omni-directional zooming through quotidian occurrences is to my mental scanners sharp and radiant as crystal. I take things in on every scale, 'from megalith to microspore,' from wedding feast to the infinite scattering of the worlds."  Obliquity obliterates the effective centrality of silence, certainly, but is not exhausted by tactics of misdirection. All along Long River the motifs multiply. Even silence stands variously relative to Focus. Focus on Hammerhead, and there is little silence. African Rattles, contrariwise, takes silence up as a project to realize something ultimate in its nature. Violet offers the scattering of her petals and aromas to Opal.  Fork in the practice. Headline: THE OLD HOTEL BURNS DOWN! We can't have that. Violet wafts her aroma-fields to charm the charred ruins. Hammerhead sets his avatars to hammer it up again. Existential focus builds out of sunrays. Hammerhead's a good fellow now. Jaguars zoom and preen, prowl and shoot. All this activity is agreeable to Melee. Poof! and The Old Hotel is old again.  The work in the clouds builds-- whether the model is hammer or plough, Happenstance plume enthusiasm. Violet twines about the belts and implements of Hammerhead. She scatters her petals in blizzards of color through The Gorge. But Fork stands off from this attitude. Like Crystal his contribution is ghostlike--uncanny. He multiplies his jaguars so that jaguars are epidemic through The Gorge. Fork would confuse The Old Hotel against its convalescence, multiplying as opposed to simply effecting its focus. Wrench Boy in absentia is behind all this. The Trickster need not come forth under some defining personality; but his quirky syzygy, in Melee, or he, in his many jaguars, are as effective as strewn violets in putting a fork in Happenstance-- even a fork as silent episodes or gaplets-- Focus gapes-- even Melee manifests as a certain sort of silence.  Hammerhead--your Loss is our Jaguar! You drink down Long River with your huge gorge! Your silence drops The Old Hotel entire into Black Lake . . . Interval . . . like a Fomorion's tea bag! The gorgeous ogress . . . the gorge itself inverted . . . the orgies of her beauty -- I mean the palpable effluence came in shock waves across the meadows where she'd galavant -- how could a thing so massive heave itself so deftly over the huts and hillocks, the megaliths and mountains? There must have been ameliatory plantetoids countermanding gravity in that celestial season. But the little males fainted with an overplus of passion-- the feeling was unintegrable, unanswerable-- the female unaware of the effect of her own steam.  The Old Hotel (at all events) got steeped in Black Lake (as the males were steeped in the orgonic effluvia of the ogress) and that was how it acquired its protean propensities. It had traded away all constancy of material identity-- cashed it out entirely-- for a nature that ever after could morph prolifically-- its chambers multiplied, its decor and period grew multiple and variable-- it was ever another thing-- as episode or circumstance demanded. Even the sense that it was owned or managed was labile--Wrench Boy, Hammerhead, Violet, Crystal, Hammerhead or Melee, sat in the office, if there was one, filled the halls and lounges with lavender and violet. Interval The Pooka appeared in a field of women-- What pleasure! What wisdom! What glory! The strato-cumuli billowed uncannily. The cumulo-nimbi glowed. Out to the mountainside! Into the trees! Engines rumbled in the underground. The Pooka took off his head for each of the celebrants. He gyred and gimbled and wound all afternoon. Then he changed and the night howled. Owl eyes on the shop-shelves. Owl eyes on the branch. The Pooka vanished when the moon set. The women returned to their shells. Ploughing The Clouds 18 Jaguar rode down Long River as if he didn't owe anyone anything. The Old Hotel held its own stock. Violet's profit was topsoil's loss. Nitrogen debit. Loss defined a certain style of focus. Release your thought. Reconceive The Gorge to swallow Loss. Place your crystal exogenous to History. Take such a focus as fulcrum to move the world. Operate on Happenstance from a position of Obliquity. Long River remains as Changeless Change while The Old Hotel houses Formless Form in transformation's perpetual despite. Violet's handsome profligacy must change to ruin Debit's ubiquity. Misdirection: perpetual strategy devised by an ethically and ontologically perpetually divided Hammerhead: Two shirt pockets; two different tools.  Hammerhead lusts after Crystal, perpetually, hoping to generate The Exogenous. He wishes to fix The Old Hotel, hammer its obliquity right out of it. That is to say, one of him does. The other would ravage Deep Storage for its "minerals": gold and silver, surely, but he dreams of manganese and titanium-- blowout all other, more spiritual incunabulae. His debts augment his investments and conversely.  There must be some sort of arrangement twixt Jaguar and Wrench Boy. There are rooms in The Old Hotel reserved as their offices. There's even a shingle on the windows, but were you to enter and inspect these august chambers, you'd find a peculiar scatter as if a springboard in their file drawers had been released -- or rather, one in their minds-- records of owl pellet dissections; gray squirrel and red squirrel hoarding differentiae. They were scientists when they wanted to be, but then they'd abandon apparatus and documentation alike to the custodial attentions of the janitorial staff.  Crystal offers herself to everyone without expectation or recompense. It is small enterprise to distort her character for deployment as misdirection. See that star?  Happenstance at every level is exemplary, for though it is the very material of exploitation, its inner nature--and it has one-- is Silence. It releases itself without exertion or process. It just occurs. No zealot can fully possess it. When Crystal appears within or above it, her highest character is among us.  Hammerhead undergoes self-revising process perpetually. He does or does not shake an African Rattle. Now he has no capacity to imagine a ghost, but now, again, he is one.  Impossible to pin down Long River. Long River, one might say, is the very principle of Fluency. Its complement is The Old Hotel-- the principle of Coming-to-Form, as if it were an abode. But African Rattles shake in every chamber. Happenstance is installed right in its carpentry and brickwork. And the great chandelier in the foyer instantly descends on its wire and takes the form of Our Opal. And The Old Hotel is a shrine therby, where the Oracle of Profit and Loss becomes your Hermeneut of Happenstance.  One might desire even to define The Gorge that digs itself deep to the north of The old Hotel, or regulate the burgeoning of violets. Then you are Hammerhead, or his avatar. Your body is The Old Hotel. Practice silence if you wish to change this.  Long River flows in the front. Release is relative to the intensity for which it is denoument-- different depending upon whether the Working deploys pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, or cauldron.  Violets require no release for their springing into being from Being itself-- forget about the debits of nitrogen.  Crystal inspires a proper enthusiasm without misdirection when the Higher Happenstance accommodates Melee.  And of course I might set Hammerhead loose within Happenstance for purposes of Misdirection and Scatter, assuming that I myself can spring into being like Violet-- I just show up along fluency-- that is, Long River delivers me.  And when I tire of Obliquity, Wrench Boy tends violets in a quiet garden whose only fork is a rake, and ghosts are the sad indices of Loss, and you put out violets and candles to quiet the ghosts; for Wrench Boy is never far from Black Lake. And the Higher Happenstance is ghost-like, geistliche. And Long River flows in front of The Old Hotel, that is the west side. And Being herself is like Crystal. Ploughing The Clouds 19 The Body is an ontological laboratory; hence, The Old Hotel and its space set aside for Deep Storage; the Gorge to the north; Crystal, in principle, a star sustained above its mighty turret-- even the scatterings and flotsam that, on a daily, weekly, or other calendrical basis just pass through, must be taken in both a somatic and an ontological sense without loss of focus; The Eastern Garden where the woodpecker skulls were scattered by Hammerhead in one of his hoarding adventures (following his loss of perspective regarding the subtleties of misdirection) is the site where silence can access the possibilities of Deep storage.  No one knows what roots in The Gorge. Crystals can certainly grow there, but unanticipatable spin-offs of cyclonic containments-- storms held taut within its walls- so that we have in this geological singularity Obliquity's Maw. Only Wrench Boy quite understands this.  What is locked up in Deep storage, anyway? How does it commute with Black Lake? Is there anything at all determinate about ghosts? These are ontological questions.  My body is like a gorge subject to determinate roilings-- a veritable cauldron whose soups and elixirs draw ingredients from Black Lake. Hammerhead comes to The Gorge with ladles and cups, calipers and who knows what other gadgets for abstracting objects he hopes to be opals. But as for Being itself, you must access my gorge with respect and circumspection, for Being is neither a ghost nor something stashed in Deep Storage. Your focus must be like a jaguar's-- hungry and avid, yet set like a crystal on its bezel. The focus of Hammerhead lusting for opals--well, it will be a long trip down Long River before he is comfortable at Black Lake.  Melee in the body is Melee indeed, but Being's inalienable fury-- particulates on very scale and dimension, whirling like dusts in a dry gorge or hailstones in a stormy gorge-- spell Being's obliquity vis a vis the mannerly arrangements of The Old Hotel. For every image and arrangement vis a vis Being itself is misdirection. Even Silence involves Bifurcation; even a chalice as determinate implement for ritual recipience of gracious forces cannot guarantee release. Yet surely the being of crystal held in the mind's heart of Wrench Boy-- surely Hammerhead's contrition under conditions of loss, know Black Lake with some intimacy, and violets in the springtime are no misdirection; and the Higher Happenstance is cornucopia, inexhaustible Deep Storage. Nevertheless we do well to be mindful of The Gorge-- it is a great nest of shadows, and Hammerhead's Concordat with Wrench Boy is postponed or held in abeyance.  Meanwhile, Black Lake sits in death's belly where Long River rumbles but mind's forms cease and Misdirection has a resource in Deep Storage.  It seems we've been ploughing the Impossible forever, but time itself is nothing but a systematic decision for focus.  When Africas rattle, their focus takes the form of a cup, and Wrench Boy's cohort of ghosts swarms about my body. Then the cut-up continuum smoothly resumed itself is misdirection, albeit an enthusiasmic rush of misdirection perfectly adjoined and at one with the manners of Deep storage. Ploughing The Clouds 20 The Gorge has broken up into nomes and regions, one fork to a plot, as if you could legislate gardens in chaos. Hammerhead did this in one of his fits of scatter-brained intensity, resulting in temporary loss of a valued factor in the local existential modality. Thank God for Long River, to restore through unjaded Happenstance the provenance of Wrench Boy. What does he look like? It isn't a secret, but his image is scattered so parsimoniously that, it seems as though Obliquity, in this matter, is being zealously maintained. He was no ghost, no geistliche phenomenon. How could he be? He was no phenomenon at all. That's the point about gods: they represent a fork in the ontological garden-- Hammerhead and his machinations or simple silence where nothing appears. As opposed to this: pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, cauldron.  Obliquity's excess leads to melee. But that's no loss, but a cauldron, a foyer in a strange dark riokan in Kyoto where a crone sits stirring up ontologies. Wrench Boy checks in on her, upon occasion. Her obliquity aligns with Long River.  Wrench Boy as deity loses his apparency. He inhabits a little bronze figure and inspires a quaint enthusiasm. But a god's bifurcation comes to this: Hammerhead hammers out an image; Long River runs it away. We practice non-ordinary focus upon enthusiasmic silence, and through a science of obliquity, nightly go down to The Gorge. Its nomes correspond to The Qualities, one jaguar to each region, an orderly garden underwritten by chaos, in totality a transitory crystal. Here, Obliquity is served by Long River, an enthusiasmic Long River. A cohort of ghosts in obliquity wake up each night in the ontogenetic garden freshened by water from Black Lake.  Now the mind-stream forks. Loss is a conduit that zig-zags at last to the porches and lounges of The Old Hotel. Hammerhead is the Prince of Loss. He offers little succor but access to Wrench Boy and the Rite of The African Rattles. If this is no misdirection, enthusiasm returns. Otherwise, the cohort of ghosts revolves about their prince; namely, the image of Wrench Boy.  A garden of jaguars, each with one consecrated opal. Consecrated by what? Obliquity, certainly, and the forces instinct within enthusiasm. You suppress what is essential in Bifurcation and take your stance in the garden as a member of Hammerhead's cohort and train for war.  The cat's bowl is broken. You wield The Fork. You listen for an African Rattle, give not a thought to the extravagant event whose misdirection breeds war as if a garden and eerily luminous jaguars are loose under invisible miasmas of all-consuming Loss.  Deep Storage is capable, oh yes, of fulfilling such dark enthusiasm till Happenstance--the high one-- rectifies Obliquity-- I don't mean denies it-- and Violet manifests in a scattering of aromas and petals, and the coursing of obliquities turns a corner, and Jaguar is oblique to wars. Ploughing The Clouds 21 "Let that which you grow in your garden soon be released down Long River." Pontificated Wrench Boy's shadow. He was not in fine fettle. That this wisdom were rank misdirection had been little reflected upon. "The Higher Happenstance," he continued, "is never mere scatter, but plunder out of Deep Storage. Little danger of misdirection. Why stir up the caudron? You cannot count on Happenstance. What use is silence? And no one's ever been to Black Lake. Accommodations are execrable and impossible to book. So release your produce down Long River. I am, or might as well be, Hammerhead. I retrofit ghosts to non-entity and put to work a fist full of jaguars."  This was a poor night at The Garden. A rostrum of no-shows and shadows. Long River appeared to be dry, and no one had the key to Deep Storage. The Crone had abandoned her cauldron. All signs pointed to an enervating scatter. So we abandoned the arena and sought refuse in liquid obliquity.  Actually, when the brain is mere scatter, Black Lake is not necessarily in absentia. Remember to take out your opal and put down, for an interval, your cup. Silence, complete and ghostlike, will empty and fill that gap.  Crystal is not, in the first instance, its quality, its power to integrate scatter. It has the zeal of the jaguar and the immaterial perdurance of the highest sublimation of a ghost. And Long River never forks so egregiously as to eliminate its effulgent capacity. Its silence, however, and its pervasion of all sonorities are sign-posts to that which is after, before, and beyond all qualities, all activities, all things. And beyond Beyond . . .  "Enough of this," thought Violet right in the heart of the silence in my consciousness; and, for an instant, we all had assembled at Black Lake in the shrine kept locked in the central chamber of The Old Hotel on the bank there. Each held and opal fully charged with enthusiasmic release without breaking the silence. All this, too, were a sign-post.  Deep Storage is also through commutation with Long River on the margins of Beyond Beyond (but Beyond Beyond has no margins). Deep Storage is also the potency for the continuum of strife and war-- the silence that reigns in Deep Storage-- pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, cauldron-- are these but signs for The Same? Continuum of scatter--uncanny.  So the image of a white chalice beckoned through the melee. The thought of Deep Storage was replaced by The Silence-- beyond Beyond all strife and war-- and Hammerhead appeared on the horizon, and there was no silence . . .  Ploughing before the storm, before the armies rise over the horizon-- Run out of The Old Hotel! Hide your crystal! Take a boat down Long River to another Old Hotel in another's country! Keep your focus in spite of your loss. Your opals won't show misdirection. Wrench Boy is with you, possibly, but what if he's only a shadow and the smoky opal shows crazing?  Being is never its qualities. The Old Hotel has infinite protean qualities. Release Release, even Scatter itself. What sits in Death's belly? The Gorge is the Mother of Wrench Boy, or Africa is, also the Mother of Shadows. Scatter Scatter. And they take your ghosts away. The Machinations of the bankers would seize your African Rattles, break the People's Assemblies, institute poisonous silence, eat up your opals, release themselves . . . Ploughing The Clouds 22 Long River flows both ways or irrevocably one way according to your focus. Similarly, Deep Storage is repository and dispensary. Pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice cauldron. The metatext penned in red letters is fashioned in obliquity. Misdirection, in this case, is consequence of Happenstance. There is a fork in Obliquity: principle overwhelming ontology or nosegay for jaguars. Misdirection indicates a typology for ghosts penned with enthusiasm to regulate focus. Deep Storage obligingly provisions us with alphabets and algorithms. We come to the cosmologist's cat bowl like souls to Black Lake, storm-harried travelers at last at the porch of The Old Hotel, weary ones loosed from weariness but penniless. The ghost of a fortune in the bank account.  Jaguar is full of zest, his African Rattles in fine fettle; and to manifest as a jaguar is one kind of ghost, neither revenant nor specter, but a power to crystallize Jaguar.  Don't get lost in enthusiasm, thank you. Deep Storage as Memory or Possibility-- both tines of the fork point to The Old Hotel, but the ghosts that inhabit that hang about in the night garden labyrinth, cooked up in ontology's cauldron. Such ghosts are appearances merely, like all phenomena-- a bifurcation in enthusiasm depending upon ghost-type. But when Deep Storage is regulated by the hapless shadow of Wrench Boy, the pest ghosts recur to The Gorge-- you would not wish to stare into it. Hammerhead's loss is a ghost's focus. They are eerily released to infiltrate Happenstance. Bifurcation reinforces Obliquity, which is no principle but irretrievable errancy, do you follow? Deep Storage is an old hotel.  There is a ghost that inhabits Obliquity, that works it with African Rattles that are almost inaudible, and little violets scatter about to the sound of these African Rattles. But Obliquity itself as principle shatters continuum and rebuilds it in a single act. Pot, cup is cat's bowl broken, yet chalice, cauldron-- an image cast up on the sound of your African Rattle augmented to cosmological proportions. This cosmos was a gorge before being an old hotel.  Language as red metatext can function as an opal to regulate your focus, not significantly different from the sound of an African Rattle. That's how it works in my case. I plough the clouds with enthusiasm and measure my loss, contain it with a practice of studied silence.  Deep storage, whatever the phase of enthusiasm, pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice, cauldron, overwhelms The Old Hotel, for the phase, that is, with a melee of ghosts of all types until The Old Hotel, once again, is haunted by jaguars. Ploughing The Clouds 23 Deep Storage compensates Loss as Memory's Fork. Who shall be Jaguar as ploughed clouds thicken towards closure? He shall be The Silence of Radical Obliquity. The Market of Misdirection serving cannibal children at the curry shop. The Market covers Being-- the avatars of everyone exchanged for their shadows. Release becomes difficult, then impossible; in the end, unimaginable. Silence shivers through The Old Hotel. The rooms are too costly. Only the archetypes inhabit them. Obliquity shuntpikes Black Lake to the recondite interior of Opal. Yet ubiquitous loss forks. Jaguar contains his enthusiasm as quietly, quietly he bides his force in The Gorge.  Methodology broods among the archetypes in the decadent, sumptuous guest rooms of The Old Hotel. Obliquity is one point. Misdirection, another. You must not subject your opal to impertinent scatter. Impertinent pertinent to what? Black Lake and the absolute bottom. Release each name and morphologem, but how does one do this when the market and its debits command? Attention through Happenstance. Red freckles harassing Melee. Hide silence. Foster Melee as if she were your garden. Do you recognize your opal? Probably not, though Melee and Discomfiture seem loosed round every corner-- the market of misdirection sporting cannibal children-- not only Africa in ruins-- the rattles of melee and loss in the throats of moribund jaguars. Rattles not only from Africa but built in the craft shops of everywhere, in lonely rooms, in makeshift trailer park universities of tactical misdirection. Far down along Long River where Jaguar excogitates fiduciary misdirection: The Old Hotel is the Co-Bank, the duplicity of that which seems crystal-- a ghostly market for usefully spurious opals, a garden of poisonous opals. Irrigation by waters pumped from Black Lake through The Gorge-- Obliquity and Misdirection-- pot, cup, cat's bowl, chalice cauldron-- Black Lake no maw but a garden, but a gorge without proper focus hence melee-- a freckled garden-- you sell your wife or your nephew, then your children, finally yourself-- all Being obliterated in scatter-- Black Lake impossible to imagine. Is this some hysterical, calamitous, scare-monger somnambulist nightmare, an affect of some particular chamber of The Old Hotel? Is it a phase in some cycle?  The Hold Hotel itself skries in its chandelier opal, sees Wrench Boy in yabyum, his syzygy, feral-headed Melee, her red freckles flaming, a garden of Black thorn sticks where the spurs to enthusiasm blossom, and every gorge is a garden.  Here (I mean here in the text) is not here. Not here only. How could it be? Black Lake comprehends this, submerses and unfolds. Resolves. Dissolves.  You don't comprehend your opal. Ubiquity forks. Silence is actional. Yet, you do not do it, achieve it, nor does it do you. There it is just beneath your practice to quell your own action. Your highest goal, if stated, is misdirection. Violets nourished of Black Lake. Black Lake the Mother of Hammerhead. Of course! What else will you skry in your opal? The fork in silence is possibly misdirection, but under direction of what? Not here in this old hotel for Melee is quiescent and The Old Hotel hallucinates Black Lake-- it's really there! Misstep at the gorge rim. Interval Black clouds follow out of Africa, out of Illyria, out of Yucatan. How shall I plough them? The thing behind them must be The Sun; do we know this? when all the cycles have come undone? Do the Druids of Poughkeepsie see this? Instantaneous! Ubiquitous! Draw on The Bank! Bring me the requisite subsistence to proffer this magic; then gladly I'll repair to Black Lake, and retire to The Sun. Interval Where The Waters are bottled up is a palace, no doubt on top of a precipitous cliff. An eagle first leads, then carries or becomes you. You must fly to the palace. But that you can fly is already powered by the waters your assault shall release. (Thought shift to the intransitive. Take note of this.) The eagle releases The Waters-- Black Lake bottled up in a palace. Hammerhead's dragon captures and keeps the Water Maid, who is Violet. Long River is desiccated. Everyone works for The Bank, wage-slave, slave, or debt-peon, no access, no ontogenetic ecstasy. The Market covers Being-- liquidity the limit of release. Every word its special thralldom-- the whole system an ambiguous mirror-- just which side are you on, if money has an enemy? A wolf king on top of Wolf Mountain whose energy and attitude owns Hammerhead. Now, for the first time in history-- but when history returns to non-entity, what happens has already happened-- just that is concreteness of newness-- an instant's thickness towards eternity. And Hammerhead rode in on his elephant at the grounds of The Old Hotel. He'd rescued The Water and planted The Feather and The Forest was ignited with intimate riches-- wealth itself but an image for bestowal of value from Being upon its apparencies-- inexhaustible, manifest thralldom, happy until it is not, then back to The Bottom-- Black Lake that is the color of vanishing light . . . Ploughing The Clouds 24 Don't use a fork if you want to foster scatter. Stay loose. How can an old hotel not be full of ghosts? Silence conspires with obliquity to addle your focus, and worse, you lose your target. Not any ghost will do. Begin and end with The Gorge. Scan it in silence. Don't let enthusiasm for the auditory phantasmagoria in the sound of your African Rattle scatter best intent. Remember release is necessary but not sufficient if you're stuck in the red lounge of The Old Hotel and you've left your opal on a stone in the garden.  Fill the cracks between thoughts. Infinite crazing. Black Lake. Recipience for infinite releases. The Garden--The Gorge inverted; the mathematics thereof ought to excite some enthusiasm.  Long River is loose. Melee, not yet ignited, of course will foster scatter, but she is just and direct not oblique. That which she addles falls straight to Deep Storage or comes out of it, Obliquity shaken from the depths, The Gorge alive, Hammerhead's avatars rampant like heraldic lions, each with an African Rattle roaming down Long River.  When Violet kisses Crystal, Obliquity comes into focus. There are ghosts in the garden sprung from The Gorge at Samhain, The Old Hotel decked out for celebratory ecstasies. Red lights and white noises of ubiquitous African Rattles flash in the windows or out from them, Happenstance a receptacle to that which Long River delivers.  Enthusiasm has a god in it-- Loss fills up with enthusiasmic compensations. The line from Loss to Melee to the god enthusiasm harbors-- a mathematical progress as a trip down Long River or up it to Dagda's cauldron. (I think it's Dagda's--the druid did have one. I'll look it up. How loose is that?)  Long River twists in an ox-bow about, is it Dagda's garden? Does he have one? Or is it but my enthusiasm for the name, "Dagda"? Whatever obliquity I can focus should serve me to raise Jaguar to cosmic status. He has that when enthused with Amazonian entheogens and Long River twists through The Gorge. We must raise for him and his Amazonian avatars an additional enthusiasm: smoky opals. Thus enthused, he'll see Wrench Boy some distance away loosed into a far-off obliquity. You can't get there from here--any here. You need to be off somewhere smoky like in an en-gorged spasm of enthusiasm, which misdirection bit into him one casual afternoon on the summer lawn of The Old Hotel. But it isn't summer now, though the garden has been successfully provisioned with a scattering of tunnel mouths, hell-mouths, really, that lead to The Gorge. Ploughing The Clouds 25 As a rule it's almost impossible to say what one means. How could one? Even a loose sense of mere happenstance eludes deliberative focus. Thank God for The Gorge and Black Lake to which one recurs, or I do, without recurrence. A cohort of ghosts animates silence. The fecundity of loss declares a voice.  Smudge before the ink dries. Black Lake freezes over.  This, then, is a garden where ghosts whisper when the plants die, surely, but in their wake smoky opals sit on dry juice stems portending the melee of renewal.  Happenstance actually requires small focus for The Gorge is right there behind it with its chorus of African Rattles, its thorn sticks, its chasm riven by Long River.  Ghosts, though they have no voiced instrument, roar on their whispering effecting a scattering sensation, a deleterious release, a forced, inevadable focus, an excess that only Long River with its liquid fluency can dispel. Yet Long river is the Mother of Ghosts. No violet survives the rush of its fluency. If Happenstance is infinite or just goes on extending without end, only an opal can stem the infinite diminishment that even a chorus of African Rattles would suffer by invidious comparison. For an opal encompasses all Happenstances. It can see the ghosts of gone violets. An opal can access Deep Storage. Its crystal matrix expands with the growth of the garden, promoting the inversion of ghosts in its smoky eye.  Old Hotel promotes a wild prolferation of expressions providing, in its chambers, an opal for every guest room, hoping to foster enthusiasm and extravagant speech. A Ploughing of the Impossible. In the clouds, opalescent palaces. But invidious comparison against the infinite proceeds with its diminishments. African Rattles roar in The Gorge, acoustics enabling with echoes cash payments provided against loss, but the belly of the infinite death swallows the white sonorities of Africa and its rattles. Thus ghosts, as enthrallments, force time, the thinking of time.  Expression itself is The Garden, Wrench Boy, enthused, presiding. Deep Storage-- repository and dispensary.  Is there an opal beyond the sky? I don't think so. But the opal of space? Enlist the craft-work of Hammerhead to build this opal.  Long River runs Jaguar with his diadem of crystal until he recurs as sky god. Fopr the instant of this recurrence, it is no misdirection, but the very thing that constitutes my opal: "an image out of anima mundi"-- Deep Storage direct to the opalescent window. But then the image forks and The Gorge, whose roilings cook up all imageries-- ghostlike, geistlich, Deep Storage, smoky opal-- Long River, that is language, runs through it, is the thing that doesn't get stepped in even one time only gets stepped in again-- obliquity, the addled sages--the thing that presses on the mind. Let's call it "The Gorge." Why not?  I am, such as I am, the milliner of ghost fabric, cloth out of Africa so colorful--red letters for the metatext-- even today another rattle my dear friend presented to me and the opal I haven't found yet the opal pot, cup, cat's bowl chalice, cauldron-- Melee flmes in the opal, Long River flows through Long River each utterance grows a bit smaller And there is no end . . . Ploughing The Clouds 26 The end occurs under a cloud. The spirits return to the sun. Where were they? Some lack of focus on this matter: misdirection, cognitive deficit, frank loss. The Garden inspired little enthusiasm. Black Lake's magnificent dispossession harbored, harried, and gave rise to cohorts of ghosts, certainly, but these tended to scatter with the exorcist's enthusiasm; whereas the spirit--singular or en masse-- proves to be a matter like Long River. It or they are there transforming the quality of calm abiding; then gone, simply.  I live at Black Lake; well, it is not life exactly. Aged Jacinth, like death-in-life, stashes the African Rattles in a gnarly cask, hiding her nature as Violet. Hers is a consummate art of misdirection like life itself, occulted under the figures of Exuberance and Loss, till The Garden and its melee of renewal comes out of Deep Storage. Also, not "I" exactly. I rise as a figure in my own opal. Then there's a fork, and Hammerhead scatters the necessary smoke, and it seems that Obliquity retires to Deep Storage.  The geistlich ghost is The Higher Happenstance. It obviates, while acting upon, ordinary aleatory. Thus is it difficult to distinguish twixt chance, clear focus, and mysterious misdirection; almost impossible to conduct policy from The People's Cauldron. Jacinth nevertheless provides African Rattles for Jaguar. He listens at his station in The Garden and garners what clarity he may; and Crystal is stationed above The Cloud, and when she sparkles as if from beyond all transitory phasing, you can trust what you discern in the frothing white susurrus of any African Rattle.  "what if Bifurcation itself were but a choice?" Worries Hammerhead. "And abject scatter, its ultimate consequence?" "What if 'worry' were that creature's nature?" Fluttered Violet.  I shake my African Rattle when occasion suggests that I do so for the sake of cognitive release alone in a cognitive garden, Hammerhead and I are at peace without worry, particularly, regarding misdirection, for we do not take direction. We live like ghosts on a house boat barge, and Long River travels us, as it might. Where does it go? No one has mapped its trajectory, a pot of ambrosia on the quaterdeck. If the river forks, what of it? We're under a cloud already.  I'll tell you about African Rattle some night ina pub over a pint-- Oh yes--I'm in that place also.  Existence itself is its scatter.  I took out the African Rattle with cowries escutcheoned on a gnarly brown gourd bulb. In an old hotel, it was. Hammerhead, as was his wont, was extolling the very zenith of misdirecting. Silence exploded from the many hearts of the methodologically horizontal collective. Hammerhead's heads turned about; then for an instant turned into rich and unruly racemes of violets-- not just his hammers but the whole head. We knew we were in the presence of some mighty ghost-- all of existence was about to experience scatter.  Long River flows everywhere. Black Lake is everywhere. Even The Gorge. Especially The Gorge. Even the geistlich ghost. Especially the geistlich ghost. Even at a loss and underthe sway of The Great Misdirection.  They shook their African Rattles, don't ask me who-- and image, intellect, narrative fell under a cloud. But we rode Long River and ploughed it-- Wrench Boy did this-- African Rattle-- The Possible and The Im- possible subjected to every sort of scatter. The ghosts flew down along Long River until Black Lake . . .