It’s a dark, rainy February evening. Cold leaden drops fall from the shadows hanging from heaven, and drip sullenly along along the long faces of buildings and those who walk between them. Incandescent lights glow aquatic as the water runs over them, and illuminate the ominously subastral haze. Through it all, the tall Neoclassical dome of Capitol-echoing-Capitol gleams as beacon and threat. In the stories, in the world, it goes: the symbol of authority must symbolize authority. The bright, pallid lordliness says it all. In another town, that might be offset by high skyscrapers, but here it stands alone. And yet, even so, its lunar glory is outshone, for to the west lies Versailles, home of the Sun, the immortal and undying… but the sun is setting even behind the clouds. Such is the sign of our age. The sun moves West, West, West until it lights East, and yet (even so) the obvious remains hidden (clouded) that East has become West, Orient collapses by Occident, and all falls under the northern forests, the central sea. So has it been, and so it shall be again. Shine in your golden light, and lay wisely your sherds, or else shatter your idols and lope into the wilds hence ye came. Barren lands await, seas of lost souls, and yet, paradise… awaits ye not. Leave thy innocence in Eden with thy pride. Go once more into the haunted night, gripping the iron torn from the ashes. So it has been, and so it shall be again.


The city’s not New York, nor Chicago, yet just as it aspires to them so does the weather. Life holds a mirror up to art. When’s the last time you’ve painted the sea?


I’m not in the rain, of course – I left it as soon as I could manage. Mortal flesh, mortal weakness, mortal mind. I’m in a bar, eating food slain quite far away, drinking something with “noire” in the title. C’est charmante. I am, after all, a man of my time, with all that entails. I have built nothing of what surrounds me, and yet I am quite warm and dry. There are three results to that position: a crippling sense of inadequacy, a crippling sense of entitlement, and utter madness. At the table right in front of me, a tidily bearded man explains the minute (minuscule) details of our mutual company to an uncomprehendingly attentive table. Jargon is explained, and perhaps somewhere in the straight-hall nightmare there is understanding. My beard and hair are long and ragged. I sit here alone.


Make no mistake. I will wake in the morning and make my way back to the same place as that tidy fellow. He knows his path; mine is dusty arcanistry and occasional alchemy. I memorize the symbols and grammar faithfully, but in my misty sight, crowded by floating bodies none but I may see, I behold


Age-worn, faded wood. Warm, welcoming colors, and the softness of self-antiquated threads. Page-must, flame-yellow, life-warm. The soft babbling of teary nostalgia for what surrounds you now, and in the distant auburn Autumn, the Song of the-


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