Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Personal / Writing / Fiction / Juvenilia /
— How long does this last?
— Sir? You, sir. How long … Can you not look at me?
— We look at nothing but him. There is nothing but him.
— Yes. Of course. But when will he come down? I long to touch him. To kiss him. To weep, and rejoice with him. To be one with him.
You, sir. Sir? Please …
— Do not be impertinent.
— Shh. Here no one speaks.
— But you are all looking: do you not see? He is suffering. He is begging us.
— He is forgiving us.
— How long has he been bleeding like that?
I must find my mother. She must be here.
Please forgive me. We must help him. He is asking for water. The words are dry on his tongue. I’d … For his thirst … I would kiss his mouth.
— Stand. Respect the mysteries. His suffering and his forgiveness are all. He suffers that we may not forget.
— But he is risen: and is it like this he remains?
— It was thus when we came. Any of us. Here this is everything: he is everything.
|All we now in heaven be.
Blessed we stand and blessed we see.
Our mortality leavened be.
Pilgrims all and pilgrims free.
Glory to God.
— Have patience. Many of us felt that way at first.
— I’ll not have patience. Not like that. In eternity.
— Stand. He is not corporeal.
— Your disturbance has no place.
— Sweet Christ.
— His wounds are holy. Stand aside … ahhh ahhah . . .
— Jesus forgive us.
— Yes. Christ, yes.
That little piece jotted in my early twenties I see as straddling my juvenilia and my adult writing. I wish I’d written it better. GB Shaw said it wasn’t the business of an elderly author to tamper with the work of a young author: but, even were I willing to edit it, to intensify, clarify, to modify the diction, I find myself unable to alter more than a letter here, a punctuation mark there.
I sent it out to publishers in the late 1960s once I had other manuscripts to follow suit with. My last submission was to The Atlantic: it came back as a rejection but with a report of tears at the conference table. I can still see tear marks on the paper.
The damage to the unpublished author is personal and temporary, we are mortal. I somehow lived despite the withheld resources, which is more than we can say for many Lakota, Seneca … Canaanites. The damage to the public from waylaid messages is permanent: and eventually fatal.
Notice that is this fiction I implicitly identify Christians, in a heaven which they create by their expectations, and to which they have appointed themselves, as another species of the damned. They think they’re the elect, they think their presence in their heaven proves that they are the Saved. Uh uh: not in the long run.
Few should expect heaven while
Christ remains crucified.