“And it was that tree that Texas mountain laurel of our youth—that tree house—which like Daphne and Apollo reminds me of it that race the race between love and not-love and how we all have to take it take our rest under it and swallow this our medicine.  Because sometimes that serene detachment to deliverances the fact that when if when you go all the way when you run the race as an artist just as Dulcinea’s father David did judged as a shameful deadbeat by all who know the earth the emptiness you feel to it is not just that in your stomach but the true feeling of being alone in your heart alone with the gods the nectar the ambrosia the medicine of this aloneness for it is a poison to mortals and not just the losing of all hope with time for once tasting it you are starved by the degraded humiliation of choosing the choice between companionship in mediocrity with its dulcet wanting to belong to something and all its innumerable books of pulp fiction taking sides in order to belong to a time in times and the choice that when climbing that mountain of laurels that abode of the gods to climb but a bit further where no man has a friend you hear it you hear the voice of it the voice of the mountain where when you hear it hear the mountain cry in all its vast silence its necessary silence to belonging to a time the affected seriousness the serious defect of all artists and you hear in that cry the laughter the en masse laughter of the primordial strain the side-splitting laughter that brings tears to your eyes and it the mountain the gods saying, ‘Don’t be silly but be as us like unto us and imitate our faces shadowed in the clefts of  that which you climb and follow the graves of the ones that went before you and tried as you tried to be alone with it us your covenant broken and your eyes blinded by the laughter of even trying in the trials to even make that covenant that hubris leaving you only to feel those soft impudent pillars of our immortality your death a happy death for in not knowing what is after except in what came before no evil will befall you you O good man and what you don’t know no man will ever know so take your rest under this tree of laurel its seeds a narcotic a hallucinogen of something you can’t have and remember to remember the deal you once made and just be human…’ and yes Dulcinea told me and now I tell you a youth how his David’s own children destroyed him how yes he could play that guitar real good but he sold his soul for it for wisdom feeling he wasn’t using it for nothing I guess so he gave it to us all for a price and the covenant the deal was seen in his children in the ingratitude of an inconsonant wife who bore him these children who no longer loved him and saw what he scraped and clawed out of his existence in those songs the songs he played for us all like on some magic lyre meant nothing gave him nothing but the vast silence that followed them and his children his firstborn killed by the second and his daughter raped by a cousin my brother in the foreshadowing of a kiss before kindergarten and Benjy rising up against his father just as he did that day at play in that laurel tree under the end of summer light making us girls unwelcome the story which I’m telling you now an old woman remembering to remember after marriage children widowhood my virginity in your virgin ears the satire the story of an artist’s satire of how at the end of the race between love and not-love the earth opens up to enclose us and we all return as to that tree for you see the lineage continued as a continuation in Dulcinea’s son who was not really aborted but given the name of son not grandson to David and Bethany raised as such and not the spawn of incest but the hapless late conception of two once lovers out of wedlock naming him—of course—Solomon…

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