They diminish me with their definitions, but I am William Buelow Gould, not a small or mean man. I am not contained between my toes & my turf but am infinite as sand.
Come closer, listen: I will tell you why I crawl close to the ground: because I choose to. Because I care not to live above it like they may fancy is the way to live, the place to be, so that they in their eyries & guard towers might look down on the earth & us & judge it all as wanting.
I care not to paint pretend pictures of long views which blur the particular & insult the living, those landscapes so beloved of the Pobjoys, those landscapes that trash the truth as they reach ever upwards into the sky, as though we only know somewhere or somebody from a distance--that's the lie of the land while the truth is never far away but up close in the dirt, in the vile details of slime & scale & filth along with the Devil, along with the angels, & all snared within the earth & us, all embodied in a single pulse of a heart--mine, yours, ours--& all my subject as I take aim & make of the fish flesh incarnate.
Friday, July 04, 2008
we are all fish
I am in the middle of reading a book called Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish by Richard Flanagan. It's very weird in an 18th-century meets Fight Club meets Griffin and Sabine sort of way. At the moment, it feels very physical, very dense, very difficult but true. Here's a taste from the narrator and fish-painter: