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Timothy Donnelly

The Driver of the Car is Unconscious


Driver, please. Letís slow things down. I canít endure
the speed you favor, here where the airís electric
hands keep charging everything, a blur of matter fogs the window
and my mind to rub it. Donít look now, but the vast
majority of chimpanzees on the roadís soft shoulder canít
determine: Which fascinates more, the thing per se
or the decoration on its leaking package? How like us, they Ė

(The hand mistook me that arranged my being
bound here, buckled. I have been mistaken, ripped
from a wave of in-flight radio: wakened brutally
is brutally awakened, plucked from the grip of
“asleep on the slope of an open poppy.“ One has meant this
torture for another, clearly. Do we welt the same,
make similar whimper? Did he take my name? Iíll take another.)

it is the decoration. By which I mean, we have a lot
between us. Youíre European, and I have been to Venice
where the waters pave and they canít play tennis.
Fair gondolier, it is my pleasure to confess: nor will you ever
catch me in athletic dress, hunched waiting at the net
for a ball knocked fast in my direction, hot with fervor
to knock it back to the opposing player. It just wonít do.

Driver, please. I have shared with you. I have become
a person. Thatís supposed to make it hard to hurt me.
The future rises, bellows, wrinkles. I canít keep living
in a cramped sedan, I wonít keep living in a cramped sedan –
though you hold the road, Iíll give you that. There are
instances of smoke and mirror, instances of shouting fire.
Though you hold the road, Iíll give you that, there are

instances of “sticking to it“ that I canít admire, and ours
isnít an adhesion I ever expect to look back on
wistfully. But thatís for time to decide, not me.
“Just around the corner, thereís a rainbow in the sky.“ –
Havenít you ever just had to believe it? Look, if itís a cup of coffee
youíre after, I bet thereís someplace brilliant up ahead.
I bet thereís someplace right around the bend. Ash in the eye

and the nose and the mouth, shit in the pants
and the mouth and the hand. Hound on the back
of the hand and the lap, slap on the face of the hound and the ass.
Ash in the eye and the nose and the mouth, mouth
on the nose on the face in the pants. Hound on the back
of the hand in the lap, shit on the face of the hound
in the ass. Ash in the eye and the nose and the mouth and

the mouth wonít stop, it comforts itself, it comforts me.
Funny I keep on looking out the window, identifying
even as you do this. The orchids cry that yesterday were pollen
ground in the fuzz of dead-drunk bees. I will not submit
to being ferried that way. Driver, please. Where to now,
Tierra del Fuego? There is no travel but the travel that concludes
in shrieking with abandon, is there? – No. What you need

is to remember what it felt like beforehand, that emptiness.
Call up pictures, melodies, etc., but part of you will resist
that assistance, divide from it. Drag the edge of that memory-
yes, itís more like forgetting across that divide, until
something like a rabbit – hole opens inside you. Vanish into the hole.
Vanish, it is your only opportunity. It will stun you
for another minute, but when the stunning passes, you will again

be nowhere, nothing, and even more at peace with it.

Aus: Die neue Sicht der Dinge. luxbooks 2008

Timothy Donnelly    12.07.2008

Timothy Donnelly