samuel beckett

how it is

- in me that were without when the panting stops scraps of an ancient voice in me not mine

- something wrong there

- I scissored into tender strips the wings of butterflies first one wing then the other sometimes for a change the two abreast never so good since

- that's all it wasn't a dream I didnt dream that nor a memory I haven't been given memories this time it was an image the kind I see sometimes see in the mud part one sometimes saw

- warmth of primeval mud impenetrable dark

- sudden series subject object subject object quick succession and away

- if they see me I am a monster of the solitudes he sees a man for the first time and does not flee before him explorers bring home his skin among their trophies

- it comes close to my eyes I don't see it I close my eyes something is lacking whereas normally closed or open my eyes

- the air thrills with the hum of insects

- centuries I can see me quite tiny the same as now more or less only tinier quite tiny no more objects no more food and I live the air sustains me the mud I live on

- sleep duration of sleep I wake how much nearer the last

- the blue there was then the white dust impressions of more recent date unpleasant and those finally unruffled by emotions things not easy

- where I have never been but others perhaps long before not long before it's one or the other or it's both a procession what comfort in adversity others what comfort

- in the dark the mud that I hoist myself if I may say so a little forward to feel the skull it's so bald no delete the face it's preferable mass of hairs all white to the feel that clinches it he's a little old man we're two little old men something wrong there

- an oriental my dream he has renounced I too will renounce I will have no more desires

- a human voice there within an inch or two perhaps even a human mind if I have to learn Italian it's obvious it will be less amusing

- second lesson same theme nails in armpit cries thump on skull silence end of second lesson all that beyond my strength

- training continued to no point skip

- table of basic stimuli one sing nail in the armpit two speak blade in arse three stop thump on skull four louder pestle on kidney

 samuel beckett -how it is- 1964 john calder (publishers) ltd. london