Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Jam off the Spam*

When I was in grade school, my art teacher asked each student in the class to bring in a piece of trash - an empty soup can or a plastic 8-pak ring - and make art with it.

This text came from a bit of spam I found today in my gmail. Before the ad for lower mortgage rates came a bunch of random phrases in no discernible order. Somehow, in the time it took to reach for the mouse and drag the cursor to the delete link, I managed to read some of the sentences. I found the images curiously haunting. I deleted the spam, but I saved the text.

I left the sentences intact, but arranged them into paragraphs. This is what I came up with:

The motor-cars returning to town left early, in a little group. The curious seed-rattling hum of voices that filled the plaza was hushed. The whole village was in that state of curious, reptile apprehension which comes over dark people. A people that has never been redeemed, that has not known a Saviour. A race old in subjection to fear, and unable to shake it off. Unless there comes some Saviour, some Redeemer to drive a new way out, to the sun.

But the police in most countries are never present save where there is no trouble.

Even the fifis had a pistol on their hips. She lay absolutely crushed, in a kind of quiescent hysterics, tortured. Their very naked torsos were clothed with a subtle shadow, a certain secret obscurity. And the flesh would mortify around every claw.

In the absolute silence could be heard the soundless stillness of the dark lake. And herself woman, wheeling upon the great wheel of womanhood. She had been sitting at a little table, with Juana for dueña, sipping a glass of absinthe. "It has five shots," he said, showing the weapon. Then he looked at Kate with flashing black eyes, very much the man to the rescue. "Till I saw beneath me white breast-tips of my Mexico, my bride." The heavy, evil-smelling weight of an unconquered past.

There was neither urge nor effort, nor any speciality. They sat still, talking, listening with a second consciousness. At the same time, she was listening intensely, with a clutch of horror.

So hear now, you men, and you women of these men. The ghastly fear of the rabble; and during the war, nations were nearly all rabble. Ah, Niña, we poor women, we need a man and a pistol.

And Kate turned to the darkness of the lake. "If you open the door in the night, you must say a word to me first." She grew quieter, shut up with the dusky glow of her candle. In the cave which is called Dark Eye, behind the sun, looking through him as a window, is the place. She would lie and listen to the thickening darkness. "And so hear now, you men, and you women of these men. When men forget me, I lift the back of my hand, farewell!"

Thus the big word was spoken behind the back of the world. Just as I, without the sun that is back of the sun, am nothing.


*What do you mean, you don't like spam? I'm having spam, jam, eggs and spam!

1 comment:

Hot Toddy said...

Sounds like one of my ADD posts :)