This writing first appeared in 1996 in an online journal, Qwerty Arts.



Luis Lujan




Five years. All sense’s gone. Eventide is upon me. Zeus has shown no mercy. My copy of Der Jude…tiring. Too Ashurbanipalitory for me anyway, my friend. I had thought my work was utterly incorruptible. Old Proust would be enraged by my literary inabilities. I heard some agents were asking about me at Slavinky’s. As you are my wife, I thought they might interrogate you. But I know how infinite you are, so I have no worries. And though the gods are often satirized, I still find strength to believe. This may be bad, however, as I believe I will again find your lips. Your mighty embrace sent me reeling at times, joyously calling out to the new world. Perhaps I forefelt rather that felt during that time, and I could have been feeling wrongly. It reminds me of that time I fled to Western Europe because the Cossacks thought I was gay. I am not fond of brainwashing, and when it comes to protecting my own ass from barbarians, well… Remember the stories you used to tell me about gnomes and how they are suspect in such hygienic matters? As if things aren’t vile enough, my coffer is empty; and the Karamov Lenders are not open-handed with funds. Incredible that I now write you considering that I had to go on an Olympian quest to find out your location. I am bound here by the wax of these candles and the chains of my mind, and the Serpent mocks my imprisonment. I find I cannot travel more than a hundred miles from this place because of my subconscious ties that go back to childhood. Doubtless my intentions in writing might seem equivocal to you, but I assure you that most of my problems are rooted at my birth. There is no doubt that I will probably never reach Heaven seeing as I tend to use my writing as a weapon against capital society. It has even gotten to the point where I use literature as a substitute for orgasm and have even stopped taking my barbituates against doctor’s orders. As of late, I have begun seeing colored orbs floating about the room, and have treated my body with a heretofore unknown roughness which keeps it stimulated. The vineyards are all in ruin, yet I have managed to keep your cup full by adapting my taste buds to tolerating the taste of Braudmast’s prune wine. I must admit that the Golden Age of writing is over and that though I may have reigned for a while, Proust must find someone else to run Olympus. I apologize if I have indeed imposed upon your new life, but it seems that Evil now directs my actions and my own convictions cannot fight it though they try. If I could have only been a farmer and lived someplace like Gothenburg where everyone owns trucks and plants seeds of grain rather than seeds of ill-fated and masturbatory text. My work is marked by an acute remissness which has left many scars upon my various works and not to mention my publisher’s pocketbook; I can’t imagine how cross he must be. What a trick it is going to be to regain my name, if such a thing is even possible considering the fact that I do not bow down to those muckrakers called editors.

As I now attempt to end this long rambling letter to you that I am writing in this little shack with hardly any light, my boat is beginning to freeze in the water outside. Can’t help but think of the winters I have spent here almost every year of my life in this nearly abandoned town in which I have lived my entire life, whatever that means. What else can be said of someone like me besides that I am a rather western hearted fool who longs only to give false advice disguised as wisdom and savoir faire, etc… This is why I got the thought to write you after all these years, seeing I am here and there’s nobody to watch over me, to scrutinize my every move. You used to do that, and I think I miss that part of you very much because it kept me aware of my own faults and various short comings. The thing is, you left and said you’d be right back but I waited and you aren’t here yet and have not even sent any word whatsoever, friend. Looking out the window, seeing Christmas lights in Jukas’s house, I am filled with emotion and warmth of spirit because of the memories they bring to mind. I hope you don’t deny that you have the same memories at the mere mentioning of the aforementioned lights that we would always see when here. Hey, when you come up and visit can you bring the coat that you wore when you left that gray day and never came back? I would much appreciate effort in doing so as it was the only coat I had and was, as you know, from my mother.

So how are your sister, Nata, and her five children these days living in that little town on the eastern coast of Menja. Last time I saw them, they were doing quite well but that probably doesn’t matter as it was a long time ago.

It seems as though the blizzard outside is beginning to die down and that there is not so much snow, eh? But why do I ask you when you are not even here and cannot see that which I see here. Oh how I wish that you were in this very seat next to mine writing as we once did. Do you think me quite insane for longing such a ludicrous and rather impossible state of simplistic existence? Remember when our mutual friend, Clayta, took notice of my strange obsession with fire and its power? I suppose it must have been obvious to her as I burnt down her homemade outhouse. I remember the look on her face as I handed her the wadded banknote. Her eyes looked like tiny red flames staring back at me like they were. I bet she’s not the type to let her kids eat at school. I bet such a negative attitude concerning socialization comes from the body. It is now noon, yet the air has a chilly edge. I’ve never delighted in laying down laws as you have. Perhaps I just need to read a good book? I remember we both agreed to do so. I am guilty of not doing it. I don’t like modernism, you see. It turns breathing into gasping. And Sister Superior agrees. It stopped snowing. Eat today? RSVP.