No longer did I keep track of days or dates, months or seasons, maintained no spreadsheets or accounting tables, those oversize green grid papers of boxes for numbers, vertical and horizontal reticulums storing data – what was given, what was taken, what was traded, what was sold, what was lost, what was gained. I had no vision, no mission statement, no objectives, no goals, no action plans, no target dates, no metrics. Business, commerce, like most other human enterprises, relies on language, and I had not yet lost words. The idea of praying, in particular, without words, had not yet come to me. Thus I continued my daily inventories, posting to my pocket notebook what I’d seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt – the fat and flour of living one day at a time, no calendar, no appointment book, no contact list, no cold calls, no hot calls, no calls at all. No leads to follow up on. No inbox. No outbox. I remained aware of my unique position of privilege and how I’d obtained it, specifically the $300 million I’d pilfered from Walter, but just for a few hours, just long enough to cipher off some capital affording me a position from which I could both care and not care, though I had yet to learn to sit still. To report is to back carry, to carry on one’s back what one has accomplished, or failed to – at, with, from, below. A report puts a superior or subordinate or peer or groups thereof on notice of one’s presence, reminds some power of one’s presence, still waiting, awaiting, one’s availability, often irritably so, a codified reminder of jurisdiction and rule, of grip and clout. Reports are the daily bread of officialdom and bureaucracy. When all else fails, when no presentation presents to save one from one’s present predicament, one can always read or write a report.

“Report” is episode 37 of Inventories
a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
(Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)

Note: With episode 30, the title of the novel was changed
from the original working title of “Ball Lightning” to Inventories.

Solstice Sestina: Whiteout on the Whiteboard in Winter

Whiteout on the Whiteboard in Winter

The shadowless man in the center of winter
drew nine snowmen leaving no shadow
on the boardroom wall size whiteboard
and sketched one goal as cold as snow
nine snowmen into one who would wander.
The snowmen started to wonder

who in the whiteboard world would wonder
such opportunity in win win winter.
The shadowless man began to wander
here on the whiteboard without shadow
as quiet as a field of snow
empty save the snowmen on the whiteboard.

Whiteout conditions on the whiteboard
showed a winterland of snowy wonder
how in the wonderland of snow
in a whirling passage of winter
with zero shadow
one will wield wander.

The shadowless man wandered
solo across the clear whiteboard
concealing all shadow
not even a digress to address the wonder
soulful worship of winter
leaving no metric in the snow.

Around and around in the field of snow
the shadowless man wandered
silent on the stage of winter
in a whiteout on a whiteboard
with no edges no wonder
across the field fell no shadow.

Lost with no mere mirror shadow
the shadowless man fell in the snow
wandering he fell wondering
why worry about wandering
in fields of whiteboards
in the silence of winter

no shadow with which to wander
in the snow of the whiteboard
wondering where the nine 8’s went in winter.