Archive for December 2009

Final Ghost

December 8, 2009

Every force evolves a form. -Guy Davenport

I’m a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl. -Bjork

I think back to childhood cartoons, and how, when a cat died, nine identical ghosts would spiral up to heaven, following close on each other’s tails, playing harps of course, though what tune they played, like the song sung by the sirens, is beyond conjecture. Then there are the bat-eating snakes of certain Asian caves, that prey entirely in pitch darkness, snatching bats out of the air and swallowing them whole. In a new Saturday-morning cartoon, featuring the bat-eating serpents, I need one scene in particular in which one of the snakes is killed, perhaps by an angry neighborhood dog, and upon breathing the last breath, the souls leave the body, except that they are not all snake souls, but the souls of every bat ever eaten, spiraling upward more gracefully than cat ghosts, playing more beautiful music on their harps,  followed after a while by the snake soul itself, mouth sewn shut in contrition, already loving bats, as he shall and must in the peaceable kingdom.

One of the last ghosts in this parade would be me, who fathered forth the story, and the final ghost would be you, and perhaps you, or someone very much like you, as well.

n.b. – Here concludes My Book of Caves, a one-year image/text project. My love and thanks to all who followed along. My new (2010) blog, Lunar Ulna, can be seen at