4. "Rest in" Pain (FBM)

"No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted."

- W.H. Auden, "Writing", The Poet's Work

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by Luke Edwards

Table of Contents


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Only vaguely mentioned, Edward was experiencing dental pain he wished to ignore. He'd also bounced a few checks while in Seattle for the Burroughs weekend and had financial concerns to attend to. And at last, perhaps in the first week of November, he found a new dentist.

From the intern Devil among Spokane doctors:¹


It's raining, October 26, 1979.

After the challenge of different worlds....

Hey, change. This is a metaphor.

She's the one who can't read, Cindy.

Gnomes are really tacky but I don't care.

The song I want to hear on the RAMJAC² radio

while I'm in the parking

lots to write, do, hear here:


The poem is attempting to capture Spokane as I see it

before moving away for good to become a famous poet.


Donna Summer and Barbra's new song


When I went to Comfy Kitchen I almost

backed into regular customer Dennis's car, very full

of junk, junk, junk, etc., etc., etc.

Book VI: Rough draft #1 of Bouleversement!! Yes!

It actually happened in Spokane, Dennis's car,

license plates, White Lodge hotel, bath

room. A new, old regular customer sat about

four tables away. I am wearing Next Winter's Scarf.

Next Winter's Scarf is really a poem.

Look at it. Green and Orange, handmade, crocheted,

bright, different styles, no pattern to the pattern.

Bad checks: two at Comfy Kitchen. 

The Sex Life of Jesus is a book

I want to read. I first heard of it years ago.

Last year I told Wanda about the book.

She was ruded out. Gertrude? No, Wanda. Ask her.

I'll believe anything.

I'll believe that.

Sandy has always known my secret

equals silent, a title. The end. Magic

City Campus is where I went to high school.

A student there sees next winter's scarf. The man

who hired me at Comfy Kitchen drives by.

His sister is in the hospital in Seattle, in a coma

for three months now. I first told Dean (lives in Seattle)

about it last Wednesday when he called in sick for

work. He's been missing ever since, my best friend,

limping. (As I drive past the college library and think of

reading Paterson there, the radio news announces,

"Residents of the Paterson, where the fire occurred...")

"Needs are being evaluated."


That last is the first recorded FBM, a mild one. There is very little, five days beforehand, to signal a mental breakdown in the direction of up. No mention yet of Son of Sam or ear of dog or missing friend Dean. No request for a vision had been made or answered. No sunflowers, no dandelions, no loaves and fishes. No rehearsal for a murder, no waiting for a limo to take Edward to the airport and on to a life in Beirut or Billy Graham's tent on some other planet. The qubit under toast had been served to the sheriff but five days beforehand there is no hint of the smell of toast with its light coat of butter, four pieces folded one on top of the other, restaurant style, important to the beauty of it, a taste of omnipotence.

The significance of moving in December on a Sunday is lost in the winter decline of it all. No stars to light the way, no press corps, no myrrh.


"No stars to light our way," is a phrase from a song by the rock group Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, entitled "Some Day, One Day." 

Advent went a little long that year. The hostages were held in Iran for 444 days of silence. Jimmy Carter would have to wait until the next century to be awarded a Nobel medal for peace. What happened to the snowstorm that surrounded Spokane that Halloween night? Who runs the radio stations? What FBI agent reads poetry late at night by candlelight in what abandoned church across the street from what sin?


A whole shift spent working the broiler, indeed. No breaks, no back-up, no assistant, the whole shift at broiler for the length of one's entire working days, whole career.


I've lost track of which narrative is being represented by italics and which is roman. Italics usually indicates quotes from the Gnome notebook of 1979. Italics can also indicate comments made during a revision/edit of the entire e-novel, presumably by an Über-hacker, but also sometimes by Luke Edwards, me.

I plan now to re-edit the entire narrative to conform to one voice, mine, Luke's. This will be my own attempt at doing what the Warren Commission did for JFK. (Like Edward Lacie, I am influenced by whatever I'm reading and I'm currently reading the Warren Commission's report.) This will be my war of "Awe and Surprise." 

What happened to Rimbaud was a sign of flaws in the system as it was then installed. Noted writers were those who worked their way up the ranks through academic circles and such. The system couldn't handle a poet's arrival by other routes.

And what is the purpose of paying a poet anyway?


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