Pheats of phrasing — “Sophrosyne”


Today, in Pheats of Phrasing: Marianne Apostolides’ Sophrosyne (BookThug Publishing, 2014).

Sophrosyne by Marianne Apostolides

But no one listens anymore. Because all of us are busy in our infinite worlds. And our faces are grey from the glow of computers. Those hundreds of screens in Firestone Library, Level C. And the shadows are cutting deep on our cheeks. They carve out the hollows around the bone, where the skin is soft, and our teeth are stained blue. Because we smile at our screens and they stain our teeth but we don’t see it. And we can’t see it, but only because we see so perfectly well, with such meanness of detail, such perfect precision, the whole world appearing on our screens. But I can see it. If I lean on the wall and I look in the belly of Firestone Library, Level C, I can see that we are changing. ‘Man’ is changing. Our physical, muscle-blood, because our bodies are getting sucked dry. Because knowledge is held on our devices. Bundles of data, images, text and none of it is physical. Because our bodies have lost their human purpose, the place where memory merges with wanting, with thinking, creating a reality that isn’t real but must be true. Because reality is bright on our screens. And the moisture is sucked from our bodies. Because everyone is talking. All the world is talking, connecting, but no one hears the clacking of our eyes. But I hear it. I hear it and see it. I sense it because I tell it to you. And I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to stay here, my head pressed against this wall. I want to shut my eyes. I need to stuff my mouth, my ears, with dirt. Because the dirt is just beyond this wall. It’s teeming with life, three floors below, but I can’t: I can’t bury these thoughts, like I buried your body, because they come too strong. Because you gave me my question.

Your humble blogger/author (or “blogthor”) will be making irregular postings of random passage excerpts from various tomes in his far-too-large library.

Previous Pheats of Phrasing here.