Burning Books

by Melody Sumner Carnahan


ON THE NO ROAD there is no knowing what is known on other roads. On the no road no rivers overflow yet they flood the road.

The no road is where you meet the buddha and you dismiss him. Not because you dislike the buddha but because you must kill the no! of the no road to bring back the “thing.” The “no-thing” is the past. The no road reveals that you cannot stop the thing you can only be the thing.

It is the no road you follow until it crests a hill and dwindles into infinity. There are those telephone poles in diminishing perspective. The true masters of fate. I have seen owls, falcons, eagles, even, alighting on the circular flat tops of telephone poles on the no road. They know what it is to be on the no road.

On the no road we watch, we don’t imagine, we observe, we don’t predict, we grip the wheel, we don’t turn in any definite direction, we help ourselves to the ever after, which we will not be around to experience in the flesh after ever.

The after ever is another topic all together. . . . Will there be other everafters or just this one here, in this particular moment that seems to last for eternity.

I decided not to kill the buddha. I shall diss him only and let him continue on the no road. Is he a model to follow?

The buddha is best buddies with the “Who Cares?” The all-is-nothing school of noticing each moment that there is no place to get to on the no road which is the road we are all on every minute we are here.

How about compassion? I know. I know. It can become a weakness. Still it’s the only thing that ultimately satisfies on the no road. Having a feeling about how someone else is feeling feels good somehow on the no road after all we have all been through.

What is it we are here to do or not do? I don’t know. Nurses know, but they don’t take care of themselves.

I feel (not think) that any time I can make someone less unhappy that might be the right thing to do. But then, occasionally, we have to hurt people to get them to pay attention. These are questions that have puzzled the masters of wisdom from time’s beginning.

Was there a beginning of human time? It is always Tuesday on the no road but the year is unknown. . . . We seem to be stuck in a rut that the rest of nature has gassed its way out of, pedal to the metal.

More things to be revived in the mind. What do you say today, this minute, second, nano, b.c. that’s all we’ve got. Talk to me. Tell me your story. The no road calls and calms. Yet hungry ghosts, diminishing returns, and hucksters roast the most from the no road.

Even the famous are at risk, especially, on the no road. Multi-billionaires rarely will be given clearance to cross that next rise.

When the moth dies on the windowsill when the psychiatrist calls to say that you are now okay because you asked the question “Who cares?” when the physical therapist says you can’t go home because you aren’t strong enough yet when your father says he is disappointed in you, then dies, you know you are on the no road and will remain there the rest of your life.

The no road pulls you out of your habits, takes you to the flat empty with very small details you only notice when you take a second or third look after many hours or years on the no road or many trips on the same road there and back.

Here we are now. On the no road in life. It is the only road, it turns out. When there is a turn in the road, oh boy, do you notice it . . . event horizon to the max.

On the no road you are the last person you know who is alive. On the no road you are the last person alive who is sane. On the no road you can’t remember the name of the game being played. On the no road you are on stage but you say lines from a different play. On the no road you are so debilitated you can’t remember your own name. . . .

excerpt from "The No Road" in You Are Not Asleep
© 2014 Melody Sumner Carnahan / Teksteditions