What is in a Place? (Audio)

The writer was old. He existed on the planet of his birth for over ninety sweeping orbits of its sun. Transitory was his life, specular, reflective, but also burning with his own light like that sun. Doing the impossible on a Monday, or a Tuesday, erecting stiletto monuments of flashing silver thundering out from his imagination’s dream-machine.

Mars suddenly alive!

Remembrances of dew-grass running moments from childhood’s middle and end, fostering a hundred thousand newborn ideas as his own children, aware instinctively that life is for love. Creation and Love.

He talked about feeding dimes into the belly of a typewriter clacking, clacking on chiclet keys, letters to set the world afire. Definitions of this reality understood by others, brocaded into silk and linen and worn on feast days, every day a feast; each book a wonderment, prose and poetry distillations of his memory.

The lucky reader, no matter their real age reverts to a childlike state in the pages of his worlds. How could the shivers not run across your spine when the dark carnival came to town? How could you not feel the endless drops of rain splash with metronome insanity on your head, lost on Venus, a melting, writhing fungus world? Skeleton fiends, tick-tock robots, slice-of-life catharsis, nuclear annihilation leaving man’s machines to run to ruin. Have we listened? Have we understood? Did the ghosts of Poe and Melville and Wilde leave the breadcrumb trail to his door? Did you find it and knock?

Who answers that door? Jovial-giant, mischievous as a gnome; made of preternatural talents beyond our easy categorization. This man, this writer, this storyteller could make his own affairs read like deathless prose, Mark Twain would have loved him, asked him to smoke a cigar somewhere at home in Connecticut, feet propped up on a Victorian ottoman, puffs of tobacco percolating around two sainted-white snowcapped heads.

I often wish there was a heaven so souls like his could continue their rocket ship arcs through the cosmic wonderment. Celebration takes precedence over mourning. If we spent all our time weeping we would miss the factual, the actual:

Ray Bradbury was a churning sea of originality that could fish itself; his pen-his typewriter a rod. His reel a hundred thousand white sheets of paper speckled with black ink and magic.

Christ, we were lucky to have him.

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