THIS WILD DARKNESS

. . .

I don't know if the darkness is growing inward or if I am dissolving, softly exploding outward, into constituent bits in other existences: micro-existence. I am sensible of the velocity of the moments, end entering that part of my head alert to the motion of the world I am aware that life was never perfect, never absolute. This bestows contentment, even a fearlessness. Separation, detachment, death. I look upon another's insistence on the merits of his or her life - duties, intellect, accomplishment - and see that most of it is nonsense. And me, hell, I am a genius or I am a fraud, or - as I really think - I am possessed by voices and events from the earliest edge of memory and have never existed except as an Illinois front yard where these things play themselves out over and over again until I die.

. . .

- Harold Brodkey
The New Yorker, February 5, 1996