The Wheel of History

Brian George

The Wheel of History | Brian George | Scene4 Magazine - January 2022 www.scene4.com

Giorgio de Chirico, Evangelical Still Life, 1917

Blind mechanics drive the wheel of history. The wheel turns. It turns, and it must turn, and it will continue to do so. The wheel turns, as it has from before the projection of the stage-set we inhabit, with its two-dimensional skyscrapers that appear to be so heavy, with its mummified steelworkers perched upon their girders. But why has all the sound been sucked out of the city, and why do the crowds not move? Why too is the sun so disconnected from its orbit? We know only what we desire for ourselves.


Rumor has it that our guides may preexist the wheel, or that they are, at worst, its voluntary victims. That may be, it may not. These guides say nothing as they disappear. Taking with them the vast records of their work, they withdraw beyond creation. The inventors of the Earth abandon us. They remove the masks they wear, as they march into the sea, to leave them on a pile of rotting fish heads by the docks. Drunk, a tribe invades the square with hammers, to break the nose from the statue of the patriarch. There are mysteries so dark that they should never come to light. Oh no, but then again, oh yes.


The scent of salt air, a bit like that of blood, moves inland from the sea. The night is clear and wide. It is very quiet. I begin to sense that a revolution has overthrown the Twelve, the architects of Thoth. I brood above nothing, a shadow carried across waves. Entering the black tunnel complex underneath a pyramid, I find, looking down, that my fingers touch the mask of Horus. His breath, warm on my hand, fades, as he struggles, as he has no strength to stand. The Younger Dryas is still wet behind the ears. The god weeps, as do I.


Yet again, the sky is clogged with the murder of a world. Birds flame and plummet next to technocratic discs. No girl can find her iron hoop. No cannon can find its artichokes. Orion has scrubbed the signatures from all but a few of my paintings. This is bad, very bad. Should I maybe have produced more copies of my copies? Auroral hieroglyphs now grow so stupid as to claim that I never wrote Hebdomeros, as if that were in some way a surprise, as if I had not countless times denied exclusive authorship. Few immortals are as humble. Has not my vision led me farther than I ever wanted to go? Have I not seen more than I was meant to understand? Here, I am done with my face. Please take it. It is yours.


I, de Chirico, friend to manikins, could not be more at peace. I have proved that no time has passed. I will do so once again. What, should I care that a deluge kisses Volos? I am not the jealous sort. To each coast: a catastrophe. There are more than enough waves to go around. Once more, the planets rhyme. How wonderful it is to speak with Nietzsche. He is less mad than before, of course. This will not do, it will not do at all. I will have to point out to him the error of his ways. My eyes are wider than Pangaea. Blue lava flows.


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Brian George - Scene4 Magazine

Brian George is the author of two books of essays and five books of poetry. These include Voyage to a Nonexistent Home; Maps of the Metaphysical Double: In the Footprints of de Chirico; To Akasha: An Incantation for the Crossing of an Ocean; and The Preexistent Race Descends. His book of essays Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence is scheduled to be published by Untimely Books in July. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art, an exhibited artist and former teacher. He often tells people first discovering his work that his goal is not so much to be read as to be reread, and then lived with. For more of his writings in Scene4, check the Archives.

©2022 Brian George
©2022 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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